Sunday, June 26, 2005
I'm sorry, but I'm sitting here and watching the Yankees/Mets game, and Bernie Williams just trashed a water cooler or something in the dugout in a fit of rage, and the announcers said it was surprising because "Bernie Williams is one of the most serene players in baseball." Serene! I laughed out loud. What with all the calm eyes and the serenity on that team... man, they must have some mighty strong aromatherapy candles in the clubhouse.
And Kris Benson just struck out piggy-eyed Giambi, who is furious with himself. I haven't watched a Yankees game in ages, but knowing that they've already lost this series makes this kind of fun.
Anyways. More importantly,
Don Orsillo, trying to not laugh, watching the Phanatic grab his rear end and shake it at the fans, while Jerry Remy giggles in the background: "That is disgusting."
The Phillies made a game of it, mostly because David Wells started losing that effective curve for a reason of your choosing. David Wells lost it later in the game because
a) it was really hot in the park, and fat wilts in the heat.
b) running the bases without the benefit a refreshing beer at homeplate had exhausted him.
c) he reinjured his heel/ankle/footsie-wootsie in the run-down with Jim Thome at first base.
d) he swelled up in the heat and was no longer able to get his arm all the way across his body in his throwing motion.
e) Jason Varitek began impishly giving him the finger every at-bat instead of actual signs.
f) the Phanatic was using his tubular mouth to suck Wells' pitching ability out of him like some kind of hideous green pitching-ability leech.
The relief we all feel at seeing Manny Being Manny again is palpable, isn't it? That grand slam... the hit itself wasn't all that impressive, and truth be told it probably wouldn't have been out in another park (in Fenway it would've hit the Monster; in Comerica it would've landed harmlessly in center field). What was fantastic about it was Manny's reaction... trotting to first like he half expected it to be caught for an out, then seeing it go into the crowd and hurling his arms into the air, not in a 'praise de lawd' style, more a 'yaaaay i hit the ball yaaaayy yay yay yay!' style. Which is so Manny.
Later in the game, Ramon Vasquez let a ball skip under him and was standing at shortstop, futzing with the laces on his glove and looking sad. In the corner of the camera shot you see Manny wander in from left field, come up to Vasquez, and stick his finger in Vasquez' ear. Then he wandered away again.
The thing of it was, Vasquez didn't even act surprised or jump or anything. It was just like, 'oh, Manny's sticking his finger in my ear again'. I couldn't believe it. The whole thing was so nonchalant and so weird.
Oh, and, you know, a quick note on Mark Bellhorn. We were discussing him at the SG dinner party Thursday (which Beth has posted her recap for... you should probably read it, it's much better than mine, in part because she's just a better writer, and also probably because she didn't write it at 3 am the night it happened), as one would expect at any gathering with The Official Defender of Mark Bellhorn Using Logic™, Steve Brady, present.
Remy made some good points about Bellhorn's swing today (without giggling, surprisingly). The Bell has a very uppercut swing, so balls high in the zone are basically unhittable for him. It's not that he doesn't have any power, he does (witness the homerun today, and the series of homeruns in the postseason last year), it's just that if most batters have a milkbottle-sized hole in their swing, the Bell has got the whole freaking cow-- albeit a levitating cow, since it's the top half of the strike zone that counts as his hole, basically.
So to compensate the Bell has learned to take pitches, and take pitches, and work counts, and take pitches, and become a good batter, if not necessarily a good hitter (the clever wording of Mr. Brady, not me. I'm just sharin' for you folk who were not there). And that's why he's valuable (if frustrating at times), and why putting him and his .229 batting average in the 2-spot isn't so insane.
Ah, the Yankees game just ended in a thoroughly disgusting fashion. At least they lost the series, and at least the Wizened Unit, once again, was not nearly as effective as he's historically been. And I did get to see Sheffield flip the hell out on an umpire, which is always giggle-worthy.
The Orioles lost today. Again. Sorry dudes.
The AL East is looking awfully nice and red right now.