Now that I'm unemployed, I'm spending way too much time at home watching TV. Particularly the MLB Network. I've become addicted to that thing. And yesterday, with the Astros having a day game against the Pirates on Fox, and there being an afternoon game on the MLB Network, I was in kind of a weird baseball nirvana.
But I took notes, so I'll share with you some of the things I learned.
1. The New York Yankees have a new stadium. I don't know how I missed knowing that, but it's the biggest, most important thing to happen to baseball. EVER.
2. Babe Ruth hit the first ever home run at the original Yankee Stadium. Again, I'm surprised I didn't know that. But Bob Costas repeated that about every two or three pitches or so, so I've got it memorized now.
3. The first home run at the new Yankee Stadium was hit by some guy named Jose Posada. Once again, I didn't know that there was a Jose Posada on the Yankees, but if Bob Costas says so, it must be true.
4. Kaz Matsui is still out of the Houston Astros lineup. Apparently, he has a sore lower back. And I thought Matsui was the paragon of health.
5. Jeff Keppinger, the mediocre middle infielder the Astros traded for out of desperation when Aaron Boone was lost for the season to open heart surgery, had to leave the game early. He was playing at second base in place of Kaz Matsui. Keppinger left the game early because of a sore back.
6. Russ Ortiz's start for the Astros yesterday was his first since August 20, 2007. You would think he would be fresh and ready to pitch a lot of innings. He left after throwing 99 pitches. No. He wasn't injured, and the Pirates weren't doing any damage to him.
7. Cecil Cooper must think that the pitch count establishes a mandatory number of pitches over which a pitcher cannot pitch. Otherwise, it made no sense to pull Ortiz so early when the bullpen has already, this young season, been overworked and has become short of pitchers.
8. Here's a nice fact to remember and to use in the future to rub in the face of an obnoxious Yankee fan. The first grand slam in Yankee Stadium? It was hit by Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians.
9. The Yankees middle relief looks to be as about mediocre as the Astros starting rotation.
10. I'm not sure about this, but I think this Yankee Stadium place is new.
11. Cecil Cooper was short of relief pitchers because his closer, Jose Valverde, has a sore back and is day-to-day.
12. You know, maybe the Astros ought to consider getting some new trainers or putting the players on a new workout routine, because they sure seem to hurt their backs a lot.
13. I get it. I get it. Yankee Stadium is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and we must all bow before it.
14. The winner of the first game in the new Yankee Stadium: The Cleveland Indians 10-2. Suck on that, Yankee fan.
15. The Astros announced after the game that the player to be named later in the trade for the injured Jeff Keppinger was Drew Sutton. Drew Sutton just happened to be one of the team's few decent-looking minor league prospects. Oh, and he's a second baseman. He would have been kind of useful to have around now, considering that all of the other Astros second basemen are listed as day-to-day with back injuries.
16. According to the MLB Network's Baseball Tonight-type nightly wrap up show, the only game played on Thursday was the Yankees versus the Indians.
17. Hey, the Astros beat the Pirates 6-3. They're no longer in last place.
18. The Astros are 3-6 for the season. They're now tied for last place.
19. Because of the injury to Brian Moehler, the Astros have a spot open in the rotation for Sunday afternoon. And seeing as how the Astros have this thing for injury-prone pitchers who haven't pitched in a couple of years, why not give Mark Prior a call?
20. Wow, what do you know? Jose Lima is still pitching. Maybe the Astros should give him a call. Then again, seeing as how the Yankees lost games this week by scores of 15-5 and 10-2, maybe they should give Mr. Lima a call.
21. What? Yogi Berra used to play baseball for the New York Yankees? I thought he was just this annoying old guy who did commercials with a talking duck.
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22. It took him nine games, but Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche finally got his first hit of the season yesterday. Speaking of infielders who can't hit, whatever happened to Adam Everett?
23. Pudge Rodriguez is only hitting .194. Maybe he should see about getting some B-12 shots from Miguel Tejada.
24. You know, seeing all of these injured second basemen for the Astros kind of makes me long for Mark Loretta. I don't remember Loretta ever having a back injury while he was with the Astros.
25. And just because Bob Costas pissed me off with his Yankee worship yesterday, I end with this: Yankees suck!