Time To Stop This Ugliness

September 16, 2009 – 11:01 am

Toronto 10, NYY 4. With Sergio Mitre up against Roy Halladay, you had to figure this one had a good chance of being ugly. And ugly it was, in more ways than anticipated. Last time the Yankees faced Halladay he shut them out on a one-hitter. Last night, though, the Yankees had no problems at all with him, getting 11 hits and putting a runner in scoring position in every one of the 6 innings Halladay pitched. But alas, they could only muster two runs. Meanwhile, Mitre was serving up gopher balls like it was a home run derby, giving up four long balls and eventually 7 runs. In the end it was a lopsided loss to the Blue Jays, as expected.

But the real ugliness came in the 8th inning with a bench-clearing brawl instigated by Jorge Posada. Now it’s hard to put a whole lot of blame on Jorge here, as he’s always been a fiery competitor, and incidents like this come with that territory. I’m not saying it’s right, just that you have to take the bad with the good with players like Posada. But the problem last night is that the last thing you want at this point in the season is a fight like this. Not only do you risk suspensions, but worse you could end up with a silly injury to a key player. Posada has got to know when to pick his fights, and when to curb the anger.

More alarming, though, is this recent trend of mental mistakes. The other day it was Johnny Damon forgetting how many outs there were. Mark Teixeira, of all people, made the same mistake in last night’s game. Then there was Melky Cabrera’s base running blunder when he ran in to a fielder. And now this mistake by Posada. Could there be a sense of complacency setting in, thinking the season is over and we’re all just biding our time until the playoffs? Well, the Yankees might want to take a look at the standings and the schedule. Yes, they do have a nice lead, but still it’s only five games in the loss column. And they’ve got a 3-game series left with both Los Angeles and Boston. That five game lead is “safe” only if the Yankees play up to their potential. It’s probably time for a good, stern lecture from Joe Girardi.

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