Tagged: California

Ringing in the New Year with “Surf Dog” and @amandarykoff

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Before the holiday weekend was over, I figured it was my solemn duty to pay a visit to Bill Connell and let him know he won the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video – as voted on by readers of this blog.
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It was a beautiful afternoon here in Santa Barbara, so he had a long line of customers for his hot dogs. But he managed not only to give my husband a complimentary “jumbo jumbo dog,” but to let me shoot his acceptance speech and get his thoughts about the 2010 Yankees. Here he is – unplugged and unhinged.
As you can see, Bill got a nice haul of Yankees merchandise for Christmas. I wonder if his prediction about Vazquez will be as accurate as his prediction of the Yankees winning the World Series in six games. After I turned off the tape, he invited me to go with him to the Santa Anita race track next week. Do I dare? Something tells me the experience wouldn’t be dull.
But wait…there’s more. Just as I was closing out the holiday weekend, I had a visit from Amanda Rykoff, a California born/New York based Yankee fan and sports junkie whose blog is definitely worth checking out. I “met” Amanda on Twitter during baseball season. When she said she was coming to Santa Barbara to see her two-month-old nephew, I asked her to stop by and say hi. We had a great time sitting outside on my deck, talking about life and the Yankees. I was skeptical about Twitter when everybody kept telling me to sign up last year, but thanks to people like Amanda I’m a believer. Here she is waxing poetic about football and the Yanks via the She-Fan Cam.
The New Year is off to an excellent start!

My Visit With Amber Sabathia

Since the Yankees didn’t fly home from Minny until today, I took the opportunity to spend a little quality time with CC’s wife Amber. She met me at our usual spot, a cafeteria near Newark Airport, and we chatted about the Yankees, her husband, my husband, and, of course, the upcoming ALCS. She hasn’t changed that much since I first spoke to her during the off-season when CC was still deciding whether to sign with the Yankees.
OK, yes she has. She’s changed a lot. Moving to New York has turned her into a different person.
But she’s still very entertaining company, and she didn’t hesitate to share, which is crucial when it comes to girlfriends. Here’s an excerpt from our afternoon together. It sounded to me as if CC, like any successful pitcher, has a plan for facing the Angels.

Santa Barbara Is Burning

I was planning to blog about Nick Swisher tonight (I had a twisted post all ready to go) when a huge wildfire broke out very close to my house here in California. Santa Ana winds gusting up to 70 mph are fueling the fire, which has destroyed hundreds of acres in a few short hours. My husband and I are packed and ready to to evacuate as soon as they tell us to. Not easy to figure out what to throw in the car and what to leave, not knowing if there will be a house to come back to. A close friend’s house has already burned to the ground.
For those who’ve never been through this – and I hope that’s most of you – this is one scary situation. I can see orange flames out my window as I write this (our power has been in and out), and the white ashes are pouring down everywhere, almost as if it’s snowing. The smell is horrendous.
There are helicopters overhead, but the winds are too fierce for them to drop water on the fire.  Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency.
If anybody’s reading this, hold a good thought for us. Baseball seems very trivial at the moment, but I can’t wait to get back to caring about it.

And the AL Rookie of the Year Goes to…

Actually, they don’t announce the awards until tomorrow so I’m jumping the gun. But the odds are that the AL statuette will go to…Evan Michael Longoria. If I’m wrong and it’s Ellsbury or Joba or somebody, I’ll hang my head in shame. But why else would Erin Andrews be interviewing Evan if he’s not the winner?
I’m sticking with him. As a tribute, here’s my special presentation of “E: The True Longoria Story.”
It all begins on October 7th, 1985, the date of Evan’s birth. He’s a Libra, meaning his symbol is a scale of justice.
Libras are very balanced people, good diplomats. Gandhi, for instance, was a Libra. So if there’s ever a bench-clearing brawl, watch for Evan to be right there in the middle brokering a peace agreement.
He grew up in the city of Downey, California, southeast of L.A. What is there to say about Downey, you ask? For starters, it boasts the very first one of these on the planet earth.
And the very oldest surviving one of these.
Talk about historical significance in the realm of fast food restaurants! Not only that, Downey is the former home of
That’s right. The Carpenters. It’s also the current home of
Yep, Weird Al Yankovic. Bet you’ve been wondering where he’s been keeping himself.
Like other superstar athletes before him, Evan Longoria went Catholic when it came to schooling.
At St. John Bosco (not to be confused with the Bosco chocolate syrup I overdosed on as a child), Evan played baseball and was guided in his moral principles by the Salesians, a religious order founded by this man.
He earned a scholarship to Long Beach State, where he majored in criminology (those scales of justice again) and played baseball. He was a shortstop in high school but moved to third base because the Dirtbags (their name, not mine) already had a shortstop.
While Troy Tulowitzki eventually ended up with the Rockies, Evan landed with the Rays, never dreaming how much fun he would have in Tampa Bay.
His last name caught the attention of actress Eva Longoria, naturally, and to wish him luck she sent him this.
Yes, a bottle of Cristal, the world’s most expensive champagne. To return the favor, the young and clueless Evan sent Eva this.
Oh, well. He’s still learning. And Eva wasn’t turned off by his cheesy gesture. In fact, she offered him a cameo on her show.
Speaking of wives, Evan isn’t married and doesn’t have a girlfriend, although he was spotted at a USF football game with this woman.
Her name is Jaime Hanna and she’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader who also works as a dental hygienist.
So. Life is pretty awesome right now for Evan Michael Longoria. Congratulations to him on winning the AL Rookie of the Year….Unless, of course, I wake up tomorrow morning and find out he didn’t win it after all.

While the GMs are Discussing CC, Peavy and Manny….

Their wives, too, are keeping themselves busy in beautiful Dana Point, California. As you’ve gathered from the pix I posted the other day, Dana Point is a coastal paradise – the jewel of Orange County. But if you think Mrs. Cashman, Mrs. Beane and Mrs. Epstein showed up for the golf, the shopping or an afternoon on Boras’s yacht, think again. Dana Point also happens to be the place where everybody comes to have ….

Well, suffice it to say, the ladies will leave the GM meetings later this week feeling “refreshed.” And it won’t be because their guy was the one who signed Mark Teixeira.

Fun in the Sun for the Cash Man

Kicking off on Monday is the first big event of the Hot Stove season – the gathering of general managers in Dana Point, California. To give everybody a taste of what Brian Cashman and others will be treated to when they’re not sequestered in some conference room, here’s a look at the Orange County coastal town of about 36,000 residents.

With 7 miles of Pacific Ocean, Dana Point is home to a spectacular harbor providing slips and mooring for over 2500 boats.
Maybe Cash will take a spin on a yacht. Surely Scott Boras must have one.
Or maybe he’ll throw caution to the wind and go parasailing.
Or he could troll for a couple of big fish for the Yankees (like Sabathia/Teixeira).
He could always play 18 holes, since golf is a great way to do business and have some laughs.
And, while he doesn’t strike me as the adventurous type, he could check out the legendary surf break called Killer Dana. Hang ten, C-Money!
My house is only about three hours away, so I guess I could invite him over for dinner one night. But how do I know if he’d like my cooking? What if I make steaks and he turns out to be a vegan? Too much trouble. Let him stay down there in Dana Point with the other GMs and, hopefully, make a few excellent deals for the Yankees.