Bronx, NY: If something is different with the NY Yankees this season it has nothing to do with their persistence to be the best team in baseball. But the way they are going about things at times leaves many to speculate about a line being drawn.
Yes, the Yankees continued to move along and won their second straight over the Cleveland Indians in the Bronx Saturday afternoon, 6-5, and in many ways resembled the playoff atmosphere that was seen Friday night in the Yankees 3-2 win.
The Indians top four in the lineup of Francisco Lindor, Oscar Mercado, Carlos Santana, and Yasiel Puig, combined to hit 8-for-15. They scored five runs, hit four doubles, drove in four runs.
The bottom five, went 1-for-8 with a walk and struck out five times.
Of course, you can’t win close games when pitching can’t shut down a potent Yankees lineup that hit four home runs. Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres had his Major League leading seventh multi-home run game of the season.
Good enough to earn James Paxton (9-6) the win. The Yankees bullpen again closed the door on this. Aroldis Chapman converted his 35th save, the most by a Yankee since Andrew Miller had with his 36 in 2015.
This latest Yankees win came on a day when Mariano Rivera, their all-time saves leader and recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, was honored with a brief ceremony prior to the first pitch.
But the talk was about the bottom of the sixth inning. After the Yankees Cameron Maybin, was called out on strikes by home plate umpire Ben May, he continued to argue.
Manager Aaron Boone came to the aid of Maybin immediately from the first base dugout side. The argument continued and Boone was ejected. CC Sabathia, scheduled to make his first start off the injured list in the Sunday series finale, also barked and was ejected.
So was Brett Gardner, who was seen once again banging his bat above the roof of the Yankees dugout. First base umpire Phil Cuzzi who tossed Sabathia, did the same to Gardner.
And this was not the first run-in with Gardner, Boone, and the umpires over the strike zone and arguing balls and strikes. A few weeks ago, a similar situation with Boone, Gardner, and the umpires resulted in ejections.
Boone would rally his team then and told a rookie umpire, after getting ejected, that his team are savages in the box.
Are the umpires gunning after the Yankees after that incident of words? Or is this just a coincidence and a part of the game? Are the umpires not dealing with this in a rationale matter?
You be the judge here, but the Yankees may have took this to another extreme. Boone, in his post game press briefing, did allude this is something the office of the Baseball Commissioner will need to address.
He also claims the umpires are looking at his team, and take that how you want, but arguing balls and strikes are grounds for ejection under the rules.
Said Boone about the umpires, “Watching Gardy with the bat, they are obviously looking at us.”
Through a pool reporter, crew chief umpire Tom Hallion said, “Cuzzi saw Gardner banging his bat on the dugout roof.” He stood by the statement from Cuzzi.
“That’s probably a pretty accurate statement,” Hallion said. He said about the Aaron Boone ejection, “I wasn’t the only one ejecting him. That will be in the report to New York. So if you need that information you can call New York and get that.”
The Yankees with a significant lead in the AL East, and nearing their first division title since 2012, will admit they are playing for everything. They finished the day with the best record in baseball and if that holds will have home field advantage in every round of the playoffs come October.
But that savage attitude, more so the remark by Boone, has caught the attention of the umpires and baseball executives may also be monitoring the situation.
“Obviously it went too far,” Boone said about the ejections. “We’re playing for a lot right now. We’re in this thing we’re playing for keeps. We’ll certainly work closer with the commissioner’s office and find out what’s acceptable or not and try and be respectable with that, and do what we have to stay in the game.”
And Sunday afternoon, the Yankees will look to close out another successful homestand and take three-of-four from the Indians who are neck-and-neck for the AL Central lead with the Twins.
“These last two games have been very well played games, two very good teams,” Boone said.
He said it has been great to be a part of managing a playoff atmosphere type of series.
Yeah, but you need to stay in the dugout, and of course not be savages because in the end the game of baseball is in command with the umpires,.
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