Wait — did 2009 actually happen?

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I’m sorry to be fixated on Yankees stuff this afternoon, but apparently watching two teams that aren’t the Yankees play in the World Series is driving the New York writers crazy.

Lupica’s column today is about how, for all the money the Yankees have spent in the past decade, they only have the one World Series title to show for it. Or, put differently, only one “[s]ince Mike Piazza hit one into Bernie Williams’ glove at the end of the 2000 Subway Series.” But I guess a decade is technically a decade and who are we to dwell on something that happened 11 seasons out? Ancient history.

Anyway, this is my favorite passage:

Two years ago, the Yankees spent $425 million on Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett. When those guys finally put the Yankees back on top in 2009, we heard it was part of a grand master plan. Only now the Yankees get pistol-whipped by the Rangers, and the immediate thought – demand? – to make things right is to go spend another $125 million, or whatever it is going to take, to get the best pitcher out there this year, Cliff Lee.
Only in New York could someone caveat-away a one-year-old World Series title like that. It’s as if it didn’t matter and the plan that led to that title was a big fraud or something.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.