Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shaking baseball to its foundations

Game 23: April 24, 2008 - 8:35 p.m. ET (35-min. delay, sorry 7-Eleven)
U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Ill.
Play-by-Play: Michael Kay
Color: David Cone, Paul O'Neill

Top 1st: "Morgan Ensberg moves up to fifth, the third baseman is going to bat in the five hole."
  • Are you sure? I was almost positive that as the five hitter, Ensberg was going to hit eighth.

Bot 1st: O'Neill mentions that Don Mattingly screens phone calls, so Kay says, "David Cone's a lot like that."
  • Wouldn't you if this mug popped up on your caller ID?

Bot 3rd: Ross Ohlendorf comes on in relief of Phil Hughes after a 50-minute rain delay. Kay AGAIN discusses the move of Ohlendorf to the bullpen. "Now one of the things why the Yankees think he's better in the bullpen than he is as a starter: he throws hard -- about 95 mph -- but he does not throw that hard when he starts."
  • Sorry to break it to you, Michael, but just about every starter throws harder in the bullpen. This is the now third straight game I've seen Ohlendorf pitch in which Kay has brought up the conversion to the bullpen. What's the over/under for when he goes without a mention? Put me down for August 2009.

Bot 4th: Ensberg makes a nice diving stop down the third-base line, which prompts Kay to mention Alex Rodriguez's absence from the lineup. He then goes on to mention that Jason Giambi is the only other player on the roster to have started a game at third -- for the second time in three days.
  • Ohlendorf, now Giambi. This guy is the ultimate recycling bin. Does he sincerely believe he has a brand new audience for every game? O'Neill and Cone stay quiet, the ultimate indictment.

"They used Hawkins yesterday. They used Rivera for five innings."
  • Outs, buddy, outs.

"Driven out to left field, that's going to be a tough play. On the run is Abreu, he can't make the play! And it bounces into the seats for two."
  • OK, outs are innings and now right field is left field. What's next? The Yankees are the White Sox? Oh, wait, that already happened on Tuesday.

The third out of the 4th: "Ground ball to first. And that's going to do it for Giambi."
  • As in that's going to do it for the White Sox. This is getting ridonculous.

Bot 5th: Jim Thome's 513th homer breaks a tie with Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks. Kay on Banks: "Great ambassadoor for the game. Pounded out 512 home runs as a shortstop and first baseman and never played in the World Series."
  • Thanks. Another recycled line from Tuesday's game. When's the post mortem for Chien-Ming Wang's outing coming? And that's not a typo. He really did say ambassadoor.

Top 6th: "Did you DH much, Paul?"
  • Given that you were in the radio booth for the entirety of O'Neill's American League career, that's probably something you should be answering, not asking.

Top 7th: On Scott Linebrink: "Free agent. Signed a four-year deal worth $19 million. And that just broke new ground, especially for guys that are set-up men, averaging nearly $5 million a year. That just kind of changed the salary structure of baseball. There's always that one contract that really shakes baseball to its foundations."
  • Yes, the Yankees don't happen to have someone named Kyle Farnsworth in their bullpen who they gave $6 million annually to set-up Mariano Rivera 2 ½ years ago.

Top 9th: "Bobby Jenks comes in to try to hold it at 6-6 and the Yankees counter with Jorge Posada, pinch-hitting for Morgan Ensberg, and now, who's going to play third? Probably will be Bobby Cano -- err, Robby Cano -- and....the Yankees will bring in Alberto Gonzalez, who's also an option to play third base."
  • Great to see Kay's got immediate familiarity with the Yankees bench. Gonzalez played third on Tuesday as a defensive sub, yet Kay's first inkling is to play Bobby Robinson Cano at third base for the first time in his career.

Bot 9th: "A.J. Pierzynski's one of those guys that the opposition doesn't like that much, but when he's on your team, you like him."
  • Pierzynski was completely beloved in San Francisco, to the point where he was run out of town and his own pitchers actively ripped him in the press. Pierzynski now offers a $100 reward for anyone who hits a home run off former teammate Brett Tomko. Mr. Popular all the way.

Final score: White Sox 7, Yankees 6.
I owe Juan Rivera an apology: Rivera's now a starter, Abreu's a left fielder, Farnsworth is making minimum wage and Pierzynski's the second coming of Sean Casey.


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