Tagged: Detroit Tigers

Winning and Plunking, Plunking and Winning

The good news was that despite Moseley’s homer-happy pitches, the Yankees took it to the Tigers’ pitchers for the win. I’m not a fan of Bonderman, who always looks miserable on the mound and whines like a four-year-old, so I wasn’t surprised that he hit Gardner in the first. I knew there would be retaliation for Brett’s take out of Guillen a couple of days before. What did surprise me was that after the plunking of Cabrera and the “errant” pitch behind Jeter, we didn’t see an all out brawl.
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In fact, I started to wonder: Have the Yankees been in a fight this year? I don’t think so. Maybe they’re due, and tomorrow’s game will have some fireworks. Porcello will be on the hill for Detroit and we’ve seen what he’s capable of.
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I really hope there isn’t any trouble, because we can’t afford to lose anybody – not to a suspension or an injury. So behave, boys! (Well, unless the Tigers start it.)
Speaking of hostility, I went grocery shopping today at the local market here in CT and what did I see in the freezer section?
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I found a sales clerk and said, “Excuse me, but I don’t see any Yankees ice cream.”
Sales clerk: “That’s because we don’t have any.”
Me: “But there are Yankee fans in this town. The guy who lives two houses down has the NYY decal on the back of his car, and the woman next door to him wore a Jeter T-shirt when she was outside getting the newspaper.”
Sales clerk: “Can’t help you, lady.”
Me: “Are YOU a Red Sox fan?”
Sales clerk: “No. I hate baseball.”
Talk about getting plunked!
Oh, before I forget, here’s a link I think people will really enjoy. It’s an interview by the Collectors Weekly site with a Red Sox She-Fan who appraises Yankees memorabilia. Check it out. Very interesting stuff.

Happy Endings

I was very heartened to see the reconciliation of Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga today in Detroit. Tears and handshakes and shiny new Corvettes are the stuff happy endings are made of. It seemed as if good will was restored, if not the perfect game itself, and – romantic sap that I am – I loved it.
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The Yankees’ series against the O’s had a happy ending too, as CC, Joba and Mo took care of business, Cano, A-Rod and Granderson continued to flaunt their bats, Jorge once again gave us a bona fide hitter in the DH spot and even Brett Gardner homered. What’s not to love right now if you’re a Yankee fan? 
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There’s only one more happy ending I’d like to see come true, and it involves my fellow bloggers over at “It Is High, It Is Far, It Is Caught...” A labor of love on the part of its contributors, particularly respected author, humorist and Syracuse Post-Standard reporter Hart Seely, known on his blog as “El Duque,” “It Is High” has made me laugh every single day since I first discovered it. It pokes smart fun at every aspect of Yankeeville, especially John Sterling and his “Thuuuuuu Yankees win” calls. But my favorite feature has been their hilarious “Yankeeographies,” which are original videos about various not-so-great Yankees – from Carl Pavano (“The Bronx Buttocks”) to Richie Sexon (“The Yankee Mayfly”). Well, now the unthinkable has happened: MLB has removed all their videos from YouTube for copyright infringement – without any notice. Read this recent New York Magazine interview with “El Duque” and you’ll get the gist. I’m a published author. I understand copyright infringement. But how can Major League Baseball not love a blog that celebrates the game with humor, never letting it take itself too seriously? I appreciate that MLB hosts my blog, but their banning of my friends’ work upsets me. I want the decision overturned – and soon.
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Taking a Break from the Damon Rant for Grandy

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What a sweet story on MLB.com about Granderson’s final charity event in Detroit. I was planning to post yet another plea to Cashman to sign Johnny Damon, but when I read the article about Grandy I had to pause and say, “I’m so glad we signed this guy.” The Yankees used to acquire/trade for players who weren’t necessarily known for being high caliber human beings. Do these faces ring a bell?
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But I’m seeing a different standard lately; we’re getting good players and good people. We don’t need any malcontents in the clubhouse. We don’t need me-me-me types. We don’t need divas. We don’t need guys with crummy work ethics. We don’t need malingerers who never come off the DL.
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Which – sorry, I can’t help myself – brings me back to Damon. The guy throws his body around on the field even when he’s hurting. He talks to the media even after a bad loss. He keeps the other players loose. Oh, and did I mention that he’s won two World Series? That he drove in 100 runs last season? That he can still steal a base or two (as in Game 4 against the Phillies)? That he’s the national spokesperson for the Wounded Warriors Project? That he’s a quality guy who’s worth the extra couple of million he’s asking for? 
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Just do it, Yankees. Do it and then let’s pass out the cigars.
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I’ve Always Loved Granderson And I’ll Love Him More in Pinstripes

How do I feel about today’s trade? I think the Yankees will survive without Phil Coke. Ian Kennedy? I bet he thrives in the National League. The one that really hurts is Ajax; allowing a top prospect to leave the franchise is always a bitter pill to swallow.
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On the other hand, look at the guy we’re getting. Curtis Granderson is not small potatoes!
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He’s an excellent defender and will bang the ball into the short porch in right (formerly called Damon’s Deck, soon-to-be known as Granderson’s Garage, Granderson’s Garden, Granderson’s Gazebo, take your pick).
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You don’t believe he can play center field? Watch this.
And here’s a little dinger he hit against the Phillies into their short porch.
And the Yankees are getting a guy who’s not only comfortable with the media but who grew up eating breakfast with his parents. Isn’t that sweet? (Try to block out the annoying woman. If I were Granderson I would have put duct tape over her mouth.)
He even takes time out to show his healthy bod in national magazines.
And another thing….In 2007 he was an ESPN analyst during the Yankees-Indians ALDS series. Having played in Detroit, he knew all about midges and would have told Gene Monahan to stop using that bug spray on everybody. Grrrr.
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Oh, and he was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award for his charitable work. His Grand Kids Foundation promotes education in inner cities.
Did you happen to catch the number on the back of his uniform? That’s right. It’s 28.
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(Hat tip to the LoHud blog for the pic.) I wonder if he’ll keep it or let Girardi wear it. Either way, it’s a good omen.

An Open Letter To “Yankee Faithful” – Stand By Your Man!

This article in today’s Daily News really bothered me. The Yankee fans that were interviewed expressed their wish that Joe Torre could manage the ’09 Yankees; they don’t think Joe Girardi is up to the task.

Memo to them: The torch has been passed.
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Torre had a great run and I was terribly sad to see him go, as I made clear in The New York Times. But he’s gone. He’s with the Dodgers. Cashman and Company picked Girardi over Mattingly (and Pena), and he’s the one who’s been sitting in the manager’s office for a year now. In other words, it’s time to rally around him.
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Did his rookie year go smoothly? No. Were there “issues” right from Day 1? Sure. A few examples:
* Ian Kennedy was supposed to make a start, but it was raining. So Girardi ended up using him in relief. A head-scratcher.
* Girardi seemed to shuffle the lineup almost daily. At first I thought he was being creative. Then I decided he was being disruptive. Players like to show up for a game not having to wonder about their status from day to day. This year he needs to establish a plan and stick to it, barring injuries.
* Speaking of player injuries, Girardi had a very tough time explaining their various ailments to the beat writers, as if he’d be giving away state secrets. His evasiveness came to a head at the end of the season with the mystery surrounding Mo’s shoulder. A testy press conference ensued.
* Cano wasn’t getting it done, and Girardi waited until September to bench him. Hard to fathom.
* Girardi used Wilson Betemit in situations where even I would have been a better option. Seriously. And he had an odd attachment to Kyle Farnsworth, even though the rest of us hid our eyes whenever Farnsy came in to relieve.
* Girardi banned candy and junk food from the clubhouse, and there were rumors that the veteran players thought he was too uptight.
All that said, the man wants to win badly and he’s got a lot of heart.
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He’s not cool and collected like Torre. He doesn’t sit on the bench sipping green tea. He doesn’t even sit – he stands constantly, clenching his jaw and looking like he’s living and dying with every pitch. Nothing laid back about this Joe.
Sometimes he loses it completely.
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But don’t we want our manager to be passionate? Fiery? A risk-taker?
I laugh at those who say, “Girardi would have to be an idiot not to be able to manage the team the Yankees are handing him.”
Really? If the job were so easy, why did Jim Leyland have such a tough time in Detroit last year? He’s arguably one of the best managers in the game. Certainly one of the most experienced.
With all the talk of Girardi’s “short leash” should the Yankees get off to a slow start, I’m standing by my man. He wasn’t necessarily my pick to replace Torre; I vacillated between him and Mattingly. He doesn’t have a provocative bestseller on the shelves. Nobody calls him the “Sinatra of Baseball.” He doesn’t hang out with Billy Crystal. But he’s my manager, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.¬†
What I’m saying is that I plan on us staying together – for the sake of the kids.
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