Tagged: Angel Berroa

What I Learned From Tonight’s Blowout

1) iPhones are the greatest invention known to mankind.
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.
2) Dustin Moseley knows how to pitch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
grilled mahi mahi1.JPG

The Yankees Must Be Reading My Blog

Yesterday, I suggested – strongly – that A-Rod be given a day off or two, and – lo and behold – he sat out the opener of the series against the Marlins.
He’ll probably be on the bench for Saturday’s game too. It’s about time he got time off. I had my tonsils out when I was in second grade, and I didn’t go to gym class right after the surgery.
While A-Rod was taking the night off, the Yankees were beating the Marlins the way they should have beaten the Nationals. The 5-1 victory could have been 10-1, given all the runners left on base, but I won’t quibble. We got a very good bounce-back outing from Pettitte.
He went seven innings, gave up a measly three hits and walked nobody. Was he really, really excellent or were the Marlins really, really bad? It was probably both. I mean, we were playing “the fish,” for God’s sake.
I know Hanley Ramirez is supposed to be so terrific, but did you see that ball hit to his right that he couldn’t grab? Angel Berroa, tonight’s surprising replacement for A-Rod, made a better play on Paulino’s grounder in the seventh. Of course, he also popped up with bases loaded. Grrrr.
Jeter was in the lineup and, despite a nice offensive night, he was clearly hampered by the stiff ankle. I guess that’s why Girardi didn’t use Pena at third, in case Derek had to come out during the game. He was definitely limping.
In addition to the effective job by Pettitte, the Yanks got another strong eighth-inning outing from Bruney. Is he the one who will finally grab the slot most recently held by this guy?
Joba Yankee.jpg
And before him, this guy?
I’d like to see some stability in the pen, but the jury’s still out on Brew. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m not into his ‘stache. Nobody can do ‘staches like Giambino.
So what if he had to use a little bit of this now and then?
Bottom line? It was a positive game for the Yanks. I hope they’re enjoying the Miami nightlife, but not too much.
They need to sweep here. Are you reading this, Yankees? I said: SWEEP.

Random Thoughts For A Rainout Day

#1) I wouldn’t have gotten to see today’s Yankees-Angels finale even if they’d played it. Why? Because I was blacked out. Not just on regular TV but on MLB.TV too. BLACKED OUT.
What was the deal? I live in California. I get all the Angels games on the local Fox Sports channel. But today, for some inexplicable reason, the baseball gods decided to issue a blackout restriction. Am I not paying enough for my Extra Innings package, my Cox cable, my MLB premium, my everything? It absolutely infuriated me.
#2) The rainout means Nick Swisher will have another day to rest his sore elbow. I admit I wasn’t one of his early supporters. I’m a Nady person. But Swish won me over (he had me at: “Sure, I’ll pitch”) and I miss not seeing him and his bat in the lineup everyday.
#3) The rainout today also means I didn’t have to watch Angel Berroa play third. Girardi had him slated to go instead of Pena, and An-hell’s error-prone defense could have been contagious and led to a whole lot of slipping and falling.
#4) Back to Nady. He is undergoing a medical procedure that could return him to the Yankees lineup much sooner and without surgery. According to Peter Abraham, he’s having “platelet-rich plasma injected directly into the area around the torn ligament in his elbow.” Ouuuwww.
#5) Just wondering: Who pays for Nady’s procedure, A-Rod’s hip surgery and the countless MRIs that players undergo as routinely as they take batting practice? Do the Yankees foot the bill for all this stuff? The players themselves? The players’ union? All I know is that Cigna, my health insurance company, gives me a hard time if I even look at my doctor.
#6) I wasn’t going to get into Selena Roberts’ book about A-Rod, but since the game was rained out I might as well. If MLB needs to investigate whether he used steroids as a Yankee and/or if he tipped pitches while in Texas, they should go for it and, if he’s guilty, give him the Pete Rose treatment. But seriously. How will Bud and his investigators ferret out the “anonymous sources?” It could be a challenge, given that Roberts herself won’t cooperate. What I truly don’t care about is what A-Rod may or may not have done when he was a kid.
For all I know he’s the most unpleasant, selfish, needy, womanizing man on the planet. But unless he’s done something that requires discipline from MLB, I refuse to act like he’s…..this guy.
(Daily Flip Video Contest Reminder) I’m getting some really great pix!

Yanks/Sox Game 3: My Head Wasn’t In It

Why wasn’t I more engaged during tonight’s 4-1 loss to the Red Sox? What made me sit quietly instead of yell at the TV? How come I was even tempted to change the channel?
Maybe it was because I was concerned about my car, which I’d stupidly driven into a curb, busting the right front wheel well and necessitating a call to Roadside Assistance.
Or maybe it was because Girardi put Berroa at third again instead of the more defensively capable Pena, so I was not surprised when Angel made those two errors.
I suppose my detachment could have been due to the fact that Robinson Cano was the only Yankees batter with a pulse.
Or that, while Ellsbury’s stealing home must have been a genuine thrill for Red Sox fans, it left me cold.
I certainly wasn’t amused that Pettitte, despite the walks, pitched another decent game with nothing to show for it except this.
And while Mike Lowell was an RBI machine, he looked gimpy at third and made me worry how A-Rod will fare when he returns from his own hip surgery. (Please hurry, Al.)
I was roused from my stupor when Mark Melancon made his appearance, and I was impressed with his two scoreless innings of relief work. 
rescue work.jpg
But he’s 24. Didn’t he look, like, 40?
Seriously. I thought I was watching a scene from “Benjamin Button.”
I was really excited when I got an email during the game from Greg of Red Sox Ramblings. He had an encounter with Dave Winfield while he was working at Fenway and wanted to let me know. Very cool, Greg! I loved it!
In the end, I guess I was just suffering from Yankees-Red Sox Fatigue – all those hours and innings without a single victory. I would be discouraged right now, except that the Yanks are a very good team that ran into a very hot club. It happens. I don’t think anybody could have beaten the Sox this weekend, given the streak they’re on.
The good news? There are 144 games left. Plenty of time for the Yankees to get hot too.
(Daily Flip Video Contest Reminder. Great pics are coming in, so add yours!)

How To Beat The Red Sox? Bleach!

No, I’m not implying that the Red Sox need a good cleaning. I’m simply celebrating the fact that our highly touted prospect, Austin Jackson, smacked a grand slam in the Yankees’ 7-1 victory tonight. It was great to see Ajax deliver after all the hype, and I have a feeling he won’t be toiling away in Trenton (or Scranton) for long.
But if he makes it to the bigs as the Yankees’ center fielder of the future, what happens to Brett Gardner?

 Brett tripled and scored, and his speed is drawing comparisons to one of these.

AJ Burnett was very effective until the sixth, and Mo was his usual brilliant self. But what’s up with Marte?
Whenever he comes into a game these days, I start to get the shakes – just like I used to with this guy.
As for An-hell Berroa, he’s hitting as if it’s his 2003 Rookie of the Year season. Could the Yankees have hired someone from NASA to build a secret Way Back Machine?
The win was nice, but the truth is I found what came after the game to be much more riveting: the MLB Network’s interview with Dwight Gooden.
Doc looked great compared to the above mug shot in which he scarily resembled Ike Turner, and he seemed comfortable covering everything from his no-hitter as a Yankee on the day his father had open-heart surgery to his time in jail with the son he always hoped would play baseball with him. But did anyone else have trouble understanding him? I’ve never heard a person talk so fast, and there were a few minutes during the interview when I wondered if he was high. I hope not, obviously. What a pitcher he was.
On a lighter note, I was glad to have Jeter back. It’s been reported that he’s building a 30,000 square foot house on a private island off of Tampa. Since 30,000 square feet is large, even by a professional athlete’s standards, I’m wondering if he’s planning to take in boarders.
His family members, maybe?
His new friends from Team USA and their family members?
The Octomom and her family members?
I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Brian Cashman Is Such A Kidder

According to widely published reports, Yankees GM Brian Cashman won’t be acquiring an established third baseman to fill in for A-Rod while he’s rehabbing his hip. No signing a free agent. No sending another team prospects in a trade. Nada.
“I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” he said. “Our answer is here in camp.”
Yeah, right. Because the Yankees never go out and get a high-profile player. Tell that to Bubba Crosby, our supposed center fielder until we ended up with Johnny Damon. Or to Enrique Wilson, our supposed third baseman until we ended up with A-Rod. Or to Nick Swisher, our supposed first baseman until we ended up with Mark Teixeira. Sure, we’ll put Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa out there on Opening Day at our brand new stadium. Hahahahahahaha.

I asked a couple of other Yankee She-Fans if they found Cashman’s remarks as hilarious as I did. Here are their reactions.
O.K., so the Yankees will cast a wide net for a guy to play third. But who will it be?
I know, I know. I’m reaching. It’ll probably be him.
But how will I ever be able to spell Grudzielanek whenever I do a post about him? It’s always something, isn’t it?
At least Joba pitched well tonight and so did Phil Coke, and the Baby Bombers went on an offensive tear, beating the Reds 7-1.

Day Two In Tampa (With Videos)

Another gorgeous day here in Yankeeville. No humidity. No bugs. Not even a stray alligator.

I met such great people at my signing at Barnes & Noble, including the one and only Rays Renegade, ladies and gentlemen! He’s my BFF for showing up.
He had to dash off to watch the Rays, but I’m very grateful that he took the time to support his fellow MLBlogger. If anyone else gets the chance to meet him, seize it. He’s a sweetheart.
We had lots of other interesting visitors – from the woman who wanted a signed book for her son’s school auction to the boy who roots for the Tampa Bay Lightning but bought a book for his baseball-loving mother.
And then we had this Yankee-fan-family from Binghampton, New York, who’d flown down to Tampa the night before.
And this enthusiastic she-fan who was one of the first in line…
And the mother and daughter who were both named Laura…
And this hardcore Yankee-ite from Woodstock, New York.
Her name is Eileen and I met her the day before at the ballpark. Here’s the video from that first chat. As you can see, she has only love for her Yanks, one in particular.
Toward the end of the signing, along came a Yankee fan/Tampa local, formerly from New York.
I had to pull out the Flip Video camera to record her Jeter story.
Before leaving the bookstore, I chatted up Nan, the community relations director at B&N.
It turned out that she had her own intel about The Captain.
She escorted me over to the store’s “endcap” where my book was, indeed, creating a Jeter sandwich.
My last interview at the store was with the woman at the B&N Cafe who has actually serviced served Jeter.
O.K. Now onto baseball. Friday’s game was the first night game of the season at Steinbrenner Field and there was much more electricity than the day before.
And with good reason: CC was in the house.
I know. He’s the size of a pinhead in that photo, but he was in total command during his two innings and was a pleasure to watch.
Other game notes….Angel Berroa has lobster claws for hands….Cody Ransom is more than competent at third base as A-Rod’s apparent replacement, although I wonder where A-Rod’s 150 RBIs will come from….Aceves bounced back nicely from his last outing…Shelley Duncan needs to stay in the minors forever (terrible play in right field)….Brett Gardner made a fabulous catch in center and my infatuation with him continues….Ramiro Pena, the kid playing shortstop while Jeter’s away, is impressive….Nick Swisher is growing on me; he threw lots of baseballs to the fans….Yankee fans in Tampa booed Sheffield just like they do in the Bronx….and, best of all, the Yanks beat the Tigers.
Oh. Indulge me one final fan encounter. Seated behind me was a woman wearing a zillion Yankee pins on her jacket. If the Yanks were the Army, she’d be a general. Take a look.
After the game, we were treated to a dazzling display of fireworks. The Steins know how to throw a party.

On The Eve Of The WBC….My Thoughts About “Age-Gate”

OMG! Jeter will be wearing another uniform when he faces the Yankees!


Honestly, I’ll live. I’m sure the game will be exciting and I’ll watch the tournament with interest. But tonight? I’m thinking about Angel Berroa.
It’s been six long years since he won the Rookie of the Year award with the Royals.
Who would have guessed the Yankees would invite him to spring training to compete for the utility infielder’s job – and that he’d hit a double and a homer in today’s game against the Astros?
Angel, you may remember, ran afoul with MLB in 2002 when he was embroiled in “Age-Gate,” the scandal involving several Latin American players who claimed to be younger than they really were.
Will he win a roster spot with the Yanks? Does it matter how old he is if he can hit the ball and field his position? Do I care if he has an AARP card or uses Botox or covers his gray like the guys in the Just For Men Haircolor commercial?
Another Yankee who was cagey about his age was this guy.
If a pitcher can contort his body into a pretzel like El Duque did and still manage to get batters out, he can be on my team any day.
Less amusing is the case of Esmailyn Gonzalez, the 19-year-old Dominican who scored a $1.4 million signing bonus from the Nationals in 2008.
esmailyn_gonzalez.jpgEsmailyn’s real name turned out to be the far less melodious Carlos Alvarez David Lugo, and he was 23, not 19. The Nats were conned; this kid wasn’t who he said he was.
Still, far be it from me to judge someone who’s trying to climb the corporate ladder by shaving a few years off the resume. It happens every day.
What will really blow my mind is when a female ballplayer from the Dominican comes over here insisting she’s a guy and gets a big contract.
I mean, could you swear this person is a man or a woman? I defy you.
Seriously. Ramon? Or Rosa? You decide. But I’m seeing a faint mustache.

Signs of Intelligent Life In Yankeeville


It started with a home run by Posada. Hip, Hip, Jor-haaaaaay!
It ended with a home run by Shelley. Shel-ley! Shel-ley! Shel-ley!
There was defensive brilliance by Cano. Let’s hear it for that banned trainer in the DR!
We had impressive outings from our pitchers. Bruney lost more weight! No double chin!
And Tex hit his first single as a Yankee. Who says he’s a slow starter!
Even Angel Berroa got on base. He’s our new Luis Sojo!
Lots to cheer about at Steinbrenner Field, as the Yanks beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 and proved for the second day in a row that they are not mired in scandal or depressed by their third-place finish last year or even wrung out from their excursion to the billiards parlor.
So what if the Rays left every star player except Carl Crawford back in Port Charlotte?  It was still sweet to beat those Cinderfellas and their wine-aficionado manager.
But what really brightened my day was when I read that CC Sabathia will make his Steinbrenner Field debut on Friday, March 6th – the night I’ll be there! Talk about the planets being perfectly aligned.
I’m so stoked that I’m already planning my wardrobe. I don’t want to seem overeager when I watch CC from my seat in Section 104, so do I leave the fancy clothes at the hotel and opt, instead, for jeans and my Mariano Rivera T-shirt? Or is it rude to wear the jersey of the old guy when you’re there rooting for the new guy? 
What will I eat, given that I’ll be nervous? My head tells me that the hot dogs will be awful, but my heart tells me that CC would want me to scarf down a few.
And what sort of cheer do I chant for the occasion?
Let’s go, CC! Clap, clap, clap clap clap!

Cee-Cee! Cee-Cee! Cee-Cee!

Or maybe just…
Welcome to the Yankees! I love you!
It’s all so confusing, but I have a week to figure it out. In the meantime, here’s what can’t happen that night. Cannot.
Or this.
No, I don’t do rain.
I have tickets to the game and that’s that, so I need the weather to cooperate and for the sky to look exactly like this.
Thank you in advance.

Yankees Invite Me To Spring Training!

O.K., so my name wasn’t on the list of the 20 non-roster invitees announced today, and it wasn’t exactly the Yankees that invited me to Tampa. It was Barnes & Noble.

But still. I’m going to spring training, which is no small thing. I’ll be signing copies of my book between trips to Steinbrenner Field, so if anybody will be in the Tampa area on Friday, March 6th at 1 p.m., please stop by the Carrollwood store and say hi. I mean it. Come. It’s humiliating to sit there all by yourself like a kid with a lemonade stand.
This nice author is putting on a brave face, but inside she’s dying, trust me. What I’d really like to see is something more like this.
A line, right. Just to get inside the store.
In fact, it would be gratifying if there was such a huge, unruly crowd that we needed help keeping the peace.
With reinforcements.
I’ll also be at the game that night (Yankees host the Tigers), and can’t wait to get my first look at CC, AJ and Tex in their Yankees uniforms.
As for those 20 non-roster invitees, which include everyone from the DFA’d Shelley Duncan to the well-traveled Angel Berroa, I was thinking….since the Yankees seem to be so democratic about the process….maybe they’d invite one more person? 
No, of course I’m not suggesting that I try out for the team. I stink at baseball. Tennis has been my game, and all I dreamed about growing up was playing like her.
I was just wondering if I could sneak onto the field and take batting practice. It’s not totally unheard of.
Posh Spice did it.
She even tossed the ball around.
(Talk about throwing like a girl.)
Maybe they’d let me catch for an inning or two.
Or steal a base.
On second thought, I’d probably get in the way and cause something like this to happen.
And the truth is, I’m more interested in hanging out with the players than being in the middle of a melee.
Will I find someone to hang out with?
Yeah, that’s me. And him. But we’re just friends.