Subway Series: Part 1
For the “Subway Series” this weekend, I tapped fellow blogger Alex Belth of Bronx Banter to provide some perspective from “the other side”. As always, Alex provided LOTS of good stuff, so I’m breaking it up into several posts for you to read and comment on throughout the day.
Your stance on Joba Chamberlain’s emotional outbursts …
I don’t have any real problem with Chamberlain’s demonstrative nature, certainly not in the context of today’s game. Personally, I don’t really care for that kind of hotdogging, but it is the way things are in the Sports Center culture. You see guys spiking a football, doing a jig when their team is down by two touchdowns. In baseball, Manny Ramirez is only the most celebrated home plate poseur. At least he’s a great player. There are many lesser players who style it after they belt one (how many times has Soriano turned a triple into a double, a double into a single, admiring a long fly ball?). Pitchers like Joba give the ol’ fist pump and rebel yell after making a big out–dag, remember Uggie Urbina’s schtick? (Talk about where are they now, yikes!) And teams routinely celebrate a “walk off” win as if it were the 7th game of the World Series. Again, I’m not a fan of a lot of it. But that says more about me than it does about the way it is. Also, I’ve been horribly spoiled by Mariano Rivera, who is just one of the coolest killers you’re ever likely to see. I think much of the debate about Joba is overblown. He pitches in New York and has enjoyed an enormous amount of success and publicity in a very short time. So while I personally wince sometimes, I don’t think his celebrations are really out of line. Dag, remember Eck? That dude pointed at hitters. Now, that was tough to take. All that said, I was turned off by Chamberlain’s reaction to striking out Dave Dellucci last week. I think that was a selfish act on Joba’s part. It was all about Joba there, about gaining a measure of revenge after Dellucci had torched him for a game-winner a few days before. Heck, Dellucci is a solid major league hitter, but if Joba was a real bad ass he just would have struck him out and walked off the mound and not said boo. The sequence was impressive–four straight 97 mph fastballs on the outside corner and then a nasty slider to get him. In that instance, I think that Joba’s celebration detracted from his performance.
Hank Steinbrenner — is that really him making these nutty George-like quotes, or is it his dad losing his mind and speaking through him? Or has Hank watched “The Bronx Is Burning” too many times? If the Mets take two this weekend, will we hear from Hank on Monday?
I don’t mind Hank actually. Never thought I’d say this, having grown up in the 70s and 80s, but it was strange to see the Boss decline so quietly. I always found him to be an overbearing, obnoxious man, but then again, as a Yankee fan, I’d also grown accustomed to his bluster. So I like the continuity of Hank picking up where his old man left off. I figure he’ll continue to say plenty of cringe-worthy things before the year is out. But while he likes to shoot from the lip, he isn’t nearly the tryannt that his father was in his heyday. Maybe that’s why he’s more palatable. He’s just the bad cop to Hal’s good cop.
In the next installment, Alex gives us his thoughts on the “testy” Mets fans patrolling Shea lately … check back in a little while …