Here's how bad things got during the 14-4 Yankee loss in the Bronx last night - One of the Yankees broke down in tears during the postgame interview session. Edwar Ramirez, the rookie reliever who hadn't pitched in two weeks, had a really rough night. He threw 19 pitches, just two strikes, walked four and gave up a grand slam to Dioner Navarro, a.k.a. the worst hitter in baseball with enough at-bats to qualify for the honor. He was talking to reporters following the game but couldn't keep it together. Tyler Kepner of the Times describes it as difficult to watch,
We gathered around Ramirez after the game, and he tried his best to answer some questions. He had not pitched in two weeks, but to his credit, he said several times, “That’s no excuse.”
Ramirez has known nothing but success this season, zooming from Class AA to AAA to the majors after starting 2006 in an independent league. This was failure, on a big stage, and he finally said, “Sorry guys,” when he could not continue speaking.
He reached into his locker and dried his eyes, first with a T-shirt, then with his uniform pants. It was an ugly game to watch for a sold-out crowd. But the person who took it hardest was clearly Edwar Ramirez.
Sometimes there is crying in baseball, doesn't make Jimmy Dugan's other maxim any less important to follow for young ball players.
Someone who didn't cry but forced some saline out of the eyes of Yankee fans was Mike Mussina. That wasn't "mooooooo-se" they were yelling when he trotted off the mound during the fifth inning. Six runs, seven hits and three walks, including a mammoth homer off the left field upper deck by B.J. Upton, was his contribution to a miserable night of baseball. Ramirez might have been worse but Mussina's got the contract, reputation, etc. of a good pitcher. Anything but the ability to back it up on the field.
It was such a horrid day in the Bronx that even George Steinbrenner broke his radio silence. Except that he wasn't interested in Yankees 2007 but Yankees 1977.
Oliver Platt plays Steinbrenner in the eight-part series, adapted from Jonathan Mahler’s “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning,” about the summer of 1977 and the Yankees’ quest to win the World Series.
“He doesn’t want to knock the guy’s acting; he wants to knock his clothing and hairdo,” Steinbrenner spokesman Howard Rubenstein quipped in Friday editions of Newsday.
“George’s hair is more neatly trimmed,” added Rubenstein. “He doesn’t wear a wig; people think that because he’s perfectly barbered. He doesn’t have a hair out of place.”
At least we know he's still alive.