1. Yanks 9, Birds 1. Hughes, finally, may have arrived. Loved that kid from the start.
2. Pettitte plus Hughes: 12 games over .500. The rest of the Yankee staff: 1 game over .500.
3. That blown call, costing baseball the third perfect game in a month: ouch. Baseball umps remain the most competent officials, as a group, in sports. (This is even including the ghastly incompetents, like CV Buckner and Angel Hernandez.) If anything like Tim Donaghy had happened in baseball, they'd already be filming the movie. (Jake Glynenhall, maybe. Tobey MacGuire.) But something hit last October and keeps recurring.
3. When I was in college, during Spring Break in 1986 and '87, my father and brothers and I would head out of Scottsdale Diablo Stadium to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Brewers, Padres, Cubs, whoever in Spring Training. Just about every game, Dick Williams would send the Mariners' prime prospect out to play center field for the last few innings. There was no question this skinny teenager would be returning to the minors both years, but the fans were delighted to see him play, in part because they remembered his famous father, in part because he was a promise of things to come--for Mariner fans and non-fans alike. The big smile you could see from high above home plate all the way to the warning track, and with every fly ball, every at-bat, every first-to-third, it was if the entire park existed only to watch him. The sentiment was palpable: He has to do well. There could be no other outcome. Ken Griffey Junior did okay.