Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chinky Chose Always Shows

No one growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s didn’t know the meaning of that playful phrase. It served as the “truthiness” arbiter of all athletic disputes during games played without an umpire or referee. If both sides of a contest disagreed , say, on whether a batted ball was fair or foul, or if a runner reached a base safely, the dispute was resolved by a do-over. The outcome of the replay, divinely inspired, no doubt, determined who was telling the truth and who was trying to cheat. The victor expressed his righteousness by taunting his opponent with the ditty, Chinky Chose Always Shows.

I call this to your attention because of last night’s Yankees-Rays game in their hotly contested pennant race. The winner would awake this morning in first place with little more than two weeks left in the regular season. The game began with the Yanks in first place by 1/2 game.

His team trailing 2-1 in the top of the 7th inning, Yankee captain Derek Jeter seemed to be hit in the left forearm by a pitch. As he danced around the plate in what appeared to be obvious pain, the umpire awarded him first base. Tampa Bay’s manager, Joe Maddon, rushed out to protest the ball had hit the knob of Jeter’s bat, not his arm. Moreover, since the ball rolled into fair territory and had been picked up by the Rays, Jeter should have been out, not issued a free pass to first, Maddon argued to no avail. The next batter, Curtis Granderson, hit a home run, giving the New Yorkers a 3-2 lead.

Yankee fans had reason to celebrate, but not in good conscience, as the instant replay pretty conclusively revealed the ball had indeed hit Jeter’s bat and that he was demonstrating some pretty good acting skills (the camera also showed him sheepishly looking over his shoulder to ascertain if the ump was buying his act).

It might not have been divine intervention (retribution?), but the Rays got their revenge. In the bottom of the 7th, for the second time in the game, reserve player Dan Johnson powered a 2-run home run off Phil Hughes. Final score—Rays 4, Yankees 3, leapfrogging the Rays back into first place, 1/2 game ahead of the Bronx Bombers.

The boys from the Bronx didn’t deserve to win, as anyone from Brooklyn, even a Yankee fan, would tell you.

Chinky Chose Always Shows.