Tagged: David Ortiz

Yankees-Red Sox Game 1: My Cup Runneth Over

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I think it was in the second inning. The Yankees had scored six runs off Brad Penny, who, despite a generous strike zone by Joe West, was having trouble getting people out. I said to my husband, “I’d really like it if the Yankees scored twenty runs tonight.”

He rolled his eyes, as if I’d asked for the impossible, and made a crazy face at me.
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I said, “The Yankees can do it,” and made a crazy face right back at him.
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After A-Rod’s almost-homer in the fifth, Penny was pulled for Bowden, a call-up, and Matsui promptly went deep for 9-1. Posada, Cano, Melky, Jeter, Hinske and Tex all got on base, and it was 12-1 by the time the inning was over. I kind of felt sorry for the kid because he was back on the mound for the sixth, gave up three more runs and was clearly taking one for the team. 
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Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte was pitching a decent (if inefficient) game. He benefitted from Jeter’s amazing throw-out of Pedroia at third but was victimized by that lame play when Hinske and Melky couldn’t figure out which of them was supposed to catch the ball. Andy came out and Brian Bruney came in, and the Red Sox started to come back.
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“I’m telling you, the Yankees need twenty runs to win this game,” I said with greater urgency after Bruney walked two and hit a batter.
“That’s ridiculous,” he scoffed. “You’re just saying that because you love blowouts.”
No, I’m saying it because no lead is safe at Fenway.
My wish was granted when Ramirez relieved in the top of the ninth. Matsui homered again (seven RBIs!) and Swisher doubled home Cano. The score: 20-7. I was in heaven. “Who’s crazy now?” I said. “We did get twenty.
I’m sorry I doubted you,” said my husband.
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We made up and watched the bottom of the ninth. Mitre was pitching.
I wonder if he’ll be any good out of the pen,” I said.
I got my answer quickly. Varitek? Homer. Kotchman? Single. Ortiz? Double. Lowell? Homer. Baldelli? Hit by pitch. The score was 20-11 with two outs, but Mitre, who would be shipped to Tazmania if it were up to me, retired Gonzalez to end the nearly four-hour contest.
Feel better now?” asked my husband.
Much,” I said. “But I’m already worrying about tomorrow. I hope Johnny will be OK after fouling that pitch off his knee.”


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“They said he’s day to day.”

“And I hope the Yankees didn’t use up all their offense.”

“They can’t ‘use up’ their offense. It doesn’t work that way.”

“Then how does it ‘work?'”

“Baseball is all about pitching,” said my husband. “If AJ is on tomorrow, everything should be fine.
Right. But twenty runs would still be good.
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Victorious Over Blue Jays, Yanks Take On Red Socks

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Sergio Mitre wasn’t an unmitigated disaster in the Yankees’ 8-4 win over the Jays on Wednesday night, but he didn’t last long enough to get the win – or any real vote of confidence from fans.
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He did, however, generate several suggestions for his look-alike, including one from commenter leekru, who insisted he’s the spitting image of celebrity has-been Wilmer Valderrama, except that Wilmer smiles occasionally.
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At first, the offense seemed handcuffed by yet another rookie pitcher (this is the last – I mean last – time I’m spelling Rzepcyzynski), but they manufactured a couple of runs in the second and Swisher hit a bomb in the seventh to tie it at 3-3. The rest came off the Jays’ newly acquired reliever Roenicke. Poor guy. The Yanks singled and doubled him to death.
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Damon’s homer in the ninth off Tallet made it unnecessary to use Mo (I didn’t see the need for Hughes either, but don’t get me started). Johnny had three RBIs. I always feel the Yanks are better with him in the lineup, in spite of his often adventuresome play in left field.
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The bullpen did its job for the most part, and the Yanks have now won three straight. If only A-Rod would start hitting homers again. I miss his towering shots and his Clydesdale (hat tip: Was Watching) jog around the bases, but he’s got a different #5 hitter behind him in almost every game. It would be nice not to have a revolving door in that spot. 
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And speaking of A-Rod…
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…commenter TribeGirl is convinced his double is Daniel Sunjata, who not only stars on “Rescue Me” but played Reggie Jackson in “The Bronx Is Burning.”
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But on to Thursday night’s series opener against Boston at the Stadium. Clearly, the Red Sox have owned the Yankees this season. So what can be done to reverse the disturbing trend? How can the offense get to former Braves legend John Smoltz, who is nearly 20 years older than Joba and, therefore, has much more experience on the mound? Once again, I reviewed videotape before making my recommendations.
#1) Smoltz said, “The biggest challenge for them is to tame me down.” 
There are several ways to tame Smoltz down. One is for the Yankees to hire a cowboy and lasso him.
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Another is for trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donahue to immobilize Smoltz using one of these. 
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And a third way is simply to summon Yankee Stadium security to do their job.
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#2) Smoltz referred to his “blood boiling” and how he can’t get enough of that.
Perhaps the Yankees could test the veracity of that statement by getting a clubhouse attendant (or that merry prankster, A.J. Burnett) to sneak into the visitors dugout and give Smoltz the Carrie treatment?
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#3) Smoltz maintained that he’s “a full boar guy.”
Maybe the Yankees should call someone at the Bronx Zoo and get one of their own.
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Or did he mean he was a “full bore guy?”
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I’ll let Joe Girardi and his coaches interpret. Bottom line? Joba needs to have a great outing. If he does, the Yanks will be just fine.
Oh. I almost forgot. I have one more ballplayer/celebrity look-alike, this one courtesy of Newsday.
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Yankees/Red Sox Star Of The Game

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Jerry Meals was behind home plate for Boston’s 6-4 victory at the Stadium on Monday night. According to the umpires’ web site, Meals was born in October 1961 in Pennsylvania and resides in Ohio with his wife, Robyn, and their five children: Laci, Peyton, Jansen and twins Rylee Ann and Raegan Grace. In the off-season, he enjoys hunting and woodworking.
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If only he called balls and strikes with such precision. Both teams seemed frustrated with him, but it was Jeter who argued (as much as Jeter will ever argue) and Girardi who shot out of the dugout to chime in, ultimately getting tossed.
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Joe’s ejection ignited the Yanks – temporarily – as Damon and Tex hit back-to-backers against Lester and turned the manager into a human version of this.
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But a come-from-behind win was not to be on a night that only began after a two-plus-hour rain delay. (This was one of those times when it’s good to be on the west coast.) Lester dominated while Yankees pitchers allowed eight of these.
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Hughes was in trouble right from the get go. Ortiz came into the game slumping? No problem. Phil kept throwing him fat pitches and – presto! – no more slump. Did the rain delay affect him on the mound? Was that last outing in Detroit a fluke? And why was he shaking off Molina so many times that it made my own head shake?
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Aceves did a respectable job in long relief (Brett Bombko must be wondering who he has to blackmail in order to get to the bigs), but Edwar Edwar Edwar. Eat something, would you please?
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You’re the size of a carrot stick. And walking two out of the three batters you faced puts you in the Jose Veras category, which could lead to this.
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Molina had a lousy night behind the plate – a rarity for him.
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He looked like a tub of lard trying to catch up to those two balls in foul territory. Maybe he should lose a few pounds and give them to Edwar.
Congrats to Tex for hitting his first homers – one from each side – this season. He’s probably pissed that he struck out in the ninth with two on (so am I), but at least there were signs of life there.
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Will the Yankees beat the Red Sox on Tuesday night? I guess it will depend on Joba’s ability to deal with his mother’s arrest. I’m sure it won’t be easy. On the other hand, maybe he’ll welcome the chance to focus strictly on baseball instead of on the mug shot that’s too pathetic for me to post.
O.K. Fine. I’ll post it for those who haven’t seen it. Here is Mrs. Joba.
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Obsessing About Manny

Even on the day that Cee Cee arrived in the Bronx to inspect his new workplace…

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all I could think about was him
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MannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyMannyManny.
Everywhere I looked, Yankees bloggers were going completely bloggy over the possibility that the Manster might become a Bomber. Some were pro. Some were con. Some said Hank and Hal were pro. Some said Cashman and Girardi were con. Which reports were accurate? Which were pure speculation? It got to the point where my brain just exploded.
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I’ve been all over the blogosphere letting it be known that I was firmly in the “con” camp. Manny, I acknowledged, was a gifted hitter who would, indeed, come cheaper than Teixeira, but the Yankees didn’t need a troublemaker, a malingerer, a guy who shoved traveling secretaries. Besides, we had enough aging outfielders to fill a hotel ballroom with DH-es.
I’d convinced myself that I knew what I was talking about…..until I had a conversation with my brother-in-law, the rabid Red Sox fan.
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Geoff lives in Concord, NH. (“Live free or die!”) He was the photo editor at both the Concord Monitor and the Boston Globe, and now has a very successful photography business. But this is the thing about Geoff: He loves Manny. He misses Manny. He’s sure the Red Sox would have won the ’08 World Series if they’d kept Manny. And – here’s the biggie – he thinks the Yankees would be lucky to get Manny.
She-Fan: So what do you love about Manny?
Geoff: He’s one of the best right-handed hitters that’s ever played the game. Nobody works harder.
She-Fan: Excuse me?
Geoff: It’s true. You ask any manager, any player. Ask Joe Torre and Don Mattingly. No one works harder than Manny.
She-Fan (trying not to choke): What about his defense?
Geoff: It’s gotten better every year. He wasn’t a liability, that’s for sure. People underestimate him because he’s very young emotionally.
She-Fan: Are you saying he’s, um, developmentally challenged?
Geoff: No. He just plays like a kid. He has that kind of enthusiasm.
She-Fan: He didn’t sound very enthusiastic when he was sniping at the Red Sox.
Geoff: I think what he said was true. Whenever they want to get rid of someone, they vilify them. They did the same thing with Nomar and Pedro. They even did it with Mo Vaughn. There are two sides to every story.
She-Fan: They didn’t make up the fact that he got into a little tiff with Youkilis.
Geoff: Youkilis is an *******. He comes into the dugout after he makes an out and starts cursing and acting crazy. Manny just told him to cut it out.
She-Fan: And the traveling secretary? Didn’t Manny take the poor guy down?
Geoff (laughs): Nobody’s perfect.
She-Fan: So you give him a pass for that?
Geoff: No. But look at how much he brought to the Red Sox. Big Papi would never have been the hitter he’s been without Manny.
She-Fan: Do you have a favorite Manny moment?
Geoff: When he went inside the Green Monster to go to the bathroom during a game.
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She-Fan: I can’t imagine him pulling that stuff with the Yankees. No way.
Geoff: Can you imagine him batting behind Alex Rodriguez? Do you have any idea how many strikes A-Rod will see? Can you live with the two of them hitting 50 home runs a year? Do the names Mantle and Maris ring a bell? Are you at all interested in a few more World Championships for the Yankees?
He had me there.
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She-Fan: Let me ask you one more question, and I want you to take all the time you need to answer it. What will you do if Manny does sign with the Yankees?
Geoff (without missing a beat): I’ll become a Yankee fan.
Needless to say, I was stunned. Stunned! 
Here’s a shot of Geoff and me at Fenway in ’07 when I was there for my book.

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Doesn’t he look happy? Could this lifelong Red Sox fan really switch sides? Does Manny Ramirez truly have the power to convert someone to another religion?
Apparently so.
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So What If A-Rod Wants to Play for the Dominican Team?

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In case anyone missed it, David Ortiz, who has been described as a “close friend” of the Yankees third baseman, said A-Rod will play for the Dominican team in the 2009 WBC, not the American team. This news indicates a change of heart for A-Rod, who, after much soul-searching, decided to play for the American team last time around.
So is Alex Rodriguez American, Dominican or bi? And should we care? Is it any of our business?
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In his column on Yahoo Sports, Jeff Passan makes a federal case out of the subject, announcing that A-Rod is having an identity crisis and should be institutionalized. (O.K. I’m exaggerating about the padded cell part, but only slightly.) Well, excuse me, Jeff, but why can’t a player have an allegiance to both the country of his birth as well as the country of his heritage? While it’s true that he grew up mostly in the U.S., his parents, Lourdes and Victor, are from the Dominican. What’s wrong with honoring their culture, their customs, their affinity for spicy, heartburn-inducing foods? 
I say you can’t know what somebody else is going through unless you walk in their shoes.
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If I were playing in the WBC, which team would I play for?
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I was born and raised in America, so that would be the easy choice.
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But my ancestors came from Germany. I don’t speak German. I don’t hang out with Germans. I’m afraid of German shepherds. But I do have a fondness for sauerkraut, Wiener schnitzel and apple strudel.
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I also drive a fast German car, use dishwasher-safe German dishes and keep my house so neat and orderly and Germanic you wouldn’t know anyone lived there. Plus, I do a very entertaining imitation of Colonel Klink from “Hogan’s Heroes.”
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Perhaps I am bi, just like A-Rod, and maybe I should play for the German team in the WBC (if there were a German team).
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I’m just pointing out that these are not simple matters, so lay off A-Rod, Jeff Passan.
Speaking of not simple matters, I went to a screening of the new Brad Pitt movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” It opens December 25th and also stars Cate Blanchett. It’s nearly three hours of BOREDOM. It’ll probably get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but it was what I call a 12-watch looker (I looked at my watch 12 times). See at your own risk.

Rays-Red Sox Game 1: A Nail Biter

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I don’t know about you, but I was really into this one, even though there wasn’t a Yankee in sight. So many storylines. Would Dice K throw a no-hitter? Did Grant “The Mad Australian” Balfour plunk J.D. Drew on purpose? Would Carlos Pena get the green light with two men on and nobody out in the eighth?
And then there was J.P. Howell’s pre-game meal, which the TBS crew felt the need to tell us about:
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With a side order of:
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Was all that food giving the lefty a case of heartburn and is that why Ortiz walked and Youkilis reached on an error by Crawford smacked an RBI double that glanced off Crawford’s glove?
When it was all over, I decided that the Rays reminded me of the birds that fly into my living room window by mistake and drop to the ground, stunned. Eventually, they get back up and fly away, but who knows if there’s any damage to their little bodies. The Rays were stunned tonight. Time will tell if they’ll get back up and fly again.
As for their fans?
raysfans.jpgI think they were damaged before the game started.

Big Floppy? Dustin Who?

Thanks to tonight’s 12-inning nail biter at Fenway, the Angels live another day. I didn’t expect it, did you? Not after the Angels only scratched out one run in the first. Not after Hunter and Kendrick let that blooper drop between them. Not after K-Rod loaded the bases. Such drama. But Napoli was stellar at the plate and Weaver, not one of the most intimidating pitchers around, somehow managed to shut the Sox down.

But then maybe it’s not so hard to shut them down. Not when two of their best hitters have been (well, there’s no kind way to say it) useless. I’m not talking about Lowell, poor guy. He looks like he should just check himself into the hospital already and let a surgeon sew him back together like the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz.” No, I’m talking about this man. 
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Big Papi was a big floppy tonight, not counting those walks. Come to think of it, he just hasn’t been the hulking presence that used to strike fear in the hearts of Yankee fans everywhere. Is it his wrist that’s bothering him? Is it not having Manny behind him in the lineup? Is it – oh, no! – that his skills are declining? 
And what about this guy, the one who’s supposed to be the AL MVP?
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Dusty hasn’t had a hit in this series. Imagine that. Maybe baseball is a tough game after all, even for scrappy little guys with lots and lots of cockiness confidence.
Clearly, these two need to start hitting if the Sox plan on getting to the WS and winning it.
In the meantime, I hope this series ends soon so I don’t have to listen to Buck Martinez’s fingernail-on-a-blackboard voice or watch every time the camera at Fenway finds this man.
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Stephen King is a diehard Sox fan. We all know that. But he’s also a lifelong Yankees hater, and that is a cardinal sin. Recently, my publisher suggested we send him an advance copy of “Confessions of a She-Fan,” thinking he might read my book and give us a blurb for the cover. It wasn’t a totally ridiculous idea. Years ago, I was King’s publicist on his novel “Carrie” and we had what I remember as a brief but cordial relationship. So what happens after we sent him my book? We got an email from his editors saying, “Stephen King is too rabid a Red Sox fan to be able to stomach even a funny book praising the Yanks.” Fine. Whatever. Just know that I hold grudges.