LADY AT THE BAT: Astros, Chapman, Jeter & Palermo: An Eventful Weekend For Yankees

Monday, May 15, 2017

Astros, Chapman, Jeter & Palermo: An Eventful Weekend For Yankees

An eventful weekend at Yankee Stadium was highlighted, of course, by the number retirement ceremony for Derek Jeter. As always, the Yankees did it right, from top to bottom. Although, those Monument Park Jackets were a bit over the top. The story is that the whole thing was Carlos Beltran's idea. I can just imagine him saying, "God, I can't believe they took me seriously. What a bunch of idiots!" 

Okay, the jackets aren't that bad. An okay touch. I can live with them. I can also live with the Yankees losing three out of four to the Astros this weekend. Really, we didn't see anything a lot of fans weren't already willing to see: that the Yankees are a nice, up-and-coming team that won't win the World Series this year. But they are fun to watch and they never give up.

That is all you can ask from a team that many predicted to be cellar dwellers this year. As the season progresses, that prediction seems less and less likely to happen.

Something that was likely to happen: Aroldis Chapman going on the DL. After Joe Maddon over-used him in the World Series, we were all afraid this would happen. Chapman didn't help himself by trying to pitch through this rotator cuff injury. However, I disagree with some fans and bloggers, who say the Yankees were at fault in some way. This is nothing like what happened with the Mets' Noah Syndergaard. Remember, after the initial concern in Boston, Chapman was lights out against Toronto. It is entirely possible that this allayed the Yankees' fears, if only briefly.

An off-day today before two series, in Kansas City and Tampa Bay, this week. The Yankees are back in sole possession of first place. It would be nice to build on that lead against the Royals and Rays.

RIP, Steve Palermo
ICYMI, former MLB umpire Steve Palermo passed away yesterday. Younger fans who had never heard of Palermo were surely touched if/when they Googled him. Though his umpiring career was cut short by a bullet when he tried to help a crime victim, Palermo remained involved in the game for many years in various capacities, including working the pre-game show before Yankee games on the MSG Network.

When I heard about his death, I was reminded of a summer I spent back in the '80s attending umpire's school.  A few of the instructors had worked with Palermo in the minor leagues. All of them, even the ones who hadn't worked with him, agreed that Steve Palermo was, at that time, the best umpire in Major League Baseball. He was the standard we were told to measure ourselves against. (Unfortunately for me, that standard proved too great. I never made it past Little League.)

Rest in peace, Mr Palermo. You will be missed, and never forgotten.

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