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One of the Yes Network's most aired shows are their Yankee Classics.  Generally, during the regular season on off days and mornings before a game when there was none the day before, you can catch the Yankees Classics.  Then they fill up a lot of the schedule with them during the off-season.  As a Yankee fan, I think it's a great idea, although the ranking of some games as "Classics" can sometimes be questions.

Well, this is an attempt to log as many of the Yankee Classics that have been shown including some commentary and rankings on whether they really are classics or...not so much.

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Regular Season vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Yankees Beat Randy Johnson in an Interleague Match-Up
Monday, June 10, 2002
Final Score: 7-5
Yankee Classic Rating (1 low to 10 high): 2
Another "Classic" that just makes you scratch your head. Areas of significance about this game include the fact that it was the first meeting between the Yankees and the Diamondbacks after the 2001 World Series. Also, it happened to be against long-time nemesis Randy Johnson, which perhaps became more interesting after he became a Yankee...but not much. Add in a dramatic Grand Slam to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth and I suppose I can see why, once upon a time, someone at the Yes Network decided this should be labelled a "Classic." It may be time to put this one on the shelf for a while.

Oddly enough, like the Paul O'Neill three home run game that's featured as a Yankee Classic, this one was started by Sterling Hitchcock. I guess he has a knack for somehow wriggling his way into these games. His outing hardly inspired this designation as a "Classic" after surrenderring four runs on seven hits and two walks before being lifted in the top of the fifth with a man on first.

Marcus Thames got the Yankees ahead in the bottom of the third with a two-run homer in his first major league at-bat. Noteworthy about that may be an early sign of Randy Johnson's penchant for surrendering home runs to the least likely player in the line-up. A characteristic that seemed to blossom into a full-blown problem once he joined the Yankees in 2005.

Hitchcock quickly gave that lead away the very next inning with a walk to Greg Colbrunn, a single to Erubiel Durazo, then after a ground out by Jose Guillen that moved the runners up, Steve Finley brought them both home with a two out, two-run double.

The Diamondbacks added two more in the top of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead and chase Hitchcock. Derek Jeter touched up Johnson for a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning to pull the Yanks within one.

That's how it stayed until the eighth inning with little offense on either side as Johnson and Ramiro Mendoza got through the next two innings with little trouble. Joe Torre then brought in Mike Stanton to start the eighth. Stanton promptly loads the bases with no one out, but escapes by getting Jose Guillen to pop-up to Jorge Posada, and striking out Steve Finley and Damian Miller to maintain the 4-3 lead and set the stage for the Yankees comback in the bottom of the inning.

That inning started harmlessly with a strikeout of Bernie Williams. Then Johnson walked Giambi. That was followed by a double down the left field line by Jorge Posada, just over the glove of third baseman Chris Donnels who did his best impression of a bullfighter.

Bob Brenly then brought the infield in which paid off as Alfonso Soriano grounded meekly to first, halting the pinch running John Vander Wal at third. At that point, it looked like Johnson should get out of trouble with Ron Coomer due up, who was 0-3 with a strikeout to that point. Oddly enough, Brenly decided to pull Johnson and bring in Bret Prinz to finish the inning.

Torre countered the pitching change by pinch-hitting Robin Ventura who was then intentionally walked to face Shane Spencer. Bad move. Spencer was already 2-3 with a double in the game, so he seemed to be seeing the ball well. That continued into this at-bat as he deposited a Prinz fastball into the left field seats to give the Yankees a 7-4 lead that would hold up for the Yankee win.

The bottom line with this game is, if you catch it on Yankee Classics, check to see what inning it is. Then figure out when you can turn it back on to watch the eighth inning, since it's really the only inning worth watching. Unless of course you're a big fan of Marcus Thames. In that case, I hope you're enjoying the website Mr. or Mrs. Thames and you can tune in earlier for his milestone home run.
Disclaimer: This site is in no way affiliated with the New York Yankees or YES Network in any manner. This is strictly and completely a fan created website.