Since we’re all feeling a little impatient/perplexed/downright angry about the Yankees’ off-season thus far, I figured I’d lighten the mood with a bulletin: It’s almost spring training, which means it’s almost Opening Day. I know, I know. I’m not the only one with a calendar, but I just might be one of the only ones with a preview of the new Yankee Stadium E-Guide, which is the fantastic creation of Kurt Smith as part of his BallparkE-Guides series.
Each e-guide is a detailed, PDF-formatted booklet that takes us through our favorite parks in a way that teams’ official programs and web sites don’t. For example, at Yankee Stadium you can’t get back into the ballpark once you leave, right? Wrong. Thanks to a tip in the Yankee Stadium E-Guide, I learned that if you enter via the Hard Rock Cafe and have your ticket punched there, you can come and go as often as you want. The E-Guide has insider info about buying tickets, paying less for tickets, figuring out what and where the best food is, not to mention getting to the Bronx without stress. It’s all here and it’s only five bucks, downloadable from Kurt’s site. I’ll definitely consult the Yankee Stadium E-Guide before my next visit to the Stadium.
Speaking of which, I predict that the Yanks will, indeed, end up signing Rafael Soriano.
Why? Because there’s precedent for bringing in a proven closer as our setup guy. Does the name Tom Gordon ring a bell? He worked out pretty well setting up for Mo even though he’d been a closer for the Red Sox. Despite Cashman’s comments about staying “in-house” for the eighth inning and trying to avoid an expensive LaTroy Hawkins/Kyle Farnsworth-type flop, Soriano is no Hawkins/Farnsworth. He’d fit the bill just fine.
What do I know? In case you didn’t see the ESPNNew York article today about Petttte’s reluctance to come back, take a look.
By now everyone’s seen the story about “the homeless guy with the golden voice,” right? He’s been making the rounds and been offered all sorts of broadcasting jobs. What I don’t think anybody’s asked him is: “Are you a baseball fan?” And, more specifically: “Are you a Yankee fan?” He’s from New York with the accent to prove it, so why not hire him for occasional announcing duties during Yankees games or maybe for some of the programming on YES?
Well, there is one problem. He might have to change his name.
It was bad enough to have to read that the Yankees are considering Freddy Garcia and Jeff Francis and even Bartolo Colon for the rotation. But now I’m supposed to add Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Bonderman to the list, according to LoHud? My reaction is the same as it’s been this entire off-season: to hold my ears and go, “Lalalalalalalalalala.”
I was a good fan when we got Javy Vazquez last year. I pretended like it was a smart move. I said all the right things and cheered him on and acted pained when it was implied that he didn’t have what it took to pitch in New York.
Before that, I put on a brave face when we picked up Sidney Ponson. “He’ll get his act together once he’s in pinstripes,” I said out loud.
I even rooted for Kei Igawa.
But enough is enough. I don’t want any of the starters mentioned in the first paragraph of this post – all of whom qualify as other teams’ stale leftovers.
I don’t want reclamation projects, either. I want pitchers with talent. Yeah, talent. Any kind of talent. Maybe this guy’s available?
That’s what I’m wondering after reading that the Yankees have added Andruw Jones to their list of possible right-handed hitters to play this year’s version of Marcus Thames.
My first thought was why didn’t we just re-sign Thames? Because he can’t field the ball in the outfield? Neither can the other names that have been bandied about: Manny Ramirez and Vlad Guerrero. Would any of these guys settle for a role on the bench? And even if they would and their price tags weren’t too high, would I want them?
What I want, for the 150th time, is a starting pitcher whose name is Andy Pettitte, plus another guy whose name is Felix Hernandez. Is that too much to ask? Here’s what I’m offering Brian Cashman if he can make just one of those options happen:
* The chocolate cake I baked for my friend Rhonda’s Thanksgiving.
* The chicken and barley stew I cooked for Michael the other night.
* The bottle of Syrah that was served at the New Year’s Eve party I went to.
OK, clearly those aren’t that enticing. I need to step it up. How about:
* My Porsche Boxster S. It’s old but it’s still a beauty.
* My book collection. Romantic novels might not be Cash’s thing, but so what.
* My TVs. Sure he already has some, but who doesn’t need more TVs?
* My husband. Yes, I’d miss Michael, but sacrifices are what being a fan is all about.
I’ve never been good at waiting. Not for the phone to ring. Not for a package to arrive. And especially not for the Yankees to do something besides sign
Jose Pedro Feliciano. I’m tired of watching other teams make deals or be rumored to be making deals while our GM dresses as an elf for the holidays and rappels down a tall building. What I also have to admit is that I’m tired of waiting for Andy Pettitte to decide if he wants to come back and pitch for the Yankees. I love Andy. A lot. And I sincerely hope he’s on the 2011 team. But he’s been doing this dance with regularity and it’s gotten annoying. He’s had months to think about whether his family needs him at home, hasn’t he? Surely, his kids and his wife (and his aunts, uncles and cousins) have expressed their preference by now. And surely he can see how badly his teammates need him. So I get that he might be as torn as the jeans in the picture, but it’s time for a decision. Please, Andy. As the expression goes, “S—t or get off the pot.”
Here’s the headline that generated my laughter today.
It was from a blog on NESN that was brought to my attention by Paul Lebowitz’s blog earlier. Now don’t get me wrong; the Red Sox made terrific deals to upgrade their team this off-season, and my Red Sox fan friends (yes, I do have a few) are rightfully delirious with their shiny new acquisitions, just as we were when CC, AJ and Tex landed in our laps. But “the greatest team in major league history?”
That’s just plain hilarious. For starters, I wouldn’t be caught dead writing a headline like that, given how superstitious I am. (Talk about a jinx.) For another thing, isn’t it a little nutty to make such a grandiose prediction this early, particularly after 2010 when the Red Sox were supposed to be locked and loaded and instead ended up sending everybody to the DL? And finally, the author of this masterpiece decided to compare the 2011 Red Sox with the 1927 Yankees?
There’s a reason the ’27 Yanks were called “Murderers’ Row.” (And it wasn’t because they had a bunch of murderers on the team, which reminds me: Did everyone read about O’s pitcher Simon? Allegedly, he shot and killed a guy in the Dominican over the weekend and wounded another. I hate when that happens.) Babe Ruth hit 60 homers that year and Gehrig 47, and the others in the lineup were no slouches either. The team dominated, absolutely dominated. So my question is this…Will the 2011 Red Sox dominate in the same way? Can any team dominate in the same way, given the competition these days? And who would comprise Boston’s Murderers’ Row? Crawford and Gonzalez are really good but are they Ruth and Gehrig? Are Pedroia and Youkilis? No doubt they’ll all score a ton of runs, but I’m just not ready to anoint them as the “greatest team in major league history.” That’s like saying the chicken and barley stew I made last night was the “greatest comfort food in culinary history.” I mean, it was excellent, if I do say so myself, but….Well, you get my drift.
I’m relieved to say I survived last night’s New Year’s Eve karaoke party. Actually, I not only survived but ended up having a really great time. Our hosts were gracious, everyone was in the holiday spirit and, once the machine started shooting out song after song, we all got into it. (Alcohol helped.) I’m hoarse today, so I must have been belting them out without realizing it. Anyhow, as promised, here are a couple of guests covering the Beatles. (Notice the guy in the background with the beard and glasses? That’s Michael, who claimed he didn’t sing, but as it’s plain to see he was moving his lips!)
Next up were our hosts (I promised I wouldn’t reveal their names so they wouldn’t be mortified). I hardly remembered the song “King of the Road” by Roger Miller but now I can’t get the damn thing out of my head.
The party was moving right along toward midnight when suddenly the karaoke machine started playing Neil Diamond’s….you guessed it….”Sweet Caroline.” I immediately held my ears and yelled, “God, no! Not that awful Red Sox song! I’m a Yankee fan!”
“You are?” asked Steve, one of the other guests.
“Absolutely,” I said, a little wary of admitting my allegiance in a town where most people root for the Dodgers or Angels.
“So am I,” said Steve, who explained that he grew up in Connecticut and has been a Yankee fan his whole life. “I’m really worried about the team going forward. The Red Sox made so many moves and we didn’t. I still can’t believe we didn’t get Cliff Lee.”
Well, that led to a discussion of the Bombers and our concern about the pitching, etc. Before we knew it, the TV came on and Ryan Seacrest was in Times Square counting down to midnight – and Frank Sinatra was in the background singing “New York, New York.”
“Now that song makes me feel a lot better,” I said. “We could be at Yankee Stadium right now.”
Which was not a bad way to end the evening.
As I mentioned in last night’s post, I’m going to a New Year’s Eve party where there will be a karaoke machine and guests are supposed to, you know, sing. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have subjected myself to the humiliation, but here’s how this all unfolded.
My friend John: “We’re having a New Year’s Eve party this year and we’d love it if you’d come.”
Me: “I’m so there.”
My friend John: “It’ll be cool. You’ll get to meet my daughter and her fiance since they’re in town.”
Me: “I’ll really look forward to that. What can I bring?”
My friend John: “A bottle of wine, if you want. Or maybe something dessert-y and sweet.”
Me: “Will do.”
My friend John: “Oh, and bring your voice.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
My friend John: “We’re having a karaoke machine. Everybody’s gotta sing. It’ll be the perfect way to bring in the New Year.”
I smiled and nodded. And then I thought….Jane, you hate karaoke! Too late. I was trapped, having already said I was going. I’m sure it’ll be fun once I get into it, but I’m really hoping I don’t remind everyone of her…..
Oh, well. Maybe I’ll bring the She-Fan Cam and catch somebody else sounding awful, and if so I’ll be sure to post the video right here.
Wherever you’re going for New Year’s and whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a great time. Here’s to a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2011! (GO YANKEES!)
As we tick off the final hours of 2010, I went back over my blog posts from this year and decided to pick the one that made me happiest. Well, maybe not THE happiest but very happy nonetheless. It was the post about the Yankees clinching a playoff spot. They had limped their way to the finish line but made it into the postseason, and I celebrated as if they’d won the World Series. I want to hold onto that memory as I brace myself for 2011, although the picture below really does make me look like Alice Cooper.