Game 94: MIN vs. NYY — Not the right kind of home runs

Starter Phil Hughes actually started off today with a really fantastic outing. He went 7.1 innings, allowing only 5 hits and striking out a career-tying record of 10 batters. Most innings he threw went very quickly, including some 1-2-3 innings. Two ill-placed pitches in the 2nd and 7th innings set-up 2 solo home runs, but he was able to keep that from making a big impact. But then he got himself in deep trouble in the 8th inning and allowed a 2-run homer that put the Twins well up over the Yankees.

The Yankees were only able to break the Minnesota pitching staff in the 1st inning. Ichiro Suzuki doubled and then Robinson Cano hit a nice RBI single for the first and only time the Yankees would cross the plate. The final score of 4-1 left many fans (myself included) anticipating the Yankee offense to pick up at some point, but it never did.

Like I mentioned yesterday, the Twins defense is actually really good, and today the Yankees matched them pretty well. Seeing as the only runs were home runs by the Twins, any potential offense on the ground was blocked by both sides of field today. And honestly, the most interesting thing that happened during the game was the ejection of the Twins’ manager in the 8th inning.

Here’s what happened: the Minnesota batter hit the ball softly back to Hughes, who tried to throw it to Overbay at 1st base but was blocked by the runner who was out of the baseline. The ball even hit the runner as further proof of the misplacement of the runner. The umpire called the runner out for interference, and the manager came storming out of the dugout, argued with gusto, and then promptly got himself ejected, his 3rd of the season and 65th of his career. There is some dispute as to the legitimacy of the call, but I think the umpires made the right call at the end of the day (something that surprises me more than you know).

After quite a busy week with HOPE Week and injury updates and mega-plays in some of the games, it seems that today is destined to be shortened blog. Tomorrow is the last game before the All-Star break, and considered the half-way point of the season (though we hit that 13 games ago at the beginning of the month). And in clearly the toughest and better division in the league, the top 4 teams (Boston, Baltimore, Tampa, and New York) are all safely above .500 and have better averages than most of the 2nd or 3rd place teams in the other divisions. And because of the more frequent play across the league and with interleague play, I don’t know how much we can put on the divisional championship anymore, when you really think about it.

Since the expansion era (1969), there were more emphasis on the division rivals, but as interleague play was introduced in 1997, the schedules became messier to try to fit in everything. The newest rules are 19 games × 4 opponents in own division (76 games), 6 or 7 games × 10 opponents in other divisions within league (66 games), and 20 total interleague games. This makes it just shy of half the total games against those in your own division. When they reshuffled the deck, so to speak, for the start of the 2013 season, evenly dividing the 30 MLB teams into 5 divisional teams in 6 divisions (3 AL, 3 NL), it certainly shook things up for the competition and schedule. I guess you could even call this season a “guinea pig” season with all the new rules, schedule, times, etc.

But actually, what’s really surprised me about this year is how many weather-affected games, postponed or delayed they’ve already had this season. And I’m not just talking about the Yankees, but it seems that across the league every week there’s another game that was rained out or delayed for a significant amount of time. At the end of the season, it will be interesting to see how many games and teams were actually affected by the weather and what kind of effect that might have on their postseason potential. Not that anyone’s going to blame having a poor season on the snow or rain (sorry for the Milli Vanilli reference, but it fit here)… well, at least the Yankees wouldn’t…

Go Yankees!

Game 93: MIN vs. NYY — Kuroda’s shutout despite the rain

Any sport that involved outdoor play will always be subject to inclement weather, but today was a little ridiculous. It was overcast and threatening for most of the evening leading up to the game, but pretty much started drizzling once the first pitch was thrown. By the 3rd inning, it was legitimately raining, to which the umpires waited another inning before the downpour seemed too much to handle and called for a rain delay. This turned into more than an hour break, during which it wasn’t raining that much at all. And once they uncovered the infield, put down the drying agent, prepped the field, and got everyone properly warmed up again, the heavens opened up once again and never stopped. Despite the puddles turning into lakes all over the field, they continued to play and somehow the Yankees squeaked out the win.

Despite the break in the 4th inning, starter Hiroki Kuroda threw his 90 pitches over 5 total innings before Girardi tapped the bullpen with Claiborne, Logan, Robertson and Mariano Rivera (earning his 30th save of the season) who together kept the Twins at successive zeros across the scoreboard. This gave Kuroda a nice shutout win to take home and dry off.

It was the 5th inning that the Yankees earned just enough runs to make the win tonight. (Well, it was the 5th inning that was the most interesting by far, aside from the torrents of rain that kept the majority of the crowd hidden under every concourse.) Cruz singled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt, and scored the first run on Brett Gardner’s single, who ended up at 2nd on the overthrow. A pitching change from the Twins advanced Gardner to 3rd on a ground out. Gardner then proceeded to score the 2nd (and final) run on Robinson Cano’s single. Cano ended up getting picked off for the final out of the inning.

Now, defensively, the better team was definitely Minnesota tonight. I guess that’s what kept the Yankees to just 2 runs scored. Honestly, I have to give credit where credit is due and the Twins were certainly showing off some very nice defensive plays.

Also, the update on Derek Jeter is that he has a grade 1 quad strain. Basically, for anyone who’s ever had an oddly sore ache on their quad, usually from overuse or an awkward pull, that’s what it is. It just needs some rest, but it shouldn’t prevent further basic rehab. In fact, he was still listed on the roster as part of the bench, meaning he could always jump in to pinch hit if they needed him. But management has said that he will sit out through the weekend series with the Twins and rest up/rehab during the break and hopefully rejoin the team in Boston next weekend in full-force. They’re not as worried, but they’re still being cautious, which is good because we don’t need any more major set-backs from trying too hard or something worse.

HOPE-Stand
The Yankees, WWE’s The Big Show,
Kirk & Laura Smalley, and Stand for the Silent
work together to stop bullying
via Yankees

And my favorite week in the Yankee season has now come to a close. And like every HOPE Week, they continue to outdo themselves. Today, they invited kids from local schools to hear a presentation by Kirk and Laura Smalley and an anti-bullying student organization called Stand for the Silent. The Smalleys lost their 11-year-old son when he took his life after being a continued victim of bullying, and a local high school organized this group to speak out against bullying to further prevent bullying-related suicides. With the stage set with pictures of victims, surrounded by players (Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, and Travis Hafner), pitching coach Larry Rothschild, GM Brian Cashman, Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal, and WWE’s The Big Show (a long-term outspoken advocate against bullying), Kirk spoke to the group about his son and others who have been bullying victims and what everyone, from the littlest kids to the most important grown-up, can do to help stop bullying in their world. The Yankees donated $10,000 to their organization, and Delta, who also helps with various aspects of HOPE Week, also gave a matching donation. Some of the students who founded and run Stand for the Silent were invited to throw out the first pitch at tonight’s game, as the Smalleys had another speaking engagement.

I don’t think there’s anyone who isn’t affected by bullying in some way. And I know it is easier to do nothing and pretend nothing is happening, but ignoring the problem doesn’t change reality. And sometimes, like SFTS says, all anyone needs to know is that are somebody and they are loved. And because you are somebody, you can be a voice. You can make a difference. And perhaps, you can save a life.

Also, all the honorees from the last 5 years of HOPE Week were invited to a reunion prior to tonight’s game, which allowed them to meet each other, get updated on progress, and connect and encourage each other to keep on their giving and generous track. Another successful HOPE Week indeed. And I hope it inspired you as much as it did me.

Go Yankees!

Game 92: KC vs. NYY — A Captain’s return = victory

There were so many things going on at the Stadium today, that it’s rather hard to figure out what was more interesting — the final day of voting for David Robertson to make the All-Star Game roster, Derek Jeter’s return to the Bronx, and HOPE Week Day 4. My Twitter feed alone was more populated with Yankee news, pictures, and hashtags since October, I think.

Okay, so Andy Pettitte started the game today against the Royals. Pettitte had some trouble early in the game finding his stride, as evidenced by the runs scored in the first 2 innings by Kansas City, but soon enough found the momentum and kept the Royals away for 5.2 innings. He allowed 8 hits, a walk, and 4 runs (3 earned). In the 1st inning, 2 back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases, which allowed 2 runs to score on a solid double and another to score on a sacrifice fly. And very quickly the Royals were up 3-0 in the 1st. They tacked on an RBI single in the 2nd, but that would be the last run they’d score for the entire game. Now, Pettitte wasn’t as happy with his outing, understandably so, but he had the Yankees offense to thank for his earned win today. And the bullpen (via Kelley, Robertson, and Logan) protected his win excellently, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 5 amongst themselves over their 3.1 innings.

Now the offense had some help today via a DH-ing Derek Jeter. That’s right, the Captain returned to the Bronx, making his debut for the season today, almost 9 months since he was sprawled out by 2nd base in Game 1 of the ALCS with a shattered ankle. A long road indeed, but today, he went 1-for-4, with an RBI and a run scored. It must be good to be back “home”. In fact, he was able to get the first of the Yankees 11 hits today on the first pitch to him in the game and score the first run on Vernon Wells’ sacrifice fly all in the 1st inning.

Other offensive contributions came when Austin Romine doubled home Nunez and Ichiro Suzuki singled home Romine in the 2nd inning. At this point, the Yankees were still down 4-3, but they weren’t done yet. In the 5th inning, Ichiro walks, Cano is walked intentionally, and Wells walks to load the bases with 2 outs. So when Lyle Overbay hits a single, he watches Ichiro and Cano score to put the Yankees up 5-4. Zoilo Almonte then singles home Wells (6-4). Eduardo Nunez then singles, and Overbay scores, but Almonte tries to go for 3rd base and gets tagged out there to end the inning. But the Yankees are up 7-4 at the end of 5 innings. But just for added insurance, Jeter adds his own flair and scores Cruz on a ground out RBI in the 6th inning. And that’s where the Yankees sit 8-4 and glide right into the win, splitting the series with KC, but doing so outscoring the Royals 18-13 (there’s that flair).

Also, Jeter came out of the game after his fourth at-bat, feeling a “tightness” in his right quadriceps (the top of the thigh muscle). This is nothing previously injury-related (as it’s nowhere near the left ankle bone), and probably just a little stiff and not used to the day-to-day rigors of base-running and daily life as an active ball player. If the MRI proves negative, he will probably DH again tomorrow. They’re not rushing to put him at shortstop yet, but that is clearly the next step in his road to health and return to the Bronx. I don’t think anyone will declare him fully returned until he’s played a full game defensively at short. Here’s hoping for continued health, healing, and hope!

For all the efforts made by the Yankee fans, I’m really surprised David Robertson missed the All-Star Game final spot, which apparently was very close. I know I spent quite a bit of time on my own voting a ridiculous amount of times online and via text and Twitter (thank God for unlimited texting!). But I think the recognition of his importance to both the team and its fans certainly will be remembered in future years. I can’t imagine that Robertson will go unnoticed for another ASG, especially if he continues in his excellent efforts as one of the best set-up men in the league. You’re still #1 to us Yankee fans, no matter what the results say!

And HOPE Week continued this Thursday afternoon. Today, the Yankees partnered with Birthday Wishes, a non-profit that organizes birthday parties for homeless children. They invited a whole group of children from various homeless shelters around the city to a Yankees game today and were greeted in their own suite by Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, David Phelps, Chris Stewart, and bullpen coach Mike Harkey with a big birthday party at Yankee Stadium. They got a private tour of the Stadium, including the field and dugout and met Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal. And then had their party complete with a magician, music, food and candy, and gifts for everyone. Mark Teixeira even stopped by to watch part of the game with the kids, and what a great game and a great party!

I don’t think there’s ever adequate words to express what the Yankees truly do for their community. I know many teams do their own version of HOPE Week, but there’s something weighty about adding the Yankee stamp of approval on an organization. The Yankee name means excellence and respect, and not just for their on-field playing, but their off-field lives. There’s a high standard on the ones who wear the pinstripes, and HOPE Week is one of the best outpourings of that standard of excellence, integrity, and compassion that so suits so many on this team. I really love being part of this fan base. It’s really nice to have a team to root for that deserves rooting for.

Go Yankees!

Game 91: KC vs. NYY — SuperNova, SuperCano, SuperOverbay

Can we call tonight’s game the “Men of Steel Game”? Seriously, the team certainly hit its stride early and often tonight against the Kansas City Royals. And having watched the recent Superman reboot (and loving it, by the way), when I talk about SuperNova, I can only reference the others in tonight’s game as super and thus the creation of the Kryptonian reference. But enough geek-speak…

Starter Ivan Nova certainly spun his web of mystery (another franchise, I know, but superhero-like nonetheless) tight enough to keep the Royals from much of anything. In fact, he threw just 105 pitches over 8 full innings, allowing only 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, and a single run (an RBI double in the 8th inning). Even when he got into trouble a couple of times, loading the bases, Nova was able to pitch himself out of a jam and with the help of the defense once again. Just really stellar all around and a well-earned win tonight. Chamberlain pitched the 9th and closed out the game in 19 pitches.

But it was the offensive side that earned a huge amount of praise and got Nova that solid win. In the 1st inning, a really wild pitch allowed Brett Gardner to score easily, and as Ichiro Suzuki attempted to tack on a run of his own in the same play, he was tagged out. But the Yankees were up and running. Then with 2 men on and 2 outs in the 3rd, Robinson Cano steps into the batter’s box and smacks the ball out near Monument Park in center field for a nice 3-run homer. The Yankees were now sitting pretty at 4-0, a good lead for Nova to continue his outing. But with the bases loaded and no outs in the 6th inning, it was Lyle Overbay to give Nova just the cushion he needed for the win with a solid hit deep to left field, (and if you’ve just done the math) for his 4th grand slam of his career. There’s only one thing in baseball that’s better than 3-run homer, and that’s a 4-run homer. So yes, 8-1 was the final score, as the Yankees take this one with flare.

Quick injury update: both Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner left tonight’s game early for the trainer’s room. Hafner has a left foot bruise after fouling off a ball on his foot in the batting cages between innings, and Gardner sustains a bruised right leg from being hit by a pitch. Nothing serious with either one, but a deep bruise will be sore and stiff for a few days. Gardner had some odd at-bats tonight, earning 2 walks and 2 hits by pitch, which means he doesn’t register any at-bats for tonight, even though he scored 2 runs. Other news stirs regarding other players on the DL, but like I’ve said before, when it’s fact, I’ll talk about it. I don’t deal with assumptions or presumptions on here. (I save that for spirited debates with friends.)

Also, today, HOPE Week continued at a small non-profit animal shelter in the Bronx, run by Pedro Rosario called the New Beginning Animal Rescue. Normally, it relies on many local volunteers and whatever donations to survive, so today’s visit from Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, and Shawn Kelley (also with several from the front office and owner Jenny Steinbrenner-Swindal) was definitely seen as a blessing and a gift. The Yankees, bearing pet food and their time to play with the animals and help out around the shelter, also brought their monetary donation to the shelter and opened up an adoption center in the stadium for the animals during tonight’s game. That’s right, some lucky families walked home with new friends and family additions from tonight’s great game. What a way to remember! (The article is here, and don’t forget to like and check out the Yankees Facebook page for pictures of this week’s HOPE Week activities.)

There are many great shelter in your area that could use a donation as well, often food, toys, time, or even money is always appreciated. And when the time is right to open your heart to a new friend, adopt a shelter pet. As a life-long pet owner, I support such organizations that help rescue and rehabilitate animals to become some of the best friends you’ll ever have.

Also, today was my mom’s birthday, and our family certainly had fun celebrating with her. So I want to give another brief shout-out to her. She is my most consistent reader and the one who’s always encouraged me to do something like this. I converted her to be a Yankees fan, and now, I think she knows more about the team than I do, which certainly makes fact-checking, debates, and conversations all the more interesting. A very happy birthday to her! Next year in the Bronx, right?

Go Yankees! (Thanks for the win for my mom tonight!) #HighSocksForVotes

Game 90: KC vs. NYY — A complete CC loss

I’d love to say it was a pitching battle today, but the Yankees just weren’t hitting the ball consistently. Seriously, the Royals pitcher was nowhere near what should have been a near-flawless game for him or the team, but a few minor weaknesses in CC Sabathia’s game were just enough to push the Royals up over the Yankees and take today’s game.

Sabathia actually threw all 9 innings, something I’m sure the bullpen is feeling better for the day off, especially in light of the packed schedule up to the All-Star Break. Honestly, with some minor misplaced pitches, Sabathia actually threw a decent game, all 113 pitches over 9 innings, some innings near-flawless, allowing 7 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 6 batters. The 3 runs the Royals conjured up were due to 2 solo home runs in the 6th and 7th innings and back-to-back doubles for an RBI in the 8th inning.

The Yankees only offensive score came in the very 1st inning. Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki each singled; then Robinson Cano singled home Gardner to score the only Yankee run of the game. Much of the Yankees’ lack of offense was due to some really fantastic plays by the Royals’ outfielder Cain, who has the kind of speed and fielding range as Gardner or Granderson. Some of these plays, sliding catches, back-handed grabs, and just phenomenal speed will probably on some sports analysts’ replays this week. I know Cain isn’t an everyday guy for the Royals, and I really don’t understand why. He’s really one of the better guys on the team, especially in light of some of the more “publicized” names in Kansas City. But that’s for another blog to muse over…

In more interesting news, today was Day 2 of HOPE Week. And today, the Yankees surprised a young girl named Autumn Blinn as she visited the Ronald McDonald House in New York. The 10-year-old began sewing pillows and giving them to people who were undergoing dialysis, chemotherapy, and the like to help ease some of their pain. So in her honor, the Yankees sewed and gifted pillows with Autumn at today’s visit. (The article is here and you can find pictures on the Yankees Facebook page.) Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez, Vernon Wells, Jayson Nix, David Robertson, and manager Joe Girardi all came out bearing buckets of pillows and spent time playing with the children in the House. The Ronald McDonald House is a wonderful place for critically ill children and their families can receive treatment for their illnesses in a safe, comfortable, family friendly environment. (Putting your change in those red boxes in every McDonald’s is what you can do on every visit.) The local RMH is the recipient of today’s donation in Autumn’s honor.

Then, Autumn was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game. It’s kids like her that inspire people and prove that you don’t have to be a celebrity (or even a grown-up) to make a difference. And that’s what HOPE Week is all about — recognizing those who change their world for the better.

Don’t forget #HighSocksForVotes, voting for David Robertson online for the All-Star Game. You can also vote via text — text A3 to 89269.

Go Yankees!

Game 89: KC vs. NYY — HOPE Week, lots of rain, & a loss

HOPE-Rockaway
HOPE Week begins with the Rockaway Athletes
via yankees.com

Today began my absolute favorite week of the season: HOPE Week. HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) started in 2009 as a way to publicly recognize and support local charities and organizations that serve the New York community. And for the first time, this year the minor leagues also participated in their local communities during their own HOPE Weeks. But HOPE Week isn’t just for the players, but also for the coaches, front office, and owners to spend time out with the 5 selected charities this year.

Ivan Nova, Preston Claiborne, Adam Warren, David Adams, Zoilo Almonte, and Alberto Gonzalez traveled out to Rockaway (one of the areas in the city hit hardest by Sandy last fall) to surprise a group called the Rockaway Athletes, the local chapter of the Special Olympics. The Yankees played with the special needs young people, served and ate lunch with them, and presented the organization with a $5000 check. (A full article about today’s HOPE Week outing can be found here.) Then, as an honor for their new partnership, one of the Rockaway Athletes threw out the first pitch before tonight’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

Starter Phil Hughes tonight didn’t get off to a good start tonight. At the top of the 2nd inning, he allowed a home run and 2 doubles that put the Royals up 2-0. Hughes was spared any further personal damage (though he ended up with the loss tonight) because about halfway through the bottom of the 4th inning, the heavens opened and rain and reports of hail poured into the stadium at unprecedented speed and volume. The umpires (who have to be the ones to call the rain delay) were late in calling the delay, which ultimately caused many problems with getting the tarp on the infield. It was raining so hard, the tarp became too heavy to pull onto the dirt and had to be dumped before finally applying it properly to the field. The rain and its subsequent clean-up (or should I say dry-out) caused a delay of nearly an hour.

When they resumed play, Hughes was out and Adam Warren was in. Warren seemed ready to deal with long-term relief, except for an RBI double in the 7th inning to put the Royals up 3-0. Lyle Overbay answered in the bottom of that inning with his own deep, pinch-hitting solo home run. When Warren gets into some trouble in the 8th, Preston Claiborne easily gets the last out of that inning and falters on his own in the 9th, allowing a single, an RBI double, and an RBI triple to put the Royals up (to what would prove the unreachable) 5-1. The Yankees had a huge opportunity in the bottom of the 9th inning, loading the bases with a walk and 2 singles and no outs, but the next three batters struck out and gave the game to the Royals tonight.

The Yankees acquired 1st baseman Travis Ishikawa, recently released from the Orioles and on the 2010 Giants (with the ring to prove it), who started at 1st base today but wasn’t as productive both there and at bat, going 0-for-2 with 2 strike outs. To make room for him on the roster, the Yankees moved Kevin Youkilis to the 60-day DL and optioned David Adams to AAA Scranton. This still allows for an Adams recall later in the season should the need arise, but this also allows Adams time to work on his slumping offense (his defense is always quite stellar).

There is other injury updates, but I’d rather keep the focus this week on HOPE Week. I hope it encourages all of you (like it always does me) to go out and be involved actively in your community. Even if we only make a difference in one person’s life, to that person, we have changed the world. And to me, that makes all the difference between passivity and active participation in my world.

Go Yankees! (And vote for David Robertson for the All-Star Game! #HighSocksForVotes)

Game 88: BAL vs. NYY — Newtown Day, All-Stars, & rare Mo loss

Today, the Yankees honored the city and families of Newtown, Connecticut, to honor the memories of those lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy in December, as well as the first responders. They invited over 4000 residents of Newtown to today’s game and began the day with a moment of silence as the video board displayed the names of all the victims. The Newtown Youth Voices choir sang the national anthem, and the near-capacity crowd responded with standing ovation. Behind the choir, the Sandy Hook Fire Department and Newtown Police Department provided the color guard. Connecticut is part of the “tri-state area” that is well-known for being the strong Yankee home fan base (New Jersey and New York complete the area), so a day at the ball park with family and friends is a great way to celebrate the lives of those lost. (Newtown’s first selectwoman spoke with the press before the game.)

It’s unfortunate that the Yankees couldn’t deliver a save on this hot Sunday in the Bronx against Baltimore, but nothing beats Sunday afternoons at the park. In the 2nd inning, Eduardo Nunez (again, so happy he’s back!) notched a sacrifice fly to score Zoilo Almonte, and the Yankees sat on top of the scoreboard 1-0 for most of the game. Starter Hiroki Kuroda protected the Yankees early lead for 7 full innings, allowing only 3 hits, no runs, a walk, and 4 strikeouts, and throwing only 88 pitches. It was really a pretty game for a while. David Robertson came in to pitch the 8th flawlessly (more on him later).

And this of course brings in Mariano Rivera to close the game, except he doesn’t. In only his 2nd blown save of the season, Rivera somehow has an off day. With one out, he allows a single and perfectly places a strike for the Orioles big power-hitter to hit a long fly ball deep into the left centerfield seats for Baltimore’s automatic score of 2-1, which would quickly become the final score. A strikeout for 2 outs and the next batter hits a ground-rule double, so Rivera intentionally walks another strong hitter before going after a former teammate to get the final out and earn his 2nd loss of the season. A rare instance indeed from the greatest closer in MLB history, but not even the great Mariano Rivera is perfect all the time. I think sometimes we forget that.

Rivera-highsocks
Mariano Rivera, pitching with high socks today
Vote for David Robertson for ASG
via espn.com

Yesterday, the All-Star Game rosters were announced. The Yankees have only two representatives this year — Robinson Cano is the starting 2nd baseman, and Mariano Rivera in the bullpen. The ASG also picks 5 further players who can make the roster and asks everyone to vote on it. On the AL list is David Robertson. If anyone in the Yankees bullpen deserves to be in the ASG, it’s Robertson, who is by far one of the best set-up men in the entire league. You can vote for him online as many times as you want. The entire team is getting behind this vote, some even wearing high socks (the socks up to the knees over the pants) in his honor, just like Robertson does every day; Rivera donned his high socks today for this reason. #HighSocksForVotes is the Twitter trend to follow and vote.

Also, yesterday and today, the big news in another part of Yankee-land is Derek Jeter’s rehab with AAA Scranton. Last night, he played shortstop for 5 innings, with 3 at-bats (0-for-2, with a walk and simple fielding grounder). Today, he served as designated hitter with 4 at-bats (1-for-2, with 2 walks, a single, and a run scored). He will start at shortstop today. It should be worth noting that Jeter also seems to be a measure of good luck, if you will, as the RailRiders have won their last 4 games in a row and are now just one game under .500.

And keep your heads up, Yankee fans, today’s game might be a loss, but they still took the series from the Orioles, and next week is 4 game series against the Royals and 3 game series against the Twins, both teams fell to the Yankees during their last respective matches. Vote for Robertson, remember Newtown, and pray for those affected by the plane crash in San Francisco yesterday.

Go Yankees!