Yankee Stadium, 4-7-07 A-Rod finally has his Yankee Moment.

Well, as a Baltimore fan, i wasn’t exactly thrilled by the game-winning home run, but was somewhat mollified by the fact that the O’s won the series 2-1, and should have won it 3-0. The Yankees must be sweating on the return of Chien-Ming Wang, based on the miserable performances from their starting pitching so far.

I’m not sure what you mean, What Exit, when you say that Yankee fans want to root for him. If they really wanted to, they would have done it before now. In his three full seasons with the Yankees, he’s batted .299 and hit 119 home runs, and has 357 RBI, more than any other Yankee over that period. I know he’s the highest paid player around, and that fans have a right to expect him to produce, but the fact is that he has produced.

Based on the booing last year, i would turn your claim on its head and say that, in fact, the Yankee fans don’t want to root for him, and will take almost any opportunity to criticize him. Sure they’ll keep cheering if A-Rod continues with the heroics, but it seems to me that they have a pretty low threshold of tolerance for any sort of sub-excellent performance from him.

By the way, if you think you might be able to make it to Baltimore for any Yankee games this year, let me know. I’d love to watch one with you. And it would give you a chance to get out of that hell-hole of a stadium and watch a game in a real ballpark. :slight_smile:

Nice post, What Exit?, but I have just one question:

Did you spell Mient - Mint - Mink - the first baseman’s name from memory, or did you look it up? :wink: He started at first base for the Mets for an entire year, and I never did figure it out. Just as well for him that the Yanks and Red Sox didn’t put names on the backs of the jerseys, 'cause his name doesn’t really fit.

Also, all things considered I may well rather not know, but has that Yankee radio shill John Sterling given him any kind of over the top nickname? I listened to a few innings of Saturday’s Yanks/O’s game on the radio while in the car, and was reminded once again of how much I completely loathe his radio style. (A significant factor in my being a Mets fan.)

It’s not just the fly ball calls that give no mental picture of where in the park it is going (“it is high – it is far – it is – off the top of the wall!” Er, what wall, and who’s the fielder chasing it down?). Or the constant homerism in whining about how close the balls/strikes are called against Yankee hitters, or repeatedly deprecating or bewailing Mora’s two-out, bases clearing double as “a double – sort of” or “a double – a lucky pop-up between three fielders”, etc., etc. But also the annoyingly glorifying or overly familiar nicknames he doles out for almost every home player.

I mean, “Jorgie Boy”? “The Melkman”? “The Giambino”? Does he make this up, or is he fed this stuff? 'Cause I know these are not anything I’ve heard any fan or teammate actually say (except maybe Melk/milk puns on the back page headlines of the Daily News).

Is he calling Mientkiewicz “Doug-be-fresh”? The Dougster? Minky? I shudder to think. Though as a traveled veteran and likely short-term Yankee who’s there primarily for his glove until Giambi’s contract runs out, I suppose he doesn’t rate highly enough on the Sex-E-Meter for him to be given such affection.

What Exit?, that is cool, man. Your boy will have one of those “Me and Dad were at Yankee Stadium and…” memories forever. Awesome.

You can be right about the fans, however, when I say the fans want to root for him, it includes the fact, that Yankee fans want to see his Homers and RBIs come in more, late inning situations to win games for the Yanks like Paul O’Neil, Mattingly and Thurman Munson as examples. Yankee fans can be fickle, I think if I recall a player survey, the most demanding, insulting fans in the game were Philly Fans followed by Red Sox, Yankee and Met fans. These are collectively not feel good fans. I have never booed Alex yet at the stadium, I keep hoping he will put together a string of late inning go ahead RBIs. I also hope he is done with putting his foot in his mouth.

Strangely enough, I have tickets in my pocket for the Sunday, September 30 at 1:35pm Yanks at Baltimore. Four of us are driving down Saturday and driving home after the game. If you want to meet up that would be cool.

I had to look up Min-kay-vich’s spelling. I could never do that from memory. I don’t listen to Sterling much anymore, so I have not caught any nicknames yet for Doug. It is hard to listen to Sterling and Waldman. Susan does not have the radio presence to keep Sterling reigned in the way Michael Kay did.

I hope so; I hope it sticks with him. It will for me. My Dad took me to the old-timers game in 1978 when Billy Martin was announced as coming back as manager in 1980. This is a memory I always remember, but I was 11. My son still seems more excited by getting a ball from the third baseman at a single-A Blue Claw game then he did with the walk-off Saturday. So far, the finer points of baseball are still lost to him.


So Mr. April gets a timely hit for a change. He’s still A-Rod, and when the games really count in October, he’ll be his usual choking self.

Maybe, but Yankee Fans and Announcers have this habit of looking for defining moments where players start being great as Yankees.
For Tino Martinez in 1996 there was a late inning Grand slam against Baltimore. For Giambi is was his walk-off Grand slam vs the Twins on a rainy Friday night in the 14th inning. For Jeter it was the Season opener in 1996. A great fielding play and a home run. Not every player has one, but this is the current version of myth building for the Yankees. For Boomer it was his perfect game. After that he was magic and our beloved drunken fool.

Ask most Yankee fans about Jimmy Leyritz and they will fondly recall how clutch in the post season he was, look at the stats and you will see he did not bat well, but most of his hits were in the late innings and caused games to be tied or provided the go ahead runs. So Yankee fans remember Leyritz fondly and to a degree that does not match his statistics.

Myself and many other Yankee fans are hoping this is A-Rod defining moment and he does not prove to be another Dave Winfield*. The Great Player that rarely came through when all the chips were on the table.


  • Yankee Fans ignore what Dave did for the Blue Jays, keep this in mind.

BTW, on my O’s board I frequent, when we talk about Mientkiewicz (cut and paste) we just say Doug M.

Risking the wrath of god for bringing the Sawx into a Yankees thread…

Reminds me of my last Red Sox game (a looooong time ago; Vaugh was still in town). Bottom of the ninth, 7-5 Angels. Mo’s up third; a single and a walk, and Mo comes up winning run at the plate. It was one of those things where you more or less knew it would happen, even though (as it turned out), Mo had never had a game-winning homer, at any level. But on a 2-2 pitch, he just unwound on one; straight away center, no doubter, with a sold out crowd making more noise than you can imagine. Nice.

Damn Yankees.

In a way it is hoping for moments like these that are a big part of going to the game. We all enjoy the game itself and the tradition, heck I’ve been to I think 16 ballparks now, but to see your team get a walk off home run or watch your pitcher pitch a no hitter, this is what we are hoping for.


Speaking as a Blue Jays fan I can tell you Joe Carter’s 1993 homer will be burned into my brain forever. Also the two huge 1992 homers, Roberto Alomar’s off Eckersley in the ALCS, and Ed Sprague’s off Reardon in the World Series.

But my favourite moment was in a 1990 game I attended where old Rance Mulliniks hit an inside the park homer. It was a fantastic moment, and since it took him about seven minutes to run around the bases, a long one.

My favorite baseball moments are the “oh no he didn’t” ones.

Like when Dae Sung Koo, a 35 year old left-handed relief pitcher from Korea in his first year in the Major Leagues, and who by his own account hadn’t bat for himself in about 20 years, took his first at-bat while playing for the Mets (a National League team, and one which still requires pitchers to hit while in the lineup) and never took the bat from his shoulders, shying away from every pitch. Even the curveballs.

So the SECOND time he comes up to bat in his life, of course, is against the most intimidating left handed power pitcher of this generation: Randy Johnson, in an interleague game against the Yankees, in front of a capacity crowd. On TV, the FOX commentator remarked something to the effect of this being the most lopsided pitching matchup he’d ever seen.

And just then, with that sentence still hanging in the air – he swings and – whack! Hits a ball to deeep center field. Over Bernie Williams’ head, and for a moment, it seems like it might even go over the wall! Instead, it goes for a double. Koo pulls into second huffing like he’s just raced to catch a train.

As if this wasn’t dramatic enough, the next batter, the speedy Jose Reyes, drops a bunt. The catcher, Jorge Posada, ranged halfway up the first base line to field it. At the same time, the pitcher also made a beeline towards the ball to field it… And the third baseman started in towards home on the bunt, then moved back to cover his base as Koo came in to third.

But he didn’t stop at third. Oh no. Completely on his own initiative, despite being on the base paths for the first time in nigh 20 years, he chugged around the corner and headed for home upon seeing nobody covering the plate!

The noise in the stadium was deafening. The first baseman gestured frantically that somebody should go back to home plate. Posada took the throw while racing back to home, and dove to try to tag the diving Koo… And it was a bang-bang play. In video replays it seems clear that he touched Koo on the arm a second or so before his hand touched the base.

But the umpire was at juuust the wrong angle (with Koo between him and the ball) to see the play closely, and I have to think gave the tie to the runner with an extra bonus second for sheer, unadulterated audacity.

Jim, I only Wish I’d brought my son to that game. Only very recently has he expressed an interest in seeing another ballgame. (I just need to make sure I don’t take him to another RedSux game.)

Really, sports fandom is a passtime with little reward to disappointment ratio. We watch for years at a time, reveling in these little moments, with very little real reward. We live through the pain and disappointments, just waiting for that one magic moment where everything comes together.

2004 is the perfect example. What was exquisite pain for you was transcendental joy for me. Yet I went through 1986, 1999, 2003 and so on so that I could live that moment (or week, as it turned out). And you continue to watch and root in the hopes that someday soon, Jeter will hit that grand slam in the bottom of the ninth of game seven to win the game by one.

People are weird.

April/September splits as a Yankee:

Year         G 	AB 	R 	H 	2B 	3B 	HR 	RBI 	BB 	K 	SB 	CS 	AVG 	OBP 	SLG 	OPS 	
April:       21 82 	12 	22 	4 	0 	4 	7 	10 	13 	2 	1 	.268 	.355 	.463 	.818 	
September:   28 106 	21 	30 	7 	1 	4 	27 	19 	23 	5 	0 	.283 	.397 	.481 	.878
April:       24 102 	20 	31 	5 	0 	9 	27 	7 	23 	3 	2 	.304 	.349 	.618 	.966 	
September:   28 104 	24 	33 	3 	1 	7 	24 	14 	30 	9 	0 	.317 	.419 	.567 	.987 	

April:       23 86 	22 	23 	3 	0 	5 	16 	17 	20 	3 	2 	.267 	.390 	.477 	.867 	
September:   25	81	22	29	3	0	8	25	16	14	3	0	.358	.465	.691	1.157

(He only has 48 October at-bats).

And if that’s not interesting enough, check this out: his Septembers in Texas were horrible. If you look only at the numbers, he looks a heck of a lot like a guy who thrives in the spotlight. Weird, huh?

As a Cubs fan, I don’t want to hear anybody else bitching about “little reward to disappointment ratio.” Especially not somebody from St. Louis.

[sub]Can’t we at least beat Houston?[/sub]

Note: I’m not actually from St. Louis. I live in St. Louis, but I grew up in New England (about an hour and a half north of Boston). I was happy that the Cardinals won, but I’m still a Sawx fan through and through (I’m married to a lifelong St. Louisan, though, so the the '04 series was a bit tough in the household).

2004 ended it, but most of my life has been constant commiseration with Cubs fans. I actually had a friend in college who was a Sox fan from Mass., and whose National League team was the Cubs. I never understood how anyone could put themselves through that.

One of my best friends is a die-hard Cubs fan and Yankee Hater. His favorite AL team was the Red Sox until they won and then he decided Red Sox fans were at least as big assholes as Yankee Fans.

His words: “At Least Yankee fans act like they been there before and have more than one success to be all arrogant about.”


Every team has good fans and assholes. The good fans far outnumber the assholes, but the assholes are the one you notice.

I will admit that a lot of Boston fans (assholes) didn’t know how to cope with winning. There was a certain “Wait… what?” thing going on that not everyone handled well. While being in St. Louis made things a little difficult (my wife walked into our apartment in about the fourth inning of game four, shot me a dirty look and went into the bedroom; she wouldn’t speak to me for the rest of the night), I was very glad I wasn’t in Boston.

I meant Mr. April as a general dis in the same manner that Steinbrenner called Winfield “Mr. May”. I don’t know if you can necessarily sat the September success = clutch performance. Generally by September the Yanks are jockeying for a playoff seed as opposed to struggling to make the playoffs. A truer measure of clutch performance is in post season, where A-Rod does not shine at all and I question if he ever will.

I’ve been very happy to see A-Rod succeed so far this year. He’s a great player who isn’t being treated fairly. Also, I remembered yesterday that he’s on my fantasy team.