March 2009

She-Fan Exclusive: Japanese Manager Disses Americans

Shortly after Jeter and company were eliminated from the WBC, I fought the crowds at Dodger Stadium and the blustery conditions and found my way into the clubhouse. I made it inside just as the manager of the Japanese team was answering questions posed by the media. Fortunately, I am fluent in Japanese and can interpret everything for the American blogosphere.

She-Fan: “Sir, why do you think you beat Team USA so convincingly?”
Managerアメリカ人weren’ よいt非常に。
(Translation: “The Americans weren’t very good.”)
She-Fan: “Could you be a little more specific?”
Manager彼が打撃練習を投げていたように先発投手、見るローイOswalt。 彼は何も有しなかった。
(Translation: “Their starting pitcher, Roy Oswalt, looked like he was throwing batting practice. He had nothing.”)
She-Fan: “That’s rather harsh, Sir. It wasn’t all Oswalt’s fault.”
Manager本当。 アメリカ人は3つの間違いを作った。 いかに薄く水っい得ることができるか。 Weren’ 巧みなプレーヤーがあるために仮定されるtデイヴィッドライトおよびブライアンロバーツか。 そしていかにデレックJeterについてか。 私に彼はfat.”を見た;
(Translation: “True. The Americans made three errors. How sloppy can you get? Weren’t David Wright and Brian Roberts supposed to be skilled players? And how about Derek Jeter? To me he looked fat.”)
She-Fan: “Fat? Jeter is in great shape, Sir. Well, I guess he could lose a few pounds, but once he’s back in Tampa he’ll – Never mind. Any other comments about the game?”
Manager: エバンLongoriaは主状態で打った。 He’ s子供だけ、権利か。そしてアダムDunnはこと彼を過ぎた球のしたたりの権利認めた。 私達の全チームはそれが起こったときに笑い始めた。
(Translation: “Evan Longoria struck out in a key situation. He’s only a child, right? And Adam Dunn let that ball dribble right past him. Our whole team started laughing when that happened.”)
She-Fan: “Not very good sportsmanship, if you ask me.”
Manager多分ない、しかしそれは陽気だった。
(Translation: “Maybe not, but it was hilarious.”)
She-Fan: “Any thoughts on your match-up against Korea?”
Managerはい。 私はアメリカ人がTVのゲームを見ることをして非常刺激的があり、私が望むことを考えるそれらを。 私達がこと”のそれらの競技者より面白いあなたの読者を言いなさい; アメリカIdol.”
(Translation: “Yes. I think playing them will be very exciting, and I hope the Americans will watch the game on TV. Please tell your readers that we are more entertaining than those contestants on ‘American Idol.’”)
So there you have it – straight from the post-game press conference. I tried to get Jeter to say a few words, but he was on his third Big Mac with fries and didn’t want to be disturbed.

Yankees Sod….And So Much More

I really enjoyed this article in today’s New York Times in which we learn that the Yankees and Major League Baseball have licensed the precise brand of grass that’s used to blanket the field at Yankee Stadium. It’s being marketed at Home Depot as “Yankees Sod.”

The first thing I did after reading the article was to rush outside and take a good look at my yard. Were there any brown patches on the lawn that needed to be filled with Yankees Sod?
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You bet. The reason? We have a lot of these.
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I know. They’re adorable. But they have the appetite of CC Sabathia, and their meal of choice is grass.
I decided to call Home Depot and order some Yankees Sod. Maybe the rabbits are Red Sox fans and won’t eat it.
Then it occurred to me that there should be other everyday products licensed by the Yankees and MLB. For instance, I bet they use a really heavy duty cleaning liquid at the Stadium to get the spilled beer off the seats, not to mention the globs of mustard. So how about a product called Mr. Yankee?
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Then there are those push brooms used by the grounds crew to smooth the dirt in the infield. Shouldn’t they be sold as Yankee Sweepers and wouldn’t every Yankee fan want one for around the house?
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There’s always plenty of pre-recorded music playing at the ballpark. Surely, someone has thought of creating an iYankeetunes store where we can download “New York, New York” and other favorites onto our iPods?
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I’ve always coveted the nifty shirts/aprons worn by those who sell peanuts and cotton candy at the Stadium. So why not Yankee Vendorwear?
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The possibilities are endless. But what I’d really like to see the Yankees dabble in is a line of home furnishings. How could I resist putting an authentic Yankees Dugout Bench where my living room couch is now?
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Oh. It would require a good scrubbing, wouldn’t it. Fortunately, I’d have Mr. Yankee and the Yankee Sweeper to help get the job done.

Thinking Yankee Thoughts On A Saturday Afternoon (With Video)

The Yanks won another ball game today, beating the Tigers 4-3. I know it’s just spring training, but they’re on a roll, having notched their ninth straight victory. That’s right. Nine.

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Go ahead and scoff. “She-Fan is all about winning,” you’re probably saying to yourself.
But come on. Here’s what winning looks like.
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Here’s what losing looks like.
sad.jpgWhich of these two people seems happier?
The winner, obviously. I rest my case.
Moving on to the game itself, Joba pitched well, sure, but it was Mo who was flawless. Again. The man is 39 years old, is just coming off shoulder surgery, and is taking care of business. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s a real-life super hero.
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The only part of the Mo Legend that puzzles me is his mentoring of the younger relief pitchers. It’s not working. 
For example, he spends time counseling Edwar Ramirez.
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And yet Edwar continues to throw that same old change-up, over and over, until – bam! somebody hits it right on the nose. How about developing another pitch, Edwar.
Another example: Jose Veras. Mo is trying to help him too.
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They can laugh all they want, but the fact of the matter is: Veras gets behind hitters, can be wild, doesn’t trust his stuff. Just throw strikes, Jose. Please.
I listened to the game today on WCBS Radio and could hear some Tigers fans cheering in the background. It always surprises me when people root for any team other than the Yankees, given the opportunity. Why does it surprise me? Because the Yankees have the best name of any team.
O.K. Hold on. Just think about this impartially for a second. They’re not named after an animal or a Native American tribe or a type of apparel, but rather after a term for Americans. Plus, the word “Yankees” has two syllables and is easy to chant. I mean, how do people who cheer for three-syllable teams manage it? “Let’s go Card-in-als?” “Let’s go Diam-ond-backs?” “Let’s go Ath-let-ics?” Cumbersome, if you ask me.
But I’m well aware that the Yankees are not beloved by some. In fact, I was out and about in Santa Barbara yesterday, my trusty She-Fan Cam in my purse.
I wish everybody loved the Yankees as much as I do, but for now I’ll be content if they win another game tomorrow…and the day after that.

Movie Break – “Duplicity”

Just came back from seeing the new espionage thriller/romance with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, and loved it. Crackling dialogue and lots of plot twists, plus great performances – my kind of movie. If you liked “Michael Clayton” with George Clooney, you’ll like this one too (same writer/director).

Here’s the trailer.

Bald Vinny….Freddy the Pan Man….She-Fan?

For those who don’t frequent Yankee Stadium, Bald Vinny is the guy who sits in the bleachers for every game and leads the “Roll Call,” during which everybody chants a player’s name and the player acknowledges the attention with a wave of the glove (or, in Damon’s case, something more demonstrative). Watch.

The Voice of Yankees Universe blog just posted an interview with Bald Vinny (I’m so glad nobody calls me Blonde Jane) and you can read it here. Presumably, he got to be famous for having a really loud voice and waving his arms in the air. He also sells T-shirts with “Bleacher Creature” on them.
I’m sure every stadium has its characters – from John Adams, the drummer at Progressive Field, to that guy who plays the bagpipes outside the Rogers Centre. Here I am with Yankee Stadium’s legendary Freddy the Pan Man, who is either adorable or annoying depending on your perspective.
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So here’s my question. If I show up at a lot of games with the She-Fan Cam and pester enough patrons, will I become a Stadium fixture like Bald Vinny? Because I’ll be honest. I’m jealous of Bald Vinny. I want to sit in the bleachers and lead chants and have the players wave to me. I do.
There’s just one problem. I’m not willing to shave my head and look like this.
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While I Waited To Go On The Air….

I did a search on YouTube to see if I could find video of Peter Anthony Holder, the host who would soon be interviewing me on his Canadian radio show.

Bingo!
I unearthed a clip from way back in the ’80s when Holder was a TV news reporter, and you’ll never guess what he reported on: that wild and crazy new invention called a cell phone. “Is the cellular phone here to stay or a flash in the pan?” he asks. Hilarious. Have a look. You won’t believe how huge cell phones used to be.

Calling All Night Owls

For anyone in Canada – that’s you, Canuck! – I’ll be on the radio live tonight on a show called “Holder Tonight” hosted by Peter Anthony Holder. It airs on CJAD in Montreal and CFRB in Toronto, and will be available via streaming audio on both web sites. Oh, did I mention that my segment won’t start until 1:30 am?

Stay awake and listen! That’s what Red Bull is for!

If I Managed The Yankees….

Well, today I’d be smiling.

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The Yankees beat the Astros 4-1, complete with sparkling outings by Wang, Coke, Albaladejo, even Bombko.
But what sort of a manager would I be once the season starts? It’s not so easy managing in New York, where the owners and fans are just a tiny bit demanding, so the first thing I’d do is find a quiet place in the clubhouse and ask for divine intervention.

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And then I’d put together a lineup for Opening Day.
* Damon (LF)
* Jeter (SS)
* Teixeira (1B)
* Posada (C)
* Matsui (DH)
* Nady (RF))
* Cano (2B)
* Ransom (3B)
* Gardner (CF)
* (Starting pitcher: Sabathia)
Judging by how I watch games at home, I’d be an intense manager, second guessing every move I made and asking everybody on the bench for their opinion.
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And given how I yell at the TV whenever something doesn’t go the Yankees’ way, I’m sure I’d storm onto the field after every bad call and have it out with the umpires.
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In general, I would run a very tight ship with punishments doled out for insolent behavior.
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For example, I would insist that players not only know how to bunt, but DO IT when I tell them to. If I give the signs for a steal, they need to get a good jump and make it happen. When I signal for a hit and run, the batter better not strike out. If bases are loaded, I never ever want to see anybody swing at the first pitch, look at a called third strike, hit into a double play, or pop the ball up. And I would defy a player to get caught in a rundown, forget how many outs there are or commit some other heinous act.
Consequences for the above would include:
None of these for a week.
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None of this, not even if they begged.
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None of this stuff (and no plain old spitting for the hell of it, either).
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None of these before or after a game.
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And no talking. (I bet Chatty Cathy Nick Swisher would have the hardest time with that.)
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What would probably happen is that Jeter would gather the players together behind my back and they would all vent about how much they hated me and Cashman would call me into his office and fire me.
I think I’ll forget about managing and stick with the blogging. What about you? Do you think you could manage a team? And if so, what sort of manager would you be?
A warm and fuzzy type like him?
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Or a demonstrative, slightly deranged guy like him?
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The choice is up to you…..

The Yankees/Team USA/The Yankees/Team USA….Help!

With the Yankees in action against the Pirates at the very same time that Team USA was facing elimination against Puerto Rico, I felt compelled to follow both games and, as a result, developed a severe case of split personality.

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Part of me was my usual Yankee-centric self, caring only about the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Why shouldn’t I? There was a lot at stake.
Like would CC rebound from his awful outing?
Would Mo throw strikes in his spring training debut?
Would Posada be able to catch without his arm falling off?
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There were more plot twists than on this.
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Luckily, all was well in Yankeeville as the Bombers beat the Pirates 9-2.
CC went four solid innings, only giving up a run while striking out seven. Sweet.
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Mo threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Really sweet.
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Jorge’s arm didn’t fall off, and he seemed happy about that.
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With the victory sealed, I turned my attention to the goings-on in Miami. As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of the WBC. I think the tournament should be played in December or January, when it wouldn’t conflict with spring training and would provide welcome entertainment for those of us who are starving for baseball at that time of year. But whatever. Team USA was down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth, about to be booted out of the tourney. Up to the plate stepped David Wright.
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He may be a Met, but I was rooting for him to do something, anything, to keep Team USA’s hopes alive, even if he does stick out his tongue when he swings the bat.
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I yelled at the TV. “WRIGHT, GET A HIT!”
And he did. He went down and got a pitch that was out of the strike zone and golfed it into right for a walk-off single. Game over. Group hug. Everybody pile on.
I yelled at the TV again. “JETER, DON’T JUMP INTO THE PILE OR YOU MIGHT STRAIN AN OBLIQUE!”
Yes, my split personality defaulted right back to the Yankees, and my main concern was my Captain.
I yelled at the TV some more. “JETER, IF YOU WANT TO HUG PLAYERS SO BADLY, HUG OTHER YANKEES WHEN YOU WIN THE WORLD SERIES THIS FALL!”
My husband walked into the room and asked who I was talking to.
“David Wright and Derek Jeter,” I said with a shrug, as if it was obvious.
He rolled his eyes. “I guess I should worry when you start telling me these guys talk back.”
I didn’t dare mention that in my twisted imagination they already do. And I certainly didn’t tell him about the strange thing I did on a basketball court the other day. Take a look, but please keep it to yourself.

Blowouts: Entertaining Or A Snooze?

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The Yankees exploded with 12 runs against the Phillies, who did not score a single run, and the result was what is commonly referred to as a blowout. (Great job, btw, by Joba, Swisher, Gardner, and the Iguana.)
There are other kinds of blowouts, of course.
This kind.
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And this kind.
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Even this kind.
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But my question today is this: Are the games that your team wins by a score of 12-0 more fun than those that induce sweaty palms and pounding pulses and aren’t decided until the last out?
My answer is yes. I love blowouts. I can relax during them. I know the Yankees will win. I don’t have to wonder if I’ll have a heart attack. My husband, on the other hand, loves tight pitcher’s duels and thinks being tense and stressed out during a game is fun.
Which is your preference? Or do you like either type of contest as long as your team wins? I’d love to know if I’m the only one who will admit to wanting her team to beat the opposition senseless, like by the score of 100-0.
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