Say what you will, it was a win…
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A night after losing 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays in a game that probably could have been won if a clutch hitter like Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui or Jerry Hairston, Jr. were on the roster, the Yankees returned to their winning ways with a 11-5 victory over the Jays. It was another solid fill-in performance by Dustin Moseley. He was only responsible for 2 of the runs, as the remainder were charged against Chad Gaudin. Moseley has definitely stepped up in a big way during the absence of Andy Pettitte. After fretting what life would be like with Sergio Mitre after Andy went on the DL, manager Joe Girardi quickly reversed course and went with Moseley, a decision that has proven to be very fruitful. Moseley is not the front-end starter you want in the play-offs, but for a team trying to battle its way to the AL East Championship, he has been exactly what the doctor ordered.
After losing to the Jays last night, the Yankees found themselves in a first place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays who defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Mention has to go to Rays closer Rafael Soriano who threw a 9-pitch 9th inning that resulted in 3 strikeouts. It was quite an impressive feat. Why did the Atlanta Braves let Soriano get away again?…
Johnny Damon has apparently invoked his no-trade clause to stay in Detroit after being claimed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox. All things considered, I am glad that Johnny opted to leave his Yankees legacy intact. Damon was clearly one of the primary players responsible for the fall of the Curse of the Bambino as the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, however, he was later able to cut the cords with the Red Sox after failed contract negotiations (or lack thereof) to sign with the Yankees where he ultimately won another championship. Had he returned to Boston, he would have tarnished his Yankees legacy and turned the Yankees Universe against him. David Cone was one of my favorite Yankees, but I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for going to Boston. I would have hated to see Johnny return to Boston. When I broached the possibility to my Red Sox friends, I received responses like “ugh!”, “ick!”, and “no!”. While Jason Varitek and David Ortiz may have welcomed Johnny back, I am not sure that he would have been embraced by the RSN. Perhaps he would have, but did the Red Sox claim Damon because they truly wanted him or did they do it to block the Rays? As an aging player, I could have understood the player’s desire to play meaningful September games. However, for Johnny, there was so much at stake personally. He was a good Yankee, and hopefully, he’ll let that legacy stand on its own merits. No reason to ruin it by going back to Beantown. If the Yankees had just waited out Damon’s demands and brought him back to the Bronx, none of this would have been necessary. Who knows where he’ll play in 2011, but for now, I remain proud of Damon for standing by his principles and commitment.
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In an off-topic comment, I was dismayed to hear that Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice will miss at least half of the season following hip surgery. Given that the injury was suffered during the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, I am not quite sure why Rice waited until now to have surgery. He was the first true threat since the Vikings traded Randy Moss, so Brett Favre is definitely facing a challenge in what should be his final season. This morning, there were reports the Vikings were close to signing former Packers wide receiver Javon Walker who clashed with Favre at times during their days in Green Bay. With Percy Harvin’s on-going bouts with migraines, the best receiver at this point is probably Bernard Berrian which does not bode well for the Vikings and Favre.
Sports can be so brutal at times…