I Had To Laugh

I have trouble listening to Yankees games.  On YES, I am not a fan of Michael Kay’s shtick and I find him a shameless homer.  (I may be in the minority at objecting to that, but I have always felt announcers should just tell it like it is)  On the radio you have John Sterling who needs some new eyeglasses because he seems to think every flyball is headed for the moon. 

So, I will admit I got a good laugh out of the ten minutes that they spent on the air tonight extolling Javier Vazquez’s bunt in the 7th.  It seemed pretty clear to me on the first view that Javy had wrapped most of his right hand around the barrel of the bat.  It seemed even clearer that I was correct when Vazquez went into the dugout, met with the trainers and left with them holding his index finger.  But, the guys on YES kept talking about what a great bunt it was and how the finger problem had to be a blister on a humid night.   (I guess it is humid, but it is also only about 70 degrees, not exactly mid-July weather tonight)  I hope the Yankees’ coaches are reminding all the pitchers "fingers in back" tonight.

Either way, the good news is that Javy dodged a bullet.  His x-rays were negative and the Yankees have the advantage of a day off on on Monday.  If they want, they can give Javy eight days off if needed to get ready for his next start.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that because he looks like he is remembering how he pitched in the past and starting to remind people about his FIRST half in 2004.

What has to concern you is Mariano.  I wonder if it is simply a matter of not enough work, but something seems to be missing. One clue might be his groundball to flyball ratio, which is currently at 0.62.  Rivera is at about a 1 for his career and hasn’t given up more flyballs than grounders in a season since 2002.  More discouraging is the fact that hitters had a .167 BABIP against him entering tonight.  Add it all up and statistically he is giving up more flies and getting lucky on the ones he does.  That is not a formula that will garner a lot of success in the long run.

And finally a very nice job by Kevin Russo.  Russo has shown an ability to draw a walk in the minors and his seems versatile enough with the glove that he can play all over the diamond.  Jerry Hairston got a World Series ring last year, despite a career OPS below .700 because he can play all over the place.  Russo looks like he has more pop than that and the Yankees have him under their control for the next five-plus years.  That could be a valuable weapon off the bench.