Results tagged ‘ FOX ’

Yanks rally early but need pen to secure victory

The national television audience watching Fox’s coverage of Saturday night’s Yankees-Orioles game had to be wondering about all the reports they read or heard about the Bombers’ slumbering offense.

There were the Yankees on national TV lashing out 16 hits and scoring runs in bunches. It was a throwback to the days when the Yankees loved coming to hitter-friendly Camden Yards against some weak Baltimore clubs to improve their batting averages and slugging percentages. The Orioles have had the upper hand in recent years, but the Yankees looked like the Bronx Bombers of old in building a 7-0 lead through six innings.

Ivan Nova was cruising along on a three-hit shutout until Mark Trumbo led off the seventh with his 18th home run, most in the majors. That was just the beginning of the wheels falling off for Nova, who gave up an infield hit to Matt Wieters and a two-run, opposite-field homer to Pedro Alvarez. The onslaught did not give Yankees manager Joe Girardi must time to get a reliever warm up in the bullpen and stayed with Nova, who gave up a bloop single to Jonathan Schoop and walked Ryan Flaherty on a full count.

Nova was on fumes at this point, so Girardi brought in Nick Goody, who proceeded to yield a three-run home run to Adam Jones. Suddenly, 7-0 was 7-6, and the Yankees had nine more outs to get. What for a time was a laugher became a sweat box.

With Dellin Betances, who had pitched the previous two night, unavailable, Girardi relied on Andrew Miller, who did a yeoman’s job in retiring the six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings. The Yankees came up with a huge insurance run in the ninth off reliever Vance Worley with one out on a double by Aaron Hicks, who entered the game in right field as a defensive replacement in the seventh, and a single by Alex Rodriguez, his third hit of the game.

Aroldis Chapman took it from there, although the ninth inning began with catcher Austin Romine having to leave the game after being cut on the left hand trying to catch a warmup pitch in the dirt. Brian McCann, who was on the bench nursing a hyperextended left elbow, took over behind the plate.

Chapman walked Jones with two out before striking out pinch hitter Nolan Reimold looking for his ninth save and put to rest any chance of an Orioles comeback. The bullpen has been leaky of late. Kirby Yates and Betances contributed to the Yankees’ blowing a 5-2 lead Friday night. Thursday night in Detroit, the Yankees were up 5-1 and held on for a 5-4 victory despite Betances, Miller and Chapman all being scored upon over the final three innings.

A serious injury to Romine would be critical. The Yankees are running out of catchers. McCann is still not 100 percent, and Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre’s Gary Sanchez is on the disabled list. The Yankees purchased the contract of first baseman Chris Parmelee from SWB to help fill the void of Mark Teixeira, who was placed on the 15-day DL because of torn cartilage in his right knee. Dustin Ackley, who had been Tex’s back-up at first base, had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder and was transferred to the 60-day DL. That opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Parmelee.

Girardi spoke before the game of a possible platoon at first base with Parmelee and Rob Refsnyder, yet with righthander Tyler Wilson starting for the Orioles the manager started Refsnyder, who had an RBI double in four at-bats. Parmelee took over in the field in the eighth.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Romine, the Yankees attacked Wilson for four runs and five hits in the fourth. Carlos Beltran and Rodriguez started the rally with singles. Starlin Castro, who had three hits, doubled home Beltran. A-Rod scored on an infield out. Refsnyder restarted the rally with his double that scored Castro and came home on a single by Romine.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, who were a combined 4-for-10 at the top of the order, teamed on a double steal with two out in the sixth that resulted in Ellsbury’s second swipe of home this season and the third time in his career.

Everyone in the Yankees’ starting lineup plus Hicks had at least one hit. It would have been an absolute crime if the pitchers could not make all that offense hold up.

Rainout sets up traditional doubleheader Saturday

Only tickets dated Saturday, Sept. 12, will be valid for Saturday’s doubleheader between the Yankees and the Blue Jays that was scheduled after Thursday night’s game was postponed due to the forecast for continuing storms throughout the evening. The first game of the traditional twin bill will start at 1:05 p.m. with the second game beginning approximately 30 minutes after the end of the opener.

Those people who held tickets for Thursday, Sept. 10, may exchange them for any regular season game at Yankee Stadium through the end of the 2016 season (subject to availability). Fans should note that there is very limited ticket availability for Saturday’s doubleheader. FOX will broadcast the first game of the doubleheader and the YES Network will broadcast the nightcap.

Thursday night’s Babe Ruth Bobblehead giveaway presented by AT&T will be rescheduled for a date to be determined in 2016.

Complimentary (COMP) tickets for tonight’s game are not valid for any future games. COMP tickets or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and do not have any additional benefits that may be offered to ticket(s) with a dollar value.

For complete information about the Yankees’ rainout policy, please visit

For tickets purchased through Yankees Ticket Exchange, please visit or call 1-800-355-2396 for complete information about its rainout policy.

Just another All-Star Game for Jeter


MINNEAPOLIS — It was typical of Derek Jeter to take a matter-of-fact approach to the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field and not place any special significance of his last go-round among the top players of the game.

The FOX network that is broadcasting Tuesday night’s event had wanted to have a microphone on Jeter to record his throughs during the game. You know his answer to that, an emphatic no. Yankees fans would have been proud of Jeter’s appearance at Monday’s media session at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. While most players were dressed casually, there was Jeter in a power blue suit complete with tie. Classy, as usual.

“I don’t go into things with expectations,” Jeter told reporters. “I’m looking forward to playing the game, and I pretty much stopped it right there. I’ve always enjoyed All-Star Games, and I’ve always appreciated it, so I don’t think I’ll treat this one any differently. Everybody wants me to be so emotional all of the time, but I’m coming here to play the game, and everything else that comes with it, I don’t know.”

Opposing catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers for one cannot wait to see what the reaction to Jeter will be.

“When he comes to the plate, you know he’s going to get a two-minute standing ovation,” Lucroy said. “I was telling my wife, ‘What am I going to do? It’s going to be awkward.’ I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my hands. I may drop everything and start cheering myself.”

Jeter has been pretty coy about this farewell tour stuff, not wanting teams to over-do it. He’s a different sort from Mariano Rivera, who basked in the glow of his farewell tour a year ago. Jeter just wants to go about his business. There is still baseball to play this year. He is still wearing a Yankees uniform. He is still ready to contribute on a daily basis.

I cannot believe that some writers criticized American League manager John Farrell of the Red Sox for batting Jeter leadoff in the game, claiming the Yankees captain was not deserving due to his .272 batting average. Give me a break. Have these people no sense of propriety. Jeter earned the spot not just for this season but for all 19 years that preceded it.

I would like to remind these critics that Jeter has had one of the best All-Star careers in the game’s history. He took a .440 average into Tuesday night’s game with five runs, one double, one home run and three RBI in 25 at-bats. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 game at Turner Field in Atlanta when he went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Later that year, he was the MVP of the Yankees’ World Series triumph over the Mets. His All-Star home run came in 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle.

Farrell is not alone in his admiration for Jeter. Listen to what two other managers, AL coaches Ron Gardenhire of the Twins and Terry Francona of the Indians, had to say about Jeter to USA Today:

“Although he has kicked our butt a lot of times and knocked us out of the playoffs, I admire him so much,” Gardenhire said, referring to the Yankees beating the Twins, 12-2, in postseason games with Jeter at shortstop.

Added Francona, “That’s the single high point of being here, to watch him in person. I am thrilled. He represents what is good about this game.”

Chiming in was National League shortstop Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies: “He’s everything I always wanted to be. He’s why I play shortstop. He’s why I wear No. 2. And to be starting across the side opposite side of him in his final All-Star Game will definitely be cool.”

It was also typical of Jeter when asked his favorite All-Star moment not to pick a game in which he starred. He picked the 1999 game at Fenway Park in Boston when he was 0-for-1. What made it special to Jeter was that the All-Century Team was honored before the game.

“All those great players on the field, and I get a tap on my shoulder,” Jeter recalled. “It’s Hank Aaron. He said he was looking for me because he wanted to meet me. He wants to meet me? That’s one of the best moments on the baseball field that stands out for me.”

In the same vein, commissioner Bud Selig commented on Jeter during his annual question-and-answer session at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s All-Star meeting at the Marriott City Center Hotel.

“If you said two decades ago that this is the guy you wanted to be the face of baseball and being what this generation will remember, you couldn’t have written a script better,” Selig said. “I said to a friend of mine last night talking about Henry Aaron, ‘How lucky can you be to have an American icon like Henry Aaron?’ How lucky can this sport be to have an icon for this generation like Derek Jeter? He has just been remarkable.”

There’s that word again

That word is back.


Remember, that was the phrase popularized by Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar in 2004 when the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought and won the World Series. The Boston players referred to themselves as “idiots.”

So what to make of Mike Napoli’s use of the word Saturday night when he was caught on FOX microphones in the dugout saying “What an idiot!” in reference to Masahiro Tanaka for throwing him a fastball on a 1-2 count that the first baseman hit over the right field fence for what proved a game-winning home run.

Clearly, it was one of those heat-of-the-moment things that can often get blown up, particularly in a rivalry as historically volatile as Yankees-Red Sox.

Tanaka shook off catcher Brian McCann twice before throwing the fateful heater that Napoli tagged to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth that held up. Tanaka had made Napolo look foolish swinging at two split-fingered fastballs during the at-bat. On 1-2, McCann called for another splitter. Tanaka shook his head. McCann put down fingers for a slider, which was a very effective pitch for Tanaka. Again, a head shake. Tanaka wanted to come upstairs with gas, and Napoli was delighted to get a pitch he could handle.

Managers Joe Girardi of the Yankees and John Farrell of the Red Sox downplayed the situation before Sunday night’s game, which was also nationally televised, this time on ESPN. I agreed with Girardi’s assessment, that Napoli did not mean to insult Tanaka and that he was just happy not to have gotten another splitter or one of those devastating sliders.

“I haven’t seen anything in Mike Napoli that he is a guy that shows people up or he is a guy that degrades people,” Girardi said. “I don’t make too much of it. I think we might be making too much out of one pitch. If you score three runs, it really doesn’t matter. If you win 3-2, you are going to say, ‘Man, he pitched another great game.’ Since we lost it, 2-1, the focus is on that one pitch.”

“I know we have the utmost respect for Tanaka,” Farrell added, “and I know Mike Napoli does.”

Some columnists were writing before the series that the rivalry may be losing some of its juice now with a new cast of characters that have not yet made the same impact. Major League Baseball would only have itself to blame if things get ugly between the clubs over this. MLB allows FOX to put mikes in the dugout, supposedly to “enhance” the viewers’ enjoyment of the game.

It could have been worse. Napoli at least did not use the players’ favorite adjective, which cannot be printed here.

Yanks lose 5th straight and Teixeira

The Yankees expected to get a big jolt this month with the return from the disabled list of Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis. Yet one day after Youkilis went back on the DL with a recurring lumbar ailment, Teixeira came out of Saturday’s game against the Angels in the fourth inning because of stiffness in his right wrist.

Teixeira flied out to right field and fouled out to third base in his two at-bats. David Adams took over at first base in the bottom of the fourth. Yanks manager Joe Girardi told Joe Buck and Tim McCarver on the FOX telecast that Teixeira could not get much snap from his wrist in his swing and will return to New York to be examined by Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team physician.

The fear is that Teixeira may have suffered the same sort of setback that Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista did last year when he sustained a torn sheath in his wrist and aggravated it later in a game against the Yankees and was lost for the rest of the season. Teixeira’s condition this year is much the same as Bautista’s was in 2012.

Teixeira barely got untracked for the Yankees. In 15 games, he was hitting .151 with one double, three home runs and 12 RBI in 53 at-bats. He was particularly ineffective batting left-handed, as he did Saturday, with only three hits in 35 at-bats (.082) with two home runs and eight RBI. If Teixeira needs to go back on the DL, he would be the third regular to do a second stint, following Youkilis and Curtis Granderson.

The Yanks’ June swoon continued with a 6-2 loss, their fifth straight defeat and the fourth game in a row in which they scored just two runs. The Yankees have scored in only three of their past 38 innings. They got all their runs in one inning again Saturday with two out in the third on a single by Chris Stewart, a triple by Brett Gardner and a single by Jayson Nix. The 3-4-5 hitters came up 0-for-11 to continue a disturbing trend of low production from the middle of the order. Five Angels pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

The Angels banged out 12 hits against three Yankees pitchers, including three more hits plus a walk by Yankee killer Howie Kendrick, who raised his career average against them to .354 in 198 at-bats. David Phelps (4-4) gave up a home run to Eric Aybar, who later singled home a run in the sixth that unlocked a 2-2 score. Shawn Kelley had an unusual streak of wildness (three walks) in a two-run Angels seventh. Even slumping Josh Hamilton (.213) contributed an RBI double. Joba Chamberlain was victimized by a two-out single in the eighth by Albert Pujols for his second RBI of the game.

Ichiro Suzuki was the bright light for the Yankees Saturday with two hits, two stolen bases (and should have had a third if not for an umpire’s missed call) and two tumbling catches in right field. However, when Ichiro stole second and third in the seventh inning he was left stranded as Thomas Neal, Reid Brignac and Stewart all struck out. The Yankees are 7-for-39 (.179) with runners in scoring position and are averaging three runs per game during the losing streak.

The Yankees’ record in June fell to 6-8 as their offense continues to decline. They hit .261 as a team in April, .233 in May and are at .212 in June while slugging merely .327. The slide finds the Yankees only one game out of fourth place in the American League East. They will turn to CC Sabathia on Father’s Day to try and save face on the final day of the trip.

Posada out as Yanks DH

For the second time this season, Jorge Posada’s absence in the lineup of a Yankees-Red Sox game on a national telecast drew attention. Posada was on the bench Sunday night despite his having decent career statistics against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. This was more than a one-game situation, however.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi met with Posada before the game and informed him that he would no longer be the Yankees’ designated hitter against right-handed pitching. That meant Posada would no longer be the Yanks’ DH, period, since he has started against lefthanders for months.

Sunday night’s game was cablecast on ESPN. Back on May 14 on a Saturday night telecast by FOX at Yankee Stadium, Posada stirred controversy by taking himself out of the lineup after he saw that he was to have batted ninth. The story blew away a few days later when Posada started hitting with some consistency.

Posada got his average up to .240 June 29 when he hit his ninth and most recent home run. In 78 at-bats since then, Jorgie has batted .205 with three doubles and four RBI, a pretty unproductive record for the only purely offensive spot in the order. Posada has never been comfortable in the role after 14 seasons as the Yankees’ regular catcher. In 243 at-bats as the DH, Posada has hit .218 with eight home runs and 25 RBI. Interestingly, Jorgie has batted .344 with one home run and six RBI in 32 at-bats as a first baseman.

Girardi can hardly be blamed for shaking things up. Although Posada was a .267 career hitter against Beckett in 45 at-bats, Girardi decided it was time to use Eric Chavez as the DH against right-handed pitching. Against lefties, Girardi will use Andruw Jones as well as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez when he wants to give them a break from playing the field. A-Rod is still on the disabled list at this point and working out at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla.

Frankly, what kept this move from coming earlier was Chavez being on the DL from May 6 to July 25. Chavez entered play Sunday night batting .323 in 65 at-bats. It remains unclear where Posada will fit in the rest of the way. He has only a .215 career average as a pinch hitter in 135 at-bats, including 1-for-8 (.125) this year.

Girardi could have had both Posada and Chavez in the lineup Sunday night if the manager had played Chavez at third base, which he did Saturday against John Lackey. Had that been the case, however, then Eduardo Nunez would have been on the bench, the same Nunez who homered off Beckett in the fifth inning to tie the score.

Only 1 traditional Saturday day game on 6/25 sked?

Whatever happened to Saturday afternoon baseball? Go ask your local FOX affiliate, I guess.

The only taste of it available Saturday was at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees and Rockies were the only major league teams on the field at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. That’s right. Of the other 14 scheduled big-league games, four had 4:05 p.m. starts and 10 started after 7 p.m.

I know, I know; 4 o’clock technically counts as a day game, but only technically. I don’t care how deep into the summer you get 4 o’clock starts aren’t really day games. The day is almost over. It’s just that twilight lasted longer in the summer. That’s why they call it daylight savings time.

FOX’s Saturday game of the week telecasts start at 4, so the schedule has to have some games available on a regional basis, but what about all those 7 p.m. games? Some teams refer to them as date night. Isn’t that what Friday night games were for?

Saturday at the ballpark was one of the great American traditions. It was always one of my favorite days on the baseball beat because the crowd would be filled with kids whose enthusiasm was downright therapeutic. They would cheer everything – towering fly balls, searing foul line drives into the stands, any ball hit hard and the reaction to a player waving his glove or cap in their direction.

What today’s executives don’t seem to grasp is that it was on those days that baseball became ingrained in the national psyche. Such days lived in the memory bank of generations of people. Night games were for during the week so games could be viewed after work or school, but the weekend was for daytime and sunshine and baseball.

What makes baseball different from all the other sports is that it is the one that you fall in love with early in life. I don’t know anyone who says that never paid attention to baseball until they were, like, 23. That may be the case with other sports, but not baseball. If it didn’t get you early, it didn’t get you at all.

Commissioner Bud Selig and his crowd can point to their gaudy attendance figures about how terrific baseball is doing at the box office these days, but continuing to ignore young people on Saturdays will spread doomsday for the sport down the road.

End of rant for today.

Yanks feel heat from Red Sox

The pitchers’ duel expected Saturday night from the Yankees’ CC Sabathia and the Red Sox’ Josh Beckett played out for six innings. Boston scored two runs in the fifth on a bases-loaded double by Jacoby Ellsbury, but this was still a ballgame. It became less so when the Sox poured across four runs in the seventh.

The crushing blow against CC was a three-run home run by Adrian Gonzalez, who also homered Friday night and has now gone deep in four consecutive games, half way toward the record that is shared by Dale Long, Don Mattingly and Junior Griffey.

From the Yankees’ standpoint, the pitch that really ruined the inning was a 2-2 slider to Jason Varitek that plate umpire Mike Winters called a ball. It was one of those borderline pitches that could have gone either way. It went the Red Sox’ way. Sabathia was clearly annoyed by it and perhaps had enough of a lapse in concentration that he gave up a single to Varitek on the next pitch that scored the third run.

CC retired Ellsbury on an infield pop for the second out, but Dustin Pedroia singled sharply past Mark Teixeira at first base and Gonzalez followed with his ninth homer of the season. A 2-0 game had suddenly become 6-0. Yankees manager Joe Girardi gave Winters a piece of his mind after removing Sabathia and was ejected.

“Mike called a lot of pitches low in the zone for strikes,” Girardi said. “The pitch to Varitek turned out to be a pivotal pitch in the game.”

It was a tough night for the manager, who had one of his players, designated hitter Jorge Posada, pull himself from the starting lineup before a national television audience on Fox. The whole country gets to watch these two teams again Sunday night on ESPN.

Buckett held the Yankees to four hits, all singles, and two walks with nine strikeouts through six innings and has not yielded a run in 14 innings against them this year. The Yanks’ failure in the clutch continues to haunt them. They had 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position Saturday night and are 1-for-17 (.059) for the series and 5-for-39 (.128) in their first four-game losing streak of the season.

The Yankees have lost four of five games this year against Boston. They trail the Rays by two games in the American League East and are only two games ahead of the third-place Red Sox, who after that 2-10 start are now within a game of .500. The Yankees’ chances of running away and hiding in the division have run away and hid.

Granderson nominated for Clemente Award

Center fielder Curtis Granderson is the Yankees’ 2010 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. He is one of the 30 nominees, one from each club, which are finalists for the national award that is given annual to the major league player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.

Wednesday marked the ninth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor his legacy and officially recognize nominees of the award named for the 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing talented current players who understand the value of helping others.

Granderson established the Grand Kids Foundation in 2008, an organization that focuses on improving opportunities for inner-city youth in the areas of education and youth baseball. The foundation recently partnered with the 2010 ING New York City Marathon to create “Team Granderson,” a charitable team that helps raise money and promote awareness for stronger educational programs for inner-city youth. He has also participated in various public service announcements, including the White House’s anti-obesity campaign and as a spokesman for the New York Public Library’s summer reading program.

This marks Granderson’s third Roberto Clemente Award nomination. He was also the Tigers’ nominee in 2007 and 2009. Last year, he won the Jefferson Award for Public Service from All Stars Helping Kids as a top athlete who has given back to his community and the Major League Players Association’s Marvin Miller Award, as voted by major-league players, for his work on and off the field that inspires others to higher levels of achievement.

The Yankees recognized Granderson’s nomination for this year’s Clemente Award on the field at Yankee Stadium before Wednesday’s game against the Orioles. Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter was last year’s Clemente Award winner. Other Yankees winners were pitcher Ron Guidry in 1984 and outfielder Don Baylor in 1985. YES broadcasters Al Leiter and Ken Singleton also won the award, Leiter in 2000 with the Mets and Singleton in 1982 with the Orioles.
Fans are encouraged to take part in the process of selecting the award winner by visiting, powered by, from now until Oct. 8 to vote for one of the nominees. Participants will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2010 World Series where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.

The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel consisting of Vera Clemente, the Hall of Famer’s widow; commissioner Bud Selig; MLB Network analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Harold Reynolds; MLB Network analyst, TBS broadcaster and former Roberto Clemente Award winner John Smoltz; Hall of Famer and ESPN broadcaster Joe Morgan; former All-Star catcher and FOX broadcaster Tim McCarver; and senior correspondent Hal Bodley.

Burned-up Burnett

Joe Girardi is an understanding man, a lot more understanding that I would be if I were managing the Yankees and A.J. Burnett pulled the deal on me that he pulled on Girardi Saturday before a sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium on an Old Timers’ Day devoted to the memory of George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard.

Forget for a minute how Boss George would have reacted to the news that one of his start pitchers averaging over $16 million a year in contract money punched himself out of the game before getting an out in the third inning. How about having to wait until the end of a brutal 10-5 loss to a Rays team on the heels of the Yankees in the American League East race to find out just what the heck happened?

Not only that. Girardi talked to the Fox broadcasters Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver during the game and said he would find out what happened to Burnett and send word back to them. The word that came later was that Burnett had fallen down the steps in the dugout, which turned out to be a lie.

This is not a politician’s blog, so I won’t say that Burnett misspoke. He lied. The tall tale he told was to the trainers so he could continue pitching even with lacerations on both of his hands. Girardi had his doubts, naturally, since he figured the only way someone could get cuts on their hands falling down steps would have been to dive down them.

Girardi still had a game to try to win. The Yankees were in a bad way for sure, but a 4-2 deficit in the third is not insurmountable. That the manager had to rely on the soft underbelly of his bullpen (Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin) is what took the game out of control, and that is Burnett’s fault. At least he pleaded guilty to that.

“I told Joe after the game that I was embarrassed and what really happened,” Burnett said. “I’ll apologize to all my teammates [Sunday].”

They deserve to hear that from Burnett, who finally admitted to Girardi after the game that his wounds were due to counter-punching the double doors leading to the clubhouse, which loosened some Plexiglas that sliced the fleshy portion of his palms just below the wrists. Never mind the suicide jokes. This is no laughing matter. Burnett did a stupid thing and then compounded it by trying to pitch after injuring his hands.

Yankees fans surely remember similar stupidity from Kevin Brown in September 2005 when he broke his pitching hand by venting his frustration in the same fashion, although he took on a brick wall. When will players realize that a wall or a door always wins that fight?

What Burnett did no matter how much his frustration may have seemed justified was to jeopardize the division chances of everyone in that clubhouse. That Girardi was not more upset than he let on was frankly a surprise to me.

Burnett is not some green kid but a 33-year-old veteran in his 12th big-league season. He should know better.

“It’s not something I want my players to do,” he said. “Mr. Steinbrenner called Paul O’Neill a warrior, and he hit more things than anybody.”

That almost sounds like justification. I was around for O’Neill’s entire time with the Yankees, and he never missed a game because of an injury related to his famous encounters with water coolers and light bulbs. Girardi said he does not expect Burnett to miss a start and that he’ll get an extra day because of Monday’s open date. That just means the Yankees got lucky. Burnett should know that, too, which is why an apology to his teammates is in order.