The evening started off so promisingly. My dinner guests arrived, unsuspecting that I had ordered the special Yankees cap cake (see previous entry). Everybody was having fun, the Yankees were up 5-4, and the bullpen was pitching scoreless baseball. The only sour note was that Vasquez was given a quick hook again. (Would it have been so horrendous for Girardi to leave him in for another inning? I feel sorry for Javy at this point.) Oh, and there was that abysmal call at second base where replays showed that Jeter clearly tagged Kinsler. But OK, we could win this. I felt pretty good. And then Joba served up this.
And Nelson Cruz ate it up to tie the score. From then on it was the battle of the pens, and I started getting really tired and cranky. My guests had gone home. I had dishes to wash and leftovers to put away. I wanted to go to sleep – with the game firmly in the win column. Instead, I sat there like an idiot watching us strand runner after runner. It was sickening. It seemed inevitable that Gaudin would serve Cruz a meatball too, and all those wasted opportunities would end in disaster. I hated the game. I hated that I stayed up late to watch the game. I hated that my evening with friends – my end-of-vacation thank-you dinner to them – was tainted.
Or was it? There was still the Yankees cake, and we really enjoyed it. Not only did it look great but it tasted incredible. Underneath the cap was a moist chocolate dessert with creamy vanilla frosting – three layers worth!
Yankee cake, that is.
Let me explain. I was wandering around in New Milford, CT today, trying to come up with the perfect dessert for my dinner party tomorrow night. One of my guests is “Alphonso” from the “It Is High”
Yankees blog, and I was wishing I could serve something with a Yankees theme. Imagine my delight when I spotted a cute shop called Sugar Hoot
, walked in and spotted a monitor at the cash register displaying photos of the bakery’s wares, including the above and this!
Needless to say, I whipped out the She-Fan Cam and asked to speak to the genius who made the edible Yankees caps (and yes, the caps are really cakes, which I didn’t realize until I started talking to the aforementioned genius). Here’s Kristyn in her own words.
Who cares if she’s a Red Sox fan? I asked if there was any chance she could make me a Yankees cap made of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting (she puts the blue “cap” part on top of the actual cake, but you can eat it too). Normally, the cake is a special order for birthday parties and such, but she was so kind and accommodating that she agreed to bake one for me for tomorrow night – plus she and her mom/ business partner gave Michael and me two complimentary cupcakes that were absolute heaven. I cannot wait for Alphonso to show up and see the cake, which I will hide in the bedroom until it’s time to bring it to the table as a big surprise. Of course it’s possible that he’ll read this blog post tonight and my “big surprise” will bomb. Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you’re ever in CT and in need of a sugar high, do yourself a favor and wander into Sugar Hoot like I did. You won’t be sorry.
Dinner, a movie and baseball. Not a bad triple header for me tonight. Started off at a cute Italian place called Lucia in New Milford, CT, where the spaghetti bolognese looked very much like the meal Julia Roberts kept having in “Eat Pray Love.”
Next came the movie itself. I didn’t love it (the book was way better), but the shots of pasta, pizza and Javier Bardem were enough to keep me interested.
I made it out of the theater and back to the house just in time for the last three innings. Very happy we won, naturally, but so relieved that AJ pitched well. Eight strikeouts! Only two walks! Does this mean September is his month? Or was tonight an anomaly? I guess we’ll find out when he makes his next start. Meanwhile, the bullpen continued to roll and Mo was his athletic self, snaring that grounder and making a perfect throw to first. Jorge didn’t need to get tossed, but at least we had Moeller as backup.
Personally, I love when JoPo loses it. No, not in that situation – it was dumb – but I do get a kick out of his fiery personality.
First came the raindrops….Then came the members of the Westhill High School girls softball team, who were invited onto the field by Brian Cashman to stand with all the Yankees during the National Anthem. On the outside, the girls were very composed.
On the inside, they had to be feeling like this.
Well, I would have.
I loved that Mo was asked to throw out the first pitch. How fitting, since he would also throw the last pitch for save #501.
Joba’s outing was decent, but he kept getting into bad pitch counts and the game slowed to an absolute crawl.
For the longest time, it seemed as if all we’d get were those two measly runs in the second on Woodward’s two errors. I mean, we were 0-for-10 with RISP, for God’s sake, and the offense looked comatose.
Joba had trouble getting Ichiro out and Jorge had trouble throwing him out, and Ronny Cedeno, whose average is well below the Mendoza line, homered. Please.
The game was tied at 3-3 for what felt like an eternity, and the most exciting thing at that point was the appearance of a Seattle reliever named Jakubauskas. It was sort of fun listening to Kay and Singleton trying to get their heads around it.
Phil Coke set down the two batters he faced in the sixth, and Phil Hughes was brilliant in the seventh, including his strikeout of Griffey on a 98 mph fastball. Sweet.
But it wasn’t until the bottom of the frame that things got really interesting for the Yanks. With Damon aboard, A-Rod crushed one.
Bruney blew the lead in the top of the eighth. (Why even go to him when Hughes was pitching like a genius?) Luckily, the Mariners brought in White for the bottom of the eighth, and he’s my new favorite opposing reliever. Why?
Gardner: pinch ran.
Swisher: bunt single.
Score: 6-5 Yankees.
Jeter tacked on a two-RBI single, giving Mo an 8-5 cushion for the ninth. Game over – a good night for the pinstripes.
Off topic, I was really looking forward to a quiet July 4th weekend here in Santa Barbara. Now? Not so much. Michael Jackson’s body is being driven up here from LA by some zillion-car caravan on Thursday, and there’s a “public viewing” for fans/gawkers/anybody on Friday. Yeah, Friday of the holiday weekend. I don’t live near Neverland, but you have to pass my exit on the 101 Freeway to get to it.
The California Highway Patrol, as well as the Santa Barbara County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, are anticipating that traffic will come to a standstill and hotels and restaurants will be jammed.
Here’s where I’ll be.
Everybody’s been doing their tributes in the 24 hours since the actor died, so I thought I’d offer mine.
My husband Michael and I used to live in Weston, CT, the town right next to Westport where Newman lived for years. He was never into the Hollywood scene. He was a “local” who didn’t take his celebrity too seriously. His house, while on a sprawling piece of property, wasn’t a movie star mansion but a charming white clapboard New England farmhouse built in the 1800s.
When Michael was in high school, he had a summer job delivering groceries for a neighborhood market – a job that brought him to Newman’s house one afternoon with food and several cases of beer. Newman was in his garage when Michael drove up. Here was this screen legend wearing jeans and a T-shirt and a metal beer bottle opener hanging from his neck. He was working on his Volkswagon Beetle, which he told Michael had a Porsche engine. He offered Michael a beer and my husband, never one to refuse an alcoholic beverage, accepted. “He was so friendly,” Michael recalled. “And he tipped really well.” LOL.
As for me, I used to shop at a gourmet food place in Westport called Hay Day. One summer morning, many years after Michael’s interaction with Newman, I was picking through a large basket of fresh corn on the cob when I realized I had grabbed the same ear of corn as someone else. I glanced up and it was Paul Newman’s blue eyes I was staring into! OMG! But that’s the kind of thing that happened with him. He was always out and about by himself. No entourage. No fuss. Just the real deal. And btw, he insisted that I take the corn. He was a gentleman too.