Saturday, May 28, 2005

Red Sox 17, Yankees 1

Ouch. Guess we were due for that one...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Dale Sveum: Honorary Yankee

Hey Dale, thanks for sending Bellhorn and Damon. You're the best.

Memorial Day, NYC Style

Today, a new tale of woe from my life as a Sox fan, awash in the sea of pinstripes in metro NYC:

While on the treadmill this morning, I was watching, as always, the Channel 4 morning team on "Today in New York."
I think the reporter was Darlene Rodriguez. She explained that the Yankees and Red Sox were playing three at the Stadium this weekend, starting tonite with Wake v. Unit.

She went on to explain, with a straight face (as if this were breaking news), that there was a long-standing rivalry between the teams that went back more than 100 years and that, wow check this out, the Rivalry was not always PLEASANT.

Here's what I said (out loud, as if she could hear me): "As if there's a single person left in New York City OR ON PLANET EARTH FOR THAT MATTER who has no idea that there is a long-standing and not-always-pleasant rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox."

She then went on to introduce a lengthy video segment which she said would provide highlights of some of the rivalry's most memorable moments. She then proceeded to explain, in excruciating detail, the following 3 (THREE!) legendary events from Yankees-Sox lore:

1. Bucky Dent's home run.
2. Aaron Boone's home run.
3. Derek Jeter's diving catch into the stands.

When I realized there were no other highlights to be seen, here's what I said (out loud again): "Lord, hear our prayer."

She then concluded the story by reporting, incorrectly, that the rivalry has traditionally been one-sided. Her proof was that the Yankees have won 26 world series and the Sox have won only 1 (in fact last year was their 6th). Okaaaaaaay... maybe it's me, but I don't recall the Sox and Yankees playing each other in any world series.

When she threw it back to the anchor desk, I think it was Chris Cimino who took the bait. He paused, took a breath, and said the following line... A line that will be immortalized in the pantheon of classic news-talk banter: "So... I guess the greatest collapse in the history of modern sports did not rate a mention on your list of highlights?"

Her reply: "Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha... NO."

Here's what I said (more or less, minus the family-inappropriate reaction of disdain): "Have you people been possessed by the YES Network?"

I said it to myself.

Don't Worry Be Happy

Hey Sox fans!

Sox in 4th? Schilling still wearing a boot? Scary weekend series at Yankee Stadium? Here are some things to make sure you stay happy over Memorial Day weekend...

1. Evil Empire (Episode III) vs. Evil Empire (NYY)
2. Oil Can Playing at 45
3. Rickey Playing at 46

See you poolside...

Love,
Ev

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A-Rod = Clutch?

The debate goes on and on. In fact, Red and I were talking about it earlier today. People up and down the eastern corridor between New York and Boston are always moaning/jeering that A-Rod isn't clutch. It's on sports radio. It's discussed at the water coolers. It's talked about it bars. We all know that he's money at the plate. But, is he money when the cash is needed or is he money only after the Yankees have visited the bank? Well, tonight the Yanks were strapped for cash and he was MONEY. Down 2-3 to the Tigers, he absolutely crushed a 2-run dinger to help them win the game. Certainly, this lone incident of money-ness will not get the monkey off his back, but it will definitely, definitely help.

Oh, one more thing: The Yankees have won 15 of the last 17 to get to second place while the Red Sox loss to the Jays have dropped them down to fourth. This weekend is going to be very, very interesting.

Doom and Gloom

Old habits die hard. Take the habit of always expecting the worst to happen. You see, our good friend Red has been expecting the inevitable Red Sox crash and burn. The problem is that last October, they didn't. They went all the way and won their first World Series in 86 years. Where can all that doom and gloom to go? It certainly isn't evident in these postings. Red's been happy as a pig in poop with the Sawks. He's cool with being in second, he doesn't mind the injuries to the pitching staff, he doesn't freak over bullpen meltdowns. Is this a new man? Well, as much as I'd like to say yes, I'm going to have to say no. You see, I'm the guy who shares an office with him. I know where the doom and gloom went. The new target is his fantasy baseball team. He's in first place, but he's predicting the biggest choke-job since, well, the 2004 Yankees. He thinks that all his players are going to get hurt, that his outfield of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Carlos Beltran suck and will continue sucking for the rest of the year, and that everybody else's team will suddenly turn around and become a superstar mix of the Big Red Machine, Murderer's Row's, and half the ghosts from Field of Freakin' Dreams. Red, you have to enjoy winning. Enjoy being on top. Accept it. And, just remember, there are plenty of decaffinated brands out there that taste just like the real thing.

Memorial Day

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm still loving this season.

In fact, without the curse hanging over my life like a guillotine, it's the best season ever to be a Sox fan. You can just sit back and enjoy every game, the strategy, the nuances. In fact I can't believe what I was missing before. This season, it's a million times easier to say we'll get 'em next time after a tough loss or a blowout. The melodic sound of the words "World Series Champion Boston Red Sox" does not get old, and keeps you breathing calmly... even while the Blue Jays are rounding the bases.

Yes, we should be 10 games over 500 by now. But we're where we are without anything from Schilling and Wells, our alleged 1 and 2 guys. And the Yankees should be 20 games over! The J's and O's are both overachieving, and I think they will both keep it up. Especially the O's, given the Sox and Yankees pitching woes. The AL East is turning out to be the toughest division - not just at the top, but top to bottom. Which is GREAT!

Even in last night's game, there were some silver linings... did anyone notice Foulke, who everyone's been so worried about, pitched a perfect 9th? He's money, he'll be there when we need him. And Arroyo is fine- that 10-month winning streak was bound to come to an end at some point. (Same with Timlin's scoreless streak.) The night before was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things either. You gotta respect Toronto for doing what they're doing. I'm blaming that game on Francona - how many times do we need it proven that Embree can't get righties out? Mantei was available.

Hey, we're going into a Memorial Day weekend series at the Stadium, and we'll be in a virtual tie with the Evil Emp. It doesn't get any better than this, kids! Unless of course, we're still in a virtual tie during that series the 1st weekend of October...

Sox up: Mueller, Clement, Manny
Sox down: ER, Wells, Millar (did anyone notice Olerud's on his way up? Hmmm...)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tales from the Bandwagon

Bandwagoners are my pet peeve. Not surprisingly, the two teams with the most fans are also the two teams with the most bandwagoners. So today I will tell egregious tales about both Yankees and Sox fans. Notice the nuances... A Yankee bandwagoner is a very different type of animal (pun intended) than a Red Sox bandwagoner. Yankee bandwagoners are omnipresent around the world. Growing up in NY state, I have accepted them my whole life. Red Sox bandwagoners, however, are a new thing. A new thing that makes me PHYSICALLY ILL.

Egregious Yankee Tale

I think you already know my little Rain Man secret: wherever I go, I always count baseball caps. If you read my Australia-New Zealand blog, you know I was disheartened that Yankee logos beat Red Sox logos by more than 10-1. Yet Sox caps came in 2nd among all team logos! I attributed it to:

A) The Matsui factor - Hideki has influenced the fashion trends of millions of Asians, and
B) The Versace factor - The NY logo has become an international high-fashion statement, like Reebok, Gucci, etc. [Note: If I didn't count pink Yankee caps worn by Asian women wearing pink sweat suits, the ratio would have been more like 3-1. And don't tell me Man U is the world's most prestigious sports team - Man U logos barely finished in the top 10.]

So I guess you could technically call all those tourists "bandwagoners," but that wouldn't really be fair. However, in New York City, it's a different story. Here, you wear a cap because you're a FAN. Every day I walk or ride the distance from 39th St. to 20th St., both ways. Sometimes I go the opposite direction, from 20th St. downtown to WTC. That's the way I've been going this week. And every day I count from 5 to 7 Mets logos and from 3 to 5 Red Sox logos. These numbers remain perfectly constant from day to day.

However, the count of Yankee caps (jackets, t-shirts, etc.) is WILDLY volatile. If the Yankees are losing (like 2 weeks ago), I'll count fewer Yankees logos than either Mets or Sox. However, if the Yankees are winning (like now), I'll count anywhere from 10 to 20. SUP WID DAT? That's just not right. During the post-season in '03 and '04, the Yankee bandwagoners were changing their clothes faster than Superman in a phone booth.

I had a former boss - extremely successful - who was one of these guys that was so egotistical that it was comical. When we talked about sports, he was very knowledgeable. But when you asked him who he rooted for, the answer was simple - "Evan, I root for dynasties." His teams were the Yankees, the Bulls, and, eventually, the Patriots. I remember clearly when Michael Jordan left the Bulls, he switched overnight. And I quote: "Evan, this year I think I'll root for the Lakers."

The Yankees are sooo big that they have lots of fans just like that. And many of them are right here in the Yankees back yard.

Egregious Red Sox Tale

Red Sox bandwagoning is a relatively new phenomenon, as you might imagine. As you probably guessed, not too many people were eager to bandwagon since '86. But since Oct 28, 2004 I have had more people tell me they are long-suffering Red Sox fans than have said that to me during the rest of my ENTIRE LIFE. That's just not right either, people. IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT! Every idiot knows who Bucky Dent is. But if you can't tell me who Bernie Carbo is, DON'T TALK TO ME!! I'm going to have to start giving quizzes to these morons. Here's a tale:

Since the World Series, I've had people from 4 different Boston-based companies come in and meet with me here in NYC. Three of them were PR firms. Folks, I have been involved in PR as a reporter, editor, and communications exec for more than 20 years. For at least 5 of those years I was based in Boston. NOT ONCE did a meeting with a PR firm ever start with a discussion of the Red Sox. Nor did a meeting ever FINISH with a discussion of the Red Sox.

This year, EVERY SINGLE MEETING WITH A COMPANY FROM BOSTON STARTED WITH A TOKEN DISCUSSION OF THE RED SOX.

Not one meeting. Not two or three meetings. But ALL FOUR MEETINGS. And I don't have to tell you what they said. You already know what they said. Bandwagoners in the back yard.

As El Tiante would say, "Ai caramba."

Quantrill is a Yankee Dirtdog...

In the locker room, after he got thrown out, Paul Quantrill had this to say about the Tigers players giving him lip after he stood up for his own players and beaned one of theirs...

"My only hangup with that has always been if anyone has a problem with what went on in the field, instead of coming five feet in front of their dugout yipping, just come out and do whatever it is they were threatening to do. I got no problem with that. I got a problem doing a lot of yipping on the field and not coming out. If they got a problem they should come address me directly about it instead of the whole coming out on the field and doing a lot of chirping."

Kinda sounds like he was talking about Schilling.

Beachballs and Beanballs

Well, the Yanks are still rolling along, getting two dingers each from A-Rod and the Toad, er, Posada, for a 12-3 win against the Tigers. Before the game, A-Rod was a nice, consistent 2 for 2 against Detroit's Wilfreda Ledezma, both of the hits homers. At the end of the night, A-Rod was a nice, consistent 4 for 4 against him, all four hits homers. The thing that got me is that after those two shots, a Detroit relief pitcher, Franklyn German, goes and plunks him. C'mon! What's up with that. To use a phrase that we all know and love, that's bushleague. 100%. At least Paul Quantrill had the good sense to follow that up with a throw behind Jason Smith and, after a warning, followed that up with a throw right into the square of his back. Now, a bunch of the Tigers got all pissy about it (though not Jason Smith), saying Quantrill was headhunting and wah wah wah. Bunch of babies and their misdirected anger. I'd be pissed as hell at Ledezma and I'd be pissed as hell at German. After all, they're the ones tossing beachballs and beanballs. All Quantrill was doing was enforcing the unwritten rule. It's just unfortunate that the Tigers (and other teams, you know who you are!!!) don't know the rule. I got 5 bucks on someone getting nailed tonight. Bet it's a Yankee. Hopefully it's someone who has a little meat on their bones.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

E is for Error

Ok, it's time to start talking about that little thing that causes fans to revel in jubilation or cry like a baby and swear like a sailor: The Error. Yes, it's something that we don't normally talk about or emphasize, but this season it seems like there are errors everywhere. A-Rod has been a mess on the corner this year. Womack in left is a disaster waiting to happen (though I have to admit I've been pleasantly surprised to this point). Cano screwed a few up. Jeter booted two the other night. And, in a twist of sweet fate, the Mets' Matsui took it upon himself to help the Yankees win Friday night's game by misplaying a grounder. It's my opinion that depending on which side of the field you're on, an error can be far worse than a dinger or far better than a dinger. This is because it has the super-special, extra ingredient called shame. When a player makes an error, not only does the team get down about giving the opposition (4 or 5 outs), but that player (and sometimes the whole team (read: Chicago Cubs, 2003 NLCS, game 6)) is usually thrown off his game for the rest of the day. You end up having a guy at the plate who is swinging for the fences to make amends for that single, costly mistake. If you're in the AL, that guy effectively negates the DH and if you're in the NL, it's like having two pitchers in your lineup. On Friday night, for instance, instead of thinking he's Ichiro or Juan Pierre and trying to simply get on base, Matsui suddenly thinks he's Jim Thome or Ken Griffey, Jr. It was just plain sad to watch. What happened, you ask? He struckout. Just like Jim Thome and Ken Griffey, Jr.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Interleague

I loved this for the first couple of years, and I understand why it boosts the box office. But I've come around 180 degrees to the other side. It is fun. However...

- The division vs division play creates a huge set of problems, mostly in terms of scheduling. Since we play 19 games within the AL East, interleague games come at the expense of games against the AL Central and West. Now I don't consider myself a baseball purist... But with the Sox, for example, I feel like we are short-changing important, long-standing rivalries with the Tigers and Indians, Rangers and Twins, Angels and A's, etc.
- The head-to-head rivalries are just downright unfair. Every year the Marlins get 6 with the D-Rays, while the Mets and Braves have to wrestle 6 times with the Yankees and Sox. This has gotta go.
- Did anyone notice that Detroit was stuck playing Arizona? No one bothered to pair them up. So we are stuck with the tense rivalry between the Desert and the Great Lakes. And I guess Washington-Toronto is a rivalry the same way Boston-Atlanta is. Kinda sorta. And Seattle-San Diego? Hmm. And even worse - or better, depending on your bias - Pittsburgh was having an internal NL-fest against Colorado. SUP WID DAT?
- Basically the whole month of June is devoted to interleague. That's going to get a little ridiculous, and have much too big an impact on the pennant races.
- The whole thing needs to be re-thunk. Even the starting number of 19 within each division is wrong. A) It's too many and B) Someone gets an extra home game and C) It leaves you with 9 against the other divisions, which results in 6Home 3Away types of imbalances.

The absurdity hit me again on Saturday as the Sox and Braves played the last 6 innings in a driving rain. There were infield errors on standard grounders, passed balls, and outfielders sliding all over the place. Why? Because if the game was rained out, there was no later Atlanta@Boston date for which to reschedule.

So instead, we risked killing the players.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Finally, A Post From Blue

Well, that sure was a fun run, wasn't it? I apologize for my single bout of superstition, and I promise you that it won't happen again. But, the depression and the heartache of the Yankees losing, losing, losing to the Devil Rays made me a bit more paranoid (and crazy) than normal. So, when the Bombers won two in a row, I told Red that I wouldn't post until they lost again. Well, last night they did and I'm fine with it. That's because they're back in a respectable position. Now the Yankees can show up for the Subway series with their heads held higher than they would have had they still been 8 games under .500. Wow. That would have been tough to deal with...

Ok, so here's my roster breakdown of the past 11 games:

Jeter: Steady, steady, steady. That's the way I like it. No huge streaks from Derek, but no huge slumps either. Bodes well for both the Yankees and my fantasy baseball team (where he's the only Bomber I have).

Womack: I gotta admit, I was very scared and skeptical about the whole left field thing, but it seems to be working out ok. Decent jumps on the ball and good throws to the correct cutoff man. Fundamentals. Let's just hope this post doesn't jinx him.

A-Rod: Man, he's crushing the ball these days, huh? If only he could field as well... Yeah, I'm nitpicking, but hey, he's been booting a few too many and he deserves to catch some flack.

Bernie: The consumate gentleman. Comes off the bench and wins a game with a 3-run dinger.

Sheffield: Like Jeter, steady, steady, steady.

Matsui: It's about time you started to wake up! Sheesh, Red and I were concerned about when you were going to start showing your real colors.

Giambi: Like the Yankees brass, I'm taking a wait-and-see approach with him. Yeah, he's hit a few over the past 4 games, but that's his freakin' job. I mean, even Bubba Crosby gets a hit every once in a while, right?


Posada: I'm sorry, but I just can't get on the Posada bandwagon this year. To me, he's the anti-clutch. The letdown. I just never see him do anything besides call the game. Certainly, that's important. I understand that. But at the plate, he doesn't do squat, and on the off-chance that he does do something, it's usually in the midst of a blowout.

Tino: He's money. 'Nuff said.

Cano: I just hope the Yankees don't trade this lone prospect for some old pitcher who may or may not be able to get the Yankees a World Series ring. Yeah, I'm talking about you, Clemens!

Pavano: Way to keep the ball down, Carl. Glad you settled down, too. Just don't pull a Jaret on us, k?

Big Unit: You're a very lucky man to have that kind of offense backing you up...

Chien-Ming Wang: Representin' my peeps the way they should be represented. Nice.

Moose: Tough loss yesterday but the other outings were great. Thanks.

Brownie Boy: You're still a loaded gun. I trust you as far as I can throw you. And, like you, I have a bad back. I don't think you'll get off my s**tlist.

Mo/Flash: Good to see you two again...


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Breakthrough Theory

[Note: While Blue silently meditates on the Yankees' ascension to the level of the Blue Jays - 10 straight against those mighty A's and M's - I'll just entertain myself for a while.]

My friend Pete, the Angels fan, says the Red Sox lead the league in grabbing their crotches. He and his buddies pay close attention to which teams are habitual crotch grabbers. There is even a drinking game in SoCal in which you have to drink whenever a player on TV grabs his crotch. Apparently there were lots of drunk people in the OC after the Sox-Angels in Round 1 last year.

Interestingly, most crotch grabbing occurs at first base. First basemen tend to grab their crotches when they're holding runners on, and baserunners taking their lead at first tend to grab their crotch as they move away from the base. Pitchers crotch grab the least because they usually have a glove in one hand and a ball in the other. Many catchers adjust after each pitch, but this should not technically be called a crotch grab. On defense, corner players (LF, RF, 3B, 1B) tend to crotch grab more than up-the-middle players (SS, 2B, CF).

Pete speculates that the Red Sox may have the most offenders because they have so many Dominican players. Dominicans crotch grab slightly more than Americans. Asian players crotch grab the least, but that doesn't mean they don't crotch grab. The worst Sox offenders in the playoffs last year were apparently Millar, Trot and - surprise! - Manny. As far as All-Stars, keep your eye on Nomar (who grabs everything in sight), Juan Encarnacion, Frank Thomas, Albert Pujols and Gary Sheffield. Among rookies, check out Jose Reyes. Ironically, the major league leader in crotch grabbing is Orlando Cabrera - now playing for the Angels.

Tomorrow: A close look at spitting.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Manny is Manny

A couple of Manny things today.

1. Sadly, 400 isn't that big a deal anymore. When Yaz reached 400 two decades ago there was practically a national holiday. The sport has been going on so long that too many people have reached 400, taking the magic from it. Plus, um, steroids. The key point about Manny hitting 400 is that he's still 32 and on top of his game RIGHT NOW.

2. Gammons and the Dirt Dogs are saying that something is wrong with Manny because he's hitting .240 this year. That they don't see the same exhuberance this year. COME ON PEOPLE!!

Since we're exactly 1/4 through the season, it's easy to extrapolate his numbers. Hmmm, let's ss... Gosh, that would be 40 homers and 136 ribbies. TOUGH CROWD! People, give it A REST. Even though the AVG is low, the OBP is still .560 and the OPS is a nice sweet .930. Here's the thing:

They're saying he's not into it this season. And I'm saying 1) His Mom has been very sick with arthritis, 2) He's been HBP'd about 10 times, including in the head, in the tricep, and in the quad, 3) sluggers often have off-years in terms of average - it's not the end of the world, 4) I'm still wagering he finishes at 300 after a post-All Star Break spree, and 5) he has been at the center of each and every walk-off HR melee, dancing his brains out and pulling people's pants off.

Relax everybody! Manny is not only Manny - he's also MANNY!

Dynasties, Part II

Speaking of dynasties coming to a screeching halt...

This weekend the Syracuse Orange lacrosse team lost in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament. That loss broke a string of TWENTY-TWO consecutive Finals Fours, dating back to 1982. Over that stretch they won NINE championships. I think that streak has to rank right up there with the Yankees of the 30s and 50s, the Celtics and UCLA in the 60s, and the Canadiens of the 60s and 70s. In this context, what we keep calling a dynasty with my beloved Patriots is really just a nice winning streak (and one that, sadly, looks like it may have run its course).

Meanwhile, Tino seems to be the only guy on the NYY team who wants to make sure that doesn't happen to the Yankees. Blue, he's a one-man team!! They got back to .500 in a hurry, but still feasting on the carcass of the AL Worst. The O's barely avoided a sweep in Chitown to barely stay on top. And has anyone noticed the J's aren't going anywhere? Their starting pitching has been the best in the division so far...

Right, Blue? BLUE???

SOX UP: Wade Miller, Timlin, Manny (400! And 600 looks do-able...)
SOX DOWN: Halama

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Walk-off Mania

Well, that was fun, huh kids? Happy days are here - in fact they never left. Fun fun fun, but I wouldn't like to be Mrs. Octavio Dotel this weekend. What people aren't saying is what we really learned this week: Oakland and Seattle are DISMAL.

Acid flashback: I'll never forget how hard I laughed upon reading that Manny and Millah tried to pull off Cabrera's pants in the post walk-off melee at home plate last September. You KNOW that same thing was going on in the scrum on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Millah walk-off was straight out of the Manny text book: Kick the ball around a couple of times on defense then bail the team out on your final at-bat of the day. Gotta be drinking the same kool-aid as Manny. As a bonus, he promised the birthday girl from the Cheesecake Factory that if he HR'd he would dedicate it to her. He obviously has a better PR guy than A-Rod, who scored zero brownie points even after rescuing a kid from an oncoming car... in Boston.

The Varitek walk-off, on the other hand, was from the Varitek text book. He hit a good pitch, low and inside - and recognized instantly that the best thing (maybe the only thing) he could do with it was wrap it around the Pesky Pole. The Sox hitter's pitch-count strategy reduces yet another rabid closer to a whimpering puppy.

The Yankees feasted on Oak-Sea too. In fact there's more feasting to come out on the west coast - and only 3 games for the pinstripes to get to .500. The Orioles have to feel us starting to breathe down their necks. Right Blue? ...

Blue? .... BLUUUUE?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Politically Incorrect

As purveyor of all that is good and evil in sports, I have unilaterally decided the following team names are either Politically Acceptable or Politically Incorrect. I know from whence I speak: when I was a kid the Syracuse University mascot was "the Saltine Warrior" - a student on greenies who would shave his hair into a Mohawk and run around the stadium wielding a giant tomahawk and wearing a giant feather head dress, leather vest and moccasins.

1. Cleveland Indians - Incorrect. Are they from Bangladesh? Bombay? I don't think so.
Chief Wahoo - Beyond incorrect... Chief Wahoo is the ALL-TIME champion of politically incorrect mascots. Why not the Vermont Aunt Jemima's? The San Antonio Wetbacks? The Tennessee Trailer Parks?

2. Atlanta Braves - Borderline incorrect... almost acceptable because it sounds macho, but that's a stereotype in itself
Tomahawk logo (and chop) - Incorrect... and a reminder of scant progress since the days of Chief Knock-a-homa

3. Golden State Warriors - Not only incorrect but lame on a hundred different levels
Uniforms - Whatever

4. Kansas City Chiefs - Acceptable I guess
Arrowhead logo - Borderline incorrect... why not just show the Injuns looting a wagon train?

5. Washington Redskins - UNSPEAKABLY HORRIFYINGLY incorrect... not clear how this survives into the 21st century
Chief profile logo - Borderline incorrect

6. Florida St Seminoles, San Diego St Aztecs, etc. - Acceptable... and cool. I think using names of the nations actually honors them and can help strengthen bonds in a given region.
Spear with feathers logo - Borderline incorrect

7. Illinois Fighting Illini, North Dakota Fighting Sioux, etc. - Incorrect... why not just ditch the whole "Fighting" thing?
Feather head dress and war paint- Way incorrect

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Happy & Sad

Happy:

1. Some really good signs for the Sox these days. Since Schilling joined Wells on the DL, they're 6-1. Arroyo, Clement and Wakefield are 11-1 this year. Foulke has been Foulke in his last 3 games. Ortiz has been clutch clutch clutch. They score runs when they need them. And Mirabelli - ARE YOU KIDDING! Is it OK to start claiming he's the 2nd best catcher in the league?

Meanwhile, we've done this without a whole lot of contribution from Millar or Renteria. I know Millar usually heats up in June, and I'm sure after he's gone through the league once, Renteria will be fine. Maybe he'll go nuts against the NL in a few weeks. Has anyone noticed Timlin? So far it's his best season with the Sox. And I'm Otay with Mantei. Suddenly Schilling and Wells are the keys but at another level than we were thinking 6 weeks ago. And isn't that a good thing?

2. The White Sox are rolling. Statistically the strong start matches the strong start of many teams who have won it all. Would I be cool with the White Sox winning it all? Yeah, sure. Why not? A nice '05 Yin to the Red Sox' '04 Yang. If curses are real, 1919 is a better reason to cast a spell than 1918. But I'll have a hard time getting on the bandwagon if their win comes at the expense of the Red Sox at some point. Added amusement bonus: Cubs fans would SLASH THEIR WRISTS.

Sad:

1. The Denver Nuggets are out. But they might be one player away. And Carmelo reversed his early-season misfortune and has proven definitively he is the 2nd-best player from the '03 draft. But the best is not LeBron - it's Dwayne Wade. Hands down. Now do I bandwagon with the Celtics? I should, but I won't. I'd really rather see Shaq and Wade sweep through the whole thing and show the Lakers what MORONS they are.

2. Speaking of Nuggets, here is a really strange nugget about Yaz. I was generally understanding this, until I got to the word "supermarket."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Yankees are now 11-19

The Yankees just lost 6-3 in 10 innings to the Oakland A's. Since I have nothing good to say, I won't say anything at all.

Don't Be Blue

Hmmm... what can I do to cheer up my blue man Blue?

I guess those TWENTY-SIX WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS - basically 1 for every 4 years the game has been in existence - aren't enough to keep him warm.

Funny, because I have one fresh one right here and it's keeping me nice and toasty.

Maybe these will do the trick: http://www.booble.com

Rock Bottom?

The New York Yankees have a record of 11-18. They are in last place in the AL East.

I only put this in here as a reference point. I have nothing else to say right now.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

NYC Radio

I was on the Turnpike for a couple of hours yesterday and was able to bounce between WFAN and ESPN radio for a while. The topic in NYC is suddenly 1) Mets 2) Yankees. The Yankees are getting SHELLACKED.

Here are some things that were said that made me laugh out loud. Quotes aren't verbatim:

"I'll bet the Yankees are wishing they went for Pedro and Beltran last winter." - Mad Dog Russo
"The Yankees are done, finished. It's over. They are a 500 team at best. Let's talk about basketball." - Stephen A. Smith
"Why is Jason Giambi still on this team? He adds nothing." - Michael Kay
"Why is Kevin Brown still on this team? He adds nothing." - Blue
"I should have done this blog with Big Tony." - Me

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Dynasty

I did the same as you - thought I'd check the score while I was on the treadmill and watched the whole 1st inning on the Evil Network. Last year there would have been no doubt in one's mind that the Yankees would come back and win that game. This year, the body language of every single player - Brown, Jeter, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, even Torre and Stottlemeyer - told you differently. Is it me or does Kevin Brown not seem to care?

Pitching, schmitching. With the best line-up of all time, shouldn't they have the feeling they can win every game? Unlike last year, this slow start is officially sending flares of disaster. My comment to Wendy was, "This doesn't look like the Dynasty."

Which got me to thinking - if this is REALLY the end, what will historians point to as the end of the Dynasty? The A-Rod ball-slapping game came to mind. So did Mueller's walk-off in the fight game. Or was it yesterday's game - a shellacking immediately after a line-up overhaul.

Then this morning, I serendipitously came across this gem: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=2051491

Hmmm... Do we stop calling it a dynasty just because they haven't won the Series for 4 years? Maybe. But if, for example, they win THIS year, Jeter, Rivera, Bernie and Torre will still have 5 out of 10. That's pretty dynastic.

My 2 cents? It ain't over til it's over. With that line-up they could fall 12 games back, get their act together in the clubhouse, and wrap it up with a smoking August and September. In the meantime, I'll savor this while I've got it.

BTW: 2 points for Halama.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

7:40 PM, Tuesday Night

So, here I am at work and I innocently decide to check the score of the Yankee game. I'm interested because they made some lineup changes and I was wondering how it was going... Hmmm... Let's just say it DOESN'T FREAKIN' MATTER. Why, you ask? Well, it's because it's the bottom of the 1st, 1 out, and the score is 6-0. Here's the inning summary so far:

- A. Sanchez singled to shortstop
- A. Sanchez to second on wild pitch
- J. Lugo singled to center, A. Sanchez scored
- C. Crawford ground rule double to deep right, J. Lugo to third
- A. Huff grounded out to second, J. Lugo scored, C. Crawford to third
- J. Phelps singled to center, C. Crawford scored
- D. Hollins doubled to deep left, J. Phelps to third
- N. Green singled to center, J. Phelps and D. Hollins scored
- T. Hall singled to center, N. Green to second
- A. Gonzalez singled to left, N. Green scored, T. Hall to second

Kevin Brown sucks.

*sigh*

Monday, May 02, 2005

If it's About Pitching...

With the state of the Sox (Wells and Schilling out) and the Yankees (Wright is out, some others down) I think we should consider the real possibility of the Orioles sticking around for a while. At least until the All-Star break.

Not just the injuries, but some other key pitchers are slow on the uptake. RJ is beatable at the moment. And what's up with Foulke? And Flash? Torre doesn't trust Flash with lefties anymore. And Foulke looks like a bigger mess each time out. Without all of these pitchers at full throttle, the Sox and Yankees ARE the Orioles. Arroyo and Pavano are stepping up - but so are at least four of the Orioles guys.

I'm not looking forward to the Halama adventure. But I'll be happy to be proven wrong. Looking more forward to Miller time.

It just goes to show how lucky we were last year - it's a miracle when it all comes together without a single major pitching injury. If you don't count Kim (which I don't). So you need good luck too. And a good trainer. And a good surgeon.

I'm still not concerned about the Sox. Maybe I will be in a month, but I'm not even close yet. I'm totally encouraged by how hard they play, that Trot and Arroyo are still in the middle of mayhem, that Manny's hitting key dingers, that Varitek gets better every day, that Johnny is all over the place, etc. And I like Payton and Clement. The kindling to light the fire is definitely still there. And if this is all the Yankees have, we could make - and contend - in the playoffs without Schilling.

Time to start thinking about the trading deadline?