** They have changed a rule in the BB Hall of Fame voting. Players now can only remain on the ballot for 10 years instead of 15. Sports writers who are unhappy about this say that it will adversely affect a number of players chances of being elected. I have no problem with the rule since, being a baseball purist, I think too many players who don't belong, already get elected. To me, the Hall is for premier, one-of-a-kind players, not the Hall of the "very good" players. But that's a subject for another posting.
** The baseball challenge rule has not eliminated arguments and ejections. Now managers are arguing over whether a play is on the 'okay-to-challenge' list, or if the challenge was issued on time. Plus, there is the farce of the manager strolling out to the umpire, stalling for time while his staff watches replays to determine if the challenge will succeed. It still needs tweaking, I guess.
** Fernando Rodney of the Mariners, fired another arrow in the air, this time after picking off a guy to end the game. He may think it's cute, but word is that opposing teams are losing patience with it.
Speaking of Rodney, did you know that there is a baseball rule that ALL uniforms must be consistent with the official team design. Remember the trouble David Wells got into when he wore an original Babe Ruth cap instead of the official Yankee cap? They should take this a step further and say that the uniforms must be worn properly. That way Rodney would have to wear his hat straight instead of sideways. It seems to get worse each year.
** Because of injuries, Brian McCann has been forced to play first base for the last few games. He's gotten away with it until yesterday, when he made a number of bad plays which probably cost the Yankees the game. Playing first base is not just about catching throws. First base is also about positioning and foot work and Brian needs a lot more training on the footwork.
** As Annie-O will attest, I disagreed completely with starting Capuano yesterday. He really wasn't stretched out and when he began to have problems in the fifth, you knew the bullpen would be finishing the game. That's 12 outs that had to come from the relievers. Everybody claims that Girardi is great at handling his bullpen, but I think he works himself into some problems and this was one of them.
** Apparently, this 17-game losing streak Toronto had at Yankee Stadium, caught the attention of a lot of people, because this was a major point in every story I saw or read about the game. Since their last win was one month short of being two years, I guess it was worth some interest, except, I suppose, to Toronto.
** It worked. After looking at an extreme shift early in the game, Chase Headley laid a perfect bunt down the third base line for "gimmie" hit. Next time up, the Jays stationed a player on the grass closer to third base, which eliminated the bunt, but would still make it easier to hit one by him to left field. If this happened more often, these extreme shifts would go away.
** This is much talk about shortening the length of baseball games again. Here's one easy suggestion that would definitely help: KEEP HITTERS IN THE BATTER'S BOX. Eliminate these constant delays to re-tighten the batting gloves and especially these strolls around the umpire and catcher just to get back in the box. That would go a long way to quicken the pace.
** "And the beat goes on." This is a daily feature in the NY Post: "This Day In Derek Jeter History."
Have we found enough ways to get him into the papers yet?
** Why can't people spell, especially media people? These people are trained to get their clients into the public eye, but when they misspell words, KEY words, they just look silly. The Colorado Rockies put out a T-Shirt, honoring their best player - Troy Tulowitzki. Great, except for the misspelling Troy's name (Tulowizki ). The people publishing the Texas Longhorn Media guide misspelled the name Texas over 200 times, writing Texsa. Shouldn't there be some people looking for a new career?
** Mark McGwire, who first wouldn't talk about his steroid use, then denied it and finally admitted it and begged for forgiveness, has refused to forgive former teammate Jose Canseco and his attempts at reconciliation for outing McGwire on his steroid use. Yeah, you're still classy, Mark.
***THEY SAID IT***
" A 105-year-old woman threw out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game. It had slightly more velocity than the All-Star game pitch Adam Wainwright threw Derek Jeter." -- Brad Dickson
"The first two games of the Angels/Mariners series took 16 innings and then 12 innings. Players showed up for the 3rd game with blankets, pillows and pajamas." -- TC Chong
"KFC Canada announced Wednesday that it will serve beer at its “KFC Fresh” concept store in Toronto: “Is this just a coincidence that the Red Sox are in town?" -- TC Chong
"A Yankee Stadium suite for Derek Jeter's final home game carrying a price tag of $244,000:
"Why the discount?" -- Bill Littlejohn