Today’s report that Zack Greinke has changed agents (he’s now with Jeter’s guy, Casey Close) and asked the Royals to trade him got me wondering. Maybe he’s not totally wrong for the Yankees. Yes, I know he has the team on his no-way list, but maybe he’s changed his mind along with his agent. And yes, he’s suffered from social anxiety disorder, but maybe he’s over it to the point where the bright lights of the Bronx wouldn’t turn him to sand.
There are really good therapists in New York (except in August when they all go on vacation). Plus, Curtis Granderson is into nutrition, if he’s into that, and Amber Sabathia is into finding new players houses in her neighborhood, if he’s into that, and Nick Swisher is into telling jokes and playing loud music, if he’s into that. Fun fun fun! My feeling is if Greinke is tough enough to pitch in front of large crowds (and pitch well), then he’s tough enough to pitch in front of large crowds anywhere. Bottom line? I wouldn’t rule him out. Not at all.
…I really, really liked “The Social Network.” I know the film has been in theaters for over a month, but I waited to see it today because I knew writer Aaron Sorkin and the cast of the movie would be at our screening for a Q&A afterwards. I admit I was skeptical about it; how do you tell a visually entertaining story about a social networking site and the anti-social kid who invented it? But leave it to the creator of “The West Wing” and “A Few Good Men” to come up with words that grab you and don’t let go. For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet, GO. Here’s the trailer, which doesn’t begin to do the movie justice.
The acting is incredible from top to bottom (even Justin Timberlake is good!), and the pace of the film is so fast you can’t blink or you’ll miss something. Anyhow, I highly recommend it.
I was invited to the post-screening reception for Sorkin and the actors. That’s where I planned to ask him about “Moneyball.” Bad news. I arrived just as he was leaving – like five minutes into the party. “He had to be back in LA,” I was told when I asked why he had disappeared. Maybe he did have to drive back; traffic can be brutal on the 101 freeway on a sunny Sunday afternoon. But maybe the problem was Sorkin himself. He admitted during the Q&A that he was as socially awkward as the movie’s geeky protagonist and always felt as if he walked around with a sign on his forehead that said, “I don’t belong.” Whether that was just posturing or he really is uncomfortable around people in social settings I couldn’t tell you. I was just disappointed I didn’t get to talk to him. I did spend a few minutes with Andrew Garfield, the actor who plays the co-founder of Facebook.
Me: “Andrew, I just have to tell you how much I enjoyed your performance.”
Andrew: “Oh, that’s really nice of you. Thanks.”
Me: “You’re British and yet you played the part of the Harvard grad with a flawless American accent.”
Andrew: “Well, my father is American so I grew up familiar with those familiar sounds. But thank you. I appreciate it.”
Me: “I really think you’re going to have a big career ahead of you. Do you have any new movie projects lined up?”
Andrew: “Um, yeah.”
Me: “Good. Good. Anything I’ll be hearing about?”
Andrew: (laughs shyly): “Um, I’m the new Spiderman.”
Me: “Oh, right!”
I walked away feeling like a total dork. I had just asked the hottest actor in Hollywood if he had any future jobs. Next time I’ll do my homework.
Back to baseball, the GM meetings get underway tomorrow. I know we’ve been told not to expect any major signings or deals while they’re going on, but Cashman always surprises us. (Raise your hand if you thought Curtis Granderson for Austin Jackson would come out of last year’s meeting.) I might have to send “Suzyn Waldman” down to Orlando to file a video for us. Stay tuned.
This clip I took of today’s Martha Stewart show featuring our own Curtis Granderson will probably get disabled by YouTube for some violation or other, but in the meantime take a look.
I was watching Martha’s intro of Grandy and did a double take when she explained that she first met him at the Stadium on Opening Day. Then she said:
“I sit in Jane Heller’s seats, your banker. She’s right there at home plate.”
I sat in those exact seats for the 2000 World Series, thanks to an invitation from “The Other Jane Heller,” and they’re not at home plate. They’re better – front row at the on-deck circle with no umpires or catchers obstructing the view.
As for the segment with Grandy today? Let’s just say he was adorable, even when Martha mentioned how she never “dozes” when she’s at a game because she’s afraid she’ll get hit with a ball or broken bat. Excuse me, but if you’re sitting in the best seats in the house, you’re NOT allowed to DOZE!
The other thing is, Curtis Granderson is supposed to be on Michelle Obama’s fitness committee to stop child obesity and Martha makes him cook macaroni with about ten tons of six different kinds of cheese, not to mention cornbread with more heavy cream than a dairy. What’s that about?
Oh well. It was fun seeing one of my favorite Yankees, speaking of which CONGRATULATIONS to Jeter, Tex and Cano for winning Gold Gloves! How cool is it that there were three Yankees among the nine AL recipients and that Robbie’s is his first GG. Very happy for all of them.
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.
What a job by Andy and Lance, the former teammates.
All I kept hearing from the TBS guys was: “Will Andy be the Playoff Andy or the Injured Andy?” It was making me crazy, but then everything they said made me crazy. The point is, Andy was the same amazing pitcher he’s always been – making the pitches he needed to make, giving us innings, setting the tone. You could just tell that the players felt confident behind him. And I felt confident after his shaky first inning; apparently, he and Dave Eiland went into the clubhouse between innings and looked at video. Whatever flaw they spotted was clearly corrected because he was great from then on. And how about Fat Elvis? Talk about rising to the occasion. Those were some big hits he delivered tonight. But then just about everybody seemed to contribute in some way. Swisher made a nice catch in right. Grandy continued his hot hitting. Posada had an awesome at bat and drew a leadoff walk, then scored. Gardner is the fastest living organism.
Are we still leaving runners on base? Unfortunately. Is A-Rod striking out more in this series than he did last year? So far. But you can’t have everything. Kerry Wood pitched a swell eighth and Mo took care of the ninth. The Yankees are poised to return to the Bronx and finish off the Twins, but that’ll mean passing the baton to Huuuughes.
I’d like to say we’ll sweep, but I’m way too superstitious – and cautious. The Twins are a good team and they’re not going to just roll over.
I sure wish I could be at the Stadium on Saturday, but I know some of you will be there and that’s comforting. I’ll be at the wedding of my friend’s daughter, and I’ve been freaking out that I’ll miss part of the game. But today I got the good news that they’ll probably cut the cake by 5 o’clock PT, so I’ll be home in time for the first pitch! Here’s to a fast cake cutting!
And speaking of cake, I just might have a really, really, really (that’s three “really’s”) cool contest coming up involving dessert. So stay tuned.
If only this little cheerleader could be wearing Yankees blue. Oh, well. You get the idea, which is that I’m really, really excited right now. Mo just saved the game and the Yanks came from behind to torture the Twins yet again. What a nail biter.
CC didn’t have his best stuff, but it didn’t matter; the offense picked him up. Grandy rewarded Joe’s faith in him, Tex went deep, Cano had a big RBI, lalalala. The next thing I knew we were erasing Minny’s lead – twice – and winning the ballgame. The only controversy was the Golson catch – and it was a catch, as the replay clearly showed. Why bother to have an extra outfield ump or two if they all miss the call? Oh well. I can afford to be charitable about it, since there was no harm done.
In other news, I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Doc Halladay for the no-hitter. He’s an amazing pitcher. I’ll never stop wishing he were a Yankee, but what a thrill for Phillies fans.
Back to our game, the victory sure does make me feel better about tomorrow night. I assume Mo won’t be available for Game 2, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I just hope Andy feels dandy and pitches like it.
This race will be over soon. One way or another, the Yankees will get through this Boston series, the one at Fenway and the one in Toronto, and they will be in the playoffs. Don’t ask me how, given how badly they’re playing right now, but somehow it’ll happen. Not with Ivan Nova, however, and certainly not with Chad Gaudin. Nova has been intriguing and I wish him well for next season, but today he confirmed that he unravels way too easily.
And Gaudin just needs to be gone. Period. As for the Yankees offense, Lester is a very good pitcher, just like David Price is a very good pitcher, but where’s the opportunistic, hungry, attacking lineup we know and love? When a guy like Lester or Price gives up walks, you have to take advantage and make something happen. Are we doing that? No. Why? Because we are playing like dead people!
Or maybe, as someone said on Twitter, the real Yankees have been taken over by the body snatchers and are just pods.
I know, I know. Yesterday I was chirping about all the homers we hit. Today I was happy to see Granderson and A-Rod go deep. But other than smacking home runs, what is this team doing? What? If I were Girardi….Well, if I were Girardi I wouldn’t have brought in Gaudin when the game was still winnable, but that’s another story… If I were Girardi, I would insist on a closed door meeting with the boys before Sunday’s finale, remind them that last year was last year and this year is this year, tell them that maximum effort is required ASAP and that the idea that “there’s always the wild card” is not acceptable. I would, in other words, get mad. Vein-popping-out-of-my-forehead mad.
I was pretty mad myself after today’s game, but then I went for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara, and I came upon a couple in the process of getting married.
After I took this pic I saw their getaway car all shiny and pretty waiting for them.
It was a 1955 T-Bird in pristine condition, and it – and the newlyweds – got me thinking that life’s too short to obsess about baseball. Seriously. At least for the next 24 hours.
Tonight’s series opener felt like it might be yet another seesaw battle between the two teams, but Curtis Granderson (or Grandis Curtison, as I called him in a moment of excitement) delivered the knockout punch with his second homer of the game. Whatever he and Kevin Long did to his swing worked, and his improved offense couldn’t have come at a better time. With Tex clearly ailing and flailing, Grandy is key to the Yanks’ success. Jeter looked a lot better at the plate too, and Cervelli seemed rejuvenated.
Ivan Nova continued to impress – until he kind of fell apart again. I guess he just runs out of gas.
Was I about to stick my hand into the TV and slap Logan and Gaudin when they couldn’t throw strikes? Uh-huh. But it all ended happily, if shakily, after Mo closed it out. As for Garza, maybe he should take Pedro Martinez’s line and call the Yankees his daddy. It was nice not to have to play scoreboard baseball during the game. The Yanks kept the Rays in the rearview mirror for another day. Whew.
And now a few words about the pre-game activities. Am I the only one who got choked up? What a ceremony, as only the Yankees can do ceremonies.
Watching the entire Steinbrenner family come out onto the field, including Mrs. Steinbrenner whom I’d never seen before, was touching, as was the procession of players past and present (Roy White is such a class act) who followed them to Monument Park, and the return of Torre and Mattingly who both got rousing receptions. After The Boss’ monument was unveiled, I was mesmerized by the sight of Mo crouched all by himself staring at it, as if he really was saying goodbye for the last time. Sob!
And how about Steinbrenner’s granddaughter and her rendition of “God Bless America?” I wasn’t expecting much, figuring she got the gig because of nepotism, but she was awesome. Bring her back, please! And speaking of anthems, how spooky was Frank Sinatra, Jr.? He not only sounded like his father but has aged the same way (well, maybe a little more jowly).
Anyhow, I’m sure it was a great night to be in the Bronx. I’m grateful I was able to see it all on TV way out here in the boonies of California. Speaking of which, I’ll be on a writers panel at the local Borders store in Goleta tomorrow night if anyone’s in the ‘hood. Stop by and say hi.
I could talk about the game (it was a relaxing one thanks to big hits by Cano, Grandy, Gardy, Jorge, Swish), but this post will honor Carsten Charles Sabathia for achieving his personal best 20 victories in a season.
I saw Chad Gaudin ask the ump for the ball to give to CC, but I think our ace deserves more than a baseball. Here are some other commemorative ideas:
* 20 steaks for dinner tonight.
* 20 glasses of champagne.
* 20 massages by someone other than Stevie Donahue or Gene Monahan.
* 20 bottles of Jeter’s cologne.
* 20 rides in A-Rod’s Maybach.
* 20 appearances on Letterman.
* 20 copies of a Yankees-related book, signed and personalized by its author.
First we lost a heartbreaker last night. Then we jumped out to a healthy lead against Garza tonight, thanks in part to homers by Cano and A-Rod. Then Nova and Logan coughed up the lead.
Then Cano tied it up at 7-7 and it was yet another battle of the pens.
I was hanging on every pitch from Joba, Wood and Robertson and went nuts with joy and relief when Granderson made the catch of our season. Just look at his handsome face and maybe give him a clap or two, OK?
You could tell the team was fired up after that, so when Jorge came up to pinch hit I was ready for something good to happen. And it did.
Did he crush that ball or what? Up by just a run with Mo on the mound in the bottom of the 10th – the second straight night of extras – it was tense times. Everybody knew Crawford would try to steal second and make it, so I was getting antsy with all the throws over to first. But what happened next was straight out of a dream (a good one this time). Crawford took off for third and was nailed – absolutely gunned down – by none other than Greg Golson. Who?
Yeah, I didn’t know he had an arm either. Fast? Sure. A decent call up? Right. But a missile to throw out Crawford? Flabbergasted. So, it seemed, were the Yankees as they celebrated the win. I haven’t seen Jeter that excited in awhile. This is one series that has earned the advance hype: the two best teams going at it. I can only imagine what Wednesday night will bring. The one thing I do know is that since I’m back in California I returned to my playoff ritual of grilling turkey burgers for dinner during the games, and the rally burgers worked tonight. I will be eating another one tomorrow night. Care to join me? I’ve got plenty of them.