October 2009


For the second time in two games, the Yankees and the Angels are deadlocked.
This time, the battle field is in Southern California, where I thought it was loud before the game. It officially reached another level when the Angels took a 4-3 lead in the seventh. 
But as I wrote in the early innings of this game, the Yankees have veteran leaders up and down their lineup. Regardless of how far the momentum had shifted toward the Angels and regardless of how crazy the atmosphere got here, Jorge Posada remained unfazed. And then he calmly hit a game-tying home run over the center field wall.
This series continues to be an all-out war, but the Yankees have been in these games many times before. They are cool in the face of adversity — and a tough crowd.
–Alfred Santasiere III


In the 15 minutes leading up the start of ALCS Game 3 in
Anaheim, the mix of heavy metal music reverberating through Angels Stadium’s
sound system and the screaming fans who were cheering (even though the Angels
were not on the field) made for the loudest pre-game atmosphere I have ever
been privy to.

Even Minnesota’s Metrodome, where the noise is contained by
the building’s roof, pales in comparison to the Angels’ home.


Five hours and ten minutes after it began, Game 2 of the ALCS ended with a most unlikely hero crossing home plate for the winning run.

Jerry Hairston, who didn’t see any game action in the 2009 postseason until the 13th inning of tonight’s classic, led off the frame with a single. Before the inning ended, Hairston touched home plate and sent the Yankees to the West Coast with a two-game lead in the ALCS.
Before Hairston’s heroics, it snowed, it rained, it snowed again, rained again and then dried up.
Oh yeah, and Alex Rodriguez hit another magical home run to tie the game in the bottom of the 12th off Angels closer Brian Fuentes. A-Rod’s legend has been redefined again and again in the last nine days. Between Oct. 9 and Oct. 17, A-Rod hit three game-tying home runs in the seventh inning or later. To properly put into perspective just how incredible that feat is, consider this: In Major League Baseball history, no player has ever hit three postseason game-tying or game-winning home runs — in their entire career. Again, A-Rod hit that milestone in a period of nine days.
I have to run because I have a plane to catch and a happy six-hour flight ahead.
–Alfred Santasiere III


A.J. Burnett threw 33 pitches in the top of the fifth
inning, giving up two runs in the process. During that frame, Jose Molina
and/or Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland made six trips to the mound to
strategize with Burnett.

Locked In

A.J. Burnett has allowed one hit and no runs over his first four innings of work in Game 2 of the ALCS.



Mr. Production

What Alex Rodriguez did in the 2009 ALDS is well documented.
A-Rod batted .455 and his two home runs were as dramatic they come. The first
of those homers tied Game 2 in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was epic,
magical and amazing.

Winner’s Circle

Congratulations to Peter Giannetti [L] and Peter Green [R] on winning tickets to Game 2 of the ALDS through Yankees Universe “I WANT ALDS Tickets Daily Draw Sweepstakes.

What a game they got to experience!
–Alfred Santasiere III

California… Here we come!

The Yankees added two runs to their lead in the top of the ninth inning tonight, giving Mariano Rivera a three-run lead to work with.

But I have news for you: Rivera would have been just as calm and just as efficient if he only had a one-run lead. The pressure of the moment didn’t rattle the great Rivera, nor did the deafening noise in the dome. The unruly fan who decided to leave his seat and charge the field — he didn’t even get Mo to flinch. That’s because Rivera is the greatest closer in history, a point that he underscores during each postseason series.
Rivera recorded the final three outs in the Metrodome’s baseball history, completing a sweep of the Twins in the ALDS.
Then the celebration began. In the tiny visiting locker room of the Metrodome, the Yankees doused themselves the champagne — and any other beverages they could get their hands on.
Nick Swisher told me that “this is as good as it gets.” Then he corrected himself.
“We need to win two more series.” That will be as good as it gets.”
–Alfred Santasiere III

That was Close!

I was thrilled when Alex Rodriguez tied tonight’s game with a home run to right field.

But what made me even happier was that I escaped the home run ball unscathed.
During tonight’s batting practice session, Eric Hinske sliced a home run ball that landed in a wall directly behind my seat. Fortunately, I wasn’t in my seat yet. I was instead visiting my Minnesota-based relatives in the seats.
So when A-Rod launched his seventh inning rocket, all I could think about was the batting practice story that my co-workers told me about. With my heart beating out of my shirt, I got lucky again as Rodriguez’ homer landed about five feet below me. (It hit the top of the “Cambria” sign, which is below the press box as you can see in the photo below.)
Needless to say, Jorge Posada’s blast — two batters later — was more enjoyable. It didn’t come anywhere near me, and it gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in this thriller of a game thus far.
–Alfred Santasiere III
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