Michael Kay

Live Blogging The Final Sox Yankees Game At The Stadium

I honestly didn't think the Sox had a chance to sweep the Yankees in their final regular season series at The 161st Street Crack House. The Sox have been playing better baseball since the All Star break. But the Yankees have had a better post-All Star record against Boston all decade, it seems. In fact, this time last year, the Yankees swept the Red Sox in the final regular-season series at The Stadium (5-3, 4-3, 5-0 - in which Wang nearly had a no-hitter). So to see the injured Red Sox roll-over to the Yankees in the final series at Yankee Stadium would not come as a complete surprise.

But then Tuesday happened. And then last night. And now it really does appear that the Yankees are are powerless to save their season. Back in June, Michael Kay and the Yankee faithful expressed fear on blogs and talk radio that the Yankees might just be a .500 team this season. And they were correct.

Let's look at this morning's papers.

Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe (registration required):

The Red Sox and Yankees have been playing one another at Yankee Stadium since 1923. Including playoffs, New York owns a 489-289-4 record against the Sox in this sacred house. But it ends today and it's ending badly for the Yankees. Here in the final days, the Red Sox have some sweet revenge.

John Harper, NY Daily News:

...the Yankees couldn't lose this game and expect to have any real shot at catching the Red Sox, or maybe the Twins or White Sox, for the wild-card spot.

So somebody had to do something as the Yanks went to the late innings down two runs. But, really, we should know better by now. Going all the way back to April, the Yankees haven't given anyone reason to believe they are a playoff team. Why was this night going to be any different?

Joel Sherman, NY Post:

This Yankees offense mimics Hank Steinbrenner, more bluster than action. Yammerin' Hank attended a home game last night for the first time since the season opener. The absentee owner blustered some more before game time, promising changes for next year. At least this time surrender was the right motif. The 2008 season is like the Stadium: History.

Tyler Kepner, NY Times (registration required):

In the owner’s box, Hank Steinbrenner was making his first appearance at Yankee Stadium since opening day. The team was healthy then, the young starters seemed ready, and there were few doubts that Yankee Stadium would see one more postseason, the 14th in a row for the franchise.

But as Pedroia rounded the bases, Steinbrenner hung his head. By the bottom of the inning, he was gone from his seat. There was no need to witness the final details of the Yankees’ 11-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the one that probably doomed their postseason chances.

I have to be honest - I'm loving this. Red Sox Nation is loving this. Yankee Haters and Mets fans are loving this. And while Dan Shaughnessy can spin it and lament that this rivalry has lost its edge (and he can no longer make money off of it), it is still the biggest rivalry in North American professional sports. Not the world, mind you. Chelsea vs. Arsenal and Manchester United vs. Liverpool might have something to say about that, not to mention AC Milan vs. Inter Milan (Italy), Rangers vs. Celtic (Scotland) and Boca Juniors vs. River Plate (Argentina).

But that's another post for another time.

Let's take a look at the preview from Stats, LLC:

The way the Boston Red Sox are playing, they may never lose again in Yankee Stadium. With only one game left for the Red Sox in the Bronx, such a feat is a realistic possibility.

Boston tries to leave The House That Ruth Built for the final time with a three-game sweep when it wraps up its series with the archrival Yankees on Thursday afternoon.

For the Red Sox (77-55), their final series in the venerable ballpark that opened in 1923 could prove sweet. Boston has taken the first two games of this set by a combined margin of 18-6, including an 11-3 rout Wednesday night. A sweep would be the first at Yankee Stadium for the Red Sox since April 23-25, 2004, and only their second in the Bronx this decade.

More importantly, Boston is dealing a major blow to the Yankees' playoff aspirations. The first two games of this series have dropped New York seven games behind the Red Sox for the wild card -- the best hope for the Yankees (70-62) to extend their streak of 13 consecutive postseason appearances.

"We just dug ourselves a bigger hole," New York outfielder Johnny Damon said. "This is definitely a tough time for us."

Jason Bay and Dustin Pedroia each drove in four runs Wednesday -- Pedroia's coming on a grand slam -- to help Boston win its third straight game and improve to 6-2 on its most successful road trip of the season.

"I never write the Yankees off until the season's over and the standings are set," Pedroia said. "They've been around too long and been in the playoffs for such a long time that we're definitely not counting them out."

Bay, acquired from Pittsburgh in the Manny Ramirez deal before last month's trade deadline, has excelled in his first two games as part of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, going 4-for-8 with six RBIs. On Thursday, he'll be joined in the outfield by another new acquisition -- Mark Kotsay.

Boston acquired Kotsay from Atlanta for a minor leaguer Wednesday, adding depth to the outfield one day after J.D. Drew went on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Kotsay, who batted .289 in 88 games with the Braves but is best known for his stellar defense, will play right field on Thursday.

"I know that I've gotten messages from people all over the league that said he's everybody's all-time favorite. I know he's a real professional. I know he's excited about coming here," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He said he'll do anything we ask to try to help us win."

A top-caliber pitching matchup will highlight the final meeting in Yankee Stadium between these rivals as Boston's Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49 ERA) faces New York's Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45).

Lester has dominated the Yankees in two starts this season, compiling a 1.13 ERA while winning both. He tossed a shutout at Yankee Stadium on July 3, limiting the Yankees to five hits and two walks while striking out eight in Boston's 7-0 victory.

The left-hander, though, is now trying to bounce back from his worst start of the season. Lester lasted a career-low 2 1-3 innings in Saturday's 11-0 loss to Toronto, allowing a career high-tying seven earned runs with eight hits and two walks.

Mussina fared better than Lester in his last outing, but wound up without a decision at Baltimore last Friday, when he yielded four runs and nine hits in six innings and left the game with a 4-3 deficit. New York rallied to win 9-4.

Mussina has 266 victories, but is seeking the first 20-win season of his 18-year career.

The 39-year-old right-hander is 20-17 with a 3.74 ERA versus the Red Sox.


Here we go. Like my three previous attempts at this, I give highlights as they happen in 24-hour time format. I got my browser windows, house windows, and a bottle of Jameson 18 all open.

13:13 David Ortiz walks with 2 out in the top of the first.

13:15 Kevin Youkilis flies out to end the top half of the inning. Mussina has himself a strong start. Three outs on 17 pitches, 10 of them strikes. He is glaring at the umpire a lot, but the strike zone today seems large. That doesn't stop the YES commentators from agreeing with the Moose.

13:19 Johnny Damon flies out to new right fielder, Mark Kotsay. Very nice!

13:20 Derek Jeter hits a single up the middle. His 233rd lifetime hit against the Red Sox and he is now 13 hits shy of Lou Gehrig's record for most hits ever at Yankee Stadium. There are 12 games remaining at the stadium after today.

13:23 Bobby Abreu hits a single up the middle. Jeter to second. Lester in early trouble with A-Rod coming up. Still 1 out.

13:27 A big swing and a miss by A-Rod. He strikes out. The boos resume. Come on, Yankee faithful, he didn't hit into a double play. And the swings were good.

13:28 Xander Nady, a solid player formerly of the Pirates, hits to Jed Lowrie, who steps on third base for the final out. Lester escapes.

13:20 BoSoxRule on Sons of Sam Horn: "A-Rod must be thrilled that he gets to deal with these idiots for 10 more years."

13:33 Jason Bay grounds out in the top of the second.

13:33 Mark Kotsay doubles. His 18th of the season and first with Boston.

13:36 Jed Lowrie strikes out.

13:37 Alex Cora grounds out to A-Rod. What do ya know - a Red Sox-Yankees game that is moving briskly! These day games are so much faster. But that doesn't mean we won't have any Sox-Yankees drama.

13:42 Bottom of the second. Robinson Cano flies out.

13:45 Hideki Matsui strikes out. Two away.

13:48 Cody Ransom, filling-in for Jason Giambi, gets hit on the foot. He takes first. Still hitting 1.000 for the Yankees.

13:48 Obscure Name at SOSH: "Will Cody Ransom continue to dominate the league?"

13:49 Jose Molina flies out. End of the second.

13:53 Varitek grounds out to Ransom at first. Come-on, Sox. We need some offensive momentum.

13:55 Jacoby Ellsbury goes down looking.

13:55 Dustin Pedroia swings at the first pitch and pops out to the catcher, Molina. Sox go down 1-2-3.

13:59 Lester recovers from being behind 3-0, and strikes out Johnny Damon. Hold the line, Jon.

14:00 Jeter singles to center field. He is 2-2 today.

14:02 On a failed hit and run, Abreu swings for his first strike, Jeter runs, and is then trapped and tagged at first. Two away.

14:03 Abreu flies out to Ellsbury. It was Jon Lester's strongest inning today. He's up to 56 pitches. But so far, Mussina is having the easier time today. Lester had to work hard to fight back in the third inning.

14:07 David Ortiz walks for the second time today. Please, Sox. Please bring him home.

14:08 Kevin Youkilis almost wraps one around the left field foul pole. But it deflects left, and it is strike two.

14:08 Michael Kay on YES: "I'm wondering guys, I've mentioned what Ortiz has done in this series. 4 for 6, 3 doubles, six walks. And although Youkilis is a very good player, he's not Manny Ramirez. I don't think you could be as careful with Ortiz if Manny Ramirez was behind him. Would you agree?"

14:09 Youkilis pops out.

14:13 Jason Bay grounds into a 4-4-3 double play. Mussina is up to 56 pitches, but he is doing very well neutralizing the Sox thus far.

14:15 E5 Yaz on SOSH: "Pitch counts are immaterial today. Red Sox bullpen is far more rested than the Yankees."

14:19 Alex Rodriguez strikes out. But it took Lester 8 fastballs to do the job.

14:21 Xander Nady strikes out looking. Two away.

14:22 Robinson Cano grounds out to first. A 1-2-3 inning for Jon Lester! End of the fourth inning. Can he last through six?

14:24 Jed Lowrie singles. Boston's second hit. There is one out in the top of the 5th.

14:27 Alex Cora is hit by a pitch. Michael Kay thinks Cora didn't try to get out of the way. He may be correct. Two on now for the Sox.

14:28 A line drive up right field for Jason Varitek. Lowrie comes home. It is 1-0 Sox!

14:30 Ellsbury hits one up center. The Yanks get Varitek at second, but not Ellsbury at first. Cora socres. It is 2-0 Sox. Two out.

14:32 Ellsbury is thrown out stealing by Molina. It was close, but the tag appeared to be applied just before Ellsbury reached the bag. On to the bottom of the 5th we go. The guys at SOSH are convinced that Ellsbury was safe.

14:35 Replay shows that Ellsbury was indeed safe. Cano's dramatic tag made it look like it was an out.

14:36 Matsui grounds out. One away in the bottom of the 5th.

14:38 Ransom strikes out swinging. Two away.

14:40 Jon Lester strikes out Molina. He's in control of things now. End of the 5th inning.

14:41 NomarRS05 on SOSH: "So, Lester is in control. That's pretty awesome."

14:44 Top of the 6th. Dustin Pedroia singles! Sox have a chance to score again.

14:46 Mussina throws a low pitch to David Ortiz and it is called strike. Bullshit. Such complete bullshit. But credit Molina for adjusting his mitt to make it look good.

14:48 Youkilis is hit by a pitch. Two on, one out. Michael Kay: "Very odd. Two Red Sox have been plunked today. Mussina rarely ever hits batters."

14:49 Ellsbury grounds to A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez tries to tag Pedroia running to third, but Pedroia runs to the grass. A-Rod's throw to first is on-time. But the umps blow the base running call. Pedroia is safe at third. Michael Kay is not pleased.

14:54 Mark Kotsay strikes out swinging. Sox strand two men in scoring position. Remember that one.

14:56 Lester hits Damon on the arm to open the bottom of the 6th.

15:01 Jeter singles again. It's his 11th 3-hit game of the season. Yankees threatening now.

15:03 Nuf Ced at SOSH: "Lester up to 95 pitches. Masterson up in the pen."

15:04 On Lester's 100th pitch, Boobby Abreu flies out to Ellsbury. Damon makes it to third. Still one out.

15:05 Alex Rodriguez up. On the first pitch he pops-out to Varitek! Two gone.

15:05 A-Rod vents his frustration on the bats rack. It is a subdued, silent tantrum. I've never seen anything like it. It was like he was hammering a nail, not trying to damage anything.

15:07 Xander Nady flies out! Lester escapes trouble and shows emotion for the first time today. Take a bow, Jon. You did your job. It wasn't easy, but you gave up no runs to the Pinstripes! 6 innings pitched, 4 hits, 7 strikeouts.

15:08 Foulkey Reese on SOSH: "Lester is fucking nails. And ARod is an epic choker."

15:12 Top of the 7th. Jed Lowrie pops out to Derek Jeter.

15:14 Alex Cora singles up the middle.

15:17 Varitek is at bat. It could be his last at bat at the Crack House. And Cora steals second! Molina lost his grip on the ball and didn't have a chance.

15:18 Varitek strikes out looking.

15:21 Ellsbury lines straight into Mussina's glove. Now the Disabled, Irish, asshole tenor, Ronan Tynan MD, sings God Bless America before the Red Sox for the last time in this blue vinyl-sided shithole of a stadium. The Yankees have always been dirtbag Republicans who wrap themselves in the flag. Fuck them.

15:23 BoSox Rule at SOSH: "Hands over your hearts you communist cunts!" If that wasn't sarcasm, then Boston has some gay Republican assholes as well.

15:23 Spacemans Bong on SOSH: "The nerd glasses really make you look good, Ronan."

15:23 SoxScout on SOSH: "It's Scott Van Pelt, +120 lbs."

15:25 Spacemans Bong on SOSH: "Displays of self-gratifying patriotism like this give a bad name to patriotism." Exactly. Thank you.

15:28 Bottom of the seventh inning and Lester is put back on the mound. Okey dokey, Terry. Robinson Cano pops out. Alex Cora runs to center and makes the catch with his back to the mound. Wide receiver, Alex Cora!

15:29 Jon Lester strikes out Hideki Matsui! Strikeout number 8 for Lester.

15:33 Cody Ransom doubles with two out and a full count. Calm down. We can get out of this. Terry Francoma makes a pitching change.

15:37 Lefthander Hideki Okajima takes the mound. He almost gets pinch-hitter Jason Giambi to pop out.

15:38 Shit. Giambi homers. The game is tied. Okajima could get the job done. Lester loses the chance of getting the win. Here's the drama we've been waiting for.

15:40 Johnny Damon strikes out looking. End of the 7th. And this is now a two-inning game.

15:43 Top of the 8th. Righthander Brian Bruney now on the mound for the Yankees. Pedroia pops out to Damon. Sox have to score a run here to have a good chance to win.

15:45 Pitching change. Yankees put lefty Demaso Marte on the mound to face David Ortiz. Joe Giradi managing a good game for a change.

15:47 David Ortiz grounds out. Crap.

15:48 And now Girardi puts Mariano Rivera on the mound. It is suddenly do or die time for the Red Sox. Kevin Youkilis will be at bat. Two out.

15:51 Youkilis flies out. Now Girardi looks like a genius. Three pitchers. Two pitches each. Three outs. That sucked.

15:54 Bottom of the eighth. Okajima still on the mound. Jeter his one deep. But Ellsbury makes a great sliding catch in center. The Sox finally stop Jeter.

15:58 Bobby Abreu flies out to Ellsbury in center. Two gone.

15:58 Now Francoma makes a move as Alex Rodriguez comes to the plate. Justin Masterson comes to the mound. With no one on base, A-Rod is quite dangerous in these situations. Michael Kay sets it up as a chance for redemption for A-Rod.

16:00 Razor Shines on SOSH: "If A-Rod comes through here, do the two-faced lardassed nathan's hot dog eating greaseballs in the stands applaud him?"

16:03 Full count for A-Rod. Varitek calls for a slider. A-Rod chases and misses the outside pitch! We go to the ninth inning.

16:03 Oil Can's Liver on SOSH: "Hat Trick Bitch!"

16:06 Top of the 9th. Jason Bay grounds to Jeter. But Jeter's throw pulls Giambi off the bag. Bay is safe. E-6!

16:07 Foulkey Reese on SOSH: "This will end well."

16:07 Mark Kotsay flies out to Abreu in right for the first out. Bay stays on first.

16:11 Jed Lowrie grounds out to Giambi. But Bay just makes it to second to avoid Jeter's tag.

16:12 Alex Cora grounds out to Jeter. So much for that. Sox are done in the 9th.

16:17 Bottom of the 9th. Tito sticks with Masterson in the hopes that Paplebon will be needed in the 10th inning. Xander Nady singles past a diving Alex Cora. The winning run is on-base for the Yankees. Brett Gardner pinch-runs for Nady. Cora is killing us today.

16:19 Robinson Cano lines out straight to Jed Lowry at third.

16:20 Brett Gardner steals second on ball 1 to Matsui. The solid throw from Varitek is not in-time. The winning run is now on second base. The Sox now wisely walk Matsui to face Ivan Rodriguez. Either this inning will end with a game-winning single or an inning-ending double play.

16:24 Full count to I-Rod. He doesn't go for Masterson's slider. He walks and the bases are now loaded. The Sox seem doomed. Paplebon comes to the mound with still just 1 out.

16:27 It's Paplebon vs. Jason Giambi. Bases loaded. This is really shitty. Tito has had a horrible inning, both halves of the 9th. Alex Cora totally sucked.

16:28 Two quick inside strikes from Paplebon. Here comes the third pitch...

16:29 Giambi lines a hit to center. The Yankees win 3-2. Michael Kay says the season stays alive. Hmm. I remember him saying the Yankees had to sweep or win 2 out of 3 to stay alive. Oh well. Another time, Yankees. We will finish you off in Boston.

16:30 Foulkey Reese on SOSH: "Well that sucked about as hard as a baseball game can suck."

16:30 DeltaForce on SOSH: "Damn. That hurts. But, they still took two in Yankee Stadium. I'd have taken that 100 times out of 100 three days ago."

16:31 RedOctober3129 on SOSH: "Fuck these guys. All we are going to hear about is how the Yankees won the last ever game at Yankee Stadium off of Papelbon on a walkoff when we dominated this series. Fuck Okajima. Fuck this. I fucking hate the fucking Yankees. DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!!!@!!@~!"

16:34 CR67Dream on SOSH: "How the fuck do you not throw high heat on 0-2? What a horrible call, and what a horrible pitch. Some horrible decisions from Tito in the last few innings too. Fucking fuck."

Indeed. A bummer ending to an otherwise great 6-3 road trip. I'll take 6-3 on a road trip as we now chase Tampa Bay.

Brian Bruney And Jeff Karstens Lose It For The Yankees

I think last night's loss was the first time since June that the Yankee bullpen blew a lead and lost a game on the road. An amazing run.

I also think that Brian Bruney and Jeff Karstens won't be on the Yankee postseason roster next month. Just my guess.

With Wang, Joba, and Mo available tonight, I expect the Yankees to win and secure the Wild Card spot.

But in just 48 hours, we have seen the Yankees' chances of winning the AL East slip from 40%, to 19%, to 6%. All Boston has to do is win 3 more games out of the remaining 5, and the AL East is theirs, regardless of what the Yankees do.

And if they blow that, then yes, Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman, and Michael Kay can mention it all they want. But if the Sox win the AL East, I don't want to hear about them blowing a 14-game lead ever again.

The Red Sox magic number is 3. When they wake-up Saturday morning, the AL East title should already be theirs.

Red Sox Concede Division, Rest Okijima & Manny, Focus on October, Panic Fans

With apologies to Heat, the President, and Oceans 11.

Mr. Cheesesteak and The Don have made their decision. They are the deciders. You might think they are leading us to disaster. But they have a plan to achieve victory and complete the mission. We will prevail.

We are not going to play for the division. This is how it's going to play-out. History will forget about how we gave-away the Division. The Red Sox are going for Red 7 - their 7th World Series victory.

You will hear a lot of shit from Yankee fans, Michael Kay, Suzyn Walkdman, John Sterling, and all ther other assholes in the NY sports media. But this is the plan. We will give-up what would have been our 6th AL East banner for a healthier squad that will go all the way in October.

Yankee fans will say that losing a 14.5 game lead is one of the biggest chokes in baseball history. But you can handle them. Simply point-out that the Red Sox never had a 14.5 game lead in the division. Spin it like Scott McClellan, people!

The Sox' biggest division lead at one point was 11.5 games over the Baltimore Orioles. That won't shut them up? Remind the Yankee fans of their historic, never-to-be-repeated collapse in games 4 thru 7 in the 2004 ALCS. That won't shut them up? Oh, well. We're moving on...

The Yankees can either cool their jets, or risk injuries if they continue to push for the division. They would be foolish to put the champagne on ice, prep lower Broadway for a parade, and plan postseason first pitch ceremonies at this point. Some of their fans are? Oh, well. We're moving on...

You have a decision to make right now as a member of Red Sox Nation.

The World Series is worth the risk. The division is not.

Our choice right now is to go with this plan, or 30 seconds from now we are gone on our separate ways.

Are you in?

UPDATE: Jose Melendez becomes the first to write about both the Sox and Professor Jared Diamond in the same post. Proof that we Red Sox fans are well read and wicked smaaaaaat.

The Red Sox Predicament: Stop The Eighth Inning Meltdowns Or Else

A few observations on the current late-season woes of the Red Sox. I'm no Bill Simmons, and the fanboys over at Sons of Sam Horn are dissecting this from every angle. But if I don't comment, it will look like I'm avoiding the issue. I've just been in a lot of pain this week and it is only Wednesday.

Some random thoughts:

  • The past month has been an absolute roller coaster for the Sox and their fans. On August 27th, the Sox completed a sweep of the dismal White Sox in Chicago, and it looked as if they had wrapped-up the AL East. All they had to do was play .550 baseball and they should squeak by. But since then, they have gone 10-11, with 5 of those losses coming at the hands of the Yankees.

  • Even more alarming: At least four of those 11 losses were the result of 8th inning meltdowns by the Boston bullpen. It happened Sunday night...it happened again Tuesday night. We Sox fans have been going to bed with headaches and heartburn. And yes, it sucks.

  • As of this morning, the Red Sox literally have a 99% chance of making the playoffs. But if they fail to win the division, and fall-back as a Wild Card entry, it will be a source of shame and embarrassment for the Sox and their fans for years. Do the Yankees seem phased that they suffered the biggest postseason collapse in history? They seem to have gotten over it. But if the Red Sox fail to win the AL East this season, it will take a while to get over.

  • Part of the reason it will take a long time to get over is the Red Sox fans themselves. We want the AL East title desperately. Several times before they won the 2004 WC, I said winning the division title was all I really wanted - to show that we could produce a better season record than the MFYs. This current crisis is being exacerbated by the New York media and the Red Sox fans, who are both using the AL East title as the biggest litmus test for the Red Sox in a generation. Win the title, and all is well. Lose the title, and it is 1978 all over again...the Red Sox can hang their heads in shame and contemplate the failure for years. I think the New York sports media wants the Red Sox fans to suffer a complete depression, so it makes sense that they are fanning the flames. Amazingly, I hear no such doomsday comments coming from NESN, and that says a lot. Oh sure, we hear the NESN folks talk about how the Sox should have sealed the AL East title last week. We also hear them speculate about how Terry Francona is trying to keep the Sox rested and healthy for the playoffs, without going into a morale-sucking slump. But we don't hear NESN talking about how the Red Sox are losers if they enter the playoffs as the Wild Card.

  • Sox fans need to stop worrying about who they will face in the playoffs. If they cannot beat Cleveland, Anaheim, or New York, then they have no business playing next month. Counting on the Angels to eliminate the Yankees is not a good way to enjoy the playoffs. The Yankees pitching staff will be so shot by October, that anyone will be able to beat them in the first round. And if not, then hope the Sox make it to the ALCS to take care of matters themselves. Worry about your own team, and stop worrying about who the Yankees are going to play the first week of October.

Live Blogging The Sox-Yanks Penultimate Regular Season Game

OK. Diving right in. The Sox are not in a must-win situation, but a win today would settle the Boston fans who treated last night like Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

We need to keep in mind that the Red Sox did have a 14-game lead over the Yankees. But that was in May. At the All Star break, the lead was nine. Given that the lead today is four games, it doesn't seem so bad, does it?

Archetype is here with me. He literally just arrived from Boston. We're basking in front of my HD plasma on a sunny and beautiful New York afternoon. We've got our beverages and possibly thin crust pizza later. It's all good. Play ball.


16:03 Top of the 1st. One out. Derek Jeter hits a solo home run to deep center. Bad start, Josh. "What a BOLT to center field." - Tim McCarver

16:06 Sodenj5 on Sons of Sam Horn: "Great, for the rest of the game we get to hear about Jeter's power."

16:06 Indeed, I might have to mute my TV if Tim McCarver starts talking about Jeter's greatness.

16:10 "Is this the Yankee broadcast? I just want to make sure." - Archetype.

16:12 Posada is at-bat. Two outs. Tim McCarver: "A lot of the time, catchers are the toughest hitters to pitch around, because they call pitches to pitch around hitters." Good Lord.

16:14 End of the first. Please, Red Sox, can we get some payback?

16:15 Clay Buchholz reads the starting lineup for the Red Sox.

16:16 Sodenj5 on Sons of Sam Horn: "Can anyone deny the fact that Buchholz is a dead ringer for Beavis?"

16:21 Bottom of the 1st, Pedroia is on first (walked) and there's one out. Ortiz at the plate. A hit! Dustin now on second. Ortiz at first. Keep it up. Produce runs.

16:23 Lowell gets an RBI single with a liner down the 3rd base line. Johnny Damon is playing left and we know his arm is not great. Dustin scores.

16:24 JD Drew grounds out. Ortiz advances to third.

16:24 "Can we sell JD Drew to Atlanta for half price? Or the Sox can sell him on Half.com." - Archetype

16:31 Dustin Pedroia stops a grounder, turns to his right, and fires at first for the out. Beautiful. Golden Glove nominee, I think. Remember what he did in the Clay Buchholz no-hitter two weeks ago.

16:32 A 1-2-3 inning for Josh Beckett.

16:40 Sox go down in order. End of the second.

16:52 Beckett strikes out A-Rod. His pitch count is getting higher, though. 58 pitches through three innings.

16:53 Mets just lost a second straight game to the Phillies. Their NL East lead falls to 4 games. Pedro Martinez struck out 9 in just 6 innings, and his effort was wasted.

16:59 Bottom of the third. Two out. Ortiz walks.

17:02 Mike Lowell walks. JD Drew is up. This won't end well, right?

17:02 Stephen King is in the house. So in Rene Russo. And Steve Martin is sporting tinted bifocals and it looks like he cut his chin shaving just before the game? Wow.

17:04 JD Drew walks! Three straight walks issued to the Red Sox. The bases are loaded. But watch Veritek ground out...

17:06 Tek pops out. I need my first drink.

17:15 Beckett deals his way through the top of the 4th. Nice. Pitch count is up to 73 as the shadows get darker in the outfield.

17:20 Sox go in order in the bottom of the 4th.

17:30 Yankees go in order in the top of the 5th. I just ordered pizza. Waiting for something big to happen. Please score runs. Plural.

17:40 Bottom of the 5th. Kevin Youkilis is hit in the hand. He is replaced by Ellsbury. Ortiz gets a hit. Ellsbury advances to third.

17:44 Now JD Drew is up with 2 outs. And Ho-Ly-Shit! He lines one down third for a hit! Ellsbbury scores. The Sox take the lead! Jason Varitek swings at balls and then chops out. Boooooo!

17:53 Pizza is here. Sparkling shiraz is flowing. Aw yeah! For anyone who is into wine, you gotta try sparkling shiraz with pizza. Step away from your highbrow pinot and have some fun.

17:55 Three straight Yankees ground-out to Julio Lugo. Another easy inning. BUT WE NEED MORE RUNS!!!

17:58 Hinske hits a wall double! Nice start to the bottom of the sixth.

18:00 Coco gets a hit to center! But Eric Hinske wasn't running? He only advances to third. Sigh.

18:01 Julio Lugo flies out. One out.

18:03 Coco steals second! Now we have something brewing.

18:06 On a grounder, Hinske runs home to find Posada with the ball. He plows into Posada. It's an out, but I like to see a collision like that. Looking at the replay, it was a realy big hit. Nearly took Posada's head off.

18:10 Jacoby Elssbury gets a hit! Coco scores from third. Boston now leads 3-1.

18:12 David Ortiz gets a HUGE double to the center gap. Jacoby Ellsbury scores from first. The ball reaches Posada's glove as Ellsbury slides, but Posada does not apply the tag! Ellsbury is safe! Boston takes a 5-1 lead! Oh good times! Good times!

18:24 Top of the seventh. Beckett passes 100 pitches. But he is throwing great stuff. I assume this is his last inning. Finish it strong, Josh!

18:28 Josh Beckett strikes out Melky Cabrera! Take a bow, Josh.

18:33 Bottom of the seventh. JD Drew walks. This guy is the offensive player of the game so far.

18:36 The Yankees make their second pitching change of the day. Edwar Ramirez is out. U Mass alum Ron Vallone is in. JD Drew is on first and there is one out. Eric Hinske is next to bat for the Sox. He asks Jorge if he is OK following their collision. That's nice. He still rolled over Jorge like a truck, which will earn him a lot of respect from these passionate fans.

18:41 Hinske walks. Another pitching change. Brian Bruney comes-in for the Yankees.

18:45 Coco Crisp doubles. JD Drew scores. Hinske goes to third. Still just 1 out. This is wonderful. 6-1 Boston.

18:48 Julio Lugo walks. Bases are now loaded. Please someone score!

18:50 Dustin Pedroia strikes out. Two out. Oh no...

18:51 Pitching change for the Yankees. Sean Henn comes to the mound.

18:54 Jacoby Ellsbury singles. Two score. The man is 2-2 since coming into the game for the bruised Kevin Youkilis. El honbre es en fuego. Sox lead 8-1. We can breathe easy now.

18:58 David Ortiz walks. The bases are loaded again. When I think Sean Henn, I think more runs. And more runs have come.

18:58 Joe Torre comes to the mound for the fourth pitching change for the Yankees this inning. The Sox needed another big inning and this seems to be it. Even if no more runs score, the game seems to be in the bag.

19:00 Uclis20 on Sons of Sam Horn: "Somewhere, Michael Kay is complaining about this."

19:00 NYCSox on Sons of Sam Horn: "So does anyone think that Michael Kay would be bitching about all these pitching changes?"

19:02 Mike Lowell walks. Julio Lugo scores. Sox are up 9-1. I am breathing easier. But with the bases loaded for JD Drew, I want to see something great happen.

19:06 Oh well, JD Drew strikes out. End of the 7th. The Sox scored on 2 hits and 5 walks. The Yankees made 4 pitching changes. The inning lasted 36 minutes. That should be it for the Yankees today.

19:11 Now is the time for Fox to stroke Derek Jeter and replay his solo home run from the top of the first.

19:22 Top of the eighth. Two out. Mike Timlin strikes out A-Rod!! Take a bow, Timmeh!!!!

19:25 The Yankees make 5 defensive substitutions. Joe Torre lets the kids play and effectively concedes the game. Joba Chamberlain is warming-up in the bullpen. We probably won't face him, unless we score more runs here.

19:27 Eric Hinske homers into the Yankee bullpen! Joba almost caught it! Boston's first homer of the game. They now lead 10-1.

19:30 Obscure Name on Sons of Sam Horn: "Joba spraining his shoulder trying to catch that would have been the greatest thing ever."

19:30 MartyBarettMVP on Sons of Sam Horn: "How funny would that have been had Joba hurt his wrist going for that homer?"

19:35 The Red Sox are about to win this game and the Fox commentators are talking about the Sox former 14 game lead again. My head hurts.

19:38 Game over. The Sox win. We beat Wang. Now we have to put the hammer down tomorrow night. The magic number is 9. And get this - it will be Roger Clemens against Curt Schilling. Set the DVR. This is going to be great.

Live Blogging The Sox-Yanks Finale

Retro Rocket
Clemens fuels Yankees past punchless Sox

By Gordon Edes
Boston Globe Staff | August 30, 2007

NEW YORK -- The lead is down to a still-comfortable six games, and unless Curt Schilling can offer some vintage Schilling this afternoon the way Roger Clemens gave the Yankees some retro Rocket last night, it might be five before the Red Sox head home after their longest trip of the season.

A sweep by the Yankees, a plausible scenario after the Bombers made it two in a row with a 4-3 win last night, might be the least of the Sox' worries, although for fans with a masochistic bent, it may conjure flashbacks of '78, when the Sox also held a seven-game lead with 30 to go and saw it vanish in a span of 10 days.

Of even greater concern to the Sox than watching the Yankees beat their best two pitchers, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett, on successive nights is the absence of Manny Ramírez, who last night was diagnosed with a strained left oblique (side) muscle that is likely to sideline him for "multiple days," in the words of manager Terry Francona.

"That's one of your thunder [sic]," said David Ortiz, who interrupted a Clemens no-hitter in progress with a home run into the third deck with one out in the sixth inning. "So when your cleanup hitter goes down like that, it doesn't matter how much of a lead you have, it's hard to replace a cleanup hitter."

Ramírez, in a rare comment to a media member, was quoted in the Associated Press last night as saying "maybe a week" when asked how long he thought he might be out. "You watch that replay," catcher Jason Varitek said, referring to Ramírez's last at-bat Tuesday night when he aggravated the condition, "he buckles pretty good. We'll have to see. We're not going to panic before it happens."

The Sox were down two players when last night's game began, as outfielder Bobby Kielty was sent for X-rays and an MRI, then sent back to the hotel, his back still too sore to allow him to play even though the tests showed no structural damage, according to the manager. Kielty is listed as day to day, clearly an uncertain candidate to play this afternoon.

"That's not really an excuse," Varitek said. "We've found different ways to win all year. You can't replace Manny in the lineup, but that's no excuse."

Ramirez watched from the dugout, a welcome sight for Alex Rodriguez, whose seventh-inning home run off Beckett, his 44th of the season, gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead and ultimately furnished the margin of victory when Kevin Youkilis countered with a two-run home run off reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth.

"I hope he's out for all of September," Rodriguez said playfully. "That would be great. Manny is a good friend, but it's kind of nice to see him sitting on the bench with a lot of my other good friends."

Some boffo Beckett, who was 9-1 with a 1.90 ERA on the road this season and bidding to add to his major league-leading total of 16 wins, would have gone a long way toward balancing the loss of Ramírez. But while the 45-year-old Clemens, who surprised the Sox by throwing, as Varitek noted, with "more power than we had seen on tape," danced around the five walks he issued by holding the Sox hitless until the sixth, Beckett was buffeted for a career-high 13 hits.

Four of those hits, all singles, plus a walk, came in the second, when the Yankees took a 3-0 lead. In the middle of the rally was Johnny Damon, who beat the Sox with a two-run home run Tuesday night and last night delivered a two-run single in what Varitek acknowledged was a "nice piece of hitting."

"Johnny has been hurt all summer," Ortiz said, "but everybody knows what kind of player Johnny is. Everybody knows Johnny is one player you want up there at the right time."

Beckett still has all the Clemens baseball cards he collected growing up in Spring, Texas, when he was known as "Kid Heat" and yearned to follow in the footsteps of his heroes, fellow Texans Nolan Ryan and the Rocket. "I have several pages of them," Beckett said. "My grandfather has them in a box at home."

Last night, Beckett faced Clemens for the first time, and while the grownup Kid showed as much heart as heat, avoiding major damage despite putting base runners on in every inning, in the end he was no match for the Rocket.

Try as they might, the Yankees could not crack Beckett. He gave up a triple to Hideki Matsui in the third, but struck out Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi to leave him at third. The Yankees loaded the bases in the sixth on three singles, but Beckett retired Damon on a roller to first, just beating Damon in a footrace to the bag.

The last Yankee hit off Beckett was the one that counted most, Rodriguez adding to his MVP résumé by lining a Beckett curveball into the left-field seats.

"He guessed right and hit it," Varitek said. "We knew that. He took a gamble and won that one."

And the Yankees creep ever closer.

"You know, this series doesn't make me worry about things," Ortiz said. "What makes me worry is how we keep on rolling this month. We've got to keep playing. We had a good road trip.

"We all knew what kind of players [the Yankees] are. Even when their guys were struggling, I knew it wasn't going to be like that year round. Dude, they got talent. They got talent all over the place."

And a 45-year-old wonder who somehow turned back the clock one more time.

"I'll tell you what," Ortiz said. "Man, at that age, I'll be cutting grass in my backyard."

© Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

13:21 First hit of the ballgame. Derek Jeter singles off of Curt Schilling, who is 5-0 when starting after a Red Sox loss this season.

13:24 While Joe Girardi comments on the color of Manny's sunglasses (Manny is not playing for the next few games), Curt seems to be OK today. It's early, but he is not falling behind in the counts. 2 out.

13:27 A-Rod strikes out looking. End of the first.

13:32 Lowell grounds into a 5-4-3 double-play. How did Giambi stay on the bag for the second out? When Giambi is playing good defense, you know you are in for a tough game.

13:36 Bottom of the second. Johnny Damon's replacement catches a deep fly ball and makes it look easy.

13:40 Posada strikes out. Third strikeout for Schilling today.

13:42 Steroids flies out. End of the second. No wingnut moments from the YES broadcasting team so far. Just wait. Schilling's pitch count is on-pace to last 7 full innings. But the Sox need to score first in this game. Schilling needs runs to protect.

13:46 Wang walks Varitek. A good start. But last night, walks got us nowhere. And a walk last inning led to a double play.

13:48 A bad catch by Posada, but Varitek does not run to second.

13:50 Alex Cora flies out to Damon in left. Two gone.

13:53 Joe Girardi mentions that the 2006 Sox offense is not as deep as the 2004 team. Correct. He gives us respect for building the best pitching staff in the majors.

13:54 Dustin grounds out to a diving Giambi. Jeezus. Giambi is all over the ball today.

13:54 Glenhoffmania on Sons of Sam Horn: "Wisdom from [Michael] Kay: When you take Manny and Lugo out of the lineup, it's not as deep as it usually is."

13:55 TFisNEXT on SOSH: "that fat sweaty 'roided up fuckhead pulls another defensive play out of his ass."

13:57 Bottom of the third. Robinson Cano hits a solo HR off the center field wall. 1-0 Yankees. Dammit.

13:59 Coco makes a sliding catch after a running start. Beeeeeutiful. And he did it backhanded. Web gem.

14:00 The Sox have not had a lead in this series. They sure know how to make these games infuriating. They sweep Chicago and now they can't beat-up the Yankees. Just one win is all they need to keep the heat off them, and they are not winning.

14:03 A-Rod pops out to Dustin. Curt Schilling's pitch count is up to 39. He faced 6 batters this inning and threw just 10 pitches! Let's see if he remains calm and doesn't give-up another run through the next two innings. If he can do that, then this game is in the hands of our feeble offense.

14:14 Sox go in-order in the fourth. They still don't have a hit. My god.

14:20 Morassofnegativity on SOSH: "That's it! I can't do this shit anymore. They've become one of those pathetic teams that rolls over and dies against the Yankees. They don't deserve to win the division."

14:21 Yankees go in-order in the fourth. Good work, Curt. Just 11 more pitches! But he can't hold out much longer, can he?

14:22 This is scary. We can't hit against our arch rivals.

14:23 Top of the fifth. Drew grounds out. Yawn. Can't expect a damn thing from him.

14:27 Varitek walks again. The fourth walk issued by Wang. We need consecutive walks in order to score today.

14:29 Hinske strikes out. Should we be thankful it wasn't a double play? Two out.

14:31 Cora flies out. This game seems like a lost cause. Schilling, Varitek, and Coco have been doing their jobs. Everyone else has been awful.

14:35 Bottom of the fifth. Robinson Cano hits a second solo home run off of Curt Schilling. That's all folks. I will keep blogging, but this game is lost unless something wakes-up this Red Sox lineup.

14:38 As Damon grounds into a 5-3 DP, I see that Cano had a curtain call? If that is true then Yankee stadium really is hell. Curtain calls for mid-game solo home runs are just shit. Granted, it was Cano's 16th HR, his new career high. But think about that. A curtain call for Robinson Cano in the middle of a Yankee home game? What kinds of fans ARE these?

14:40 Derek Jeter singles for the third time this afternoon. They have all be bloopers.

14:42 Joe Girardi comments that Schilling should not be tired at this point. But he is.

14:43 Bobby Abreu flies deep to left, but Hinske catches it with his back to the wall. End of the fifth.

14::52 Ortiz strikes-out to end the top of the sixth. Still no hits for the Sox. Michael Kay tells YES viewers to call friends and family to alert them of a possible Yankee no-hitter. Someone sedate me.

14:55 Smiling Joe Hesketh on SOSH: "it's a no-hitter through 6. The thing about this team is that every time I think they've reached utter rock bottom with dogshit games, they go out and top it. Today is shaping up to be an epic kick in the balls."

14:59 Schilling cruises through the bottom of the sixth. As far as I'm concerned, the next frame is the last chance for the Sox. If they can't break the no-hitter now, then this will be a sad day in Red Sox history.

15:02 Top of the seventh. Wang is up to 90 pitches. Here is Kevin Youkilis at bat for the Sox...

15:04 Giambi misses the tag as Youkie grounds one in the infield and reaches the bag! Recorded as an error on Giambi.

15:05 Mike Lowell singles. The no-hitter is broken!

15:06 Now let's see how Wang can handle his first serious threat of the game. Oh wait, it's JD Drew at the plate.

15:08 Drew grounds one, but only he is out at first. Youkilis was not tagged on his way to third, although he ran on the grass infield. He should have been called out. Umpires discuss....

15:09 Youkilis is called out. It is the correct call.

15:11 Tito argues the reversal. He will probably be ejected...he's gone. Lowell remains on second. Two out.

15:14 Varitek strikes out. The Sox rally will not happen.

15:15 Drocca on SOSH: "We got a hit. Somehow I think that will be the only positive note from this game, maybe this entire series. 25 men will be corking champagne and slapping high fives after the game frantically screaming, "We got a hit, We got a hit". Congratulations guys."

15:18 Napkin on SOSH: "They still get to go for ice cream after the game though, right?"

15:24 Another 1-2-3 inning for Schilling. He has retired 7 Yankees in a row. What a waste.

15:26 Top of the eighth. Joba Chamberlain says a prayer and takes-over the mound for the Yankees. We have waited for this moment. Joba the Hut has arrived. The bleachers chant "Ja-ba...Ja-ba...Ja-ba."

15:29 Hinske flies out.

15:29 Alex Cora grounds out to A-Rod. This game is just about over.

15:31 Dustin Pedroia doubles with two outs.

15:31 Coco Crisp arrives at the plate. If he gets on, David Ortiz is next. This is the last chance for the Sox. This inning with two outs.

15:33 Coco hits a dribbler down the right field line. An easy out. That's it. That's all.

15:35 Caspir on SOSH: "Game's over, swept. How very embarrassing, yet familiar."

15:37 Bottom of the eighth. First wingnut comment from Michael Kay. A recycled sound byte that I think Suzyn Waldman first uttered earlier this season. "Many people in Boston thought that the only reason the Sox signed Okijima was for Daisuke Matzusaka to have someone to hang out with." Which people, Mike? Not in Boston.

15:39 Derek Jeter is 4-4. Yup. Another bloop single.

15:44 Bobby Abreu doubles. Jeter scores. The game was already out of reach. This is just sad to watch, regardless. Mariano Rivera is not warming-up. Joba is selected to close the game.

15:48 This is quite a week isn't it? We sweep the White Sox and think the AL East is secure. We go to the Crack House and both our home field advantage and our AL East lead fall back into question.

15:51 It just went from worse to catastrophic. A throwing error by Varitek to third leads to two Yankee runs. Abreu and A-Rod score. It is now 5-0 Yankees.

15:56 Kyle Snyder takes-over the mound for the Sox to get the final out of the top of the eighth. September 1st can't come soon enough.

16:03 Top of the ninth. One out. Joba throws two consecutive fastballs over Kevin Youkilis' head. And he's ejected! Wow. No warning. What the hell provoked that anyway? That was so weird.

16:03 "Joba you fucking cunt!" - Josh Beckett. Easy to read those lips.

16:07 Edwar Ramirez comes to the mound to get the final two outs. So Joba won't get his first save against the Sox. If the score were still 2-0, I'd say the Sox would have a chance to rally back.

16:13 JD Drew (how fitting) pops out. That's the ballgame. Wow. Just wow. The Red Sox were simply terrible. If they had won 1 of these 3 games, they would have held their big lead. Had they won 2 games, they would have locked the AL East. Now they have the Yankees just 5 games behind them again. And they only scored 5 runs in these games. Pathetic.

Someone at SOSH suggested giving this song a listen. Rod Stewart is a slimeball, but here goes anyway:

mother don't you recognize your son

coming home, yeah yeah
getting home, 'cause I failed you, mother

I'll be there in the mornin'
if you have me back
the rent up here is much too high
for a room without a tap
a room without a tap

I'll be early in the morning
and I'll find my way back home
back home bad 'n' ruin
with my tail between my legs
tail between my legs
and I'll be so tired
I'll be so tired, now listen

I'll be early tomorrow morning
and I'll fall down off my plane
don't be embarrassed mother
by your ugly worn-out son
your ugly worn-out son

so just let me warn you
mother, you won't recognize me now
mother, you won't recognize me now
mother, you won't recognize me now

and I'll be down on Cannon street
passport in my hand
should you could not recognize me
I've heavily made-up eyes

momma, you won't recognize me now
brother, you won't recognize me now
hello there
sister, you won't recognize me now
mother, you won't recognize me now

so mother when you've seen me
don't forget I'm your boy too
I know my brother has done you proud
he's one foot in the grave
mother don't you recognize me now

I'm a burglar in the first degree
but it don't seem to worry me
I'll be so tired, so tired
I'll be so tired, so tired
so tired

Sox get Bronx broom treatment
08/30/2007 4:14 PM ET
By Ian Browne / MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Even at the age of 40, Red Sox right-hander Curt Schilling still relishes the opportunity to play the role of stopper. A big-game pitcher throughout his career, Schilling again stepped up on Thursday afternoon against the Yankees. It just turns out that his fine effort wasn't quite enough.

Two mistakes -- both of which were put over the wall for solo homers by Robinson Cano -- were all it took for Schilling and the Red Sox to come up on the short end of a 5-0 loss. This is because Chien-Ming Wang was even better for the Yankees, holding the Red Sox hitless for six innings and allowing just one hit for the entirety of his seven innings.

By getting swept in this three-game series in the Bronx, Boston's lead in the American League East has been cut to five games by the Yankees. The teams meet again at Fenway Park for a three-game series that starts on Sept. 14.

Whether it is the loss of star cleanup man Manny Ramirez (strained left oblique) or simply running into hot Yankees pitchers, the Boston bats came up dry throughout this series. After scoring 46 runs in four games at Chicago, the Red Sox produced just six runs in New York.

Schilling held the Yankees to six hits and two runs over seven innings, walking one and striking out four. Both of Cano's homers -- one in the third and the other in the fifth -- were hit to left-center.

With Wang positively stifling the Red Sox, those long balls proved to be all the difference.

The Red Sox snapped the right-hander's no-hit bid when Mike Lowell rifled a single to right with one out in the seventh. Perhaps Wang's momentum was altered when Kevin Youkilis opened the inning by reaching on a Derek Jeter throwing error. J.D. Drew then tapped a grounder to third that wound up sparking controversy. Alex Rodriguez missed the tag on Youkilis and then narrowly threw Drew out at first.

Though Youkilis went out of the baseline, the umpires initially called him safe. After an argument by Yankees manager Joe Torre, the call was overturned. Red Sox manager Terry Francona was not pleased with the reversal and was ejected by crew chief Derryl Cousins. Jason Varitek struck out to end the first rally the Red Sox had all day.

Red Sox Notes: Sox Enter The 161st Street Crack House As The Yes Broadcasters Become Unhinged

Here is M again with a guest post. Great stuff:

Good to see Yankee fans and their bloggers keeping both feet on planet earth.

Did you happen to watch the Yankee game last night on YES? Michael Kay and Al Leiter took turns having monumental meltdowns that had me in tears from laughing so hard.

Michael Kay likes to the play the role of disciplinarian in his broadcast. He can't just analyze the game. Somebody, somewhere is doing something wrong and being the good schoolmaster he is he wants to call that individual out in front of his classmates and embarrass them. It doesn't have to be a Yankee player. Once the division got down to four games (meaning in Yankeeland, the race is over, the playoffs are cancelled, start the coronation, and schedule the parade) Michael started lecturing the Red Sox and their fans. Diatribes such as, "the Red Sox should have taken care of business...they have let the Yankees back into this"...blah, blah, blah.

Never mind the reality that all the Red Sox did was maintain the best record in baseball while playing the top teams while the Yankees beat the pants off of Tampa Bay and Kansas City.

But let's get back to last night. Obviously Mussina was going to be the culprit. For his third straight appearance he was atrocious....and it was more than Michael Kay could handle. On this night his mission (besides digging his nails into anything he could find as desperate attempt to hold onto his sanity) was to get Al Leiter to join into the Mussina tirade. Al of course has actually played the sport that Kay thinks he's the world's biggest authority of and is not so prone to ripping players (pitchers in
particular) to shreds. He can and will critique them but also has a healthy understanding of the demands and pressures of the profession.

By the 2nd inning Kay had washed his hands of Mussina, stating that this is not the time of year for the Yankees to be patient with their troubled starter because they have to WIN GAMES. This became his mantra for the next few minutes. "The Yankees have to win games Al...they have to win games...don't they understand they have to win games...they can't afford to lose at this time of year Al...they have to win games!!!"

I myself only have a basic understanding of the game itself, the importance of the standings, and how they relate to qualifying for the playoffs. So you can imagine my surprise to learn that "winning games" is a crucial part of the process. Its observations like this that make Michael Kay the consummate pro that he is. I mean nothing gets by this guy.

Based on Michael Kay's brilliant observation (or in other words complete psychological breakdown...and it was...he was literally shrieking his words, hitting notes that Rob Halford would strain to hit) I could just imagine the conversation in the Yankee dugout as the Yankees are well on their way to losing 16-0.

Torre: (to Ron Guidry) Ron...based on what you see here...are we going to playoffs?

Guidry: Not so sure Joe. The word on the street is we have to actually win games

Torre: What?

Guidry: That's right..we have to win games...and not just some games. We have to win more games than any other team in our division...or at the very least we have to have the best 2nd place record in the American League...we could get in as the Wild Card that way.

Torre: You mean they're not going to just let us in

Guidry: I'm sorry Joe

Torre: Get Mattingly over here...Don!!!

Don Mattingly: I'm sorry Joe...I heard what Ron was saying. Its true...we have to win games. In fact Michael Kay just announced it on the YES network.

Torre: When when the fuck was someone going to tell me? Christ if I knew we had to win games I'd have had Sean Henn start the game.

Well Al finally grew tired of Kay's shredding of Mussina and took his turn becoming completely unhinged. He raised his voice into a forceful whine, apparently nearly on the verge of tears..."Michael I don't think you understand how hard it is to play this game...to stand on a mound made of dirt, with a little white ball in your hands, with a catcher standing far away from you, holding a little mit, and you have to throw that ball right where he's holding his glove, through a small strike zone, while another man is in the way, holding a wooden stick, and trying to hit that ball as hard as he can....this is a very very very difficult game!!" (I'm paraphrasing a bit...but my jaw literally fell to the floor during this meltdown...I've never heard anything like it).

By the late innings Kay had ripped the Yankees and their not understanding the importance of "winning games" as much as he could. So he turned his focus to the Tigers...the team that at this point had over 10 runs and was pitching a shutout.

First Kay went after Cameron Maybin...a 20 year old just called up to play in the outfield. He didn't go after him so much as he did the Tiger organization for bringing him up in the first place. Apparently in this year alone the kid has shot straight up from single A to the majors leagues...obviously quite a jump. WELL YOU JUST SHOULDN'T DO THAT!!!! says Michael Kay. He then went on some rant about how this kid should be developing in the minors, honing his talents, and getting to play everyday.

What this has to do with anything is anybody's guess...but it allowed Michael to take his attention off the scoreboard. Next on his list was the Tiger organization again...and again as an opportunity to complain about the four hour rain delay from Friday night (I'm guessing he still hasn't caught up on his sleep).

According to Michael, when the Yankees make their fans wait four hours for a game, Mr. Steinbrenner thanks the crowd for their patience and then offers some sort of compensation...usually free tickets to another game.

Well get this...you're not going to believe this...no I mean really...

Ok I'll tell you...according to Michael Kay, the Tigers did not and will not offer the fans who waited four hours on Friday night ANYTHING (other than watch their hometown team beat the Yankees...Kay left that part off).

All in all a beautiful evening.

I wish I had TIVO or some way to have recorded this. It was broadcasting at its finest.

Red Sox Notes: Keeping Tabs On Baseball Wingnuts

Guest-blogged by M:

Ozzie Guillen is an idiot.

I know that's not exactly a news flash. I have on a few occasions defended his idiotic comments. I'm prone to do that sometimes.

Sometimes I'll defend idiotic comments because it can be refreshing to at least hear someone say what they think as opposed to speaking via a script or in acceptable meaningless platitudes. Sometimes its nice to hear sombody actually say something when they speak (even if its moronic or offensive) than to speak but not actually say anything.

But this from Ozzie is really...really stupid.
"They swept us this time," he said.
"I swept them in the big one. That's when it counts."

I would have simply rolled my eyes at Ozzie's childish need to recall his teams 2005 success...but its his use of pronouns that really got my attention. Perhaps I'm nitpicking...but note the Red Sox beat "us"...meaning its a team thing when they lose...however in 2005 "I" (meaning Guillen) beat them...when it counts!!!. Well thanks for clearing that up Ozzie. Previously I had thought the reason the 05 Sox got swept in the ALDS was because they were playing a superior team...my mistake. They lost because they were facing a superior man...who deserves ALL the credit (but only a small fraction when his team gives up over 40 runs in four days).

ok...moving on....

Listening to Michael Kay on the YES network was a joy this weekend as well. He was in rare form Friday night after the four hour delay. He was bitching up a storm about how its not fair that the Yankee's have to play after a four hour rain delay...he even questioned whether there was...."an agenda" at work.

One of the most painful aspects of the current Yankee broadcast team is that Jim Kaat (aka the only sane one in the bunch, actually capable of taking his Yankee glasses off to talk intelligently about baseball) is gone...and replaced by Al Leiter. Leiter was my favorite non-Red Sox player for years.

I loved his intensity. I enjoyed his work as a Fox commentator during the 04 ALCS. He brought balance to the Buck/McCarver nonsense. But now he's relegated to being Michael Kay's sidekick...and Mr Kay does kick him quite frequently if Leiter dares to not completely agree with his ascertions....for example that it was criminal the Yankees had to play Friday...Kay obviously forgetting that the Tigers would also have to comply and play the game as well...perhaps he was expecting a forfeit.

However Al did a sneaky trick Friday. He followed Kay's rant with his now customary, "you're 100 percent right Michael"...and then tried to explain why they were actually going to play that night. Basically this is the last time the Yanks would be in Detroit for the year. The weather going forward for the weekend was suspect...meaning to schedule a day night doubleheader could be problematic if it continued to rain over the weekend. And the Yankees most certainly would not want to have to play a doubleheader on Monday the day before they start a series against the Red Sox (who would be well rested with an off day Monday).

So....it seems....there....was...an "agenda"...and that was to make sure the Yanks only played only one game Monday. That and the obvious weather situation made it necessary to get the fucking game in. I found this explanation amusing because 1) I found it completely on the mark 2) despite telling Mr Kay that he was 100% right, he explained why he was in actuality 100% wrong.

Michael Kay continued to complain that it would damn near impossible to get a winning performance out of a 45 year man who had prepaired to play a game at 7:05.

Is that the Tiger's fault too...or part of someone's "agenda"?

Did someone force the Yankees to pay Mr. Clemens 28 million to be in bed by 11? Hmm I wonder...

Shorter Suzyn Waldman

‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard.

We can count on Suzyn Waldman saying something ridiculous in every WCBS radio broadcast. She can mimic Michael Kay and say something like, "Only Derek Jeter could make that play," or she can say things are are pure Yankee wingnuttery.

Sunday May 6th brought us a classic Waldman moment:


Nope. No need to debate anything. Might as well put up the 2007 World Series championship banner now. Mission accomplished.

I will write more and more about this (and I hope others guest blog here as well on the topic - we need a mock transcript of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman posted here for shits and giggles). But I will vent a little now.

Suzyn Waldman is part of the Yankee propaganda machine, which is the most shameless in all of North American sports (and if I have time to compile coverage of the India cricket team and maybe some South American football teams, it might prove to be the most shameless in the world). Waldman had the distinguished honor of being the on-field reporter for YES for several years, and she is currently the color commentator alongside John Sterling in the WCBS booth. The Sox have their own revenue-generating sports TV network, NESN. But as far as I know, it is not in-sync with their radio partner, WEEI. And while the Sox network is certainly friendly to the team, I have never heard a NESN commentator or anchor speak about the Red Sox as arrogant dominators of the league, or belittle or insult opponents or their fans. The New York Times Company, owners of the Times and the Boston Globe, do not participate in propaganda, even though the Globe does partner a bit with the Sox network.

The YES TV network (which Jim Caple calls Yank-Jazeera) and WCBS radio are totally in-sync. They share the same talking points, demonize opponents the same way, and spin Yankee bad news into good news. In some of their station IDs, both YES and WCBS repeat the Yankee mantra, "The New York Yankees...the most successful franchise in the history of sports." They painted Pedro Martinez as a hoodlum for hitting Derek Jeter on the hand in 2003, but recently suggested that a Yankee pitcher should hit David Ortiz (which would not make the Yankee a thug). They talk about how much classier the Yankee Fans are compared to Red Sox fans, but turned a blind eye to the night that storm troopers in riot gear had to be deployed along the foul lines in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, in the most fitting and yet unprecedented ending to a Yankee home playoff game ever.

They stay on-message and drive the Yankee narrative for the fans. People who have seen or heard Yankee broadcasts know the narrative: The Yankees are the greatest team ever. Their opponents are all inferior. The Red Sox, in particular, are a sorry team. Red Sox fans are depressed, and enjoy being depressed. Opponents should roll-over like the Washington Generals. Sometimes, the Yankee broadcasters throw a hissy fit if the reality on the field strays from the script. It's going to be interesting if the Yankees fall into a quiet era like they did between 1984 and 1994.

When it comes to wingnut moments, Waldman really took the cake in September 2004. The Devil Rays miscalculated their escape from hurricane-hit Florida, and the Yankees shamelessly demanded a forfeit in order to stay ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East. Waldman used a unique rationale for the Yankees' request: they had already showered and dressed for the game, only to later find out that Tampa was still in-flight. Oh, the humanity! Those showers must have hurt really bad, like there were needles or acid coming out of the shower heads or something.

And then there was this past Sunday. Waldman got really excited. Well, didn't we all? Colin Cowherd of ESPN radio reviews the moment and puts it into an interesting context. I think he nailed it:

The eighteen or so opponents left on the Yankee schedule should be warned: Forfeit all your games against the Yankees...or else. It would be the patriotic thing to do. Forfeit, or the terrorists win!

Yankee Fans: Are You Laughing Now?

Seven losses in a row
. They have a Mr. April, but without him, what are the Yankees? In deep trouble, and at the bottom of the AL East. I have tried so hard not to say anything until after this current series is complete on Sunday. I know the Red Sox probably won't sweep the Yankees in the Bronx. However, I feel something needs to be said tonight. The Red Sox have taken Mariano Rivera out of the game in the top of the 9th inning. He is yet to save a game this season.

Of course the Yankees will not stay in the cellar all season. But I am saying it now: they are not going to win the AL East.

Julio Lugo was the man of the game with a single, double, and home run. And he was el hombre. And Michael Kay had no choice but to stop his tangents about the Red Sox' weaknesses, and focus on the Yankees' problems. I have to give him credit. After the 6th inning, he shut up about how inferior Boston is. Maybe he checked the standings and realized he's the biggest asshole in sports broadcasting. Nahhhhh. His mouth will be back tomorrow at 4pm.

Can tonight get any better? Oh yes it can.

As my buddy predicted, the Mets lost. That's too bad. I like those guys.

The A-Rod Narrative: He's the Hero of the Day (just today)

Michael Kay, the Yankees wingnut, needs a big ol' cup of Shut The Fuck Up. Really. The bastard needs to go away. When A-Rod came to bat today at the bottom of the 9th, with the bases loaded, he put the A-Rod narrative into high gear. Kay spoke about how A-Rod has always had trouble coming through in the clutch as a member of the Yankees. He explained how the presusure was on for A-Rod to get a hit in this situation. "He hears the whispers," Kay told the YES audience.

Then, as the Yankee script dictates now and then, A-Rod was a hero today. He hit a walkoff, grand slam home run. It's only April, and A-Rod already viewed this game against Baltimore as a must win, as he explained in the post-slam interview.

Kay exclaimed:

"Joy, relief, and a 10-7 Yankee win....Today they love him."

Yes, they love him today. It's a special day in the Yankee empire, where the fans have a ridiculously short memory. On regular days, they don't show love for A-Rod. They tend to forget that the front office watned A-Rod more than Boston did. They forget that A-Rod won an MVP two seasons ago (wouldn't that have made him a real Yankee and stop the 'whispers'?). They are cannibals, the Yankee faithful. They eat and kill their own on days they don't win. And when winning is the only thing, there is no fun. And the Yankees are the least fun team in the Majors.

But A-Rod, this is for you. You earned it. They won't still love you tomorrow.