Sunday, June 18, 2006

June 18th, 2005

Cubs at Yankees

This was part of the Cubs' first trip to Yankee Stadium since they had been swept during the 1938 World Series, losing the two games at Yankee Stadium by a combined score of thirteen to five. This series treated the Cubs not much better as they were again swept, losing by a combined twenty-three to ten score. Throw in the 1932 World Series (also a Yankee sweep) and the Cubs have never won a game at Yankee Stadium and been outscored fifty-three to twenty-three. That's roughly an average of seven and a half to three. Ouch.

Anyway, today's game was notable for something more than the eight to one beating the Yankees put on the Cubs. Five of those eight runs were driven in by Derek Jeter, with four of them coming on a grand slam. That was the story of the day because it represented Jeter's first career grand slam. Jeter had previously come to the plate one hundred fifty-five times with the bases juiced, and while he was no slouch, he had never hit a grand slam. With the slam--off one-time Cubs' closer Joe Borowski--Jeter not only took himself off the top of the list for most plate appearances without a grand slam, but also as the player with most homers without a grand slam.

I enjoyed that, of course, but what I really enjoyed was a relatively minor point. The television play-by-play man on the YES Network is Michael Kay. Kay isn't an awful announcer, but he has some flaws (notably his belief that any fly ball hit out of the infield should be called "deep"). I don't know if this was a passion of Kay or one of his producers but every time Jeter came up with the bases loaded a graphic would appear noting Jeter's position at the top of the list and they would have a discussion of the issue, usually centering on the inevitability of Jeter hitting one someday. Kay was no doubt looking forward to calling the granny, maybe then showing the graphic with Jeter no longer at the top of the list, things like that. The only problem with this was that the Cubs and Yankees were a marquee match-up, and on Saturday afternoon marquee match-ups are national games. So while Michael Kay sat at home, watching the game on Fox, Joe Buck got to call Derek Jeter's first grand slam.

Sorry, Michael.

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