Ah, air conditioning.
As for the Yankees, they’re in the fiery furnaces of hell. They have scored four runs in their last 31 innings and have somehow managed to play 18 innings at Camden Yards with one extra-base hit.
Jeremy Guthrie and Erik Bedard are having good seasons but they’re not Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.
As for Roger Clemens, a 44-year-old pitcher got tired in the sixth inning of a game that was played in 97-degree heat. Frankly, when he gives the Yankees five shutout innings they need to give him something to work with. It’s hard for a pitcher to work on expanding the strike zone when every pitch can cost him the game.
“We’re not giving our pitchers any room,” Joe Torre said.
Asked what he’s seeing from his offense, Torre sighed. “Nothing,” he said.
Here’s the problem with the Yankees: Give me all the moves you would make with their offense. Jeter, Abreu, Cano, Rodriguez, Posada, Matsui and Damon are pretty much locked in given their salary and/or past performances.
You could play somebody else at first base but it’s unlikely to be a big improvement over Cairo. You want play Damon in center? Then who is the DH?
I’m not a big Shea Hillenbrand fan. But for three months, he’s worth the shot. He’s a gamer who will give you a decent batting average. If Mientkiewicz comes back, he’s more useful as a bench player than what they have now.
I would be surprised if Hillenbrand were not in pinstripes by the weekend. The Yankees can afford him and Anaheim will not demand a top-level prospect in return.
It’s too early to say the Yankees are finished. They’re down eight games in the wild card with three months and 87 games left. That’s making up one game every 10 days or so.
Here’s some Joe Torre audio: