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Ok, we're all really excited you're here, Sneach. Seriously. And I know you think that you're just doing what you're supposed to be doing, now that you're donning pinstripes. So...good on you for trying to assimilate.

But the thing is, no one wants you to hit homeruns. Well, maybe I did a little, actually, only because I usually am listening to the radio broadcast, and out of sheer morbid curiousity, I wanted to know how Sterling was going to wrap his mouth around a long ball from you.

But since that question has since been put to bed ("Ichiro, the Yankees' rising sun, says sayonara!"), now I just want you to bring runs in. And you didn't really do that tonight.

The Yanks dropped their 3rd in a row, losing 5-4 to the ORIOLES, who I guess are kinda not that bad or something, since they're technically in 2nd place in the AL East. But, whatever, I mean, the Yankees have dropped like a hundred of their last 11 games, and I'm not saying anyone should be going into panic mode or anything, but I am saying that the Yankees need to stop acting like they're playing with house money.

Chavez and Ichiro go back to back (or belly to belly, whichever) with homeruns, and that just capped off a day of solo bombs, which is great, but also highlights a little bit of an inability to drive in runs with RISP. That's kind of important, as I understand the game.

The O's were bringing in runs the old fashioned way. Which is annoying, because the loss would have almost been somewhat more palatable if we had just been beaten at our own game. Instead, the O's beat us at the game we demonstrated an ineptitude at playing. They brought in runs with sac flies, and doubles, and even a single. (Actually, the Yankees did that, too. In the 2nd. Courtesy Chavez. Good boy.)

And similiarly, the O's had a homerun, so I guess the beginning of the game was all flip flopped or something. I wonder if Betemit misses coming out "If I Was a Better Man." Questions we may never have all the answers to.

Markakis drives in 2, and I want to forward this game recap to everyone on my old fantasy league who got alllll up in arms when my sister and I tried to orchestrate a Markakis for Crawford trade. Ok, yes it's not exactly an exercise in parity, but listen, no one ever touched Crawford. He was like my property basically. And the draft was on MY BIRTHDAY, so you can imagine my outrage when my sister picks him up with her first pick.

I sent her a ransom note demanding Crawford, and I even threw in Markakis, which I thought was more than fair, since I was basically threatening her life.

The trade got vetoed, and everyone was forever suspicious of our motives, and now look at what Markakis is doing and what Crawford is doing. Doesn't seem all too lopsided anymore, yeah?

The real tragedy of the game, however, was Tex's wrist injury. Does anyone know what the status of this is? I swear, they must be giving out free fudgiscles or something in the DL center, because people are tripping over themselves, literally, to get there.

Sweaty Freddy didn't really get the job done today, but neither did the rest of the team. In fairness, though, it wasn't an abysmal showing on the Yankees' part. I mean, there were hits. By some. Not Cano. (0 for 4). But there were hits sprinkled across the board. Jeter, Swish, Ibanez, Chavez, and Ichiro were the only ones whose bats came through.

But Sneachiro's bat didn't come through when I needed it to. With 2 runners on in the 9th, he grounded into fielder's choice, and suddenly I'm not that excited about his homerun anymore.

So the Yankees lose again, and Sweet Christ, no one needs to sound any panic alarms yet. Their lead is 6.5 games, and just as the Yankees don't need to be talked off the ledge, the O's should probably slow their roll, too, since now all of a sudden we're hearing stats about how the last time they've reached the playoffs is 19997.

I'm gonna have to default to the words of Jim Mora on this one...


Everyone needs to calm the f down.

Also, the Yankees need to win. I love boiling things down to black and white mandates. Who doesn't?

I hate my voice. I used the do a radio show in college, and sometimes I'd tape it to send home to my parents to show them what their tuition was paying for.*

Anyways, I may hate my voice, but that just makes my appreciation for someone who DOES know how to charm and arrest my attention on air that much more profound. SuperRob aka NewYorkSportsJerk, has a phenomenal knack for this.

And so does this guy.

I just started listening to it pretty recently, and now I'm addicted, and thank you BCakaTheMan (which I was mistakenly reading as B Caka The Man for a while. I'm smart.)

Anyways, so if the written word isn't doing it for you, or if your eyes are still bloodshot from the weekend (whether it be from alcohol or crying over Ciriaco), then hit this show up. Trust me. I don't usually advocate things I don't like.†

*Every time I tried to demonstrate what their tuition was paying for, I think they just started shaking their heads and sighing in defeat that much more aggressively. From a radio show that played 90% Radiohead and Weezer with PSAs on sleep apnea from Mike Tyson, to a play where I starred as Indian with an Irish accent, to my junior year house called "Amityville, to a courseload that included "Stage Makeup" a special class in "Using a Whip on Stage." Luckily they had a daughter in Georgetown studying Biology.

†I work in advertising, and I still say this with every ounce of sincerity. But then again, it's pretty easy to advocate cancer treatments. Which is why I'll never leave this industry ever. I can't imagine having to throw my heart and soul into copywriting for something like batteries or diapers.

Felix F'n Doubront.

What's his deal?

And how did the Yankees manage to blow a series to the worst team in the history of ever? (Hey, if Suzyn and John are free to wax hyperbole, then I'm throwing my hat in the ring, too.)

It was particularly bad because it was one of those games where you stay up late on a school night to catch the whole thing (unless you're my Dad, who usually waits until the game is tied in extras, with 2 outs and runners in scoring position, and then announces, "Ok, I'm going to bed.")

And you stay up late and then they lose, and it's kind of like when I'm already late for work but decide I absolutely can't go in until I pick up my coffee from Dunkin Donuts first, and I'm waiting on line and waiting on line. And it gets to the point where I'm getting later and later for work, but I've already invested this much time into it, so even though I don't even really want the coffee anymore, I have to stick it out. Then I finally get to the front of the line only to find out they're out of Coffee Coolatta mix.

So I go to work late for nothing, empty-handed.

That idiot Felix held the Yanks scoreless until R-Mart (an unlikely hero as of late) takes him deep in the 7th to put the Yankees on the board, and then R-Mart (still an unlikely hero as of late) gets the other ribbie of the game, with a tying single off A-Save-Us (coolest name for a closer ever.)

Unfortunately, there's someone even more annoying than Doubront on the Red Socks, and that's Ciriaco, who someone needs to inform that it's not part of the Boston mores to try hard. It reminds me of that scene in Big when Tom Hanks first starts works at his new job and Jon Lovitz is his cube-mate, and he's like, "WTF ARE YOU DOING ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE US ALL LOOK BAD. SLOW THE F DOWN."

Ciriaco is like Josh Baskin.


Or, at the very least, stop screwing shit up for the Yankees.

Ciriaco hits the winning shot off D-Rob in the 10th, and the Yanks fail to respond in kind in the bottom of the inning, and everything is terrible.

At least there are SOME people on Boston who still remember their role, that they're aposed to suck and do so in galatic proportions. So, thank you, Bobby Valentine and Josh Beckett, for maintaining the legacy so pristinely.

Bobby gets ejected in the 10th, right before his stupid team wins the game, because a pitch that clearly hit the bat, wasn't ruled a HBP, but instead was correctly identified as a foul ball. Shame on you, umpire, for adhering to accuracy in the game!

Bobby takes exception to this and stages a shit fit, and eventually gets tossed. What a moron. He does this in the wake of the umpire getting inadvertantly beaned by a pitch, which caused a big delay as the trainers and everything had to come out to examine him. And you know what I'd want to do seconds after I'm knocked to my feet and seeing cartoon stars above my head?

Deal with a cantankerous manager arguing my call.

As if O'Nora is gonna be like, hey you know what? You're right, buddy. And I appreciate you calling out the err of my ways as I'm limping back to my post behind homeplate. Good on you, Bob. GOOD. ON. YOU.

So, yeah, Bobby "I have a name for 80's teen villain heart throbs" Valentine gets ejected, but not before DRAMATICALLY tossing his gum to nowhere in particular. I LOVE moves like this. Grown men do it all the time and it looks so so so ridiculous.

Kind of like when I was arguing with my boyfriend on Halloween 8 years ago. We were dressed as Mario and Luigi and I can't even remember what he was so mad about, but usually there was never an actual reason with him so it could have been something akin to yawning or something.

At any rate, he's furious about SOMETHING, and I remember at the time thinking how hysterical this must look to passers-by, seeing Mario and Luigi heatedly fighting on the street. And then Mario does the unthinkable, but also the most hilarious thing ever, which is snap his plunger over his knee to punctuate his frustration.

Yeah, I really know how to pick 'em. But anyways, this just made me laugh, just as Bobby tossing his gum aggressively made me laugh, but I was not laughing when Mario stormed off with his splintered plunger, and I was not laughing when the Yankees lost in the 10th inning.

Oh, yeah, Josh Beckett got tossed, too. He wasn't even playing last night. He cannot possibly be more pathetic. He could TRY, but he would not be successful.

I love the fact that the Socks think that they can improve their team by getting rid of this nightmare. Hey, Boston? That nightmare IS your team. He is not the anomaly. He is the epitome. He is not the cancer. He is the blood flow. And I don't mean that in a complimentary way. I mean that in a Josh Beckett is terrible, and he is a microcosm of your team's aura. Good work, guys. Keeping it classy always, yeah?

No one will take Beckett. HA HA HA. How's that, buddy? Where's your jawing now? Any other quips or snide remarks or dismissive whateverIdontevencare comments? No?

Suit yourself.

So now it's Monday, and the Yankees lost last night, and my hair is still wet from my shower this morning and it's dripping all over the place. I've had better mornings. But I've had worse, too. I think I'm just extra cranky because I had a rough week ahead of me and without the benefit of my best friend being around. The Yankees better win every game this week, or I'm gonna be tossing my chewing gum and breaking plungers left right and center.

(Sentence I never thought I'd say.)

Cheers! Happy Monday!

So the Yankees dropped one to the Socks last night, and they really shouldn't have. It shouldn't have gone down the way it did. But I guess everyone always says that about any loss, yeah?

Actually, I don't think I do. Sometimes I say other things. But regardless, it was a stupid game and the only good part of the game was when Tex hit a text message off Padilla. That was really an indication of why the game should've gone the way of the Yankees. I mean, what a cool little dramatic moment of poetic justice...wasted.

Thanks a lot, Grandy.

Although, in fairness, it wasn't really Granderson's fault. It was a tough ball to catch and any other OFer and you get a little pissy about why he didn't catch it. But given Grandy's insane fielding abilities, punctuated by the fact he chases after EVERY ball 100%, like he's a freaking cartoon or something...well, then even though he looked like some kind of Charlie Brown/Scottie Smalls hybrid last night, well, it's ok.

Just don't let it happen again.

And shame on you, Ciriaco, for hitting the ball so hard.

But let's go back to the good part of the game, when Tex goes yard off Padilla, and does something I've NEVER seen him do ever, it was so f'n badass.

He goes all Manny Ramirez douchebag/asshole style on Padilla and takes his sweet ass time getting out of the box. HA!!!

How'd that feel Padilla? Still think he should be playing women's basketball or whatever it was you thought he should be doing?

Lester was ok. Whatever, it's about f'n time. All he does is pant after Beckett was a lapdog trying to get some attention. Which explains why he's changed his pitching style of late to giving up bomb after bomb, in true Beckett fashion. But he was ok last night. Which is sad, sort of, because the former no-htiter-who-got-extra-amounts-of-credit-for-it-for-being-a-cancer-survivor, has now been reduced to a bar set so low, that it's considered "Ok" if he doesn't give up 10 homeruns.

The mighty have fallen. Or not the "mighty," right, Boston? It should be more like "the crazy" or "the kooky"? Right? Because Boston doesn't like to align themselves with power and greatness. They'd much rather position themselves as irreverant and lazy.

I swear, they're like the crowd my parents warned me about in high school. The ones my mom prayed at night that I'd never end up like. They were funny because they said pretty witty things in class, when they decided to show up, but mostly they made fun of people who took school seriously. Which was hysterical because we were all going to some Westchester private prep school, so you wanted to say, "Ok the gig's up. We're all taking shit seriously."

But no, not them. And not the Red Socks. They take nothing seriously. Seriously.

On the other hand, there's the Yankees. And players like Chris Stewart, who Suzyn and John marvel "DOES SOMETHING IMPORTANT EVERY GAME!" I love these claims. They're so refreshing, especially since pharmaceutical advertising has conditioned me to be so hypersensitive to overpromises. You can't really say much of anything in pharma without qualifying it with 100 statements of fair balance and safety, etc, and you need 100 studies to support every minute claim.

And then I get home from work and here these types of things and I love it. How come they never say that about Raul Ibanez though? He DOES SOMETHING IMPORTANT EVERY GAME, too.

They're just on the cusp of saying the same thing about Sneachiro.They're holding it in, I can tell. But watch. Sneach made that great catch on the warning track last night to rob A-Gonz of a bomb, and if he does anything remotely like that today, there's gonna be pandemonium in the box and Sterling is just going to let fly a stream of gushing obsession that culminates in "AND SUZUKI ICHIRO, YOU ARE BETTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE COMBINED, AND GODDAMMIT, WILL YOU MARRY ME?"

So...that's my game preview.

So last night, the Bronx welcomed Sneachiro to the , donning his pinstripes, and being all awed and bright eyed, and he tried to express this whole wonderment with something about twisting your cheek in Japan. I think I know what he means. When I took a CPR class, they said there are 2 places on the body that are so sensitive that if you pinch them, it'll jolt anyone awake (unless they're unconscious): the cheek and the armpit.

I've never actually had to use CPR, but I definitely have used that pinching tip many a time, when I can't keep my eyes open. I'm sure I look completely normal sitting at a dinner table frantically grabbing my cheeks and armpits. Yeah, I don't know why I'm single either.

Anyways, so I'm assuming this is what Sneach is talking about, having to twist his cheek to wake him up from a wonderful dream of being a Yankee. But it's not even a dream, Sneach! It's real!

And remember how when we were playing in Seattle and you immediately starting sneaking bases as if to tell the Yankees, "Yo watch this shit. This is how I do it. I'm gonna set a precedent here." Well, so then Sneach comes to the Bronx, and the Yanks respond in kind. "Yeah, you do your whole running around like Sonic the Hedgehog thing. And we'll go yard through the night. This is how we do it. See anything you like, speak up."

Ibanez and R-Mart both his 2-run bombs, and Grandy hit a salami in the 8th, and the Yankees beat the Red Socks once again, despite their best efforts.

Actually, WAS that even their best effort? I mean, it's like the bottom of the 1st and there's some ridiculously simple double play and the Socks act like it's their first time seeing a ground ball, or the first time a double play situation has been presented to them. And as such, the Yanks continue to score, making the Pedroia blast in the 1st completely stupid.

Same thing happens when Saltwhatever hits a ding (and I'm thinking, Oh WOWOWOWOWOW! Look at you, big guy! A platinum sombrero or whatever it's called when you strike out 2,231 times in a one game, and now you come back all tough and loaded for bear! We TOTALLY underestimated you!)

And then I'm imaging Saltwhatever saying this.

Carl Crawford decided to get his first homerun this season. Ugh, I can't believe I ever liked that guy. What a loser.

Hughes pitched pretty well. As I've said about 5401 times, I have zero idea what to make of the kid. I'm starting to think Girardi almost shares this sentiment, too, since he was like, "Yeah, he was okay once the guys spotted him a 6-3 lead."

I don't know what about that makes me think this, but it's so passive, or something. Like too qualifying? I don't know. I don't really care either, because the fact of the matter is that they won, and it was a team effort, as it usually tends to be these days with the Yanks. I love it. Dare I say it, but it's a bit reminiscent of 2009, no? No, strike that. 2012 is a new team all together (and altogehter. Ooh, I like that.)

No real dramatics last night, but that may be because the stupid idiots from Boston are just like an unmitigated disaster just trying to stay afloat. Pedroia is trying his damndest to pantomime Jeter's leadership and all, but it's so pathetic. He's like, "we're the RED SOX, GUYS! We're below 500 and that's not like us! No one should be accepting this kind of failure. We don't like to lose."

Ha, I love it when people assert their aversion to losing. As if that somehow ameliorates their recent failures. "Well, yeah, we're 1-12 in the last 2 weeks, but this is a team that hates to lose, you know? And the stronger our hatred for losing, the bigger an anomaly it must be, right? Hence, you guys shoud just go talk to a team that's amenable to losing, because they're the real losers, you know? Not us. WE don't lose because we don't LIKE to lose. I hate myself."

I bet the Red Socks all went home and updated their facebook status and twitter feeds to angrily remind everyone that they're pissed about the loss. Seriously, I find that Boston fans in particular lovvvee using twitter as a way to preemptively deflect digs from NYers.

After a loss they IMMEDIATELY sign on and start typing so fast that I'm imagining all these punks with weathered Boston caps turned backwards, furiously banging on a keyboard to the point where there's smoke emerging from their fingers.

And then you see something like this.

Yeahhh. Keep telling yourself that, buddy.

We'll play our game, you play..or is "play" the right word?..well, you do whatever it is you do on the field. Godspeed.

Hey, speaking of speed, remember how we got Sneachiro and you guys got a furry costume stolen? Life's so unfair.

I don't understand the term situational comedy, much like I don't understand the term observational humor. Don't all comedies (or dramas, for that matter) have a "situation" at its core? I mean, I'm trying really hard to think of something that could be hilarious in the absence of a situation. I guess this maybe.

This is funny. Situationally speaking.

I don't know why I get a kick out of this thing. My college boyfriend used to print these out en masses and tape them up in his room, without ever offering word one of explanation.

Anyways, same deal with observational humor. Unless it's a knock knock joke. But those aren't very funny, (excepting one.)

How do I get on these tangents? Good grief. The worst part is that all I did was muse to myself, every day the Yankes have another little element of drama or human interest etc, that makes me think the opening credits to Will & Grace are about to sprout open.

The Yankees as a sitcom! I'm writing that down.

And then like a true nutcase, I immediately start berating myself for using a completely nonsensical term. When all I want to do is write about the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.

So I apologize for the absenteeism the past 2 days, I was walking around like someone auditioning for a job as a right angle. So I have a hernia, which I honestly thought was one of those invented conditions that no one ever really HAS but uses it to underscore a degree of affliction.

Like saying you have a migraine. Or the flu. When I hear migraine, I hear, "headache? Maybe? Whatever, I just don't feel like hanging out tonight. With you, anyway." When I hear flu, I hear "hungover." And when I hear hernia,  I hear this for some reason.

I remember this from when I was FIVE. I forget nothing. Seriously. And based on this little slice from my childhood that I still remember, maybe it would behoove me to not save ALL my memories. As ohyob once said in regard to the urgent need for him to clear his head: "Everything must go. This is a fire sale."

Oh yeah, the Yankees. They lost to the Mariners in day 2 of the Sneach Era, you know what else happend? Felix Hernandez went all Izzy Alcantara on the Yankees and adopted a mentality not unlike that of an aggressive boyfriend determined to win the 7-ft tall stuffed monkey for his girlfriend by throwing ball after ball at a stack of milk bottles that are likely krazi-glued to the pedestal.

The reason I say they're like a sitcom is because there's like a new B-side story going on with them every day. You got the games, and their record. And then there's either A-Rod breaking his hand, or the Sneach acquistion, or the Cano hitting streak (RIP).

Reggie having a stroke and going ape shit on all the HOFers.

Joba telling us every day he's coming back tomorrow.

Mo's ACL. (He was at the soccer game on Sunday, and I'm watching him walk across the field and then tell Alex, "This is yet another confirmation of the fact that Tom Brady is a fucking pussy." Then the guy next to me said, "Um, language?" Geez, its's not like I was even talking to him. Maybe I should've just answered, "Oh, it's English" since technically, his inflection indicated it was a question.)

The motlye crue of pitchers who we count on to pitch as well as Andy or Mo.

The motley crue of bottom of the order batters who are KILLING it.

Never a dull moment in the Bronx, but I am admittedly kind of loving this succeeding in the face of adversity stuff. (See, I have a heart. And I love the movie Hard Ball. What. Don't judge. Ok, I guess you can. Just on the movie part, not the heart part, though.)

A-Rod is out for like 2 months because he broke his hand, and I love him so I'm not gonna go all "A-rod" in the same manner as these disappointed chaps:

But I will say that is there anyone more prone to injury than this guy? Is he made out of paper and string?

And even though Serf Felix apologized, that and a subway card will get me uptown. I call BS on this. It reeks of Sensei Kreese telling Bobby that he wants Daniel out of commission.

The other 2 batters plunked were apparently on "off-speed pitches" and this reeks of a 48 hours episode when a wife will start planting seeds of "domestic abuse" and "infidelity" in the minds of her friends, so when her husband is murdered months later, no one suspects her. Then, inevitably, a search of her computer uncovers google queries like "How to commit homicide" and "making juries think you're a battered woman when you're really not."

Very clever, Felix. I'm not fooled. I know what's going on here. Unfortunately for you and the rest of the AL, taking Arod out of commission is not going to hurt us. The Yankees are a flying V these days! I don't know how, exactly, but I know they seem to emulate the cooperation and determination best captured in the Mighty Ducks (I and II, not III, since if an Olympic team can barely beat a high school prep school varsity them, then they may as well hang up their skates. Sorry, Sven.)

Tonight our friends in Boston come to the Bronx, and everyone is sooo excited to see them. I wonder if the Red Socks even care at this point. I mean, not in a playoff contention way, but in a "What, the Yankees? We have bigger fish to fry than worry about this quasi rivalry" way. (And I, subsequently, would then revel in the NY Post's guaranteed headline of "WHAT RIVALRY? BOSTON CARES MORE ABOUT FRIED FOOD THAN BASEBALL.")

Again, apologies for the brief respite, I'm pulling the immunity-because-of-health card. (Irony! Remind me one time to tell the story of the woman in the waiting room at the hospital calling me and my sisters "crackers," enraged because they were seeing my semi-consicious sister ahead of her, "YOU GONNA TAKE THE CRACKERS OVER ME? YOU THINK I'M HERE FOR MY !@$ING HEALTH?" That was the 4th hardest I've ever laughed in my life. Actually that was the whole story really, so you don't have to remind me to tell you it.)

See you tonight for the Socks opener!

Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief.

So, after the headspinning sweep at the hand of the "low-budget As," Yankee fans were just kind of stupified. As coworker MVP Alex L. pointed out (maybe a little too excitedly): "That was the first time the Yankees got swept in a 4-game series, with each game decided by 1 run."

It was horrifying really. Nothing was making sense. Each game was more confusing than the last, so by time Sunday rolled around, we were fairly confident that there was no way they were gonna lose this. ESPECIALLY when they took a 4-run lead.

Suffice to say they lost. They blew it. I followed the game from Yankee Stadum, actually--as if to underscore the whole "wtf is going on here" mentality saturating baseball, I was watching a soccer game being played in Greatness' New Home. (Which was pretty f'n badass. Cheers to Alex R. for making that one happen.)

In a nutshell:

Grandy went yard in the 4th to bring the Yankees to a 4-0 lead. Then it went downhill, starting with Inge's bomb in the 5th. The Suzuki follows suit. (Suitzuki?) Inge plates Animal Phylum in the 6th. Seth Smith ties it up in the 9th. Cereal plated the go ahead run in the 12th. The A's completed a 4 game sweep with their 11th walk off.

And I think this pretty well sums it up, too:

And so we go to bed on Sunday trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Oddly enough, I made the comparison to someone about how it was like one of those jousting events on American Gladiators, where you use the padded rods to try and knock some weirdly named roid freak off a post. But most of the time, the average civilian gets whacked so hard and so fast that he may as well have cartoon stars floating around his head.

That's what the weekend felt like, metaphorically. Then I wake up on Monday and I physically felt like I had gotten punched in the stomach repeatedly, complete with a bruised bump on my abs. My guess is a hernia but I'm hoping the CT scan reveals it's an ulcer (do scans do that? they should) because then my official party line can be that the As' series gave me an ulcer. I know, I dream big.

So, yeah, thanks to the As, everything is terrible and the summer is ruined and there's no hope in dope and we might as well forget about the postseason.

But instead of diving head first into a vat of Bovinty Divinty, the Yankees decided to do something totally normal that everyone saw coming. Nope.

Welcome to the Bronx, Sneachiro.*

*What Lauren and I have always called that new guy on the Yankees. Because he's shady and sneaky.

Not sneaky enough to gank Bernie's number though, thankfully. He's #31 now. Welcome to the BX. Don't forget to shave.

Could it be more bizarre that they do it like 15 seconds before they start a series with Seattle? No. No, it could not.

Everyone's all fired up about this, and I think it's funny that we get someone like Ichiro who really is just to hold it down while Swisher's in recovery. The Yanks love acquiring last year's Cy Young winner/batting champ/etc...and then use their hired aces to warm the bullpen bench and bat 8th.

I gotta say though, while I was never a huge Sneachiro fan, I do think this quotes of his is pretty hilarious: "I'm going from a team having the most losses to a team with the most wins, so it's been hard to maintain my excitement."

Why not just ring a bell and wear a sandwich board that says, "Seattle who?"

Just as a further testament to how A-Rod unfair and perennial prosecution is so out-of-hand, Sneach gets a big warm ovation at Safeco when he steps up to bat. Something tells me the reaction wasn't as ambrosial when A-Rod had his first encounter with his ex-team's hometown fans.

(It should be noted here that there is one ONE Mariner's fan that I know. Thanks to him, I was a theater major. Thanks to his team, we have Ichiro.  So when something like this happens, after the whole self-involved Yankee fan thing subsides, then the natural inclination is to think, "oooh how did Ryan feel about all this?" I think mostly our only interactions are occur in the 10 days of the year where our worlds collide. Those are some great days of the year, though. Maybe we wouldn't concur on yesterday, but..well..Ichiro? THAT WAS JAY BUHNER. I'm sorry.)

Back to another Japan player: Kuroda pitches a gem, becoming the latest pitch to throw in the "How do we feel about him? Someone please tell us, because it's virtually impossible to formulate our own take on his performances" silo.

1 BB, 3 hits, 9 Ks. 4th win in a row. 7 out of the last 8. NBD. But, really, BD.

A-Rod went deep and you'd think it was a walk-off to win the game the way everyone was so fired up. Nobody more so than A-Rod, and someone needs to remind him that he's one of the best baseball players who ever lived, and he doesn't need to act like he's some rando who's throwing out the 1st pitch and gets super excited when the ball reaches the plate.

He's Alex F'n Rodriguez. You're supposed to homeruns. And you haven't been, which is why you're not a clean-up hitter anymore (shhh don't tell Girardi. Or tell him. I don't care.) But you're good. And so maybe all the negativity from, well, the free world, has made you a little insecure, but for my money, you're the best.

And more importantly, you've already proven as much.

On the other side of ex-Mariners, there's Sneach who singles and then promptly steals. Like, really promptly. As in, bullets have left guns slower. As if to say, "Oh hey, yeah, I don't know if you Yankee types know this yet about me, but I'm fast and good at swiping bags. Just giving you a heads up." Actually, in honor of Sneach being a Yank, here's an article I wrote years ago that's finally sort of apropos and not just weird.

Moving on, Sneach also catches the last out of the game, and the way Sterling was cavelling about this, you'd have thought the universe just completed it's circle of life. The cinematic symmetry! Crazy town! How WEIRD is it that the SAME DAY the Yankees get Sneach, that they PLAY SEATTLE and that SNEACH catches the final out?? You can't script stuff like this!

Ex-coworker MVP Joe: "Are you going to put up a pic of the
japanese guy from major league 2? Because that will be funny."
I mean, you could, but probably the only people who would marvel at it are people like my Mom, who thinks it's ironic when she was about to call me and I end up calling her first. "Do you know that I JUST picked up the phone to call you? Seriously. I was about to dial your number and you called. Can you believe that?"

Anyways, the Yankees beat the Mariners because Sneach was sneaking around the bases and because the Yankees were hitting on the screws and because A-Rod hit a homerun and because the Yankees out-hit the M's 11-3.

Actually, everyone on the team hit except for Grandy, and the 4 ribbies came from the heart of the lineup (which I love, because that's what they're supposed to do. It's like the cockamamie convention of the concept of "achieving expectations." How is that a quantifiable measure? I hate saying whether someone "achieves expectations" because my expectations are for people to go beyond what's expected. So if someone does go beyond, he or she is in fact, achieving my expectations. So I like when the real slugging bulk on the team "achieves expectations.")

D-Rob almost got hurt but didn't. R-So untucked his shirt. And all the Seattle pitchers hmpf-ed their way off the field. Not a great day for them, really.

Boston lost, so they are 11 games back. And they're not happy about seeing our new guy playing against them this weekend. They're 100% in "FAN-F'N-TASTIC. WHAT ELSE CAN GO WRONG. WHAT. ELSE." mode.

I mean, 11 runs, Lester? Sweet Christ, pull your shit together.

And Sneach? 動物園へようこそ。

Ok, yes, obviously I hate when anyone beats the Yankees. But you have to admit that some losses are more palatable than others. For example. An interleague game (other than the Mets) that ends in an L isn't devastating. Losing to the Twinkies. Or the White Sox. For some reason, I'm just like, ok, well you can't win 'em all, so if we have to have a few Ls up in this piece, let it be to the midwesterners.

But Oakland is different. Not always. Just this year. And the early 2000s. Because I hate HATE the whole delight the world gets over an alleged "Cinderella team" toppling the evil empire.

First of all, if I haven't already made it clear how I feel about "Cinderella teams," I'll take this moment to entrench myself firmly in opposition. The term makes no sense. Cinderella was NOT an underdog. She had a magical fairy godmother who whipped up a dress for her and then conjured up a mobile pumpkin. How could she have possibly been at a disadvantage?

It's like "oooohhh I'm so dirty yet beautiful underneath all this grime, I wish I had grown up with a silver spoon in my mouth like my ugly sisters. Guess I'll just have to settle for having a host of rats that do all my cleaning for me and a relative who can just make luxury items appear on a whim."

So there's that. Also, Oakland isn't a Moneyball team anymore. I get the concept of Moneyball and it was interesting and all, but it didn't work--they did no better with a bunch of baserunners than then did with bunch of sluggers. And any comparison to that team to this 2012 team is ludicrous.

Their OBP this year? Is the 3rd worst in the entire league. So yeah, go ahead and lionize the As for being a low-budget team. But unless they're playing well, the fact they have the 2nd lowest payroll in the league is meaningless. You can't have it both ways. Either money buys championships, as NYY haters will whine until they day I kill them, or payroll has no impact on success. Oakland playing well derails the former idea.

Anyways, the As are all acting like they just made it into the playoffs and the only team that that is acceptable for is the Orioles, because they did it in 2011, and it was hilarious and awesome.

I gotta hand it to Oakland, though, their pitching is filthy. (Not in a Cinderella way.) The Yankees had to resort to playing like the Moneyball team of 2002, and doing the unthinkable: manufacturing runs. (Which just goes to show you that it's better to hit a million homeruns than have a million baserunners!)

A-Rod was stealing (priceless), Ibanez was doing everything he was supposed to, Hughes was decent (only a few bad pitches, as the score indicates and how he is quick to remind us--relax, son. You're not going anywhere.)

Unfortunately, Cano's hitting streak went somewhere. As in it ended. I'm not really too broken up about it, because why would anyone even assign any importance to that aspiration anyway? No one's going to beat Dimaggio's streak ever, obviously, so if I was playing ball and it got to the point where I had hit in so many games that people were starting to keep track, I'd almost be like, "Ok, you can stop now. It's just going to be embarrassing when I eventually became one of the many Also-Rans."

Bartolo Colon looks like me right before anaphylaxis hits.
(Sentence I never thought I'd say.)
Some pipsqueak named Doolittle was pitching like he was freaking Nolan Ryan last night, and I am shocked SHOCKED that no one(cough .. sterling .. cough) said anything like "well it looks like Doolittle is actually doing MUCH!" I mean, it wasn't beneath me to make this comment during a losing effort to the Tiggers.

So we're looking at avoiding the sweep this afternoon, and good grief if the ALLERGY holds the Yankees to less than 3 runs, I'm going to jump into a vat of dip.

I'll do it, I will.

Yesterday wasn't the greatest day, but it was Friday so that helped. At first I thought I was just deliriously tired from the aggregate 8 hours of sleep I logged all week, but then by the time I got home, I was like--as my Dad would say--"Uh oh. Fever city." Whatever, I think it's just a fever in my legs* (now I sound like my mom).

*Ok, I work in medicine and I still am amazed that there are commercials for aspirin that say things like how the drug goes straight to the source of the pain. How do they know where to go? Medicine is so f'n cool.

The Yankees lost, too. Which made a fever in a my head. You know what I mean. If the Yankees won, it would have been the equivalent of taking a shower when you're hungover. It doesn't change any of the neurological shit going on that's giving you a hangover in the first place, but somehow it makes you feel physically and mentally infinitely better.

The Yankees lost in a WALKOFF, too. Which is weird because I never expect that to actually happy. And then when it did, I was like "Huh. This sucks. This is how every other team felt for like 80% of the 2009, too. Geez."

Now Oakland has the market cornered on walk-offs. Good for them. I mean, it's hard to remember that they're actually in the same league as the Yankees (that sounded a lot more obnoxious than how I actually meant it). I mean that they're so far away and so much more different than the AL East, I don't know what it is. But whenever we play the As, a part of me feels like it's interleague play.

Also, they're just weird over there.

That was the As' 10th walk off which is crazy town. The Yankees had 15 all season in 2009 (17 if you count the off season) and there's still 3 months of baseball left to play.

They do the whole pie in the face thing, too. I say this tentatively since I've been known to attribute things to the Yankees that aren't even Yankee things (so what?) but didn't AJ start the pie in the face walk off thing? And if so, how do other clubs not feel weird about copying that?

The very first interaction I ever had with Ollie. Yep, this is how we met.
Nothing and I mean NOTHING drives me crazier than the standing up after 2 strikes thing, though. (I mean, "nothing" in terms of tradition-ganking moves.) Particularly when the Socks do it. But really, any team doing it pisses me off because they're using a a Yankee move to comme

Ivan Nova didn't really pitch a bad game. He only gave up 2 runs really, so I hate saying this, but I think he pitched worse than the score indicates.

9 hits is a lot. 2 runs isn't. 6K's is okay. 1BB is great. (Actually only 3 walks the entire game from either team which just is a joy to watch. It's like watching people who know what they're doing or something. So Nova didn't pitch terribly, but even though there weren't that many walks, I still feel like he was having trouble finding the plate, or at least finding where he was supposed to be throwing.

But again, 2 runs is nothing. I still love Nova. (I Lova. Yep.)

R-Mart hits a solo in the 8th (alright, nice one! I'm happy Martin doesn't have to be talked off the ledge anymore), and then Cano follows in the 9th with a game tying solo blast. Also, that's game 23 for Cano.

But the Yankees' streak of scoring at least 3 runs is over. (Why is this a norable measure? Why can't they just make it "games where they scored at least 2 runs" and the streak won't be broken? I mean, it's not like 3 runs is significant of anything, so why is exceptional to have at least 3 runs?)

Speaking of things I don't understand, why is Joba Chamberlain coming back? The Yanks are doing just fine without the trampoline doofus. And I don't know why all the papers and everything are like, "Yankee fans as soooo excited for the return of Joba!"

Well, this Yankee fan isn't. This Yankee fan wants Joba as far away from the Yanks are possible. I know, it's mean since eventually he had a good outting and then everyone was like "SEE??? He's GOOD", to say nothing of the fact about 70% of his stats were less than stellar.

It's funny how all the rehabbing pitchers are like "I'm coming back, guys! I'm ready to pitch, and I'll be back next week!" And then Girardi is just like, "Shh!... don't tell Mo or Joba this, but they're not really coming back this year."

Our bullpen is fine as is, last night's snafu notwithstanding. B-Lo, D-Rob, and Color Swatch patched together a nice hold, until Eppley blew it when it gave up the walk off to Brandon Moss, who plated Yoenis Cespedes. ("I'll take 'Names of insect phylum for $1000,' please.")

Let's shake it off and hope the As don't go all Yankees on us and start walking off their way into the playoffs and then I'll be forced to acknowledge they're not an NL team after all.

PS: Nice game, Milone. Your name sounds like Colon.

I have a love hate relationship with West Coast games, because I love the fact that when all the other baseball games are wrapping up, the Yankees haven't even started yet. I'm not sure what the psychology is behind this, but it's like when me and my sister were little and eating Chicken McNuggets (and it's amazing how much food takes the role of currency in the absence of a salary).

And we loved these things so so much. Still do. But I loved them so much that I hated having to watch Laur continue to eat hers if I had already finished mine. So I would hide one under the table, trick her into thinking I was done, and the devishly furnish the last nugget.

(As if my sister even gave 2 shits about who got the last bite.)

So yeah, West Coast baseball is sort of like that. I like being able to have one last nugget when no one else gets to, but I don't like how it feels when the Yanks lose on the West Coast. It's like staying up to watch a 15 inning game that your team eventually drops.

That's sort of like how very loss on the other side of the country feels. The Yanks lose at 10pm, fine. They lose past midnight, and it feels like I just watched them surrender a walkoff in the bottom of the 14th.

The Yankees lost to the Oakland Athletics, but the former is still the best team in baseball right and the latter is more excited about their shot at the Guiness Book of World Records. That's right. For something totally baseeball-related, too (nope): Most dogs at a stadium. I wish Strange's dad could have been there. If my dad is the patron saint of all things dead animal, then Mr. Strangeman is the patron saint for all things living canine.

You know what I don't get? Why the A's were playing the Yankees and they still had a summer promotional gimmick for the fans/ticket sales? I thought the only times you get the free mousepad or the ugly-corporate-logo-on-back-NYY-logo-on front hat, or the inconveniently heavy Old Timer figurine...was when you were playing a team that you couldn't GIVE AWAY to tickets to see play.

Whatever, no point in questioning it now. Whats done is done and 718 dogs showed up to the game, and I've been hanging out with the 4L boys for too long, because as soon as I finished typing that, my head starting overloading with mean jokes about other things that "dog" could be referring to.

Meanwhile, you know A's youngun' AJ Griffin was 100% battling the moral dilemma every rookie faces when up against the NYY: how crippling is it to your career to ask a professional ball player for his autograph? Clearly awestruck, but maybe by end of game, it should've been other way around?

Nah. But still, it was kind of cool. He looked TERRIFIED in the beginning of the game. Like a little kid who can't believe how many bowsers are in the final Super Mario Castle.

("They're only supposed to be 1! How the hell am I supposed to manueveur this when I'm used to only having to deal with one bad guy at the end of the castle??" Little kid. Or 31 year old with an old school nintendo set and a diminishing interest in living like an adult.)

He was good though, and he was also an entry in type casting for the above average pitchers who blank the Yankees by way of off speed pitching. That's all it really takes to send the Yanks into a tizzy. And yet the only pitchers who ever seem to do it well are the young ones who aren't second guessing themselves yet. Go figure.

Then on the other hand, there was our own Sweaty Freddy taking the mound against plucky Griffin. Sweaty wasn't quite as effective. Not bad, really, since 4 runs isn't exactly a rout, but, well, they lost, so by design he wasn't as good as he could have been.

"I was fighting every pitch. I was in trouble the whole game.When I threw the fastball they hit and drove in runs."

He half shrugged it off/half flayed himself over it. I love this type of candor from athletes. I think admitting when you suck is a good way to demonstrate that you know you DON'T suck. So alll Sweaty really has to do pitch a few Ws and he's back in the black in Yankee favor. I have no idea why, but makes me think he's a poor man's Allergy (of the Bartolo persuasion, not the real allergy).

In other confusion news, there was a bizarro play at 3rd (I think??)..I'm not actually sure how the play began or ended, but I know it looked like some kind of Rube Goldberg machine gone awry, where everyone was on automatic pilot until a glitch made everyone forget what they were supposed to be doing.

(Not AJ though, who had the wherewithall to back up 3rd, which is why rookies are so great. They're still playing by the rules. Running out infield hits. Crow hops. Calling parents Mrs. and Mr. etc. They haven't been polished by baseball blase-ness yet.)
My best attempt to explain what happened is that it looked something like that play during the Jeter diving catch in the stands game, when everyone thought the Yanks had pulled off a bases loaded triple play. It was confusing and no one knew what was going on, and this play today was sort of like that, only more players were involved.

But in both cases, Arod looked like someone who's sitting in motionless traffic and then gets out of his card and walks a few cars up wth his hands up in the air yelling stuff like, "C'MON, what's the holdup, eh?"

Anyways, so the Yanks lost and we can forgive this one because it didn't even play out like a real baseball game, what with the freshfaced boy on the mound, the central park softball play-of-errors and hysteria, the dogs arriving en masse, etc.

The only thing that was business as usual was that Cano got a hit.

Tomorrow's another day. (Today, I mean. It's 4:43am. So, today is another day. By design.)

Happy Friday!

(Also, you know how some people have this signature on their work phones that are like, "Sent from my mobile device. Please excuse the brevity, spelling and punctuation"? I normally hate them because I'm like, why do peeople get to be lazy so long as they give us "fair warning"?

HOWEVA, I'm going to do something similar to that for the next week of games. I think it's pretty well documented that I'll go days without sleeping, but then when sleep DOES hit, it hits like a ton of bricks, and a lot of times this occurs mid-blogging, and every reader is treated to something like 23 rows of uniterrupted g's or something that reads like it was the result of Microsoft trying to convert an old version of a file to the updated software or like the Lorem Ipsum stuff art directors put into layouts before copy is written for it.

West Coast games engender this type of rampant sleep-typing. So here it is: Written in REM. Please excuse gibberish, spelling, and acute departures from coherent thought.)                                    

Last night I played softball for the first time in a while, and we lost by the mercy rule. The only thing the mercy rule is really merciful on is the ump because I think most people playing in central park leagues would rather just play out the game, especially since it's not uncommon for shit akin to this to happen.

(The silver lining was that it was also the first time I got to apply the batting tricks that Phil Brassinger taught me when I met him on Old Timer's Weekend. First time in my life someone offered batting tips beyond "level swing" and words cannot fully communicate the difference I felt at the plate. It was unreal how much easier my swing was. Cheers, mate.)

Anyways, so the Harrison & Star team gets our asses handed to us last night, and the game is called prematurely, and the Yankees do something similar this afternoon to the Jays, who didn't have the best trip to the Big Apple. Everything bad happened to them.

Kiruda pitched a 4-hit game, and trying to assign a modicum of predictability to our pitching performances is reminiscent of that scene in Silence of the Lambs.

Random Scattering of Sites Seem Desperately Random?

Ta, Hannibal Lector. So whimsical that flesh-eating sociopath!

Anyways, so the desperately random pitching came through, and keeping in theme with the randos, Dewayne Wise gets to start. I keep wanting to capitalize the W whenever I write out his name. Kind of like how I always wanted there to be a third "g" in Ty Wigginton's name. Like a gerund.

The Yanks scored about 20 runs in the first, some of which came off the bat of Tex's 2 run bomb, and I can't tell if Tex's only-good-late-in-the-season thing is a real phenomenon or if it's just the work of a masterful PR campaign that allows him to suck for the first few months of the year, since, you know, he's only good after May and pshh don't expect anything earlier, that's just dumb.

Romero lost and I think I mercifully (see what I did there?) forget to move him off my bench in my fantasy team. Somehow I'm still locked in at 2nd place, 2 games behind first, despite the fact I am having a hard time following baseball outside of the Yankees.

So I'm starting to treat team 1/CYCp3col2para9 the same way my mom treats everything, which is adopting a foresight schmoresight mentality and only reacting to things you can see with your own 2 eyes right then and there. That's a great way to be. Nope. I'm like 5 minutes away from dropping Hanely Ramirez to waivers on account of this approach.

Brett Lawrie, who's been holding it down pretty well on said fantasy team, will now be replacing Matt Kemp's DL seat, since he almost made a really great meaningless catch that, had he properly executed, I would have pointed to as a reason why Jeter's diving into stands catch isn't as impressive as it's made out to be.

But instead Lawrie screwed it up and this happened and he looked like Lance Berkman trying to gracelessly play defense. Could be karma. You know the umps in the proverbial ump pub are having a good chortle over this one, after Lawrie's last episode with authority.

The Blue Jays have been consistently giving the Yanks a run for their money in terms of who's the bigger badder bombsquad, and it never really annoys me, mostly because they're Canadian, and they're like Canadian pennies in the sense that sometimes they're cool, and they look different, but ultimately I don't really think they count as legit currency.

And to underscore this irrelevance, they're limping out of the Bronx below .500, with 2 of their stars hurt, and having been outscored 18-4. And with one lone homerun to show for all their big bad bombsquadness.

Actually, they still probably haven't even left NY, given the ridiculous storm that just passed through long enough to kill my afternoon productivity. (You'd think I was working in the fields or something, but no, I just get distracted by lightning. A lot.

I'm not really easily distracted, but lightning storms are on par with true crime documentaries and Law&Order marathons in terms of things that guarantee to hold me hostage.

(My weird fascination of being hit by lightning ALMOST became a reality in the sense I'm pretty sure the office building was hit, seeing as we saw sparks fly out of the overhead lights and then everyone's hands felt all tingly. I'm convinced getting hit by lightning means gaining clairvoyance. And I will not be dissuaded from this assumption.)

So anyways, yeah, the Blue Jays are probably still in the airport waiting for a flight out, and I almost feel bad for them, because having been on a terrible trip that culminates in a crappy flight out, I can sympathize that there are few things more miserable.

Cano got another hit today. Bears mentioning.

Jeter had one of the team's million extra base hit. In 6 innings, the Yanks hit 12 times to the Jays' 4. It was like one of those montages in movies where the team is doing really well and all you see is just bat crack after bat crack, and then shots to the dugout of teammates laughing, and then an occasional web gem to really drive home how, yeah, this team is really firing on all cylinders!

(I have one in mind, too, but I can't find it on the internet, bringing my "things I can't find on the internet" to a grand total of 2. I don't care about the HardBall movie clip so much as care about finding my Bronx Bombers hat. I swear I will end up marrying the person who finds it, like Wart got to be the king because he pulled the sword out of the stone. Yeah, just like that.)

But, yeah, keep it up, Yankees! As my dad used to always tell me, "never look back, they're gaining on you." (My dad always thinks someone is chasing him, though.)

Incuta primus. Incuta ferreus. Ostendo haud misercordia.

Fatso returns from the DL, and it's 9000 degrees out and he acts like he's playing frisbee at the beach. Is he human? I mean, we always pose that rhetorical question when it comes to adonis-like figures and golden boys and Michael Myers types (quite the range, I know)...but no one ever really says it about 602 pound guys who all but substitute butters sticks for sunflower seeds in the dugout.
But Round Boy may or may not be human since his first night off the DL he pitches like he's playing against a half-drunk wiffle ball team from Zog Sports. Nothing to it. And the heat? He likes it, apparently. What a weirdo!

I remember my softball coach in high school (who was Tito Puente's granddaughter) was big on making all these hard and fast rules that was sacred. Kind of like my dad, who always feels like he has to draw the line somewhere. ("I don't care HOW many people you're inviting to Lauren's Sweet 16 party of cinematic proportions, but there will not be ANY DORRITOS THERE? Is that understood? Ok, then.")

So Puente used to insist on making me wear a long-sleeved t-shirt under my jersey because I was a pitcher and I had to keep my arm warm. I mean, I was a pitcher, yeah. But it wasn't like we had a 5-man rotation. I think me and one other girl just alternated on and off, so it wasn't exactly like she was trying to preserve the precious ligaments in there at all costs. It used to drive me berserk.

I'd be trying to throw my arm around in the windmill motion and feel all these folds of cotton jamming up against my side and it was like putting mittens on a stenographer or something. And the moral of the story is, who likes playing in heat?? I'd rather be freezing than sweating. But not Lard. Nope. He's a weirdo.

Though perhaps not as weird as Girardi for expressing a concern that "Sabathia might feel too strong after his three-week layoff." This is not unlike my mom last night who lamented how she wanted to go to the beach so she went to Bed and Bath to buy a new beach umbrella but by the time she got back, it was already 1pm and too late for the beach.

I want your life where your biggest problem is missing prime beach time on a Tuesday afternoon, or where your biggest concern is that your pitcher is TOO strong after coming off the DL.

No wonder everyone hates the Yankees. They're acting like the chicks with bodies like karate who tell everyone who will listen that they just never need to work out, while every other team is killing themselves at the gym trying to reach some realistic goal of over .500 play.

Arod was off, and Nix was playing 3rd, and maybe after he's been playing every day for another year I'll stop picturing Hakeem Nicks every time I hear Sterling say something like, "And I'll tell you something, Suzyn. Nix...well..well, that boy just does something perfect every day."

No one turns a hyperbole like our boy John. No one. I'm pretty sure he's said the exact same thing about Konerko, Texeira, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Judy Blume, Rick Moranis, the blue Fraggle, etc etc.

Andruw Jones should be added to that list, if he hasn't already, because he hit another homerun. And as unexcited as Ibanez gets about every sick bomb, that's how fired up Jones gets. It's adorable.

And more reasons why everyone hates the Yankees:
Jones' ding was the Yanks' 145th, which leads the league. It's only because we buy our team, of course: the bottom of our lineup got a combined 5 hits and 4 ribbies. You know, our hired guns.

So then there's that from our neophytes. Taking a look at how the opposition's NKOTB did:

When Arencibia lined out to almost end the game, somebody named Anthony Gose got doubled up to really end the game. (Sterling: "Well, that was a weird way to end the game." Weird? His rubric for normal is more skewed than mine. Not Ollie's. But mine, anyway.)

So that was Gose's MLB debut. Coming in to bunt and then going out on a doubled up play. I feel like he should've have the sad Snoopy music playing during his exit.

Cano extends his hitting streak to 20. R-So gets his 24th save in 25 tries and the shirt comes untuck which gets more and more unassailably awesome every time.

Oh, one more thing: Mariano Rivera may return this year. I mean, it's a long shot, but if a 290 lb pitcher can come back off the DL after weeks, to pitch a shutout through 7 in amazon heat...then Mariano Rivera--another prime candidate for not-human status--can certainly see a return in 2012.

Not everyone is as porcelain and lily-livered as Tom Brady. Most people actually don't need 23,012 days of recovery after an ACL tear. Hurry home, Mo.

And, Hug: get ready for our big night out on the town. A bet's a bet.

If there are 2 things you should remember from last night it's:

  • Raul Ibanez being perfect as always
  • John Sterling completely inexplicably saying to no one in particular, "Shame on you, Encarnacion, for hitting the ball so hard."

No idea what that meant. I mean, there's stuff Sterling says that falls in the "goofy" category. And then there's stuff that falls in the Keith Hernandez/Joe Buck love-child of rhetoric category.

So there's that.


Six of Ibanez's homers this season have either tied the score or given New York the lead, according to STATS LLC. Eight of his 12 long balls have come in the sixth inning or later.

"I don't really think about it that much. Just try to do whatever I can to help out," Ibanez said of his clutch hitting. "Just try to stay in the moment."

Ha. Be less charismatic, Raul. It's like his last job was as a video game avatar for Baseball Stars.

D-Rob got the win last night and Bautista left the game early with a wrist injury. Shame on you, Bautista, for hitting your wrist so hard.

Every time I hear the name Bautista I think of this excessively awesome chick who wrote a song about him.

Annnnd now I will officially have boomboombautista stuck in my head all day. Thank you, Kathy Anderson.

So the Yanks are 9 games ahead of the next closest team, which is Baltimore, and the Red Socks are in 3rd, (they're gaining on us!) and they are 9.5 games behind us, and basically the whole AL East is tied for Bad except for the Yankees.

I'm not going to really expoud on this, though, since I've seen what happens to Boston fans whenever they get cocky. Seriously, think about how many times Boston teams have been all but assured a coasting trip into nirvana...and Boston fans go bananas and basically get things like this.

Or this.

So, yeah, as such, I'm gonna just toast the Yanks for doing so well and hope the Socks can take comfort in the fact they do have one cache right now, which is that there is a woman stalking ex-Socks president Theo Epstein. That's something! (That's how bad the Socks are, that the deranged lady waited til Theo was prez of a legit franchise before she went all creeper on him. I don't know if that's necessarily true, but semantics, yeah?)

Additionally, I apologize for the off-weekend. Was a hectic one, with Ohyob in town from Philly, Ollie and HisDudeness doing work at the beirut table, and an impromptu meeting with the NYSportsJerk. But yesterday was a good way to start the week.

Kind of like how the NY Post makes the crossword puzzle easy on Monday. The Yanks made it look pretty easy. Not really, but I can say that because they won.

Hughes got out of it ok, in standard no-one-really-knows-if-there-will-ever-be-a-point-when-we're-truly-comfortable-with-him-on-the-mound kind of way.

Arod, in a shocking turn of events, had another episode of old man sickness, aka back stiffness. I swear, every 4 games there's some vague complaint of something that makes him sound like he's just playing baseball to get some exercise in in between whittling wood on his porch or something.

And Cano extended his hitting streak to 19. Good God.

Adam Lind went yard to make the game 2-1. Good for you, Adam Lind, for impressively managing to maintain relevance.

Same goes for you, sort of, R-Mart, who took Alvarez deep to put the Yanks up 2-0. Martin: "The short porch has been good to me." Um, ok. I mean, I'm somewhat inclined to advise R-Mart to slow his roll, given he's batting a hot .179 with 9 bombs all season and about 1210 defensive errors.

But I like R-Mart because he's a Yankee and I love the Yankees, so by transitive property, etc. So..cheers, Russell! Keep it up!

I love summer baseball.

In this acutely annoying lull known as the All Star Break, guest blogger "His Dudeness" has stepped into the pitch,* giving us another gem of a post for us to imbibe while we anxiously count the minutes til Friday.

I'm not the best at analysis devoid of manic subjectivity. In fact, I'm probably closer to the "worst" end of the spectrum. But "His Dudeness" is that rare hybrid of lunacy-meets-brilliant sports acumen. I've found that a lot of Mets fans are actually like this. It makes sense, when you think about it.

This week he's written a rundown of the pitching staff, as a follow-up to his previous piece on the offense. Cheers, HD. You hit it out of the ballpark once again! Or got on base to lead off the inning in a clutch moment when we really needed baserunners and then a few base hits plated you to win the game, and now that lead off walk† to start the inning is really looming large now, Suzyn.

*Let the record show I am making an aggressive push for this expression to replace "stepped up to the plate." If you just joined us, my contempt for this phrase knows no bounds, as players who step up to the plate aren't brave or taking initiative. They're just next in the freaking lineup. Stepping into the pitch, however..that's courageous and helps the team and is a true example of getting the job done when it needed to be done. Alternatively, we can replace "step up to the plate" with "stepped up to the plate as the go-ahead run and eventually scored." Acceptable, yes. Pithy, no.

†Why do annoucers say "lead off walk to start the inning"? Isn't that like saying "walk off homerun to win the game"?

Yankees Rundown, Part II: PITCHERS


A couple weeks ago I cranked out a nice little synopsis of the Yankee bats, and after a decent amount of procrastination I present you the CYC pitchers rundown. However before we get down on some sexy analysis, I must spew a bit more bullshit.

Business was pretty damn good in the month of June, but after a couple speed bumps it felt as if the grip on that meaty division lead was about to loosen.

To put things lightly, sheet was in the process of hitting the fan as hours after CC Sabathia was placed on the DL with a strained groin on June 27th, Andy Pettite took a line drive to the shin and suffered a fractured left ankle.

While the Yanks are one of the few teams who possess enough veteran firepower to keep grinding it out after taking those blows, they ended up giving away two of three to both the White Sox and Tampa Bay.

Fortunately our boys righted the ship, and now head into the All Star Break on the upswing after winning three out of four against the Red Sox. The entire AL East is still in the rearview mirror, although the Bronx Bombers have built a bit of separation with a 7 game lead over second place Baltimore.

Building upon those bragging rights, the Yankees currently have the best winning percentage in the game, largely in part to their top ranked slugging percentage.

So everybody gets a little R and R besides the cream of the crop ballers, The Captain, Grandy Man, and Robbie. CC also got his 6th all-star selection, but he is basically just chilling out with the rest of the studs as he continues to rest in hopes that he can get back to the mound shortly after the break ends.

The festivities began on Monday with the Home Run Derby, but Mr. Cano was a dud and a half. Even though his father was lobbing up meatballs, Robbie started it off with 5 straight outs. Big Papi fed the struggling second baseman some Gatorade but he tallied up three more outs.

The last attempt at a spark came as Granderson and Sabathia had a word with the soft tossing Jose Cano, but that still didn’t do the trick. The kid finished up without a single yahtzee.

Moderately embarrassing, but whatever. The bitter home town Kansas City fans shucked it up but the Royals are 10 games below .500 so they could just hop on their bikes if you know what I mean. (disclaimer: Even though they have a weak staff, KC ain’t as bad as the record shows due to a gaggle of real solid young bats with pedigrees. Yanks are 4-3 against them this season).

Anyway, Prince became the only player besides Ken Griffey win multiple derby crowns and if I were a betting man I’d put the house on the AL.

Well not the best call but who knew that Verlander was going to just throw the rock as hard as he could with no regard for the strike zone. Dude ripped a 101 MPH ball in case you missed it. And yeah I was one of the people who missed it because I don’t personally enjoy watching the lions of the baseball jungle giggling and skipping about.

One more thing…I generally appreciate a product that tries to promote patriotism, Muricah’ and what not. The Budweiser commercial where the veteran gets home healthy as can be and walks into the barn to find all his friends and family sipping on some ice cold brews makes my eyes drizzle a bit. It is a fairly mild subconscious brainwashing, but I do enjoy the occasional Bud so I’ll go with it.

However Chevrolet needs to stop telling me that their brand is as synonymous with the stars and stripes as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. I am a consumer who has become self-aware, and I’d appreciate it if you got out of my head.

If I could afford a therapist I’d vent to her but until then thanks for the cyber pat on the back. And although my buddy who proofread this monstrosity of a baseball article said I shouldn’t crap on Chevy, I had to say it in case there are any others out there who feel my pain and need to know they are not along.

Without further ado, let’s see exactly what is going on with the staff and bullpen. Might as well keep it nice and loose and rock out to some Doors on the way.

C.C. Sabathia – The big man threw a successful bullpen session this past Tuesday, and Girardi announced that he will return on July 17th to face the Blue Jays. "I'll be ready. I feel pretty good….My arm feels great, I haven't felt the injury. I would assume that I'll go out and be ready to go."

Although it hasn’t been the case in the past couple years, CC usually kicks it into second gear after the break. The guy is an overpowering workhorse whose numbers this season are hovering right around his career averages, and he should tear it up in the second half as long as this groin injury doesn’t linger. 

Andy Pettite – We were witnessing an absolutely gorgeous comeback until that old left ankle shattered on us. Andy won’t be eligible to come off the DL for another month and change, and you have to be a bit pessimistic that he will be able to pick up where he left considering he is on the wrong side of 40. The injury doesn’t require surgery, but at this point there is nothing to be besides cross your fingers.

Hiroki Kuroda – The one year $10 million deal for Kuroda was shadily perfect for this team. The Japanese hurler may be 37, but he has never had an ERA above 4 in the majors. Also, he is another guy who possesses a little extra pop in the second half of the season (Yes, he doesn’t have any playoff experience but there is value in knowing he won’t crap in September).

Mr. HK has been feast or famine this season. However besides a couple duds he has been more than serviceable, rocking a 3.5 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.

Phil Hughes – After last year’s debacle it is quite nice to see Hughes start to pull it together again. The stats aren’t that sexy, but he is a respectable 9-7 so I’ll take it even though his last start against Boston on July 7th was pretty ugly. The issue with Hughes is his propensity for giving up the long ball. He has given up 19 bombs this season, the 5th  most in the game (my boy Ivan Nova is right behind him, dishing up 17 taters thus far).

On a more positive note, Hughes also owns a very legit 8.25 K/9. His downfall the past couple years coincided with a huge drop in strikeout rate so perhaps that statistic hints at a brighter future.  

Ivan Nova – How do you not love this kid? Nova continues to eat up innings while staying cool as a cucumber. All he does it grind it out, strand runners, and win games. He has only allowed more than 5 runs once this season and is sitting at 10-3. After a big W against Boston, Ivan finally brought his ERA below 4. The big surprise here is that Nova is striking out a boat load of dudes, surpassing last season’s total K’s in 55 less innings.

Freddy Garcia – The Chief had a rough God awful April, but pulled it together in a handful of 1-2 inning relief appearances. He just got the nod due to injuries, and put together a couple gems against Tampa Bay and Boston.

Maybe they weren’t gems, but for Freddy it sure felt like it. The Yankees are in the process of stretching him out a bit as he will probably stay in the rotation unless something crazy happens. This holds true even though David Phelps just K’d 11 in 6 2/3 shutout innings in double A. Most likely Phelps will be used as a long man out of the bullpen after he gets called up again.

Well that was fun, but all I know is I am jonesing for some more baseball. Hold tight ladies and gents, as the second half kicks off this Friday with Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound against the Angels.

Frankly I can’t fear any team whose translated name means The The Angels Angels.

The Bullpen rundown will be coming sooner rather than later, and feel free to say hi/tell me to go eat my own sack @HisDudenessOfNY .

About 2 months ago, I posted information about the Damon Runyon 5K in Yankee Stadium. (Sorry if some of this is repetitive from that post!)

2009 was the first year this race was held, but at the time, I was in the throes of ACL surgery rehab.

My knee's in pretty good shape considering I never actually did any of the rehab, meh, but it's not giving out from under me anymore, which is really all the reason I need to throw my hat in the Yankee Stadium 5K.

(Side point: When my mom heard the surgery was being done with a cadaver's ACL ligament, her comment was an excited, "Ooooh wouldn't that be something if you had someone like Goose Gossage's ACL?? Or a SERIAL KILLER?" What?)

Anyways, so with the race just a month away, I'm asking for your support in this incredibly worthy cause.

Me, Dad, and Lauren outside of the old stadium.
Sometimes when you hear "supporting cancer research" it seems like something too abstract to understand the implications. But I've seen them, and they're profound.

I work on a cancer drug at my job, and when I started on the account, I had no idea that it was the same drug that my dad took when he had cancer 7 years ago.

My dad wasn't poster child for healthy living, so we expected his battle with lymphoma to be tortuous. But it wasn't. It wasn't easy, but after 7 months of treatment, it was gone.

And now every day I go into work, I can't help but be incalculably grateful for the researchers and scientists who developed this treatment.
I don't know many people whose life hasn't been affected by cancer in one way or another, and I can't think of any better way to help further important research than by getting some exercise on the same grass that greatness plays on.

I'm really looking forward to doing this next month (even though my cousin has warned me it's one of the more difficult races she's ever run, courtesy the whole ramp-running thing). I think I'll be ok, seeing as I've probably run up and down the ramps in the old stadium more times than I've run to catch the bus.

My personal runner support page is here, and I am incredibly grateful for any support!

Thank you so much--it's pretty cool that we'll be able to add "cancer" to the list of things that get beat at Yankee Stadium.

There's still 400 open spots left if anyone would like to join me!

Details can be found here and below:

One East 161st Street, Bronx, New York
9:30am - 2:00pm (staggered start)

Entry Fee
: $40 through July 11
$50 from July 12 through July 31 (or until capacity is reached)
Minimum Fundraising Requirement
: $60 for all participants (This is in addition to the entry fee.)
Minimum Fundraising Requirement Deadline
: July 31*
Registration Deadline
: July 31 or when capacity is reached
Minimum Age to Participate
: 5 years old

*Please note that if the minimum fundraising requirement is not met by this deadline, participants’ credit cards will automatically be charged $60 or the difference, should a portion of the $60 minimum be raised.
100% of all donations you raise in support of your run/walk will go to innovative cancer research by today’s best young scientists, funded by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

Entry is limited to the first 4,000 registrants. You can participate as an individual or get friends, family members and colleagues together to form a team. 

Start times will be staggered. Runners will start first according to pace, beginning at 9:30am. Walkers will start after the last heat of runners is launched, at approximately 12:00pm.

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