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April 27-29, 2012

The Crew, Episode IV

Sorry for the brief respite on posting (is that redundant? Is "brief" part of the "respite" definition? If so, apologies). But it was with good reason. For one weekend a year, NYC is blessed with the presence of one Krista Willim--the writer, the lawyer, the legend--and every year, Yankee Stadium gets a visit from "the crew."

Episode I
Episode II
Episode III

And this year...Episode IV.

Kinda cool. CYC site now going on its 4th year.

Here's what I remember about the weekend:

  • The Yanks came back to beat the Tiggers on Friday, with a walk-off passed ball. In the annals of pleasurable anti-climax* that rates about a 8.5 outta 11.

*In the annals of That's What She Said Phrases "Annals of Pleasurable Anti-Climax" rates a strong 10 outta 11.

"Why he is bringing in a righty right now?"
  • Keith, on the pigeons on the field: "Do you think those birds know what's going on?"
Everyone else: "Excuse me."
Keith: "I mean, not like in a there's-2-outs-with-a-runner-on-third kind of way. But do you think they know there's like 55,000 people watching them eat grass?"

These are the questions that arise when the Yankees are failing to get more than 1 hit. Which prompted this:

It's true. It was.

  • So, yeah, Sweaty Freddy Garcia has zero idea what the eff he is doing. Seriously. There are pitchers like Phil Hughes, who I'm pretty sure are cognizant of the fact there is a way they SHOULD be pitching but just aren't executing. And there are people like Freddy Garcia.

Not that this needs explanation-by-analogy, but come on, when has that ever stopped me before. I'm imagining a beer pong player on the other side of the table who stares at the cup he should be hitting, and then concentrates and concentrates, poises the ping pong ball, and then throws it as hard as he can at the water cup.

And you think, "I can't tell whether he thought that was what he was supposed to be doing or not. There's a good chance he thinks that's what he SHOULD be aiming for."

Freddy Garcia threw a "fastball" with an 0-2 count to the #5 batter Andy Dirks, who has a face that makes me loathe him. He looks like he should be playing a smarmy bad guy in a comedy that schemes a lot in the corporate world.

Dirks had no problem manipulating the ball out of the stadium, which Sterling rightly noted is pretty much easy for anyone in the world to do, when your 0-2 count is an 85 mph pitch down the middle. I mean, if I were Dirks, I'd almost be suspicious of the pitch. Like, what kind of moron would throw that? There's gotta be some kind of go-go-gadget mechanism that pops out of the ball and makes it spiral around right when you think it's about to hit your bat. I'd lay off it.

Dirks didn't though. That scheming jerk.

  • Another highlight of the weekend was running into Joe and Jen, who win for greatest Yankee couple and who get the Ford Bold Move of the Day for catching Jeter's foul ball, which has recently skyrocketed to my list of things to do before I die. Which means that basically the span from 80 years old to 90 years old will be punctuated with some aggressive psycho old lady in Yankee Stadium body slamming people for foul balls. In 50 years, I don't want to hear anyone say they weren't warned about this.

  • Swisher hit one out to put the Yanks on the board in the run column as well as the hits column. I missed this because it took me roughly 1201 years to get beers. This is because in the bleachers, you only get ONE BEER PER PERSON. This was NOT boding well with the bleacher crew, let me tell you.

A) this is clearly a new regulation so the surprise element alone was enough to send us all into an angry tailspin.
B) this was coupled with the fact I had my ticket checked SCRUTINIZED every time I went back to my seat
C) I had my license scrutinized for every beer. My sister even had to show back up ID once.

I said to Laur, "I feel like I'm at JFK and not Yankee Stadium."
Laur: "No way, at JFK you can drink as many beers as you want."

Keith, being Keith, was not going to tolerate the one beer-per-person thing if it meant making one of us the designated Gunga Din of the inning, so he takes matters into his own hands, and sure enough, he returns an inning later with 6 beers, trudging back to his seat murmuring (then screaming): "Don't tell me I can only have one beer! Yeah!"

My friends believe in moderation. Nope.

  • The Yanks, on the other hand, were being very economical about their run production. They certainly kept the hits in moderation. Good work, guys. My biggest fear was that I was going to see a spillage of runs and an absolute mess of hits all over the place. Keep it clean, keep it neat.

  • Finally, in Yankee form, the runs start coming in during the last inning, making everyone excited. But then they lost.

Me and the crew? We were still excited though.

Our record now is .500. Like a sonnet's rhyme scheme. L-W-W-L. A-B-B-A.

We're all about the symmetry.

Once again, thank you SO MUCH to one of my absolute favorite people in the world, Krista Lindsey Willim for spearheading what is always the greatest weekend ever. She never fails to disappoint, in any sense of the word. The Yankees are lucky to have her in their corner.

So am I.

(Smiley, not Smyley, emoticon. See what I did there?)

Cheers to taking down the O's, because that's what the O's like to do!

April 25, 2012
Well, theoretically we can try to do what we did on Tuesday night in terms of putting things in perspective. But the difference between Tuesday's game and Wednesday's game is that the latter didn't faze me at all. I didn't see the L, I saw the numbers in the box score cels.

The former, however, is concerning. NOT concerning in a microphone-waving-barkingp-reporter-asking-Girardi-if-it's-time-to-press-the-panic-button kind of way. But in a seeing-your-kid's-grades-go-from-As-to-Cs-over-the-course-of-a-semester kind of a way. A loving, not insidious, eyebrow furrowing.

I was on the roof earlier, and I think it's easier to put things in perspective when I can see the stars. When it's overcast, NYC feels like it's been squirreled away from the rest of the world, leaving all 8 million of us to asphyxiate on a thick fog comprised of our individual problems.

When the clouds part, you still feel a little bit confined, but it's like this scene in Cube, (one of the weirder and more inane/disappointing movies my youngest sister pitched, in our ongoing pursuit for a horror movie that will scare us).

But when it's a night like tonight and you can see all the dippers, and the moon is hanging casually in the sky, grinning like he had gone to town on some Orange Fun Dip...well on nights like tonight, the city is bigger, and everything is far, and nothing seems insurmountable.

Almost nothing is insurmountable, anyway. Because it would appear that the Yankees' inability to patch together a competent rotation may be getting filed in the Insurmountable folder. Or maybe the baseball gods are turning the Mets' age-old pitching misfortunes into a communal New York pool of pitching issues, all are free to wade awkwardly.

So a night after ItHadtoBeYu comes in to pitch all 23,0298 of his pitch aresenal, ItsBadtoBeHughes comes in to put the question to bed about whether the Yankees are comfortable with their rotation, e

Our Wonder Bread. Their Texas Toast. Who Hughes is lucky that Kuroda was in charge of that game. All Hughes had to do was beat a handful of relievers. It was like the identity crisis edition of the pitching matchups. Closers turned starters, relievers turned closers, Starters to relievers to starters. And Hughes couldn't go toe to toe with his own breed of ill-defined hurlers.

To be clear, Hughes looks terrible. Ive always defended him, but I am not confident in his raw stuff anymore. He didn't look like he was having a bad outing. He looked like the kid in Rookie of the Year, who slips on the ball and loses his special powers, and then he just starts staring at his arm with equal parts horror, fear, and relief.

Hughes got the relief part down, anyway. When he was taken out of game in favor of relief, after hitting his 2nd batter of the day.

According to our boy, though, his solution is fairly simple:

Something has to change. I just have to keep working hard. That's all I can do. I feel good with the stuff I'm throwing," Hughes said. "Every outing like this is disappointing. It's tough to deal with, you just hope things get better before they get worse."

Hard work. Good answer. But you should never say "That's all I can do." It basically means, "I'm going to probably disappoint you."

Not even 3 innnings had passed before teh Rangers were up 4-0. Yankees' bats weren't abysmal tonight, especially given that fact they had 8 hits, spanning from top to bottom of the lineup.

Jeter knocks another 2 hits, and I'm happy for him. Grandy, Arod, Chavez, and Martin are all hitless though. Maybe here's where the perspective stuff comes into play, not on the pitchng but on exactly how good or bad is the Yankees' batting order right now?

As I've said before, who the hell am I to presume that Girardi isn't making the right move with certain decisions? What he forgot about baseball, I'll never know.

But I gotta say it, I think the batting order is confusing in terms of the whole maximizing power thing. Kind of like the "grow" computer game.

Wow, actually, a lot like that. Play it, you'll see what I mean.

I mean, maybe we should just bite the bullet and acknowledge that Ibanez is new and all, but we may want to consider moving him up in the order since this is a baseball game and not a Top Ten Cutest Boys in Homeroom list.

Or just go up and ask him how long he plans on hitting bombs when we need them most. If he says, "many more games" then we'll know.

"We need to find a reference that supports a statement saying that applesauce can talk."
"I'm right on top of that Rose!"
"So when do you think you'll find it by?"
I want to meet the people who apparently already know before even starting a search, where in the bajillions of corners of the cyberworld, something is. And their only question is whether to use firefox or explorer, and maybe to see if they can see themselves on Google Earth satellite thing.

So, if you do decide to ask Ibanez what his plans on in terms of consistency, be shrewd about it, coach.
In other productive offense news, there were the Rangers, who scored more runs, but actually only teed off on Hughes with only slightly more gusto than the Yanks handled Feldman over 3 innings.

2 runs on 6 hits. It's okay,. The Rangers beat us and made themselves look like the best team in baseball in doing so. Their batting order was terrifying at every turn. It's true. They looked a lot better than I thought, but I think Hughes was the ugly one in the group who doesn't make the other girls look hotter, as they had hoped, but rather brings down the entire property value of the gang.

And compared to the frightening "are we near the end of the order yet?" mentality accompanying Texas' offense, the Yankees were looking like something different, like something that COULD be scary, but was all discombobulated and hence inefficient/neutered.

Like Saw IV. Probably was scary but I spent all my energy trying to decipher the sequence of events, which were very much out of order.

Speaking of Saw, there's this.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't give Phelps some play for his run hemorrhaging. 3 BB and 3 runs on 5 hits isn't terrible. If it's over 6 innings. But all that AND a pair of long balls over the course of 2IP? He's Hughes Part Deux. Seriously, watch the way he pitches. Even his face sort of resembles NotYu.

Ah, so let's move past this one, because I've actually reached that rare moment when I can't keep my eyes open a single second longer. It's weird when it happens, and there's always a little part of me that's scared my body is going to like sleep so much that it'll do it for 20 straight hours. Or, you know, that I'll have nightmares.

Risk I'm gonna have to take right now though. Thursday we'll see the Good Guys Rangers take the ice in Game 7 at the Garden. That'll be a fun game to watch. If "fun" meant "tortuous" and "watch" meant "face wall/sit under table/lie in the middle of 42nd street/occupy whatever location is deemed "lucky" based on game ebbs/flows."

Yankees back with us on Friday, I'll see you then, for the phenomenal game we got on the docket. Nova v Verlander. (If pitching matchups were recognized in Words with Friends, that one would be a really point-rich move. All those's v's and all.)

Now time for z's.*

*A joke only a mother would love.
†I swear on my PF Flyers that I did not plan that.

April 24, 2012

Well, you gotta roll a 7 eventually.

I think I had this discussion with Dom Scala in 2009, but he said that the team that wins the World Series is the one who goes on the most hot streaks. (I think my initial response was how that's similar to the Isaac Newton principle of the team who scores the most runs wins?) But he said he meant as opposed to a team with the exact same record, but whose wins were scattered.

(In exaggerated terms, the difference between winning the first 50 games, the last 50 games, and losing 62 in between vs winning 2 games, losing 1, winning 2, losing 1, all season.)

It's an interesting idea, I don't know where I stand exactly though. My inclination is as always to defer to the guy who knows way more about it (point: Dom), but if not for that element, I think I like the moderate version more.

Anyways, the Yankees end their mini hot streak by getting shut out from the almighty Yu, who "proved" the Yankees to be mortal after all.

(I never understand why people say that like it's a good thing. "Well at least you know you're human!" If there are questions on the table about whether I'm human or not, I have bigger fish to fry than whatever pecadillo has brought my humanity to my attention. Also, I can't make any real assessment on how much I like knowing I'm human if I've never been a flying squirrel. I'd like to see how the comparator arm measures up first.)

So, the Yankees know they're human which is great. Yu Darvish doesn't, since he struck out 10 batters in one of the most stacked/feared lineups in baseball. Also, since his name is Yu Darvish. That probably doesn't invoke any convincing feelings of, "Yup, everything's normal here!" POOR YU.

So, let's put things in perspective here. And not in a Boston-esque way of "whatever, you suck, who cares if you won, you suck" kind of way. But in a New York-esque "we don't tailgate 24/7 which has perhaps afforded us the time to hone analytical skills" way. Or, more aptly, in a New York-esque "It's impossible to not cultivate some legal reasoning skills when Law & Order tapings are 100% guaranteed to close off your block at least once a month" way.

Regardless, the point is that Yu Darvish may have whiffed 10, but, in addition to not being able to rejoice in the confirmation of his mortality, we must ALSO remember that he didn't render the Yankees hitless. At all.

Sometimes you win a game on 0 hits.  Sometimes you lose a game on 33 hits.

The Yanks put the ball in play. They were on base. They just were never on the important base.

There's a lot of talk about hot Yu is just getting better and better and omg he's going to make everyone's heads explode!! w39ru8pidhakldna'ldnaklcna

That is not possible. He's good, no doubt. Really, really good. But not mystifying. All batters have to do is sit on his pitches. He can be compared to Halladay all day, but the scope of the pitch arsenal is where it ends.

Halladay gets the game better (obviously), but that means he isn't mesmerized by Ks. Tonight his control was excellent, but tonight is an N of 1. People don't change. We are who we are. And control is hard to come by.

So basically, if Darvish doesnt act like a 25 year old and acts like an MLB professional, then he'll throw for ground outs. I suspect in his efforts to bolster his fast ball, this is the problem he'll run into. And worse (for Texas) he's putting his leg in injury/strain territory this way.

But mark my words, the next time he faces the Yankees, he's going to be less Cliff Lee-y and more Josh Beckett-y. (I LOVE the fact I can legitimately use Beckett to connote MEATBALL THROWING DING GIVER UPPER. Life's good, yeah?)

It's like that scene in Monk that I just spent the last half hour fruitlessly searching for on the World Wide Web, in "Mr. Monk Takes the Stand" where he tells Jay Mohr who guest stars as a badass attorney:

Harrison Powell: Do you really want to go up against me again, Former Detective Monk?
Adrian: Yes I do. I'll see you on the ball field.
Harrison Powell: The ball field?
Adrian: I've seen your curveball. I can hit it now.
Harrison Powell: Oh, I'm really looking forward to this.
Adrian: No, you're not.

Love that scene.

So the not-so-stifled Yankees had a good 7 shots. 2 of which came from Old Man River himself. Of course. Another 2 from Cano. Swisher, Ibanez, and Martin chipped in the other 3. And let's not discount the efforts from Kuroda, who I remind the jury that I had insisted would be useless for us. I think the words I used were "he's good to give up at least 4 runs a game."

What is wrong with me? If I didn't loathe pessimism in the fanaticism realm, then I'd just start being a nitpicky debbie downer about the entire team, if this is what happens when I do that. Granderson, now Kuroda. I think this is also what is known as an illusory corrollary. Unlike pessimism, however, I think this has a place, nay, BELONGS in the realm of fanaticism.

2 runs is nothing. A "ham sandwich" as my dad calls as things insignificant. It was enough tough, obviously. I just want to put up some kind of a shield against the Boston yipping. They beat the beastly Twinkies 11-2. I like the Twinks so I will bite my tongue about the level of competition in that game.

Speaking of Minnesota, Joe Nathan uses 1 pitch to close out the game for Texas. Joe Nathan bothered me when he was on the Twins for some reason.

Then when the Yanks swept 'em in the ALDS in 09, they stopped the camera on him for a bit, as he started collecting dirt off the pitcher's mound, and then I felt kind of bad for him.

(Also of note is that whenever his name comes up, my sister will remind me of a text I sent to her about 8 years ago, 3am-ish: "Hi I met a boy who looks goofy and Joe Nathan!" My intended message wasn't much more sensical, which was that I met a boy who looked like a cross between Goofy and Joe Nathan. I don't know why I was so fired up about this hybrid. Seriously.)

That said, I think a Nathan-Goofy minotaur still stir me to fever pitch much more than a game where our opponents were 1-2 with runners in scoring position. Meaning, this isnt a microcosm of anything. It's a pen that runs out of a ink.

Annoying at first, and if you're in a bad mood, it's tempting to be like "Great what ELSE is gonna go wrong!" but really it's just a matter of tossing it out and getting a new one.

Toss out last night because while a loss is a loss, it wasn't really a testament to how Texas is ruling the league.

And if that is the best they can come up with...? Then, yeah, they'll be evenly matched for most of season, until they're overmatched. Easy.

Perspective. And for good measure, a final perspective which is that I don't think there will be too many "Oh they're human after all"s! muttered about the Yankees this season.

April 23, 2012
The other Rangers

There's a gratuitous surplus of videos on the Youtube, of cats watching things. I mean, we get it. Cats' eyes follow objects very devotedly, and it's hilarious because they just keep going back and forth!

That said, I think that's probably what the lot of us looked like tonight, as we tried to find optimal viewing at an Upper East Side, eyes darting back and forth between the big screen on one end (showing the Yankee game) and the high defs on the other end (showing the Ranger game.)

As expected, the NYR game was getting the lion's share of the attention, being Game 6 and all. But this is New York and these are the Yankees, so the importance of a good idea from Fatso still ranks pretty high on our priority lists.

And try as we might, no one could come up with a great parallelism line that captured the whole NYRangers and Texas Rangers and NYYankees playing at the same time thing. Seriously. I've thought about it, and beyond the obvious "LOL! Rangers and rangers!" outbursts, I'm coming up empty.

Which is immaterial really, since THE GOOD GUYS WON ALL AROUND.

The Yankees played EXACTLY the way I like them too. Not 100%, just enough percent to win. I don't care they started giving up runs to the (other) hottest team in baseball right now. I mean, Texas lineup is stacked. It happens.

Tubbo struck out his cost-of-entry-that-sometimes-I-take-for-granted 8 batters, as he took the Yanks through 8 innings, slicing through the lineup like it was a warm meatloaf. 4 runs on 7 hits, 1 BB, 8K (Weirdly, Texas' starter Holland had like the same line numbers as RoundBoy, except they were all in different places. 7 runs, 4 BB, 9 hits, 1K. Ours are better.)

So that was pretty stellar, as was the swift work Mo "I won't seem so old when the next person who asks when I'm retiring gets popped with a 92 mph cutter in his press pass" Rivera did to get the save.

Nice, neat pitching.

Oh yeah, there was some hitting. Speaking of old, Derek Jeter is...well, preposterous, really. He's acting like someone stuck a Game Genie in his back or something. Or, as Arod so awkwardly noted, "It's like he's 25 and it's 1999 all over again!"

(You gotta hand it to Arod, he tries SO. HARD. Like Scott Howard the teen wolf.)

I think Arod's publicist may have told him to try to incorporate as many historical references as possible, to create the illusion that he's a long-time Yankee and not a hired gun. I know I may be in the minority, but I love Arod and to me Arod's a true Yankee. He's the best player in baseball and he plays like it. That's Yankee stuff.

But then there's THE true Yankee. The Game Genie. The Power Glove kid.

After a 4 hit game this weekend, Jeter follows it up with another one. 4 for 5, with a ribbie and 2 runs. Alright, I don't understand something though.

Every single discussion of this scorching streak Jeter's been on, has been couched in a bigger discussion of his age. It's always stuff like "playing like he's 25" or "the 37 year old has just hit his 4th hit of the game."

But I would think that if any player was playing the way Jeter is right now, it'd be ridiculous. So, I get it, 37 is so old that he still remembers when phone numbers on TV had letters in them. But he's clearly not THAT old or he wouldn't be playing like this.

If he were legitimately over the hill, he'd play like it. So by that logic, we can assume that he's not old, and hence we should look at his performance as impressive in it of itself, without using his age as a barometer for exactly HOW impressive it is.

Speaking of 25 year olds, Holland is overfeated against the Yankees. None wins. With a 9 point bajillion ERA, and he just signed like a 30 million dollar 5-year extension this year. So what does Coach Ron have to say about this young star?

"He's very consistent."

Yeah. I guess. That's one way of looking at it. (See, shit like that scares me, because you hear it now to mute a bad outing for a young pitcher, but I bet you my feet that soon you're going to be hearing that from other--more influential--people who have been screwing up repeatedly. They're not "screwing up." They're being "consistent.")

Although not as desirably "consistent" as Holland, Arod did pull a 3-run ding out. It's not just that the Yankees are hitting so well, it's the WAY they're hitting. How they look at the plate, the pitches they're swinging at and not swinging at. They look markedly different as a whole from last year, even without looking at the numbers, and just looking at their plate presence.

It's fascinating, and I'm into it, and I'm dying to know what a Kevin Long session is like. I want it to be like a college art class, where everyone's painting at their respective easels and Kevin Long is gracefully weaving in and out of the players nodding and giving encouragement and every so often pausing and thinking for a bit, before imparting some pithy, dramatic critique of the work.

I'm sure it's pretty much exactly like it is in my head. Like 0% of everything ever.

The Socks also scrounged together a win, and if there's a Yankee fan in the world who doesn't think the game on Sunday was cancelled not because of the weather but in an effort to cut their losses and avoid having to show their faces again to their legendary predecessors, then I don't know who that Yankee fan is.

Keep it up, Yankees. Like Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act. But a habit."

April 21, 2012

How can I beat thee? Let me count the ways?
I’ll beat thee to the depth and breadth and height,
The green monster can reach, try to put up a fight.
For the ends of the season and pennant races.
I’ll beat thee in a pitching duel of both our aces,
Is it Beckett? Or Buckholz? (It's hard to get it right),
I’ll beat thee in a slugfest, go yard through the night,
I’ll beat thee in a comeback, just to see Fenway’s faces.
I’ll beat thee with passion put to use,
Our historical franchise knows a million ways to win,
I’ll beat thee with variety, pick a way you’d like to lose.
A blowout, a rally, oh where do we begin!
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and if you choose,
I shall but beat thee better when we play in Boston.

-CYC adaptation of a famous poem by a woman who's probably angry at me for sullying her wor
k postmortem, but it doesn't matter because if she was a Yankee fan she'd understand, but I have it in my head that she was from Boston for some reason, so HA!

So, that happened.

I don't know where to begin.

I'll start at the beginning and when I get to the end, I'll stop.

Let the record show my intentions for coherence were noble.

I went to watch the game at the usual spot and was planning on pulling up a corner to live blog from a computer (as opposed to a microwave? I don't know what I'm saying sometimes). But then I remembered that the Ranger game was on afterwards, soo... I was pretty confident that if I brought a laptop to Dorrians that after about 5 hours of day time drinking, said computer would be being used as a frisbee or a hat or something. Or, most likely, a drunk chick would have tried to use it as a shoe, because for some reason, there's always at least 3 girls who manage to leave one of their shoes at the bar.

So I improvised, took notes during the game, which, upon reviewing right now, make it clear that I am not exactly earmarked for Sports Writer Hall of Fame admission:

My penmanship is usually better. Sort of.

Yeah, so these are good notes.

So here's what happened, not that I can really get my head around it.

The Yankees are losing by a million and everyone is just thrilled about this. Everyone who isn't a Yankee fan. Because they're all ready to slap us for all the mocking we did yesterday, about ruining their stupid anniversary party, etc etc.

So with every score, and there were quite a few of them, it got more and more depressing. And as much as you try to be the ever optimistic fan, as soon as you start moving into the territory where you're counting how many grandslams you need to be back in the game, then it's bad.

And we needed more than 2 grandslams to be back in the game.

And we had only mustered up about a fraction of a hit against this Felix Somethingsomethingsomethingfrenchromancesounding guy. I felt like the coach in the movie Lady Bugs: (the bad guy coach) :

What the hell, where did this guy come from? And why the hell were the Yankees swinging at pitches 6 feet off the ground?

In the words of the Geico commercial about the marriage that was built to last but the house that was built too small:

"This is NOT awesome."

Garcia is confused about a lot of things, most of which stem from the idea of not having to throw the ball right down the middle if youre not throwing it 8,102 feet outside of the batter's box. Middle ground, son. Middle ground. We get it. You had that one wild game. But stop pitching like a little league starter. Whose only task is to "play catch with the catcher. Put the ball down the plate."

Speaking of, I don't want to forget about this so I'll get it out of the way now: Philip Humber. Congratulations!! Amazing! That last AB was erxcrutiating through. 3-2 count. Seriously, I like to think that if I was Brendan Ryan that I'd swing at anything in that situation. An April game? Perfect game on the line? 4-0? Yeah, I definitely would have swung just to get the hell out of the game, the tension and awkwardness was maddening.

But I guess you had to know that after what happened last year, that the ump was going to find a way to give Humber that perfecto, dammit. And that he did. It was a shitty call, I GUESS, but not really.


Honestly, what did Ryan think the ump was going to do there? Really.

Declase, dude. Luckily for Ryan, that wasn't the most ridiculous thing I saw tonight.

And for Yankee fans, it wasn't the only perfect game we saw tonight, either.

So the Yank game switched to the perfecto when the Yanks were losing 9-1. No one argued about this change. Humber cries, everyone in the bar claps, the Yank game comes back on.

Everyone in the bar "What?!"s.

9-5 in the 7th.

But then there was that feeling of "They love to do this, make a run for it in the last inning, and end up losing 9-7 or something after getting our hopes up."

But this was Boston. No ordinary game.

We didn't strike first, but we showed no mercy.
And the runs kept coming. When they were down, I did my best at being optimistic, but even I couldn't purport to say don't worry we got this! All I could come up with this.

When all was said and done, that's actually kind of what it felt like, particularly when I saw they had batted around the order. What a mess for the Socks! First the Bruins now this. How much worse can you lose, on your big party weekend? To the Yankees?

This was, to be clear, not the greatest defensive showing I've seen from a professional baseball team.

As Lauren described it, "The infielders are acting like Dad when the phone rings. He's within 2 feet of it, and technically he could get to it if he wanted to, but instead he just yells PHONE! and hopes for the best."
Yep, exactly. They were letting grounders go to the outfield as if the were doing pre-game drills in the spring training or something.

Before the whole insane rally thing came to fruition, my favorite moment of the game (and by "favorite" I mean hilariously bewildering) was when they show the price of gas before and after Jeter...and the Dow before and after Jeter.

I get that it was a commentary on his ripe old age of 37 and all, but because it was Jeter it just came across as Jeter being the nucleus of the world. Which, maybe he is for all I know, he keeps playing like this and the evidence will really start to be piling up in his favor.

I'm about to go back out and celebrate the Yankees and forget about the Rangers, but I think this is a pretty good assessment of how most of us NYY fans are feeling right now:

And in conclusion, here's another ridiculous snapshot of my journalistic prowess:
translation: this is why Boston can't have nice things.


Man, I'd hate to be from Boston.

"I have just returned from Boston. It is the only thing to do if you find yourself up there." Fred Allen

April 20, 2012
Fenway is making a huge deal about their 100th anniversary. Which makes sense because, you know, 100 is old, and sometimes it's nice to celebrate history. Other times it's nice to get with the f'n times and recognize that obstructed views, seats built for asses no bigger than a pizza bagel, and structural integrity akin to a 90-year old wooden roller coaster are not necessarily hallmarks of classic Americana so much as they're antiquated sources of aggravation.

But, no it's cool, Fenway. Stick to your guns. (Honestly, I think it's kind of hilarious that their big centennial bash is so close to Jackie Robinson Day. Every year, they kind of murmur and stammer their way through #42 day, sometimes evening taking a stab at making a "Black People in Red Sox History" montage. I think the finance department was like, "Ok, we went 5 million UNDER budget last weekend. Again. Can we just find SOMETHING to spend this on?")

So they started with the old school uniforms.

Sigh. I may be alone on this, but they look like soux chef costumes. They do NOT bring to mind the good old days of Highlanders. The logo isn't warped looking enough. It's too skinny. And too new looking. And what the hell, WHY DO THE YANKEES HAVE TO DEVIATE FROM THEIR UNIFORMS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TEAM HISTORY BECAUSE BOSTON SAYS SO?

I mean, when I was in 6th grade, I had an alien sleepover party where everyone had to come dressed as an Alien, and we watched the Sigourney Weaver movie (I did, anyway, none of the other 11 year old girls were into it). But I KNOW if there was a historical chick in my class who told me that her legendary family had never worn an alien costume in their entire geneological span, I wouldn't have pushed some pipe cleaner antennaes her way and said, "Suit up, princess. Shit's about to get weird."

I really wouldn't have.

But fine, we dress up in the ridiculous get up even though we weren't even the Yankees on April 20, 1912. Maybe Boston was just trying to recreate the day to the exact tee, in the hopes of getting a win out it. (This has Bobby V written all over it.)

Unlike 100 years ago though, the "Highlanders" won. And it was a quick one, comparatively. Sorry, Boston. (I'm not even really sorry.)

I caught this one from work, but my job is awesome and there's a beer cart that rolls around every Friday at 3, and a plasma tv and tables and chairs so actual work can still be done. And only 2 Red Sock fans in the entire company. Both of which are like the equivalent of bumble bees in the sense that they won't sting unless seriously provoked, but I tend to forget that they're harmless because bees as a whole absolutely terrify me.

Things that aren't terrifying=The Boston Red Socks.

So yeah, the game. Nova vs Cheekbones.

Nova has now won 15 straight starts. I used to be kinda baffled by how he hasn't been getting Ken from Jeopardy treatment. But now that I think about it, I'm thrilled that he's flying under the media hype radar. I feel like one of those annoying New Yorkers who go out of their way to comment on Zagats or Yelp about how such-and-such restaurant is "their spot" and they're soooo worried that once people find it, it'll lose its coziness and they'll be crowded out of their own neighbor when THEY were going their first, dammit.

(I'm always amazed at how many people in the world write reviews. And how much importance is assigned to them. It's food, not an MRI. You could probably get away with coming to your own opinion on it and still be safe.)

So Nova (No One) was dealing today. As usual (or...for the very first time. Just in case Sports Illustrated starts getting any ideas about the pitcher du jour to screw over.) 2 runs, 7 hits, 5Ks, no walks in 6 innings.

The real story though (sorry, Fenway) was the Yankee bat action. Probably around a million solo shots were hit. I was gonna say "from the most random sources" but Arod is listed among those who took Boston deep, and Arod going yard in Fenway isn't random. It's poetic.

Dustin "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over all the error-making" Pedroia let on base in the 1st when he dropped a pop up. Wild pitch puts Jeter on 2nd. Arod's single brings him in. More scoring TK.

Swish and Chavez homer in the 2nd. (I love how this game will go in history books because its the centennial etc etc, and years from now kids'll be reading this thinking that these were the players that defined baseball in this era. Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez.)

David "Yeah, I'm not quitting steroids" Ortiz homers and the crowd goes WILD! YEAH! 3-1 game and take that New York! You can't hold Papi down, he OWNS your asses.


Chavez homers again in the 4th. As if to invalidate the significance of Ortiz's homerun. "See? Means nothing. Grow up, Fenway."

Then Arod throws his hat in the ring in the 5th.

As if to say, "Well, why the hell not. It's a day game. I'm Arod. I got 2 options. The ball hits the bat. Or the ball hits me."

Boston makes a real run though in the 5th when 2 of their great franchise players "step up" to set an example for the team:

The Red Sox made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Cody Ross doubled and Mike Aviles was credited with a double when right fielder Swisher lost his fly ball in the sun.

That was the end of the scoring for the Socks.

Not the Yanks though. Russell Martin goes deep in the 6th.

As if to say, "NOW I'M HAVING FUN."

Annnd we are finished with the plating of the runners conversation.

But, like I always think whenever we play the Socks:

And also:

So here's some other things to think about:

All the big Socks of the past came by the old stomping grounds. Even Francona. And I gotta say, I've always actually liked the guy (he got it, you know? He just did the right thing, in the game anyway, I don't care what he did or didn't do allegedly off the field). It must be so hard to come to these things. Like having Shannon Doherty come to a reunion episode of 90210 or something. How awkward must that be? And maybe in the first time in Fenway's 100 year old life span, the actually lived up to their idiotic moniker of "Fenway Faithfuls." They cheered loudly and aggressively.

It could just be that Tito is a character foil now to the less than loved Valentine. Actually that's probably it. Valentine is the reason they're losing. If only Tito were there, then everything would be different, right? Ah, who cares. It's Boston. But I do admire how the guy has handled himself post-firing. So far, no tell-alls throwing his players under the bus, leveraging his "family" to cast shadows on the evil brass.

Alright, so Tito isn't the devil, so noted. He's not God either though, so my time is better spent on the pathetic mess that populates the home team's dugout.

The Socks have been outscore 31-8 during their 4 game losing streak.

Cheekbones is pitching about as remarkably as a high school junior. He can get the ball over the plate (as evidenced by the repeated instances of the ball going out of the park) but his flair for off-speed pitching and general AB strategy isn't just a matter of having bad outings so much as being a matter of nonexistent. The jury is still out on whether he's even an actual human, and not just some creepy robotic brainchild from Japan.

This would explain what Dice-K's been working on during his $50 bajillion tenure in Boston, since we're all still waiting patiently for that gyro-ball blockbuster to make its way into the scene.

Tomorrow we got Freddy "Crapshoot" Garcia goes up against someone named Felix Doubront, who I'm assuming the Socks optioned right after Felix put down his feather pen and announced he was going to leave the Baroque era for good. Scouting reports say he has a deceptive fast ball.

That's new. And an unusual delivery. That's like Boston's "thing," I guess. Unusual delivery. Do they even wait to see where the pitch goes before signing these people? I put the O/U at 3 years before Rick Barry starts being the NESN fan-of-choice to hover cameras on.

So that's where we're at. Oh, and this:

Poor Crazy Yankee Fish has been swimming around a dead fish carcass all day since I was too incapacitated with that eye thing that I always get, to properly address anything other than regaining my vision. Busy morning in 9F.


AND LASTLY, tomorrow I'm live blogging. From Dorrian's. Which is a decision that sounds like "What could possibly go wrong?" should be added to the end of it, as if to punctuate the assurance that, indeed, tomorrow's going to be like giving monkeys keys to an amusement park.

Bring on the bananas, boys.

April 19, 2012
This was the way things were APOSED [sic] to work out on Wednesday.

It was like the Goofus and Gallant versions of the game. (Look at that nice tie in to the fact they were playing THE TWINS.)

i cant really focus on this recap too much though. We all watching it though, yeah? Grandy 5 hits, 3 homeruns. Mo got save. Yankees split series.

My brevity here just means that your Yanks-Sox recap coming up immediately following this game will be that much more aggressive.

April 18, 2012
Alright, so the past 8 hours have been all sorts of wrong.

It started (I think) when I got home from work and ate dinner.

(That's as far back as I'm going to retrace my steps, for simplicity purposes. But along the same lines, I have always been curious about the concept of making something from "scratch." When you say that, how organic do you need to be? Like if you make pizza from scratch, does that mean you have to had grown the tomatos to make the sauce? Or does it mean you just can't have ordered a pie..? I'm so nervous about ever saying I made anything from scratch for fear of someone asking me these types of questions.)

So I get home and eat dinner. And surround myself with multiple media apparati so that I can do work while having an eye and/or eat on both the Yankee game and the Rangers (of the NY persuasion) games. This in it of itself was difficult, since a) I'm distracted by dust basically and b) both my vision and my hearing are horrendous so relying on them to independently function is a tall order.

But I was giving it the old college try, and then I started to feel the dreaded pangs of my mysterious allergy rearing its ugly (and masked) head. I ate china food, by the way. For the House diagnosticians reading this. Anyways, it was an odd manifestation of the allergy since I didn't get bowling ball bumps on my eyelids and lips as I normally do. But I got crazy itchy in my palms and feet and head.

Which was annoying, at worst, really.

It was my throat started swelling that I "lost time." Ugh, obviously I'm okay now, but it was a nightmare. I literally couldn't breathe and for some reason

I didn't grab the epipen (mostly because I'm not entirely sure what the parameters for usage it. Kinda like when I got trapped in an elevator for almost 2 hours last year, and when they finally got me out, they asked why I never sounded the emergency button, and I said I didn't think being in a elevator consistuted a real emergency. Everything's relative.)

Bleaaah I'm getting chills just thinking it. It was like I wasn't even there. Or me. (Benadryl was the Chevy Player of the Game, btw.) When my hands just started itching and getting swollen, I was still cognizant of the games but within a half hour, I felt like I was in one of those movie scenes that take place in a club, and you get the drunk person's perspective of everything. Shaky and wavy and disoriented and spinning.

And speaking of medicine, Ima have to pick this up when I wake up because I feel like I'm being even more incoherent than usual and I'm officially nodding off and having to erase whatever gibberish I see that I wrote, upon snapping awake.

Til then...

Ok, I'm awake, albeit still groggy. Wish I couldve stayed awake to do it. It was such a weird slice of time that I wished I could have captured it in real time.

In retrospect this makes sense to me. But I think that would be the tipping point in my insanity case, if someone turned on the computer and googled Yankees and got a feed of me doing a live video blog analysis of the game, while smack in the middle of going into anaphylactic shock.

("Well, I've said it before, Suzyn. You just can't predict respiratory arrest!")

There is one thing about the anaphylactic stuff that came with the handful of other times its happened to me. And that's "an impending sense of doom."

(I love how this is like a clinically recognized boileplate symptom. I mean, there are special names for people whose pee smells like maple syrup, but they haven't landed on a name for "an imepdning sense of doom." Which just is wildly ironic since I can't hear that line without having an impending sense of not doom so much as of being an extra in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or soemthing.)

I think I had doom because I had zero idea what was going on. The Rangers were all over the place and losing their lead. The Yanks never even HAD a lead. And all of this is couched in the panic that was setting in when I realized my throat was closing up.

It sucked though, because even after the medicine kicked in and oxygen had replaced doom, it was just kind of unsettling and isolating. Like you just got date raped by beef Lo Mein.

And I as poured myself onto the couch and tried to not skip a beat with the games, I became more anxious about the games than the solitude. 

Nothing made sense. Even when the game started, it was weirding me out. 4-0 within the first nanosecond of the game?  The M&M bros did work. If they remade a boy version of a Black Swan, it would be M&M to represent all that is light and pure, and then McGuire and Canseco will star opposite, all that is sinister and corrupt. BALL-et, get it?

But then the Yankees acted like they were being tasked with pulling 4 blocks out of a Jenga tower rather tasked with finding 4 runners to cross home. Because they just shrugged and answered in the bottom of 1st with a 3-run single from Swisher.

The Twins tacked on another run off Burrough's single, and Gardenhire is so happy because he is one of those managers who's so obviously a card-carrying memeber of the We're-So-F'n-Annoyed-The Yankees-Are-So-Good sect. The poor Twinks are like these blokes. And the Yankees are this (in the minds of teh scrappy good hearted midwesterner Twinkies, anyway.)

The Yanks at home are 34-9 against the boys from Minny. Despite the Yanks best efforts to demoralize them for the millionth time (the 35th), the Twinks staved off what looked to be an inevitable walk off.

The Yanks never had the lead though, and the box score really makes it look like there should be a lot more runs than there are. Combined 24 hits. Both starters only went to 5/6 innings, before being pulled from the game to hand it over to the pen.

Huroda gave up a tons of hits. But he had a really excuse, according to Girardi: his sinker was showing no sign of sink, on account of him not getting any sleep last night. Oh! Okay then! If I had known this was allowed to absolve you of mistakes at work, I'd sleep even less than I already do.

"Oohh, sorry I presented an idea for an ad, tha looks like something you'd draw with your left hand. I just didn't at all last night beause the Yankees have their west coast series now so I didn't sleep at all."

But today, the Twinks were homecoming queens, they bested the A Team.

Did we see it coming? Normally, I'd say no. How can you possibly think the Yanks are going to do anything other than win, after Jeter comes in a rocks one out of the park to bring the Yanks within 1 run? Against their favorite team to do walk-off stuff against, no less.

Also, it didn't help that the EXACT same time this was going down was when the NYR were just getting started with OT. Losing a 2-0 lead, letting the Senators tie the series at 2-2.

Doom-allergy-doom-NYY lose-NYR lose-gloom.

Twins manager line of the game: "I think [Morneau] and [Mauer] would like to move these fences to our ballpark back home. This is a good-hitting ballpark. To see the smile on his face and see him rooting for his teammates, that's big. That's why you manage."

Do these thoughts necessarily go together? Also, what kind of teammate roots AGAINST his fellow teammates? I think Gardenhire may be setting his bar a little low.

GGBG got hurt on his acrobat catch 2 nights ago, which sucks.

Sterling, you may remember, botched the Yanks' first win-warble. That wasnt an auspicious start to the season, but we shrugged it off. Two nights ago, he sounded downright tearful. Last night, this was basically what Yankee fans heard in the bottom of the 9th, hopeful as Jeter had swung the momentum our way, Tex is the tying run at the plate:

"Here's the pitch...and he..DRIVES ONE to left field, it's going back! That's a hard hit..BACK, BACK..and uh, gone?! Oh. No, it's in foul territory. OH, no it's fair! Ohhhh, it was caught. So..ball game over, then."

I swear I'm not kidding.

That's all I got. Apologies for the density of the post. The good news is that I actually have a very palpable sense of impending greatness for tonight. Seriously. Whatever the opposite of gloom is. It's going to drench the evening in victories across the board.

(Well, victories for the Yankees, softball team, and Ohyob. I should have been more specific, since it's only 50% across the board. 50% will lose across the board.)

April 17, 2012

Fatso is gold. It's crazy how people will try to make him out to be a regular fat person with regular fat person problems. But he's less like this guy and more like this guy.

Minnesota Fats. Like he's playing the violin. Such a badass.

And look how well it works out that they were PLAYING Minnesota. Perfect circle of life and fat.

So, yeah, people love to say that is too obese to be a dominant athlete etc, and that he's "notoriously slow" off the block. But I think David Wells really put it best when he was up against the same kind of criticism:

"You don't RUN the ball to the plate."

Amen, brother. It's bad enough I have to listen to the entire universe gasp at my ambivalence to ever seeing Shawshank Redemption. But coupled with the same confused judgement from people who "run"... well, it's a brutal rat race out there. (Would be kind of funny, kind of galatically stupid to try to expand "racism"'s definition to include "the bias against people who think running is weird, unless it's for the purposes of catching a train or avoiding assault. No, let's not do that.)

More commentary from David Wells about the ongoing cholesterol problem in this country and why it's apparently just a conspiracy theory:

“[Sabathia] is a role model for big guys. He’s athletic. He gives hope for other guys who struggle to lose some pounds. He shows you don’t have to lose that much. As long you pitch well and can shut them up, you can be as big as you want."

David Wells confirms it. Big is beautiful. How very Oprah of him.

Round Boy gets into a 3-1 hole and then the booth is all a tither about reminding us how CC, in fact, is a SLOW..STARTER...record in April sucks, etc, gets better as season goes on. I feel like this "notorious" idiosyncrasy must be pretty common, yeah?

What's the available data look like on the number of plays who are scorching in April and then flatline for the lion's share of the regular season? No one wins his first game of beer pong.

After getting himself in this nearly insurmountable deficit, he goes on to pitch over 7 innings. 4 hits, 3 runs, 7Ks, 1 BB. Whatever, NBD. He's unbelievable.

(Apparently, he attributes the huge 180 he did after he let up a staggering 3 Larry Rothschild telling him to "throw more over the top." This will never, ever cease to amaze me.

Unless I was some kind of sociopath, I don't think I could bring myself to advise all-stars on how they could be better. Like how do these people exist, people who can look at someone like A-rod's swing and be like, "hmm, it's wrong."

And how are there people who exist who are okay with being the man behind the man behind the man? I feel like it's a Dustin Hoffman in "Hero" situation. He wants the reward money and not the credit for saving all those lives.

But at some point, aren't you watching the fruits of your labor get all the glory, and you're thinking, he couldn't have done that without me. I'm the real mitochondria of team, not him.)

Or maybe they go the Michael Scott route

"Dwight gave a great speech. That's the word on the street, anyway. And I entertained Dwight to no end with my bar stories - so I captivated the guy who captivated a thousand guys. Can you believe that? a thousand guys."

Anyways, so there's that. Also, there's this absolutely amazing slice of pinstriped pie. I love postgame interviews with rookies, before they're polished like a semi-precious stone in a rock tumbler. (A rock tumbler was my headlining Christmas present wish one year. I was really into science, stickers, and Mr. Wizard. And Staples. I had to beat the guys off with a stick.)

So back to our back-up catcher, Chris Stewart. Who spent a stunningly beautiful evening under the airy gaze of stadium lights by going 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. What a nice story. He's bounced around from Chicago to NY to the minors, and he just turned 30 and has a game like this, where his 2-run single on an 0-2 count, put the Yanks up 4-3.

That's not even the best part. Here's what he had to say about it:

"Not only one of my best nights, but it was in Yankee Stadium of all places, and I'm wearing pinstripes. It's awesome. Definitely one I'm not going to forget."
I love him. Chris Stewart, you're dynamite. And excitable. Which is one of my favorite things in the world. (Not actual dynamite. Excitability.)

Liriano had another crap outting, so I guess there's another guy we can add to the "notoriously slow in April" list, huh. He said something that I'm was interpretted as rude and grouchy, but I liked it.

A Clockwork CYC
(Basically talked about how there's nothing wrong with him, no health issues, no injuries. He just didn't pitch well and the Yankees are good. I like it. He got the first part of Rule #76 right. And the Yankees got the second part of it right, Symmetry!)

And in hilarious Twins manager moves, Gardenhire apparently made a catch so acrobatically divine that it was nonexistent. Who proof reads this stuff? I mean, I'll be the first to admit that my posts sometimes read like a page torn out of a Clockwork Orange, with a level of clarity that makes Anthony Burgess sound like Hemmingway.

HOWEVAH, I don't write for the news wire.

Who credited the Twins bizarro manager with the dazzler web gem from GGBG.

 I tried to entertain the idea that maybe Fatso was imagining things, like in cartoons when the wolf sees every thing walking around as a drumstick or something.

But no, it was just the best play of the game being credited to a guy whose take on the game involved what I imagine Keanu Reeves' audition monologues to go like.

"It's a kid's game and you've got to play it like a kid, and you can't put too much pressure on yourself. The weight of the world is not on your shoulder."

Then something that sounded like what I imagine Samuel L. Jackson's audition pieces go like:

"I said my piece and I got dejected, and then ejected."

You got dejected? Really? Or did you just accidentally say "dejected" when you meant "ejected"? It's ok. Fortunately for me, it's hilarious either way.

Speaking of saying one's piece...I have barely touched upon the bat action. (I'm not even going to dignify myself with a pause there.)

The Yanks are looking good from an offensive perspective. Putting runners on base in a nice variety of ways. Going old school style with the occasional long ball. Promising production from people who you assume will be as influential as Melba Toast, but who have been earning their paycheck.

And you know what else is great? The extremely noticeable improvement in patience at the plate from players who insisted on tossing their skee balls at the miniscule 100 point corner circle, instead of taking it nice and slow, and just trying to get on base by patiently tossing at the easy middle circles.

Jeter, Swish were culprits. Thank you, Kevin Long for your Merlin-like wizardry you've imparted as their batting coach, Andruw Jones cheerfully went 5 for 2 with a homerun.

Our run productiion came off the bats of Jeter, GGBG, Nunez, Jones, and Stewart. A real murderer's row of store-bought talent and overpriced beezlebubs.

Actually, everyone on the Yanks got at least 1 hit today. Except A-Rod, because no one wants to be the one to say that he's not a clean-up hitter. I understand the reticence. When Torre moved him to the 8-spot against the Tigers in the ALDS a few years ago, he may as well have been that Dad with the viral video to punish his wiley daughter.

I DID think it was kind of over the top, the whole 8 spot thing. But maybe we should just use him for the 3 spot, put a different 0-fer hitter in the 4 hole. (More early season slow-to-starters, I guess. Pretty soon it's gonna have more people in it than a Community Service Club high school yearbook photo.)

Willingham, however, is doing what the 4-bat is supposed to be doing. Big shots. He's been on an 11-game winning streak, and chipped in a 400+ foot shot over the center field wall. Flew one into left field where GGBG made a tumbling, sliding, graeless stab at the ball, and caught it.

It was like the catch that Manny Ramirez was also unsuccessfully trying to pull off. Actualy I don't think he was "trying" much of anything (beyond estrogen pills or whatever he was taking).

(You know who else was "trying unsuccessfully" today? Boston. Lost 18-3 against the Rangers. Bobby Valentine, man. If I was Dan Shaunessy, I'd be all over trying to will BV into becoming some kind of Hoosiers-meets-Bad New Bears kind of human interest piece. I'm very comfortable with BV's solid footing in the not-cool-enough-to-be-Ozzie-not-intellectual-enough-to-be-Madden managerial purgatory.)

Alright, it's 4:15, and I'm starting to get to that point where delirium starts to become full on dozing off, and "kind of weird" rhetoric morphs into 17 rows of uninterrupted Hs or something.

Great game, Yankees. Although it may be have been eclipsed somewhat by the surplus of low scoring games and free baseball, this still was my favorite game. And of course, it was also the one game I couldn't see ("blackout restrictions apply" informs MLB At Bat app).

Semantics. My sister will tell you that when we're watching a big game together, I'd get too nervous to watch, so I'd stick my face in a couch pillow. But then I could still hear the faint sounds of cheers on the streets of NY, so I'd still be able to figure out what was going on in the game, even with my face in a pillow.

So I'd mute the tv and cover my eyes, and banish my sister to the bathroom. We'd sit in my apartment, total silence, not watching. Soo clearly the main features and benefits of a tv are lost on me, anyway.

Keep it up, Yanks. Do good things.

April 16, 2012
God, I'm exhausted. Somehow, trying to rest when you're sick seems to make you even more lethargic. Rough few days, bouncing back tomorrow. Even though I work in healthcare, I still think "mind over matter" is applicable to 100% of problems.

Evidence would suggest otherwise though, given that if it were in fact true, then Carl "I'm Just Gonna Go Throw Up Real Quick" Pavano wouldn't have stymied the Yanks and held them to 3 runs.

  • The best part about this game was listening to Yankee Stadium react to the guy. I'm not a HUGE fan of the booing as a rule (unless it's: Schilling, Beckett, Manny, Ortiz, and a handful of other randos who have denounced the Yankees at one time or another), but Carl Pavano being boo-worthy is hilariou to me. I don't think I'd boo but only for the same reason I can't in good conscious boo the Pats. Look at them. They're not worthy of vitriol, they deserved snickers. The laugh. Not the proper noun candy. I can't speak to whether or not they deserve food.

  • But Yankee fans were giddy when he gave up back to back bombs to Jeter and Grandy, to start the bottom of the 1st. Then they were angry when no one could touch him for the rest of the game. Rightfully so. He's Carl Pavano. He's a textbook douchebag. I changed my mind. I'd boo him.

  • By the way, this is probably the weirdest sentence I've read in sports coverage in 2012: 

"Jeter learned earlier Monday that he was being given an honorary doctorate from Siena, a college in Loudonville, N.Y., then homered -- his third -- leading off." 

Thank you, ESPN. Does one have to do with the other? I mean, the way it's written suggests that Jeter was so excited about getting this degree that he went right out and celebrated by taking Pavano deep.

This could have been the method du jour of divorcing Jeter from any kind of player-to-player ill will rumors. Like, the rest of the stadium is allowed to have their vile towards Pavano highlighted. But Jeter's not like the other SSs. He's a COOL one.

(Today I learned  I was winning an award for building a dream catcher out of popsicle sticks, a popular craft making project that involves yarn, then I ate a pineapple--skin and all--to start the afternoon.*)

  • So yeah, it looked like we were cruising towards another classic slice and dice of the Twinks in Yankee Stadium, while Minny fans everywhere (probably mostly concentrated in Minnesota though) were just praying with every fiber of their being that it wouldn't end in a walk off.

(Like in high school when we'd be playing Riverdale and our basketball captain's locker room talk was "We're not gonna win this. Let's just not embarrass ourselves." Which was fair given we were up against this girl.)

  • While we never ever beat Riverdale in basketball, the Twinks didn't just not get walked-off on, but they actually beat us at home. With Pavano pitching. The Yanks' 3-run 1st inning was it for us. The Twinks scored and scored some more, and I'm pretty sure Gardenhire somewhere is bawling like a baby, with tears of joy, in some kind of Mr. Holland's Opus-esque deux ex machina.

  • For the hell of it, one of my favorite Twins quotes ever: 
"That (Mariano) Rivera guy, we don't need to face him anymore. He needs to pitch at a higher level, ban him from baseball. He should be illegal."
- Twins Manager Tom Kelly, April 28, 1996

  • Twins managers are hilarious. Seriously, like they should be characters that my movie "Ladybugs" or something.

  • Freddy Garcia walked 0 batters today. He also gave up 9 hits and 5 runs and everyone booed when he was pulled. Easy, fans. I don't think you should boo a player unless they did something pointedly bad. Like at Garcia was clearly trying to fix what he did wrong in the last game. Now he just needs to do both at the same time. Like playing the piano with both hands.

  • Eh, Garcia's just a placeholder. You know the powers that be are chomping at the bit to get Pettitte on the mound. He threw a good game in High-A Tampa, 4 shutout innings, and they're acting like he pitched a perfect game in the playoffs.

  • Coincidentally enough, Roger Clemens trial is starting up again. Wonder if that had anything to do with the unexpected urge to play ball again.

  • The M&M boys (pause?) are looking like the fantasy players every manager envisions them to be. They're like Mario and Luigi in any Nintendo game where you have to choose your players. Theoretically, the 2 linchpins of the Nintendo franchise should be the best choices. But they rarely are. Toad/Princess/Bowser always get the nod over M & L. But maybe this is Morneau and Mauer's year to be a great storyline.

  • I mean, just look at what Gardenhire had to say about it: "Morny is enjoying the game of baseball."
So much love, and yet also so much information.

Anyways, so all in all it wasn't the worst showing. I mean, the Yanks are hitting the ball. And our relievers are doing well. It's just we seem to have a wild card on the field during our losses, you know? Phil Hughes has bananas game. Garcia. Nunez. Not to say that one person is losing the game every time, but not too far from that, actually. A not-so-fun murder mystery party on the field.

"Here's the Toyota Text Poll, who do you think is today's murderer: Text your answers to 58772. Standard text messaging rates may apply."

Bedtime for Bonzo. My head is spinning after the 2nd night in a row of being unable to sleep.

Goodnight, moon!

*Didn't really happen. To be clear. 

April 15, 2012
So I know I promised this would be up in a more timely manner, but last night produced extenuating circumstances. I can probably count on 1 hand the number of times I've called in sick in my life, and up until today I never called in sick on a Monday. You know when you're in so much pain that it actually hurts to breathe? That, like, even trying to look at a computer screen makes your eyes tear? And the simple act of thinking makes you feel sick?

Ah, the recap must go on though. Though I preface it with saying it'll be a quick one, unfortunately.

Game notes:

  • When did Jeter become such a beast at the plate? Not that he's been one of the flying-under-the-radar types or anything. But if I had to rank players in terms of how much I think there's a possibility of going yard during their AB, Jeter would definitely be in the bottom 3 of that list. He wasn't swinging like a base hitter though. He was swinging better than that.

  • Ibanez hit another homerun. He's great. Such a weirdo. Like how do you think those clubhouse interactions with him are like? I bet he's like Creed on the Office. You never know what you're gonna get out of him, and you're not really sure how he came to be your coworker, but you're ok with it as long as you don't have to go out and sing karaoke with him all night.

  • Poo Hole did something kinda good, and does it make me a bad person that I'm secretly happy that he's filed in the ranks with Arod as Players Who Have to Score 17 Runs in One Swing At Every At Bat If They Want to Even Remotely Justify Their Paycheck? He went 1 for 5 with a ribbie that cut the gap to 8-5, but that was all he did. Watch out, Albert. Anecdotal evidence suggests that high salaries are a scarlet letter.

  • Speaking of 8-5 gap, on a scale of 1 to 11, I was a 6.5 in terms of how much I really thought the Yanks were going to blow their cushy lead. On a scale of 1 to 11, I was an 8.5 in terms of how annoyed I was at the non-baseball fan types that were texting me to ask if I thought the Yanks were going to blow the game. Who is that helping?

  • Ivan Nova continues to be amazing, and continues to get somewhat of an NBD treatment. The Yankees starting rotation will probably never not be a source of concern during my lifetime, and yet despite this, the fact seems to be going uncelebrated that we have a young dude with blistering stuff whose aplomb is probably less from maturity and professionalism, and more from confusion and not having the presence of mind to be affected by Yankee Stadium pressure. He won his 14th straight decision. 8Ks in 6IP. Oh yeah, and he had a fever last night too. I can barely string 2 words together right now, but he was able to whiff almost an entire batting order's worth of Angels.

  • Here's probably the funniest part of the game dynamic: "He looks really good," teammate Robinson Cano said. "I'm happy for that guy because people always criticize, his age and stuff like that, so I'm happy to see him have a good start." HA! Cano talking about Jeter like Henry Rowengartner talking about The Rocket in "Rookie of the Year."

  • (Also, referring to Jeter as "that guy"= awesome. Like when I remarked that that "that guy" in Varsity Blues was "pretty good and should be in more things." My bf at the time: "Jon Voight? Uh, yeah. Hopefully this movie will open up some doors for him.")

  • Oh and ALSO, "people always criticize" Jeter= first time I've ever heard that sentence. It's also about as accurate as when announcers say "And Jeter NEVER argues balls and strikes."

  • D-Rob is really good at scaring the hell out of a everyone and then ending the inning. He's the Indiana Jones of relievers.

  • A bunch of other Halos hit the hell out of the ball, but does it matter? The Yanks won. Torii Hunter, btw, has a man crush on the Yankees which I'm okay with. He is always saying how much he loves playing there, and makes no bones about how impressive the franchise is. Plus, my buddy Super Rob, who knows everything about every sport ever I'm not kidding, has said that Hunter is one of the nicest guys in the game.

  • I guess I'd be remiss in not mentioning it was Jackie Robinson day. Every year the league honors the first black person to play baseball, by collectively wearing his retired number. And every year, I still get confused by all the #42s running around. It's not that hard a concept to grasp, but still it has the same effect on me as one of those Improv Everywhere things.

Apologies again for both the delay and for the brevity of post. Not really feeling like myself, maybe just need to go get some air. Hopefully the unfailing amusement factor of watching Pavano pitch against us tonight will help. Yeah. Carl "I am Not a Joke. I'M NOT." Pavano pitches against Freddy "I just blacked out and forgot what I was supposed to be doing" Garcia. It'll be like watching Daffy vs Donald on dueling pianos.

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