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Around the Yankee Universe, 05.18.09

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Let's take a look around the smiling Yankee Universe today, and see what else is making news besides those three straight amazing victories over Minnesota.

  • Aside from Johnny Damon's game-winning home run, tthe play that still has everyone buzzing is Joe Mauer's mad dash to home plate to stop speedy Brett Gardner from scoring the game-winning run on a daring base-running move in the 9th inning. Mauer said the key to the whole play was remembering who was on second base.

"Before it happened, I knew the situation: Gardner, about as fast as they get, on the bases," Mauer said. "I just reacted. I probably would have thrown to first if it wasn't Gardner. But I remembered who was at second, thought I'd fake and maybe I'd have a chance to throw him out at third. I didn't really think I'd have to race and beat him home. I faked to first, turned around. He was already halfway down the line. I just tried to beat him to the plate."

Have to give Mauer credit there. It's one of the best plays you will ever see a catcher make, and I'm not sure there is another one in the league who could have made it.

"He's denying, and there are cases out there that are pretty strong against him," Wells said. "Until it all comes out, I don't want to be quick to judge, but he's in a mess, really is. When you got Congress and the Feds and everybody down your back, it's crazy." ...

"For years, he called me 'Eli,'" Wells said. "You know, whatever comes out of Boomer's mouth, 'He lies.' Well, I got payback. Actually, it was great."

Say what you will about Wells, and I have mixed feelings about the guy, but you have to appreciate the candor.

  • His Yankee teammates are marveling at the game-saving play Mark Teixeira made in the 8th inning Sunday.
  • Ramiro Pena showed again Sunday why he has become a valuable player for the Yankees.
  • The Yankees have a corporates, business-like image, but George Willis of the New York Post notes that this group of players is actually enjoying themselves, and each other.

IT'S funny really. With all the millions of dollars the Yankees are making in salaries this season, the two most coveted possessions in their clubhouse these days is a toy replica of a WWE championship belt and whipped cream pies after walk-off hits.

Maybe that's what the Yankees needed all along; to remember that baseball is a kid's game meant to be fun and not burdened by validating their hefty pay checks or talking about steroids or how much the new Stadium cost. Now it's more about someone being a hero and earning a face full of whipped cream and a plastic-wrestling belt. Go figure.