- Andy Pettitte's return from a rain delay:
Of course there are differences between the two circumstances; Pettitte is a veteran who should be allowed to have a strong say as to whether or not he's fit to go back out to the mound after a delay; Johnson was a rookie who shouldn't have had any say at all in whether or not he returned to the game. Girardi's been blamed by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria for the injuries incurred by their young pitchers, so it would be natural for him to be reluctant to take the risk of returning a pitcher----any pitcher----to the mound after any kind of delay, but it showed Girardi's fortitude and was a good sign in his managerial future that he didn't let the Johnson incident cloud his decision and sent Pettitte back out there. There's still no evidence that Girardi's handling of Johnson in that one incident precipitated the injury one way or the other, but most managers would have figured it was better to shield themselves from criticism by removing the pitcher. It's a good attribute for a manager to have when he does what he feels is necessary rather than what's safe in the eyes of the media.
- Why do they play the Superman theme song when Fernando Tatis comes to bat?
- Carlos Delgado and Darrell Rasner:
Darrell Rasner received great credit when he arrived from the minor leagues and had a series of solid starts rescuing an injured and beleaguered pitching staff, but he's also shown that he's more of a journeyman than a legitimate starter for a team that has designs on contending for a championship. His fastball is eminently hittable and he occasionally loses command; for a pitcher with such limited stuff, Rasner has to be perfect or hope that the Yankees score a bunch of runs; when that doesn't happen, he's vulnerable.
The Rasner situation reminds me of when Jon Lieber was pitching for the Yankees against the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS and had pitched brilliantly in game 2 outdueling Pedro Martinez. All we heard was how Lieber worked fast, pounded the strike zone and challenged the hitters; the accolades lasted until game six when Lieber gave up four runs in 7.1 innings and was outpitched by Curt Schilling as the Red Sox tied the series. With pitchers who don't have dominating stuff, their results depend on many factors including the umpire's strike zone; whether they're able to get their breaking balls over or have enough movement on their fastball to prevent it getting hit into space like Delgado's crushed shot off of Rasner. He's a fifth starter at best and the Yankees need to beef up their pitching if they're even going to make the playoffs because if they don't hit with guys like Ranser on the mound, they don't win.
- Oliver Perez turns another corner, or does he? Or maybe he doesn't; or maybe he does; maybe...maybe not?
The departure of Rick Peterson and his constant harassment of Perez and harping on little details ad nauseam probably helped the pitcher feel less claustrophobic while working, but that doesn't have anything to do with five days from now. More than any other pitcher, Perez is truly a guy who's a variable from one start to the next.
- Jose Reyes throws a tantrum when Carlos Delgado drops his throw: