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April 20, 2001

The Daily Prospectus

The Cranky Columnist

by Joe Sheehan

I have a nasty spring cold, my allergies are acting up, I broke my glasses, and I'm in the process of moving.

I'm still probably feeling better than Brad Fullmer, but that doesn't do much for me.

For those of you east of the Rockies who are gainfully employed, that's a reference to last night's Jays/Yankees game, one the Yankees won just after 1 a.m. EDT in 17 innings, 6-5. The 11th run in the game was scored about four hours after the tenth crossed the plate, as the teams went 11 innings without scoring and seemed intent on not doing so for even longer. The Yankees left the bases loaded twice in that span, a feat Fullmer matched all by himself for the Jays. One of those Fullmer Failures (hey, I said I was cranky) helped the Yankees escape a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the ninth.

The box score for the game is littered with fun stuff, starting with the 11 shutout innings posted by the Yankee bullpen (and 11 innings of one-run ball by their Canadian counterparts). Brian Boehringer practically had a start, throwing 77 pitches and striking out five in his 4 2/3 innings. The teams left 427 men on base. OK, it was 35, but it seemed like a lot more. Jeff Frye and Scott Brosius went 1-for-8, while Tino Martinez took the game's biggest 0-for, a size 7.

One of the things about living on the West Coast I've hated is not seeing my Yankees enough, especially during their recent run of championships. I think after last night, I won't be complaining for a while.

At one point, the Fox Family Network's roving idio...er, "field reporter" stood in front of a closed concession stand and said things. I wasn't really listening, but the image recalled for me the longest game I'd ever attended.

It was more than 20 years ago at Shea Stadium, a day game between the Padres and Mets that went 18 innings. If my memory serves, Claudell Washington hit three home runs, Ozzie Smith drove in the game-winning runs with a single in the 18th, and my mother never let my father take me to a Met game again. Bless her heart.

In some double-digit inning, my nine-year-old stomach began growling, so my father and I traipsed off to the concession stand to get something. They had--I kid you not--nothing. These were the days when Mets crowds could fit comfortably into a Dodge Caravan, so it's fair to say that the concessionaires weren't heavily stocked, and certainly weren't prepared to feed people lunch and dinner.

The game eventually ended, my father and I eventually made it home (and I do mean eventually; there's a lot of subway between Shea Stadium and Inwood), and my mother called off the search for our bodies.

Maybe that's why baseball is so great. It brings up memories than can make even a cranky columnist not so cranky.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Contact him by clicking here.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

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