Friday, April 16, 2010

Why did John Sterling make a "Thrilla by Godzilla" call for Hideki Matsui?

Let me get this straight: some Yankee fans boo Javier Vazquez, their own team's starting pitcher, after just 14 pitches in Wednesday's start. Then some very vocal Yankee fans cheer Hideki Matsui for hitting a home run to (briefly) put the Angels ahead over the Yankees in Thursday's game. And Yankee radio broadcaster John Sterling was so inspired by Matsui's homer that he unleashed his old "Thrilla by Godzilla" call. What's wrong with this picture?

Look, I thought it was very cool for Yankee fans to give Matsui such a warm welcome back in Tuesday's home opener. And I can understand even cheering for him in other at-bats, although I would have personally stopped after the first one of the game. (When Squawker Jon and I saw Jason Giambi against the Yankees last year, I cheered him for the first at-bat, and treated him like any other player on the A's after that.)

But to me, cheering wildly - or at all, for that matter - when Matsui hits a home run against the Yankees, especially when it gave the Angels a 1-0 lead, is a completely different deal. And it's quite the contrast, of course, to the boos Javy received from some of his own fanbase.

And what's the deal with Sterling's call? Was he so in love with his "A Thrilla by Godzilla" phrase that he thought it was okay to unleash it when it was against the Bombers? I don't get it.

As for Javier Vazquez, the designated Yankee scapegoat, I didn't want Vazquez as a Yankee. But I also know that booing him is counterproductive. It's not that he's showing lack of effort - he just hasn't gotten it together in his two starts. And fans have to ask themselves this question: Is booing him going to make him pitch better, or worse?

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman wrote about the situation in his Hardball blog, noting that Javy should get inspiration from his third baseman:
Vazquez really can use Rodriguez as a symbol. A-Rod struck out three times yesterday and maybe there were some boos here and there, but not anything like he would have received without the powerhouse 2009 postseason in conjunction with a Yankee championship.

I draw a different lesson than this anecdote than Sherman does. What I get from this is that there is a small portion of the Yankees fanbase that is so spoiled and ungrateful, they would boo Alex Rodriguez in the second home game after the Yankees won the World Series. Think about that breathtaking lack of gratitude for a second there.

After the way A-Rod carried the Yankees on his back in the postseason, A-Rod shouldn't get any boos at all. It really makes me sick that these knuckleheads root for the same team I do.

For all these years, some Yankee fans griped about how, despite two MVPs, Alex "wasn't clutch." Then, he proves himself with one of the greatest postseasons of all time, leading the Yankees to their first title since 2000. And what does he get in return? Boos in the second home game of the year.

You see, for these fans, it never really was about A-Rod being clutch, or not having a ring. It was that they just don't like the guy.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Andrew Fletcher said...

Lisa, obviously it's because Hideki Matsui is a True Yankee, while Javier Vazquez is not.

Subway Squawkers said...


Yeah, I can't stand that whole "true Yankee" notion. It drives me nuts.

Bernadette Pasley said...

Sterling did his "El Comodulce" call for Bobby Abreu, too.

Larry Koestler said...

I was at the game last night, and couldn't agree more about the fans cheering for Matsui. I love the guy and all that he did for the team, but hitting a home run to put the Yankees in a 1-0 hole is not something to root for.

Between that and the wave, I thought the fans were a disgrace last night.

Yanksgal07 said...

I feel the term true Yankee can be used in very specific cases ...

DJ, Mo, Posada, Bernie..I guess Pettitte too could be called "true" Yankees because they were raised in the system and spent their careers as Yankees (Andy took a small hiatus but he's still considered one the Core 4).

Mickey, Mattingly, Munson (love those "M" names..haha)would be true Yankees for the same reasons as are many other players who came through the farm system and finished with the Yankees.

Players like Alex,Paul,Tino, etc. are adopted Yankees and although not through our own system are Yankees always and forever in my eyes as long as they play hard and give their all for the team. Whether true or adopted they are all part of one big Yankee family ...

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

Yanksgal07 said...

Don't even start me on the wave...I keep thinking I will be a no-hitter and just as the final pitch is thrown the "fans" will do the damn wave and I'll miss it. Leave the wave where it belongs the ocean.

I too love Matsui. I was at Opening Day and cheered him loud and long but once that first pitch was thrown he was the enemy. I was at the game last night too and couldn't believe all the people who stood up and cheered his homer ...putting the Angels in the lead. What was with that??? I hope he does great against anyone NOT named Yankees but when he plays us ...0-4 sounds just about right .. :o)

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

MONDOAS said...

Matsui is so special to me. I believe or I want to believe that the reason for the cheers was b/c of who hit the HR but because it was only 1-0. You have to remember that he helped something happen in NY that took 9 years to take place and you know how impatient Yankee fans can be. Sterling is Sterling and nothing he does surprises me. He's like the 80 year old grandfather that says things out loud and you just respond by saying "right grandpa" and you really don't even pay him any attention.

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