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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Mesne


Game 147: September 16, 2006
Red Sox (79-68), 5
Yankees (89-57), 2
W: Josh Beckett (15-10)
H: Bryan Corey (2)
H: Javier Lopez (5)
H: Keith Foulke (11)
S: Mike Timlin (6)
L: Chien-Ming Wang (17-6)

Of course the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader had to be covered by Fox. Just as they dust off the clip of Roger Clemens beaning Mike Piazza’s head for every subway series, the network seized upon David Ortiz’s comments on Derek Jeter and discussed it ad nauseum. (And when Tim McCarver is involved, you’ve already got a lot of nausea to deal with.)

Don’t get me wrong -- he’s [Jeter] a great player, having a great season, but he’s got a lot of guys in that lineup. Top to bottom, you’ve got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be.

Generic Fox play-by-play guy said that not only did Ortiz dare to criticize the Yankees shortstop, but was also chastising his team. Not at all; Ortiz is commenting on how the Yankees can stockpile All-Stars in every slot. When he said “this lineup,” he meant every manager that can’t pencil in multi-million dollar mercenaries at each position.

Then there was McCarver’s verbal hagiography of Jeter, who would never say an unkind word about any soul, be it an opposing player or Adolph Hitler. Jeter makes pablum seem piquant.

Yankee fans were creative with their anti-Ortiz signs. I wonder if they realize that in their attempts to vilify and downplay Ortiz’s impact, the more silly they render themselves. One sign labeled Ortiz as a “Part-Time Player,” implying that he is not worthy of MVP considering because he doesn’t field. I’m sure this logic wouldn’t extend to a Yankee designated hitter if he were in the mix.

Do you really want to diminish the accomplishments of a player who was essential to handing your team its most humiliating defeat? If you said yes, then you are a petty Yankee fan.

The Yankees came out strong in the second inning with a two-run homer by Robinson Cano, one player who doesn’t pull in over a million a season.

Rookie David Murphy wasn’t intimidated by the vastness of the occasion; he was two for four and notched his first major league RBI with his double, a key part of the Red Sox’s three-run rally in the fourth.

Trot Nixon sparked the inning with a double over the glove of Melky Cabrera and advanced on a throwing error by Jeter. Needless to say, this error wasn’t discussed at length by the broadcast team. But when Jeter extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the comparisons to Joe DiMaggio wouldn’t stop.

Boston added insurance runs in the seventh and ninth. The run in the seventh came thanks to the combined incompetence of Ron Villone and Brian Bruney; together the walked four batters in succession. In the ninth, Mark Loretta led off with a double that was just fair of the left field line. Ortiz was given the four-finger salute, showing that despite the disdain of his constituency, Joe Torre still respects the Red Sox slugger. Loretta proceeded to third on Nixon’s grounder and scored on a wild pitch by Octavio Dotel.

The additional runs loomed large as Keith Foulke allowed the first two runners on base in the eighth. The change-up artist buckled down and struck out Cano and induced harmless flys from Hideki Matsui and Cabrera.

In the ninth, Mike Timlin also allowed a runner on base in the form of Bernie Williams. It was only a single, so a curtain call was not yet in the offing. Johnny Damon laced a liner into left but defensive replacement Gabe Kapler tracked it down despite the sun. Jeter and pinch-hitting Jorge Posada struck out to end the game.

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