Friday, May 26, 2006

Captains, Royals, and the King of Kings

As I write this, the Yankees are stuck in a middle of the 9th rain delay, down by two runs. Maybe by the time I finish writing (and you finish reading) I'll have something to say about the outcome of the ballgame. In the meantime, I'd like to hit the ground running on some impressions of this contest between the Mighty Yankees and the Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League.

1. Derek Jeter picks up his 2000th (and 2001st) career hits in this game and becomes the eighth Yankee to accomplish the feat. He does it in his 1,571st game and 6,350th at-bat which is the 5th fastest total in history. If he continues to excel, he will become the first Yankee to top the 3000 hit mark at the age of roughly 37 in the 2011 season. Congrats Captain.

His average is now at .353 and this season is looking a lot like his best, as he may approach number similar to his 1999 campaign when he produced 219 hits, 24 home runs, 19 steals, and his only 100+ RBI season (102). Let the good times roll Captain! At this pace, he will contribute 120 runs, 120 RBIs, 217 hits, 41 2Bs, 17 HRs, and 28 SBs. Can you say MVP?

2. The Royals have been affectionately referred to as the Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League at Canyon of Heroes. That's actually their AAA affiliate, but somehow I see little difference between the two clubs....except that the KC version of the organization seems to love making the Yankee bullpen look like the Charelston Riverdogs. Why Torre insists on turning good arms into sausage is beyond me. Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth seem to appear everyday, and are showing the effects, while Ron Villone gets mop up duty and keeps the Yankees in the game. Why not bring him in following Mussina to save Proctor? Maybe he's so good that you can squeeze a couple of innings out of him and hand the ball directly to Mariano?

You'll know something is up if Joe retires in the next few years and "Torre's Famous Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwich" grill opens at the new stadium.

3. Finally, a personal favorite of mine passed away today at the age of 64. Desmond Dekker, reggae legend, was part of the reggae invasion of the mid-1960's that introduced millions of young Brits and Americans to the great Jamaican sound. Dekker came up working next to Bob Marley in a Kingston welding shop as a teenager, and it was Marley that introduced him to legendary producer Leslie "Mr." Kong. Kong and Dekker went on to create some of the finest music ever produced on the face of this Earth. The New York Times reports that Dekker produced a string of 20 number 1 hits in his native Jamaica, including "Honour Thy Father and Mother," "It Pays," "Sinners Come Home," "Labour for Learning," "007 (Shanty Town)," and "The Israelites." The former 2 tracks were number one hits in the UK and the US, respectively. Desmond Dekker has joined his friend Robert Nesta Marley and his producer Leslie Kong in the bosom of His Imperial Majesty. May they eternally strum the harps of Heaven in divine harmony. One Love. Rest in Peace.

As I conclude this piece, Terrence Long singled, Jeter walked, Sheffield produced an RBI single, and Giambi ended the game with a disastrous double play with a chance to tie it on a sac fly. That's the Yankees luck so far this season. I hope no one was injured carrying their glove to the dugout. See you tomorrow.

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