The Mariano, once more around the home park

The Mariano says goodbye to Yankee Stadium . . .

The Mariano says goodbye to Yankee Stadium . . .

The game meant nothing to the Yankees otherwise. They staggered out of the postseason picture one day earlier. These mostly old and mostly battered Yankees had nothing but will to get them far enough that they held onto postseason hopes by a frayed thread at best. Behind 4-0 to the Rays Thursday night in Yankee Stadium, a deficit that would hold up, there was only one reason for manager Joe Girardi to bring in his closer at all, never mind in the top of the eight.

Escobar and intolerance

An apology, and a no-pay suspension . . .

Flanked by his manager, general manager, and a coach, Yunel Escobar apologised for the eye-black black eye at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. Leaving little if any room to ponder he might have been punk’d, as had been pondered in the hoopla’s immediacy, the shortstop said inscribing¬†tu eres maricon¬†on his eye black strips was intended as a joke.

Yunel Escobar, eye black or black eye

Yunel Escobar, wearing the eye black eyed ’round the world . . .

You could make a case that the hoopla over Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar’s eye-black graffiti, which has just got him suspended three games without pay by the Blue Jays themselves, should be phrased more properly as a hoopla over a black eye, as in the one he’s now thought to have inflicted upon baseball. (Eye black, for the uninitiated, is used to repel sun glare or the glare from stadium lights at night. Some players apply the goo directly, others use specially-made strips of it.) But a few thoughts come to mind otherwise, and in no particular order: