Tagged: Derek Jeter

A Little Intelligence Goes A Long Way

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #47 – 5/27/10 – Yankees @ Twins

Final Score: Yankees 2, Twins 8.

Prior to this game, Twins’ Outfielder, Denard Span, said this on Twitter:
“See if we can avoid a sweep tonight. Man I can’t stand the yanks!”

I guess the days of using your mind before you use your mouth are long gone. This Twitter update got to me, not because it was about the Yankees, but because it shows classlessness, and more importantly, stupidity.
Normally, I wouldn’t care enough to discuss such a matter. As a Yankees fan, I suffer from a superiority complex. I think that we’re better than to bother ourselves with something so petty. Our team’s success speaks for itself, and we really have no need for such stupidity coming out of our clubhouse. 
Span’s comment, however, is just a part of what seems to be a trend. After hearing Curt Schilling and Jonathan Papelbon shoot their mouths off over the years, Jimmy Rollins talk trash without backing it up with performance, and Dallas Braden make a big deal about something stupid, I felt the need to address the issue. I’m using this comment from Span to talk about something that affects players all over the league.
I scrolled through Span’s previous tweets. I didn’t have the time (nor the interest) to go too far back in his timeline, but I saw his messages from days when the Twins were facing other teams. The only team he spoke negatively about was the Yankees.
Is this a classic example of an inferiority complex? Is he angry that the Yankees regularly dominate the Twins? Is he angry that the Yankees probably won’t be interested in signing him? I’m not sure what his reasoning was behind such a statement. My guess is that he lacked any.
In today’s world, free agency plays a big role in the make-up of teams, and the lives of players. It has become a rarity to see a player retire wearing the same uniform in which he debuted, and spent his entire career wearing. It is in the best interest of the players, as well as the
teams, to take advantage of free agency. 
In a world in which free agents tend to go to the highest bidder, it doesn’t make sense for any player to publicly show negative feelings towards any team. It is especially illogical for a player to show ill-natured thoughts towards the team that usually pays the highest salaries. No one knows where Span will end up playing, not even Span himself. He is still at the beginning of what could be a long career. Why would a young player choose to speak ill of another team that may, one day, be interested in signing him? 
Side note: I doubt that the Yankees will ever sign Denard Span, but nothing is impossible.
What was Denard Span thinking when he wrote such a Tweet? My guess is that he simply wasn’t.
Even if we take away the element of free agency, and assume that Span plans to stay with the Twins for the rest of his career, there’s a little thing I expect from players on a Major League level. That thing is called “class”. 
Derek Jeter has been a Yankee his entire career. Everyone knows that he will continue being a Yankee until the day he retires. Even after retirement, it is unfathomable that Jeter will ever be associated with any Major League team other than the New York Yankees. Even with all of this, knowing that he will never don a uniform other than a Yankee uniform, Jeter has never spoken negatively of another team.
Have we ever heard Derek Jeter say “Man, I hate the Red Sox”? Has he ever said anything negative about a team? No, he hasn’t. Jeter respects other teams and their players, and he is therefore respected by all. He is hated by many opposing fans because of his success, but he is respected because of his respect for the game. Any player who wants to be respected by his peers should follow Derek’s example, and treat others with respect.
Comparing Denard Span to Derek Jeter seems to be unfair. Derek Jeter is a seasoned veteran, whereas Span is still a young player at the beginning of his career. Every player, however, should aim to become like Derek Jeter. I’m not talking about talent or success. I’m talking about attitude and class. Every young player should aim to be respected by his peers throughout his career. Making comments like “I hate that team” doesn’t earn you any respect.
Some people said to me “If Derek Jeter made a similar comment about the Red Sox, you would love it”. No, I really wouldn’t. I would be more upset about any Yankee making such a comment about any team, especially if that Yankee is Jeter. 
If Jeter made a comment like that, I’d be one of the first fans telling him to shut his mouth and let his bat and glove do the talking on the field. Derek Jeter would tell Derek Jeter to shut his mouth if he made such a statement. I’m very Jeterian when it comes to how I expect players to deal with other teams. As a fan, I constantly show my hatred of the Boston Red Sox, but I would never accept our players doing the same. I’m watching the games from the stands, or on TV, I’m not on the field. There’s a major difference between what is considered acceptable behavior for a fan, and what is acceptable for a player.
Side note: I didn’t enjoy certain statements George Steinbrenner made about other teams, either. Steinbrenner, however, is an owner, not a player. While I still find ill-natured remarks unacceptable, he’s his own boss.
This is a trap which I find many players falling into. Several players buy into the hype of “rivalry” and “animosity” created by the fans, and start thinking that it is acceptable for them to behave similarly. As Yankees fans, we’ve especially seen this from some members of the Red Sox organization. While I accept and respect hatred of other teams coming from fans, I can never accept and respect hatred coming from opposing players.
Professional athletes, in general, need to be aware of their impact on the image of their respective teams and organizations. It is not enough to play well, and master your athletic skills. Athletes need to have an understanding of the world of Public Relations. If they don’t, then they should know to shut up, and ask their agents and representatives about what is and isn’t acceptable. I’m sure that Span’s agent isn’t happy about such a statement from his client.
Being a professional baseball player is no different from being an employee of any company. When you’re at work, you’re expected to carry yourself in a manner befitting the corporate image of your employers. When I’m at work, I can’t respond to an employee or client with any negative statement. I can’t make a public statement showing hatred for our competitors. This will harm the image of my organization. 
The difference between me, an average employee in the business world, and a professional athlete, is that I can say whatever I want when I’m not at work. No one cares about any statement I make when I’m representing myself, in my free time. Professional athletes don’t have this luxury. From the moment they first put on their team’s jersey until the end of their days in that uniform, they are representing their team all day, every day. This is much more difficult than the ten hours or so in which I represent my company every day, but then again my company doesn’t pay me millions of dollars a year for my services. 
I’m not going to dive into other sports leagues, because different sports require different levels of self-control. One example I heard was boxing. You can’t compare boxing to baseball. Boxers face each other one-on-one, represent themselves and not an organization, and they’re meant to literally beat each other up. When Boxer X speaks in an ill-natured manner of Boxer Y, it is acceptable. It’s a part of the game, because he is representing himself, facing an opponent who is also representing himself. He is expected to go into a ring and pummel his opponent. He can say whatever he wants before the match.
In baseball, you play 162 regular season games, and you not only represent yourself, more importantly you represent your team. If I were an official in the Minnesota Twins organization, I would be annoyed by Denard Span’s comment on Twitter. Twitter has become a leading media outlet, and public figures must carry themselves while tweeting, in the same manner in which they carry themselves in interviews or press conferences. 
As a Yankees’ fan, I would be angry if Nick Swisher or Joba Chamberlain (both frequent Twitter users) made a comment like that about any team. They would not only make themselves look bad, they’d make my team look bad. That, to me, is unacceptable.
Furthermore, players never know what team th
ey will be representing in the future. Why would you want to hinder your career over a stupid remark? I mentioned Schilling, Papelbon and Rollins earlier. The main difference between those three players, and players like Braden and Span, is that the former three have established themselves in their careers. They have the success to back up their classless remarks. Dallas Braden and Denard Span are still starting out. They need to learn how to control what they say, otherwise they’ll end up being the players that no team wants. 
They may have the skills, but teams look for more than mere talent. Teams want players who will make them look good as well as help them win, especially the teams who have the financial means to be picky. If Denard Span and Dallas Braden dream of ever playing for the creme de la creme of baseball, they need to start behaving with class. 
At the end of the day, as a professional athlete, your actions on the field speak louder than your words off it. Shooting your mouth off doesn’t make anyone fear you, it makes everyone ridicule you and your team. As a baseball player, if you truly hate a team, and you want to see them fail, shut your mouth and put your bat and glove up. Show them Hell on the field, but keep your mouth shut up off it.

The Good Old 2-for-1

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #45.a – 5/25/10 – Yankees @ Twins

Semi-Final Score: Yankees 0, Twins 0.

Is it me, or did AJ Burnett seem to pitch better in the rain? He had a little bit of a shaky time during  a couple of innings, but he managed to get himself out of trouble, and shut the Twins out through five innings. This was a good start from AJ Burnett, even though the rain cut it short. Had the game continued, he could have probably pitched into the seventh inning, since he finished the fifth with 75 pitches.

What was particularly funny was seeing the Twins’ crew reacting to rain. They had been playing in a dome for nearly three decades, so this was the first time in a long time that they had to brave the elements during a baseball game. They obviously weren’t used to it. One official even said (I’m paraphrasing here): “Since we haven’t had experience with this sort of thing, we went by the official rules set by Major League Baseball. This is all very new to us, but we made the decisions in accordance with official rules.”

It was cute to see such uncertainty when it came to rain delays or game suspensions. We’re used to it, and rain is a regular thing for us to suffer through in the first couple of months of the season. It was also nice to see that we were a part of history: This was the first rain-out in the new ballpark. 

I think the rain during this game woke up Twins’ fans, and made them realize that it’s important to check the weather forecasts before baseball games. That is something they hadn’t done for almost 30 years.

Anyway, the game is suspended until tomorrow. The game will be picked up from the sixth inning, and everything will be exactly the same as it was left off. AJ Burnett needs the Yankees to score in the first inning of the resumed game (which will be the top of the sixth) to put him in line for his first win since facing the Baltimore Orioles earlier this month.

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #45.b – 5/26/10 – Yankees @ Twins

Final Score: Yankees 1, Twins 0.

Picking up where we left off the night before, the game started in the top of the sixth inning. Duensing was on the mound for the Minnesota Twins, trying to hold onto the shutout that Scott Baker began the night before. After striking out Kevin Russo on three pitches, Duensing seemed to be on a roll. Then, Captain Clutch stepped up to the plate.
Derek Jeter blasted a solo home run off of the Twin’s lefty, putting the Yankees on the board and taking the lead. AJ Burnett needed the Yankees to score in the first inning of the resumed game (which was the top of the sixth) to put him in line for a win. Who other than our Captain would have his teammate’s back like that? Indeed, Jeter’s home run put Burnett en-route to his first win since facing the Orioles earlier this month.
No one thought that the 1-0 score would hold up, not with the Twins’ lineup, so we were hoping that our bats would at least pad this lead to secure a win for us, and a win for AJ.
They didn’t do that, but the result was still sweet for the team, and for AJ. It would have been a shame to see Burnett’s efforts the night before go to waste.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, David Robertson was on the mound to preserve the lead, and keep us on track for the win. The first batter he faced was Joe Mauer, who is never pleasant to face. Mauer hit a rocket right onto Dave Robertson’s derriere, and we all cringed at the sight and sound of it. Yes, the sound. We heard that ball pop off of D-Rob’s backside. The ball bounced off the butt (hello, alliteration) of Robertson, and right into Alex Rodriguez’s glove. Joe Mauer was out.
For a split-second, we all panicked. With the string of injuries that the Yankees had been suffering from recently, the first thought on my mind upon seeing Robertson get hit was “Oh no. Not another one. Please stop hurting our players!” 
There was a visit to the mound to check on Robertson to see if he was alright. Robertson was okay, and a huge sigh of relief spread amongst the Yankee Faithful. Thank God he’s okay. The last thing we need is another player injured, especially a bullpen pitcher.
In the same inning Derek Jeter gave us some of that Jeterian Magic. He made a Vintage Jeter jump-throw to end the inning and save the day. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Jeter’s jump-throw over the years, but I’m still in awe every time I see it. It was as beautiful as it has always been. 
So, in one inning, Derek Jeter hit the game-winning home run, and made an amazing defensive play to preserve it. Concurrently, Captain Clutch told all of his haters to collectively suck it.
David Robertson went on to get two more outs, before Joba Chamberlain relieved him. Chamberlain then continued to pitch, and had a beautiful eighth inning. He handed the ball over to God who, of course, got the save.
None of us thought that a 1-0 lead would hold up, but it did. Our three pitchers deserve the highest of praise for their efforts in this game. We can’t always blow-out the opposition by scoring a dozen runs. We need to be able to win these one-run games if we want glory. That’s what we did last season, and hopefully we’ll be continuing to do so this season.


2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #41 – 5/20/10 – Rays @ Yankees

Box Score:


Well, the week from Hell is over. Well, almost over. We’ll make it out alive. Not exactly sane, but we’ll still be breathing.
I’m not talking about the Yankees, of course. They’ll definitely be alive. The Yankees are in a good place. 25-16 is a good record to have in May.
I’m talking about Yankees fans. 
Show of hands, how many of you have ulcers after this week? *raises hand*
Now, how many of you have ulcers that developed their own ulcers because of this week? *raises hand*

We knew ahead of time that this week was going to be the most difficult week yet. We faced two of our division rivals. First, the Red Sox, who magically seem to find their strengths against us. Then, the Tampa Bay Rays, who are hotter than hot right now. I was nervous going into this week. I honestly expected us to sweep the Red Sox, and get swept by the Rays. Well, I was half-right.
Anyway, what an emotionally exhausting week. Oh but
it’s not over! We face our inner-city rivals next! If we don’t beat the Mets, I’ll have to beat something. Probably to a bloody pulp. 

*Meet the Mess. Meet the Mets. Step right up and beat the Mets!*
Listen, I’m the Queen of Cool and Calm when looking at the big picture. I don’t panic until our elimination number is in the single digits, and we’re on a losing streak in September. So don’t worry, I’m looking at the big picture here. 
We’ve been suffering through a lot of injuries, and our bench is pretty much depleted. We called up Chad Moeller to be our backup catcher while Posada is out. Basically, Chad Moeller will be warming the bench for the vast majority of the next month. Nick Swisher is back, so at least we won’t have to suffer through Marcus Thames in right field anymore.
I wonder how Marcus “Dumb*ss Of The Year” Thames is doing? *Who gets hurt like that? Really? Who does that?!*
While I do see, and appreciate, the big picture, weeks like this week hurt. It’s not easy to endure losses like these, as a fan.
You know what? I’m not going to write about this game. I’m sick of repeating the same thing I’ve said about every other game this week… 
It’s only May. *blah blah blah* He was due for a bad start. *blah blah* We knew he wouldn’t win every game this season. *blah* Randy [expletive] Winn *blah blah* These injuries are killing us *BLAH*

What’s the point of repeating myself? You’ve heard it all before, so why should I say it again? Do I really need to recap this game for you? Look at the damn boxscore, it says it all.
We failed once again, boys and girls. I usually try to find excuses for our players sucking in a game, and these excuses are usually legitimate. I just believe in giving your players the benefit of the doubt. Especially the team that we have this year. You know what, though? They’ve already given me enough ulcers to warrant some sort of negative reaction from me.
So, in this post, I will step out of character for a bit, and just make fun of every player who played in this game. I will roast them one by one. Just talk trash to them. That should make me feel better.
Before I begin, let me make it very clear that NONE OF THIS is to be taken seriously. I love our players, and I love our team. This is just a way for me to let my frustration out.
Roasted nuts, anyone?

Andy Pettitte: I used to say “Andy can Pettitte”, but the only thing you should be petting is your toupee at the retirement home. Way to show us you’re not aging, grandpa. Stop hitting me with your cane! I’m getting off of your stupid lawn! Tell your Bridge partner Jamie Moyer to stop shouting at me, I’m not stealing his paper!
Derek Jeter: Captain Clutch? Yeah, not so much. If Minka isn’t clutching it right, give Kate Hudson a call. I hear she’s available. Do it soon before Dallas Braden calls her, and she dies of laughter.
Brett Gardner: You used to remind me of Speedy Gonzales. Now, you’re like that mouse who drew the short straw to decide on who should run in front of the cat, to get to the cheese factory. Like the mouse with the short straw, you got caught. 
Mark Teixeira: Your haircut doesn’t make you look like a switch-hitter, it makes you look like you flat-out bat for the other team. Those bangs must be getting in your eyes, because you can’t seem to tell the difference between a ball and a strike anymore. Call Fabio, or whoever the Hell your San Fransisco-esque hairdresser is, and tell him that Papelbon came onto you after the Red Sox game, thinking you were his type. That hairstyle has got to go.
Alex Rodriguez: Maybe you should give your cousin in the Dominican Republic a call…
Robinson Cano: Maybe you should conference call with A-Rod and his cousin…
Nick Swisher: Last I checked, you can’t hit the ball with your awesome attitude. So stop clowning around, and start getting some damn hits. I don’t care who you’re with or how awesome your hair is. Get some damn hits. Stop staying up late, talking to people on Twitter. Unless these people will hit home runs for you, GET SOME SLEEP!
Juan Miranda: You’re actually productive, but I have to roast you like I did the others. So… you make “DH” stand for “D*ck Head”.
Francisco Cervelli: Okay, that helmet was cute in Spring Training, but now you look like you should be licking short-bus windows. Need a towel to wipe the drool? Fasten your chin strap, Frankie! Stop hitting solid objects with your head, Frankie! Oy. We need a bigger helmet.
Randy Winn: You’re Randy Winn. 
David Robertson: So nice of you to join us. I’m so sorry that our little pesky baseball season interrupted your vacation from pitching. Obviously you were taking a break from it all in April, and half of May. The drunk, cross-dressing homeless man, who wanders around near my office building, could have pitched better than you in the first month-and-a-half of the season. I know you miss having Spring Break, but please try to do your job when you’re on the mound.
Chan Ho Park: I thought you got over your diarrhea weeks ago. Why are you still crapping your pants every time you step on the mound? It really stinks, Chopper. I’m not sure if something was “lost in translation” but, in America, when we say “give them sh*t”, we mean give them a hard time. We don’t mean “crap your pants and act like a drunken monkey flinging feces”. Actually, I’ve seen monkeys fling poo with more accuracy than your pitches. Get your sh*t right, Chan Ho. Chug a bottle of Pepto-Bismol before each game.
There, like Chan Ho Park’s lunch, that crap is out of my system. Now, I open the floor to you, my loyal readers. If you feel frustrated with the loss, and would like to roast some players, feel free to do so in my comments section underneath this blog post. THIS IS ALL FOR FUN! So don’t take it too seriously, and don’t be offended. We all love our Yankees.
If I get funny ones, I’ll publish them in tomorrow’s blog post.

You’ve Been Cerved

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #26 – 5/4/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

Yet another great game from our New York Yankees. AJ Burnett pitched a gem, Derek Jeter got his 443rd career double, putting him in third place on the All-Time Yankees Doubles List, and we played the small ball very well to win the game. The most impressive player of the game, however, was Francisco Cervelli.
To sum up the game, I made another video.
In honor of Francisco Cervelli, Get Your Cerv On!

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com.

Captain Clutch

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #22 – 4/30/10 – White Sox @ Yankees


Looking back at his career, Derek Jeter has always been one to come through in the clutch. Whether it’s in the regular season, or in postseason games, our Captain always seems to hit when it counts the most.
Most players and fans agree, in a situation where a clutch hit is needed, Derek Jeter is the man you want at the plate. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he seems to be aging as well as Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. 
He always seems to carry the team.
He’s not a bit slugger, and he’s not a flashy person. He’s low-key and grounded. He doesn’t do anything to attract attention, but his greatness makes him a household name.
Yes, I am yet another Yankees fan praising Derek Jeter. Why wouldn’t I praise him? He’s a future Hall Of Famer who carries himself with class, and has the utmost respect for the game of baseball. Fans of all teams should praise him, especially in the sport today. With so many players lacking class and respect for the sport, having a player like Derek Jeter in Major League Baseball is truly a treasure. He’s not just an amazing Yankee, he’s an amazing baseball player. 
He is the quintessential Yankee.
He is Captain Clutch.
This game against the Chicago White Sox was no different for Derek Jeter. He was as clutch as he always is. When the Yankees were down by one run, Derek Jeter tied the game with a home run. When the Yankees were tied with the White Sox, Derek Jeter drove in the winning run with a triple. The man is clutch, no doubt about it. When the situation calls for a Jeterian hit, he steps up his game, and gets it done.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said it best: “He is God, I say he’s God all the time. It’s fun to watch him play the game. He’s the No. 1 ambassador in this game. The guy always has good-looking women around him, too. I mean, God bless him.”
I’m not surprised he said that. Derek Jeter is respected by players and managers across baseball. I’m just surprised we were able to understand what Ozzie said.
This game wasn’t Pettitte’s finest performance, but we still got the win. I never worry about Andy bouncing back from a relatively shaky start. The man’s got the perfect mentality for baseball. He gets roughed up in a start, he brushes it off immediately, and starts focusing on his next start. Never worry about Andy Pettitte.
Not much else to say about this game. It was a win, and that’s all that matters. 

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

Giving Into The Hype

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #3 – 4/7/10  Yankees @ Red Sox

So, we came out of the first series of the season victorious. That’s always a great feeling. I’ve become so accustomed to losing in April that winning a series gets me excited. Losing a series in April, however, doesn’t bother me. Again, I’m used to it.

It’s great to win any series at Fenway Park, even at the beginning of the season when it doesn’t really matter as much. I’m not going to claim the division based on this first series (I’m claiming it based on the fact that our roster rocks), but I did like what I saw yesterday.

Dandy Andy

Andy Pettitte was absolutely amazing. He continues to prove that he lives for these games. We’ve been hearing the phrase “This could be Pettitte’s final year” for the past three years. If it is, he’s off to a good start. 
There were doubts about Andy going into this game, because he didn’t have as many starts during spring training as our other pitchers. However, this is Andy Pettitte we’re talking about. He’s been doing his thing for long enough to know his abilities. He doesn’t need as many spring training starts anymore, it’s safe to say he’s got his mechanics all worked out. Spring training starts would have been better, but he doesn’t need them as much as others. He felt ready for this big start, the Yankees felt he was ready, and fans had all the faith in th
e world.
Andy Pettitte didn’t let us down. He had an amazing start.
Pettitte doesn’t crumble under pressure. While this is only the first series of a very long season, the reactions of Yankees fans after losing on Opening Night show the importance of a Yankees-Red Sox series. If there’s any pitcher who truly knows the significance of a game at Fenway Park, it’s Andy Pettitte. Lord knows he’s been pitching these games for long enough. 
Throughout the course of the season, this game won’t mean much statistically (especially since he didn’t get a decision), but a good performance at Fenway is still a good performance at Fenway. To the fans, and even the players, it means a lot. The Red Sox are our toughest opponents in the AL East, so why wouldn’t we want to get a win against them whenever we can? 
Andy stepped up and gave us that win. Sure, technically, the win wasn’t given to him, but his performance is the main reason we won. He even gave us a little fist pump to seal the deal.

The Grandyman Can

There has been a lot of speculation about the origin of that phrase. John Sterling started saying it, but I’ve heard quite a few people, including myself, say it before it was broadcast on WCBS radio. I most certainly did not come up with it. I would love to take credit, but alas, I stole it off of someone else. Whoever came up with it is a genius. I love it. The Grandyman Can.
The Grandyman can certainly show Jonathan Papelbon why no lead or tie is safe when he’s facing the Yankees. That’s what he did yesterday with that solo home run off of the Red Sox closer. What a way for Curtis Granderson to introduce himself to the Yankees fanbase. First, a home run in his first regular season at-bat as a Yankee, and then the series-winning home run in the 9th inning. We scored one more run after that, but the solo shot was the decider.
I can’t think of a better way for a new hitter to introduce himself and say “I am a Yankee”. After that performance, Grandyman, you most certainly are. 
Everybody Loves Jeter
Kevin Youkilis was hit by a wild pitch from Andy Pettitte. Personally, I think he’s asking for it with that stance of his. Forget about the comic nature of his batting stance for a second; the location of his body in relation to the plate just screams “hit me”. He crowds the plate, and when you crowd the plate, you’re going to get hit. At least he didn’t complain about it or charge the mound this time. Although, I would have liked to see him do that with Andy pitching.
Later on in the game, Derek Jeter got hit by a pitch. Jeter also crowds the plate in his at-bats, but there’s nothing comic about his stance. After being hit, our Captain jogged to first base. As he was about to tag, Kevin Youkilis said something jokingly, and Jeter good-naturedly shoved him away. Youkilis and Jeter continued to joke around and seemingly poke fun at each other for a short while. 
I enjoyed seeing that, even though I really can’t stomach Youkilis. To me, it showed that everybody loves Jeter. Leaving the rivalry and animosity between the Yankees and Red Sox aside, every single player in Boston respects Derek Jeter. If it were A-Rod that got hit, I imagine Youkilis would have either stayed quiet, or said something ill-natured. Either way he wouldn’t have joked around with him. Why? Because Alex Rodriguez isn’t Derek Jeter. Time has shown us that Alex Rodriguez just isn’t as respected by his opponents. Some would say that A-Rod brings the hate on himself, and to a certain extent, I tend to agree. Derek Jeter, however, is a player who has never carried himself with anything but class and, as a result, is respected by all of Major League Baseball. No matter how big the game is, or how fierce the rivalry may be, no one who truly loves baseball hates Derek Jeter.
Jeter demands respect with his actions, on the field and off. This was shown by Youkilis laughing and joking around with him in a tight situation, a situation in which having Jeter on base could pose a threat. Why? Because everybody loves Derek Jeter. Sure, the fans at Fenway may boo him, but even in an organization that is known for blasting the players of other teams, you will not find a single member of the Red Sox organization who doesn’t think highly of Derek Jeter. 
The lightheartedness of the exchange between Youkilis and Jeter is further testament to Derek Jeter’s likability in the sport. It is further proof that Jeter will always be The Perfect Yankee. The only other Yankee who is currently respected by all of baseball is Mariano Rivera. Jeter and Mo get respect and love because they have always carried themselves with dignity. Day after day, and game after game, this is proven to be true. Yesterday was yet another example of everybody loving Derek Jeter.
Hero Of The Night

In my opinion, Chan Ho Park was the hero of the game.
Chapeau bas to Joe Girardi for sitting on his hands and leaving Park in there for three innings, facing both lefty and righty hitters. For once, Girardi put the stat-book down, and went with his gut feeling. Chan Ho looked great in his first inning of work, so the skipper’s instinct was to leave him in there. I love that. It’s that very instinct that separates good managers from great ones.
I am often Joe Girardi’s biggest critic. I don’t particularly enjoy seeing the way he manages the bullpen at times, and I don’t agree with his decision to leave Boone Logan, a second bullpen lefty, off of the roster. However, when Girardi gets it right, I have to tip my hat to him. 
Yesterday, he got it right. Boy, did he get it right. It took big cojones to leave Park in there, especially for a third inning. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have had the guts to leave Chan Ho in there for the ninth. I had faith in Park, but even I was nervous about him pitching in the ninth inning.
Girardi, however, had the guts to do it, and got it right. Yankees fans are happy that he left Park on the mound for three innings. Although, I’m sure if Chan Ho had given up a walk-off run, even after pitching two perfect innings, the reactions would have been completely different. 
Chan Ho Park didn’t give up a walkoff run, though, or any runs for that matter. He absolutely shined during his amazing three innings of relief work. In fact, he only gave up one hit, and no walks. He faced the entire Red Sox starting lineup, the second-toughest lineup in our division, and they couldn’t touch him. 
Coming back on the mound, after his shaky inning in Sunday’s game, couldn’t have been easy for Park. A lot of pressure comes with putting on a Yankees uniform, and the regular season stage doesn’t get much bigger than a Yankees-Red Sox series. Chan Ho shaking off a bad performance in the series opener, and pitching beautifully through three innings in the closer, shows that he has “the goods”, both mentally and physically. 
Chan Ho Park pitched wonderfully. He silenced the doubts, and showed us his upside. We now know for certain what Park is capable of, from here on out it’s up to him to keep showing us his domination.
There’s something I wasn’t aware of until ESPN broadcasters mentioned it. Chan Ho Park is the first Korean player in Yankees history. Isn’t that crazy? We’ve had players from all over the world throughout our history, but Park is the very first Korean. I enjoyed hearing that little piece of information, because it shows that baseball is becoming a more global sport every year.
Had the game been played at Yankee Stadium, Chan Ho Park would have surely received a standing ovation from the crowd after yesterday’s performance. He most certainly deserved it, and I stood up and applauded him, in my living room.
Giving Into The Hype

I know that, statistically, this series doesn’t mean much. The Red Sox beat us 8 times in a row at the beginning of last season, and it didn’t mean anything in the end. It’s only the first series of the season, and all it means is that we’re off to a good start. It doesn’t mean that we’ve won our division, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to win every series this year, and it doesn’t mean that we’ll finish the season ahead of the Red Sox. The first series of the season is just that; the first series.
That’s what my head told me, but my heart begged to differ. 
Didn’t this first series against Boston feel completely different from last year’s opening series against Baltimore? Maybe I am getting too into the overhyped rivalry between us and the Red Sox but, my God, starting off the season winning at Fenway really feels good. I feels damn good. Especially after the Red Sox pulled out all the stops on Opening Night.
Like I said, winning any series at Fenway Park is a big deal, be it in April or September. Not only is there a “rivalry” between the two teams, but the Red Sox are the Yankees’ main competition in the AL East. The Rays are pretty good, but I don’t see them finishing above the Red Sox, not this year. So, winning the series against Boston is one less difficult series we’ll have to worry about. Not to mention it’s always fun to see Red Sox fans upset.
During yesterday’s game, I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time, nervously following every pitch. My heart stopped approximately 438,725,268 times during the ten innings. Yes, it’s only April and, yes, losing this series wouldn’t have meant much, but every Yankees-Red Sox matchup has the feel of October for me. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m buying into the media hype. Who knows? All I know is that I was watching yesterday’s game with the nerves I normally have in the postseason. At one point (I believe it was while Park was pitching in the ninth) I had my hands over my eyes, and I was peeking through my fingers.
I love the intensity. I love the emotion. I love the feeling of living and dying with every pitch. I absolutely love it. Only baseball can make me feel this way. I missed this all winter, and opening the season facing the Red Sox threw me right into the deep end of the intensity.
I absolutely loved every moment.
Welcome back, baseball. Don’t you ever leave me again.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com