Days of Thunder and Lightning

For the Recorder
Friday, April 06, 2018

Lefthander Ron Guidry, aka Louisiana Lightning, has teamed up with Andrew Beaton to write “Gator: My Life in Pinstripes” about his days pitching for the Yankees.

Guidry pitched his entire 14-year career with the Bombers and was 170-91 when he retired in 1988. For comparison’s sake, Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez was 219-100 in 18 seasons including 117-37 with Boston.

In 1978, he won the Cy Young Award with a 25-3 record and started the winner-take-all playoff game against Boston on three days rest. Guidry’s doing his book tour, and Wednesday was Chris Russo’s turn to interview him on his Sirius-XM station.

The Yankees flew to Boston for the ’78 playoff game after they lost the regular season finale to Rick Waits and the Cleveland Indians. Guidry had told manager Bob Lemon he’d take the ball on short rest, but at Fenway Park the next morning decided he needed a nap. He went into the trainer’s room and laid down in a reclining chair. No matter what, he told trainer Gene Monahan, “Don’t let anyone wake me.”

A half hour later, owner George Steinbrenner barreled into the visitors’ clubhouse thinking he needed to pump everyone up. “Where’s Guidry,” he asked.

“Mr. Steinbrenner,” answered Monahan, “he told me he was going to take a walk down the right field line.”

And out went Steinbrenner on his wild goose chase. After his nap, Guidry allowed two runs in 6⅓ innings and left trailing 2-0, but we all know how that story ended. 

The Red Sox have fattened up on two terrible teams, beating the Marlins twice and taking five of six from the Rays. The Rays have been shut out in 56 of 65 innings; Kevin Kiermaier, Carlos Gomez and Wilson Ramos have seven hits in 73 at-bats. “There’s people who don’t think Tampa will win 20 games before the all-star break,” said Skip Smith, who operates the TV camera next to the Rays’ dugout. Smith, who hails from West County, was wearing his Shelburne Falls hat from behind the camera on Opening Day.

At this writing the Red Sox, Astros and Blue Jays were a combined 0-for-9 on replay challenges. …  Boston tied an MLB record in Miami on Tuesday by having a runner thrown out at every base, Jackie Bradley Jr. out at home plate, Rafael Devers at third base, Eduardo Nunez at second base and lots of guys at first base.  … Fifty-eight strikeouts by Chicago Cubs hitters in their first five games is an MLB record. … Yanks manager Aaron Boone got a taste of Big Apple blowback on Sunday after ordering an intentional walk to Toronto’s Josh Donaldson that was followed by Justin Smoak’s grand slam. “BOONE GOES THE DYNAMITE” chortled the Daily News. … Forty degree games tend to quicken the pace of play. Let’s pump cold air into the stadiums this summer. …. After being snowed out and nearly rained out twice, the crowd at frigid Yankee Stadium cheered when the  sun came out, albeit briefly on Wednesday.  … Giancarlo Stanton was booed after striking out five times at the Stadium on Tuesday, then cheered when he homered in his first at-bat on Wednesday. … Toronto’s Gift Ngoepe is the first native-born African to play in the majors. The 5-foot-8 second baseman was born in Pietersburg, South Africa.

On opening day in Detroit, MLB deprived Tigers fans of going home happy by screwing up in the replay booth.

Detroit scored the apparent winning run in the tenth inning when Nicholas Castellanos slid safely into home plate. Pittsburgh appealed the umpire’s call and the play was overturned. “I didn’t feel him tag me,” said Castellanos, “but I don’t have the super slo-mo cam and all the stuff they have in their New York bat cave.” 

The next day MLB acknowledged the error and admitted it was wrong and that Detroit should’ve won. How does that happen? Where can I buy a T-shirt that says, “Technology Sucks”? 

Quite a week for the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, who hit home runs in back-to-back games and retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced in another. The Angels issued 240 press credentials to the Japanese media for Ohtani’s mound debut. … Former Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada is off to a .154 start batting leadoff for the Chicago White Sox. On Thursday, he fanned four times in six hitless at bats versus Detroit. … Phillies’ manager Gabe Kapler used 21 pitchers in 28 innings. Kapler must have thought he was still in spring training. Deadspin’s take on events: Gabe Kapler’s Cosmic Brain is Putting the Phillies in Some Tough Spots.

NESN’s Jerry Remy to play-by-play voice Dave O’Brien, discussing life on the road: “I wear out hotel lobbies, I gotta get out of my room.”

O’Brien reminded Remy of the time he was awoken by a group of fans while he was napping in the lobby of the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. “They were waiting for me to wake up so they could take my picture,” said Remy.

Tampa Bay radio guy Dave Wills between pitches: “We didn’t have a single intern go to the hospital last year.”

“Nope,” said analyst Andy Freed, “no hospital, no jail. … They all stayed out of the crossbar hotel.”