Derek Jeter, for his Hit By Pitch performance in the 7th inning of last night’s Yankees at Rays game when Qualls’ pitch hit the knob of his bat! Bravo! However, anyone who played Little League can tell you that when the ball hits your bat anywhere within a few inches of your hands, you get that Looney Tunes BOING, rattling, Bugs Bunny-esque effect, and it does not feel good. The point it, the ball didn’t hit him, anyone who isn’t deaf could clearly hear the ball hit the bat, but whatever. I was surprised to read Matt’s post on Yankeeist that Jeter’s action, and actions like them, “don’t reflect good taste.” I don’t agree, but then, don’t have strong feelings on this either way. I do think that if Jeter’s actions constitute cheating, as some have suggested, then so does framing the pitch, a crime which nearly every catcher is guilty of.
The Yankees continue to march out the Corner Outfielders of Doom in the persons of Austin Kearns and Colin Curtis. I like Kearns as a backup for an occasional start, and Curtis is OK for a defensive replacement, but starting these guys in the wake of the Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner injuries is starting to weigh on me. I know they’ve both had their moments, but I’m going to send Swisher and Gardner a get well soon card.
The home run by Curtis Granderson was a delight – as I’ve mentioned before, I had high hopes for him in pinstripes and now that he’s starting to hit, I couldn’t be more pleased. I think Granderson will have a great 2011 and put his early Bronx Blues behind him. Phil Hughes pitched well yesterday, but I was surprised to see Joe Girardi let him linger out there for as long as he did in the seventh, and that second home run by Dan Johnson was hit amongst my screams to remove Hughes, but too late.
Girardi seems to be managing like the Yankees have already clinched a playoff birth – by all rights they have, unless they have a Mets like collapse. I guess Girardi isn’t too concerned about home field advantage, but maybe he’s pinned all his hopes to the four game series against the Rays in the Bronx next week. He’s continued to manage his bullpen to keep his boys fresh and rested and is not asking his position players to gut out injuries on the field. This is probably the right call by Girardi, but its been frustrating to watch on this recent road trip.
Tomorrow is an off day, so look for a Yankee Stadium feature here at BomberBanter.com – at least that’s what I have planned! As for the Yankees, they’ll be enjoying a day off in Baltimore, then face the Orioles for a three game set at Camden Yards.