Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Editor's Note: Batting in the third spot today is my Dad, my mentor as both a writer and baseball fan. Like my mother, my Dad is discussing an O's-Yankees game, but a very different one with a very different perspective.

May 16th, 1965

Orioles at Yankees

I believe that life sends you messages. It is up to each of us to pick up on them. In researching my blog for today I got a message that was hard to miss. The Yankees starting pitcher for this game, Jim Bouton, was born on March 8th 1939 and the game’s winning pitcher, Jim Palmer, of the Baltimore Orioles was born in New York City. The regular writer of this praiseworthy blog was born in New York City on March 8th.

I have always considered the Orioles a more worthy rival for the Yankees than the Red Sox for the simple reason that they have more World Series titles in my lifetime than the BoSox. For the uninformed, we Yankee fans consider anything short of a World Series title a disappointing year (we don’t actually but we like saying it because it annoys other teams’ fans so much). Finally for a brief but quite worrisome period of time it looked like the aforementioned regular writer of this blog would end up an Oriole fan. Obviously I am meant to write of this battle.

The game itself was not a classic. The Orioles starting pitcher, Dave McNally, only lasted 2 and a 1/3 innings giving up 4 runs when Palmer replaced him. Bouton didn’t fare much better lasting only 4 innings also giving up 4 runs but like McNally getting a no decision. Two notable events occurred. Jim Palmer hit the first of his three career home runs off Bouton in the fourth with one out and a man on. Johnny Keane left Bouton in despite this grievous error, a managerial sin that in the Steinbrenner era would have been cause for immediate dismissal. The second event is notable primarily to me for it involves my least favorite Yankee whom I have seen play, Horace Clarke, who came on as a pinch hitter in the 9th and was caught looking at strike three. The Yankees lost 7-5 giving Palmer the first win of his Hall of Fame career.

So is there another message here other than I was meant to write about this game? If you think so contact Richard and let me know.

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