Tagged: Camden Yards

I Admit It: I’m A Total Swisher Convert

When Cashman first traded for Nick Swisher, my reaction was: “WHY?” He was batting like .211, was supposed to be our first baseman and sometime outfielder and was not particularly proficient at either position, and he had the look and demeanor of a non-Yankee.
I figured I’d get tired of his clownish act and, in spite of the fact that I wouldn’t miss Wilson Betemit, I kept questioning Cashman’s wisdom in making the trade. But then we got Tex, so Swisher wouldn’t be playing first base after all and giving me nightmares of Giambi. And then he kept having impressive at bats, working counts, hitting with power. And when he pitched that game at the Trop and seemed to take such joy from being able to help out the pen, I could see what a good teammate he was.
When he came to spring training this year in such great shape, determined to boost his average and be more serious about his work, I was doubly impressed. It’s not everyday that a player actually tries to grow and change, and Swisher has done that. As we anticipate the series in Baltimore this weekend, it’s Swisher who hits so well at Camden Yards, Swisher whose bat I want in the lineup in the #2 spot, Swisher who gives us a credible right fielder, Swisher whose injury needs to heal – and fast. (I’m really hoping the cortisone shot did its thing).
As I said at the top, I never expected to like him as much as I do – or count on him for the Yankees’ success. But it happened. I’m in his corner. I have his back.
Or is this all about how much I don’t like Austin Kearns?

Who ARE These People Anyway?


The Yankees looked so robust, so enthusiastic, so good in spring training. They even looked good as recently as yesterday. And yet, after tonight’s 12-5 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards, they reminded me of them.
For those too young to remember, there was a 1963 sci-fi movie called “Children of the Damned” about a group of highly talented youngsters who had no ability to control their destiny.
Seriously. Am I supposed to believe that Phil Hughes has any idea how to pitch at the major league level? Was his outing in Detroit a fluke? Is he hurt again? What. Is. Wrong.
I know. The Daily News didn’t capture Phil in a very flattering pose.┬áBut he gave up eight runs in less than two innings!
Not that he had much help. Swisher’s throw to the backstop was amusing, but I wasn’t interested in watching a comedy show. Tex couldn’t stab Markakis’ line drive. And Cano didn’t even bend over on Scott’s “single.”
Then came Edwar Ramirez, who gave up homers to Markakis and Montanez. When did he become the change-up-throwing version of this guy?
Whatever. The Yankees might very well have chipped away against Eaton, who was staked to a 9-0 lead and nevertheless walked the first three batters in the fourth and served up back-to-back homers to Damon and Tex in the fifth.
As an aside, doesn’t Dave Trembly…
…have a slight resemblance to him?
Back to the game. For some reason, Girardi waited until the eighth inning to use the Yankees’ new “long man.”
Bombko had a great spring and an equally great stint in Scranton. But he lived up to his nickname when he threw one right down the middle to Jones. I nearly lost it when Jim Palmer (I was forced to listen to MASN, the Orioles’ feed) suggested that Brett might be groomed as our eighth-inning setup man. Over my this.
Oh, well. Tomorrow’s another day, and this one worked out much better than I thought. I woke up to fog and humidity and light winds – perfect conditions for getting the wildfires under control. Even though 8,700 acres have burned since Tuesday and there’s only 30% containment, I didn’t have to evacuate. The warning for my area is still in effect as a precaution and I’m not unpacking just yet, but things are definitely looking up.
I went for a beach walk this afternoon and it felt so good to resume normal activities. There were fire trucks everywhere, which was a little disconcerting, but I waved at each one and gave the guys the thumbs-up and said thanks. God, they’ve worked hard. Here’s a photo from the Santa Barbara News-Press showing them catching a much-deserved nap.
Surveying the damage (80+ residences were destroyed) has to be extremely tough for them.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to evacuate and then come home to this.
For now I don’t have to. To say I feel fortunate is an understatement.

Live Video Was a Blast – Watch!

Since there was no Yankees baseball today, I couldn’t have picked a better time to drive down to LA for the Live Video show. The host who moderated, interviewed me and fielded the emails that came in during the hour we were live was Russell Wetanson, a legal/pop culture expert who appears frequently on CNN, E! and the TV Guide Network. He was funny and kept the conversation lively. We previewed “Confessions of a She-Fan” and had people emailing from as far away as Japan saying they couldn’t wait to read the book. It was cool! We had an email from a distraught Cardinals fan. We had an email from a gloating Angels fan. And we had an email from MLB’s very own blogger, Vanessa (see the Flair for the Dramatic link on my blog roll). It was like a visit from a family member!

Russell asked me if most fans are as obsessive as I am. I laughed and said, “Uh, no. ‘Fan’ is short for ‘fanatic.’ We’re all a little crazy.” Sure, I’m a little over the top when it comes to my passion/partisanship for the Yankees, sad as they may look this season, but I’m hardly alone. All the Yankees blogs are evidence of that. So are the 55,000 people who show up at the Stadium every night, win or lose. We also talked about my trip to all the games last season, the food at the different ballparks (I recommended Boog’s BBQ at Camden Yards and someone emailed in to say she agreed), and the hilarious (and humiliating) times when I tried to meet the players.
If you have time, go here. Scroll down to the left corner and click “archives,” and you’ll see portions of the interview. The link is only up for a week or so.
Now let’s hope the Yankees give us a memorable homestand starting tomorrow night. I want them to go down fighting as they bid farewell to the Stadium. They need to show up and make us proud!