December 24th, 2009

…Not Even A Centaur

A few weeks ago, a few of my friends had people over to their apartment to help make and hang decorations for their tree. I think it came out pretty well:

…Say, what’s that at the top of the tree? A star, an angel?

I can almost make it out…

Ah yes. (You can thank/curse @jasoncfry for the image). Happy Holidays from our centaur to yours!

November 18th, 2009

Ranking the Yankees By Best Dog Name

… That would be the title (and purpose) of my new post at Bugs & Cranks. “Melky” is #1, of course, while “Chad” came in dead last. Terrible name for a dog, Chad.

If you only read one analysis of the 2009 Yankees, don’t make it this one. But if you read dozens of them, you might consider it.

This train of thought was sparked by Brian at Random House, whose own dog, Goose – as in Gossage – was once personally petted and complimented by Derek Jeter on the Upper East Side. My dog came with the name Pearl, and it suits her; but left to my own devices I might have come up with something a bit different, and quite possibly baseball-related. So it’s likely for the best that I didn’t get to make my own pick, or I might spend my mornings in Prospect Park calling for Bris Lord (“Human Eyeball, come! Come here, girl!”).

If something exciting doesn’t happen soon this offseason, I’ll do the Mets next.

November 5th, 2009

Almost the Only Orderly Thing in a Very Unorderly World


And then there were a series of tableaux, some familiar – Jeter’s raised arms and yell, Rivera’s grin, Posada’s near-skip towards the mound – and some new: Mark Teixeira’s fiercely goofy expression as he jumped up and down, Nick Swisher tearing wide-eyed and open-mouthed towards the infield, Francisco Cervelli hopping around like a caffeinated bunny, Joe Girardi’s gaunt face an open book of anticipation and then, for just a moment, pure, unguarded happiness.

That’s from my Bronx Banter writeup of last night’s Yankees World Series win. I hope I did it justice – not the game, which was pleasant but not a classic, but the outcome. The last time the Yankees won the Series, I was a college sophomore – I watched the games with my Mets fan friend Dan, on my common room coach – and it had never even crossed my mind to write about baseball. Of course I understand that nine years isn’t a long time, not even close, between sports championships; but in an individual life it is a pretty major chunk of time. And “time” is my theme for the day, since the Yankees clinched about 10 minutes before my birthday.

Anyway, I’ll just cling to the Series for another day or two, because it’s going to be a long, cold, baseball-free winter. But I’m going to keep the blog going throughout – Mets and Yankees and general baseball news, plus maybe some movie and book reviews to pass the time – and while I haven’t figured out the details yet, I’m even planning to move off Blogger and onto a real site at some point in the next couple of months.

For now, though (look away, Mets fans):

November 2nd, 2009

One More for the Money; Also Facial Hair

My writeup of last night’s game is up at the Banter.

In other vitally important news (via Rob Neyer), I am quite pleased to see that Diamondbacks reliever Clay Zaveda – who also has a fine baseball name – has won the American Mustache Institute’s coveted “Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year.” It is well deserved. The Phillies and, especially, the Cardinals, among other teams, could learn a lot from this guy about proper facial hair technique. (Last night a friend of mine expressed the opinion, unprompted by me, that Jayson Werth “looks like a human rattail”).

To summarize:

This is how it’s done.

No.

No.

Absolutely not.

A THOUSAND TIMES NO.

October 31st, 2009

Baseball Player Names of the Week

Today’s names come courtesy of valued commenter Unmoderated:

Mutz and Jewel Ens, brothers out of St. Louis, MO.

Mutz made it to the White Sox for all of 5 days in 1912, where he had zero hits and no walks in 6 plate appearances, giving him a lifetime OPS+ of -100. He also made two errors at first base, just for good measure.

His brother Jewel, younger by two years, played with Pittsburgh for parts of four seasons – 47 games in 1922, but only 3 by 1925. His batting average was .290, but his OBP was just .323, and he hit one home run in his career. The internet doesn’t tell us much more than that about the Ens brothers, except that Mutz’s real name was Anton, and that Jewel’s middle name was… (drumroll):

Winklemeyer.

October 30th, 2009

At Least It’s a More Creative Chant Than "Phillies Suck"

My writeup of last night’s game, which perhaps predictably half-turned into an essay on Pedro Martinez, is up at the Banter.

This seems like too short of a post to put up all by itself, so: bonus dog photo.

Hopefully I’ll get a Name of the Week post up later.

October 29th, 2009

The Cliff Lee Affair

There’s not much point in urging fans to relax, to not freak out so much about one bad game… after all, isn’t irrationally investing our emotions sort of the point of baseball fandom? There’s nothing logical about the enterprise to begin with.

Still, it’s always a little startling how quickly one game can flip the general fan mood (as measured, highly unscientifically, by talking to a few friends, reading a bunch of blog comments, and checking in with the huge Yankees fan who works the late shift at the deli on the corner). Cliff Lee’s performance last night – which was not only great, but also just so Steve McQueen cool – seems to have flipped the consensus from “Yankees in 6″ to “Phillies in 4 and I just hope a Yankee hits the ball out of the infield again, some day.”

If Pedro, of all people, wins tonight’s Game 2, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

October 23rd, 2009

Sad Dogs and Englishmen

I’m too tired even to take a cute picture of my dog, so here’s a random photo of a sad dog from the internet reacting to last night’s game:


Meanwhile my post on last night’s roller coaster is up at the Banter; I found kinda the perfect quote for that game:

It was the best of games, it was the worst of games, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

As I wrote in my Banter post, now that they’ve rescheduled Saturday’s Game 6 for the evening, I may have to miss at least a chunk of it – I’m going to a dinner party that night. Aaargh! But it’s at the apartment of a good friend who has known me a long time… so I’m assuming she’ll forgive me for checking the score during the meal.

October 21st, 2009

Banter, Bugs, and Further Animal Exploitation

So I wrote up last night’s Yankee win at the Banter, and posted a little something about the umpiring shenanigans at Bugs & Cranks.

Meanwhile, following yesterday’s successful debut of Pearl as the official Eephus Pitch mascot, I give you my dog’s reaction to the blown fifth-inning call at third:

Yes, Pearl wants instant replay in the playoffs. Instant replay, and maybe a peanut butter treat.

October 20th, 2009

New Crush

If he keeps calmly and sensibly taking apart Chip Caray, as he has been throughout this postseason, I’m going to develope a serious crush on Richard Sandomir.


Call me Richard. We’ll spend cozy evenings in, ordering Thai and methodically trashing inept sports broadcasting.