Game 111: NYY vs. CHW — Monday’s media mania

As predicted, Monday was anything but a boring day, especially in what became the media circus of Chicago. And with all that, call it a distraction if you must, it’s curious as to whether the heated crowd was more excited to see the White Sox win or the Yankees lose (and lose poorly). And before you get distracted, let’s focus on the actual game.

Starter Andy Pettitte seemed to repeat Hughes’ outing yesterday, throwing his 75 pitches in just over 2 innings, allowing 11 hits and a walk, striking out 4 batters. And where he got in the most trouble was the 7 earned runs he allowed the White Sox to score. Four back-to-back singles, a sacrifice fly, and another single scored 3 runs very quickly for the White Sox in just the 1st inning. Then in the 2nd, two singles and a double score 2 more, and the White Sox are up 5-0. And in the 3rd, three singles, two strikeouts, and a walk, and the White Sox are up 6-0 with bases loaded. And the Yankees go to their bullpen, calling it quits on Pettitte’s night.

Preston Claiborne comes in again and proceeds to walk in another run before closing out the 3rd inning. His 4th inning goes much easier. Shawn Kelley does his part in the 5th and 6th inning fairly well, though he allowed an RBI double to add to the White Sox total in the 6th. Chamberlain threw a decent 7th inning, and Logan threw a rather flawless 8th inning (with two strikeouts).

But it’s the White Sox’s game tonight. The only offensive relief came in the 7th inning. Nunez and Stewart each single, and it’s Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly scores Nunez. And that’s the only time a Yankee crossed the plate tonight, making the final score 8-1 Chicago. Maybe it was the media circus, maybe it was the change in the roster, maybe it was the rowdy crowd bent on jeering recent news stories over cheering for their own team, or maybe it was just a bad night all around.

Well, It certainly wasn’t the White Sox’s pitching or defense. Many of the Yankees 9 total hits were as a result of their sloppy defense. In fact, Alex Rodriguez’s first hit of the season in his first at-bat should have been an easy out, a fly ball that the outfielder mishandled. It was the Yankees defense that actually shone tonight, with plays by Cano, Rodriguez and Wells, and Nunez

Oh, and in case you’ve been hiding under a rock today, Alex Rodriguez is back in the Yankees’ lineup. Tonight, he was playing 3rd base again, batting 4th (or clean-up, as they call it). To make room to activate him, the Yankees placed Derek Jeter on the DL with his right calf strain, designated Brent Lillibridge for assignment, and recalled David Adams.

Okay, so MLB officially handed down their suspensions to players involved in the Biogenesis scandal. In case you forgot, Biogenesis was the anti-aging clinic in South Florida that is currently closed and under investigation for illegally prescribing and distributing human growth hormones and other performance enhancing drugs. The founder Anthony Bosch was also operating this clinic without a medical license. In late January, a Miami newspaper released a huge story, naming players and hand-written notes from the clinic, implicating the biggest PED-related scandal in nearly a decade. MLB has taken the majority of the year investigating on their own and collecting what evidence there is to see what the appropriate action should be taken against particular players, due to their involvement. Recently, the disgraced Bosch agreed to cooperate with MLB’s investigation because of the threat of a powerful lawsuit. So based on their investigation results, MLB informed the Players’ Association (the player’s union) and every named player and their legal team with a deadline to appeal or accept by Sunday evening. And today, they made a public statement with the rulings.

Today twelve players accepted a 50-game suspension, with another player accepting a longer suspension that began 2 weeks earlier. Francisco Cervelli was among those names, and though he has spent the majority of the year on the DL, he will continue the rest of the year out of pinstripes due to the suspension. The whole situation and its circumstances regarding Cervelli are still a little hazy and will continue to be so unless Cervelli himself desires to clarify the situation.

One name not listed among those players, but still listed as suspended was Alex Rodriguez. Technically, Rodriguez was issued a 211-game suspension that would begin on Thursday. This would take him out of the rest of the year and into 2014. I should note that suspensions are always without pay. But he is the sole player filing an appeal, which I imagine is more due to the lengthened sentence. MLB stated that his extended sentence was due to his “intent to obstruct and frustrate” the investigation. The appeal process could take anywhere from a few days to a couple of months. And in the mean time, Rodriguez is allowed to play baseball, until an arbitrator decides whether to uphold, reduce, or negate his suspension.

(More on the suspension and video of Rodriguez’s press conference today can be found here and here, and the full statement from the commissioner’s office is here. Please note that many other non-MLB sites, like one may find by Googling, are reporting on speculation or unnamed “sources”. And like I’ve said many times on here, this blog is for solid truthful facts only and the opinions based on those facts alone, and as such, I won’t link to or post any of those other reports/blogs/opinions. Be careful what you read/hear; a media circus doesn’t begin to describe the utter chaos of today.)

And until such a final ruling from the arbitrator or a public statement from Rodriguez’s or Cervelli’s camps (or an official MLB/Yankees statement) is made, there is nothing further to talk about on here. Yes, the game needs to be clean, and yes, those who cheat should be held accountable. But unless it’s your job to do either of those (and I mean, you have the title and pay of athlete or MLB executive), tonight the rest of us can rest a little easier knowing that tomorrow bring new opportunities for a fresh start and new beginning.

Oh, and in Chicago-related news, recently released Thomas Neal was picked up by the other Chicago team (the Cubs). The Cubs need a young talented outfielder and hopefully can make good use of his versatility and potential. After all, he had some good experience in pinstripes, and you know what they say: “once a Yankee…”

Go Yankees!

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