July 2010

Should I Ask My Mother To Change Her Name?

I’m thinking about it. Why? Because her name is Joyce. As in this guy.
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He broke my heart with his home run off Huuuuughes last night, and he nearly broke it again tonight when he took Vazquez deep. But the Yankees prevailed. Here’s what I learned from our win at the Trop. The running game is fun if you’re the Rays.
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But the Yankees can mash.
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The Rays kept taking the lead, and these guys kept taking it back.
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Nice performance by Javy to give the boys a chance to come back. Really nice outings by Robertson, Logan and, of course, Mo. All of a sudden, our pen doesn’t look so bad. Which brings me to today’s official comings and goings.
Going:
We’ll see Juan Miranda and Colin Curtis later in the season, so I’m not crying over them. But Chan Ho? He’s gone. I felt sorry for him when I read that he asked A-Rod for a signed #13 jersey on his way out the door.
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Coming:
Well, two out of the three are in Tampa already and one played in today’s game (going 0-for-4 but who’s counting). Lance Berkman was actually quite entertaining from the quotes I’ve read. In his session with the media, he said the magic words: His favorite player growing up was Donnie Baseball and his dad’s favorite was The Mick. Good enough for me. He also said that in addition to “Big Puma,” his other nickname is “Fat Elvis.” I’m going with that one.
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Austin Kearns was described as a quiet guy who was just happy to have been shipped to a contender and will play wherever and whenever he’s asked. I like the team spirit. That leaves the impending arrival of Kerry Wood, who probably spent today shaving off his beard.
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I admit I wasn’t wild about this deal. Yeah, he didn’t cost much, but isn’t he on the DL all the time?
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On the other hand, if he can stay healthy he could be a terrific pickup for the pen. I just hope he realizes we already have a closer.
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Anyhow, looking forward to the rubber game of this series tomorrow. So far the match-up has really lived up to its billing.

Mistakes Happen

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But the timing of Phil Huuuuuughes’ mistake couldn’t have been worse. With one pitch, his terrific performance – and the Yankees’ 2-0 lead – went down the toilet, along with my spirits.
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The offense went to sleep after Swisher’s homer - really went to sleep.
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They did nothing to pick up Huuuuughes. I guess if there was a bright spot in this one, it was the effective two innings by Joba. Otherwise, I finally get what the players mean when they say, “Blowout losses are easier to take than losses in close games.” I haven’t felt this deflated in a long time.
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So much for the opener in this series. The trade news today swirled around the Yankees sending a couple of minor leaguers (including Melancon?) to the Astros for Lance Berkman.
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The Big Puma will soon be in pinstripes, and he didn’t sound very excited about it. He told reporters he was “nervous” about “leaving the womb” and will “always be an Astro no matter what.” Memo to you, Lance: The Yankees are a great team and you’re lucky to be coming to New York at this stage of your career. If you need hand holding, I’m sure your former Astro friend will oblige.
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Also new to the Yankees family, coming to us from the Indians, will be outfielder Austin Kearns.
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Ooops. Wrong Austin.
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These trades are well and good (hopefully), but I thought we were looking for pitching help. There must be an arm out there, right?
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What I Learned From Tonight’s Blowout

1) iPhones are the greatest invention known to mankind.
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I’ve had mine for awhile now, but tonight it allowed me to do three things at once: eat dinner with a friend, “watch” the Yankees beat the tar out of the Indians and enjoy the beautiful view of the Santa Barbara harbor at the Endless Summer cafe.
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2) Dustin Moseley knows how to pitch.
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He was great tonight after some first inning jitters. Threw strikes. Kept his cool. Deserves another start for sure.
3) Cervelli has the ability to make me mad.
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Memo to him: When you come up with the bases loaded and the opposing pitcher has done nothing but walk batters, do not swing at the first pitch and ground into a rally killing DP.
4) A-Rod is allowed to have fun during his chase for #600.
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The guy has been an RBI machine, so people need to stop worrying about the homers. He’s helping us win – big time.
5) Scoring seven runs in one inning is what I’d like the Yankees to do over the weekend in Tampa.
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Not that I didn’t appreciate the runs tonight, but I’d really like a lot of offense against the Rays. Please.
6) Chan Ho Park cannot – I repeat – CANNOT – pitch two innings.
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I know. It was a laugher. But thanks to him things got a little hairy in the ninth. All those walks. Seriously. He’s okay for one inning (if nobody else is available), but not for two. That is all.
7) Marcus Thames reminded me of these in his attempt to play third.
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Yeah, he’d never played there before and he was giving A-Rod a rest. But I had flashbacks of Angel Berroa. Not good.
8) The grilled mahi mahi at Endless Summer is worth checking out if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
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Now That Was My Kind of Game!

Not a blowout, but a no-doubter. I like those. They’re relaxing. And the formula was so simple:
1) Dominant starting pitching by A.J.
Tonight he gave us a taste of what life could be like if he pitched as well all the time or even most of the time.
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2) Tremendous offense by….everybody!
A-Rod didn’t knock in the Big One, but he made his hits count, as did Cano, Tex, Gardner, Granderson, you name it. What happened to Fausto Carmona? He was lights out against us in the 2007 ALDS.
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I should know. I was there.
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(Sorry, but I only get to use this pic when we play Cleveland and it’s not that often.)
3) Sparkling defense by Swisher.
There were other nice plays, particularly one by A.J., but Swisher has been surprising me all season. I never actually expect him to catch the ball but he chased one down tonight and I have to give him props.
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To sum up, the Yankees beat down the Indians 8-0 and, despite the loooong game that followed the rain delay, it was a fun evening. What wasn’t fun was my walk after dinner. The sun was just about to set here in CA and Michael and I figured we had a half hour of light left. But it got dark in a hurry and there we were, up in the hills, when a bat flew into my hair.
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I never knew I was capable of running so fast.

Rookie + Bad Defense + So-So CC = Loss

Tonight’s game against the Indians felt like a replay of every other game featuring a rookie starter for the opposition. Taking nothing away from Josh Tomlin, the Yankees are incapable of hitting pitchers they’ve never faced. They stand there at the plate looking absolutely clueless.
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Why is that? They can watch videotape beforehand. They can make adjustments each time through the order. They can use their experience to figure it out. So why don’t they? Boggles my mind.
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CC wasn’t his usual dominant self, but his defense definitely let him down. Ugh. There’s nothing positive to say about tonight’s loss except that Chan Ho Park didn’t give up a run. Oh, and Brett Gardner made a great throw home. That’s about it.
After the Yankees were done, I switched over to Angels-Red Sox, curious to see how Lackey would be greeted by the fans in Anaheim. I’d heard he was hopeful that they’d give him a warm reception, seeing as he spent his entire career there before going to Boston. Here’s what happened: people booed him. A lot. And there were signs like this:
“LACKey of Loyalty”
and
“Traitor John.”
I can’t stand Lackey, but I felt sorry for him. I guess I should have remembered the way they always boo Tex when the Yankees play the Angels. Do their fans not realize that management decided not to retain the services of Lackey and Tex, not the other way around? Sure, the players became free agents, but that’s baseball. Why not applaud your former heroes for the great work they did when they helped you win ball games? Easy for me to say, you’re thinking. I haven’t lost Jeter or Mo to free agency. But even if I did, I’d like to think I’d always cheer for them. When Pettite went to play for the Astros I didn’t boo him or call him a traitor. I don’t get the sense of betrayal, I really don’t. Someone needs to explain it to me.
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Are We Happy With Grandy Now????

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Three homers in two games won’t erase his mediocre first half of the season, but Curtis Granderson is finally getting people’s attention. He’s come alive since the All Star break and I couldn’t be happier about it. I know. We had to give up AJax, but I’ve been a Grandy fan for a long time and always coveted him for the Yankees. In tonight’s win over the Indians, he provided the go-ahead runs and might have scored another if not for one of the umpiring crew’s two blown calls. But it’s not just his baseball skills that get to me. It’s the man’s character. His charity work isn’t for show; it’s real. He’s real. Real enough to cry on camera. Take a look. (The tears come about 2:15 into the interview. I got choked up watching him choke up!)
So yeah, I love Grandy. Now onto the game:
Javy pitched great. 
Dave Robertson pitched great.
Boone Logan pitched great.
Mo pitched great.
Joba didn’t even warm up.
It’s weird how I still see midges when we play in Cleveland. I was there in ’07 during the ALDS, and tonight I had flashbacks.
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Maybe it’s time I got professional help. 
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Congrats to Matt Garza and the Rays on baseball’s latest no-no. It must really be the year of the pitcher. I wonder who will be next????
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All Sorts of Things

1) A-Rod didn’t get drilled as badly as I feared.
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That said, his eighth inning at bat with the bases loaded sure didn’t go the way Yankee fans hoped it would. I mean, a grand slam for your 600th after a two-hour-plus rain delay? Now that would have been amazing. But at least he’s OK. Or so we’re told.

2) Congrats to Cano for hit #1000.


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He’s not even 30. Think how many hits are in his future if he stays healthy and continues to work hard. Somewhere, Melky is either happy or really, really jealous.
3) What’s up with Huuuughes and all the homers he’s giving up in the Bronx?
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Maybe he should go back to wearing those glasses? Sure, the Stadium has a short porch, but two dingers to Posednik? Really?
4) Nice to see the bats working for Jeter, Tex and especially Granderson.
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Wouldn’t it be great if he finished up the season with offense like he demonstrated today? I want so much for him to succeed in pinstripes.
5) Joba. Oy.
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It’s kind of ironic that he and Alex Gordon were both college phenoms in Nebraska. Both were rushed to the majors. And both have kind of flopped with their respective teams. Today they were on the field together, and neither was distinguishing himself. I felt sorry for them.
6) The Yankees didn’t get Dan Haren.
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It doesn’t sound like we were even close to making that trade, but I got swept up in the rumors just the same. Such a gullible fool. I vow NEVER to believe what I read until a deal is done. (OK, I say that every time, but this time I mean it!) At least Haren won’t have to change colors, seeing as he can wear red as an Angel. But what about me? Last night I posted a video about how much I wanted him in pinstripes on YouTube. Such a fool to jump the gun, as I said. Oh well. Never again. Never!
Update: Well, I see my video was blocked by YouTube during the night while I was sleeping, blissfully unaware that the gremlins were at work. Interesting. Was it copyright infringement to use my own voice in the narration? Or iMovie’s sound effects? Ah, must be those photos of Haren because, after all, they shouldn’t be subject to “fair use,” because that would be, like, fair. And yes, I’m mad. Excerpts of my books get plastered all over the internet and I don’t say a word. I’m flattered, actually. I would think photographers would be flattered too, but then I’m a gullible fool, as I’ve already said. Bleh. Anyhow, sorry for the big blank in this post.

This game gave me acid reflux

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Actually, it’s Brett Gardner who has it and was, therefore, unavailable today. Reports say he went to the hospital to have his gut checked. I sure hope everything is OK because this lineup missed him – and Swisher. But the real problem was Mitre. I know it was his first start coming off the DL, but isn’t he supposed to be a sinker ball pitcher? Did anyone see a ball that sunk? The only bright spot in the game was Moseley. Well, and Tex’s two homers. Otherwise, the Yankees looked wilted from the heat, including Mr. #599.
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I really hope Cashman will step up his talks with the Diamondbacks about Dan Haren. Wouldn’t he look good in pinstripes?
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Yeah, he’d have to get a haircut and lose the beard, but he’s kind of adorable. And more importantly, he strikes guys out.
Oh, before I forget, have people heard about the new sports site for fans, uberfan.com? It’s this really cool site where you can keep track of the games you watched and the corresponding stats for how your team did on those days. Check out their press release about it, and you’ll get the drift. It’s perfect for us superstitious fans. You’ll see.


Singing in the Rain

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It wasn’t raining here in Santa Barbara, but I sang while it rained in the Bronx. Why? 
* Because the Yanks jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Royals in the first.
* Because A.J. threw five shutout innings before the storm blew in.
* Because Cano is so damn good this year with runners on base.
* Because Jorge knocked in his 1,000th career RBI.
* Because A-Rod, while unable to hit #600, helped the team anyway.
* Because Colin Curtis got the start in right field.
* Because we won the game and only had to use Chad and Alby in relief.
* Because Swisher claims he hurt his Achilles while he slept, and there has to be more to that story.
* Because when we play the Royals there’s always a chance that I’ll see Farnsy again.
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Tonight’s Game: Weird But Entertaining

Q: How often does CC get pounded with singles?
A: Hardly ever.

Q: How many times has Jeter hit an inside-the-parker?
A: Only once before.

Q: Did I expect to see Wilson Betemit be a candidate for “Player of the Game?”
A: Not in my lifetime.

Q: Did Posada make two bonehead throws tonight?
A: Uh-huh.

Q: Did Dave Robertson perform another Houdini act?
A: He did.

Q: Did Joba load the bases and give fans another heart attack?
A: He did.

Q: Did the Yankees score 10 runs for the second day in a row?
A: They did.

Q: Did A-Rod inch closer to #600?
A: He did.


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Q: Did the umpires make some bizarre calls?
A: What else is new.
I could go on, but the main thing is the Yankees won the series opener against the Royals. And speaking of the umpiring, did anyone see clips from the O’s-Twins game? The hapless O’s got a raw deal on a call at first, and Ty Wigginton went so nuts his manager had to choke him.
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And could someone explain how Carl Pavano and his porn star mustache have 12 wins? And is there any way the Yankees could ask for their money back?
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