October 13, 2012
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera at home in Yankee Stadium
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
NEW YORK - They have looked old, tired and like yesterday’s news before.
But never have the New York Yankees looked this old, this tired and like a a year ago yesterday’s front page news.
Yankee fans watched in dismay as the Detroit TIgers took the lead in the 12th as right fielder Nick Swisher misplayed Delmon Young’s liner and in horror, one batter later, their captain Derek Jeter lunged for a ball, grimaced in pain and didn’t get up.
Jeter was carried off the field, unable to put weight on his left ankle, as fans chanted his name. Now, he is out for three months with a cracked ankle.
Andy Dirks singled in another run and the Detroit Tigers had a 6-4 win in the opener of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series in four hours and 54 minutes before 47,122 fans.
Aside from the three hits and four runs in the ninth, the Yanks put up 11 other zeros hitting .195 (8-for-41) the rest of the way.
For the Yanks it was their third extra-inning game in the last four and now turn to Hiroka Kurdoa on three days rest for game 2.
“It was kind of a flashback to when Mo (Mariano Rivera) didn’t get up,” said manager Joe Girardi. “Some people left us for dead when Mo was injured early this year.
“Derek would tell us to move on ... like Mo did.”
Late magic: Like former Yankee Aaron Boone, who hit a game-winning homer in the 11th off Boston Red Sox reliever Tim Wakefield in the 2003 ALCS, the 2012 Yankees rallied in the bottom of the ninth to force extras. Three Detroit Tigers put up eight zeros and then Tiger closer Jose Valverde gave up a pair of two-run homers, the second to Raul Ibanez which forced extras. Ibanez hit three home runs in his first 118 post-season at-bats with the Seattle Mariners, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Yankees ... And with the Tigers two strikes away from a win, Ibanez hit a game-tying, two-run, drive to right field. The 40-year-old has homered three times in his previous nine at-bats. He tied Game 3 against the Baltimore Orioles with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth and later won it with his second homer. Either the ghosts have possessed Ibanez’s bat or was it a sudden gust of wind blowing out to right?
Miggy in the Bronx: How many home runs would Miguel Cabrera have hit this season playing 81 games at Yankee Stadium. “Maybe 60,” said Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “But he didn’t play here this season.” No, but Cabrera was at Yankee Stadium for the opener of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series between the Tigers and the New York Yankees ... Cabrera hit one homer in three games in the Bronx this season batting .364 (4-for-11) with five RBIs. Cabrera has nine homers in 19 career games in the Bronx, hitting .391 (27-for-69) with 22 RBIs.
Tough to watch: It was torture to watch if you were one of the 45,966 Washington fans on hand at Nationals Park or in front of your TV as the St. Louis Cardinals scored four runs in the top of the ninth on Friday night. It wasn’t any easier for Dana Brown, Brian Parker, or Russ Bove, all former Nationals front office employees, now with the Blue Jays ... “We helped build that club,” said Brown. “Watching was painful.” Brown, the first person general manager Alex Anthopoulos hired as his special assistant, was the Montreal Expos/Nationals scouting director from 2002-09.
“Those guys you draft, they become like your kids, you want them to do well,” said Brown said, who watched the game in a Towson, Md. hotel room, screaming at the TV ... With the Cards down two, Carlos Beltran led off with a double against closer Drew Storen. Two outs later Storen issued back-to-back walks to Yadier Molina and David Freese loading the bases. David Descalso hit a two-run single barely out of the reach of shortstop Ian Desmond tying the score and Pete Kozma, the Cards’ Mike McCoy, hit a two-run single ... “I might have yelled ‘How can you swing at that pitch?’ a few times,” said Brown. “The check swing to Freese looked like strike three. I thought he went around.”
Brown drafts: With the Nats, Brown drafted Desmond in the third round of 2004 on Bove’s suggestion; third baseman Ryan Zimmerman as his first pick in 2005; Craig Stammen (12th), 2005, who worked in relief of Gio Gonzalez, obtained from the Oakland A’s for Nats farmhands Tommy Milone, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock; starters Ross Detwiler (first) and right-hander Jordan Zimmerman (second), 2007; second baseman Danny Espinosa (third), 2008; and in Brown’s final year first rounders Strasburg and Storen ... Add Tyler Moore a 16th rounder, Steve Lombardozzi, a 19th rounder both from 2008 and Brown and his staff had nine homegrowns on Nationals’ 25-man post-season roster, plus Milone and Norris with the A’s and of course the elephant in the clubhouse: Strasburg ... Would Brown have suggested shutting down Strasburg in early September after 159 1/3 innings as the Nationals did? “You have to take each pitcher on a case by case basis,” Brown said. “Depending upon the pitcher’s physicality, his frame and what the doctor said, I would have rolled with him. I don’t know if you win with him, but you certainly have a better chance.”
Signing: Burlington reliever Tom Boleska, who saved 29 games with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the independent American Association and pitched for Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic qualifier in Germany is back in affiliated ball. The Minnesota Twins signed Boleska. Gatineau’s Phillippe Aumont at triple-A Lehigh, later promoted to the Philadelphia Phillies and Calgary’s Jim Henderson, at triple-A Nashville, promoted to the Milwaukee Brewers, were next amongst Canadians in the minors with 15 apiece.
Headliner: The caption on the story reads “Farrell brushes off Boston speculation.” The words are from Farrell’s appearance on MLB Radio, you know the way Jimy Williams and Cito Gaston used to appear on out-of-town shows, “I’m the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, That’s where I’ve been the last two years. That’s where I currently am. This speculation started to rear its head again, oh, probably the final two months of the season.” ... No where does it say, “I have no interest in managing the Boston Red Sox.” No where does it say “I’m staying in Toronto no matter what Boston offers.” ... This is something Anthopoulous and his staff have to settle quickly -- either extend Farrell or trade him. How does a team have organizational meetings with someone in the room might wind up with a division rival? How do you attract free agents when the manager question remains hanging in the air like a Shane Lechler punt?