Looks like I’ve gotten a few hits from people looking for the length of the Russell Branyan home run into the upper deck of Yankee Stadium during yesterday’s early game. The answer is 512 feet. Russell Branyan is a monster.
Word on the street this morning is that Lou Piniella is having to retire even earlier than he initially planned. His mother’s health has been declining, so today is the last game for Lou as a manager in major league baseball. It’s always sad to see the last of anything in this great game, and I hope that Chicago gives him the sendoff he deserves today. If nothing else, it means that his last game gets to be at Wrigley Field, rather than wherever it is that the Houston Astros play (I’m not being glib, I really don’t know, and am too lazy to go look it up). For some reason, I’ve developed this thing where any “lasts” in the game should occur on home grass rather than away. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but in a perfect world, that’s the way it’d be. Best wishes to Piniella and his family. I didn’t get to spend much baseball time with Lou, but I can fully appreciate his impact on the game.
Luke French had to go up against CC Sabathia today, fighting not only the superior Yankee pitcher, but the wind and weather in the Bronx (the tarp was on the field prior to game time, and Sabathia’s normally-baggy pants spent the game billowing in the elements). French held his own against Sabathia and the Bronx, giving up a home run in the bottom of the 4th to Austin Kearns. The Ms had an opportunity to score with Franklin Gutierrez, but Nick Swisher managed to get the ball to Jorge Posada who tagged Gutz out at the plate…except he didn’t. Replay showed that the ball wasn’t even in Posada’s glove for the tag, but in his right hand. His body was blocking the play to the point where the umpire couldn’t see it. Gutz was safe, but the Mariners were denied tying the game. We don’t need replay in baseball though – that’s just crazytalk.
And things did not get better. French loaded the bases by walking Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the 5th, and Robinson Cano took French over the right center wall on a 76MPH slider over the plate, grand slamming the Yankees into a 5-0 score. When the broadcast came back from commercial, it was pouring rain in New York, and a lot of the crowd had either donned plastic rain ponchos or or vacated their seats for drier parts of the stadium. All Sabathia needed to do now was take his time dealing to our batting order to whittle away the inning, the game being formal at 5 & 1/2. He did just that. I figured they’d call it then, but after a commercial break, the Mariners had taken the field with fresh Diamond-Dri on the mound, but the weather wasn’t having any of our baseball nonsense, and the rain started falling even harder than it had been during the top of the inning.
As I post this, the rain is falling so heavily in New York that the warning track looks like a creek, and I doubt that they will go back and finish the game out. It’s interesting to me that the team with the most money in major league baseball didn’t bother to install a roof over their field to avoid things like this, but maybe that’s just me being annoyed with Posada’s fake and our continued faltering offense. We live in one of the rainiest parts of the country, and we are not familiar with rainouts here. With as much as they charge their fans to come and huddle inside the stadium during questionable weather, you’d think they’d want those fans to see the 9 innings they paid for. Yes, I’m bitter. I’ll get over it. Actually, after having stood out in the rain for the Sounders home opener earlier this year, I have realized that I am not a person who deals well with such things, and our roof has spoiled me as a sports fan. I don’t know how football fans do it.
In the event that you were wondering – and I know you were – the AquaSox game was rained out today – a single A team I can forgive for not having a roof, especially when they play in a high school stadium. As a direct result, there will be a double header tomorrow. If this week wasn’t crunch time for me and school, I’d totally take the day off and go. As it is, I’ll be at school listening to the guys play the Red Sox in Fenway Paaaahk at 4pm. And since FSN has chosen to show BMX cycling tricks – something I have zero interest in – it looks like homework and bad movies for me for the rest of the day. A month and change of baseball to go…
EDIT: they’ve restarted the game on FSN. I’ll watch, but am not expecting a different outcome.