Matinee Baseball: Yankees Win, Chapman Smiles • Latino Sports


Matinee Baseball: Yankees Win, Chapman Smiles



Bronx, NY – After Friday night’s disappointing 2-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees bounced back nicely as they rebounded to a 6-3 victory. After a scoreless first inning, the Bronx Bombers scored first in the second inning.

With two runners on base, Yanks CF Jacoby Ellsbury blasted a line drive. As a result, Starlin Castro scored the game’s first run. Unfortunately for New York, 1B Greg Bird who foolishly rounded the bases was caught out at home. Barely holding on to a 1-0 lead, the Yankees weren’t able to prevent the Mariners from tying the game.

Facing Yankees pitcher Sonny Gray, Seattle’s Carlos Ruiz who at the time was batting .202 blasted his second homer of the season. Moments after the ball sailed to left field and Ruiz rounded the bases, the game was leveled at 1-1.

Unable to take to the lead in the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees needed one monstrous swing to put them ahead. That swing came courtesy of 3B Chase Headley as he won his duel against Mariners pitcher Yovani Gallardo. In defeating Gallardo, Headley blasted his seventh homer (three-run shot) of the season and gave the Pinstripes a 4-1.

In the seventh inning, the Yanks added two more runs and survived Seattle’s late attempt of a rally. The Yankees won 6-3, Sonny Gray picked up his eighth win of the season and even though he didn’t play today, Aroldis Chapman smiled.

Even though baseball is a game filled with cold and concrete statistics, it’s the humanity and emotion of each and every memory of the game that we’ve either witnessed or played that we carry in our hearts. In the case of Aroldis Chapman, who has been struggling as of late, he needed one precious memory to remind him that he’s going to be okay.

Credit: Daniel Budasoff/Latino Sports

Credit: Daniel Budasoff/Latino Sports

That memory came in the form of veteran Cuban sports journalist Sigfredo Barros Segrera. With 47 years of sportswriting experience, Segrera writes for the Cuban Communist Party news service Granma.

For Sigfredo, he was visiting New York for the first time. On Saturday, he covered his first Major League Baseball as our guest columnist. As much as Sigfredo enjoyed his time at Yankee Stadium, little did he know that he would bring a smile to a ballplayer who has been struggling as of late.

Following the game, Latino Sports founder Julio Pabon and I escorted Sigfredo to the Yankees Clubhouse. As Sigfredo observed the postgame life of a clubhouse foreign to him, I could tell he was moved by his experience at Yankee Stadium. For Sigfredo, it took him 47 years to finally cover his favorite childhood baseball team.

While Sigfredo was caught up in his moment, Julio found Chapman and informed him that the veteran Cuban sportswriter was in attendance. Like a former student who hadn’t seen his favorite teacher in a long time, Chapman’s eyes lit up, and he enthusiastically asked, “Where’s Sigfredo?” Both were reunited and while they caught up, anyone observing could feel the history and respect between the ballplayer and veteran sportswriter.

During this exchange, it was the most I’ve ever seen Chapman smile.

Sigfredo asked Chapman both personal and professional questions and like a student respectful of his teacher, he answered them all. Before both men went their separate ways, Sigfredo provided Chapman some encouraging words. In return, Chapman smiled and sincerely appeared appreciative of them.

After we left the clubhouse, I informed Sigfredo that today was the most I had seen Chapman smile. As brief as their reunion was, maybe this is what Chapman needed… a memory from his life in Cuba that led to his evolution as a man and MLB ballplayer.

Game Summary: Saturday, August 26, 2017

  • FINAL SCORE: Yankees 6, Mariners 3
  • WINNING PITCHER: Sonny Gray (8-8)
  • LOSING PITCHER: Yovani Gallardo (5-10)
  • HOME RUNS (Yanks): Jacoby Ellsbury (7th HR, 4th Inning)
  • HOME RUNS (Mariners): Carlos Ruiz (2nd HR, 3rd Inning)
  • SAVE: Dellin Betances (10)
  • ATTENDANCE: 39,810
  • TIME: 3:25


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