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"Ballad of The Bambino and I-Rod"

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ATL Injury Report


by "Scoops" Mibble
All Time League Freelance Sports Reporter




Babe Ruth The New York Mets, recently the object of an ownership change, had seemed to steal the season when they traded for The Bambino early in pre-season. The team started off OK, nothing spectacular, but lead by The Sultan of Swat they were pacing the Legends League East Division in the early going over the demoralized Pittsburgh franchise. However, of late the Pirates have been stealing the Mets thunder, and have kept out in front in the divisional race. The Babe, realizing he was counted upon to bring a pennant to New York, tried to lift the team up onto his broad shoulders and carry them until they started to click.

Well, all through April Babe did as well as any could do. He batted .378 with 8 HR, 19 RBI and 25 Runs Scored in 82 AB. He had also walked 18 times, posting a .490 On Base Average. For good measure he stole a base in his only attempt. In the field Ruth patrolled both to the left and the right of Mickey Mantle in center, fumbling just one batted ball through 25 games. He also had 3 assists from the outfield, as well as a doubleplay.

Nobody could fault the Babe's play, and if the Mets were not in the division lead, perhaps blame could be laid at the front door of the starting pitching. Through 23 games the starters were 7-10 with an All Time League-worst 5.82 ERA. The bullpen doesn't escape blame either, with an All Time League 5th-worst 4.58 ERA. Because of this, Ruth tried ever harder to win games on his own.

Ivan Rodriguez The other participant in this story is Pudge Rodriguez of Toronto, catcher extraordinaire. I-Rod was not having a good season at the plat, batting .215 at the time of this event. However, his Blue Jays club was atop the North Division with a 14-11 mark. But Ivan was feeling pressure because not only was his batting game below par, but his fieldwork left a lot to be desired as well. His rifle arm had been more of a pop-gun lately, with the 4th-worst Opponent SB Percentage at 84.6%. In addition, Rodriguez had made 3 errors behind the plate, and had only 1 Pick. As for his handling of the pitching staff, the club was in the bottom third for Starter and Reliever ERA.

So even though I-Rod was having troubles all through his game, the Blue Jays were still winning enough to lead their division. But Pudge pushed himself to find the answer to his woes, and pushed himself harder and harder until we come to this fateful game.

Rodriguez started the game off at the plate with another damnable fielder's choice in the second. He tried to make up for it with a deep double in the 4th, but ended up stranded at third base when the inning ended, with the Blue Jays down by a run. In the sixth, Pudge walked with one out, but was wiped by a fielder's choice. A rain delay stopped the game for 26 minutes.

New York Mets LogoToronto Blue Jays Logo The Babe grounded a single through the infield in the first, but fell victim to a fielder's choice. In the third he ended the inning by hiiting into a 3-6-1 double-play. Ruth was ready in the box to lead off the sixth when the umpires called a rain delay.

After the rain let up, Ruth came back to the plate and promptly lined a double between right and center. Mickey Mantle worked the pitcher, Byrd, hard before grounding a single up the middle. The score was 2-1 Mets. Ruth knew the pitching staff needed every run it could get so he put on the speed and was heading for home as soon as it was clear the grounder would go through. Joe Kelley in center was off at the crack of the bat and charging the ball. Rodriguez, a couple steps up the first base line, held his mask and watched the play unfold. He saw Ruth put his head down and knew there would be a play at home. He threw his mask off to the side, raced to the third base side of the plate, planted one foot on either side of the chalked line and called out:

"Home! Home! He's coming home!"

Ruth rounded third and barreled on down the line, grim determination on his face. His eyes staring hard at the white dish behind the I-Rod's legs.

Kelley, still charging, scooped the ball up and gave a great heave toward the plate all in one motion.

Rodriguez adjusted his stance a bit to catch the line-drive throw from center field. He called out to let it through, put his shoulder down towards the charging Ruth, focused on catching the ball and blocking his plate.

Look the ball into the glove. Catch. Both hands. Turn. Brace.

He put his other shoulder down just as Ruth let out a shout and lept feetfirst for the plate, trying to go straight through Rodriguez.

The Babe's spikes caught at I-Rod's uniform and twisted his ankle as the rest of his airborne frame inexorably crashed into the defiant catcher. I-Rod went tail over head and came to rest ten feet behind the plate as Ruth lay writhing on top of the plate clutching his ankle. Rodriguez held up the ball for the umpire to see, and as the ump punched out The Babe, Ivan yelled:

"You're out!"

I-Rod was dazed, but gamely stayed in the game. Ruth was carried off the field and will end up missing at least 17 days. The Mets won this one 2-1, but all talk was of The Bambino, and what would happen to the club while he was out. Well, a lot can still happen, but one thing the fans didn't expect was that the team would change ownership during this period.

Just goes to show.

4/30/2004, TOR05-NYM05, Shea Stadium (1964-1981)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E LOB DP
2005 Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 1 9 1
2005 Mets 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 2 8 0 7 2

Blue Jays AB R H BI D T HR BB K SB CS IW HP SH SF AVG PO A E PB
Jeter ss 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .270 2 3 0 0
Kelley cf 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 .213 2 1 0 0
Oh 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 6 2 0 0
Ramirez lf 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .291 2 0 0 0
Sosa rf 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .224 3 0 0 0
Walker,L ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .290 0 0 0 0
Alfonzo 3b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .281 1 1 0 0
Baker,F ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .214 0 1 0 0
Rodriguez,I c 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .215 6 1 1 0
White,F 2b 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .227 1 2 0 0
Vaughn,M ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200 0 0 0 0
Byrd p 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 1 0 0 0
Nen p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0
Guerrero,V ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .111 0 0 0 0
32 1 7 1 1 0 0 5 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 24 11 1 0

Mets AB R H BI D T HR BB K SB CS IW HP SH SF AVG PO A E PB
Burkett,Je lf 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .346 2 0 0 0
Doyle 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200 4 4 0 0
Doerr 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .267 2 1 0 0
Ruth rf 3 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .378 0 0 0 0
Forsch p 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0
Dahlen ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .281 0 0 0 0
Mantle cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .337 1 0 0 0
Thome 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .127 8 1 0 0
Vaughan,A ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .271 2 6 0 0
Kinder p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 1 0 0 0
Fujimura 3b 3 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .301 2 0 0 0
Santop c 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .328 4 0 0 0
Sallee p 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 0 1 0 0
Burns,GJ rf 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143 1 0 0 0
30 2 8 2 1 0 1 2 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 27 13 0 0

Blue Jays INN H R ER BB K PCH STR BF HR IW HP WP DP ERA
Byrd L 1-1 7.0 8 2 2 2 5 122 72 30 1 0 0 1 1 2.57
Nen 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 13 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 1.23
8.0 8 2 2 2 5 135 79 33 1 0 0 1 1

Mets INN H R ER BB K PCH STR BF HR IW HP WP DP ERA
Sallee W 3-0 6.0 6 1 1 5 3 107 59 28 0 0 0 1 1 3.94
Forsch H 2 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 18 14 6 0 0 0 0 1 5.25
Kinder S 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 12 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.84
9.0 7 1 1 5 4 137 80 37 0 0 0 1 2

TOR: Walker,L batted for Sosa in the 8th
Baker,F batted for Alfonzo in the 8th
Walker,L moved to rf in the 8th
Baker,F moved to 3b in the 8th
Vaughn,M batted for White,F in the 9th
Guerrero,V batted for Nen in the 9th
NYM: Burns,GJ inserted at rf in the 7th
Doerr inserted at 2b in the 8th
Dahlen inserted at ss in the 9th

GWRBI: Fujimura
Babe Ruth was injured for this game and 17 more days
Temperature: 62, Field: wet, Sky: threatening, Wind: in from right at 18 MPH,
Rain Delays: 26 minutes.

....................................................................................................
4/30/2004, TOR05-NYM05, Shea Stadium (1964-1981)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E LOB DP
2005 Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 1 9 1
2005 Mets 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 x 2 8 0 7 2

Score O Rnr BS Event
----- - --- -- -----

************** Top of the 1st inning, Blue Jays batting
0-0 0 --- 32 Jeter grounded out to first (BBBCFX)
0-0 1 --- 31 Kelley walked (BBBCB)
0-0 1 1-- 00 Kelley stole second (>B)
0-0 1 -2- 30 Oh walked (>B.BBB)
0-0 1 12- 21 Ramirez grounded into a double play, Vaughan,A to Doyle
to Thome (BBCX)

************** Bottom of the 1st inning, Mets batting
0-0 0 --- 10 Burkett,Je lined a single to center (BX)
0-0 0 1-- 10 Doyle lined a single down the right field line,
Burkett,Je to third (BX)
0-0 0 1-3 31 Ruth grounded a single between third and short,
Burkett,Je scored, Doyle to second (BBBCX)
0-1 0 12- 21 Mantle grounded to first, forcing Ruth at second, Doyle
to third, Mantle to first (S+2BBX)
0-1 1 1-3 32 Thome popped out to center (BCBSBX)
0-1 2 1-3 00 Vaughan,A flied out to left (X)

************** Top of the 2nd inning, Blue Jays batting
0-1 0 --- 22 Sosa grounded a single between third and short (CFBBFX)
0-1 0 1-- 01 Alfonzo grounded to second, forcing Sosa at second,
Alfonzo to first (CX)
0-1 1 1-- 11 Rodriguez,I grounded to second, forcing Alfonzo at
second, Rodriguez,I to first (BCX)
0-1 2 1-- 11 White,F grounded out to the mound (FBX)

************** Bottom of the 2nd inning, Mets batting
0-1 0 --- 31 Fujimura popped out to center (BBCBX)
0-1 1 --- 01 Santop grounded out to short (SX)
0-1 2 --- 12 Sallee struck out (BCCS)

************** Top of the 3rd inning, Blue Jays batting
0-1 0 --- 32 Byrd walked (BBBCFB)
0-1 0 1-- 11 Jeter lined a single to shallow left, Byrd to second (BFX)
0-1 0 12- 22 Kelley struck out (CFBFBS)
0-1 1 12- 32 Oh lined out to third (FSBBBFX)
0-1 2 12- 00 Ramirez grounded to short, forcing Jeter at second (X)

************** Bottom of the 3rd inning, Mets batting
0-1 0 --- 21 Burkett,Je lined a single to right center (BBSX)
0-1 0 1-- 22 Doyle grounded to third, forcing Burkett,Je at second,
Doyle to first (CBp11B1FX)
0-1 1 1-- 01 Ruth grounded into a double play, Oh to Jeter to Byrd
(1FX)

************** Top of the 4th inning, Blue Jays batting
0-1 0 --- 00 Sosa grounded out to short (X)
0-1 1 --- 01 Alfonzo flied out to center (CX)
0-1 2 --- 22 Rodriguez,I doubled deep to left center (FCBBX)
0-1 2 -2- 21 Sallee threw a wild pitch, Rodriguez,I to third (BFBB)
0-1 2 --3 31 White,F walked (BFBB.B)
0-1 2 1-3 02 Byrd struck out (SSS)

************** Bottom of the 4th inning, Mets batting
0-1 0 --- 21 Mantle flied out to right (FBBX)
0-1 1 --- 32 Thome struck out (CBCFBFBFS)
0-1 2 --- 21 Vaughan,A flied out to left (BBCX)

************** Top of the 5th inning, Blue Jays batting
0-1 0 --- 10 Jeter popped out to first (BX)
0-1 1 --- 22 Kelley lined a single to left center (BBFFFX)
0-1 1 1-- 11 Kelley stole second (BC>C)
0-1 1 -2- 22 Oh struck out (BC>C.BS)
0-1 2 -2- 11 Ramirez lined a single to right, Kelley scored (C2BX)
1-1 2 1-- 11 Sosa popped out to third (BCX)

************** Bottom of the 5th inning, Mets batting
1-1 0 --- 32 Fujimura homered deep to center (BCCBBX)
1-2 0 --- 21 Santop grounded a single up the middle (CBBX)
1-2 0 1-- 11 Sallee sacrifice bunted to the catcher, Santop to second
(1Fb1BbXb)
1-2 1 -2- 00 Burkett,Je grounded out to second, Santop to third (X)
1-2 2 --3 22 Doyle struck out (FBCBS)

************** Top of the 6th inning, Blue Jays batting
1-2 0 --- 10 Alfonzo flied out to left (BX)
1-2 1 --- 32 Rodriguez,I walked (BBSBCB)
1-2 1 1-- 10 White,F grounded to short, forcing Rodriguez,I at second,
White,F to first (BX)
1-2 2 1-- 00 Byrd lined a single to left, White,F to second (X)
1-2 2 12- 22 Jeter grounded to second, forcing Byrd at second (FBBFX)
Game delayed by rain for 26 minutes

************** Bottom of the 6th inning, Mets batting
1-2 0 --- 01 Ruth lined a double to right center (CX)
1-2 0 -2- 22 Mantle grounded a single up the middle, Ruth out at home,
Mantle to second (CFBBFFX)
Ruth left the game with an injury
1-2 1 -2- 32 Thome walked (BBCSBB)
1-2 1 12- 00 Vaughan,A flied out to right, Mantle to third (X)
1-2 2 1-3 32 Fujimura popped out to third (FC1FBBFB>F>X)

************** Top of the 7th inning, Blue Jays batting
Burns,GJ now playing right field
Forsch now pitching
1-2 0 --- 10 Kelley grounded out to second (BX)
1-2 1 --- 20 Oh flied out to left (BBX)
1-2 2 --- 02 Ramirez grounded out to short (SSX)

************** Bottom of the 7th inning, Mets batting
1-2 0 --- 12 Santop to first on an error by the catcher Rodriguez,I
(CBCX)
1-2 0 1-- 00 Burns,GJ flied out to right (X)
1-2 1 1-- 31 Burkett,Je walked, Santop to second (BBBCB)
1-2 1 12- 00 Byrd threw a wild pitch, Santop to third, Burkett,Je to
second (B)
1-2 1 -23 32 Doyle struck out (B.FFBBS)
1-2 2 -23 02 Forsch struck out (CSS)

************** Top of the 8th inning, Blue Jays batting
Doerr now playing second base
Walker,L pinch hitting for Sosa
1-2 0 --- 12 Walker,L lined a single to shallow left (FFFBX)
Baker,F pinch hitting for Alfonzo
1-2 0 1-- 01 Baker,F flied out to right (CX)
1-2 1 1-- 02 Rodriguez,I grounded into a double play, Vaughan,A to
Doerr to Thome (CCX)

************** Bottom of the 8th inning, Mets batting
Nen now pitching
Walker,L moved to right field
Baker,F moved to third base
1-2 0 --- 32 Mantle grounded out to short (CBBBFX)
1-2 1 --- 10 Thome grounded out to third (BX)
1-2 2 --- 22 Vaughan,A grounded out to second (CBFBX)

************** Top of the 9th inning, Blue Jays batting
Dahlen now playing shortstop
Kinder now pitching
Vaughn,M pinch hitting for White,F
1-2 0 --- 32 Vaughn,M struck out (BBSSBC)
Guerrero,V pinch hitting for Nen
1-2 1 --- 11 Guerrero,V lined out to second (CBX)
1-2 2 --- 11 Jeter grounded out to first (BCX)
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