Mark Teixeira is on his way to New York earlier than expected. After his second at bat of the evening, he felt (as Girardi later said) that he was missing the “snap in his swing”. So, they gave him the rest of the night and tomorrow off and sent him back to the East Coast to see the team’s doctor. And while this probably is just minor stiffness in his previously injured wrist, I don’t think they’re as worried as they are about some of the other guys. And a nice bonus for Teixeira is that he will be able to spend Father’s Day tomorrow with his family, who live outside the city.
But really “missing the snap of the swing” is really something you could say for quite a few people on the team — even the ones who carried the team the first 6 weeks of the season into first place, something we haven’t been for nearly two weeks now. Tonight’s game against the Angels was just a further continuance down that path.
The only offensive damage the Yankees were able to do was in the 3rd inning. With Chris Stewart on 1st base with a single, Brett Gardner struck first with a really solid shot out to the right field corner which scored Stewart and allowed Gardner all the way to 3rd base for a nice triple. This was immediately followed by a Jayson Nix that allowed Gardner to score. That’s right, the Yankees once again managed just 2 runs in a single inning for the entire game.
Starting pitcher David Phelps actually pitched pretty well during his 6 innings, short of the 3 runs he allowed (one was a solo home run in the 2nd inning), and was able to get out of some rather tight jams with the flair of a more-seasoned pitcher. Shawn Kelley came into the game in the 7th inning (Phelps had allowed a single to start the inning) to walk a batter, allow an RBI double, intentionally walk a batter to load the bases, force the infield fly rule on a pop up (the 1st out of the inning), walk another batter which walked in a run (always my least favorite way to score), and finally a fly out and ground out to end the inning. This was nowhere near Kelley’s best, nor was it what we’re used to seeing from him. Joba Chamberlain’s pitching in the 8th allowed an additional run on an RBI single which made the final score 6-2 Angels.
June really hasn’t been the Yankees month, and part of me is really glad it’s half-way over. But the other part of me also knows this can’t last forever. Eventually, the pieces will fall into place and they’ll win again. And that’s how I have to stay positive (as I committed to do on this blog) — with a huge reality check. Even the absolute worse teams in baseball win games from time to time; no team goes 0-162 for an entire season. But that reality check compared to what you see cascading down the standings and those pesky little average numbers isn’t always comforting, nor should it be. What it should do is challenge the players to reach further, play harder, work better together, and push themselves to be the kind of players and the kind of team that deserve to wear the famous pinstripes.
And I guess that’s why people hide on the other side of the fence at games or behind computer screens on message boards and try to figure out what’s wrong. So they scream (or write) things at or about the players or coaches or team that aren’t positive or productive and most of the time not even true. And why? Because they really can’t do anything about it, and that in itself is frustrating. When you go to a game, the players don’t guarantee that your team will win. It’s always anyone’s game, or rather I should say, it’s always anyone who’s actually paid to play the game’s game. That’s right. No matter what happens, the people in the seats have zero control over the outcome of the game (save some fan interference, which is illegal or at least strongly frowned upon).
So while fans scream ridiculous (and often hateful) things at the players, it’s just as silly and ridiculous as the wave or those awful noisemakers at some stadiums. None of those things accomplish anything but make their participants look foolish. Yes, I have some pet peeves regarding baseball and almost all of them involve these kinds of fans. We Yankee fans know all too well that the guy that may cause us some trouble today might be in next year’s roll call (like Wells and Youkilis this year) and thus embraced by all Yankee fans. I don’t think I can preach this too much — rivalry is a side-effect of good sportsmanship and competition, but mean-spirited hatred does nothing for the sport or the people involved except breed more hate and negativity — even if it’s the team to which you’ve sworn your loyalty. Stay positive and classy, people!