Rangers-Giants Game 1: Easing Into Life Without The Yankees

It was weird at first. I turned on the game because some baseball is better than no baseball. Well, and because I’ve jumped on the Giants’ bandwagon for this series, as I’ve said. But there were reminders of the Yankees everywhere, and I found myself grief-stricken all over again. 
* Seeing Dave “Rags” Righetti made me remember his no-hitter. Why can’t he be our new pitching coach?
* Seeing Roberto Kelly made me remember when he was traded for Paul O’Neill. Why wasn’t I watching Paulie on the YES Network instead of Joe Buck on Fox?
* Seeing Tony Bennett sing “God Bless America” reminded me of Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York.” Why wasn’t this game at the Stadium instead of AT&T Park?
* Seeing Cliff Lee walk a guy, hit a guy and give up seven runs made me wonder if Brian Cashman will offer him less money now. Maybe we can get a discount for damaged goods?
* Seeing Vlad Guerrero fumble around in right field gave me fond memories of Marcus Thames. Will the Yankees bring Thames back?
* Seeing Tim Lincecum settle down after a tricky first few innings made me think of how CC does that. Did the big man’s bum knee affect his postseason performance?
* Seeing Josh Hamilton made me wonder why the media insists on comparing him to Mickey Mantle. Doesn’t it take a few years to become a legend?
* Seeing Elvis Andrus made me think of how Derek Jeter was his idol growing up. Will the Yankees and Jeter come to terms on a new contract quickly or will it be more complicated?
I could go on, but how about the game itself? Raise your hand if you predicted that the team that manhandled us would get manhandled. Baseball is a cool sport, even when your guys aren’t playing it.

23 Comments

Dear Jane. I really enjoyed the game; I’m fond of the giants because of they NY origins. I’m happy to see that Cliff Lee is after all human, I’m happy for the Giants because they are a great team. After the initial shock of not seeing our guys in the field, I really enjoyed the game. I was wondering some of the things you said. But it’s baseball after all. Taking away the drama when the Yankees play, it was a great game. I’m happy to announce that your book has shipped from Amazon and will be here as soon my friend comes (early December).

Yeah, I can’t help but think of the Yankees while watching other teams play. When I was a kid, all I knew were the Yankees. It was as if baseball was the Yankees and all the other teams existed only to play against them. It was truly a Yankee Universe in my mind. Obviously I came to understand things better as I got older, but watching big games like this sometimes brings me back to those days and just makes it odd to watch. Not just a World Series with no Yankees, but baseball with no Yankees?! Wha-?!

I did manage to watch the game last night. I wasn’t going to let Cablevision and Fox keep battling on like the gods of Olympus that they are, forcing all us mere ‘mortals’ down below to scurry around like scared children while tempests and earthquakes cause havoc across the land and not do anything about it! While others will continue cursing the ‘gods’, I went ahead and bought the Postseason.TV option from MLB. Then with a little HDMI connection from the laptop to my HD TV and BOOM! World Series on TV!

The Fox announcers were synced up with the action and I had up to four different views of the action. You don’t get to watch it like the Fox telecast, so you miss out on replays and stat graphics, but you can rewind the action yourself if you download a plugin. And at times all the views weren’t totally synced up, but it was workable. Different, but workable. And I guess beggars really can’t be choosers, can they?

Really funny how that game played out. Here I thought the light hitting Giants would have to scratch and claw for every single run, and Lincecum would have to pitch outstanding to match Lee’s performance. What a shocker! They knocked Cliff Lee around and sent him on his way. Light hitting? These are Giants! Always funny how guys like Lee get smacked around by a team like the Giants and are so dominant against big hitting teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. But I guess they’ve gotta get losses somehow…

To the Yankees’ former older brothers : keep it rollin’

http://yankeecase.mlblogs.com/

*Raising my hand*. (For one game anyway.)
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

I’m going to channel John Sterling here: You just can’t predict baseball.

Lincecum vs. Lee? A low scoring pitchers duel, right? HA!

Isn’t it funny how everyone gets all worked up about pitchers pitching on short rest, when it seems like long rest may have more of an impact?

When the Giants began pounding Lee my husband said “Why couldn’t the Yankees do that?” Why indeed!

I guess the Rangers thought they could put Vlad in right field because Lee would be so dominant, he wouldn’t get any chances. WRONG! Poor guy looked like a little leaguer out there. And Kinsler made that one catch that he ran so far while Vlad sort of staggered over.

You all know I really wanted the Yankees there, but I have to say it’s fun watching without all the tension and my heart about to explode out of my chest.

As I watched the game, an old folk song came to mind. Here’s my silly song for today, with apologies to David Bromberg.

Old Cliff Lee went down to the stadium
Just about the end of day
There he met the SF Giants
And they began to play.
Now Old Cliff Lee was a good ol’ boy
But he learned just a little too late
The SF Giants could hit that ball
While standing at the plate

Talking ’bout
Clifford Lee
Coming round the bend
And he ain’t doing nothing
To get out any of the men
He’s long and he’s tall
and he’s got a beard on his face
And he let many of the Giants
end up on second base

Melissa

I hear ya, Jane. It’s like losing a loved one… everything reminds you of him/her. My team (lady) has been out since September and I’m still not over it.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Melissa, I’m a great fan of your songs. I’m sure it will worth the wait Jane, I’m dying to read it. I couldn’t predict the outcome of the game, but I was hoping to see the humanity of Lee to appear during the game. I hope this brings everybody to the earth regarding him. And about the entire Harassed-baseball player-wife episode, I’m glad it will be canceled after one airing.

I enjoyed the game too, James, although I have to admit my attention wandered in a way it doesn’t when I watch the Yanks. While I’m rooting for the Giants too, the whole thing doesn’t have the same sense of urgency for me. Maybe that’ll change when we get deeper into the series. YAY about the book! I hope it’ll be worth the wait.

I was the same way as a kid, YankeeCase. I knew the Yankees and whichever teams they were playing and that was it. Very enterprising of you to arrange for a substitute for Fox and watch the game! I’m so glad you didn’t let the stupid cable battle ruin your fun. And if the audio and video were in sync, so much the better. Sometimes there can be an annoying delay. I don’t think anybody could have predicted how the game would go. Buck and McCarver kept saying how wrong their analysis was. But that’s one of the things we love about baseball. Anything can happen on any given day.

My hand is raised too, Paul. I wonder what tonight will bring. Maybe a no-hitter by C.J. Wilson?

I totally agree about the long rest issue, Melissa. It seems to be much more of a problem for pitchers and yet it gets less attention. Weird. The Rangers put Vlad in right because they had no choice since there was no DH. He may not get to the ball but he still has a cannon of an arm. And I hear you on being able to watch without having a heart attack. There was something to be said for that. LOVE your song!!!!!!

That’s exactly what it felt like, Jeff – just like after a breakup when you can’t go anyplace without seeing reminders of the one that got away. SOB.

I guess the pitchers having to hit and NL having the home-field advantage will have an affect. Still don’t have Fox but for me the baseball season is still over until 2011 – obviously I’ll check in on the results but that’s it. Anyone who has lost Fox through Cablevision can get mlb post-season coverage and Cablevision will reimburse you. Just thought I’d throw that in if anyone didn’t hear about it.

Melissa, you are really getting good with your lyrics – come on, Dave – you’ve got to pitch in too.

You’re right, Jane. It’s impossible to watch a baseball game, particularly a W.S. game, and NOT think of the Yankees. It’s just too sad for me – I can’t do it.

I too wasn’t going to get discouraged by the News Corp/Cablevision dispute so I was watching the game via a live online stream after getting to watch a bit of the first couple innings at Mo’s last night when I went there for dinner. The quality of the stream was pretty bad but it was better than nothing. I threw any morality issues out the window after seeing how News Corp doesn’t care about the customers for not accepting binding arbitration. Although I’ll try to convince my father that it would be worth purchasing Postseason.Tv since Cablevision will reimburse his $10 back. Plus, the stream unfortunately eventually got taken down due to copyright issues but not until the end of the 8th so it was okay. Lincecum vs Lee certainly wasn’t the pitcher’s duel it was billed to be but the slugfest was certainly fun to watch. Sanchez certainly proved why he was a former batting champion.
Leo

Well…what a surprise!
Clearly, NOBODY saw this coming…or if they did, as Aubrey Huff said later, they’d have made a million in Vegas. Many Yankee thoughts & images do haunt — maybe ‘cuz it’s close to Halloween — but I thought, “what if it wasn’t the 8-day layoff? What if Lee was just due for a stinker — and it COULD have been in GAME 7 of the LCS??” Oh, well.
As empty as it may have felt to have no Yanks, it was just great to see those “GIANTS” uniforms, and know that they were once New York, and that they still have living fans (but how cruel for NY Giant fans in NY to have no TV…hope all those older-than-me geezers found SOME outlet!!). And to see them take all that Dallas attitude and pound it back into them, at least for one nite…but scary to think that the Rangers STILL got 7 runs and 11 hits…never a night off…
This Giants team does give you some stirring feelings, like the ’69 Mets once did, if you cared…I was in college then, with a lot of arrogant Oriole fans that just laughed at the Mets…so I took up the New York banner…and now, you just hope that S.F. can find some way to scratch out three more against that Dallas slugging machine.
Learned a few new things: WHO KNEW that Freddy Sanchez, the Double Clubber, was a former NL batting champ — and with the PIRATES?!? Maybe you knew that if Lee had won yet again, he’d have tied El Duque for the most consecutive postseason W’s without a loss (phew; one Yankee record saved). Loved this comment in the press: “Instead of expert Cys, there were exasperated sighs on both sides” — that’s Jane Heller-quality writing!!
Now that my worst fears of a Dallas sweep and a first-game Lee no-hitter have been blown away, there’s reason for a bit o’hope. And with the BRILLIANT lyric-writing skills of Miz Melissa — thanx so much AGAIN — who KNOWS where this can go?!?

Thanks for making Lee tired!

You make an excellent point, Dave. Amid all the hoopla surrounding the Giants’ pounding of Lee, the Rangers still managed to score seven runs! Their offense is formidable, to say the least. I didn’t know Freddy Sanchez was a former batting champ, so thanks for that. I did know about El Duque’s record and am glad it wasn’t broken. So there won’t be a Rangers sweep and tonight may very well get rained out. That’s about all we know for sure in this series.

I don’t think Lee was tired, kaiser. I think he was too rested.

Some “pitcher’s duel” that turned out to be, huh? I guess Cliff Lee was finally due to throw a stinker. Too bad for you he couldn’t have done it during the ALCS! I have absolutely no rooting interests in this series, and in fact didn’t even watch any of last night’s game. Though if pressed I would probably go with the Rangers, if only because I do NOT like Cody Ross.
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

I like that aspect of the WS, Diane – that the pitchers have to hit and the DH has to field. It adds a little spice to the proceedings, since we don’t have Yankees to cheer on. I do understand your reluctance to watch without them in it. I’m just not ready to concede that winter is coming!

Sounds like the Postseason TV is a good deal, Leo, since they’re reimbursing people. I hope your father sees the light. :) Nope, it sure wasn’t a pitcher’s duel, but I enjoyed seeing Lee be human for a change.

Yeah, I think Lee was due for a stinker, Sue. Nobody’s perfect, not even him! It’s funny how Phillies fans are mad at the Giants and Yankees fans are mad at the Rangers. Nobody likes to get beaten!

Okay, ladies, here’s a quik-blog update on what’s REALLY important about this Series…(no, just kidding)…
According to Cosmo (as quoted by The Sporting News — how ELSE would I know?), there are “8 Hot Reasons To Watch The World Series,” knowhutImean, girls…should be some good stuff for tomorrow’s blog-debates, She-Fan… and they are, allegedly, the following:

GIANTS RANGERS
Pat Burrell Elvis Andrus
Travis Ishikawa Ian Kinsler
Freddy Sanchez C.J. Wilson
Jonathan Sanchez Michael Young

Being totally unqualified to comment, I leave ‘em to you…!

Leave it to Cosmo to come up with that list, Dave. (Are you sure you weren’t reading the magazine? That line about the Sporting News is a good cover, but….) Anyhow, if I had to pick a hot guy from the ones mentioned, I’d go with Michael Young, even though he drives me crazy with his 25-pitch at bats!

I know just what you mean, Melissa. At this stage of my life the word “hot” is just synonymous with: “He’s cute the way a son would be cute.” lol. That said, Elvis’ hair reminds me too much of Pedro Martinez’s.

Jane,
Poor Vlad the Mad just seemed like a lost child out in the field last night. You know that one staring down at the bumblebee sitting on the flower in the uncut grass of the outfield as a ball screams just feet from him.
But he actually reminded me of an old Yankee baseball pal, Raul Mondesi, but Vlad never came over during a pitching change to flirt with the female security guards to steal a few french fries.
Seriously, maybe it was jusat those first time jitter having never been to the “Big Dance”. Nolan Ryan was about some of their ages when he first went with the Mets in 2969. Wonder if a few uncensored Ryan-isms flowed into the Rangers clubhouse after that game….Guess we will find out in a few hours!

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Nothing makes you feel older than a list of baseball players who are “hot” who are mostly around the same age as your kids. I think Elvis is adorable and love his hair, but he is just too young for me to think he’s “hot.”

I knew I was getting old when the coaches were my age. Now I’m older than some of them.

Melissa

Jane: I had a feeling the Giants were going to win, but I didn’t think it would be in that fashion! Haha who says they can’t score runs? They are an amazing team and I said it from the beginning of the postseason: if my Yanks lose, I think San Francisco will win.
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

I hope we didn’t see their entire offensive output, Virginia. They need to save a few runs for tonight!

Vlad the Mad. You crack me up, Renegade. Now Raul Modesi is a name from the past. Haven’t thought about him in awhile. Like Vlad, he had a good arm out there. He could ht too. He just seemed to have his mind on other things at times.

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