For reasons that are unclear, Yankees utility infielder Wilson Betemit uses Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” as his at-bat song. For those of you unfamiliar with the song, it’s about a woman who settles for a mediocre guy because she’s convinced it’s the best she can do. Not exactly the song to get you pumped up when walking from the on-deck circle to the plate. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that, of all the songs in existence, it’s quite possibly the worst one a batter could pick to get him in the groove. I mean, really. What was he thinking? The only thing I can assume is that Betemit went with it because, with Eddie Vedder’s whining inflections, the song’s hook, “can’t find a betta’ man” ends up sounding like “can’t find a Betemit.” Kind of.
When the Yanks were down 7-4 going into the 9th last night, I kept hope alive because, with the heart of our lineup coming to the plate, anything was possible. We managed to narrow the gap to two—one on and one out, and it looked like the game just might be winnable. That is until Cano struck out, and suddenly it was one on and two out and Wilson Betemit’s turn to bat. I assumed we'd go with a pinch hitter. We didn't. My first thought: “What the deal? Can’t find a betta’ man?”
I hate to say it because he seems so damn nice, but Betemit is the guy in his at-bat song. The one you settle for when you've got no other options. Richie Sexson may kind of suck, but didn’t we acquire him with the idea in mind that we could pull him off the bench to bat against a lefty when necessary because he doesn’t actually totally suck when he’s hitting a lefty? If so, then why didn’t we do that? Sexson’s no Jeter, but he might have been the betta’ man we needed. The one to get us a single to tie the game. Instead, we got the strike out I could have predicted and another addition to the old “L’ column.
Poor Lackey—two outs away from a no-hitter when stupid Pedroia had to go and ruin it. Poor schmuck didn’t even get the shutout because the last thing I am sure he could deal with after having all his hopes dashed was the sight of Youkilis and that facial hair. I ultimately blame Lackey’s failure to make it happen on the commentators, who insisted on saying “no-hitter” five thousand times during the span of their coverage. Dudes. Is nothing sacred? But my favorite part about the coverage was that, during the post-game, after rerunning the clip of Pedroia’s hit a million and one times, they cut to commercial and said, “More on Pedroia’s hit after this break.” I didn’t stay tuned because I had another, more important game to watch, but I can’t help but what wonder what they meant by “more.” Were they going to offer me a new perspective? A new understanding of what it means to get a hit? A better explanation of the ramifications for Lackey of that hit? I think we all pretty much got the point that it happened and, as a result, the no-hitter didn’t. I must, however, applaud Lackey for his sportsmanlike conduct. During the post-game interview, he claimed he was happy just to have gotten the “W.” He’s a better man than I. Or a better liar.
Fun fact for the day. Favorite punctuation mark: question mark. Least favorite: exclamation point. Why? Because! Who still sucks? You do, Coco Crisp!