Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’

Pretty Soon It’ll Seem Like Old Times

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ESPN announced their lineup of Sunday night games the other day, and their second one of the season – the April 10th contest – will be Yankees/Red Sox at Fenway. I realize it’s still January but seeing that actual games will be played on actual dates makes the start of the 2011 campaign seem more real, doesn’t it? Like it’s really happening? It does to me.
Of course, while certain aspects of Yankees-Red Sox will seem like old times (the “Yankee suck” chants, the lusty boos for A-Rod and Tex, the presence of familiar villains like Pedroia and Youkilis), it’ll be interesting to see how newcomers Crawford and Gonzalez play into The Rivalry. And it’ll be weird not to have Joe Morgan and Jon Miller to kick around anymore. 
The good news is that spring really is around the corner, despite this photo that Friend of the Blog John (aka ooaooa) sent me of his picturesque, snow-covered backyard. Gotta love his taste in barns.
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My Jeter Countdown

I hope everybody has been enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve been enjoying mine. Well, except for the cold, hard reality that The Captain and The Yankees remain in negotiations hell. The fact that they haven’t made a deal and seem to be in a bona fide standoff is upsetting to me. It haunts my sleep. It creates low-level anxiety. It causes me to snap at my husband for no apparent reason.
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(Oddly, I’m not worried about Mo’s situation. The Yankees need him and will pay him, and that deal will happen.) Anyhow, I’ve decided that I’m going to post a different Jeter video every night on this blog until the announcement comes down that he’s safely back in the fold – no matter how long it takes. So here’s Video #1. I’d like Cashman and the Steinbrenners to watch it and then try to tell Casey Close with a straight face that his client is just another ballplayer.

Curtis, Martha and….Me?

This clip I took of today’s Martha Stewart show featuring our own Curtis Granderson will probably get disabled by YouTube for some violation or other, but in the meantime take a look.
I was watching Martha’s intro of Grandy and did a double take when she explained that she first met him at the Stadium on Opening Day. Then she said:
“I sit in Jane Heller’s seats, your banker. She’s right there at home plate.”
I sat in those exact seats for the 2000 World Series, thanks to an invitation from “The Other Jane Heller,” and they’re not at home plate. They’re better – front row at the on-deck circle with no umpires or catchers obstructing the view.
As for the segment with Grandy today? Let’s just say he was adorable, even when Martha mentioned how she never “dozes” when she’s at a game because she’s afraid she’ll get hit with a ball or broken bat. Excuse me, but if you’re sitting in the best seats in the house, you’re NOT allowed to DOZE!
The other thing is, Curtis Granderson is supposed to be on Michelle Obama’s fitness committee to stop child obesity and Martha makes him cook macaroni with about ten tons of six different kinds of cheese, not to mention cornbread with more heavy cream than a dairy. What’s that about? 
Oh well. It was fun seeing one of my favorite Yankees, speaking of which CONGRATULATIONS to Jeter, Tex and Cano for winning Gold Gloves! How cool is it that there were three Yankees among the nine AL recipients and that Robbie’s is his first GG. Very happy for all of them.
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The Second Day After…

I went to another movie screening. Yesterday’s film was a very good distraction and helped me forget that THE YANKEES AREN’T GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES, so I was looking forward to this morning’s offering. It was “The King’s Speech,” which is coming out in December and will – I guarantee it – be nominated for Best Picture come Academy Awards time. It’s hard to imagine Colin Firth not giving a great performance and he doesn’t disappoint in the role of King George VI, a man with a horrible stammer who nevertheless had to reassure a country at war.

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Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are terrific too, and the director told us after the screening how meticulously he researched the story to insure its authenticity. Two thumbs up from me. Tomorrow night I’ll be seeing Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” And then it will be on to Wednesday night and Game 1 of Rangers-Giants. I’ve decided to jump on the Giants’ orange-and-black bandwagon.
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The Dodgers are sort of my “second” team after the Yankees, because of Mattingly, and I know it’s heresy for Dodger fans to root for the hated Giants. But Michael’s brother and cousins live in SF and I live in California, and it’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement of castoffs like Cody Ross making it all the way to the big event. That said, someone needs to explain to me why Brian Wilson and other members of the bullpen have those dyed black beards.
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It must be some solidarity thing? Like: “Let’s all do this and see if it’s lucky for us?” And I get why Sandoval is called “Panda,” but isn’t that what everybody called this guy?
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I guess you can have more than one “Panda” in baseball. What you can’t have more than one of is “Mo, “Jeet,” “Tex,” “A-Rod”….Uh-oh. I’m feeling sad again. Better go watch a movie or something. How is everyone else doing? Do we need a group hug?

Oh, My

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I know my job here is to try to cheer everybody up after a loss and I’ll do my best, but let’s be honest: tonight was a major league bummer. And the bummer-ness can be summed up with two photos. This one:
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And this one:
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When I saw Tex grab his hammy in the fifth, I went numb. I think I even stopped breathing (sort of). You just never want to see an injury to one of your best players. Not anytime, but especially not when you’re fighting for a chance to get to the World Series. And while I haven’t heard the results of the MRI, I can’t imagine they’ll bring good news for him or the team. 
Onto the photo of AJ after he gave up the homer to Molina in the sixth. How did things go so horribly wrong? The Good AJ had shown up after all, and I was so relieved to see him pitching well with the crowd cheering his every strike. But – and cover your eyes if you don’t like me second guessing our manager – I wouldn’t have let him go back out for the sixth. He hadn’t pitched in forever and five innings of two-run ball would have allowed him to feel somewhat vindicated, to have 50,000 people on his side and, most importantly, to notch the win. Instead, Grady Little Joe Girardi pushed it and the result was awful.
And speaking of awful, what happened to Boone Logan all of a sudden? (I won’t even get into Joba or Mitre.)
All this agony might have been avoided if the hitters had done their job. They kept letting the Rangers’ pitchers off the ropes, and it was frustrating to watch.
So we lost. And now it’s up to CC to save us tomorrow – and for me to end this post on some happy notes.
* The pizza wasn’t lucky but it was delicious.
* There was more thunder and lightning here but my power didn’t go out.
* A Red Sox fan called me bad names on Twitter and I took the high road by not calling him bad names back.
* Patrick Wilson, the actor who sang “God Bless America,” is very handsome. (I loved him in the movie “Little Children.”)
* There’s a very good chance we’ll win Game 5.
Good night.

Yanks-Rangers Game 1: Picking Up Our Horse

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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.

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 (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.
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Yanks-Twins Game 1: Sheer Joy

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If only this little cheerleader could be wearing Yankees blue. Oh, well. You get the idea, which is that I’m really, really excited right now. Mo just saved the game and the Yanks came from behind to torture the Twins yet again. What a nail biter.
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CC didn’t have his best stuff, but it didn’t matter; the offense picked him up. Grandy rewarded Joe’s faith in him, Tex went deep, Cano had a big RBI, lalalala. The next thing I knew we were erasing Minny’s lead – twice – and winning the ballgame. The only controversy was the Golson catch – and it was a catch, as the replay clearly showed. Why bother to have an extra outfield ump or two if they all miss the call? Oh well. I can afford to be charitable about it, since there was no harm done. 
In other news, I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Doc Halladay for the no-hitter. He’s an amazing pitcher. I’ll never stop wishing he were a Yankee, but what a thrill for Phillies fans.
Back to our game, the victory sure does make me feel better about tomorrow night. I assume Mo won’t be available for Game 2, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I just hope Andy feels dandy and pitches like it.

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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Yanks-Rays Round 3: Death By Bullpen

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Ring…Moseley…Gaudin…Albaladejo. Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.
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Actually, Ring can be forgiven. It was his Yankees debut and he gave up a walk. Not a criminal offense. But the others? Please. All we needed to complete the parade of mediocrity was Mitre, but he must have been busy toweling off after the rain or something.
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The rain. I forgot to blame it too. For all we know, A.J. would have had a nice outing and we wouldn’t have had to use our D-list relief corps. On the other hand, the offense was getting no-hit until Berkman went deep. I guess it wasn’t the Yankees’ night, except for the defense; there were some terrific plays by Tex, among others. He can hardly hold a bat but he still shines at first base. Now for the Big Question: Did our friends Peggy, Melissa, YankeeCase/Eddie and Ladyjane/Jane stay through the long rain delay? Did they meet up as planned? Did they get drenched?
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I hope they’ll check in and tell all. Meanwhile, I’m counting on CC to wrap up the series tomorrow night with a dominant performance. Like a complete game shutout performance. Like a no-doubter that sends me into the weekend feeling better than I feel right now.
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Update: Right after I hit “publish,” an email from Melissa floated into my inbox with a photo of our “core four” at the game tonight. Without further ado, here are (from left to right): Jane, Melissa, Eddie and Peggy.
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And take a look at the buttons the gang is sporting. Melissa made them and here’s what they say…
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How cool are they? I love them!!!!!
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