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Jerry Hairston takes the blame for Pettitte losing his perfecto

Sep 1, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

If a guy makes an error that costs his pitcher a perfect game, and the very next hitter laces a single into the outfield, my sense of it is that you can’t really dwell on the error, because, hey, the no-no and perfecto would have been gone a minute later anyway.  Then again, I don’t have to fill column inches in New York:

The ground ball didn’t appear to take any sort of bad hop, no matter
what the Yankee players were saying afterward. In truth it was the type
that Jerry Hairston could field without a bobble 100 times out of 100 under ordinary circumstances.

So maybe the importance of the moment got to him. Then again,
Hairston had saved the perfect game only an inning earlier with a
barehand play on a slow roller. In any case, when he missed Adam Jones’ grounder with two outs in the seventh inning, Hairston perhaps changed the course of history, and Andy Pettitte‘s karma as well.

There’s some sort of third order story like this coming out of every Yankees’ game.  We pay attention to the sensationalism surrounding A-Rod and all of that, but I think that this is the kind of scrutiny — 800 words devoted to someone’s relatively meaningless error — that people are really talking about when they talk about the pressure of New York.

This one story? No big deal. 160 of them? Man, that has to get old.

  1. Ronkonkoma Chet - Sep 1, 2009 at 8:47 AM

    A-Rod should have been out there playing. For 27 million bucks/year, he can at least show up for work.

  2. Jay - Sep 1, 2009 at 9:16 AM

    As far as errors go, this one was pretty meaningful. Aside from the anticipation of a perfect game, which was certainly building in Camden Yards with all the Yankees fans there, the Yanks were only leading by two at the time and it brought the tying run to the plate. That said, I don’t blame Hairston for it and it’s ridiculous to suggest that “in truth” he would have made the play “100 out of 100 times” because it was hit pretty hard. Pettitte hadn’t throw a CG since 2006, so there was no reason to assume he was good for the last six outs of this game, either.
    Yes, the artcile in the Daily News makes it out to be a much bigger deal that it should be, but it’s probably more of a function of the fact that it’s a tabloid and there are so many media outlets in the market, each searching for an angle.

  3. Grant - Sep 1, 2009 at 9:24 AM

    Ronkonkoma Chet: Really? Guy can’t have a day off now and again? Especially a guy who recently had fairly major surgery? Doesn’t seem like a wise way of protecting one of a team’s most important (and expensive) assets.

  4. Spice - Sep 1, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    A-Rod was sitting because Team management told him he was sitting. It was not his call and not his idea to be on the bench. If you follow baseball at all and you are not a complete idiot you know that A-Rod had hip surgery and the Team Doctors ordered that he be rested several days a month to rest the hip.
    Of course Don’t let FACT get in the way of another stupid shot at A-Rod.

  5. Stultus Magnus - Sep 1, 2009 at 9:44 AM

    Ronkonkoma Chet:
    I can’t imagine the heat A-Rod would have taken if he booted the ball or couldn’t make that play in the inning before.
    This story wouldn’t die, ever. The haters would add that error to a list of reasons why A-Rod isn’t a true Yankee.
    A-Rod probably makes both those plays, but you never know with his mobility/hip issues.

  6. elton - Sep 1, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    I guess NO one saw the great play he made on the slow roller that kept the “perfect game in tact”. ALSO, they still had 7 or 8 more outs to get. I could understand if it had happened in the 9th. Yes, he should have made the play. It was probably the ONLY error in the MAJOR’s all of last night…?
    Add this to Jay’s comments and it is pretty simple common sense!!

  7. clifford - Sep 1, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Well then it wasnt his time to get one.
    And the attitude Andy had about it saying if he didnt get it by now then he wont get one and that he didnt want to pitch nine innings anyway.
    What kind of team player is that making relief pitchers work more all because he didnt wanna pitch a complete game? He doesnt deserve to get one then.
    He should take a page out of C.C.’s book. He wants to throw a complete game everytime. Just like Doc

  8. Joey - Sep 1, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Yeah everyone loves to hate on A-Rod…even when he’s not in the game! I guess that’s the price of a huge contract or lying on camera as this video shows
    I love how this comment is all about A-Rod when it should be about Hairston or Pettitte. Why not just say if Andy kept taking HGH, he would have got the perfect game? What were the odds Andy was going to finish that game with a perfect game?

  9. Get a clue Chester - Sep 1, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    Ronkonkoma Chet = Clownshoes.

  10. skidder - Sep 1, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    Hell no, not for the money they make. Non of them deserve a day off. They have over 3 months off in the winter F* them and anybody who thinks they should be babied.

  11. jojobobo - Sep 1, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    Come on. PG’s are very hard to come by. That’s why they’re so great when we get one. Let’s be thankful it wasn’t in the ninth with 2 out and the count at 3-2.

  12. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Sep 1, 2009 at 1:33 PM

    here’s what Pettitte said:
    “Andy was great about it. He joked that he didn’t want to have to throw nine innings anyway.
    There’s a key word in there you seemed to have missed, so maybe next time you should read the entire article before railing against a player and making yourself look foolish.

  13. JPierre - Sep 1, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Hey Chet, Shut up. Who’s to say Pettite would have been throwing a perfect game if A-Rod was playing. You’re like the small amount of Yankee fans that would say something that stupid. If you’re a Yankee fan, you’ve just been disowned,go join the Washinton Nationals, loser.

  14. NYGUY - Sep 1, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    It was not A-Rod’s decision to sit. Do you know anything about his matter?

  15. NYGUY - Sep 1, 2009 at 2:28 PM

    Yes, a man with 4 rings is, obviously, not a team player. I saw the game and he reacted very calmly and quietly to the error. It is a big deal when any pitcher is at out 21 in a perfect game. To go that far is a rarity in itself. He made the comments to deflect the spotlight from Hairston. Anyone who thinks Andy is not a team player is a complete buffoon about baseball.

  16. Molitor - Sep 1, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    The point that is being missed here is Pettitte was then forced to pitch from the stretch on the next batter, somethig he of course did not do all game. If you look at stats of most pitchers, batting average against goes way up when pitching from stretch and it is also why some relief pitchers ALWAYS pitch from the stretch no matter if there are baserunners or not, just for a feel of consistency and comfort.

  17. NYGUY - Sep 1, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    Since the link is to a ‘fake’ Red Sox site, then you are not an unbiased observer. Interesting how you ignore your own cheater who is now a shell of what he used to be. For 1997-2002, Big Poopi had a total of 58 home runs for the Twins. Since then, he has had over 250 home runs. I wonder how that happened? Please, you are slinging mud into a fan and it is not pretty. Few teams are without their sinners. The video, for that matter, would be considered untrue as it was edited to fit the needs of the creator. Oh, you did not state that first! No wonder you are considered second place.

  18. Joltin' Joe - Sep 1, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    You’all be haters DAWGS…..truth is that shit happens deal with it…the baseball God’s conspired against it….and thats that….If Andy can live with it so can I….now lets get our 27th ring this year and party like rock stars…and oh yeay screw you gay ass Boston Fans..let go YANKEES……………

  19. John - Sep 1, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    In the end all that matters in that the Yankees got their 83rd win of the season.

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