Results tagged ‘ Dave Robertson ’

Tipping Our Cap to Lee And Calling Him Our Daddy

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No, Cliff Lee is not a god. He’s not even the best pitcher in the major leagues. But he owns the Yankees, and his performance tonight only highlighted the point. He made the hitters look like Little Leaguers (no offense to the kids below, who could probably have done a better job).
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Was Lee really that good or did his whole aura mess with the Yankees’ heads? Probably both. He threw strikes and they couldn’t hit them. At all. It was a shame because Andy pitched great, minus the mistake to Hamilton. He was everything we could have hoped for and more, and he deserved better. What was Dave Robertson doing in the ninth giving up all those runs? Why wasn’t Mo in there with the score at 2-0 to hold the Rangers down and allow the Yanks to score in the bottom of the inning? I have no idea. I’m hoping the beat writers will ask Girardi and I’ll read about it in the morning. In the meantime, I’m retiring the “lucky” turkey burgers and planning a menu change for tomorrow night: last year’s good luck charm during the World Series.
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I guess I should have figured things wouldn’t go well. We’ve been having uncharacteristically rotten weather here in SoCal with rain and fog day after day, but tonight was the capper: a rare thunderstorm with vicious lightning. We just don’t get that stuff here, so naturally the power went out in the house about six times during the game, leaving us in the dark.
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The Yankees must have felt like they had a power outage too. They certainly looked like it. If I were Girardi, I’d have a team meeting before Game 4 and say the following in a really loud, authoritative voice:
“You’re the Yankees, the reigning World Champions of baseball. You’re playing in Yankee Stadium in front of 50,000 fans who paid big bucks to come and cheer for you. You need to remember who you are, how you played all year long, how much you want to move forward into the next round, and, above all, how the layoff between this series and the ALDS is not an excuse for mediocrity. Oh, and She-Fan will be clogging her arteries with cheesy, greasy, fatty plaque by having pizza on your behalf. The least you can do is win the game for her.”

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

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

That Game Nearly Killed Me – In A Good Way

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Is there a Yankee fan who wasn’t hyperventilating tonight? I doubt it. Where/how do I even begin to talk about this game?
First: the decision to start Hughes instead of Moseley. Whether it was Girardi’s idea or Cashman’s edict, who cares. It was the right move for every reason, and Huuuuughes rose to the occasion. I feel so much better about our pitching after seeing how he stepped up.
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Dice K was dealing, so Tex’s bloop single and A-Rod’s homer were enormous. Just huge. Kudos to them for giving us the lead for the first time in ages. A-Rod looks ready and willing to carry this team if necessary.
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Cano drove home the tying run and is a lock for the MVP now. OK, not a lock, but he sure made a good case for himself tonight.
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Dave Robertson. Great job in a pressure situation. How lucky are we to have him? Same goes for Kerry Wood. And really nice outing by Joba – yes, Joba – as well as Boone Logan.
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Girardi was playing Russian roulette with all the moving parts, but the game had a happy ending. Miranda’s walkoff walk (I love typing that) wasn’t a pretty type of win, but who needs pretty. Given the Rays’ loss, we’re only a half a game back in the division. Way to capitalize, Yankees.
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I can’t not mention the obvious: Mo blew another save – his fourth in the month of September. I’ve been saying, “No big deal,” but maybe there’s cause for concern after all. I’d love to know if he’s injured and not telling anyone, or whether he’s simply going through an ineffective period. I love him too much to even contemplate the possibility that he’s wearing down.
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And Jorge. Seriously. Not only couldn’t he give us a sac fly when we needed a run, but those throws. Ugh. Why not just send out a press release to other teams that they should run on his arm whenever possible?
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But I quibble. Tonight was a great baseball game and the Yankees came out on top. (Freya, you promised we’d win and you came through!) I’m going to bed feeling nice and secure.
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Talk About A Seesaw Game

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First we lost a heartbreaker last night. Then we jumped out to a healthy lead against Garza tonight, thanks in part to homers by Cano and A-Rod. Then Nova and Logan coughed up the lead.
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Then Cano tied it up at 7-7 and it was yet another battle of the pens.
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I was hanging on every pitch from Joba, Wood and Robertson and went nuts with joy and relief when Granderson made the catch of our season. Just look at his handsome face and maybe give him a clap or two, OK?
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You could tell the team was fired up after that, so when Jorge came up to pinch hit I was ready for something good to happen. And it did.
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Did he crush that ball or what? Up by just a run with Mo on the mound in the bottom of the 10th – the second straight night of extras – it was tense times. Everybody knew Crawford would try to steal second and make it, so I was getting antsy with all the throws over to first. But what happened next was straight out of a dream (a good one this time). Crawford took off for third and was nailed – absolutely gunned down – by none other than Greg Golson. Who?
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Yeah, I didn’t know he had an arm either. Fast? Sure. A decent call up? Right. But a missile to throw out Crawford? Flabbergasted. So, it seemed, were the Yankees as they celebrated the win. I haven’t seen Jeter that excited in awhile. This is one series that has earned the advance hype: the two best teams going at it. I can only imagine what Wednesday night will bring. The one thing I do know is that since I’m back in California I returned to my playoff ritual of grilling turkey burgers for dinner during the games, and the rally burgers worked tonight. I will be eating another one tomorrow night. Care to join me? I’ve got plenty of them.
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We Were Robbed!

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Yes, the home plate ump had a bizarre strike zone. And yes, Morrow was very good. And yes, we only lost to the Jays by a run in a game we should have won off their bullpen. But I’m talking about getting robbed by Girardi and his quick hook.
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I really wanted to see more of Ivan Nova, and Joe pulled him after only 73 pitches. I felt deprived!
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Not only was the kid fun to watch (after that hairy first inning), but he showed some serious attitude in the exchange with Bautista, and I would have LOVED to see what might have happened during his next at bat.
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Instead, we had to witness Bow-tista taking a six-hour bow around the bases after he homered against Robertson, not to mention his fist pump in Cervelli’s face as he crossed home plate. What a creep. 
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Maybe Cashman Should Let Us Pick The Players

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We may not be GMs or professional scouts, but we fans talk to each other and we hear pretty much everything there is to hear about a player. For example, when the Yankees were looking at free agent starting pitchers prior to the ’09 season and ended up signing A.J. Burnett, here’s what several Toronto fans told me:
“He’ll frustrate the hell out of you. One minute he’ll look like the best pitcher you ever saw. The next he’ll break your heart. He’s the definition of inconsistency.”
I remember saying to myself, “Oh, that’s just sour grapes because the Blue Jays can’t afford to keep A.J.” But those fans were right, and I wish the Yankees had listened. Not that Burnett hasn’t been spectacular on occasion, and let’s face it – we won a championship with him last year. But how does a guy seem to be cruising and then give up seven runs in one inning?
Well, sure. He wouldn’t have given up seven runs if Girardi had pulled him sooner. But that’s beside the point. The bigger question is why hasn’t he become a more consistent pitcher – an elite pitcher – at this stage of his career? Is he uncoachable? Is he a head case? Or does he just have too many tattoos on his arms?
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I don’t know, but tonight’s game was disheartening. Yes, it was fun to watch Swisher hit two out and for Tex to go deep. And yes, it would be nice if A-Rod would get back on track, even if it means cranking out a few measly singles. And big round of applause for the pen – Robertson, Logan and Joba were great. But it all comes back to A.J., who didn’t cut his hands on the glass door again but made my eyes bleed.
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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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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?

Gotta Give Some Love To The Yankees Bullpen

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I didn’t think the Yankees would end up winning this game. Not after Pettitte got pounded in the first inning and especially not after he came up lame and left the game after the second. If that makes me a bad fan, so be it. But considering that A.J.’s tantrum yesterday required the use of Robertson and Gaudin, I kept wondering how our much-maligned (including by me) bullpen would contain the Rays today. So how did they do it? They were really good!

Here’s a big, heartfelt shout-out to Robertson (huge game saver for him), Logan, Park, Joba and Mo. They let the hitters do their thing and kept a lid on the Rays’ scoring. And speaking of hitters, how about the bats today? David Price didn’t look sharp, but our guys took advantage. Just about everybody contributed. Loved the steals. Loved the sacs. Loved the RBIs. Loved that A-Rod is now at HR #598 and could very well get to #600 during this home stand. I was there in 2007 when he hit #500 against KC, and KC will be in the Bronx later in the week. Could we be seeing this?
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Getting back to Andy, a grade 1 groin strain? Really? What are we supposed to do if he goes on the DL, which seems likely? Aceves isn’t around. Mitre and Gaudin don’t thrill me as starters. Hughes has an innings limit. All I can say is I wish Cashman hadn’t let this guy go.
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Update: So Pettitte’s going on the DL and Mitre’s taking his place? For 4-5 weeks? Please wake me when somebody from the Yankees says, “Only kidding.”

This Was a Game Even Yankee Haters Could Love (Maybe)

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I mean, seriously. Talk about a happy ending. After memorable tributes to Steinbrenner and Sheppard (such a nice touch dispensing with the player introductions), the Yankees somehow found a way to win one for The Boss. It just took awhile. The Rays had the lead. Then the Yankees tied it up. Then the Rays got the lead back. Then the Yankees tied it up. The script was practically written for Jeter to send the winning run home in the bottom of the ninth, but it was Swisher who played the hero and it was Granderson’s nifty slide at the plate that made a winner of Mo and took CC off the hook for the loss. What more could George ask for – his boys snuffed out the Rays at home in a tight contest.
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There were some funky moments though – from A-Rod’s error and subsequent near decapitation by that splintered bat, to Swisher’s adventure in right field after Upton and Kapler had made incredible catches. And CC wasn’t at his sharpest. But high points included the back-to-back homers by Cano and Posada when it finally looked like Shields was tiring, and an outstanding relief performance by Robertson. Oh, and there was Mo’s pickoff of Upton; he made it look effortless. Somewhere, George is smiling.
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