November 2009

Introducing The 2009 She-Fan Awards

Baseball has already crowned the Rookies of the Year, the Cy Youngs, the MVPs, the Gold Gloves, the Silver Sluggers, the SI Sportsman of the Year (congratulations, Jeet) and, of course, the World Champions (congratulations, Yankees).
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In other words, lots of hardware has already been handed out.
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With the Winter Meetings scheduled to begin next week and nothing much happening in the meantime, it’s my pleasure to present the 2009 She-Fan Awards, which recognize excellence in the field of contributing to the success of the New York Yankees. Yes, that’s a mouthful, so let me put it another way. The award goes to a person or persons who helped the Yankees win this year.
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No, it doesn’t go to a player. Or the manager. Or the general manager. It’s intended to spotlight those who are more obscure and who don’t generally receive the attention they deserve. And in case you’re wondering, the award itself is solid gold, has been custom-designed by my superb craftsmen here in Santa Barbara and, in keeping with the fan theme, looks like this.
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Now, without further ado, the awards….
*****  Best Surgeon *****

And the nominees are:
- Dr. Marc Phillipon (A-Rod’s hip surgeon) 

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- Dr. David Altchek (Posada’s shoulder surgeon, as well as Mo’s shoulder surgeon)
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- Dr. James Andrews (Chien-Ming Wang’s shoulder surgeon, as well as consultant to many Yankees, including Dave Robertson)
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- Dr. Lewis Yocum (Xavier Nady’s elbow surgeon)
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And the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Surgeon is…Dr. Marc Phillipon.
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It was a tight race right down to the wire. Dr. Altchek performed surgeries on not one but two valuable Yankees shoulders and certainly merited attention. That said, A-Rod’s hip surgery was more delicate and it allowed the Yankees third baseman and clean-up hitter to return to the team in May, sparing us another minute of Cody Ransom, providing protection for Tex in the lineup and treating us to that heart-stirring walk-off homer in the 15th inning against Boston. Congratulations, Dr. Phillipon. Enjoy your award.
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Coming next: the 2009 She-Fan Award for….you’ll have to wait and see.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Celebrates Mo’s Birthday

Tonight I watched HBO’s broadcast of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert that took place at Madison Square Garden last month. It was a loooong show, but filled with great musical acts. Yankee fans were well represented by Bruce Springsteen….
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…and Paul Simon.
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No idea what team, if any, Art Garfunkel roots for. Ditto: Crosby, Stills or Nash.
Some of the pairings of performers were interesting. I give Annie Lennox props for even attempting to share the stage with Aretha Franklin, who looked like she’d rather have it all to herself.
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Bono, Fergie and Mick Jagger put on an entertaining version of “Gimme Shelter.”
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I wish there had been more of them and less of Stevie Wonder, whose girth wasn’t quite on the level of CC’s but getting there.
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Listening to some of the older artists made me nostalgic for my teenage years when I wanted desperately to be a rock and roll singer. In fact, in 9th grade my friend Jackie and I formed a “band” (I played the electric guitar and she played the drums) and we made a demo of several songs I wrote. We were convinced we’d score a record deal and be on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” We were so clueless (and talent-less). But we had a lot of fun making music. One of these days, I’ll post the audio of the songs and you guys can have a laugh hearing the 9th grade me singing them.
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Anyhow, back to tonight’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame show. The highlight of the concert for me was when Metallica did their thing.
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I’m not really a fan of their music. I was just hoping they’d play “Enter Sandman” so I could close my eyes and picture Mo coming in from the bullpen. Fortunately, they did play it and I didn’t close my eyes. I was so excited when the big screen behind them flashed clips of Mo coming in from the bullpen! Talk about a jolt of excitement! Talk about a way for Mo to celebrate his 40th birthday today! Here’s a look via the She-Fan Cam. (The volume is very low. So don’t worry; it’s not your computer.)
Happy Birthday, Mo, and thanks for being a future Hall of Famer yourself.

Eventually, Talk of Tiger Woods Turns to the Yankees

So there I was on Saturday night, having dinner at Sly’s Restaurant in Carpinteria, eating the best meal in Santa Barbara County, maybe even in the entire state of California. (Yes, it’s that good. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favor and order a steak, some mashed potatoes, their famous hot fudge sundae, anything on the menu. Chef James Sly and his wife Annie will make the experience a memorable one, trust me.)
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My husband and I were joined in our food and wine gluttony by literary agent Angela Rinaldi and Joseph Parent, the author of “Zen Golf,” “Zen Putting” and “Golf: The Art of the Mental Game.”
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Joseph is a pro golfer’s pro who’s worked with champions like Vijay Singh and many others. The truth is, I couldn’t care less about golf. I never play it, never watch it, never read about it…..except that I’ve been glued to the Tiger Woods story. Why was he leaving his house at 2:30 in the morning? What made him drive onto a neighbor’s property? How come his wife supposedly came running out with a golf club and smashed the car window? Inquiring minds want to know what was going on with those two.
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I tried to worm some information out of Joseph, but he was maddeningly discreet. I was about to give up on him as a dinner conversationalist when he said, “Oh, by the way, how about the Yankees?” I immediately reached into my handbag and whipped out the She-Fan Cam. (You never know when you’ll meet up with a Yankee fan, so it’s important to have it handy at all times.) I told Joseph to get ready for his close up and he put on his Mr. Magoo glasses and here’s our interview.

Post Yanksgiving Odds and Ends

I don’t know about anyone else, but I spent Black Friday not going shopping. I’m just not into getting stampeded.
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Sitting in my inbox were a few interesting photos. Mike, a frequent commenter, sent me this one of Hilda Chester, who just may have been the original she-fan.
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Hilda rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers – and that’s putting it mildly. After reading this excerpt from Peter Goldenbock’s oral history of the Dodgers, I’m thinking Hilda was even more obsessed with her team than I am with mine.
Melissa, another friend of the blog, sent me a pic her brother took at their Thanksgiving. Apparently, her father had saved newspaper clippings about the Yanks and arranged them in the frame of an old mirror.
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The headline “Gehrig stricken with infantile paralysis” really stands out, doesn’t it? I guess that’s what everybody thought poor Lou had – at least for awhile.
Mary Ann, the trash talker from my Thanksgiving, took time out from saying mean things about the Yankees to send this pic she snapped of me, my husband, and Robert, the Yankee fan.
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I’m posting it because I’d like someone to tell me why my eyes are so scary in every single picture somebody takes of me. I once asked an eye doctor about this and he said, “It’s your pupils. They don’t contract.” Fine. But why must they make me look like a she demon?
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Speaking of “She Demons,” which was a cheesy horror movie from the 1950s, it’s how I came up with the term “she-fan.” You can hear me talking about that – as well as how I became a Yankee fan, the connection between the Mantle and Jeter eras, the journey that led me to write the “Confessions of a She-Fan” book and more – on a podcast hosted by Joe Magennis and just posted on “Baseballisms,” his terrific site. Here’s the link. Even if you’re not interested in hearing me ramble, you should sign up for Joe’s e-book that’s about to come out. It consists of real time Tweets from people on Twitter who were watching the World Series – fans reacting to the action with 140-character responses. It should be entertaining and bring back all the excitement of the Series, which, as we know, had a very happy ending.

My 2009 Thanksgiving Saga

As always, my husband and I went down to LA for Thanksgiving at our friend Rhonda’s house. And as always, she set a beautiful table.
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It’s hard to see in the pic I took, but this year her centerpiece was the Daytime Emmy she won for Best Show. (She produces “The Bold and the Beautiful.”) Talk about hardware. I think it weighed more than this.
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Speaking of the Yankees, no sooner did I sit down at dinner when Mary Ann, my nemesis from last Thanksgiving, started trashing the boys in pinstripes. I had asked her if she wanted to take back what she’d said last year (“The Yankees can’t hit, pitch or run the bases”) in light of our World Series triumph.
“No,” she said. “I still hate the Yankees. They didn’t win the World Series. They bought it.”
OK, I was ready for that. I did my whole speech consisting of all the arguments I’d rehearsed, many of them suggested by readers of this blog. Nothing made a dent.
“Arte Moreno is a much better owner than the Steinbrenners,” she said.
“How many championships have the Angels won?” I asked with a straight face.
“That’s not relevant,” she said. “The Angels are a better team.”
“But the Yankees beat them,” I reminded her.
“If you spend enough money, you can beat anybody,” she replied.
At this point I wanted to leap across Rhonda’s beautiful table and strangle Mary Ann. Instead, respecting my hostess, I asked her if she wanted to take it outside.
“Sure,” she said. “Why not?”
Here’s the result. I’m not proud of what I did, but I had to stick up for my Yankees.
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Yes, that’s me lying in a giant puddle of cranberry sauce. Mary Ann’s son Antonio is sitting in the chair joining his mother in a chant of “Yankees suck.” I wish I could show you the video of the confrontation, but I’d had a glass of champagne and it caused me to inadvertently hit the delete button after I recorded it. Luckily, Mary Ann and I made up before Rhonda took the turkey off the table and we were able to finish dinner without further incident. Except for her Yankee bashing, she’s really a very nice person. And the turkey was exceptionally tasty and perfectly carved.
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As luck would have it, there was a new guest at the table this year – an actor named Robert who lives in LA but who was born and raised in New York. He turned out to be a Yankee fan, thank God, and while everybody else was cleaning up in the kitchen, we talked about our favorite team. He told one story that had everybody laughing, especially given the recent news about the White House party crashers.
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Here’s Robert. I’m very excited about my assignment with him at the 2010 All-Star Game. You’ll understand after watching the vid. I hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving – or, as Robert said, a Happy Yanksgiving. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh, jeez. I forgot Ellen and Robin. And others too. Forgive me!

15+ Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving (Yankees Edition)

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#1) The Yankees won the World Series. (Duh, but still. It must be said.)
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#2) CC decided to take the Yankees’ money last off-season and moved to New York.
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#3) Tex idolized Mattingly as a kid and and his wife didn’t really want to live in Boston.
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#4) Pettitte finally sat down at the negotiating table and hammered out a deal with the Yankees.


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#5) A.J. didn’t spend his first Yankees season on the DL after all.
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#6) Jeter hardly ever grounded into double plays and passed Gehrig on the hits list.
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#7) A-Rod had an amazing hip surgeon.


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#8) Matsui had an amazing knee drainer.
sink-drainer.jpg#9) Jorge only sparked one fight (that we know about).



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#10) Aceves didn’t mind being Joba’s backup act.
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#11) Hughes took to the bullpen like the proverbial duck to water.
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#12) Melky stepped up when Gardner went down (and vice versa).
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13) Swisher turned out to be way better than Betemit.
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#14) Cano’s batting average took a big jump from the previous year.
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#15) The kids from the farm gave the team energy and depth.


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#16) The Guzman Experiment was short lived.


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#17) Damon stole two bases on one play in Game 4 against Philly.
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#18) Mo was Mo.
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Are Vampires The New Ball Players?

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Granted, I’m a little slow during baseball season. I don’t notice anything or anyone unless it/he/she pertains to the Yankees in some way. But now that the season is over, I’ve emerged from my cave.
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And lo and behold, there’s life beyond the pinstripes! The Senate started debating a health care bill. Sarah Palin went on a book tour. And Taylor Swift won the top prize at the American Music Awards without Kanye West interrupting her speech. 
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But the event in popular culture that really escaped me was the phenomenon that is the “Twilight” series. Obviously, I knew the books have sold well and that first movie in the series was a hit. But “New Moon,” the follow up, grossed $142 million this past weekend. That’s so huge I had to go online and watch the trailer.
So can someone please explain all this to me? No question Robert Pattinson is gorgeous, and I get that these stories have a forbidden love/Romeo and Juliet quality. But why are vampires so hot again? They’re all over “True Blood” on HBO, and there are other book series starring love-struck blood suckers. 
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All I know is that, given the choice, I would have passed up “New Moon” in favor of the premiere of the World Series DVD that was shown at the Ziefeld Theater tonight. Mariano Rivera can take a bite out of my neck any time he wants.
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Which MVP Candidate Did Mark Feinsand Vote For?

Mark Feinsand’s “Blogging the Bombers” blog in the Daily News is one of the best, so I went straight to the source to find out who will win the big award. 
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(That’s Mark on the right. Not sure who his friend is.)
Will it be….
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Or…
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Or…
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Or even….
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I asked Mark which player he voted for. As you’ll see, I really, really tried to get answers, but I guess I’m a really, really lame reporter.
Update: Congratulations, Joe Mauer! (And interesting that Tex came in second ahead of Jeter.)

Only A Few More Days To My Thanksgiving Throwdown

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Long time readers of this blog might remember last year’s Thanksgiving post, when I recounted the trouble I encountered as a Yankee fan at my friend’s Rhonda’s house in LA. (My family is back east, so my husband and I always spend turkey day at her place, where she hosts a beautiful dinner with all of her close friends and family members.)
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Last year, the Yankees didn’t even make the playoffs, so I got an earful from Rhonda and her brother, who grew up in Chicago and are Cubs fans. I also heard it from her friend Mary Ann and her son Antonio, true blue Dodger fans. In fact, just about everybody at the table decided to make the Yankees the punch line of their jokes, and I was stuck defending my team by flashing the tattoo on my leg.
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OK, I don’t have a tattoo but I wished I did. People ended up flinging insults at me and I ended up flinging food at them, and it got ugly.
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This year should be very different, given that the Yankees won the World Series while the Cubs and Dodgers were home playing golf, but will it be? I’m anticipating the following from the hostile crowd:
“They bought the championship.”
“All the umpires’ bad calls went in their favor.”
“Jeter’s old.”
“A-Rod’s a cheater.”
“They bought the championship.”
“Burnett’s a head case.”
“Damon throws like a girl.”
“Teixeira chokes in the clutch.”
“They bought the championship.”
I would prefer a peaceful Thanksgiving, but I just know I’m going to need ammunition on Thursday.
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So if anyone has any great comebacks, I’d be glad to hear them. I do have a weapon I didn’t have last year: the She-Fan Cam.
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If anyone says something malicious about the Yanks, they’ll run the risk of having their foolish remarks published on YouTube, not to mention on this blog. And there’s another reason they should be afraid: I’m in charge of bringing the apple pie this year. If somebody isn’t appropriately respectful, they could wind up with this in their face.
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I really hate to make other people cry, but if I’m pushed….
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