Results tagged ‘ Brett Gardner ’

Yanks-Rangers Game 1: Picking Up Our Horse

liftinghorse.jpg
OMG, what an amazing ride. And there are people in the world who don’t watch baseball? I mean seriously. Raise your hand if you saw or listened to the game and didn’t think it was exciting, no matter which team you root for. Not possible.
CC was awful and who would have expected it. I had dismissed all the talk about the extra rest – nine days worth – but he looked rusty. If you had told me he’d only last four innings I would have laughed, but there it was. Still, his play at home in the first was fantastic. For a big guy he got down fast. I bet the earth moved when he hit the ground.
earthquake2.jpg
When Joba came in with the Rangers ahead 5-0, I figured we were in mop up mode. But after he held Texas scoreless and then Moseley pitched brilliantly and Cano went deep, I couldn’t help thinking maybe C.J. Wilson would be pulled and we’d break the door down.
break.door.jpg
And that’s what happened. As improbable as it seemed, the Yanks silenced the white towel-waving crowd in Arlington after Gardner’s head first slide into first base triggered a barrage of hits. Could we put our hands together for him, Jeter, Swisher, Tex, A-Rod, Cano and Thames?
applause.gif
With the Yankees now up 6-5 (and me in absolute delirium), Wood couldn’t find the strike zone and nearly made me stick my hand through the TV and wring his neck. But all I can say is THANK YOU, IAN KINSLER! I guess your deer antlers didn’t have magic powers tonight.
deer.antlers.jpg
How about that rundown? LOVED Jeter’s little fake throw that preceded the tag. Was that pickoff the straw that broke the Rangers’ back? Probably. But Michael Young’s strikeout against Mo was pretty devastating. You could tell by the change in mood of George W. Bush and Nolan Ryan.

Bush:Ryan.jpg

 (Hat tip to Friend of the Blog Michael Fierman)
Anyhow, the Yankees gave us fans a miraculous victory that I’ll be reliving in my head all night. I can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon when the game will be on at 1 o’clock here. For once I won’t be blacked out by Fox.
blacked out.jpg

Yanks-Twins Game 2: The Texas Two Step

2step.jpg
What a job by Andy and Lance, the former teammates.
pettitte_berkman_b1_300.jpg
All I kept hearing from the TBS guys was: “Will Andy be the Playoff Andy or the Injured Andy?” It was making me crazy, but then everything they said made me crazy. The point is, Andy was the same amazing pitcher he’s always been – making the pitches he needed to make, giving us innings, setting the tone. You could just tell that the players felt confident behind him. And I felt confident after his shaky first inning; apparently, he and Dave Eiland went into the clubhouse between innings and looked at video. Whatever flaw they spotted was clearly corrected because he was great from then on. And how about Fat Elvis? Talk about rising to the occasion. Those were some big hits he delivered tonight. But then just about everybody seemed to contribute in some way. Swisher made a nice catch in right. Grandy continued his hot hitting. Posada had an awesome at bat and drew a leadoff walk, then scored. Gardner is the fastest living organism.
road-runner.jpg
Are we still leaving runners on base? Unfortunately. Is A-Rod striking out more in this series than he did last year? So far. But you can’t have everything. Kerry Wood pitched a swell eighth and Mo took care of the ninth. The Yankees are poised to return to the Bronx and finish off the Twins, but that’ll mean passing the baton to Huuuughes. 
baton.jpg
I’d like to say we’ll sweep, but I’m way too superstitious – and cautious. The Twins are a good team and they’re not going to just roll over.
rollover-accidents-2.jpg
I sure wish I could be at the Stadium on Saturday, but I know some of you will be there and that’s comforting. I’ll be at the wedding of my friend’s daughter, and I’ve been freaking out that I’ll miss part of the game. But today I got the good news that they’ll probably cut the cake by 5 o’clock PT, so I’ll be home in time for the first pitch! Here’s to a fast cake cutting!
cutting-picture-cake.jpg
And speaking of cake, I just might have a really, really, really (that’s three “really’s”) cool contest coming up involving dessert. So stay tuned.

Well, It’s Not The Worst Thing To Be The Wild Card

joker-card.jpg
I’ve made no secret about how much I wanted to win the division and secure home field advantage. And I thought it was doable. Seriously doable. But, as I said, the situation could be worse for the Yankees; at least we’re going to Minny as opposed to heading for the golf course or hunting lodge like some teams.

B REDSOX 8010524.jpg

 
And today wasn’t a total loss. It’s always fun to score off Papelbon. The bigger issue confronting us fans right now is the state of the Bombers. Moseley did a pretty good job, I thought. Just a couple of mistakes that my dearly departed grandmother could have hit out of the park. Robertson looked exhausted, Joba did his usual high-wire act, Logan was ineffective and I don’t think Ring has a prayer of making the postseason roster. And then there was the persistent problem of stranding runners. It was painful to watch Jorge hit that dribbler with bases loaded, for example. On the positive side, Gardner has been gaining confidence at the plate, in the field, on the bases. He’s ready to do battle. Lefties. Righties. Doesn’t matter. And Tex is hot at the right time. Plus no worries whatsoever about Cano, who is, quite simply, a beast.
beauty-and-the-beast-tv.jpg
So today isn’t about doom and gloom. It’s about celebrating the achievement of getting back to the postseason. And how better to celebrate than to visit with our old pal Surf Dog Bill, the grand prize winner of last year’s She-Fan Video Awards.
Gold.Fan 010.jpg
For newcomers to the blog (or those with short term memory loss), Bill Connell is a local icon here in the Santa Barbara area. A huge Yankee fan, he and his hot dog stand are must-stops both for the hot dogs and the conversation.

Bill-Connel-Yankees-Fan-Web_t479.jpg

 
Here’s a recent article from the Santa Barbara Independent that’ll give you an idea of just how passionate Surf Dog is.

Baseball Drama

When the L.A. Dodgers Play the S.F. Giants, Wackiness Ensues


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whenever the Hot Dog Man, aka Bill Connell, visits Dodger Stadium, things seem to get stirred up. He was there late last month when the Dodgers took a 6-2 lead over the New York Yankees into the ninth inning. “All theL.A. fans went home,” said Connell, an ardent Yankee fan since his boyhood in New Jersey. “The Yankees scored four runs against [Jonathan] Broxton to tie it. In the 10th inning, Robinson Cano hit a home run to win it. The only people in the stadium were wearing Yankee caps.”

Not only were Connell's hot dogs a hit with the crowd--to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party--but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor's evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds.

Courtesy Photo

Not only were Connell’s hot dogs a hit with the crowd–to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party–but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor’s evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds.

Connell recently wore quite another Yankee adornment. He was among the caterers at a party hosted by Jeff Jacobs, a Montecito denizen with lofty connections in entertainment and sports. Guests included Chris Bosh, the newly minted center of the Miami Heat, and Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. Not only were Connell’s hot dogs a hit with the crowd–to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party–but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor’s evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds. “There I was, handing out hot dogs, with this New York Yankee ring glittering on my finger,” Connell said. “Can you believe it?”

Only a couple days later, Connell hit the trifecta–another memorable trip to Dodger Stadium. This time, he took 50 people with him on a chartered bus from his Surf Dog stand in Carpinteria. We expected to see a low-scoring duel between two of the game’s best young pitchers, Tim Lincecum of the Giants and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. Instead, we were treated to an evening of wacky incidents that stoked up the L.A.-San Francisco rivalry.

Much to our surprise, the Dodgers got to Lincecum for five runs in the first three innings. Kershaw was in command until the fifth inning, when the Giants got a break, thanks to Xavier being Manny–rookie Xavier Paul, subbing for the injured Manny Ramirez (more slug than slugger these days) in left field, had a flyball drop out of his glove. Three runs later, the Giants trailed just 5-4.

In the bottom of the fifth, after brushing back Matt Kemp with a pitch, Lincecum nailed him with another. A smattering of boos was directed at the Giants hurler. When relief pitcher Denny Bautista threw a fastball under the chin of L.A.’s Russell Martin in the sixth inning, the natives grew even more restless. They rose to their feet–almost a third of them to boo, the rest to get more beer. The home plate umpire took offense to an animated scolding by Bob Schaefer, the Dodgers’ bench coach, and ejected him.

Kershaw’s first pitch leading off the seventh inning squarely hit the Giants’ Aaron Rowand. Next to “It’s not about the money,” the most laughable sentence in a ballplayer’s repertoire is when a pitcher says about a retaliatory delivery, “It just got away from me.” That was Kershaw’s unconvincing explanation for his last pitch of the game. After he was ejected, along with manager Joe Torre, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo retired the next six San Francisco batters, preserving the Dodgers’ one-run lead.

I could not understand why people were leaving the stadium in droves. I guess they got what they came for–a James Loney bobblehead–but they missed a deliciously bizarre scene in the ninth inning.

Broxton, L.A.’s massive closer, made his usual dramatic entrance to the thundering sound of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and promptly loaded the bases. Then Don Mattingly, filling in as L.A.’s manager for the departed Torre, made an ill-fated visit to the mound, which technically became two visits when he stepped off and back on the dirt, which prompted Giants manager Bruce Bochy to remind the umpires that was a no-no. They ruled that Broxton, who had begun pitching to Andres Torres, must immediately be replaced (their interpretation was later called into question). Out of the bullpen came George Sherrill, whose first pitch was hammered by Torres to the wall in left field for a two-run double. The Giants went on to win, 7-5.

Connell and his busload, predominantly Dodger fans, stayed to the end. “We got our money’s worth,” the Hot Dog Man declared cheerfully.

Surf Dog is always “on” whenever I stop by his hot dog stand, and yesterday was no different. He took a few minutes to chat with me. Wait – let me amend that; he took a few minutes to deliver a monologue about the Yanks. Take a look.



OK, the Joba part about getting a start? I don’t think so. Otherwise, he’s been pretty accurate in his predictions. At least he was last year. I’ll be visiting him throughout the postseason (let’s hope it lasts awhile) and will pass along his pearls of wisdom. I wish I could pass along his hot dogs too. They’re really good.

Congratulations, CC, On Win #20!

CC.portrait800wi.jpg
I could talk about the game (it was a relaxing one thanks to big hits by Cano, Grandy, Gardy, Jorge, Swish), but this post will honor Carsten Charles Sabathia for achieving his personal best 20 victories in a season.
applause.gif
I saw Chad Gaudin ask the ump for the ball to give to CC, but I think our ace deserves more than a baseball. Here are some other commemorative ideas:
* 20 steaks for dinner tonight.
steak.jpg
* 20 glasses of champagne.
Glasses-of-Champagne460x300.jpg
* 20 massages by someone other than Stevie Donahue or Gene Monahan.
massage.man.jpg
* 20 bottles of Jeter’s cologne.
Driven.Jeet.jpg* 20 rides in A-Rod’s Maybach.
maybach-exelero-24.jpg
* 20 appearances on Letterman.
david-letterman.jpg
* 20 copies of a Yankees-related book, signed and personalized by its author.
she-fan cover.amazon_.jpg

I don’t want to talk about it

But I’m talking about it anyway.

It’s official: I now hate the Rangers.
If I were a Yankee I’d go out there today and beat them into submission.
On the other hand, I hate that the Yankees left a billion runners on base the last two nights.
I hate that Brett Gardner’s hurt, that he’s been playing hurt, that he’s looked awful.
I hate that Swisher’s hurt, that he’s been playing hurt, that his numbers are down.
I hate that Jeter’s been playing like he’s hurt but is just “in a funk.”
I hate that A-Rod’s big hit in the eighth was wasted.
I hate when any Yankee grounds into a double play.
I hate that we’re stuck with Austin Kearns.
I hate that the arms of our relievers are probably as effective as wet noodles.
I hate that we lost and Tampa won – again.
I hate that Roger Federer lost the U.S. Open semis yesterday.
I hate that it’s raining on my last day in CT.
I hate that I have to fly back to CA tomorrow where there are hardly any Yankee fans.
But most of all, I hate that Mo blew the save. The very idea gives me nightmares.
screaming.jpg

What A Fabulous Day!

Not only did the Yankees beat the Jays today while I was in attendance (breaking my personal two-game losing streak), but Hurricane Earl stayed away from the Bronx and I got to see my Yankees up close and I sat with my brilliant She-Fan book editor, Leigh Haber, and a she-fan named Freya, who reads this blog religiously but hasn’t commented in awhile, took the time to find me at my seat and say hello. And that’s just for starters.
I got to the Stadium early enough to meet Friend of the Blog ladyjane, who was there with Twitter friend Gayle (aka @gcf123), as well as Twitter friends Alison (@alisonfaye) and Michael (@mdelcorso) and the ringmaster of us all, Chris (@SimplySmoov), who works security in section 120a and has the best spot in the house to watch games. It wasn’t long before I corralled Gayle, who is extremely knowledgeable about the Yanks, to talk to me on the She-Fan Cam. Take a look.
Did she not make excellent predictions? OK, so the Yankees won 7-3, not 6-2, and Nova didn’t go six innings. But she nailed it on Wood and Gardner, right?
Next up was foooood. I totally love the new Stadium for many reasons but one of them is the array of meal choices. Friend of the Blog John is always raving about the Lobel’s steak sandwich, so Michael had to try it. Here’s his reaction.
(Pardon him for talking with his mouth full, but I did ask him a question while he was eating. My bad.)
The game itself was a thrill, not only because the Yankees won but because I got to see Mo pitch the ninth. Sheer joy. Still, the highlight of the day wasn’t the win or the food but the opportunity to meet Jane Lang, who was such a hit at this year’s HOPE Week. Thanks to an introduction by @SimplySmoov, I was able to chat with Jane, who, although blind, takes the train to the games from New Jersey with the help of her guide dog Clipper. Just watch this video and tell me she’s not an inspiration. Is she the best she-fan around or what?

Daydreaming About Tomorrow Night’s Game

With way too much time on my hands this off-day, I let my mind drift. That’s what vacations are for, right? Anyhow, I started to imagine all the excellent things that could happen during Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox. Here are a few.

Nine-Run Innings Work For Me

I was hoping to go to the Stadium for today’s finale against the Tigers, but my husband Michael said he was “too tired.” So what did he do about an hour before the Yankees took the field? This.
At first, it looked like he wouldn’t make it out of the dock area, but off he went.
I walked inside the house and turned on the game. He was back by the third inning and got to see all the fun. And what fun it was. I really do love it when the boys are spanking opposing pitchers.
spanking0123.jpg
Nine runs in the sixth? Sweet. Huuughes? Another win. Tex? A couple of amazing defensive plays. Cano? Just plain sick at the plate. The only sour note was Mitre’s ineffectiveness. Well, and the fact that Granderson and Gardner could have had a horrible collision (scary moment). But mostly, I was just thrilled that we won a series. It’s been awhile.

Winning and Plunking, Plunking and Winning

The good news was that despite Moseley’s homer-happy pitches, the Yankees took it to the Tigers’ pitchers for the win. I’m not a fan of Bonderman, who always looks miserable on the mound and whines like a four-year-old, so I wasn’t surprised that he hit Gardner in the first. I knew there would be retaliation for Brett’s take out of Guillen a couple of days before. What did surprise me was that after the plunking of Cabrera and the “errant” pitch behind Jeter, we didn’t see an all out brawl.
foodfightbig.jpg
In fact, I started to wonder: Have the Yankees been in a fight this year? I don’t think so. Maybe they’re due, and tomorrow’s game will have some fireworks. Porcello will be on the hill for Detroit and we’ve seen what he’s capable of.
porcello.youk.jpeg
I really hope there isn’t any trouble, because we can’t afford to lose anybody – not to a suspension or an injury. So behave, boys! (Well, unless the Tigers start it.)
Speaking of hostility, I went grocery shopping today at the local market here in CT and what did I see in the freezer section?
sox.ice cream.jpeg
I found a sales clerk and said, “Excuse me, but I don’t see any Yankees ice cream.”
Sales clerk: “That’s because we don’t have any.”
Me: “But there are Yankee fans in this town. The guy who lives two houses down has the NYY decal on the back of his car, and the woman next door to him wore a Jeter T-shirt when she was outside getting the newspaper.”
Sales clerk: “Can’t help you, lady.”
Me: “Are YOU a Red Sox fan?”
Sales clerk: “No. I hate baseball.”
Talk about getting plunked!
Oh, before I forget, here’s a link I think people will really enjoy. It’s an interview by the Collectors Weekly site with a Red Sox She-Fan who appraises Yankees memorabilia. Check it out. Very interesting stuff.

Never Mind What I Said Yesterday

Today’s game reminded me why baseball can be so frustrating. Way too many if only’s. Way too many missed opportunities. Way too many of these.
swisher_strikeout.jpg
Huuuughes was great after a shaky start, but Lester was better. Still, the Yankees were in it until the bitter end and could have/should have launched a come-from-behind victory.
In the “if only” category:
Marcus Thames’ ball that almost went over the wall for a homer.
Austin Kearns’ screamer that went foul.
Gardner’s failure to steal after being inserted as a pinch runner for A-Rod.
In the “missed opportunities” category:
Granderson’s K with bases loaded.
Swisher’s three Ks.
Berkman’s pop-up as a pinch hitter. (Back came the boos.)
An overall 0-for-9 with RISP.
In the just-plain “suckitude” category:
Posada’s throws to second base. Can he please not catch three games in a row?
Was there good news today? Sure. The pitching was stellar, even if Joba did get slider happy in the ninth. And Swisher and Kearns made terrific catches. But mostly, I turned off the TV and felt like cleaning the house, just to blow off steam.
dancing-woman2.gif
Speaking of blowing off steam, did everyone read about the Jet Blue flight attendant who flipped out at JFK?
jetblue.jpg
I’m flying Jet Blue into Kennedy on Friday night for the start of my vacation back east. If that guy had been on my flight, I would have whipped out the She-Fan Cam, gotten him on video and posted it here. But not to worry. I’ll be bringing the Cam with me, just in case.
flip-video-camcorder-1.jpg
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.