Yankees tie it, win it in unbelievable fashion

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Yankees tie it, win it in unbelievable fashion

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- The highest-paid player in baseball could only sit and watch when Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him and tied the game with a bottom-of-the-ninth home run.Alex Rodriguez had another good view from the dugout three innings later when Ibanez homered to win it.Saved by manager Joe Girardi's gutsy move -- and Ibanez's big swings -- the New York Yankees rallied for a stunning 3-2 win in the 12th over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night for a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL division series."You're going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn't work," Girardi said.The slumping Rodriguez, among the greatest power hitters in history, offered no complaint, telling Girardi: "Joe, you gotta do exactly what you gotta do.""Maybe 10 years ago I would have reacted in a much different way," A-Rod said.Ibanez then stepped up and hit a tying, solo shot to right-center with one out in the ninth off major league saves leader Jim Johnson to make it 2-all.Yankees fans had been howling this week for Girardi to drop Rodriguez out of the No. 3 spot in the batting order. But Girardi was reluctant to move his fading slugger down in the lineup.Until he took him all the way out."You have to make some decisions sometimes that are tough decisions. I just had a gut feeling," Girardi said.Rodriguez has 647 career home runs -- he's chasing the all-time record of 762 by Barry Bonds -- and is making 29 million this year. But was just 1 for 12 with no RBIs and seven strikeouts in this series when Girardi pulled him."It kind of caught me off-guard, hitting for a guy who's half-a-billionaire," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said.It was the first time Rodriguez had ever been pinch-hit for in a postseason game, according to STATS LLC.And it worked.Rodriguez immediately turned to injured Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, raised one arm, then both arms and traded high-fives with his star teammate. When Ibanez returned to the bench, Rodriguez was the first player to greet him."He said great job. A-Rod is a great teammate and great team player," Ibanez said. "He's the first one on the top step congratulating you. It's about winning. It's about the Yankees and continuing."Ibanez remained in the game and connected on the first pitch from Brian Matusz in the 12th.Ibanez became the first player to homer twice in a postseason game in which he didn't start, STATS said.Phil Hughes will try to clinch it for the Yankees on Thursday night in Game 4. Joe Saunders will start for Baltimore.Baltimore had won 16 straight extra-inning games, and had been 76-0 when leading after seven, before the Yankees stung them."It was a great experience. We do it as a team. We stay after it," Ibanez said. "I'm blessed to come up and have the opportunity like that. We do it together. it's about a team and about winning."The brash, young Orioles appeared poised to move within a win of their first trip to the AL championship series since 1997 before the Yankees' comeback.Ibanez hit a 1-0 pitch into the seats in the ninth, setting off a raucous celebration in what had been a demoralized Yankee Stadium crowd.After their 10-game July lead was cut to zero in early September, the Yankees repelled every Orioles charge. The teams were tied 10 times in the final month but New York ended up atop the division.New York won the opener in Baltimore scoring five runs in the ninth off Johnson. The Orioles won Game 2 and rode Miguel Gonzalez's pretty performance to a 2-1 lead in the ninth.But the Yankees limited Baltimore to one hit after 20-year-old Manny Machado homered in the fifth. Ryan Flaherty homered earlier for the Orioles.Robert Andino was doubled off second after leading off the Baltimore ninth with a single and advancing on a sacrifice.Boone Logan got one out in relief of Hiroki Kuroda, who gave up two solo homers in 8 1-3 innings. Closer Rafael Soriano pitched 1 1-3 innings and David Robertson went two, finishing off his outing by bumping into and tagging Andino to end the top of the 12th.Derek Jeter tied the score with an RBI triple in the third for the Yankees. Jeter, limping after fouling a ball off his foot, came out after eight innings. He says we will be able to play Thursday.NOTES:Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Lance Stephenson goes back at Isaiah Thomas for recruiting Paul George on Instagram

Lance Stephenson goes back at Isaiah Thomas for recruiting Paul George on Instagram

Isaiah Thomas keeps recruiting players on Instagram. It was only a matter of time before somebody got pissed. 

Thomas, who on Wednesday commented on a photo of the disbanding Clippers telling Blake Griffin to come to Boston, was up to his old tricks again later in the day. With Paul George almost a certainty to be dealt this offseason, Lance Stephenson posted a picture of he and George pleading with him to stay in Indiana. Thomas wasn't exactly polite in his comment, leading to a back-and-forth.

"Blasted" might be a stretch, but the Celtics did indeed go 3-0 against the Pacers last season, though none of the wins were by large margins. George dropped 37 points on the Celtics in Boston's 109-100 win on March 22. 

MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

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MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

PITTSBURGH -- John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane said . "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another -- Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays -- clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane said. 'Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

"Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side," Tumpane said. "After that I went up to her, she said, 'You'll just forget me after this' and I said, 'No, I'll never forget you.' This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us and I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time."

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he's no hero.

"I just happened to be there," he said. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out."

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

"Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment."

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

"It's also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been," he said. "Glad it was this way."

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He's spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

"I happened to be in the right spot at the right time," he said. "Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome."