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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Jeter (Derek)”


In the last game of the 2014 season Derek Jeter played shortstop for the New York Yankees for the final time. In the third inning he faced off against Clay Buchholz with one out and Ichiro Suzuki at third base. He watched two fastballs over the plate, a strike and a ball respectively. Jeter fouled off a cutter but then tapped the ball towards third base for an infield single. And mercifully that was the last cheap hit and run batted in we will ever see off Jeter’s bat. Jeter, not Joe Girardi, decided when he would leave the field. Jeter’s retirement was just the start of the changes to these lineups. Ben Cherington had Red Sox fans celebrating Thanksgiving early when he announced that he had signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez on November 25, 2014. With the addition of a pair of powerful bats Yoenis Cespedes became a fungible asset. The signings didn’t impress Jon Lester enough to lure him back to the Red Sox. On December 10 Lester announced he signed with the Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox began cobbling back together a starting rotation the next day by signing back Justin Masterson and trading Cespedes, Alex...

Enemy Mine

It was an evening to embrace one’s nemesis. The fans at Fenway chanted for Derek Jeter even though he had the evening off. Jeter played his last game as a shortstop on Thursday, a night where he sparked a storybook ending at Yankee Stadium. But he will make an appearance as designated hitter at Fenway because he acknowledges the importance of the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry. And so pinstripe devotees and carmine hose followers alike feted Jeter. Your browser does not support iframes. Dan Butler tried to make peace with Steve Wright’s knuckleball but the backstop had a trying game behind the plate. He allowed two passed balls, and they were the only passed balls he has tallied as a major leaguer. Joe Girardi took advantage of his manager’s challenge in the first inning. Yoenis Cespedes was called safe when he stretched a single Chris Young into a double. Replays showed that there was a split-second in time where Cespedes wasn’t touching the keystone sack and Jose Pirela had kept the tag applied. I even softened my stance against Yankee fans and their grammatical errors. Game 160: September 26, 2014 New York Yankees83-77 3 W: Chris Capuano (3-4)H: Shawn Kelley (12),...


Carlos Beltran has seen the weirdest things in his at bats. He had the bat in his hands when Kolten Wong was picked off of first base to end Game 4 of the 2013 World Series. He had taken ball from Anthony Ranaudo when Christian Vazquez popped up to catch Brett Gardner stuck between first and second. Your browser does not support iframes. Gardner tried to draw out the rundown so that Derek Jeter could presumably steal home (as if this were possible these days). Jemile Weeks saw that Jeter strayed too far from third base and pivoted away from the Gardner imbroglio to get the ball to Brock Holt, who tagged Jeter. The split second Holt secured third and he turned his attention back to Gardner. Gardner’s speed couldn’t save him from Allen Craig’s tag. To me the “2” the Yankees are wearing to honor Jeter isn’t for the retiring shortstop but for that amazing, improbable double play. It also is representative of the intelligence quotient of someone who continues to allow Jeter to bat in the two-hole. Despite being a rookie Vazquez has a commanding presence behind the plate. He handles his fellow rookies well and isn’t shy...

Team Building

If Yoenis Cespedes will be playing left field longterm someone needs to sit down with him and show him where Manny Ramirez and Jonny Gomes positioned themselves. Ramirez might have played a bit too shallow; Cespedes could probably cheat closer to the wall with his superior fielding speed. But if he sets up in right field, which would showcase his cannon arm, he’d need a workshop with Shane Victorino. Victorino would have to figure out if he would undergo season-ending back surgery, however, before rejoining the team. Cespedes lined a single to left field in his first at bat as a Red Sox player. In the fifth inning he came up with one down, two men on base, and the score 5-3 in the Yankees’ favor. A home run would have put his new team ahead but Cespedes flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury. Joe Kelly found out about being sent to Boston along with Allen Craig for John Lackey via Twitter. Kelly had been chatting with A.J. Pierzynski about it; I guess the catcher isn’t ignoring his teammates and looking at his phone in the clubhouse now that he’s on a contending team. Speaking of Pierzynski, this game lasted four...

Neck Tar of the Gods

Signs maligning Jacoby Ellsbury were replaced with jests at Michael Pineda’s expense. On April 10 in Yankee Stadium Pineda had a splotch of pine tar on his wrist. One would think that such an incident would stop future violations of Rule 8.02. After a poor first inning Pineda’s pine tar appeared on his neck. Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley, Jr. flied out for the first two outs of the second when John Farrell halted the proceedings. After conversing with Farrell Gerry Davis inspected Pineda and quickly found the offending foreign substance. Pineda was ejected on the spot and a 10-day suspension was issued today. The starter will not appeal the ruling. Joe Girardi fiddled with the ESPN camera mounted in the Yankees dugout because it followed Pineda down the tunnel to the visitors clubhouse. This isn’t like the National Security Agency using the Heartbleed bug to spy on people. No one, including the disgraced pitcher, has any expectation of privacy in the tunnel. Derek Jeter wished camera weren’t recording a few of his moments on the field last night. This mishandling of A.J. Pierzynski’s batted ball in the first inning won’t make it to the retirement tour commemorative video. This...

Short Circuit

Xander Bogaerts clouted his first home as major leaguer in the top of the fifth. He drove in his fellow rookie Jackie Bradley, Jr., who had reached on an eight-pitch base on balls. Both these players were born in the early 1990s. This Red Sox team has such great affection between players that they didn’t give Bogaerts the silent treatment on his home run. I hope that Ryan Dempster taught him how to call Yankee Stadium the Toilet, so that Bogaerts could ask in his native tongue Papiemento, “Unda e baño ta?” Tim McCarver was disgusted by the Red Sox players’ beard-pulling. He commented on Boston’s scruffy appearance and how it contrasted with the Yankees’ clean-shaven look. I like comparing 87-57 to 75-67. On the other side of the ball the Yankees started Derek Jeter at shortstop and had him batting in the two hole. The Yankee captain could barely field his position and his .190/.288/.254 certainly does not warrant a slot so high in the lineup. He had a CT scan of his left ankle but the results were negative. Just like the results on the field. It used to be Red Sox fans that envied the young talents...

The Muddy Chicken Laser Show

Dustin Pedroia celebrated his 29th birthday with a three-run blast to left field to give his team a one-run lead in the third. It was Pedroia’s 10th home run this season, making it five years in a row that he has reached double-digit homers. But the Yankees batters proved too formidable and their relievers too wily for the lead to last. Coincidentally Derek Jeter clouted his 10th home run this season in this game. As the Red Sox work through this low point in their franchise’s history it is telling to compare the transition between Joe Torre and Joe Girardi to that of Terry Francona to Bobby Valentine. Girardi’s first year had the Yankees finished out of the playoffs in third place in the AL East. They rebounded the very next season to win their 27th world championship. As easy as it is dislike Jeter, he truly is an anchor to this team. Sometimes it’s an anchor pulling down run production, but I digress. How Jeter captained his team through its highs and lows is admirable. Rather than pining after his father figure Pedroia would have done better to emulate his rival’s example of leadership. Game 120: August 17, 2012...

Wake Me Up When September Ends

As annoying as the sound clip after the home team scores at Yankee Stadium is, it agitated me more that I didn’t know the origin of the song. I finally gloogled (Google + slog) enough permutations of the words yankee, score, run, and song without putting in the expletives I so dearly wanted to include. It turns out the tune is the Westminster Quarters, so named after the time-telling chimes of Houses of Parliament at Westminster. The sound booth at Stades Fascistes old and new didn’t use an actual recording of the bells but rather sampled 2 Unlimited’s song “Workaholic.” That maddening melody played in the second, third, and sixth innings. Any hopes of southpaw ace Jon Lester staunching the September exsanguination ended in the third inning when Derek Jeter poked a three-run homer to right to render the score 6-0. Jeter’s sixth home run of the season of course prompted Tim McCarver to mock the shortstop’s detractors. Never mind that Jeter is in the midst of his third-worst season in terms of OPS+ with a paltry 96, including his 1995 debut that featured only 48 at bats. Past Yankees may on occasion have those flashes of production upon which...


Game 121: August 21, 2009 Yankees20W: Andy Pettitte (10-6)77-45, 3 game winning streak Red Sox11L: Brad Penny (7-8)69-52, 1 game losing streak Highlights: I thought seeing the Fenway hawk in the pregame show was a good omen. It wasn’t, and Penny wasn’t lucky. I joined Citizens for Retiring the Penny; I hope Terry Francona and Theo Epstein follow. Everything that you need to know about this game: Jacoby Ellsbury tied Tommy Harper’s record of 54 steals in a season in a Red Sox uniform in the first inning. Notably it was against Andy Pettitte, who is known for having the best pickoff move in the game today. Jerry Remy returned to the booth. Getting married in Fenway during a game is a great idea in theory. In practice, you may end up having this momentous occasion at the same time as an atrocious game such as this. For some reason none of the Yankee batters are wearing imprints of baseball stitches on their torsos. The visiting hitters were allowed to abuse the Boston pitching staff with no repercussions. Even with his diminished velocity a pitcher like Pedro Martinez would have knocked back any Bronx Bomber that hung over his part...


Game 150: September 16, 2007 Yankees 4 W: Joba Chamberlain (2-0)S: Mariano Rivera (28) 85-64, 1 game winning streak26-20-2 series record Red Sox 3 L: Curt Schilling (8-8) 90-60, 1 game losing streak31-13-5 series recordMagic number: 9 Highlights: Tugi! Achute me Joba. Ji ama tuta Nebraska. Me jenki. Ma kilin na pich rupha. Hamporo dongol na di kato? Ma... patisa Jason pul... hampu. (Translation from Huttese to English: Greetings! I am Joba. I come from Nebraska. I am a pitcher. My head is too hot. Where is a nearby pharmacy? My... friend Jason needs... medicine.) Roger Clemens’s apprentices, past and present, were pivotal in the game. Clemens himself lumbered through six innings before turning over the reins to Joba Chamberlain, who let the home team back in the game. Curt Schilling lasted for seven and two-third innings; he was responsible for the game-tying and game-breaking home runs. Chamberlain is invoked as some sort of second coming of Jonathan Papelbon the way he is presented by the media. Papelbon has had four streaks with no earned runs scored against him of 14 games or more; Chamberlain’s streak ended last night at 12 games with 16 innings pitched. Mike Lowell blasted...


Game 46: May 23, 2007 Red Sox 3 L: Curt Schilling (4-2) 31-15, 1 game losing streak12-3-2 series record Yankees 8 W: Andy Pettitte (3-3) 21-24, 1 game winning streak5-9-2 series record Highlights: Kevin Youkilis extended his hit streak to 16 games in the second inning with his hard liner paralleling the left field line. He would be stranded there, however, a pervasive theme in series finale. Coco Crisp lofted his first four-bagger in the eighth off Kyle Farnsworth; it was of a towering height but short distance, plopping into the short porch in right. Curt Schilling, although old, was not his old self. He didn’t walk any batters as he did in his previous outing, but he had little command. The veteran northpaw was so out of sorts he was not able to deliver the requisite payback for Alex Rodriguez’s cheap play on Tuesday evening. Furthermore, C.B. Bucknor’s variable strike zone didn’t help matters. One of Bucknor’s listed hobbies is refinishing furniture. Prolonged exposure to stains and finishes may have addled his senses as there was no rhyme nor reason to judgments last night. In a 2003 survey of MLB players by Sports Illustrated, Bucknor was voted as...


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South End Grounds
Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library’s Sports Temples of Boston.


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