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Comments from a New York sports fan

By Keith Cousin
9/6/09

After observing the Yankees’ season (or at least five out of six months of the regular season), watching many games on TV and listening to their broadcasts on WCBS radio, I figured I’d mention a few observations.

1. You can’t win ballgames without pitching and defense. This is the oldest baseball adage in the book. Today’s Blue Jays/Yankees game was a great example of this. The way the Yankees played, there was absolutely no way they were going to win this game. Manager Joe Girardi could have inserted Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio in their prime into that lineup, and still would have come up short. Why? The Bombers committed 4 errors and Sergio Mitre (4 1/3 innings pitched, 11 Hits, 9 Earned Runs, 2 Walks), the Yankees starter, was terrible. The fifth inning seemed to last an eternity as the weak hitting Blue Jays sent 14 batters to the plate, and methodically dismantled the Yanks fifth starter. Perhaps a change is called for at the bottom of the rotation.

2. Abolish any form of the “Joba Rules”. At the beginning of the year, some analysts had reported Joba Chamberlain’s maximum innings this year would be 140. Others reported 160. No matter how many innings he’s supposed to throw, two starts ago against the White Sox, the Yankees limited his pitches to 35, and then removed him from the game with a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning and no chance of receiving a victory for his efforts. What exactly is going on here? Are the Yankees limiting his innings and his pitches? Why not limit the amount of times he goes to the rosin bag. If Girardi and GM Brian Cashman are truly confident in Joba’s abilities, let him pitch. If not, then let him work out his problems in the minors. Either way, stop messing with the 23 year old and let him do his thing. Whatever happens, do not insert him in the eighth inning. That belongs to Phil Hughes, who has thrived in the spot.

3. Stop sponsoring everything! Yankee games are nauseating to listen to on the radio. It’s not because the games are long, which they are. It’s not because the Yankees’ are bad, because they’re not. They are an excellent ballclub. What’s the problem? There is nothing more revolting to listen to than a home run call from John Sterling. Not because he’s a poor announcer, but because he has to say, “Melky creamed it, and as he arrives safely at home, you too can arrive safely at home and protect your family with NY Met, the company you keep.” Is nothing sacred? Can’t the home run call be pure and unadulterated? How about this one, “so the Yankees will now bring in the great Mariano, and this call to the bullpen is brought to you by Geico, reminding you that a 15-minute call can save you money on your car insurance.” Or how about my favorite “this in-game box score is brought to you by…blah, blah, blah.” After saying “in-game box score”, color announcer Suzyn Waldman reads the runs, hits and errors of each team. Funny, I always thought the in-game box score was the at bats, runs, hits, and RBI of each player. I was taught that runs, hits and errors was the line score of a game. Someone must have changed the lingo and I didn’t get the memo.

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