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So it's back to listening to the game on the radio at the office. I woke up this morning at 10 and had the standard weekend-delirium-kneejerk sensation of being late for work. Then the requisite subsequent relief that it was a Sunday. But this Sunday morning, it was followed up with, "SHIT, I DO have to go to work." Sigh. So here we are.

Sterling spent about a good hour mired in a very determined and very desperate campaign to will the Yankees to get an error. I wish I had DVR on the radio so I could go ahead and count the actual number of times he mentioned the Yankees' error-free streak. MAYBE he's going the reverse psychology root. Beat the concept to death and fate just gets confused as to how it's supposed to field it. (No pun intended. Really.)

Carl Pavano. Not a fan of this guy's work. For a couple reasons, but imminently the reason is that he is somehow stumping the Yankees' bat while we're trailing 3-0. But then there are the obvious, basic reasons centered on his injury-riddled tenure in NY, where he pitched about the same number of innings as Angelica Houston. And in terms of those innings he did pitch, his ERA was fatter than CC. And just to supplement all this boiling contempt for Pavano, he's a douche. (From an article I wrote for my dad on Father's Day a few years ago:)

I gave away my Boston/Yankees tickets a few weeks ago in favor of watching the dismal 17-2 rout on television, exchanging expletive-ridden commentaries with my dad sitting right beside me. When I was watching the Twins game with him the following week, I told him about how I had run into Carl Pavano at a New York City bar after that sad loss, and how I had pointed him out to my little sister who then walked right up to him.

I narrated to my dad, “Yeah, she just said, `Are you Carl Pavano?’ and he just looked at her and said, `No.’ Definitely him, though.”

My dad looked over and said, “Would you admit to being Pavano if you had just given up 11 hits in one inning to the Red Sox?”

And before we could turn back to the game Pavano was currently pitching, he deadpans: “You know what? Now I hope Minnesota scores 20 runs off him.”

Moral of the story is Pavano sucks, and I'll be 100% apoplectic if we can't score 1 freaking run off him. And they're running outta time...4 innings left, but we've barely even gotten anyone on base. I think if Arod or Swisher went long, it'd spark a rally, but right now they're getting discouraged or playing like it anyway. I don't blame them. They can't catch a break. AGAINST PAVANO. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Speaking of, lunch just arrived. The only channel that works in the conference room is showing car racing.

But in the 3 minute interval that it took me to make this discovery and then return to the radio in my office, TEX GOES LONG. 4-2! We can do this. 2 runs. We just need to get on base. And stop giving away outs by swinging at everything. Pavano is throwing a ton of strikes, but that's no reason to chop away at all of them.

Oh my God. Suzyn Waldman just said:

"We got someone warming up in the bullpen, and I don't care who it is, the Yankees are just gonna be happy to see Pavano outta the game."

I never want to hear that sentence again for the rest of my life. It actually sent chills up and down my spine.

And speaking of up and down, so goes the Yankee batters in the top of the 7th. 2 innings left to get 2 runs.

Sterling and Waldman have moved on to pentrating analysis of what kinds of condiments are dancing atop the dugouts.

"John, we've just got an update. It's NOT, as we thought, ketchup, mustard, and relish. The relish, in fact, is actually Onions. Yup, onions."
"Onions? Really? I never would have thought."
"Wang has thrown 17 pitches."

Wang's relieving efforts have been stronger and stronger. He has an uphill battle ahead of him to erase the stigma of losing every game he came near at the beginning of the season, and has a scarlet 34.50 branded onto his chest to remind him and everyone else of his shameful start.

Well, maybe Waldman was right. 2 runners on against the new reliever. Way to hustle, Jeter/Damon. I just got unleashed from the office, but am now sticking around to listen to remainder of game. Don't make me regret this, Yankees. I'm not gonna be a happy camper if I stay at work longer than I need to during a gorgeous 75 degree sunny day, only for you to strand the runners and have a loss against Pavano on your permanent record.

Ha, Waldman is making NO bones about Matt Herges looking every bit his age: "And man, Herges has just been around FOREVER." I guess he's MLB's new Julio Franco, who announcers were contractually obligated to remark at his every appearance: "One of the oldest in the game!"

"Herges has been just everywhere: Dodgers, Expos, Giants, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Rockies, and now the Indians. Wow." Jesus. He's played for every NL West team? He was also one of the scabs during the '94 strike. That's a little sad. He's 39 years old, been playing in the majors for 17 years, played for practically half the teams in the league, and has left no impact on the game. Once he retires, it will be as if he was never there in the first place and no one will ever say, "Oh yeah! Matt Herges! I remember him."

Well, I'll remember you, Matt Herges! And just in case, here's your career to date "immortalized" on a weird Yankee fan's blog:
AND THE YANKEES TIE THE GAME AT 4 WITH A 2-RUN DOUBLE FROM TEIXIERA. Wow. Way to take matters into your own hands, Tex. Amazing. (How relieved is A-Rod right now, that he's not coming up with RISP with the game on the line? I have faith in him, but I don't have faith in fans, and I think I would be more upset with the inevitable bus-throwing-under if he struck out, than I would be over the actual out.)

Ha, Waldman is cracking me up today. She's talking about Kerry Wood and how's the "Reliever of Record" for Cleveland... "I mean, how do record any saves here? They never win any games."

And here comes Phil Coke...

This is such a Torre move. I know it's not technically a "save" opportunity since it's tied, and you want to save Mo for extra innings, BUT THERE ARE NO EXTRA INNINGS IF SO MUCH AS ONE RUN SCORES.

Is this the best lefty you can come up? I feel like I'm watching an amateur comedian when he takes the mound--I'm nervous and tense on his behalf, because he looks so discernibly uncomfortable.

Yep, lead off walk. And Assdrooling Cabrera steps up, who's 2-4 with 2 runs and is batting behind Jhonny [sic] Peralta. Ugh. I'm having flashbacks of the Torre era of bringing in Farnsworth in the 9th who always tricked batters by throwing as hard as he could down the middle. And then like clockwork, Torre has successfully saved Mo's arm, because we never see the light of an extra inning.

Who's coming in for Coke? Robertson? Where the hell did he come from? "He has not let a man on base yet," Waldman tells us. Has he pitched to someone yet?

Lead off walk from Robertson. Check. Bullpen 101.

2nd and 3rd. 1 out. Base hit wins it. Sigh. Still at work. Sometimes listening to Yankees game while working make it ok because I think, "Well at least I'm not the only one working on the weekends."

3-1. Their fear of pitching to these batters is so painfully evident. It's the Indians. They can hit, but it's the Indians.

Base hit. Indians win. Leaving work.

(Hey, but Error-Free Game! Kim Jones gets to live, and the Yanks go for the record tomorrow. Perspective!)

What the hell is the deal with Cleveland's field? Why is it flypaper, literally, for every freaking avian creature? Right now there's, as Michael Kay remarked in what can only be considered genuine fear, "what looks like an Alfred Hitchcock film. Man." Legions on seagulls circling the field, strolling the field, snacking on popcorn on the ledges. Is it always like this in this city? Or just when the Yanks are in town? I actually think the chances of either of these is about equal, even despite the fact I'm wholly aware that I sometimes forget there is a world of baseball that exists beyond Yankee Universe. But I also am wholly aware that the unmitigated animosity towards the Yankees extends to all sects of nature.

And not to get so down on Cleveland since I'm sure it's a lovely city, although I have no idea what state it's even in. My first thought? "Cleveland...Illinois? No, that's not right, Illinois's not a state. Wait. Yes, it is. Chicago's a city in Illinois." I still don't know where Cleveland is.

But I DO know that on June 27, it is "Free Money Night" at Progressive Field. No bobbleheads, no free mousepads or figurines or hats or water bottles. Every fan in attendance gets an envelope with money. One of which has $10Gs. I have no idea what to make of this. Shouldn't the Reds be a little insulted? It's THAT hard to bring fans to that game that they have to pay them to go? And shouldn't fans feel a little cheap? I mean, I like the promotions as much as the next guy, but I think I'd feel a little bit like a professional escort or something. It's like giving your significant other money for her birthday.

So Kay is telling us all about Free Money Day, completely disregarding the presence of the batter or anything related to the live game, and Flaherty provides what Kay calls "Flaherty Clarity" and says, "I'm over here looking up stats and history and batting averages, and you're giving me the rundown on the promotional schedule in Cleveland. Are the Yankees even playing them that weekend? It's not like we're gonna be here."

"Well, aren't you a little snarky today."

I feel like I'm listening to my parents sometimes.

Seriously, Cano? You picked a real f'n inopportune time to revert to the 2-seasons-ago-paled version-lazy-clown version of yourself. 5 innings with no hits, only 1 walk, and a little dink grounder up the middle...and the best you can do is meekly try to bare hand it?? I could maybe understand this in a normal 7-0 game, but your pitcher is going for a no-no bid! Pick up the pace, buddy. In game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Mantle made a ridiculous play that a superhuman contortionist couldn't have made. Bugs Bunny couldn't even have made it, and he can sometimes play all the positions on the field himself. And if Mantle hadn't made that play, Don Larsen wouldn't be one of the most legendary, fabled stories in Yankee history.

And thanks to that play, the Indians' offensive floodgates have opened, and we went from a 7-run lead to 5. Right after he made that sloppy bare-handed nothing of a play, Cano sprinted after a grounder to the right like it was his paycheck being flown away by the wind. Made the stop, amazing throw to 3rd...and nothing. At least he has a fire lit under his ass now, ignited most likely by the terror of CC sitting on him once the inning's over.

I can't believe the YES booth is arguing right now over who is responsible for the no-hitter jinx. Flaherty is taking credit for it (weirdly, he's actually seeking credit for it:

Kay: Well, good job on not saying anything though! I mean, 5 innings of not mentioning the no hitter is pretty impressive.
Flaherty: It's not a no-hitter, he just gave up a hit.
Kay: I know that, I meant before.
Flaherty: Well how did let up a hit if no one jinxed him?
Kay: Well someone must have.
Flaherty: It was definitely me.
Kay: No, no. You said he only let one on base and it was walk. That's different.
Flaherty: No, I said, "He's pitching a no-hitter." I was thinking about it and said it.
Kay: Well, I've been thinking about it since the first inning!

And meanwhile, the Indians are getting about 100 (3) consecutive base hits.

I was just at a BBQ today where we're talking about sports announcers, and one of the guys there hails from England and tells us how in the English Premiere League, they'll let the fans call the games sometimes. As if the game narration in soccer could get any more ridiculous. Ray Hudson is not from this planet. It's actually impossible. No one talks like this so consistently and what's more, so naturally that it's clear that this is normal rhetoric in whatever extraterrestial species he's derived from.

"As electrifying as a hair dryer thrown into a hot tub, my friend. Absolutely
breathtaking! It puts the Haitian Voodoo rattle on this one. When he finishes --
oh! Like Betamax, they do not make them like him anymore! What more can you say? An extraordinary goal by an extraordinary player! That will send these people
into their dreams tonight thinking of heavenly things. Absolutely bamboozles his
defender with this virtuoso goal ... Look at this, gets all of his angles right,
sets it up for himself. Cygan is just a spectator, looks down at him and says,
'That's not human.' And it is not. It is superhuman."
See? Superhuman. He knows all about non-humans. Ray Hudson isn't one. Case closed.


CC's pitching is unreal right now. Even despite the ding he gave up to Sizemore. (Ding doesn't do it justice, since the ball still hasn't landed yet.) But it's just sizzling the entire 60 feet down to the plate. Amazing. Player of the game. He gets stronger with every start, and the Yankees aren't wasting them. This isn't last year when we'd see 6 innings of shutout pitching from Moose only for the team's bats to freeze and never pad him with some runs. No, this year they're all, "You do your job, and we'll do ours. Lock it up. It's all deadly."

Oh, also? I wish Posada wouldn't milk this whole transition off the DL thing and just get back in the game already. I hate the feeling when one of my fantasy players comes off the DL and I'm in that iffy, "Oooh, is he gonna need a few games before he's gonna give me those beginning season points again?" I mean, look at Posada. He waited 17 whole minutes before going 2 for 3 yesterday on his first game back, and then going yard today. I'm into it. Come out swinging, loaded for bear. You're an animal, Jorge.

Annnnd the midges have gone from a cute talking point for the announcers to an aggravating distraction on the tv screen. It's making me itchy, has the watching-Arachnophobia-effect. Plus I'm getting increasingly more anxiety-ridden thinking about Joba's start tomorrow. It's like the kids in that movie "It" returning to the sewer as adults to fight the scary clown. Except for Joba, the clown is a swarm of gnats that buy the all-you-can-eat buffet on Joba's Neck Early Bird Special Night.

Derek Jeter almost dropkicked Kim Jones for bringing up their error-free streak. Didn't realize how superstitous he was. He's always Mr. Ah You Know, It Is What It Is. But I guess that was before the Yankees turned into their alter-egos. And I think it's time I finally finished the Jeter piece I start writing and abandon, on a daily basis. I've been waiting to see if I can figure out why he's branded as the worst SS in the league. But nope. I'm not seeing it. The "lack of range" argument is really overexagerrated, and, really, has little supporting evidence when you look at the team's record and number of runners they're allowing on base. How bad can he be?

Another great game, Yanks. I'm very proud. Stay strong, stay focused, stay clean.

Ok, Frankensteins, go play with your friends.

Well, the Yankees have made me happier than a pig among guinea pigs! And like a pig among guinea pigs, I think we can all agree:

The Yankees are in charge here.

For the first time since 2006? Didn't sound right when I read it but I guess that makes sense. No playoffs last year, and won the Wild Card in 07. But at no point during either of those seasons we were in 1st? Wow. Well, it feels good to be back up where we belong.

Watched the game at Duke's last night instead of my usual haunt. Was kinda like going to GNH..I didn't know where anything was, and with the old stadium, me the NYSJ used to play a game where we'd text each other shots from our seats and guess the location and I could usually get it right within a row or 2. Now, I'm just lost. And same thing with Duke's. The tvs were confusing. I think maybe I just got thrown by the fact the Baltimore-Detroit game was on. I can't imagine a match-up with less of a vested interest from NYC.

I "watched" the Sox game on my phone during the rain delay, and kept expecting my screen to refresh with the a Bay HR that tied the game or something. I mean, they were playing Toronto, who have been so averse to scoring runs, you'd think there was anthrax at homeplate or something.

But no. Sure enough, the Jays, who haven't won a game since the turn of the century (or in the last 9 games anyway), ended their skid with a win over Boston. Ortiz went hitless for the 19th time this season and was the only Sock without a hit. Casey Janssen, the winnng pitcher for Toronto, got his first win in 2 years to drop the Sux, who have lost 5 of their last 8 games.

The only remotely positive aspect of that game for Boston was the remarkable performance from RP Daniel Bard. Bad night for the city I guess. The Lakers got into the finals, which for some reason is a matter of concern for Boston. I will never in my lifetime see a city so firmly entrenched in the concept of misery loves company.

When the Yanks game finally did come on, it took about 7 minutes of my buddy having to explain the standings to me. "Sooo, we were a half game back. But the Sox lost. So that means....we're tied? No, wait. That's not right. We're 1 behind them? Um...ok carry the 1...I don't know." ("Uh, the Yanks would be half game ahead. Wow.")

C.Lee vs Petitte. Great matchup. I get very, very nervous now for whatever Yankee is on the mound when they're playing the tribe. I can't hear "Cleveland" without recalling the most ridiculously BS game in recent Yankee history: the infamous Bug Game, when a pitcher who hadn't walked anyone all season, who had a .00000001 ERA, couldn't get the ball over the plate because he was attacked by what may as well have been killer bees. Techically, the were midges. But it was disgusting, and they ended up losing that game when a passed ball allowed the tying run in in the 8th. Complete BS. I could have killed Torre for not putting up more of a fight about stopping the game. Guess Steinbrenner wasn't too thrilled about it either.

Even though the camera kept panning to more and more menacing things looming in Progressive Field, Petitte managed to sidestep any terrorist activity from the insect community, and only allowed 1 run in 5 innings. (Only 1 K though? Guess he's not really a strikeout pitcher, but he's not exactly Wang either. Struck me as a little odd...) But since no Yankee pitcher can take the mound without leaving it with an injury souvenier, reports of Petitte's ailing back are now punctuating the Yankees' newsreels.

Seriously, is the whole team in some kind of contracted system of injury tag-team. Posada returns, Petitte leaves. Wang returns, Bruney goes back to the DL. Please for the love of all that is holy, keep AJ/CC healthy. AJ is so frail, and though CC is the antithesis of frail, there's always the impending risk he has a stroke.

(Speaking of, WELCOME BACK, JORGE!! Could you give me a rough estimate of how long you'll be sticking around? Because the catcher spot on fantasy roster has been more unstable than Vince Young.)

Our offense was just good enough to win, with Swish coming through with an RBI and the rest of the team punching in hits here and there, although the LOB number still hovers around double digits. They're playing well though, and I don't think enough credit has been given to Teixeira for not just his defensive dominance and offensive explosion. But for a seemingly quiet leadership that he's somehow effected even in his first year in pinstripes.

He's a good star--plays the right way, works hard, doesn't piss anyone off, and just runs his own race. His impact on ARod goes beyond having the 2 bat next to each other. But when ARod returned to the lion's den after his surgery and offseason from hell, Teixeira was an old friend that ARod had played with and I think that made everything easier for him. If you watch the postgame after a Yankee win, you'll always see Teixeira celebrating the work of the entire team, but especially the younger guys and rookies. He plays to win, and doesn't seem to give even 1 thought to anything other than playing baseball and playing it well. He may not have the charisma of Swisher or the collective personality of the rookies, or the star quality of ARod. But it's cool. He's good for the team.

And Aces continues to be good for the bullpen, and THANK GOD it looks like the club finally caught on to this principle, that it makes 100% more sense to pitch Aces, who has been consistently lights out, than overlook him in favor of Team What's-the-over/under-on-how-many-pitches-til-a-game-tying-homerun-is-let-up?

And yet watchin this neat little win came at a price. Trying to summon Linda Blair neck contortions to see the tv has today left me feeling like there's a ruler lodged between my shoulder and beneath ear.

Movin' On Up

Well well well. Fancy seeing you here, Sux. Maybe you shouldn't have written us off so insanely, stupidly, and prematurely.

So after playing like they'd rather be home with Chinese takeout and the Karate Kid on DVR, the Yanks came back to beat the Rangers 9-2, led by AJ Burnett's 6 shutout innings.

Which apparently came from a new trick AJ decided to employ:

"I basically went after them," Burnett said. "I didn't leave anything over the plate. That's a big difference. When you don't make mistakes, they can't capitalize."

Hm. Well, good, AJ. (I'm picturing him in the clubhouse oiling down his mitt, trying to get into game mode, going through Texas's lineup, and then: "Wait a second...YES! It's so simple, it just might work!")

I'm interested to hear what kind of strategy he thought would be effective during the last month of starts. "I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I hang the ball directly over the plate, I stay far away from the batter's box...and yet, they're still knocking me around."

Wang was perfect in 2 innings, as he sheepishly continues to bust his ass to drain his ERA enough so that it falls below the triple digit mark. I don't why but Wang just strikes me as someone who beats himself up over this and is fairly embarassed about his rocky start and the wild media fanfare surrounding it. Cheer up, little buddy. You looked good out there. And we need someone in relief, so you'll be valuable again in no time.

Tex goes long again. Anyone who even tries to utter word one dismissing the importance of Arod in this line-up is just loony tunes. And he's like a mirror image of Arod's outstanding defense on the other corner of the diamond. I had about 45 heart attacks on top of each last night when I get the following text while I'm still working: "Marky goes byebye." I suppose most people would know this meant homerun. But I wasn't one of them.

And my first thought was that Tex left the Yankees, and I figured the only way he could do this was through dying.

Yeah, I won't be slowed by logic.

Or the fact that it's unlikely that, in the actual event of someone's death, the news would be delivered as "goes byebye." I need to get a grip, and just be thankful the boys are mercifully whacking the ball over the field, and I say mercifully because it just looks so seamless and effortless for them most days.

The Yanks continued shine at the plate and even batted .333 with RISP, though somehow stranded runners 10x.

The big difference I'm seeing is that they all look infinitely more comfortable in their swings, even Matsui.. (especially Matsui yesterday, who contributed 2 longballs to the offensive effort. He's so confusing. I never know what to make of him.)

Speaking of weird Japanese players, Dice-K had himself quite the outing last night. Congrats on setting a new franchise record! 4 wild pitches in one night. And then 2 more from Delcarmen and Masterless. Francona, in a rare moment of head-scratching commentary, noted that their catcher's "Canadian background really came into play because he looked like a goalie." So is the rule that we're allowed to make stereotype jokes about Canadians because they're, well, Canadians? Because I feel like if I said, "Dice K's Japanese background really came into play because he really bombed up there" it would be frowned upon.

Here Dice-K explains what went wrong:

"I was told yesterday that Kottaras would be catching me today, so I was prepared," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Masa Hoshino. "Before the game we talked a little bit about pitch selection and went over what we were going do in the game. But I think sometimes you need a lot of experience to see how you're going to pitch in certain situations to certain hitters. There were cases out there today that our signs didn't match up all the time, or our timing didn't match up, and all that comes from experience."

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that what you had there was a failure to communicate. The thick irony of him breaking down the problem through a translator, and then saying, through a translator, that basically, "Dude, I mean, I talked to Kottaras before the game. Not sure how we got our lines crossed."

Meanwhile, Kottaras had to spend the whole game thinking, "The only thing worse than a wild pitcher is a wild pitcher who can't be calmed with a trip to the mound because I have nothing to say to him. Or rather, lots to say, but nothing communicable."

Ok, how long has Dice-K been gyro-ing around the States? In the last few years, he couldn't just bite the bullet and learn some English? How do catchers talk to them during the game? Charades?

"Ok 2 words. First word...sounds like...hurt? Sore? um ok Bad back? it bigger than a breadbox?? ok um ouch, sick, hurt...uh...Ache..ACHE..bake cake rake break.. BREAK. BREAKING BALL! Ok, great talk. I'll see you out there."

Their loss put us technically in first with them, but since we've yet to beat them, they're actually ahead of us. Which is immaterial, really, because right now, despite ESPN's completely unbiased (cough) Power Rankings, the Yankees are the better team. Much better. The Red Sox offense is laughable. Ortiz has 3 hits in his last 27 at-bats, for a fantastic .111 average.

It's funny, because he was pretty good last year. I wonder what happened. But it's ALMOST like he's cursed or something.

Maybe burying the guy's jersey in GNH's backfired.

Or maybe the Yankee Stadium construction worker accidentally buried Ortiz with it.

“So did the Yankees win last night? Of course. They definitely did.”

“No. They lost 7-3.”

“No! Really?!!”

My mom is such an alarmist. Everything gets the same level of inappropriately profound shock, if I had told her the Yankees lost, I ran into my 2nd grade teacher, I’ve decided to surgically attach a horn to my head, there’s a ladybug on her arm, or I’ve decided to legally change my name to Tsunami.

So she was stunned to hear they lost because she figured they were just slicing through the league like a hot knife through butter. Which I loved because when Mo gave up back to back homeruns against Tampa earlier this year, she called in hysteria. When they lost to Boston after giving up a 6-run lead and I was in a funk, she consoled me with, “Kristen, stop saying it wasn’t that bad. It was awful!” If my mom's getting confident, the boys are looking extraordinary.

Despite the lackluster showing yesterday, anyway...

It would’ve been nice to pick up a game on Boston when they lost to Minny, but the Yanks were just having a bad night. I was not running on all cylinders either, and as such, it took me entirely too long to realize the Yanks were on a rain delay. For the life of me, I just could not figure out what I had been watching 2 hours of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” I knew there was a reason I wasn’t changing the channel, but I kept thinking, wait why am I not watching the game? Then I’d see the “Rain Delay” logo in the upper right corner of the screen and, “Ahh ok. Right.” And then this would continue in a vicious cycle underscoring my complete inability to process anything.

(Everybody loves Raymond is actually pretty funny.)

I couldn’t stay awake to watch the rest of the game on account of having to meet my ride to the client at 7am. Being tired in your own office is one thing, it’s nothing a 5-shot caramel machiatto and sour candy won’t remedy. Being tired at someone else’s is poor form. (Now why can’t Boston fans just learn this simple fundamental tenet of respectful courtesy?)

Thoughts from the parts of the game I did see:

Joba didn’t look good from the second he took the mound. Just very discernibly uncomfortable and not himself at all. Usually when he walks someone or throws a few bad pitches in a row he shakes it off and settles back in. But yesterday he was shuffling around in the mud and wincing.
Goldberg the Goalie from The Mighty Ducks pitches for the Rangers, and his name is Magical [sic]. I get so jealous when I see cool last names on players of other teams, such as the following current MLB players--though some/most aren't really so much as active as they are inactive. But inactive just means more time to strut around with an awesome last name, so...not all bad:

Billy Buckner (I'm not kidding. He plays for Arizona. This is great.)

The Yanks’ performance aligned with the fact they “waited out the rain” for 2.5 hours, despite the complete nonexistence of rain that delayed the game in the first place. It’s like having plans to go out, waiting on your buddies to figure out what you’re all doing, having a beer at your place to kill time since everyone’s behind on getting ready, and then by the time everyone’s dressed and ready to go with a destination in mind, you’ve lost you’re a significant chunk of gusto.
The Yanks were batting all over the field, but their heart wasn’t in it. They left 12 runners on and had more than enough opportunities to pull out the W, including an impressive if not baffling season-high 5 stolen bases.

Brett Gardner went 3-5, and I keep waiting for his post-game interview where he says, “I can run like the wind blows! If I was going somewhere, I…was…RUN-NING.” The bad news….?
…Melky’s hurt!! As usual, he was running full force at an outfield fly and crashed into the wall. Poor Melk! Get better and come back soon. Everyone misses you so much. I hope Robbie is coming by everyday with his school assignments and such.

I haven’t reiterated my infatuation with Swisher in a while. It’s still there. The Yanks are all taking turns getting their slumps outta their respective systems—and unlike recent years, they’re staggering their slumps so we’re not having a whole lot of games where the entire team is icecold. I predict he starts warming up to a hot streak some time in the beginning to middle of next week.

Texas is a decent team, but not as good as their record would suggest they’re the AL version of last year’s Brewers. They’ll make it to the playoffs and get knocked out in the first round.

In non-Yankees news:

Some douche started a website that I will not post the address of, but whose purpose is to campaign for Manny Ramirez’s participation in the All-Star game. Seems fair to me. Don’t play for 1/3 of the season because you were cheating and lying and being a general disgrace to an already faltering shape of the game…and then take the spot of a talented outfielder who actually DID show up every day and who presumably is playing by the rules.

I’m theorizing that the aforementioned douche (the first one, I guess I have to clarify since there’s technically 2 discussed here), is thinking that the most creative way to taint the purity of the sport would be to meddle with the innocence of the All-Star game. Let’s bend over backwards and pull all the strings we can to enable a suspended player to be represented as a star! That’s EXACTLY the kind of attitude and message that we want to couch the league on! Good move, blogger. It’s funny, because I actually just started a blog called

Fever’s gone! Which both relieved and pissed me off simultaneously, because it meant some virus inhabited my body JUST for Memorial Day Weekend. Not that I wanted to be sick during these all day client meetings, but for some reason it annoys me to no end that this flu or whatever it was, came out of nowhere with no warning, and lasted for the exact duration of my beautifully sunny, slated activity-filled, much-needed long weekend.

And then just peaced, without so much as leaving a note. My immune system was the Fever’s summer share in the Hamptons I guess. I hope it had to sleep on the floor because all the beds and air mattresses in my bloodstream were already taken.

Those red hats were an eye sore. What happened to the blue ones?? I wore my blue flag hat especially for Memorial Day, and I’m stuck watching these Technicolor accessory debacles all afternoon. I never, ever, ever want to see red on a Yankee. Ever. I can get on board with most ilks of Yank caps, but I am categorically averse to any red-hued iteration. It’s unnatural and sickening.

And seriously, it doesn’t make me anti-patriotic just because I f’n hate the red hats. It’s just that my specific blue flag hat is the essence of patriotism, as it was actually given to me by my good friend who’s a fighter pilot. AND accompanied by a certificate stating that “On May 28, 2008, this New York Yankees cap was flown into combat in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in a Marine EA-6B Prowler, callsign Bosox 32, in honor of Kris Pollina.” It was easily the best gift I’d ever received. And from a Boston fan too! (Happy Memorial Day, TW. J )

For those keeping score, of which I suspect there is none, Memorial Day Weekend has continued to dominate me through 4 straight innings of shut-out play. Team Kris looked like it was going to stage a comeback rally in the bottom of the 3rd, with runners* in scoring position†, but ultimately ended up popping up to end the inning.

Not that the weekend was a total bust, but considering the palette I was working with, I should’ve been able to tee off. Gorgeous weather, 3-day weekend, Yankees homestand…all blanked by the fever curveball.

I may have still been a little delirious by the onset of the Yank game. I had the ill-advised brainchild to go to the office at 4am to get work done then instead of “wasting my Monday afternoon.” 6 of one, half a dozen of the other…I wasted my afternoon trying to remain conscious long enough to execute normal daily routines. (The office is creepy as f’n hell at that hour. I kept thinking someone was going to jump out from the shadowy maze of cubes and file cabinets. I’m not sure who? Sometimes I had visions of the CEO, who maybe was there because that’s what CEOs do: work 24/7, jumping out from her office and yelling FREEZE! Sometimes I had visions of walking in on someone stealing file folders and having to say “I swear, I saw nothing!”)

At least I got to capitalize on being awake in time for McDonald’s breakfast before passing out on my couch amid the 740 printouts I lugged home in accordance with my inability to absorb anything I read on a computer screen. I’m single-handedly setting the Go Green movement back about 40 years.

The Yankees game was EXACTLY the type of game I needed yesterday. A stress-free rout with no one getting hurt and every player looking somewhere in the range of satisfactory to stellar….with Cano and Hughes posting admirable fantasy numbers for Team Blue Wizzrobes. (The only downside was that I’m playing my sister this week, and Team ARod’s Hip’s star 3B went 5-5. But just as I’d gladly absorb the blows of Papelbon and Beckett disaster outings if it meant they did, indeed, have disaster outings, I’m ok with being on the other side of a Arod batting 1.000.)

I taped the game, which effectively erased everything I had on DVR that wasn’t on Save Til Manually Erased mode. Because my sister was on her way back from Long Beach and I knew she was missing the game and there was an at-bat that was so priceless that it was like going to Thanksgiving dinner at the crazy side of the family’s place, and every time some inappropriate bomb was splayed across the table, you were in the maddeningly frustrating situation of having no one to share that “Are you hearing this?” look.

And Melky’s face plant while rounding first was around that kind of level of awe-inspiring hilarity.

Not just a trip. Not a stumble. But a full out bellyflop into the dirt. It wasn’t too far a cry from this classic coup de’ grace.

As always, the announcer’s narration 100% enhanced the beauty of the scene:

“Here’s the pitch…and MELKY HITS A BULLET INTO LEFT! This will score a runner…Melky rounds first…falls…and has to go back to first. Man, what a rocket that was! But his teammates are certainly gonna have fun with that one.”

I must have listened to “Melky rounds first…falls…” about 24 times. But no one got a bigger kick out of this than Cano, who looked like he was going to have to be carted away from guffawing-induced chest pains.

Other notable aspects of the game:

Phil Hughes looked brilliant again. I know Girardi wants to preserve his young arms—a respectable stance—but taking out a pitcher in the 8th who’s pitching a 3-hit shut out? Not sure I’d be too happy about that if I was the one on the mound. You got 3 more outs to nab that illustrious CGS for your resume. Just give the kid the ball back.

ARod goes 5-5. Best. Player. Ever. You can’t name one active player that’s more talented than this guy. Not one.

Every Yankee got at least 1 hit, for a total of 19 hits on the game. Kevin Long is officially the clubhouse Tony Robbins.

NOT ONE OF THOSE HITS WAS A LONG BALL. The Yanks scored 11 runs without posting a single ding. I didn’t even know that was possible for this team. Maybe it’s like Dumbo and his feather. He thought the only way he could fly was with his magic feather. And then at the end he loses it and manages to sour around the big top anyway! (As a side note, the Elephants on Parade scene in Dumbo is right up there with Heffalumps and Woozels in Winnie the Pooh as unnecessarily creepy dream sequences in otherwise innocuous cartoons about cute talking animals.)

And speaking of creepy, Papelbon continues the grand tradition of Sux classlessness. The NYSJ gives us bitingly acerbic commentary on this, continuing the grand tradition of NYSJ (and NY in general) whip-sharp domination. As adorably awesome that the Yankees and their fans are, that’s how disgusting Boston is. I won’t belabor the point, but it makes me sick to see that freak on page 3 of the NY Post throwing a hissy fit over a NY reporter. Their city has given us the likes of an adulterer, a wife beater, an absentee father, a manslaughter-er, and one or 2 senior-citizen-terrorizers…and a fanbase that’s pulled out a chair out from under my braced leg, stolen cabs from me while I was on crutches, and bailed on bringing me back from hospital post-surgery because the Masters was on.

They’re lucky there are people like my Marine buddy. For about a million reasons.

Reason #329 why the YES network is the handiwork of God by consistently demonstrating that, indeed, it is great to be young and a Yankee.

Text to Laur:

“Are you watching the game or are you still asleep?”

“Ok, well the YES booth is 100% bombed or something.”

I love when the cameras pan to the booth announcers. Except when it’s Tweedledee and –dum, aka Morgan & Miller—possibly the only sports duo that can’t parlay irrelevant vamping into an entertaining dynamic.

For example, yesterday they show Michael Kay, Al Leiter, and John Flaherty lined up at their table, as jovial as 3 kids waiting for their post-bologna sandwich Hostess cupcake dessert. And Kay points out how they all wore red ties! Which was unfortunate for Leiter because that called attention to the fact his tie ended somewhere around 6 inches above his navel. Kay and Flaherty both notice this at the same time, and as if it the look itself wasn’t amusing enough, Leiter’s proud indignation just made the hilarity balloon that much more:

“It’s a WINDSOR knot, for your information.”

Which, for the layman, apparently is a knot that rivals the size of Spain, which explained why there was only about 2 inches left of tie left to hang down his shirt.

“Al, put your jacket on or something.”

“I’m not putting my jacket on, it’s too hot.”

There was a game going on, but I’m with the YES booth on this one: TieGate 2009 was infinitely more interesting. They couldn’t even stop giggling once they went back to calling the game—“hahahaha, woo boy, ahhh. Oh and there’s a single.. THAT TIE!! HA!”

Which begs the question: What the HELL is going on in the Yankee clubhouse these days?

Is someone lacing their Poland Spring with absinthe? The Steroids-Start-With-NY conspiracy theory is going to soon be shelved in favor of testing the boys for Valium and nitrous oxide.

I’m not judging. If they want to do their makeup like Jack Nicholson in Batman, a.) I wouldn’t be surprised at this point and b.) giddy up, I bet it’ll look great!

In terms of the game, CC pitched great, though low on Ks for my fantasy team’s liking. The only snafu of the throwing staff came at the hands of Tomko—what is this guy doing in instead of, well, anyone else?

The following are people I’d send to the mound in the 11th inning before Tomko:

· Aceves
· Edwar Ramirez
· Wang
· Swisher
· Dave Summers
· Jennifer Grey
· Woodstock

The hitting from the team was consistent with what it’s been as of late, hard shots roped around the field, with the addition of a broken bat solo from Teixeira which I was psyched about since I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in baseball. (Or, well, any sport.)

Team LOB: 8. Not thrilled about that, but given the way their energy has so drastically improved in the last few weeks, I’m filing this one away in the Can’t-Win-Em-All silo. It was, however, interesting how I just wrote yesterday that the 2 last people I’d want to see in the clutch were Pena and Hideki, who are exactly the people that did end up being at the plate. I can’t fault Pena too much since his shot was a rocket, just hit directly at the OF. I can’t even watch Hideki bat because he swing is starting to send chills down my spine. Could be my fever, but I can’t tell.

I know technically the inning prior could be brought up in defense of these two—2 on, and no outs, and still couldn’t bring 1 run in. But who can you blame for that really? I’m hardly going to punish Tex for grounding into a double play, because Tex is awesome and wonderful and has carte blanche to make an occasional out. And to every hater’s insipid disappointment, ARod intentionally walked, missing another chance to give bitter assclowns a reason to taunt him.

It sucked to lose in extra innings, especially since Yankee fans have been getting used to (maybe too used to) these walkoff victories. Maybe we needed that loss? I don’t know. I’m not worried about it though, despite the hyperbolic hopping about that Boston fans are doing now that the Sox are in first.

I can only roll my eyes. There’s more distance between the dimples on a basketball than there is between NY and Boston in the standings. And the way this team’s been playing, it’s only a matter of time before the Sox are pushed down. Boston admittedly was the hotter stronger team about a month ago, but they’re not playing as well as the Yankees are. And if I were them, I’d simmer down on the “We are the Champions” jukebox selections.

I run into this guy last night who is apparently tethered to 10 foot radius of 84th and 2nd since there’s maybe 12 times in my UES tenure that I haven’t seen him there. And he’s like if Mystery from the Pick Up Artist decided to get into Sportscenter. He makes no bones about his Boston allegiances. I wish I had had a camera on me to capture this card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation strutting around in a tshirt under a blazer. Specifically, an “I Heart N.Y.” tshirt. The “NEW YORK SUCKS!” digs lose a little something when they’re coming from not only someone who’s comfortable wearing a blazer over a tshirt to a sports bar in 85 degree weather, but who got dressed that night thinking, “Oooh this shirt! This one’s perfect! I look good. Yeah.” If Boston fans insist on migrating to our town, at least have the decency to cultivate a modicum of intelligence before you get here. Or if you can’t, then have the decency to be a homebody.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again—every time you wax imbecilic with these whiny jeers, you’re making it worse for yourself in the long run. I didn’t say a word when the defending champs Celtics got embarrassed by Orlando in just the 2nd round of the playoffs (but since I brought it up… the best part about that series? THE LOOK ON PAUL PIERCE’S FACE. Van Gundy looked pretty happy, yeah? The look on his face was outstanding.) Didn’t bring up the Bruins losing in OT in the worst [read: BEST] way possible (way to show the world you aint gonna take shit lying down, Ward!).

It’s quite a gamble you’re taking, Boston. Good luck with that.

“Gee, thank GOD I didn’t make it to that game.”

My parents had tried to make me feel better about not being able to go to the Yanks game, and they had a somewhat stronger case when the score was 4-2, but it’s a tough sell to convince someone of the non-value of going to a baseball day game on Memorial Day Weekend, in gorgeous weather, when your favorite team is playing the defending champs.

Their case was shot to hell around the time ARod choked again in the clutch. And by choked, I mean, hit the game-tying 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling about 34 times worse than Friday. I felt like Donald Duck in the Disney version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I woke up on the couch (again), which makes it now at least a week I’ve gone without making it to my bed. And I woke up with that creepy really cold/burning up sensation that amounts to a perennial sweatshirt on/sweatshirt off-AC on routine.

And to add insult to injury, upon stumbling over to the fridge with the plan to mainline Gatorade, I discover with (short-lived) delight that I have Blue Flavor Gatorade! (My sister’s friend Byron maintains that blue is the most effective flavor because it has the most electrolytes, and like most everything else he ridiculously alleges, I 100% agree with him.)

But for some reason everything in my fridge was frozen. So there was no drinking to be done for at least the time it’d take for everything to thaw in my sink. It was like the Twilight Zone episode “All the Time in the World.” Except it was “All the Hydration Treats in the World.”

My phone was still gone. And calling it from my sister’s phone revealed that it had been turned off. I’m so f’n shocked, like legitimately surprised that SuperAss99 didn’t call begging me to take the thing back at around 8am. There are 3 alarms on my phone set for 7:26am, 7:47am, and 8:08am. None of which will shut off unless you enter a code. So imagine these 3 soundbytes alternating at full blast starting at 7:26am on a Saturday morning, and continuing to do so indefinitely:

My sister, my hero trekked all over creation finding an old phone that I could activate and was successful. She brings me my newly activated flip phone that used to belong to Amanda, and the funniest part is she’s treating it like she actually has to sell me on it. As if I wouldn’t have take a Beirut cup with residual beer still stuck to the sides, with a shoelace coming out of the bottom.

I guess after all that to-do about not having a phone, it was ultimately moot since I was relegated to dozing in and out of sleep on the couch all afternoon, occasionally checking my temperature. I’m not sure why. It’s kinda like weighing yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 110 or 120, better to just go by how your clothes fit. I only started with the thermometer when my dad called and asked for the actual number of my fever, I think to gauge how much bedside manner was needed, because he dropped the usual tough love and was a little more sympathetic.

Which is more than I can say for my mom, whose matronly support consisted of, “Shit happens. Listen, it could be worse. People get divorced, sometimes because their spouses cheated on them…”

Yes, that was her default “put things in perspective” scenario. Not “you could be dead” or “at least you didn’t step in dog shit” (a Pollina tenet of “the worst case”). But rather, I shouldn’t bemoan my fever that was KEEPING ME HOME WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE YANKEE GAME, because somewhere someone’s getting divorced. Thanks, Mom. I feel much better.

I watched the game from home, mumbling to myself about how much it sucked, popping Tylenol and sucking on Flavor Ice in a desperate campaign to get myself well enough in time for a beer pong party. I think the game was making me feel worse, because even though the defense was a little better, and the offense wasn’t as nonexistent as Friday, they still looked too much like the “We Heart LOB” Yankees of old. That’s the thing, even if their pitching bombs, even if their opponents tee off, the #1 thing that sails to the forefront of a game is the frequency at which they strand runners. Because this is what will kill them. All the good pitching in the world is useless if they can’t bring a run in, and that’s why I don’t get unnerved by shaky outings from otherwise decent starters.

The box score wouldn’t make any kind of sense to anyone who didn’t watch the game. Hitting looked good, pitching decent, bullpen effective, and only 3 LOB? And yet until the 9th inning we were only able to get 2 runners across the plate? One being a solo from Jeter, fulfilling the clause in the club’s contract that every game they trail must feature at least 1 solo shot .

It’s a weird feeling seeing ARod up these days. Because how many fans can honestly say that that’s the guy you wanted at the plate in the clutch? But now? It’s not just him. There are few Yankees that I would be uncomfortable seeing at the plate in the 9th. If I HAD to pick the last person I’d watch to see, I GUESS it would be Pena or Hideki. That’s how much I love this team, that’s how good they are. That they 2 “worst” are both .250 batters.

So when the Yanks are down by 2 with 1 out, and my sister texts to see how I’m feeling and if I need anything, my first thought= “ARod to go yard.”

Lauren has demonstrated with uncanny consistency that ARod homers when she’s not watching the game. (What a philosophical quandary! What do you do when your favorite all time player plays better when you don’t watch?) So she told me to just call her with the final score.

“Ok you can turn on the tv now.”


I swear, despite the fact the walk-off has been gracing the organization with some frequency as of late, the jubilant chaos that ensues among the team intensifies every time, and I just love it. I love how the YES booth gets all giddy anticipating the AJ whipped cream pie. (Shaving cream yesterday, and Melk AND Cano got one.)

ARod looked EXACTLY like Lebron on Friday. It was amazing. So adorably excited, like he couldn’t even contain himself. It’s a new ARod, a guy whose attitude mirrors more Melky’s and less Marbury.

So where are the Aroid chants now, huh?
Since his return:

15 games
10 hits
7 homeruns
12-3 record

Well done, ace. You’re back home, and your unequivocal indispensability isn’t lost on anyone.

And then there’s Melky…

When David Cone and David Wells were in town last week, I saw Cone out and I’ll reiterate that he is the nicest man on the planet, and he asked what baseball player, alive or dead, I’d watch to have dinner with.

“Well, it’s a Red Sox.”


“Ted Williams.”

Which launched a discussion of beyond his baseball career, how impressive and admirable Williams’ career as a fighter pilot was.

“Can you imagine? Leaving your team to go fight like that? Can you picture anyone these days doing that?”

I thought about it. “Melky.”

“Ha, really? Why?”

“He just seems like he does what he’s told, no questions asked. Need a hit? Sure! Walkoff? Yes, sir.”

And can you argue with that logic right now? He’s certainly not the most talented player in the league, but the argument could feasibly be made that he’s the most reliable. On the field and at the plate.

So despite the fact I’ve been on the DL, I lost my phone, and missed a golden opportunity to play Beirut all night, the Yanks game made up for it. And the icing on the cake?

Not just the Sox loss, but more specifically PAPELBON’S LOSS.

Where’s the angry lip pursing now, jackass? And I don’t know what’s more gratifying, the look on Papelbon’s face when he let up that shot OR the collective feeling of defeat from every douche at Fenway once the ump came out and made the finger-swirling-homerun single, after the review of Santos’ “double.” (Please. Nice try, Boston. A double? Really?)

So that team that you all made fun of for the all-important first month of the season, the team toiling away in the cellar of the AL East? Don’t look know but they’re gaining on you. So in the words of Melvin in “As Good as it Gets,” “If you don’t have anything interesting to say, then shut the hell up.”

It wasn’t actually the worst night ever. There was a night in March that was worse, I think. And a few nights in 2004 and 2005. But it was an aggravating night nonetheless, and I haven’t had a bad night in a long time. I just realized that. I think it’s part of the being-single territory. Statistically significant less bad nights. At any rate, I never should have left the apartment to get Tasti Delite.

I was half delirious—again—from not sleeping the night before, and rescheduled my dinner plans. Maybe that was my mistake. “I’ll just have a lowkey night, get some ice cream, say hi to the boys at Dorrians, and then go to bed.”

And then I lost my phone and it was the worst thing ever.

I never lose things! I’ve had the same sunglasses for the last 5 years. My keys are always exactly where I left them, on the hook by my door. Never lost a wallet (due largely to the fact I don’t use one and opt to just keep credit cards and cash haphazardly stuffed into a pocket). Never had to cancel a credit card. I just don’t lose things. And the worst part was, I somehow lost it in a 20 block radius from my apartment. Actually no, the worst part is that someone is holding it hostage.

“Someone called from it?” My sister asked once she had come back from the Yankee game, only to find me in a state.

“Yes. Tang got a call from my phone but he said it sounded like it accidentally dialed his number while the phone was in his pocket. I guess that’s good and bad news.”


“Well, the good news is that it’s not lying in a gutter somewhere. The bad news is that I’m at the mercy of whoever has the phone.”

“Lying in a gutter somewhere? It’s a phone, you freak. Not a child.”

I bet the minion of Beezlebub who’s probably doing unspeakable things to my phone right now, thinks he hit the jackpot. Yeah, THAT’S the worst part. I always put the names in my contact list as code. It’s how I remember people’s names. So scrolling though my contacts would suggest I’m friends with Kevin Garnett, Kerry Wood, Keith Hernandez, Robbie Cano… (I’m not. But I do have friends named Kevin, Kerry, Keith, and Rob.) This is why I don’t have my phone right now, because SuperAss99 probably found is and was like, Dear Diary, Jackpot. Love, Wrongful Owner of Kris’s phone.

OR I bet it’s a Boston fan. He probably took one look at the wallpaper on the background and decided to be all Boston-ed out and not return it.

Oh yeah, and the Yanks lost too. There was no way they were going to win that one, and it was obvious the second Damon got called out at home. The entire team was playing the way I felt…sluggish and as if their minds were any place other than the game. How does one of the fastest player s in the game get thrown out like that? Granted Ibanez zipped a bullet to home but Damon was trotting down there as if he thought the ball was lodged in an outfield crevice and he had all the time in the world, or as if he knew what was coming and figured it’d be better not to waste his energy on running it out. That killed us.

I know it was 80 degrees out and all but that’s no excuse to just phone it in. I mean, me and Laur went to a Rangers game in 2005 that, at the time, was the hottest game on record at Yankee Stadium. 108 degrees on the field. Which was basically where we were sitting. We got these sick seats right behind the dugout that I would have given up plus paid extra to switch with someone with shaded nosebleed seats. (Arod hit the longest shot in Yankee Stadium history and you could hear a pin drop in there. 55,000 people were sweat-glued to their seats and even clapping would have probably sent most of us into a dehydrated coma.)

Robinson Cano did the same thing when he was running out an infield hit, trotting down the first base line one a play that could have ended with him being called safe, if he had just sped down the line a little.

I’m thinking that maybe since it was Wang’s first game back, they were all being extra careful on the basepaths because maybe it’s still a sore subject for #40.

Philly’s got a fantastic hitting team, they actually are like the NL version of the Yanks. Pitchers that should be better than they are (cough, Lidge, cough), unbelievable offense, and steadily improving defense. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if that club takes it pretty far again this year.

When the Yanks hit back to back dings in the 8th, I could only slam my head against the table in exasperation. (Things you do that make sense when you’re distraught over your phone being kidnapped...) It was so painfully indicatively reminiscent of the Other Yanks. The team that they used to be til they shed their corporate skins in favor of pie-wielding charisma. Meaningless 8th inning solo shots to chip away at the lead? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

I never should have left the house, indeed. I guess it goes back to my theory that the Yanks only play well when I take care of myself. And when they saw I was leaving my apartment to get ice cream despite the existence of my fever, they revolted. (I’m 100% kidding. I don’t actually think my well-being has any bearing on the Yanks. For some reason, that seems self-absorbed, but the fact that I’ll wear the same hat and lucky charm combination for weeks, or won’t let my sister stay in the room during games, or put the game on mute and refuse to watch when it’s extra innings…none of that strikes me as self-centered. Insane, yes. Superstitious, hell yeah. But hey, I don’t make the rules.)

So the Yanks lost, they played like drunk ferrets, my phone was stolen…and I missed the best shot in NBA history. I go to the bathroom for 2 seconds..and it was a strategically planned move! The stalls at the bar are the opposite of conducive to the dirty stayout loitering etc and hence I always find myself waiting on a 14-minute long ling because some DSO in the bathroom is occupying a stall to fine tune the copy of her booty call text to a guy she went out with last week who still hasn’t called her yet. “So, wait, listen to this now. ‘hey at 84th and 2nd. What are you up to? you should come.’” “ Hmm, that’s good, but wait, did you use punctuation? Don’t put the question mark in, that’ll be better.”

So when there’s no line, I capitalize. And right when I capitalized, the bar erupted over the best shot ever. I can’t believe I missed it.

When I cut my losses and headed home, I had to deal with the Drunk Asshole Minesweeper game, where it seems everywhere you step, you’re at risk of walking right into one of these landmines. And on my way out, I got accosted by someone who walked off the page of Guy-Who-Needs-to-Always-Have-His-Arm-Around-Something stock characters. Usually easy to break free of, but either he was tenacious or I was just flying too low to the ground, but in my pulling away, I twisted my leg and my ACL’s range of motion joined my phone in the realm of Things I Lost Last Night and Probably Will Get Retrieved At Some Point but I’m Still Wildly Aggravated About it Nonetheless.

The MVPs of the night, since no one from the Yanks are getting that distinction, were my sis who gave me her phone for as long as I wanted. Kevin, who is crazy but nice and cheered me up with shots of God knows what. (Peppermint Schnops and something sweet? Tasted like having a glass of OJ for breakfast immediately after brushing your teeth. Seeing as he once made my youngest sister a shot of soy sauce and leaves, I was happy.) Keith for making everything fun always. So I guess all things being equal, it IS just a phone, just a game, and just one night. And I should be grateful for people who lease out their phone, anesthesize my pain with inventive alcohol confections, and make me laugh a lot.

Perspective! Woohoo!

First off, there's this:

The original notes that were referenced in previous post. Far be it for me to reject good copywriter habits and inaccurately reference something. It’d be like an astronaut going home and saying, “Hon, where’s my dinner? You act like the earth doesn’t revolve around me or something.”

The original text of the aforementioned Cone Zone notes:

Note #1:

Dear Dona, thank you for the ice cream. I liked the gummie bear, it was so good I almost exploded. So thank you for the ice cream.

Note #2:

Dear Donna,

I relly liked the ice-creem and a spleshly hot fuge. I had three bols.

Thank you!!!



Samsonite! I was WAY off!

The second item I’d like to bring up is the fact that I was sorely disappointed with the lack of aggressive Kris Allen headlines. A spleshly disappointed with the NY Post, whose commitment to even-keeled journalism has brought us winning heads such as this one.

And they couldn’t think of anything better for the AI finale?

Like…KRS-WON! Kris Reigns Supreme—WATCH OUT Nyc! Or, Kris is better than Adam. Or KRIS RULES AT LIFE! I realize this is just American Idol, but cmon, if they’re going to go so far as imply a singing contest determines the country’s hero, then the media should be prepared to hyperbolize a bit in kind. Just saying.

With those 2 issues out of the way, it’s on the Yankee’s Baltimore sweep.

In short, my manic euphoria was tempered a bit last night.

Listen, I don’t care if they swept Boston or Baltimore, wins are wins. And even more so than football, baseball is the epitome of the “Any Given Sunday” phenomenon. Except I guess it’d be “Any Given Gameday.” You put the heart of the game into the hands of a different person every night. And no pitcher, particularly this year, is consistently dominant. Every lights-out juggernaut has had at least one disgusting start this year. (As evidenced by the fact Tim Lincecum is no longer on my fantasy team. I impale myself on my own impatience every year. Sigh.)

So, I turn a deaf ear to anyone who pshhhh’s at the wins with a dismissive, “Wow. The O’s. You must be proud.” I guess it’s no greater accomplishment than, say, Ortiz getting on base. (When Mo gave up a HR in the 9th inning of the 11-4 game, 2 guys at the end of the bar who could’ve been auditioning for the role of Bernie up until that point, decided to come alive. “YEAH, MO! NICE JOB! First HR of that guy’s career, too.”

They certainly got us Yank fans good. Wow. I wonder if they went home thinking, “yeah some douche Yankee fan at this bar was all excited until I let her know what was what.” It’d be like being at your ex’s wedding and when the groom smeared wedding cake all over his bride’s face, you get up and yell, “WAY TO HAVE ICING ON YOUR CHEEKS! HA! Loser.” I guess Sox fans are grasping at straws now. They should do what we do and just PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN FREAKING TEAM.

While Mo’s slip up was barely a blip on my radar, the bullpen circus yesterday did stir up some concerns. Beginning with Joba leaving after a line drive was introduced to his knee cap. I can’t even think about this without chills running down my spine. I wail to high heaven if a subway turnstile so much as bangs me on the thigh, I think I’d just go into CNS shock if my patella got permanent baseball stitching imprints on it.

Injury update: Joba exits; X-rays on knee negative, Girardi 'hopeful' righty won't miss start after liner strikes leg

As distressing as this initially was, the long relief from Aceves was nothing short of stunning. How many tight outings does this guy have to bank before the club recognizes him as the most reliable and the most skilled arm currently in the pen?

It’s like how Damon’s offensive prowess was getting no credit at the end of last year, first 2-3 weeks of this year…what exactly is not remarkable about this pitcher who’s proven himself to be bafflingly dominant hurler since day 1?

But when Aceves was yanked in favor of putting in the pitcher who I’m so dismissive of that I refuse to learn how to correctly spell his name, so I’m just calling him Adobe from now.

Fortunately, the shaky bullpen work was backed up with outstanding offense from practically the entire team. Which ultimately is a fantastic sign, because it means the Yanks aren’t falling into old habits of “What’s the point of hitting, everything sucks.” Someone needs to send Kevin Long a bottle of Chateau Margaux. Or, even better, this.

The Yanks have always had, unassailably, talented bats. They just haven’t always been consistent with them. But it’s not just that they’re hitting more, it’s the shots that they’re hitting. As my buddy Keith pointed out, “There’s not a cheap shot in the game.” They’re connecting and connecting good. The change is their mechanics as a whole is palpable and the results even more so.

Hopefully we continue to ride this surge through the Philly’s series. This must be like what Ken Jennings felt like once he had officially been spotlighted for his streak. Keep it up, Yankees. I think you are just delightful.


*Source: Cone Zone fanmail. At an ice cream shop in my hometown, a bulletin board displayed thank you notes from a bunch of toddlers who came to the Cone Zone to see how ice cream was made. The rosetta stone of hilarious kid rhetoric was posted up there, too:

Dear Cone Zone,
Thank for teeching
[sic] us how to make ice cream. I likked [sic] it alot. I espleshily [sic] likked [sic] the gumi [sic] bears and the hot fuge [sic]. It was so good I almost exploded [f-ing awesome].



So I echo Kevin's sentiments when I say I'm 100% enamored of this team.

3 homeruns in a row! That definitely is something that loses something a little when you experience this feat via Gamecast. I know they TRY to make it exciting by writing HOMERUN!! in flashing letters, but there's something a little anticlimatic about this:

And it makes it infinitely more awkward looking for little Kevin Cash, when he just strikes out swinging. It's adorable though, because it means that this guy was literally swinging for the fences. It reminds of that Onion article:

At-Bat Following Grand Slam Just Kind Of Awkward

July 10, 2008 | | Onion Sports

HOUSTON—Astros right fielder Hunter Pence expressed consternation following teammate Miguel Tejada's seventh inning grand slam, saying the proceedings took a decided turn for the awkward from that moment on. "Now where does that leave me exactly?" Pence said after the game, referring to the at-bat in question, in which the sixth-place hitter took two called strikes before hitting a check swing grounder to second base. "Not to mention the fact that when I got up there it was 7-0 all of a sudden. Best case, and I'm talking about if everything goes perfectly, I would've driven in one run, maximum. I felt like an idiot." Cardinals pitcher Ryan Franklin, the man who gave up the grand slam in question, calmly retired the next three batters, walked down to the visiting clubhouse, and took his own life.

The Yankees of the past week have been like the photo negatives of their former selves. In every sense. I don't know what got into them, but I like it. The pie in the face post-walkoff? Confusing but pie is pie. Yum. Nick Swisher's mohawk? Swisher can do whatever the hell he wants, in my book, because the guy is about 10 minutes away from sainthood.

I feel like I'm in that movie "Dave" about the President body-double who's a placeholder for the real Prez who's currently in a coma. And the country's confused because the Prez used to be less personable than a Doberman, with about as much joie d' vivre as the Scripps Spelling Bee word reader.

But the NEW Dave is fun and charismatic and productive. I hope the Yankees aren't in a coma, but if they are, I hope they love the franchise enough to stay that was for another few months, if possible.

OR, what if the Yankees took some kind of magic kid potion? And one day it wears off? Like when Donald Duck found the voice pills that made him speak clearly, and then one day he ran out of them, right as he was trying to propose to Daisy Duck.

Either way, this is the box score from yesterday's game, and there's one number that makes me more besides myself with unbridled adoration for this team, than other:



That number was circling around triple digits a few weeks ago. The Yankees were treating the bases like I treat my hangers: put as many shirts and jackets on one hanger as possible. Never take them off hanger. Wear t-shirt instead.

But not only did the Yankees score, and score early..not only did they go yard a few times with people other than Tex and ARod, but in the 8th inning, they decided to see what the big deal with manufacturing runs is anyway.

Loaded the bases and then cleared them. WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN A LONGBALL.

I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around this. I love this team. Phil Hughes had 9Ks and his throws look SICK. He only went 5 on account of a handfull-at most-bad pitches that the Os connected with, but I can easily forgive those blunders based on the ridiculous control and sharp movement that the lion share of his throws were demonstrating.

Jesus Christ, when Wang gets back the Yankees will be in a position that may trump all of these aforementioned aberrations. Too. Many. Good. Pitchers.

My head might actually explode if this comes to fruition.

In other unrelated Yankee news:

1.) Kris Allen wins American Idol, making me the most excited dingdong in the world. Because now I get to pretend all the headlines are about me. This is something I particularly enjoyed during Kris Benson's tenure on the Mets, until Anna Benson usurped his celebrity-dom with her slutty trump card.

The weirdest part of the American Idol showdown was that the other finalist's name was Adam (my ex's name) so I kept taking personal offense when I'd read statuses like "Emily hopes Adam kicks Kris's ass!"

2.) After going 48 hours without sleeping so much as 1 minute, I hit a wall last night. In spades. I left work at 9, got home, ate 2 slices of pizza, got my laundry, and then I don't know what happened after that. I DO know that I woke up at 6:30am with melted Tasti Delite ALL over me, along with a potpourri of sour and gummy candy. And this is the worst part: I was so delirious that my first reaction was supreme disappointment that the ice cream was I tried to scrape it off my face and put it on a piece of paper and stick it in the freezer. None of that plan made sense.

Text exchange with me and Laur:

3:21pm-- How are you feeling, snoozer?
3:32pm--i was the most delirious ever this morning and last night. I woke up with ice cream allll over my face. candy too. everywhere.
3:41pm--Ha nice. Sounds like heaven!
3:47pm--No heaven would be if any of it made it into my mouth.

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