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April 7, 2006

The Unassailable Derek Jeter
by SG

As I stayed up rwatching the Yankees blow their second consecutive game to Oakland that they could have or should have won, the one thing that sticks in my mind more than the result of the game was the infuriating Michael Kay and his idiotic comment when Derek Jeter fielded a tailor-made double play ball off his forehead and ended up costing Chien-Ming Wang 3 runs and his rhythm.

"You can't pin it all on Jeter. Wang did not pick up his teammate."

I'm tired of Jeter being above criticism. Like Joe Torre, who blew the game yesterday by saving Mariano Rivera's arm to pitch with a lead that never came, certain people in the Yankee organization are immune to second-guessing, while others have every little thing they do criticized. At this point, I've tuned out the media and their bleating about the Yankee payroll and about how the current Yankee team doesn't have the heart or chemistry or whatever they supposedly need to get back to winning World Series. Unfortunately, it's bleeding into the coverage of the games, and it makes it impossible to watch and listen at times.

I'm not so upset about the loss. While Chien-Ming Wang wasn't great, he looked decent until the Jeter error, throwing 91-94 and inducing weak contact. If he does not miss bats, he will be a victim to his teammates' poor range and bad hands/arms at times. Jaret Wright provided two solid innings of relief before losing it in his third inning, which gives some hope that he could be useful in spots in relief.

I'm still having trouble acceping Johnny Damon in a Yankee uniform. And it also looks like Andy Phillips is going to basically play Jason Giambi's late inning caddy, which is stupid for two reasons.

1) Phillips is probably a better hitter than Bernie right now
2) Removing Giambi's bat from close games is probably far more risky than allowing him to play defense.

I did not expect anything more than a 3-3 start to the season, and I'm still hopeful they can get there by taking two of three in Anaheim.

I do hate staying up for West Coast games when they lose though.