I had to spend most of the season listening to these cracked out Mutts fans harassing us about how much we suck, etc etc ad nauseum ad infinitum. And the worst part of the whole thing?
They were right.
We didn't have a leg to stand on. They were unstoppable, we were floundering. So the only thing we could do was take our lumps and dismiss them as worthless opinions by virtue of the sect that was disseminating such opinions. (NL. Not Legit.)
But then the inevitable happened. The hapless Yanks eeked into the playoffs and the dazzling Mets, who needed to win like 2 innings to secure a spot, wound up losing 4,192 games in a row to blow it.
And then it was open season.
It's not reasonable to completely desist from trash-talking all season. It's half the fun of being a fan. But tread wisely, because there's a fine line between garden-variety, run-of-the-mill rivalry ribbing...and over-the-top, crossing-the-line, hyperbolic berating. Unless your team wins the WS, be assured that anything you hurl out will come back to bite you in the ass.
(In the case of the 2007 Mets Collapse, I personally opted for the biting my tongue route. It was much more condescending and insidious to just give Mets' fans knowing smirks without saying a word. Because then all they could do was preemptively get defensive and nothing belittles someone quite like a desperate effort to fill empty air space--the spiraling descent that is talking yourself into a hole.)
So for the past few weeks, I've had to, inexplicably, listen to this parade of decrees about how Boston is the new reigning dynasty. And how the sun has set on the Yanks' time. We suck. Overpaid. Worthless.
Maybe to the feeble Boston fans, this type of empty rhetoric is gratifying. Because as evidenced by the 2009 season, the lion share of their aired baseball enthusiasm demonstrates a profound slant towards anti-yankee-ism, rather than pro-redsox-ism. (Don't even try to deny this, I can copy and paste the history of facebook statuses from any Boston fan I know that proves this beyond a shadow of doubt. Plus, it makes sense. What exactly would Boston fans be so fired up about right now in terms of their own team? Beckett? Ortiz? Manny? Exactly.)
But is this gratifying enough to gamble on not having a vulnerable day? Your jabs at NY are gradually progressing from annoying nuisance to aggravating imbecility to all-out infuriating. It'd behoove Boston fans to loosen their grip on their NY obsession..I'm sure Thomas J found it satisfying to retrieve Vada Sultenfuss's mood ring.. but he couldn't let it go. He had to go and kick the bee hive. And all those bees who were just minding their own business, in their OWN HOME, had to turn a blind bee eye to Thomas J's meddling about while he looked for the ring. But when he pushed it too far (it IS the bee's turf, after all), they swarmed in unrelenting attack.
(Relaaxx. It's not like that movie was a true story.)
And if nothing else, ALWAYS respect the 3-word golden rule:
IT'S F$@*-ING MAY!
So kick at NY for too long, as we'll muster up an unwavering patience just because we know you'll have a day like yesterday. When your fearful lineup could only summon up one infield single against Matt Garza and the last play Rays. When your defending championship basketball team lost to the 7th seed Bulls to make the series last exactly 3 more than it was expected to.
On a day when the Yanks won.
Maybe if one of those 3 hadn't happened, you would have been better off. But now all you can do is default to one of 2 things:
Hey, Boston? Be more predictable.
(Over-under odds on how long before Cano is accused of steroids?)
..segue into Yankees...
Wait, no. First, I'm having a moment of silence for all the non-silence Boston has been effecting in their interminable rants on why the games the C's lost are fixed.
Done. Last night's game was another enjoyable one. Nothing spectacular but ripe with good indicators, like another everyone-gets-a-hit night. Melky and Cano continued to look hot. Their defense even looked like it was running on all cylinders, something I sometimes worry about with the A-Void at 3B.
What I envy about LAA is their manic baserunning habits that may have once stemmed from the human windmill at 3rd, but is now just so engrained into them that they're going for extra bases the second the leave the batter's box. And it looks like the Yankees, though tentatively, are shifting somewhat in that slightly aggressive mentality? Granted there was only 2 SBs from Melk, but the TBs for the night was respectable.
BUT NOT AS DELIGHTFUL AS THE 5 for 11 WITH RISP STAT!
This must be like what the judges feel like on American Idol when a contestant comes back after having an "abysmal" last week ("Not your best, dawg" "You need to sing more horizontally than vertically, you know?" "You're just like a plum in Cinncinati. Helicopter. Pole jump, girl!" "Um, well to be honest with you, it wasn't a good song choice.<
And then said contestant returns and takes ALL their advice to heart and blows them away with some perfectly executed, well-prepared number. And the judges are not just impressed with the performance itself, but with the contestant's reception to their critique.
They just like they're trying. And effort goes a long way in my book.
Coming Saturday...my first trip to the Stadium, after having both Unofficial Opening Day tix and Official Opening Day tix pulled out from under me. I'm more excited than the kids on Ghostwriter whenever they saw the orange floating ball that could only mean the fun wasn't too far behind!
The Yankees have an interesting way of doing things. Kinda like watching The Mighty Ducks beat Iceland by leveraging a figure skater, lasso-happy cowboy, Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez, and knuckle-pucker they found on the streets.
Jorge Posada stole a base. I listened to the first 4 innings of the game on the radio at work. And when I heard Sterling narrate the course of events that led up to Jorge Posada taking a base that wasn't an intentional walk, I automatically assumed it was another iteration of hyperbole from The Boy Who Cried Warning Track. Just as a ground-out to short can sound like a rocketing liner to deep center to the folks listening at home, I figured "And Posada steals second..." was most likely Posada taking ball 2 or something.
He currently has the only steal on my fantasy team this week. A team that boasts the likes of Jose Reyes and Evan Longoria.
My sister's take:
"That's impossible. Seriously. There's no such thing as a Posada stolen base. The ONLY way a 'stolen base' by Posada can accurately termed is 'defensive indifference.' Like, automatically....wait, actually, no. That's not right either. If Posada steals a base, it should be ONLY be called 'defensive incompetence.' That's the only way it can be accurately marked it the books."
So there it is. Victor Martinez's DI is Posada's SB.
Swisher knocked down a few more RBIs. He plays like he's playing Wii homerun derby or something. Not because of the dings themselves, but because of the sparky, effortless, casual way he plays the game. In fact, I think I remember reading something about his penchant for video games. What an awesome kid. So awesome that I don't even feel guilty about being That Fan who gets all enamored and wrapped in the the hot new firecracker on the team (think Pedroia, Markakis, Victorino, Shelley Duncan, Endy....)
Melky Carbera. He looks amazing. His cut is great, he just looks so much more athletic. Like he's 6 months behind on the Robinson Cano plan. A year and half ago he looked like a green little small fry who tried real hard and came through some times but mostly was like Sqints Palladorus. Now he looks polished and comfortable. I'm impressed, Melk.
The other morning/middle of the night when I woke up at some ungodly hour to do the CPM-ing for 2 hours, I end up going in and out of sleep to this J-Lo movie "Enough" which, crazily enough, centers on the story of a woman who overcomes her oppressed gender role to become strong and independent. She might have more of a stranglehold on that stock character than Ben Stiller does on his.
Anyways, so at the end of the movie, the *powerful* climax when she confronts her abusive husband and stands up for herself, he pushes her to the ground, and she recalls the words of her physical trainer: (at 2:36)
But hear me.
Hold on to my voice.
He's standing over you.
He thinks he's won,
And as sure as he's a coward,
he will try to kick you.
But because you know what he'll do...
...you're smiling inside.
Keep it up, boys. I'm smiling inside because I know no matter how much ribbing and snarks are made, the Yanks'll come out on top. Like J-Lo.
Bedtime. Maybe when I wake up in a few hours for more knee bending stuff, there'll be a fun lifetime movie on about binge drinking or sorority hazing to lull me into CPM-REM. Dare to dream...
...appropriate amount of time passes post Ranger-loss...
Texts come in.
My sisters are one of the few people who have mastered the art of post-loss call timing. This may be one of the most underrated skills in any relationship with a sports fan. It's not a stat that will necessarily show up on fantasy tracker, but it's invaluable. Take the requisite talent of switching back to games just as commercial is ending--which is useful but commonplace. If that's the equivalent of OBP, then post-game-call timing is the equivalent of a SHO. My ex was actually pretty solid in that area, until he once had a no-hitter going, texting me post-Giants/Eagles something extremely endearing, only to let up a walk-off grandslam when he couldn't bite his tongue any longer and exploded into a rant about how happy he was the Giants lost. Haters are like Roger Rabbit when he hears Shave and a Haircut.)
Exchange starting with a subtly consoling text from my sis:
10:00pm At least Yanks can poss win this one?
10:01pm Well it's ok. I made a deal with God and said he could pass on Rangers win if he gives me the WS. And God said ok!
10:04pm Good deal. It's kinda funny that the Yanks score 10 in the 7th and none in the other innings. Prob a great analogy for that but I'll let you find it.
Phil Hughes came back from the same place that kid in Flight of the Navigator went where everyone else aged, but he didn't and no one knew where the f he was or what he was doing all that time.
And then he came back and looked nothing short of stunning. His pitches were so crisp and sharp it was bordering on flabbergasting. They were cornering like they were on rails. Posada apparently now how one leg in the lineup, one leg out. Which makes sense because my fantasy team is teflon for catchers. So far this year alone I've had Mauer, McCann, Doumit, Posada, and now I'm sure Laird will get sick of being healthy and join the rest of the Cs on the frustrating slab of iffy/day-to-day players. I would pick up Molina, but after today's salami, I'm scared nothing good reality-wise can come from putting him on my jinxed catcher spot fantasy-wise.
I get more excited every day for A-Rod's return. I have visions of our lineup dancing in my head, most often whenever Teix steps up. How many more days until Swisher becomes a fantasy pick-up that doesn't scare owners? I love the guy, and I still even view him as the equivalent of picking up Chipper Jones.
Melky is starting to command attention too, now that Gardner's bloom has fallen from the rose (it's been, what, 3 games without a hit? Baseball fans have the attention span of a fruit fly, ironically.) The profoundly ugly mess that is Matsui's swing seems to be inversely proportional to his hits. The less I want to see him pirouette at the plate like he's blindfolded with a wiffle bat at a Cinco de Mayo party, the more likely he is to actually connect.
So, to sum up, the Yanks continue to baffle me. And to address my sister's allusion to a 10-run 7th analogy...
You can blank for the whole first part of the game, you can get off to a terrifyingly muted start, but the only square in the box score that counts is the final.
Never discount the Yankees. In the words of Michael Scott, "You have no idea how high I can fly."
You can get to my site now by one of 3 ways! (Well, 4 if you count the current one. The "blogspot" part got DFA-ed.)
A few years ago I played softball with a guy who successfully did the whole, “Don’t tell me the score, I’m DVR-ing the game and am watching it later” thing. I had brief stints with this practice, but most of the time the potential for complete unawareness was thwarted by not-so-cryptic texts about what was going on in the game. Even from people who knew I was saving the taped game til after I got home from work and could watch it in its entirety: (“All I’m gonna say is that anyone whose tapeworm-like arm is letting 2 runs scores bc I have Nerf Crossbows with more power….shouldn’t be playing center field.”)
But after a few episodes of me exploding over these spoilers, the risk of them subsided. It WAS indeed difficult to turn a blind eye to the internet, while being in that weird realm of being ignorant to something everyone else knows about. (Yes, in my head, every eye in the world is watching baseball every minute of every game.)
With the last few weeks of work (and the upcoming ones, too) eating up my primetime hours like they’re the leftover catering sandwiches after a client meeting that become available to the rest of the office…I decided to try and give the DVR another shot.
And then while in the cab ride home, I made the mistake of logging onto Facebook. And remembered that it will probably be impossible for me to be oblivious to anything, much less a baseball game, while status updates are still governing the cyber-world.
It turned out it didn’t matter because the memory on my DVR was so full that the game was erased shortly after it finished taping.
And so for me, it was like it never even happened.
It was weird, I didn’t get score updates on my phone, didn’t watch the stilted pitch counts on MLB Gameday. The only evidence that the game even happened was the final box score.
Similarly, the only evidence that CC pitched the way he’s paid to was the little 8Ks alongside his name. The 10 hits in the Yankees corner belied their paltry 2-run total. The fact that besides for Posada (0-1) and Damon (0-4) everyone hit safely, masked the fact that none of them slugged more than a single except for Cano who continued to waste his strikingly fiery .380 BA on another lost cause.
The one number that really popped out?
Which was not only the number of hits + SOs. But more gutwrenching was the fact that that’s how many times someone was left on base.
Another painful one: 1-9.
The number of hits with runners in scoring position.
And the icing on the cake?
The Yankees currently are sporting the 2nd most hits in the league.
3rd in total bases.
3rd in HRs.
4th in batting average (.276 compared to
...And yet, barely hitting the's league average in RBIs.
Lastly, and this one is not for the faint of heart:
With bases loaded, the Yankees are batting .071.
While much has been made of the RISP stat, I don’t trust it because it fails to reflect key factors such as the variance between whether a new pitcher is brought in or not. (If there are RISP, then the pitcher’s been throwing meatballs or wild ones. Batting against him will inflate your RISP, batting against a fresh reliever…different story.)
But the fact remains that the Yankees line-up needs to be reworked. There’s nothing wrong with a roster boasting the 2nd most hits in the entire league. But, indeed, timing is everything.
And to that point, I will continue to remind my self of the bigger pitcher timing. That it’s April. And that I trust my team. Like
And I have a feeling, and not even a blind hope/forced optimism one, that in 6 months, I'm going to go back and read all the insidious chants of glee currently flying off the tongues of haters...and I'll laugh.
How did the Yankees lose this series? Gradually and then suddenly. By Sunday, I was so numbed by the Rangers loss, the heat, and the unrelenting frustration over not being able to play outside, that I could barely register what was going on in the game. I'm confused about how we only scored 1 run. It looked like there were a lot of shots being roped all over the field. Oh that's right. The Yankees go into anaphylactic shock if they don't leave at least 82 runners on base in the course of a game.
I don't know how I feel about Tuesday's Game 7 game. Sometimes optimistic out of general habit ("In all things, it's better to hope than despair."), but sometimes pessimistic (losing a 3-1 lead that's going to Washington for a Game 7 with the momentum krazy glued to the Caps? I have a little bit of experience in that arena.)
Text message exchanges from today
Kris & Laur:
6:11pm Killing things if the Yanks lose.
6:12pm Too upset over game to function
6:20 TOOK CARE OF IT!!
6:23pm I've decided I need professional help. It's gorgeous out and I'm letting a game do this to me.
6:23 haha i respect that
6:28pm Can the fox announcers have any more of a hard on for the boston bullpen
6:29 maybe if the say they want a papsmear from papelbon?
6:30pm I'm really sad
6:30 um why it is tied. it will be great
6:32pm Bc I'm insane and wish I wasn't
6:33 have faith in the yanks, and if being insane is wrong then I dont want to be right
6:35pm I think this might be half game-related, half not being able to play outside bc of my knee-related
6:52pm Can you make sure they win please
6:52 I'll take care of it
7:06 Garnder should hit a hr instead of getting out...he's risking a patient's life!
7:07 yes that's better than getting out
7:10 I may have a heart attack
7:21pm Well now i'm officially sitting in a dark apt with the tv and lights off. normal.
7:26 !!it's not even over!!
7:26 We're losing by 100
7:34 more like 100 minus 2 zeros
7:33 I hate everything
7:35 If they lose, I"m going to bed til monday
7:48 oh mootz! i'm not doing anything do you want me to come over
7:48pm No whatever im sleeping til next week, see ya
7:50 Mootz the game isn't even over! I can tot come ova
7:50pm ok come over
7:51 ok do you need anything
7:51pm yes HRs from yankees
7:53pm I'm sad. I think game is over bc I hear dso's* outside
7:57 Sad about the game??
7:58pm Sound excited. And only sox dso's are that obnoxious
7:58pm I meant why are you sad silly
7:59pm Oh. Yes, I am sad about the game
8:00pm Well i just ask bc I'm sad about the game but its not worth getting THIS sad over
So the moral of the story is, I can't watch games alone anymore. Because the second my sister came over (albeit without the HRs I had requested) everything was fine. When I'm watching a game like that, every time the phone alerts me Im getting a text, it's like playing russian roulette. I could open it and find an asinine text from a Yank-hater, a commiserating text from a fellow lunatic, unwelcome overly optimistic trying-too-hard reassurance from someone who knows nothing about baseball but is just trying to be nice and helpful and unfortunately will most likely be on the receiving end of an angry response from me...(seriously, I know that issues me a ticket on the bullet train to hell, but think about it. When your team's in the throes of potentially devastating outcome, how aggravating are texts like, "Hey it's only a game! No big!" These are fine from people who like sports, but I think I just get jealous when they're from people who have zero interest in sports. They'll never know this kind of unbridled madness.)
So as quickly as my crankiness over the game skyrocketed, it dissolved. As my sister said (who is the foremost authority on saying the right things at the right time), we didn't get blown out. We were banging the ball all over the field. AJ looked good (until he stopped looking good), and Boston's feared pitching staff was getting shelled. (I shouldn't be happy about this, I went against my better judgment and started Beckett. I've had too many situations where I bench people playing against NY to avoid having to root for them, only for NY to lose, and then not only am swallowing that pill, but also the regret of not starting their opponents who had big days.)
Not only did the Yanks lose, but I also have to deal with the 23984.39 ERA from Beckett. Grumble grumble.
My friendly Boston fan (FBF from now on) texted me, "This is a bizarre game." Not only was I thrilled he didn't text me anything gloating, but he pretty much hit the nail on the head with that one. Besides for the bombs, the runs were coming from the weirdest places. Same thing with the outs. Narnia-style game.
Pedroia's stupid error made me think about how if that had happened to Jeter, the rags would be all over him like white on rice: "SEE? HE'S THE LEAGUE'S WORST SS!" (Similarly, if Jeter's brother had pleaded guilty to going down on an 8yr old boy, Boston would be happier than MTV when they got Katelynn Cusanelli's audition tape.) It's a horrible story, it has nothing to do with Dustin himself, but I would be lying if I said the point that we can literally say "Pedroia sucks!" and it not be an opinion but a fact...well, has crossed my mind.
The game was indeed an odd one. Not exactly the same devastation as last night-though technically neither should be since it's an April game! (What the hell is wrong with me, seriously.) And all it took was a visit from my sister, a call to a rooftop party from FBF, and an ice pack on my knee for a few hours, to make the entire day 100% more palatable. And because of this, I'm not even going to go near StatTracker with a 10 foot pole. I have a feeling that with a few notable Yankee exceptions on my roster, that there were some pretty anemic numbers being strewn from my lineups today.
Eh, life is good. I'm slowly but discernibly getting the whole hang of being less radically batty when it comes to baseball. Today, anyway. The Rangers play tomorrow, the Yanks try to avoid the sweep, and I'll be at the office. So maybe the lunacy diet starts Monday instead.
Except, instead of "China" it should be "Boston."
It's like when I was in school, and it was like one of the highest percentages of fraternity/sorority pledgement of any school in the country, and there would still be people who didn't pledge who got all huffy about the prominence of Greek houses in the school. What did you think was gonna happen? If you move to NY, it's a safe bet the NY papers are gonna focus on NY sports, the bars are gonna show the Mets/Yanks. The residents are gonna be largely NY-sports-fan.
You're on our turf now. When I visited Boston, a 60-year old woman wouldn't shake my hand because I had a Yankees fleece on. There are no NY bars there.
Deciding to define yourself by the matyred plights of oppression is your own fault.
"He who allows oppression shares the crime."--Erasmus Darwin
You know what's allowing oppression? Purposefully subjecting yourself to it.
My buddy Kyle has emerged as reigning hero in scooping me out of despair. When I was miserably stuck in O'Hare, and in effect missing the April 3 exhibition game, he came to my aid. And last night, amidst the lingering dejection over the Yank game, he did a remarkably effective job of writing it off as a meaningless April game against a team that sucks anyway. Which made me realize that there's something intrinsically wrong with me that I need THAT MUCH moral support over ONE game that my buddies have to pad me with conciliatory texts.
This is just going to be the longest season ever. In a good way.
Are you really gonna purport that you've ALWAYS been such staunch supporters? C'mon. The gig's up. Up until this year, you thought "Bruins" were some kind of term for pubcrawlers. Now you're all brimming with pride over their sweep of Montreal.
This is just another reason why your legions of sports fans ignite the ire in most other cities. This is why you suck. I know it's been said and done before way better than I ever could, but I can't help myself...this song ignites the karaoke in me every time. (Actually it's the only song that ignites the karaoke in me because I learned all the words and don't have the look at the tv. What, I subscribe to normal adult behavior.)
This is why you suck, this is why you suck, this is why, this is why, this is why you suck.
You suck cuz you hate, you hate cuz you're lame, this is why, this is why, this is why you suck.
This is why you suck:
You don't gotta lie,
You couldn't name a Bruins player 'fore 2009.
You jumped up on the wagon,
And cheer black and gold,
But where were you the last 10 years,
When your team was playing cold?
You drop names like Thornton,
As if that makes you true,
Hey, I'm a diehard Penguins fan cuz I can name Lemieux!
You only watch them play,
When they're winning games,
You like the way they skate,
You're still learning all their names.
You chant "Yankees suck!"
And your ignorance's confirmed--
You got nothing else to yell when you know no hockey terms.
This is why you suck, this is why you suck, this is why, this is why, this is why you suck.
You suck cuz you hate, you hate cuz you're lame, this is why, this is why, this is why you suck.
This is why you suck,
Here we go again.
Every other day you get a new fairweather fan.
Last year's Cs,
Took it all the way,
22 years, and you finally beat LA.
I admit I was impressed,
That was real loyalty,
But now all hope is gone just because you lost KG??
No wonder you're all hot
For the NHL
And traded in your Allen jersey for one of Phil Cassel.
You hate on every star,
In pure jealousy.
You have the market cornered on unmatched hypocrisy.
You're into big spending, but still criticize the Yanks,
14 mil for Drew? That's what Mo puts in his bank!
Those who hail from Boston who are focused on the dream,
All move to New York City, ya know we got the better teams.
We keep it so clean,
Winning is routine.
And when we call you fans pathetic, this is what we mean.
This is why you suck, this is why you suck, this is why, this is why, this is why you suck.
You suck cuz you hate, you hate cuz you're lame, this is why, this is why, this is why you suck.
NOW they decide to bring in the talent.
I wish I was still in school.
I don't know what's more frustrating...not being able to watch a day game AT ALL because you're stuck in an all day meeting...or watching it on the awkward GameDay broadcast that toys with conventional dimensions of time. It's not exactly live, but not NOT live. It just jumps all over the place, will shoot out 34 pitches at once and then nothing for like 7 minutes. And then it will start tracking stuff that happened 3 innings ago.
So when I'm watching a tied game like today's, I'm wondering if the game has been over for an hour and I just don't know about it. I HATE that feeling. One day a few months ago I turn on the tv to watch a Rangers/Carolina game. And I'm getting all into it, ignoring the confusion in the back of my mind about why they're playing the Hurricanes 2 days in a row. And then ignoring the remarkability of how they're going into overtime for the SECOND DAY IN A ROW WITH A 2-2 SCORE. And I'm doing the standard jumping up off the couch and sitting down at every shot. And then I realize I already saw this game the night before.
Regarding the above picture, it's from a Cleveland game 4 years ago. Me and Laur made the poster my parents are holding up. And coincidentally enough, it ended up being the day Melky hit his first Major League home run. So after the 6th inning, they put the cameras on my parents for a while, and Michael Kay says:
"Look at that--Melk and Rookies Hit the Spot! Now, there's a clever sign!"
And you know if M-Kay says it, it's gotta be legit.
I can't believe Melky hit 2 HRs today, including the game winning walk off. The first GNH walkoff win. Adorable.
Ya know, I wasn't really expecting anything from Pettite this year. I think I was so drunk off the new talent than I completely forgot that he's a legit arm. (Ah, the story of the franchise's life--assigning so much importance to "trendy" players that the inimitable value of old-fashioned homegrown skill is forgotten.)
What the box score doesn't communicate is that the boys were roping the balls all over the field. Everyone got on base. Even Matsui went 2-3. Brett Gardner is becoming an actual baseball player. I think before I was just looking at him like his was a non-roster invitee who they kept around to pinch run. But he can actually get on base now. He looks like a less sinister, more salubrious version of Dustin Pedroia.
So when everyone on the team is going 2-4, 3-5, 2-3 etc etc, and there's STILL 10 runners stranded in the game, it's time to rethink the lineup. Something else they might want to rethink is putting Cody "Defensive Nightmare" Ransom on third. Seriously, isn't there anyone else they have scampering around that they can stick there? He can't hit, he can't field. I don't know if A-Rod's cursed, but I know he's a fielding magnet. Plus his BA is a touch better than Ransom's. I'm just as superstitious as the next guy, but I'd rather have a potentially cursed guy on the team who has a breathtaking swing and immaculate fielding history, than a 3B that makes you wonder if he's getting paid to be this bad.
Posada should NOT be batting cleanup. Nor should Cano be so far down in the order. Give the kid more AB's, he's the best hitter on the team right now. Damon, Jeter, Cano, Teix, Swisher, Posada, Gardner, Matsui, Ransom. Have we tried that yet? I wish Girardi took audience requests. And I HATE when people purport to know what's right for the team, obviously Torre had his reasons for doing things the way he did, and he somehow managed to make his way into the postseason every year. But isn't it a no brainer that when the team's getting on base but not moving, that it's time to rearange some things?
During my own DL stint, I've exhausted every youtube video ever in addition to solving that pesky "Why are there so many homeruns in GNH*?" (Pending projects include nailing down exactly what Audrina Patridge looks like, and finding an alternate expression for "Is the Pope Catholic/does a bear shit in the woods?")
In the Daily News, meterologists weighed in on what they thought was contributing the ding derby in the Bronx. (This really sounds like something more in the Post's wheelhouse...) The gist of the analysis is that it has to do with different wind currents than the previous stadium. Psh. No.
The Beirut-Stadium Theorem
By Kris Pollina
Which one of the above cups is most likely to get hit with a ping pong ball?
I don't know what the scientific support for this is, but the answer would be the 3rd cup, aka the most full one. Maybe it's not scientific so much as it is Murphy's Law (for the other team, anyway).
Now look at these pictures:
The answer would be the 3rd picture, aka the empty stadium. But since games aren't played in empty stadiums, the next right answer would be the middle image, aka GNH. I can't believe this super arena can't even fill the seats in its first year alive. So ridiculous. The whole reason they were making this place was to be able to house more luxury boxes and hence turn a bigger profit. I'm very interested to see what the numbers will look like between this year and last.
So there it is. If you want to end the neck cramps of every Bronx fielder, and the pain of every fan who has to toss back the visitor's long ball, then sell out the seats. Which, of course, is essentially impossible since no one has any money.
This isn't hard to remedy either. Fill up every empty seat with a sandbag. Or cadaver. Nothing ups the retail value of something like a lifeless corpse integrated into its composition...
...as the old saying goes.
*Greatness's New Home
My first reaction= F'n awesome. I heart Ben.
My second reaction= Why didn't Ben, upon discovering the dude's identity, exchange the dumbbell for a refrigerator and drop that on his foot instead?
My third reaction=I have to meet this Ben character.
My fourth reaction=God, I hate the Patriots.
That's the itemized list of people (n=3) who stole a cab this morning from someone on crutches wearing a brace.
Which puts the question to bed once and for all: women and Boston fans, indeed, suck.
In my intensifying relationship with my couch, I managed to watch not 1 but 2 movies about old men playing baseball. The first one became the 4th movie/tv show* that's ever made me cry (what can I say, I get misty eyed without fail at the sight of someone being genuinely proud of someone else), and the second one--despite the fact I've seen it about 234,342 times--propelled me into a frantic google search that brought me no satisfaction whatsoever.
The Natural. The ending. 3 strikes!
No, seriously. I have to watch everything with closed captioning because I'm about a year away from being excluded from important cholesterol messages.
So, I'm watching Roy Hobbs step up for his final at-bat, and the first, which seems a bit high, is--according to the captions "STRIKE 1!"
Pitch-by-pitch after that goes something like this:
SWINGING STRIKE (aka strike 3)
I go back and listen to the first pitch about 100 times. Then without the captioning. I can't figure out exactly what the ump is saying, BUT if you listen closely, you can hear in the background the broadcaster saying "Strike 1."
Looks like someone wanted the movie to end the same way the book did.
Another thing that confused me today is the reduction of Josh Beckett's suspension. I was confused as to why he got suspended at all since he wasn't even thrown out of the game. But not only does he get suspended, but then his suspension is altered so that he doesn't even miss a start. So, uh, way to let the players know you mean business, MLB.
I'm also growing increasingly flummoxed by how the AL East turned into the NL West. The Yanks, with their 6-6 record are in 2nd place. The Marlins have only lost 1 game. The White Sox field a scarily inept defense and are cruising in 1st. The reigning champs look more insecure than the Mets. Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, and Carl Crawford and rocketing my fantasy teams' batting categories, and yet the Rays are more offesively challenged than the Sox. Some player named Shin Choo Choo is a slugging powerhouse with an unmitigated cannon of an arm.
And why was I convinced Steven Strasburg was going to the Reds?
* 1.) Scene in Father of the Bride when Steve Martin is reminiscing about Annie growing up.
2.) Scene in A League of Their Own where the dad of Marla Hooch waves goodbye to his daughter and he does a little air-check swing as the train's pulling away
3.) The end of the Wonder Years episode when Winnie gets into a car crash and "We've Got Tonight" is playing
In 2004, the Yankees lost 22-0 to the Indians, and the next day they won 5-3. This year? They lost 22-4 and won the next day 7-3. What's the significance? I don't know.
But more notably, the Yanks turned the game around with Posada's 2-run homer than called for an 8-minute review. If the call didn't stand at HR, the fan who bobbled the ball could have been a infintesimally small scale Steve Bartman. But as it were, he reached infintesimally small scale Jeffrey Maier status. The play that unhinged the floodgates for the Yankee Dynasty era.
It could be the painkillers, but I happen to think that this play may do the same thing for the Yanks season.
Today is the day that we stop hanging our hat on Wang.
Cody Ransom does something that isn't completely useless.
Bruney has reached reliable status.
The Yanks cease and desist their palpable fear of base-stealing.
AJ saves us from a losing streak again.
Teixiera is f'n worth his weight in gold.
Swisher made me smile.
Everyone (except 1) hit. (And everyone's swing looks sharp! Except for Matsui, but he didn't screw up today, so I can't complain.)
The Yankees catch a break.
From where I'm sitting, things are looking up.
Or Melby, as he will be affectionately called, as I now have officially jeopardized the chances of interacting with the rest of the world, with MLB Extra Innings now warming my hearth with its copious wonders.
So I'm thinking Wank's sinker ball isn't quite as effective as it has been historically. The way I can tell is that I'm not seeing as many ground-outs as I am grandslams. So, I just put 2 and 2 together.
Yankee Stadium is quickly replacing Coors as the HR-friendly (nay, HR-promiscuous) ballpark. I remember when Cleveland beat the Yanks August 31, 2004. That was a bad day. At least we scored 4 runs yesterday, on the plus side.
It was quasi-fitting, because the game that never ended ran on a parallel track to the day that never ended. I made the daring decision to venture down the 5 flights of stairs for the first time since Thursday, so I could watch the Rangers game. (I love how my reasoning for dragging my rubber leg out of the house was because it was too nice a day to spend indoors...only to continue dragging my rubber leg straight to the nearest bar.)
After seeing how long and arduous it was to actually get down the stairs, I was in absolutely no rush to get back up them, which amounted to me having a day about as neverending as the Yanks debacle. I'm lucky my sister's friends completely overlook the fact that I'm 100% a tagalong. You know how a drunk person looks 1000x drunker with the hiccups? Or how single person looks 1000x more single with a cat and Ben & Jerry's? Well, a tagalong looks 1000x more like a tagalong with crutches. Which was me yesterday. And for some reason I couldn't leverage the crutches into getting a table at the Boat Basin (although I did get the oversized handicap stall in the bathroom every time).
It seemed that everything yesterday worked out awesome, starting with my phone powering off while the Yanks were still riding the 2-0 Teixiera-built lead. Which meant that I was spared from a bunch of ESPN alerts humping themselves on my phone every time Cleveland popped another one out the park. The Rangers pulled off another win (???)--not even going to try to wrap my head around that one. And I guess all of Manhattan felt the same way because I couldn't "walk" [sic] 15 feet without hearing "YEAH, LUNDQVIST!" (In retrospect, I think I probably just looked like I was a few crayons short of a box, hobbling down the street in a hockey jersey and windpants at 2am. So now I'm thinking I was just getting the same ilk of reception that Kevin got from Holly in "The Office.")
Quite the life I've carved out for myself...
9 men left on base. All but one of the runs was from a solo HR, and that one run? Throwing error. It's great the Yankees have hot bats, and I'm not complaining at all. But when you look at their BAs, they're not as pretty (with a few exceptions.)
Joba had a so-so outing, but Bruney continued to shine, which also makes me nervous. (When the hell did I get so cynical??) I just don't want Bruney becoming the next Scott Proctor. More generally speaking, I just don't want the Yankees to start looking like the Yanks of recent years, where we turned a blind eye to bullpen problems and relied on the big bats of sluggers to void the inadequacies of the B-list players.
I've always been ARod's 2nd biggest fan, but is it possible his impending return is causing the Yanks to revert to old style? More likely is that I'm being completely melodramatic from being cooped up in the apartment all day, when it's absolutely gorgeous out. I think the cat is pissed off that I'm home when I'm supposed to be at work, because he keeps giving me this look that says, "You realize that this is my me-time, right? Why the f aren't you at work, clown?"
Or maybe it was a look that said, "I'm scared of your leg that makes you look like a transformer. The Optimus Prime helmet isn't doing anything for my confusion, either."
The NBA playoffs? Is that on? Does it matter? I can't watch professional basketball for more than 14 minutes without losing interest. It's like watching tennis. Once in a while there's an impressive play, but since they made it illegal to ever make a stab at getting a rebound, it's like watching a CYO game in one of those gyms that middle school gyms that smell like paint and Reeboks.
Good job benching Ryan Ludwick, Kris. Is there anything more aggravating and frustrating than seeing your bench have a monster day? It's pretty annoying when you get a pistachio with a shell that's not open enough to crack, but since pistachios are peanuts non grata these days, the fantasy thing wins out.
Wednesday/Thursday games, 4/15 and 4/16...A lot going on, a lot going on (There always is, though, isn't there?)0 comments
REGULAR SEASON WIN!
NHL PLAYOFFS START!
Where do I begin really? I didn't really have much of a choice in terms of writing about all these at once. Well, maybe Miss Johnson of Parkmont High School would argue otherwise, but the fact is I was busy last night "preparing for surgery" which technically should have been me going to bed early, but after watching the Rangers miraculously squeeze out a win, I ate half a grilled chicken sandwich and enjoyed good company, the latter being a significant calming influence. And my sister says that sometimes NOT being productive is actually productive, because it means you're catching up on necessary downtime. So...Kris: 1, Arguments for Why I Should Have Been Productive: 0.
The only real comment I'll make about the Yanks' win over TB on Wednesday is that it continued to bolster my Cano being awesome prediction while also dismantling my Jeter having a tough year prediction. This is why I don't understand how people can downplay Jeter's intrinsic indispensibility to the Yankees. People constantly dismiss the "intangibles" contention, pointing out that intangibles is just a euphamism for not having decent enough stats and performance to back up a case for his quality. (Actually, they probably don't say it like that since I don't think people who make such a weak case know the meaning of euphamism. If they were really smart, they'd point out that all stats are intangible since you can't actually physically hold any of them.)
I didn't get to see this game since it was on at some awkward time that, as usual, fell within my working hours. I keep going back and forth between getting mlb.tv and MLB Extra Innings, until I remember that mlb.tv blacks out pretty much everything worth watching. But I DID get to see the Rangers game. I think even the Rangers themselves were shocked they won that one. It was an abyssmal defensive showing on the Caps end, and towards the final minutes of the game. the Rangers were playing like the score was something closer to a 7 goal margin and not the meager 1 up they had on Washington.
What the game did prove to anyone who just tuned in for the first time in months yesterday, was something that's been happening ever since about, oh roughly 1 month, 2 weeks, and 8 days, was that the Rangers aren't the same "um so do you want to shoot? Yeah, me neither" team they were a couple of months mid season. They were channeling Pistol Pete style. (Sort of, not that impressive when compared to other teams, but considered they were 29th in S/G during Renney Days, and now 12th with Torts, it's an improvement.) I hope Gomez keeps it up. And I hope Drury comes back tomorrow.
So I watched the Ranger game, ate basically my 48th grilled chicken sandwich of the week, and had my nerves calmed by delightful company. The surgery was scheduled for 9:30 this time, instead of 6:30, which was HUGE. So much less stressful during pre-op. Not a fan of the 2 hours you wait wearing a paper towel as a garment, while donning a billowy shower cap thing that makes me look like Toadstool.
But it all worked out. The anasthesiologist came over and said I looked nervous (true story) and I explained to him my concerns that developed from seeing "Awake."
Guess he gets that alot, so he tells me he read the script for it as a consultant for the movie and that he "told everyone it was going to freak people out, and of course it did." But he also confirmed that yes, 1 in 700-1000 patients every year end up being awake through general anasthesia, which seems like a staggering amount to me. He assured me ACL reconstruction does not involve muscle relaxants which is how something like that would happen. Oh, and that also they attach something to my head to detect brain waves which indicate whether I'm conscious. (I probably would have led with the 2nd reason, but semantics..)
And it's bizarre, I have zero recollection of anything that happened after laying on the table. I just woke up all of sudden from a brief bad dream of being O'Hare with my coworkers telling me I missed a deadline, and I was frantically trying to finish something up at classroom-like looking thing in the airport, but they kept saying, "it's too late, you can't finish it now."
Which amounted to me waking up and yelling at the adorable resident nearby, "Did you send the pdf out yet??"
(I covered, uh, *smoothly* with, "Oh, yeah I meant what's the score of the game?" This anecdote will be my ace in the hole in future discussions with my mother asking me why I can't I just marry a doctor.)
I'm a little upset afterwards, because my leg is killing me and my sisters are at the game and I just want to be with them at the biggest opening day I've been alive for. I've gone to opening day every year since I've been back in NY after college (which I guess is only 6 years), but still. And I'm also sad because a Bosux pal patently neglected to call post-op ON TOP OF steadily updating his facebook status to assert his active interest in seeing the Yanks lose.
Here's the thing--this was a big day for Yankee fans. I get rooting against the Yanks in any other game of the year, whether they're playing your team or not. I get it. (Sort of. I don't really scrutinize the Sox record until at least a few weeks into the season.) But I definitely don't demonstrate a mentality that practically suggests more of a profound enthusiasm for hating one team than supporting another. What difference does it make if the Yanks lose? It has ZERO bearing on the Sox. I rooted for the Mets when they opened in Citifield because it's a historic day for them. I was thrilled Posada got the first HR, exponentially more so than if it had been Cody Ransom or something--not that that was a threat or anything--because years from now, that will be a legit meaningful moment in Yankee history. A vet like Posada christens the new home.
WHY would you go out of your way to ruin something like that for baseball history? Say what you will about the Yanks, but there's no denying that their franchise has played a big role in history, including their stadium. And even though I'm still long from warming up to the new digs, I can respect the impact of the day the Yanks moved away from The House That Ruth Built. I'm not saying it should be a national holiday. But even haters had to acknowledge the significance of the last game played there last year. (Most didn't, but enough did.)
What do you get from taking that from us? It's more than wishing for a loss, it's just--for lack of a better word--mean. And as my mom says, "Our first responsibility is to be a good person."
So my mom and I go to get lunch right after leaving the hospital, mostly because I want to put off walking up the 5-flight walkup for as long as possible. We go to Dorrians mostly because I know it won't be packed at 2:30 on a Thursday, and because I'll see at least 1 one of my friends there who can help me manuveur around. (I didn't take into account the bathroom real estate, which can mimic the Geico commercial about the tiny house. And because I insist on carrying a booksack everywhere like I'm Macauley Culkin in Home Alone, the logistics of fitting a robot leg, wildly unneccessary booksack, and crutches into one stall...it was NOT awesome.)
Also falling in the silo of NOT Awesome was the beating the Yanks took pretty much the second I dragged myself to the table. My sisters were on tv though! I think they were sitting next to the dude who caught/threw back the grand slam or something. So...that was a plus. In the words of Michael Scott:
I guess this is what they call a bittersweet moment. It is bitters because I slightly destroyed a wonderful little family. But sweet, because David Wallace thought I did a good job. That's why I hate bittersweet chocolate. I don't even--What's the point of that? Why not just sweet? I mean, who...who are you helping?
One ding after another. Ugh. Turned out pushing the surgery to opening day worked out after all. I can't speak to the game too much since I think decided to stop watching unless they brought in Swisher to pitch again. And also, my tough guy "Whatever, my leg's totally fine" veneer was dissolving in the seering pain that was starting to settle in. But of course, the question once again arises:
DO WE HAVE A F'N BULLPEN? ANYONE?? HOW DID I MISS THIS DURING THE OFF SEASON? WHY WAS I NEVER CONCERNED ABOUT THIS?
Putting up 2 runs isn't making me feel a whole lot better, but eh, it happens. Cliff Lee=pretty dominant. I have bigger fish to fry that cold bats.
Despite the shitty outcome, Laur and Amy returned from the game in pretty high spirits, which can come with the territory of a bleacher section that once again allows alcohol. Also, they got tan and got to see the first game at Yankee Stadium ever. And bought me a souveneir book! This is So. Awesome.
They also gave me this How-Soon-Can-We-Get-This-On-Overhearinny.com gem:
They're getting off the subway with the rest of pinstripe-clad Manhattan, and see a girl hunched over trying desperately to weave through the mass exodus on the train platform...
"WELL, APPARENTLY ITS OPENING DAY HERE....how the hell was I supposed to know that?...I don't even like baseball, so no, it's not a big deal to everyone....well, now it's like madness here and I'm trying to get through but I can't and I don't know what to do...I DON'T CARE WHAT OPENING DAY MEANS."
I hope the presumed guy she was talking to (had to be) was with his friends so he could put it on speaker. Poor girl. Sort of.
OH, and lastly, I DID get to somewhat tailgate, and by "tailgate" I mean absolutely not even close, BUT there is a cooler involved. So, per my last post regarding the plan to set up tailgating in my apartment to watch the game, I did get to bring a tailgating prop into the picture. So, there's that. Kris: 1, Unlikelihood of Tailgating Post-ACL surgery: 0.
I turned on the tv to see Swisher homering. Where did this dude come from? No, seriously.
Even better was the near no-no AJ had going until the 7th. As Michael Kay pointed out at the end of the game, he put up a W after another 2-loss streak. Which says to me what the doorman at my office building was shouting maniacally the week leading up to opening day: it's gonna be really hard for the Yanks to lose more than 3 games in a row ever. That pitching line-up ain't gonna let that happen.
So far..true story.
The Yanks look endearing. They remind me of the 2006 second half of the season Yanks. Brett Gardner putting up numbers, driving in runs. Derek Jeter reminding everyone he's still a batting force by knocking a 3-run ding to break the game open. (O/U line on how long before Jeter usurps ARod's title as King of the Late Inning Pointless HR: 2.5 months).
A more confusing moment of the game= when the star of "Rookie of the Year" came to bat, under the alias Ramiro Pena. And then ropes one into left center! If BJ Upton didn't have a jetpack attached to him, that would've been magnificent.
AJ's pitch arsenal was stunning, his breaking ball was so sharp that he only walked 1, while whiffing 9. Sweet Christ. Please don't get hurt, buddy. Please.
In other baseball news, I think Kansas City is like the new Tampa Bay. A few years ago, I realized that half of my fantasy team was from the Devil Rays. And I couldn't figure out why the rockstars like Crawford, Kazmir, Upton, Huff, Young...couldn't amount to a decent team. Similarly, I realized that I was gravitating towards an abnormal amount of Royals this year (side note: Kyle Davies, Gil Meche, and Zack Greinke have let up 1 run in 20 innnings). Then I find Teahen running my 1B spot?? Whaaa?? I got scared and confused so I immediately dropped him to sidestep the whole Twilight Zone feeling of liking too many Royals. Oh wait, I picked up Kyle Davies in his stead. Dammit.
Boston lost in 12 innings. God, that sucks. (For Boston.) Not that I even remotely give .034 shits about the Red Sox, but as a baseball fan, I empathize completely with the practice of a west coast game going into extra innings only to disappoint. You're up til 2am. And for what. So this brings the Boston Red Sox's total win count to...2.
Which places the Boston Red Sox in roughly...last place.
That's all I'll say about that, since obviously it's early in the season, and I'm about 2-3 months away from closely monitoring the standings and rankings of the rest of the AL East. Run your own race. I can barely keep an eye on the Yanks as it is without worrying about whatever nonsense is going on in the AL East gutter.
But because Beckett is on my fantasy team, I do know that he is suspended for completely irrationally beaning Abreu, after standing on the mound long enough to afford him enough time to establish democracy in a third world country. Good, suspend him. My team can take the hit. I got Kyle Davies.
Ray Allen, too? Not that I follow the NBA, but Espn occasionally demonstrates a wild propensity towards New England sports and hence spotlights a story if Jed Lowrie so much as changes the lightbulbs in his refrigerator. So apparently Ray Allen graciously elbowed a Cav in the groin. He's tough.
SPEAKING OF OTHER SPORTS...NFL released the 2009 schedule! I get very wary of the NFL infringing on baseball season, but this is awesome. Opening against the Skins, too. Good stuff.
I'm into the reemergence of football, but watch--come August, I'll start getting paranoid and weird about people forgetting that baseball is still going on. "DRAFT? DRAFT??!!! HOW CAN YOU EVEN ASK ME THAT. HAVE YOU NO RESPECT FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN PASTTIME? Fine, then I'll wait til Week 4, I don't care.")
>My home opener ticket is now in the hands of the best possible person, so I'm not even toooo disappointed about missing it, even though it's slated to be like 65 and gorgeous out. MMmm, tailgating. That sounds fun. Maybe I can set up a tailgate in my apartment that will be there for me when I'm done with the knee thing. You know, what better situation to come to when you're hobbling on crutches and doped up on morphine than chicken that's been left out for 5 hours and beer bottles precariously lining all surface space just waiting to be knocked over.
Maybe I'll just plan on having a pretend tailgate. Which may work if I'm still hopped up on enough painkillers, actually.
Nick Swisher pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the Yankees tonight. Read that sentence again. And again.
As my buddy Super Rob so eloquently stated, "it took him 22 pitches to get the same three outs Wang got with 61."
Nick Swisher. God Bless Him. Welcome to the Bronx, buddy.
These are the times that Mickey Mantle was referring to when he said, "Nothing will ever be as fun as baseball."
So maybe my luck isn't ready to change just yet. Kind of like how Wang isn't ready to keep his ERA in the single digits just yet.
Another game I quasi-missed. Had one on the tv and one on my Yahoo Lobby (late draft with coworkers), but since I woke up this morning looking like Shallow Hal, aka with enough pink eye swamp around my eye to fill a toychest, the one eye on my draft was really the only functioning one. So, well, maybe that conjunctivitis worked out for the best since it prevented me from wholly witnessing the 15-5 rout. Chalk another one up to making lemonade outta lemons, I guess.
I'm finding the Wang-Igawa resemblance a little too unnerving right now. His sinker stinks. When a ground-out pitcher is giving up that many extra base hits, it's time to worry about the merit of his mechanics. The weak bright spot is that usually when this type of thing happens to the Yanks, some other pitcher inexplicably rises up like a phoenix, a la Mussina last year. And the other thing is something I noticed during my draft tonight. There are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of elite pitchers getting teed off on. Obviously Beckett, Lincecum, CC, Lester, Lidge, and Cliff Lee are phenomenal starters. But all of them are posting erratic ERAs that look more like the cab fare to LaGuardia than the anemic numbers they should actually be posting.
Of course, Carlos Pena was riding pine on Blue Wizzrobes today. Same thing with Andre Ethier, who I just dropped yesterday because his name sounds too much like something I'd find in the Noble Gases section of the periodic table. Let's hope Marco Scutaro makes me respect that decision to bring him on board. Same goes for Doumit, who replaces the 2-5 Navarro.
I talked to my mom after the game, who reminded me how I look too thin/tired/stressed out, and even though I came back with arguments of taking vitamins/eating healthy, she was most placated when I said, "Oh, and I didn't watch the Yankee game tonight so that's one less thing to worry about."
"No Red Sox arguments, either, I hope, right?"
Parents are always right. Plus, I love how my mom reads all my sports articles religiously when a lot of times it makes as much sense to her as a Organic Chemistry textbook would make to me. There are few things that mean more to me than that kind of selfless support.
In not as agreeable news, I also learned today that the Masters did not, in fact, take place on Thursday night. Hmpf. Man, did that hurt.