Archive for the ‘Yankees’ Category

Onwards to the Stony Rubbish

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I’ve got a new post up on Bugs & Cranks about last night’s epic Angels-Yankees error-off, and the upcoming three-game jaunt into the Wastelands of Anaheim. (I have never been to Anaheim, but I do generally imagine it as A heap of broken images, where the sun beats/ And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief/ And the dry stone no sound of water.)

Meanwhile the Yankees doing something fan-friendly for once and opening up the Stadium for anyone who wants to watch Game 3 in Anaheim. That sounds pretty neat, and though I’m sure they’ll still make a tidy profit on concessions, in a refreshing departure from their usual squeeze-out-every-penny approach they will not be charging admission. If I have time maybe I’ll head up there.

What is "One of the More Surreal Experiences of My Life, Alex?"

Monday, October 12th, 2009

So in the end, my anxiety about the ALDS was largely unfounded – except for Carl Pavano’s ace performance; did I call that or what? My recap of last night’s Yankees win went up on the Banter this morning.

And since it worked so well last time, now I’m off to write about all the many ways the ALCS could turn into a total disaster for New York.

Meanwhile, weirdly enough, I’m supposed to be on “Jeopardy!” tonight – I went out to LA for the taping back in August and it was a fun though deeply weird experience. I’m Tivo-ing the show, but as I hate even hearing my own voice on a tape recorder let alone watching myself on TV, I will probably go with the Phils-Rockies game tonight instead.

And I’m not allowed to say how I did before it airs, but I can’t let it go without just one preemptive note: I knew the Mickey Mantle question! I just couldn’t buzz in in time, I swear!

Bugs and Cranks and Stuff

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

So, I’ll be doing a little blogging over at Bugs & Cranks, and my first post went up yesterday. I outlined all the various things that might go wrong for the Yankees this postseason, including the possibility that cockroaches will swarm Mark Teixeira and carry him off to the sewers. (These things happen).

Of course I’ll also be continuing to post over at the Banter, and in fact have a writeup of last night’s Yanks-Twins game there. Feel free to chime in with suggestions for my upcoming TBS/Chip Caray Drinking Game. E.g.: take a drink every time someone uses the phrase “plays the game the right way”; if Craig Sagar’s suit is attacked by frightened birds, finish your beer; etc.


Finally, for those of you who enjoy having your information input and output arbitrarily limited to 140 characters, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

I think that about covers it. Except I’m so happy to have playoff baseball back in New York that I actually did a little dance at the first pitch. No one saw except my dog, and she, luckily, will never tell.

Ohhhh, Fight

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

In theory, I do not approve of multimillionaire professional adults punching and shoving each other over some macho bullshit.

However I have to admit that whenever it actually happens, I’m all “Ohhhh, fight!!!”

Actually I missed seeing Tuesday’s Yankees-Jays brawl live because I was watching the Mets lose to the Braves, which was not so remarkable (thought I admit it took me quite a few minutes to place Mets starter Patrick Misch), but I was doing it at “Amazin’ Tuesday” on the LES, which was a lot of fun.

The first thing I thought when I saw clips of the fight was, of course the first real Yankees brawl in years happens AFTER they finally got rid of Kyle Farnsworth. Because that is basically the only good reason to have Farnsworth on one’s team, as has been repeatedly proven in independent studies.

Anyway, I had no idea Joe Girardi could move that fast – he got to the scene quicker than anyone else from either dugout. I guess nothing motivates a guy quite like seeing hundreds of millions of dollars (and thousands of pounds) worth of stars heading for a hostile dogpile. There was a whole lot of VORP shoving around in that mess.

I’m dwelling on a game from four days ago because (A) I cannot ever pass up the opportunity for a Kyle Farnsworth joke, and (B) tonight’s game ended with a sin against nature in the form of a walk-off home run off of Mariano Rivera. I don’t like to dwell on such games because, quite frankly, the universe already seems frightening, random, and meaningless enough as it is.

Next blog post: time to talk about the Mets. But god, where do I start?

Nobody Knows Anybody, Not That Well.

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

So, first, just to be veeeeery clear about this: I don’t think Derek Jeter ever used steroids. No clue or circumstantial evidence or even the vaguest rumor has ever indicated otherwise. I think only Mariano Rivera would be a bigger surprise to me, if he turned up on that list.

That said, with everything baseball has been through this decade, wouldn’t it probably be a good idea to stop writing articles like this one? Newsday’s Wallace Matthews discusses Jeter’s upcoming Yankee hits record, in a piece titled “Fair Ball: Just Clean Hits For Jeter”:

…It also will serve to remind us how pathetic were the excuses of this era’s steroids cheats and their many media apologists, to wit: “Everybody else was doing it, and I was just trying to keep up.”

Jeter’s career exposes that for what it is: a lie, a lame excuse, a sign of weakness and absolute proof that all the talent in the world can’t compensate for a lack of character.

Because (until proven otherwise), Derek Jeter, all 195 non-spectacular pounds of him, never needed that kind of help. …

…You can call that moralizing if you like. I call it celebrating a man who did things the right way rather than excusing or, worse, glorifying boys who took the easy way out.

I don’t know that I’d call it moralizing, but I would call it a bit of an assumption (as Matthews knows, of course, hence the “until proven otherwise” parenthetical). Again, I don’t think Jeter took steroids – but until about seven months ago, sports sections were full of stories on how A-Rod was going to be the clean-living hero who breaks Barry Bonds’ home run record. And yeah, it’s DEREK JETER, so I’ll cheerfully give him the benefit of the doubt, and when I watch him play steroids are the last thing on my mind. I’m not saying we should run around suspecting and accusing everyone who sets foot on a diamond. I’m just saying: you never really know until you know, you know?

Back in Black

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Okay, okay, time to get this baby going again. I’ve been posting on the Banter all season, once or twice a week, but I fiiiiiinally finished my book (out March 16!), and I guess I ought to have my own online space again. The Banter’s great for all things Yankee-related, but god knows there’s enough to talk about with this year’s Mets, and elsewhere in baseball too, and the occasional movie or TV review and yes, eventually, some book promotion (but I will certainly try to keep that to a minimum, or at least be as un-annoying as possible about it).

Anyway, I have a post on the Banter on last night’s Yankees win. They’re 30 games over .500 and, for the moment anyway, almost on cruise control. Being a pessimist I realize this does not preclude them from losing in the first round of the playoffs again, but even I’m not so glass-half-empty as to think they won’t at least get to the playoffs.

I’ll be in England next week visiting a friend, so I suppose it’ll be August 26th before I can really get back to a regular posting schedule here, but I figured I might as well get started over the next few days.

Brother Can You Spare $1,250?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Forget whatever the technical definition of an economic depression might be — the New York Yankees have lowered ticket prices. I’m pretty sure we’re in one.

Of course even after this sudden 50% off sale, the team would have to lower the cost of “Legends Suite” seats by another 90% or so before I could even daydream about affording one, but never mind. This is, I believe, the first time in my entire life that the Yankees have lowered the cost of anything by so much as a cent. Make a note of April 28!

Other things that happened on April 28th, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • 1788 Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1796 The Armistice of Cherasco is signed.
  • 1920Azerbaijan is added to the Soviet Union.
  • 1932 – A vaccine for yellow fever is announced for use on humans.
  • 1945Benito Mussolini is executed by a firing squad.
  • 2001 – Millionaire Dennis Tito becomes the world’s first space tourist.
  • Births of James Monroe (1758), Kurt Gödel (1906), Saddam Hussein (1937), and Barry Larkin (1965).

I’m off to scope out Citi Field today – upper deck, natch, or as I see we’re now calling it, “Promenade Level”. Sounds so picturesque when you put it like that!

Baseball Player Name of the Week

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Via RAB, The Yankees have just added to their 40-man roster…

Eric Hacker.


Good thing he’s a pitcher. If he ever makes it to the majors, though, I hope he gets to bat in a few interleague games in NL parks.

"When the Legend Becomes Fact, Pitch the Legend"

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Well, the Yankees’ season is likely over… but that didn’t keep me from writing a recap for the Banter about Saturday’s supposedly Carl Pavano-started game. That’s one of my better post titles, too, if I do say so myself.

And if we could somehow get “The Last Unicorn” to stick as a nickname for Pavano, I won’t have wasted my time on this planet.

The Mets are in much, much better shape, the loss tonight not withstanding. I can’t help feeling a little sorry for Willie Randolph. He got a huge standing ovation at Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium, and seemed to really appreciate it, but I think it was only really about about half “we love you, Willie!” and half “fuck the Mets.” And I don’t want to deny Jerry Manuel credit, because obviously he’s done an excellent job, but surely the Mets’ turnaround can’t be attributed entirely to the managerial change, can it?

But anyway, more on the Mets later, as I now have to fall asleep while watching the US basketball team win a gold medal. Well… knock on wood, but come on.

Spanning the Spans

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I’ve got a soft spot for the Twins, and have for years; they’re probably my favorite non-NY team. For one thing, the immortal Bat-Girl made them seem incredibly endearing. Besides that, as I’ve mentioned many times, I like Ron Gardenhire (a wise and twinkly-eyed baseball gnome), I loved watching Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, and Pat Neshak, and now I like Boof Bonser — yes, just for the name, but what a name — and Joe Mauer and, even though he is currently one of the worst-hitting starting outfielders in Major League Baseball, speedy bat-sniffing Carlos Gomez*. But right now I’m especially loving them, because they’ve got:

1. Longtime Eephus Pitch favorite Denard “No Relation” Span, who with every fleet-footed triple increases the odds that significant numbers of people will one day be walking around in “Span” t-shirts and Jerseys, and improves the reputation of a surname I’ve spent much of my life sullying. He’s kicking ass right now if I do say so myself, albeit in a very non-power-y kind of way.

2. Craig Breslow, who was one year ahead of me at college, and by all accounts as well as my own very brief experience with him, is one very nice biochem major. His appearance against the Yankees tonight was… ah… well, hey, he did set a record. Let’s just leave it at that. But he’s having a really good year overall and hopefully I’ll get to see him pitch again this series.

Anyway, the Yankees are back in the playoff race with a vengeance, but I’m still skeptical. Don’t get me wrong — this is a bit of a rebuilding year and if they can just keep things interesting into September, I won’t complain. (Much). But it’s hard to imagine that after playing mediocre baseball for nearly half the season, the Yankees will play significantly better after losing Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada for the season. I mean, it’s not as if they have top-notch studs on the bench, like Fernando Tatis and Argenis Reyes, ready to step into the void.

Wait… what?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present your first place New York Mets (and their Reyeses, or Reyesi). If I were Willie Randolph I would probably just unplug the TV, cancel my newspaper subscription, and take up either Zen meditation or heavy drinking.

Last but not least, congratulations to my friend Dan, one of the best Mets fans I know — not because of first place, but because he got married yesterday, in an incredibly beautiful ceremony in Connecticut. (And I say that as someone who doesn’t generally go sappy during weddings… seriously, it was beautiful).

And? He didn’t check the score even once.