No, I am not referring to last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, but today’s annual Boston-New York media game.
I’m proud to say it was a highly competitive game. We took a 4-2 loss on the fabled lawn of Yankee Stadium, but we’re in it the whole way. In fact, we were winning 2-1 entering the bottom of the fifth and wound up out-hitting our New York brethren, 7-3.
Unlike last year’s debaccle, when we made 10 errors in a 15-0 loss, there was just one error in this one and it didn’t lead to any runs.
Let me first say that if I had an MVP award today, it would go to Mike Salk of 890 AM in Boston. Mike hit the ball hard in all 3 plate appearances and had two hits to show for it. He also took an extra base on a throw back to the infield, which wound up enabling him to score on a sac fly. Mike has a disability with his left hand, so he does the Jim Abbott thing with his glove in the outfield. He really has it down pat, switching the glove over and throwing the ball quickly back to the infield.
It’s inspirational to see that kind of thing. A lot of people in his position wouldn’t want to play in a game like this, but Mike not only played ,but played probably better than anyone on our team today.
If I had a second star, it would be a tie between our two pitchers, — Bill Kulik of the Spanish Baseball Network and Rob Bradford of the Herald. The game was at a very sensitive point as Bradford, who did an excellent job in a starting role, got into a nasty jam in the bottom of the fifth. I believe Kulik inherited a bases loaded, nobody out jam and really minimized the damage. We could have gotten crushed that inning, and he kept the game manageable.
Other players who really deserve mention: Mike Petraglia, our always able catcher, who shrugged off two borderline called strikeouts and got a hit and his third at-bat, and per usual, did a great job behind the dish. Ken Powtak, a free-lancer from the Associated Press. He’s been battling immense pain in his back and probably shouldn’t have played. But he did, starting at third base and playing well on both sides of the ball. Uri Berenguer, Boston’s radio broadcaster on the Spanish network, played a strong game also, morphing into Roberto Alomar at second base. We should hardly mention when he was caught stealing third during a pivotal rally, but sometimes you need to take a chance if you want to win.
At that point, New York had relieved starter Tyler Kepner (NY Times) with their most dominant pitcher, Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record. Klapisch has been known to pitch in semi-pro leagues and has a fastball that has, at least in the past, has touched 80. I didn’t get any fresh radar gun readings today. He also has a nasty slider. Klapisch got Tyler out of trouble and came through with the save.
From a personal standpoint, I played OK. I hit a soft grounder to third against Kepner in my first at-bat, but the always nimble Jack Curry made a nice play. In my second AB, it started bad as a the first pitch — which was a foot outside — was called a strike. I have to admit I wasn’t mentally right for the rest of that at-bat. But in my final AB, leading off the last inning, the first thing I did was tell the umpire he called a great game. I was trying to play the psychology game. First pitch was over the outside corner for a called strike. Second pitch, I belted straight back for a foul. Third pitch was right on the black and the umpire literally had his right hand poised, but then held it back. The catcher said, "You owed him one from last at-bat." Next pitch was a ball low. Then, on 2-2, I got pretty good aluminum on the ball, but right at second base, and I was thrown out by a couple of steps. Oh well.
I played the whole game in right field and only one ball was hit to me. I didn’t get a very good jump on it, and it was an RBI double over my head. I must say it’s not easy to judge a flyball when you play two baseball games a year.
But all in all, a fun day of baseball. I think the only right way to top it off is to get some Sushi at my favorite Japanese restaurant in New York, Raku on 47th Street.
More from the Stadium later.