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As you may have noticed, I’ve been less than reliable with the posting for the last year. My dad, the whole reason I even have this passion for baseball, was sick for the past year and half. There was this time I was home and I had just finished watching the game with my him, and I went to my computer to write the recap and he says, "What are you doing?"

And, you know, I wasn't doing anything that was more fun than hanging out with my dad, so... it wasn't a hard choice. I'd rather be hanging out with him than anything else.

My hero.
He passed away a few weeks ago, before/if/when I resume my normally scheduled recapping, I wanted to honor him with a memorial post. I wanted everyone who reads this to know how amazing the world was with him in it.

Not that anything I could ever write about him would ever truly capture the superhuman force of nature that he was, but, as my dad always said, “Never strike out looking. At least try to hit it.”

Swing away.

I used to make up reasons to call my dad because I knew that, like me, he wasn’t a phone talker. The concept of calling “just to chat” was preposterous.

So I’d call him with some ruse, like “Dad, I’m completely blanking on this. But how many cans of tomatoes do I need for sauce? And do I need crushed or diced??”

I never tired of hearing my dad teach me about things, which was only partly due to my interest in learning about whatever subject he was talking about.

The majority of my interest stemmed from the sheer joy in listening to HOW my dad taught.

It was just complete lunacy most of the time, but yet with this air of specificity that made it authoritative.

Because everything Dad did was with not just with conviction but with this mysticism and excitement, like he was letting you in on a secret.

From as far back as I can remember, sitting at the kitchen island in my childhood house, watching him cook for their annual Memorial Day party, he’d narrate his cooking process. He’d have these inexplicably specific food measurements, like “You need exactly 3 and 1/3 sticks of celery CUT LONG WAYS. If you can’t cut it long ways, don’t bother making it.”

And then other times the measurements would be wildly vague, like: “All this says is ‘garlic.’ How much garlic does that mean?”

And he’d look at me like I just asked if we could rent a llama for the weekend, and say, “What do you mean, how much does it mean? It means all the garlic in the house.”

A few years ago, my sister Lauren got me a cell phone case for Christmas. I remember sitting in the living room with her and dad, as I tried slipping the plastic cover on my Blackberry only to discover it wasn’t fitting.

I was just about to ask if it was for the right model when Dad had already grabbed the phone and cover from my lap. “Here, I’ll do it. Let me take care of this.”

(As if he was privy to some insider info on the mechanics of cell phone accessories.)

But that’s the thing about my dad. He never let a lack of knowledge on a subject keep him from plowing ahead.

So he fiddles with it, sighing laboriously every now and then, over the distinct sound of plastic cracking…as he wrestled with the Blackberry and the now obviously wrong size cover. Finally he tossed it on the couch and announced, “Well, it doesn’t fit. That's the end of it.”

And that’s another thing about my dad. He is, in every sense of the phrase, the be all and end all. Nothing is over until my dad gives an official ruling that it’s impossible.

The concept of “impossible” wasn’t something my dad readily acknowledged, though. And I don’t mean in a sweaty determination, Nike-commercial kind of way. I mean it in a if-he-couldn’t-do-it, it-wasn’t-something-worth-doing-and-maybe-didn't-actually-even-exist-in-the-first-place kind of way.

For example, once when we had plans to get dinner, he decided that he couldn’t wait til our 6pm reservation, and wanted to eat at 4.

(The only time my dad ever entertained a modicum of patience was when he played poker. Beyond that, it was strictly, "Ok, ok, what's the bottom line, hurry it up here.")

So, ignoring our protests that restaurants typically aren’t open that early for dinner, he’s storming up and down the streets of Chelsea, and says, “Ok, what about that place?”

“Uhh… is it open?”

“Hmpf. Well, forget it. If it’s not open, I’m not gonna eat there.”

You tell ‘em, Dad.

So, yeah, trying to pinpoint the quintessence of Dad is like trying to drive a nail through a tomato seed.

As my mom would say, “He’s a very complex person.”

Yes and no.

"Yes" in the sense that every time you think you had reached the limits of his character traits and interests, you’d find out something else. And "no" in the sense that when it came down to it, my dad could be boiled down to the fact that my dad just didn’t have limits period.

You could say that my dad’s done it all, but I can think of one think he’s never done, and that is utter the phrase: “Ok, let’s not go overboard.”

Excess was in his nature. It defined him. I once called him and asked how his day was, and he pauses for a moment, then happily replies, “It was great! I made 8 meatballs. I ate them all.”

That. That may be the essence of my dad. He ate them all. Whether it was meatballs, or life, he never left anything on the plate. He devoured everything. He wanted to meet the new adventure and had no interest in leaving anything untouched.

He loved everything and didn’t believe in just having a lukewarm affair with any interest. Whether it was food, his family, life, school, or his work. Sometimes you could look at it as “going the extra mile.” Other times you could say it was “taking it one step too far.” It went both ways.

Like how he wouldn’t just write my name on my lunch bag like everyone else in middle school. He would draw cartoon sketches of monsters. He didn’t just staple my book reports together. He spiral bound them with a clear plastic cover and thick paper stock sheets.

He sent me mail every day when I was in sleepaway camp, and they were typed missives riddled with SAT words that I needed a dictionary to decipher: “Hey, does anyone in this cabin know what a pleth-OR-a of opportunities means?”

His intellect was unlike any other. He was accepted to college when he was 15, and was one of those math prodigies that just looked at numbers and it made sense.

(Which must have made it maddening for him to live with 4 women who’d sit around and say things like, “I mean, what the heck is an imaginary number anyway? I mean, it’s not like I can submit gibberish to a professor and say Oh it’s cool, it’s an imaginary word.”)

To truly understand the extent of his larger-than-life existence, you must first understand what he had to endure in the last 2 years of his life. He developed a rare, fatal brain tumor that’s untreatable, that literally takes over your entire brain and infects every area.

And yet he was still smarter than all of us, still answered every Jeopardy question, still did our taxes, still cracked jokes, still fought for everything.

He suffered a disease that took away everything that was important to him. But it never took his spirit. If it were me, I would have honestly tossed in the towel after 3 months of this, tops. But my dad never gave up. He never let the disease beat him. He outlasted it, as far as I’m concerned. My dad won, as he always did, because he never let it beat him.

I was thinking the other day of this time maybe 2 months ago when my dad was lying in bed and I was sitting in the arm chair next to him, and he turned to me and said, “Kristen, I need you to do something for me.” So of course I say “What is it?? Anything."

I’m sitting there on the edge of my seat, waiting for the substantive and profound favor, and he says, “I need you to look up the poker schedules at Foxwoods for this weekend.”

He was just That. Amazing. It was just a few months ago my mom called and said, “We’re at Foxwoods. Your father just called, he’s in the poker tournament finals. I just went to this table to bring him a Snickers bar, and he’s hanging out with James Woods.”

Every day with my dad was like MadLibs.

(He came in 8th in a tournament of 500, by the way.)

He never let anything get in his way of his love of life and laughing. Nothing. When he was sick and the hospital attendants would come in and scan his hospital bracelet, he’d say, “Ooh wait I have a coupon for that!” My dad got thrown every insidious blow in existence, and he never lost himself. He was undaunted, and unafraid. Throughout all of it, he was still Dad.

He underwent 2 brain surgeries, each time they warned us he might not be able to speak when he woke. And after the first one? I walked into the recovery room and there he was with a bandage wrapped around his head, and he opened his eyes and said, “Kris, just because I’m here doesn’t mean I can’t take care of you, ok? I’ll always be able to take care of you.”

That’s the first thing he thought of when he woke up from brain surgery. His first thought and first concern was that his children knew he would always be there for them. He lived his life like that, and everything he has ever done or said in the 34 years I was blessed to have him in my life, was a testament to his overwhelming devotion to his family.

I spent this past New Year’s Eve with my parents, and my mom told Dad that my sister's boyfriend was planning on proposing that night. My dad’s response? To hoist himself out of his chair and start dancing. He says, in all seriousness, “Ok, we gotta start practicing our dance moves now. I don’t want you guys embarrassing yourselves at the wedding, so let me teach you a few moves.”

He just was so proud of all of us. He was so proud of being a family. At his memorial service this past weekend, it was a full house, and friends from all walks of life came up to me and said the same thing: “Your father never stopped talking about you and your sisters and your mother. He never stopped bragging about you. Ever.”

Everything we did, in his eyes, was gold. I remember when my youngest sister was on the diving team when she was 8, and she was one of 2 kids in her age group at the diving meet. My dad spent the next month proudly announcing to anyone who would listen, “This one right here? Came in 2nd in the County Championship.”

He came to every. Single. Softball game. Never missed a game. He’d sit in the bleachers and when my crazy softball coach was giving me signs, I’d look over to my dad to see if he’d confirm or reject the sign.

More often than not it was the latter, and while this did not make me popular with my coach, I always followed my dad’s signals. Because he was always right. He never steered me wrong. He just got me. He was my best friend in the world.

I remember a time when I was in the throes of an ungodly horrendous day at work. Not just one of those cranky “work sucks” days. But a crying-outside-by-the-side-of-the-building day.

The phone rings, and it’s my dad, who never really called, mostly because he didn’t know how to use his cell phone, and he says, “Hey Kris! I’m at the Yankees spring training game, and I was just thinking about you and how much I wish you were here.”

To use a line from our shared favorite book:

Franny & Zooey. Me and my dad's favorite book.

He just knew when to call. When I’d be watching a Yankee game and it would get to the point where you start thinking in your head how many grand slams it would take for the Yankees to be back in the game, and just as my panic would reach a fever pitch, the phone would ring, and it’d be my dad saying the same thing: “Kris, you’re not watching the game, right? It’s a rerun. I already saw this game, and the Yankees end up coming back in the 8th and winning it, so don’t worry.” And I wouldn’t.

My dad basically mastered life. He just got it.

It was like he had figured it all out and then thought “well, what do I do now?”

And the answer to that was: everything. He did everything. And he loved how great it all was. Once he made his own turkey salad and he makes us both a sandwich and we’re sitting on the porch in Long Beach about to eat lunch and life was good.

And my dad takes a bite of his sandwich and says to no one in particular really, almost talking to the sandwich even, “Wow. I am so good at things.” And he was. He was good at everything. You couldn’t compete with Dad, which was ironically all Dad ever really wanted to do.

He went on vacation to Block Island and manages to find the one dive bar in town, marches in and announces, “I want to play pool, but I only want to play whoever is the best one here.” Dad only dealt with the superlative.

Just hanging out in the backyard.
He was the father you brag about. He was the one who was always ready with a magic trick. He was the one who makes the impossible pool shot, the one who wins not one but 2 super bowl pools.

When the Yankees would find themselves in a bases loaded, 2-out, close and late situation, and the announcers would invariably say, “So, who do you want to see up right now?”, my answer would always be the same: My dad. Without question.

A day will never go by where I won’t think, “Oh, I gotta call my dad and tell him about this.” I thought it during the memorial service, how I couldn’t wait to tell him about how many people came.

I will never get past losing him, just as he never got past the death of his own father. In an email he sent me a few years ago, he wrote:

In December of 1980, about three months before you were born, I had a talk with my father. He was sick and wanted to talk to me. Similar to my current condition, he had suffered a heart attack and a mini stroke. Now many years later, I realize that he knew that he would not be with us much longer. In fact, he died a month later in January. He said that family trumps all things. He said that it was only when we have the experience of age that we realize this. It was his wish that absolutely nothing should ever come between Uncle Joe, Uncle Anthony and me. I feel that my father's wish is now my wish for you, Lauren and Amy. 

He gave himself to everything and everyone, but the most important thing he gave me, by far, was his golden rule. Family above all. He adored me, my sisters, and my mom with every fiber of his being.

He looked at my mom like the sun rose and set for her, and if he were here right now, he would be saying the same thing he said every time he went out with her: “Your mother was the prettiest woman there.” His love for us was truly endless, and that will never leave me.

My dad is invincible in this way. Nothing will ever take away everything he was and everything he meant to the people whose lives he’s changed. He was loyal, funny... I just idolized him. He was my favorite person in the world.

Everything I am I owe to him. He made me better than I ever could have made myself. So despite the hole in my heart, there’s an even more profound emotion eclipsing my feelings of grief.

And that’s my feeling that I’m lucky.

I’m lucky to have had him in my life. I got to know him, I got to have him as a father, as a role model. No matter what blows the world may deal, I can feel nothing but fortunate for the fact that I got to live in my dad’s magical world.

I would give anything to have him back, to be able to make another one of my fake-excuse calls, to ask him what kind of syrup is needed for a proper egg cream, or how much breadcrumbs to put in my meatballs.

After I confessed this to my mom last week, how so many of my calls to him were thinly veiled excuses just to talk to him, my mom says, “You know what? He used to do the same thing with you.”

I have no idea how I will ever manage without my dad, what life will be like without him in it. But I’m overcome with gratitude for the fact that I’ll never have to wonder what life would have been like without having him at all.


Sweet Christ. I kind of thought I’d have a little bit of buffer time before one of These Games came into the mix.

Like, “Oh yeah, you’re the new copywriter, right? Ok today is just gonna be orientation-type stuff, setting up your password, IT policy, etc. Tomorrow, you’re going to be the Key Note Speaker at ASCO. Sound good? Great! Here’s my extension if you need anything.”

That’s sort of like what just happened. ROARRR. Where do I even begin with this one? You know what? This is exactly why bulleted lists came into mainstream play.

(Are you allowed to say that anymore? Seriously, take note: it’s going to be a situation like this. Or this. Pretty soon, my beloved bulleted lists are going to become “M-dashed-Lists.”)

Til then, giddy up:

  • This game started at 7, and social was fueled by the rampant Yo Momma-esque jokes (“Yo, this Yankee game so old, it’s social security is ONE. WHAT WHAT!” “Yo, this game so long, there’s some automated woman’s voice blaring an estimated hold time.” I’m fairly confident it was only yesterday that I was extolling the virtue of the expedited pitch rule. 

Ah, little did I know that the expedited pitch rule is only a thing if the delays of game are related to the pitcher. Not, for example, related to the lights on the fa├žade that just went out mid game. How does that even happen?
  • No offense, Crew Over There, but lightbulbs going out mid-game is probably someone’s fault. My dad never believed in getting mad at a situation. If something makes you mad, there is a human being‘s choices behind it. Thus, you should direct rage at said person. FIND THE LIGHTBULB MISCREANT THAT ADDED 16 MINUTES TO THE GAME. NOW.

  • Which leads me to my next point: you’d think I’d be all enraged at this game, but here’s this thing: I’m NOT. At first I thought it was because I was so tired, but then I realized it was because it was sort of the same way I felt, minus the exuberance, after the Giants lost to the Pats on December 28, 2007 (35-38).

It was fought tooth and nail every second of the game, for no reason other than to prove a point. The Giants could have rested, they already were in the playoffs, the game wasn’t going to decide anything.

Similarly, the Yanks could have gone the sensible route and remembered that they have a game in less than half a day, and maybe they don’t want to deplete everyone. No, they fought.
  • They lost, and I hate losing, but they didn’t go down without a fight. If this was a 48 Hours Episode, Keith Morrison would be interviewing a detective who would be saying, “No, no, yeah, this one was a fighter. She fought for her life, and that’s why we got the DNA under her fingernails to nab the guy.” 

I think we got the Sux skin cells under our fingernails.

In terms of game recap, in the conventional sense of the word “recap,”…uh..

  • Well, the Yanks were down by 3.
  • Then they scored 2. Headly tied it up with a homerun (what a lovely creature this one is. Odd, but lovely). Ortiz juiced out one to make it 4-3, and it took forever because he never moves out of the batter’s box after a bomb, until he counts in his head “one Mississippi, two Mississippi.” 

  • But lo, then Tex goes deep to tie it up at 4 (and people were realllly excited about the fact it was his BIRTHDAY and he hit a HOMERUN! On his BIRTHDAY! Of all days!) 4-4 game, until Pablo Sandoval’s supreme lack of metabolism drives in Pedroia in the 18th. 

  • Only for the Yank’s to come back with Beltran (who I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the game when I was first watching it, but that was nearly 10 hours ago at this point, so who knows. 

  • All of a sudden it was like he was the only person ever at-bat, and all he did was this.

  • But then he drove in a run, and the game is tied once again, and it’s the 19th inning, and it reached the point in the night when I realized that there weren’t going to be enough hours in between going to sleep and waking up that would make going to sleep a worthwhile endeavor. 

  • Mookie Betts hits the game winner for the Sux, and the Yanks can’t cobble anything together in the bottom of the 19th. Game over. At 2:16am. But here’s the thing: the game was nip and tuck or whatever, but it 100% did not have to be. For either side. 

  • I’m happy the Yanks raged against the dying of the light (literally and figuratively) with every last breath, but I’m tempering this with the acknowledgement that they squandered away a number of REALLY good scoring opportunities. 

I mean, it’s one thing to do the whole leaving-runners-stranded thing. It’s another all together to take said runners off the basepath all together.
  • GGBG got picked off. GGBG GOT PICKED OFF. SERIOUSLY. He also got caught stealing! He’s like the worst stealth ever now! 

Ok, it’s easy to say this now, but what the hell. GGBG doesn’t get removed from the basepath on those plays, and the Yanks and their fans are already in bed, spooning the memory of their sweet W over the Sux.

Ah, but GGBG took the basepath less travelled. And that has made all the difference.

Other observations:
  • Cone’s pitching analysis was really sparkling tonight. I gotta say, there wasn’t a lot of fluff given that it went into 19 F@#$ing innings. I wouldn’t have blamed him for trailing off into a monologue about powdered milk or something. But his shit was on tonight. 

  • On Headly’s game-tying ding: “Wow. Yeah, with all due respect, what was he thinking with that pitch?” Awesome reaction from the booth. 

  • Pablo Sandoval is so goddamn fat that it’s uncomfortable. There’s CC. There’s Prince. And then there’s this.

Ok, clearly I could talk about this game for twice as long as it actually lasted. And honestly, if the next one wasn’t at 1, I would. I’m very interested to see how this next one plays out.

 Cheers to kicking off the rivalry in style, if not substance, Yanks. I found the entire evening “encouraging.” And that’s the last time you’ll hear me go all communist everyone-wins-no-matter-what-the-score!-mentality.

Oh ps, the pitching was excellent. EXCELLENT. On both sides. No kudos to Dickey, since, well, he’s a knuckleballer. That’s like showering the plaudits on when a chick has long luscious hair. Yes, technically she grew it herself, but it’s not like it took anything out of her to do so.

So, yeah, aside from that lay-z-bones, I was suitably impressed by the majority of the 627 pitches thrown tonight. It’s almost 5am. See you in a few hours, Yankees! And don’t forget:

Numquam salve quid pro reditu.

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ONLY AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL PLAYER TO SPORT A WS RING! Cheers to a former Yankee who embodied class in every sense of the word.

Which is a big deal because when you’re almost 7 ft fall, to have that much class density is quite an accomplishment. Seriously, show me a pipsqueak stature who was the picture of social graces—and 
I’ll show you an unimpressed face.
The Yankees lost their first series of the season, and that’s ok, because even I, a card-carrying member of the “If You Say Baseball Doesn’t Mean Anything Until July, I’ll Stab You to Death and Play Around in Your Blood, Because EVERY Game is Important” Society
(IYSBDMAUYISY2D&PAIYBBEGiI-S), can’t get too flustered over this.

I attribute a lot of this to David Cone, who entrenched himself firmly in the belief that this was, in fact, an “encouraging” outing from Fatso. He kept saying that to Kay, and here’s the thing: Coney isn’t one of the Pollyanna YES announcers. 

He unapologetically calls ‘em like he sees ‘em, which is just one of the reasons he’s cooler than us. The Yanks were down 6-3 in the 8th and Cone is going on about how awesome’s start was, and Kay is all, “Yessiree, the Yankees have Toronto RIGHT. WHERE. THEY. WANT ‘EM.” And I said, “I love you, Yes Network. You’re perfect.” 

The Yanks lost in a very Yankee-lose-to-Jays way, in the sense that they once again played a similar game. You got most of the line up making it to base at some point (EXCEPT HEADLY. Man, what has THIS GUY done for us lately, you know?). And you have the big guys coming up with big hits. (Not necessarily “big” as in “clutch,” to be sure. But big as in big I guess?) 

For example, (I’m SOL-ing right now) A-rod. A-ROD! He had a homerun! Remember that guy? He had a big hit to put the Yankees on the board and then right after than Tex did the same thing! And you’re thinking, he come the Yankees!

But then the inning ending, and the scoring ended, too. That tends to happen when you go 1-9 with RISP. Yeah, it should be noted that the game between the Yanks and the Jays was comparable (isssshh) with the very significant exception of the Jays going 3-6 with RISP. 

Hey, you know what else? I’m gonna venture to say with an N of 3 that Toronto has a pretty decent pen. Maybe Toronto will be the “sleeper” team this year for a change. It’s weird how they’re always tagged as this unsuspecting dark horse in the running, when from where I’m standing, they should really be the Hawks, not the Ducks. 

So, the NEXT game for the Yanks is against the BIGGET RIVAL IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS. And don’t care if everyone rolls their eyes when they say that, because for the rest of my life, I will always get giddy about baseball ESPECIALLY when it’s a weekend, and ESPECIALLY when it’s against the Red Sox. 

If you watched the game tonight you could see that it was not a great crowd in the stands, and for good reason since it was raining and cold. It’s hard to get fired up about shit in that type of situation. But when you got a weekend game, you have the luxury of drinking yourself into that kind of fever pitch. 

And when you’re playing YOUR BIGGEST RIVAL, you have the perk of being fueled by rage. 

We’ll get ‘em next time boys. I have a feeling the Yanks will be making handiwork of the Sux this weekend. 


*"GO" emphatically. Not this. 

Magic number is 161! Right? 1st win of the season. First time also I had to compete with a Mets fan in a household for game watching privileges. Whatever, they lost, and the Yanks won!

And so the season starts.

I’ll go ahead and say it right now that it wasn’t exactly a seamless trip to the W. It was less like an Acela trip from NYC to DC, and more along the lines of any flight that goes through O’Hare—it’s a maddening experience, angering, depressing, deflating…but then all of a sudden, you’re on the plane and en route home, and you’re happy because no matter where you’re flying to, it’s not that long a flight.

And you wonder why you ever got so agitated in the first place. I mean, look at all the dining and shopping options O’Hare has to offer. You got a whole slew of shit in the 8-hours it took for the plane to finally take off, and now you’re able to get the ball rolling on your journey. So you shake it off and concentrate on that.

The box score belies the reality of the game, in that you’d think a 4-3 game with such an anemic Hit Column would be indicative of some pretty sharp play. I’d go ahead and say it was kind of the opposite of that.

I didn’t see a WHOLE lot of defensive pearls there, but then again, the Web Gems on MLB Tonight are galatically amusing this time of the season. (Oh wait you know who had a good play? GGBG. Of course. A nice neat sliding catch that he made look zippy and fun.)

But for most part, in league as a whole, everyone is playing like they just got called into a meeting that they weren’t planning on attending. You can throw in a couple of “Wait, can we go back to the last slide for a second?”’s and get some gold stars, but when it comes down to it, you’re gonna have reacquaint yourself with the agenda. Sooner rather than later.

 You know how I know this? Because none of the Yankees really scored in way that wasn’t akin to scratching on the 8 ball. This means their runs were “manufactured” by some a fell-off-the-back-of-a-truck supplier, aka a wild pitch, a HBP, and an infield single by Headley.

Even that third one counts as a ridiculous way to score, because really? Headley? Didn’t this guy teeter around in San Diego for a middle-management-accountant esque of a career? Sure, why not. Welcome aboard, Headly. Don’t let it go to your Headly. Yes, I said it. Sigh. Whatever, if Teixeira’s allowed to be all “What, I don’t hit until June, that’s just who I am, man!” then I’m allowed to ween into baseball recap writing pun exploration.

That said though, Tex HAD a hit today, along with Drew, Jacoby, and this Headly guy (who had 2, a big RBI and a palpably surprised interview on the YES post-game.) Pineda looked as shady as he ever did. You know how AJ was our token wild card, whose tats and blithely trailer trash essence made for some uncomfortable viewing experiences?

And by that I mean that any time the ball left his hand, even if he had been pitching a scoreless game til then, I’d still anticipate the likelihood that the ball would somehow end up somewhere it shouldn’t be. Whether that place is over the left field wall, or in the visitor’s dugout, or wedged in some fan’s ear canal somehow.

Ok, so yeah, you know that feeling?

Well it’s sort of similar to that with Pineda, only instead of having the expectation of toothlessly piercing wild pitches coloring the outing, there’s more of a sense that Pineda is like a pet tarantula. “You can hold him! He doesn’t bite!” Yeah, as far as YOU know. He seems awesome, but I don’t know if I now or ever will trust Pineda to not go all rogue on me. Oh yeah, ps he did a good job today.

A smattering of hits, but it was good enough to lead us to Andrew Miller. I gotta say though, I like this guy. He’s not half bad. And the best part is, he’s not anywhere near good enough for Mo comparisons to come out. Not that anyone is, but I couldn’t stomach the thought of another year of hearing things like “Who will be the next MO? Robertson? Betances?”

Yeah. Betances. He’s on track to pick up exactly where Mo left off. Delin Betances.

 I shouldn’t make fun, he got the W today. He followed Chris Martin, and the Coldplay jokes notably ebbed. As far as the Jays go, well, they played almost the same game as the Yanks, except with 1 less run. Seriously. Think about it. I bet some Canadian blogger somewhere is writing the same things as me right now, except more politely and with more focus on metrics. And hockey.

 So there you go. WIN 1. The start of big things for this team, yeah? It sort of feels like the sequel to any sports movie, in the sense that if there’s a sequel, that means that the first one was dynamite, which means the good guys probably won it all in the end.

But then the sequel comes out, and since they can’t get the entire cast to come back for the sequel, you’re looking at an almost completely new team that tries faithfully to retain the spirit of competition and tenacity that characterized the first movie’s Sport Team That Went All the Way.

Here’s the good news though:

Sequelam fere desinit bene. 

Another piece of good news is that this shortened time between pitches thing is moving the game along pretty swimmingly (based on an N of two of course). Another game that went under 3 hours. On the one hand, I kind want this to attract people who are all “Baseball’s boorrring” but on the other hand, I think, “To hell with you. You can’t beat the clock. You can’t beat baseball. You can’t be my friend.”

See you Thursday night, when ROUND BOY TAKES THE MOUND!!! (on a side note, Fatso took over Jeter’s locker a la a coworker takes over the mini fridge of a coworker who quits. No surprise here, he wanted the locker closer to the player’s lounge. Oh my God, can you be any lazier? Amazing. I like his style.)



Well, ok, so there were a few kinks in the game. But nothing I wasn’t totally unprepared for.

Actually, the biggest surprise to me was the A-Rod reception. It was almost like the judges on American Idol or something, right before the token Susan Boyle/Paul Potts/homely plain jane opens up to shower the cynics with their golden pipes.  

So it was the first opener in a loooonngg time without one of the Core Four. And for the first time in, like, ever, I felt a twinge of the apologetic subscription to the Seinfeld theory. 

C’mon, let’s call a spade a spade, here. When you watched today’s game (or listened to Sterling/Waldman, as the case may be), tell me you didn’t feel this stymieing mix of hope, confusion, and nostalgia. Then, maybe because I’m Catholic, maybe because I’m a chick, I felt guilty about that, because “CMON! THIS IS YOUR TEAM! FORGET ABOUT THE GUYS WHO AREN’T ON THE FIELD ANYMORE, AND LET’S PLAY BALL.”

The Blue Jays didn’t seem to skip a beat, seeing as they’ve been inexplicably knocking the ball all over the continental United States for the last 3 seasons. Encarnacion and Travis both went deep, which actually wasn't THAT bad, but since for the last few months, I've seen no one take anyone deep (because there was no baseball), 2 seemed like a lot. Plus, every fan has carte blanche to overreact to everything on Opening Day, and I'm taking that privelege and running with it.

I mean, Tanaka actually seemed pretty sharp in the beginning, but doesn’t everyone? No one shows up on your first day of work dressed like a slob. You put your best foot forward and wear a suit and tie. Tanaka just switched to creative department attire a little more quickly than we would have hoped.

He got taken out after 4 innings, which was probably about an inning and a half too much. 6Ks, 2 BBs, 5 hits, 5 runs. It was superbly lackluster. Not terribly blow-you-away knocked around, which for some reason made it even worse. Like, if you’re gonna ruin opening day, at least be epic about it.

To add insult to injury, the Yankees were getting whiffed by a fetus. A-Rod came to the rescue by getting on base, and boy was he happy about this. Good on you, buddy. Keep up the strong work!

McCann finally got a hit off Hutchinson, and then a rally looked like in was in the works, but then it cartoonishly was over before it began. I say cartoonishly because when you see play like that, the only things that come to mind are: tuba decrescendo noises, anvils, balloons popping, bodies deflating, and things running full speed into brick walls.

Gardner funly enough went yard, and I’d love to just bite the bullet and put him in the 4 spot. Why not? Arod’s in the 7 spot, and pound by pound, I’d have given a LOT to be a fly in the room of that talk. “NO POUTING THIS TIME. Ok? Are we clear? Say, ‘Yes, Joe, we’re clear.’”

In terms of non-hitting items, our SS Gregorious was caught stealing, our 3B had an error, and the team as a whole took 37 fewer pitches than the Jays, and scored 5 fewer runs than them. Toronto scored 6 runs on 6 hits and 167 pitches. Also, the Yankees reliever was named Chris Martin, and the booth let the Coldplays on Words go on a touch too long.

You know what though, I think we should all embrace the new Yankee squad in the same optimistic gusto that Sterling is. He’s not looking at it as a team that lacks the Core Four, he’s looking at it as a whole weekend’s worth of brainstorming Homerun calls!

Welcome back, baseball. It was the longest winter of my life, but it’s beyond comforting to say and embrace the same words I do on this day every year.

Yankees erit vincere patrocinium.

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