Yanks/O's Game Five: 10 Things to Look For
There's nothing quite like the finale of a five game baseball series, and it gets even better when you've got two evenly matched teams like the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles who have gone toe-to-toe all season long. Not that you have to look for additional storylines when it comes to a game like this but, as always with the Yankees, there are plenty involved. A-Rod's been benched for the decisive contest. Will he get a shot at redemption late in the game? And if so, will he strike out like everyone expects him to? Can C.C. Sabathia step up and be the ace the way Justin Verlander was for the Tigers last night? Will Joba Chamberlain get struck by lightning? Can Buck Showalter get the ultimate ex-employee revenge? Will Roger Goodell allow Sean Payton and Joe Vitt to attend the game? Sorry, wrong sport. Anyway, you get the picture: high drama. The big stories aside, here are 10 other things to look for this evening.
10. Lots of empty seats behind home plate at Yankee Stadium, and the rest of the lower level jammed to the rafters with bored corporate types who don't know much about baseball.
9. This isn't much of a prediction, but doesn't either Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson have to snap out of their slump today? The wind is currently whipping around in the Bronx and it stands to reason that one of these big swingers will hit a routine pop up that will carry out. I'm betting Cano. Granderson has been an absolute strikeout machine, fer cryin' out loud.
8. TBS broadcast team of Ernie Johnson, Cal Ripken Jr., and John Smoltz will bore you to tears. Could have sworn I heard Smoltz two nights ago talking about the propensity for home runs at Yankee Stadium by saying, "Balls have the potential for leaving the playing surface." Playing surface? What planet is Smoltz from? "People of Earth do not be alarmed, I come in peace from a place called At-LAN-ta."
7. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones blowing a bubble as he drifts under a fly ball or allows one to drift over his head. It really doesn't matter, the guy just needs to blow bubbles. Does he have a bazooka endorsement we don't know about?
6. Alex Rodriguez wearing a phony smile on his face as he high-fives teammates coming back to the dugout. It must be terrible knowing he could turn it all around if only he could get back together with Kate Hudson.
5. The P.C. Richards whistle theme after every Orioles strikeout. The Yankees would put an advertisement on Babe Ruth's coffin if they could.
4. The game lasting over three hours, no matter what. If it involves the Yankees, they'll find a way to make it well into primetime.
3. Mark Reynolds hitting a home run. Just a gut feeling on this one. Speaking of guts...
2. I don't see C.C. Sabathia going past the 7th inning, what with the game be played right around dinnertime. I kid, the guy's great, but still don't see him making it past 7.
1. The Yankees winning... unless of course, they don't. I'm really pulling for the latter.