Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Welcome To The Dunderdome

Baseball was meant to be played on grass fields in outdoor stadiums. Due to weather and financial restrictions, domes and artificial turf were introduced to the game beginning in the 1960's. But by no means was baseball ever meant to be played in a warehouse. A warehouse with poor lighting, poor acoustics, catwalks, hanging fixtures, wires, a fish tank (ok, rays tank) and other assorted paraphernalia. Ball parks can be quirky. There is nothing quirky about a puke green decorated warehouse that costs teams wins.

Minnesota did Major League Baseball a favor when it built it's new beautiful Target Field and abandoned the piece of garbage (and outfield fences made of garbage bags) known as the Metrodome. Now Tampa Bay needs to do the same and jettison the Trop. Heck if you have to screw and swindle the fans and voting public like Florida's slimy owner, Jeffrey Loria did. Perhaps owner Stuart Sternberg can ring Loria up for some pointers on bilking the constituency.

Why all the anger? All of the vitroile, as Michael Kay likes to say. Because when you see your team lose a game because of the Tampa Bay's excuse of a ball park, it pisses you off.

Bartolo Colon, who struggled with his confidence and control since returning from the DL, had gotten his mojo back (the Trop also caused me not to use an Austin Powers-Bartolo Colon photoshopped picture!) Tuesday night against the Rays. He struck out a season high nine batters and held a 2-1 lead in the 7th inning. Joe Girardi pulled him after 105 pitches and back to back one out singles by Robinson Chirinos and Sean Rodriguez. That's when the Trap Trop came into play.

Boone Logan got pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano to hit a routine fly to center field, but Curtis Granderson lost sight of the ball in the ceiling and it dropped in for a single. Suddenly instead of two on and two out, the Rays had the bases loaded and just one out. Logan again made the right pitch, this time to Elliot Johnson, getting the pinch-hitter to hit a comebacker. But instead of a possible inning ending double play, the ball ticked off the glove of the 6'7" Logan for a game tying error.

So what did Logan do? He made another good pitch. Johnny Damon hit a shallow fly that normally would not allow a runner to score from third base. But the ball was too deep for either shortstop Eduardo Nunez or second baseman Robinson Cano to reach. Instead Granderson made a sliding catch that enabled Ruggiano to get a good jump off third and score easily ahead of the wild throw home.

The Yankees only put one base runner on in the final two innings, but that was erased when Cano, who supplied the Yankees runs with a 2-run homer ended the 8th by grounding into a double play.

Starter Jeremy Hellickson held the Yankees to five hits over seven innings and picked up the victory (9-7). Reid Brignac, who was hitting .192 at the time, singled in the Rays first run in the 5th inning.


Brett Gardner swiped two more bases (the Yankees had four steals in all) to take over the AL lead with 29, one more than Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury and Texas' Elvis Andrus. Gardner has been successful in 14 consecutive steal attempts.

Joel Peralta earned his first save of the season and the third of his career by pitching a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Prior to the game the Yankees put Sergio Mitre on the disabled list with a sore shoulder and called up left-hander Steve Garrison from Double-A Trenton.

Since the 5-5 day that enabled Derek Jeter to reach 3,000 hits and beyond, the Yankees captain is in a 5-26 slide.

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