If there's one word that best describes the Yankees' West Coast roadtrip, it would be "testy."
First, the Athletics' Dallas Braden got mouthy with Alex Rodriguez, because AROD ran across the pitcher's mound on his way back to first after a foul ball. There was some serious back and forth screaming, and after the game Braden claimed Rodriguez broke an "unwritten rule."
Like a religious extremist who was told the plot of a South Park episode, Braden overreacted big time.
Various player-reactions from around baseball, make this seem like one of those "unwritten rules" that only some guys know about. In fact, the guys who said AROD was being disrespectful tended to be former hothead-pitchers, and everyone else seemed unaware.
And how about Mark Teixeira's shoulder tackle of Angels catcher Bobby Wilson?
Up 2-1 in the top of the third on Thursday, Teixeira sprinted from second base to home on a Robinson Cano line drive single. The play ended in collision...
So, there are a couple ways to look at this. On the one hand, Teixeira had just been hit by a pitch, and is known for his — let's say, forceful — responses to being hit.
The Angels' Torii Hunter summed up this view:
Going by that logic, this was a vicious and pretty unnecessary hit.
"It's early in the game, the third inning, and you don't expect something like that," Hunter said. "The guy's upset. He's on a mission. Tex is a great guy, but even good guys get upset sometimes. I've been there."
Teixeira's defense — that even though the ball hadn't gotten to Wilson yet, he had begun to turn as if he had the ball, so Teixeira had little choice. Both managers agreed with this assessment.
That said, I think Torii Hunter was right. Teixeira gets hit by a lot of pitches, and he always seems to take someone out when he does. After being hit by a Vicente Padilla fastball last year, Teixeira slid about six feet East of second base to
Moving on from the violence, here are some great Yankee numbers:
- In the last week, Yankee pitchers have managed a 2.83 era.
- The Yankees have the highest slugging (.455) in the American League, and the second highest on-base percentage (.371).
- They've also got, by far, the most triples (seven already!).
NOTE: Make sure to check back every weekend for The Yankees, Unobstructed, BNN's weekly Yankees opinion column.
For more of Graham Kates' sports writing, check out his True/Slant blog "Coaches in the Crosshairs" (http://trueslant.com/grahamkates).