Tagged: CC Sabathia
‘Twas An Apple Christmas
And I’m not talking about this kind.
I live in a Mac household and Santa usually brings me some assortment of accessories for my MacBook Pro, my iPhone or my iPod. Like the nifty dock below that allows me to play music through my stereo speakers.
I went to our local Apple store this afternoon to add to my loot and the place was mobbed. People weren’t just exchanging gifts either; the line for getting new stuff trailed all the way around the store. But instead of total chaos, there was customer service help everywhere you turned – bright-eyed men and women wearing red shirts and earpieces who not only wanted to answer questions but actually knew the answers. This is all my long-winded way of saying I think Steve Jobs is a genius who could probably make me buy anything he’s selling.
What does this have to do with baseball? Stay with me.
I have no idea if Jobs is a fan of sports in general or baseball in particular, but I can’t help wondering what a guy with his intelligence, marketing savvy and bank account would do with a major league team. I’ll tell you what he wouldn’t do if he owned the Yankees; he wouldn’t start the season with a rotation of CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova and Mitre. Nope. He’d engineer some sort of big signing – keeping his plan secret and then announcing the deal at a news conference that would whip the media into a frenzy. “Yankees Rotation Version 2011” is what he’d call it and then he’d list all the reasons why it represented a much improved formula.
I’m not saying the Yankees won’t still go out and get a pitcher before the season starts or that we’re not okay with the arms we already have (Mitre excluded). Maybe our new pitching coach will have a sensational session with AJ this week or whenever they’re meeting up. Maybe Pettitte will decide to come back for another year. And maybe Ivan Nova is the next King Felix.
A girl can hope. That’s what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?
Look What Brian Cashman Sent Me!
Really thoughtful of the Yankees’ GM to put me on his holiday cards list this year – a card featuring our starting rotation for 2011. And what surprises his card contained! Who knew, for example, that Phil Hughes had “lead singer” in him even with CC around or that AJ was such a wild man (well, we kind of knew that). Also, what a clever way of letting me know that Pettitte has decided to pitch another year for us. But the biggest surprise of all was seeing Felix Hernandez in the band. I had a hunch we wouldn’t be stuck with Mitre filling out the rotation or even Nova; Cash had much more lofty ambitions and I’m very grateful for that. Rock on, Yankees.
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With Girardi Signed…
I thought it would be nice to take another look at his Dove commercial.
He does seem like a good guy. But is he a good manager? I think so, despite his questionable moves during the postseason. Or, to put it another way, I can’t think of another manager I’d rather have in his place. His players seem to respect and trust him. He handles the media now better than he used to. And he’ll mature each year he’s in the job, right? I mean look how much he’s evolved already.
P.S. Get well, CC! We need that knee to support your 290-pound (wink wink) bod!
Rangers-Giants Game 1: Easing Into Life Without The Yankees
It was weird at first. I turned on the game because some baseball is better than no baseball. Well, and because I’ve jumped on the Giants’ bandwagon for this series, as I’ve said. But there were reminders of the Yankees everywhere, and I found myself grief-stricken all over again.
* Seeing Dave “Rags” Righetti made me remember his no-hitter. Why can’t he be our new pitching coach?
* Seeing Roberto Kelly made me remember when he was traded for Paul O’Neill. Why wasn’t I watching Paulie on the YES Network instead of Joe Buck on Fox?
* Seeing Tony Bennett sing “God Bless America” reminded me of Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York.” Why wasn’t this game at the Stadium instead of AT&T Park?
* Seeing Cliff Lee walk a guy, hit a guy and give up seven runs made me wonder if Brian Cashman will offer him less money now. Maybe we can get a discount for damaged goods?
* Seeing Vlad Guerrero fumble around in right field gave me fond memories of Marcus Thames. Will the Yankees bring Thames back?
* Seeing Tim Lincecum settle down after a tricky first few innings made me think of how CC does that. Did the big man’s bum knee affect his postseason performance?
* Seeing Josh Hamilton made me wonder why the media insists on comparing him to Mickey Mantle. Doesn’t it take a few years to become a legend?
* Seeing Elvis Andrus made me think of how Derek Jeter was his idol growing up. Will the Yankees and Jeter come to terms on a new contract quickly or will it be more complicated?
I could go on, but how about the game itself? Raise your hand if you predicted that the team that manhandled us would get manhandled. Baseball is a cool sport, even when your guys aren’t playing it.
How much better do I feel knowing the Yankees are on a plane to Dallas instead of cleaning out their lockers in the Bronx? This much better.
I wasn’t ready for our season to be over and neither, apparently, were the Yankees. CC didn’t have his dominant stuff, but if there’s a pitcher (besides Andy Pettitte) who can grind through an outing and still retire very good hitters in very big situations, it’s our ace. Huge applause for him.
The bats came alive against Wilson, who helped by not having the kind of control he had the last time out. The homers by Cano, Swisher and Granderson were awesome, but so were singles that kept the line moving. Speaking of Grandy, I’m thinking maybe we should give the prize of the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes to Kevin Long for turning his season completely around. What do you think? OK, never mind. Maybe Barbara or Melissa will knit/sew him a nice scarf instead.
There was still an issue with RISP, but I’m not going there. Not when I’m this happy. So let’s talk about Wood. When he spun around and picked off Andrus at second, I gave him a standing ovation.
And Mo. Well. It was just good to see him after what seemed like an eternity. Of course, there was another moment of panic when Fat Elvis went down trying to catch that foul ball. I swear I thought we were seeing The Curse of the First Basemen. But once I figured out that he was OK, I watched the replays of his banana peel slip and slide and (I admit it) I laughed.
I hope he’ll get plenty of treatment for his neck/back and feel 100% on Friday night. I’m just so excited that there will even BE a Friday night. Yes, we’ll have to deal with the Rangers’ white towel-waving home crowd and yet another elimination game, but at least we’ll have a shot at tying up the series and forcing a Game 7. In other words, it’s not over until she sings.
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:
And this one:
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.
Yanks-Rangers Game 1: Picking Up Our Horse
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
(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.
Never Mind The Stats And Head-To-Head Comparisons
I’m bored with all of that. If I have to read one more article about the brilliance we can expect from the Texas Rangers tomorrow night, I’ll scream.
There’s only one way to judge the opposition’s capabilities and that’s by listening to their hitters’ walk-up music. Seriously. Take a second so you can hear what the Rangers picked to pump them up.
OK, let’s start with Elvis Andrus’ pick: “Say Aah.” That song wouldn’t motivate anybody to get a hit. It would send me right to the doctor for a checkup.
Michael Young’s choice of “Sabotage” would be appropriate – if he wanted to strike out with the bases loaded.
I find it hard to believe that Ian Kinsler steps in to Ram Jam’s “Black Betty.” I mean hasn’t he heard that the song is used at Yankee Stadium when we’re about to send a pitcher to the showers?
I don’t know what to say about Nelson Cruz’s “Prrrum” except the word sounds an awful lot like “broom.”
Josh Hamilton’s music is about Jesus, which must be inspirational for him. And the translation of Vladdie’s “Traigo Fuego” is “I bring fire,” which is cool. And I guess Justin Smoak’s “Backwoods” works in a “Deliverance” sort of way.
(Note: As my friend Drew at the My Pinstripes blog pointed out, Smoak is with the Mariners now. I kept him in there because I liked the “Deliverance” reference. Couldn’t help myself.)
Well, there you have it – my assessment of the Rangers and their tunes. Yeah, I’m nervous about this series. I’ve been itching for it to start and now my stomach is in a knot. The good news is that CC – our ace, our rock, our horse, our whatever-you-want-to-call-him – will be on the mound. Oh, and there’s the fact that we’re the New York Yankees, the reigning World Champions. No small thing.
P.S. Only a few more hours to weigh in on the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes contest. If you haven’t done it yet, do it right here!
There Was Only One Thing To Do After This One
Getting into the postseason is no small feat, and, like the Yankees, I decided not to let the occasion go by with merely a “Yay.” After watching the players douse each other in the visitors clubhouse at the Rogers Centre (I don’t get the post-game show here, so I had to wait for the party clips on the YES web site), Michael covered the shower wall with plastic so it would look “authentic” (a Hefty garbage bag like last year), escorted me inside, dumped champagne on my head and handed me the rest of the bottle. It wasn’t the good stuff and tasted like stale beer, but the sentiment was there even if I did end up looking like Alice Cooper. Woohoo, Yankeeeeeeees!
CC was The Man. He gave the team innings. He gave them effectiveness. He gave them the confidence to score runs. (Loved all the sac flies.) He gave them a true ace. And Mo. Well. Of course he wrapped it up. I know the division title is still up for grabs, but just knowing for sure that we’ll be watching October baseball is a thrill that never gets old. I thought back to 2007 when I was following the Yanks around the country for the She-Fan book. We were in Tampa, at the Trop, when they clinched their Wild Card berth and the Post’s Charles Wenzelberg promised he’d bring me back a champagne cork from the party. True to his word, he brought me the cork when we were in Cleveland for the ALDS. I still have it.
I keep it with my jewelry. To me, having a memento from a Yankees celebration is more valuable than diamonds or pearls.
Yanks-Rays Round 4: Back Where We Started
Yes, we ended up with a split. And there was nothing pretty or sweet about it. How many times have we watched CC disintegrate? Hardly ever, that’s how many times. And yet he looked vulnerable through the fifth inning and positively horrendous in the sixth – like a great big parade float that was punctured and fell to the ground.
Still, I give him a pass. He’s been terrific, so he’s entitled to a bad game even if it did cost him the Cy Young award. And David Price is a really, really good pitcher. Still, how to explain the Yankees inability to score with the bases loaded – more than once? That was more troubling to me, as was Joba’s ineffectiveness and the fact that Vazquez couldn’t find home plate if he had a shovel.
Did he hit three batters in a row or did I dream it? Never mind. I know the answer. If he had plans for the postseason, he can probably forget about them and schedule a nice, long vacation for himself. Will the Yankees win the division now that they’re basically tied with the Rays again? Tampa has some comfy match ups, while we’re stuck with the Red Sox and Blue Jays. I have no idea what will happen from here on – none. Maybe I should consult the tarot card reader I spoke to last year, but I’ve been afraid to. What if she tells me something I don’t want to hear? Couldn’t handle it.
Changing the subject, did everybody see the ESPN Steinbrenner documentary directed by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple? I missed its premiere on Tuesday night, but watched it after the game tonight. As some may remember, I flew to New York last year to be interviewed for the doc.
I met Barbara too, and it turned out we both grew up in Scarsdale loving the Yankees.
Here’s the bad news: I ended up on the cutting room floor of the doc. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t in it and wasn’t surprised. Barbara shot a ton of film, interviewed hundreds of people and only had an hour of air time. The focus turned out to be the transition from the old Stadium and George’s running the team to the new Stadium and Hal’s ascendance, and I don’t think I said anything particularly interesting about any of that. I really enjoyed the film, especially the interview with Hal. Here’s a clip. It requires sitting through Pujols hawking Dove soap, but it’s worth a look.
Getting back to the present, I’m nervous about the Red Sox series this weekend. Not because it’s the Red Sox but because we just need to win games right now. Need to win games. Right now. Please.