Alex Rodriguez started out his day on Wednesday by finding out a picture of him and a mystery busty blond were splashed all over the NY Post. He finished the night off by ticking off the Toronto Blue Jays as his "shout out" helped the Yankees break open a close game in the 9th.
A-Rod had come through in the clutch with a 2-out single to extend the Yankees lead to 7-5. Then he talked with his mouth instead of his bat. The next batter, Jorge Posada, hit a pop up on the left side of the infield. 3rd Baseman Howie Clark camped under, but let the ball drop after A-Rod passed behind him. That's where the controversy begins.
Replays clearly showed A-Rod shouting something as he ran by - it appeared to be 'Hah". Clark claimed he yelled "Mine". Either way, the Yankees got another run as Hideki Matsui scored, and added two more on a Jason Giambi single for a 10-5 lead. Jay's shortstop John McDonald started jawing with A-Rod and had to be pulled away by the umpiring crew. Jay's manager John Gibbons also joined the fray and was still angry after the game.
"The thing about the Yankees, one of the reasons they're so respected, is they do things right. Always have," manager John Gibbons said. "They've got a lot of pride and a lot of class. They play the game hard.
"That's not Yankee pride right there," he said. "That's not the way they play. I thought it was bush league."
A-Rod naturally played down the incident in post-game interviews.
"I don't know what my intention was," Rodriguez said. "I didn't say, 'I got it' or anything like that."
"Honestly, I couldn't care less," he said. "They have their opinions. We're looking not to be swept."
"That play happens to me three or four times a week, except it's not at third base, it's over in foul territory by the dugout," Rodriguez said.
Even A-Rod's teammates were unsure how to answer reporter's queries. "I wasn't sure that was allowed," outfielder Johnny Damon said. "If it is, maybe we'll keep on doing it."
The only thing more amusing on the night was A-Rod deftly handling questions about the NY Post report. When a reporter asked if newspaper's getting personal bother him, A-Rod responded, "you mean about that play?".
Okay back to the game.
The Yankees showed some life last night, kick starting the game with a 5-run first inning. Johnny Damon lead off the ball game with his 3rd HR of the season off of rookie Jessie Litsch (1-2). The Yankees then loaded the bases on a single by Hideki Matsui and walks to A-Rod and Jorge Posada.
A Jason Giambi sac fly brought home one run and a Josh Phelps single brought in two more. Robinson Cano finished off the scoring with the 1st of his 3 doubles.
Yankee's starter Tyler Clippard (2-1) breezed through the first, but struggled through the next 4 innings. He got out of a two-out, two-walk jam in the 2nd, but gave up two runs in the 3rd and another the 4th on home runs by Alex Rios and John McDonald.
With the Yankees leading 6-3 in the 7th, Brian Bruney surrendered a 2-run to a 2-run shot to Matt Stairs. But Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth, and Mariano Rivera, who picked up his 4th save, shut down the Jays the rest of the way. And then the Yankees mouthed their way to insurance runs.
Johnny Damon's 1st inning HR was the 1,999th hit of his career. One inning later, he singled to left to reach the 2,000 hit milestone.
Robinson Cano went 4-4 to snap an 0 for 10 skid.
Jorge Posada set a career high with 2 stolen bases- that is until the official scorer changed the call to fielder's indifference for his 9th inning swipe. Back-to-back nights with Giambi and Posada stealing - must be a full moon - and it is.