Tagged: Dustin Moseley

Yanks-Rangers Game 1: Picking Up Our Horse

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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.

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 (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.
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Now We Know: We’re Going To Arlington

But where, exactly, IS Arlington? Yes, I’m aware that it’s in Texas, but where? I figured I’d better check since our boys will be flying there.
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OK, so it’s not in the Panhandle. And it’s not near the Mexican border. It’s not even in the vicinity of Austin or Houston or El Paso. It’s kind of close to Texarkana, which is an actual place not a country-and-western song, and is, therefore, practically in Arkansas, home of Cliff Lee, as well as A.J. and Moseley. What’s it like in Arlington? According to Wikipedia…
Arlington is a city in Tarrant CountyTexas within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the seventh-largest city in Texas and the 49th largest city in the United States.[3]


OK, so it’s not that small, and our Yankees will find plenty of places where they can amuse themselves.
Located approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles (32 km) west of downtown Dallas, Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in ArlingtonCowboys Stadium, the International Bowling Campus (which houses the United States Bowling CongressInternational Bowling Museum and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), the headquarters for American Mensa, and the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags).
Cool. They can go bowling if they need to get away from it all, not to mention hop on a roller coaster.
According to the American Lung Association, Dallas has the 12th highest air pollution among U.S. cities. Much of the air pollution in Dallas and the surrounding area comes from a hazardous materials incineration plant in the small town of Midlothian and from concrete installations in neighbouring Ellis County.


Uh-oh. So they won’t be able to breathe. And the last thing CC needs before he makes his start on Friday night is to be exposed to hazardous materials. He’ll have enough trouble staying away from the BBQ joints. But the real hazard, as far as I’m concerned, is Lee and we don’t have to worry about him for awhile. I was hoping we’d play the Rays and we’re not. So we’ll have to get used to the following:
* Relentless close-ups of Nolan Ryan.
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* Vlad Guerrero swinging at balls on the ground, in the air, off the top of his head.
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* Replays of Josh Hamilton winning the Home Run Derby.
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* Neftali Feliz’s “cheddar,” as David Wells and Dennis Eckersley dubbed his fastball.
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The Rangers are an excellent team and I congratulate them for winning their series. But just like the highly anticipated new FOX show “Lone Star,” they should prepare to be cancelled after just a few episodes.
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P.S. Now that our opponent is known, it’s a good time to enter the Crumbs cupcakes contest or amend your predictions. Click here for details. The deadline for entering is Thursday at midnight, PT.

Well, It’s Not The Worst Thing To Be The Wild  Card

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I’ve made no secret about how much I wanted to win the division and secure home field advantage. And I thought it was doable. Seriously doable. But, as I said, the situation could be worse for the Yankees; at least we’re going to Minny as opposed to heading for the golf course or hunting lodge like some teams.

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And today wasn’t a total loss. It’s always fun to score off Papelbon. The bigger issue confronting us fans right now is the state of the Bombers. Moseley did a pretty good job, I thought. Just a couple of mistakes that my dearly departed grandmother could have hit out of the park. Robertson looked exhausted, Joba did his usual high-wire act, Logan was ineffective and I don’t think Ring has a prayer of making the postseason roster. And then there was the persistent problem of stranding runners. It was painful to watch Jorge hit that dribbler with bases loaded, for example. On the positive side, Gardner has been gaining confidence at the plate, in the field, on the bases. He’s ready to do battle. Lefties. Righties. Doesn’t matter. And Tex is hot at the right time. Plus no worries whatsoever about Cano, who is, quite simply, a beast.
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So today isn’t about doom and gloom. It’s about celebrating the achievement of getting back to the postseason. And how better to celebrate than to visit with our old pal Surf Dog Bill, the grand prize winner of last year’s She-Fan Video Awards.
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For newcomers to the blog (or those with short term memory loss), Bill Connell is a local icon here in the Santa Barbara area. A huge Yankee fan, he and his hot dog stand are must-stops both for the hot dogs and the conversation.

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Here’s a recent article from the Santa Barbara Independent that’ll give you an idea of just how passionate Surf Dog is.

Baseball Drama

When the L.A. Dodgers Play the S.F. Giants, Wackiness Ensues


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whenever the Hot Dog Man, aka Bill Connell, visits Dodger Stadium, things seem to get stirred up. He was there late last month when the Dodgers took a 6-2 lead over the New York Yankees into the ninth inning. “All theL.A. fans went home,” said Connell, an ardent Yankee fan since his boyhood in New Jersey. “The Yankees scored four runs against [Jonathan] Broxton to tie it. In the 10th inning, Robinson Cano hit a home run to win it. The only people in the stadium were wearing Yankee caps.”

Not only were Connell's hot dogs a hit with the crowd--to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party--but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor's evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds.
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Courtesy Photo

Not only were Connell’s hot dogs a hit with the crowd–to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party–but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor’s evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds.

Connell recently wore quite another Yankee adornment. He was among the caterers at a party hosted by Jeff Jacobs, a Montecito denizen with lofty connections in entertainment and sports. Guests included Chris Bosh, the newly minted center of the Miami Heat, and Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. Not only were Connell’s hot dogs a hit with the crowd–to the bewilderment of the gourmet chefs at the party–but Jacobs, impressed by the vendor’s evident passion for baseball, gave him temporary custody of a genuine 2009 World Series championship ring, encrusted with 119 diamonds. “There I was, handing out hot dogs, with this New York Yankee ring glittering on my finger,” Connell said. “Can you believe it?”

Only a couple days later, Connell hit the trifecta–another memorable trip to Dodger Stadium. This time, he took 50 people with him on a chartered bus from his Surf Dog stand in Carpinteria. We expected to see a low-scoring duel between two of the game’s best young pitchers, Tim Lincecum of the Giants and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. Instead, we were treated to an evening of wacky incidents that stoked up the L.A.-San Francisco rivalry.

Much to our surprise, the Dodgers got to Lincecum for five runs in the first three innings. Kershaw was in command until the fifth inning, when the Giants got a break, thanks to Xavier being Manny–rookie Xavier Paul, subbing for the injured Manny Ramirez (more slug than slugger these days) in left field, had a flyball drop out of his glove. Three runs later, the Giants trailed just 5-4.

In the bottom of the fifth, after brushing back Matt Kemp with a pitch, Lincecum nailed him with another. A smattering of boos was directed at the Giants hurler. When relief pitcher Denny Bautista threw a fastball under the chin of L.A.’s Russell Martin in the sixth inning, the natives grew even more restless. They rose to their feet–almost a third of them to boo, the rest to get more beer. The home plate umpire took offense to an animated scolding by Bob Schaefer, the Dodgers’ bench coach, and ejected him.

Kershaw’s first pitch leading off the seventh inning squarely hit the Giants’ Aaron Rowand. Next to “It’s not about the money,” the most laughable sentence in a ballplayer’s repertoire is when a pitcher says about a retaliatory delivery, “It just got away from me.” That was Kershaw’s unconvincing explanation for his last pitch of the game. After he was ejected, along with manager Joe Torre, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo retired the next six San Francisco batters, preserving the Dodgers’ one-run lead.

I could not understand why people were leaving the stadium in droves. I guess they got what they came for–a James Loney bobblehead–but they missed a deliciously bizarre scene in the ninth inning.

Broxton, L.A.’s massive closer, made his usual dramatic entrance to the thundering sound of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and promptly loaded the bases. Then Don Mattingly, filling in as L.A.’s manager for the departed Torre, made an ill-fated visit to the mound, which technically became two visits when he stepped off and back on the dirt, which prompted Giants manager Bruce Bochy to remind the umpires that was a no-no. They ruled that Broxton, who had begun pitching to Andres Torres, must immediately be replaced (their interpretation was later called into question). Out of the bullpen came George Sherrill, whose first pitch was hammered by Torres to the wall in left field for a two-run double. The Giants went on to win, 7-5.

Connell and his busload, predominantly Dodger fans, stayed to the end. “We got our money’s worth,” the Hot Dog Man declared cheerfully.

Surf Dog is always “on” whenever I stop by his hot dog stand, and yesterday was no different. He took a few minutes to chat with me. Wait – let me amend that; he took a few minutes to deliver a monologue about the Yanks. Take a look.



OK, the Joba part about getting a start? I don’t think so. Otherwise, he’s been pretty accurate in his predictions. At least he was last year. I’ll be visiting him throughout the postseason (let’s hope it lasts awhile) and will pass along his pearls of wisdom. I wish I could pass along his hot dogs too. They’re really good.

That Game Nearly Killed Me – In A Good Way

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Is there a Yankee fan who wasn’t hyperventilating tonight? I doubt it. Where/how do I even begin to talk about this game?
First: the decision to start Hughes instead of Moseley. Whether it was Girardi’s idea or Cashman’s edict, who cares. It was the right move for every reason, and Huuuuughes rose to the occasion. I feel so much better about our pitching after seeing how he stepped up.
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Dice K was dealing, so Tex’s bloop single and A-Rod’s homer were enormous. Just huge. Kudos to them for giving us the lead for the first time in ages. A-Rod looks ready and willing to carry this team if necessary.
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Cano drove home the tying run and is a lock for the MVP now. OK, not a lock, but he sure made a good case for himself tonight.
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Dave Robertson. Great job in a pressure situation. How lucky are we to have him? Same goes for Kerry Wood. And really nice outing by Joba – yes, Joba – as well as Boone Logan.
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Girardi was playing Russian roulette with all the moving parts, but the game had a happy ending. Miranda’s walkoff walk (I love typing that) wasn’t a pretty type of win, but who needs pretty. Given the Rays’ loss, we’re only a half a game back in the division. Way to capitalize, Yankees.
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I can’t not mention the obvious: Mo blew another save – his fourth in the month of September. I’ve been saying, “No big deal,” but maybe there’s cause for concern after all. I’d love to know if he’s injured and not telling anyone, or whether he’s simply going through an ineffective period. I love him too much to even contemplate the possibility that he’s wearing down.
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And Jorge. Seriously. Not only couldn’t he give us a sac fly when we needed a run, but those throws. Ugh. Why not just send out a press release to other teams that they should run on his arm whenever possible?
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But I quibble. Tonight was a great baseball game and the Yankees came out on top. (Freya, you promised we’d win and you came through!) I’m going to bed feeling nice and secure.
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Yanks-Rays Round 3: Death By Bullpen

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Ring…Moseley…Gaudin…Albaladejo. Thanks, guys. I appreciate it.
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Actually, Ring can be forgiven. It was his Yankees debut and he gave up a walk. Not a criminal offense. But the others? Please. All we needed to complete the parade of mediocrity was Mitre, but he must have been busy toweling off after the rain or something.
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The rain. I forgot to blame it too. For all we know, A.J. would have had a nice outing and we wouldn’t have had to use our D-list relief corps. On the other hand, the offense was getting no-hit until Berkman went deep. I guess it wasn’t the Yankees’ night, except for the defense; there were some terrific plays by Tex, among others. He can hardly hold a bat but he still shines at first base. Now for the Big Question: Did our friends Peggy, Melissa, YankeeCase/Eddie and Ladyjane/Jane stay through the long rain delay? Did they meet up as planned? Did they get drenched?
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I hope they’ll check in and tell all. Meanwhile, I’m counting on CC to wrap up the series tomorrow night with a dominant performance. Like a complete game shutout performance. Like a no-doubter that sends me into the weekend feeling better than I feel right now.
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Update: Right after I hit “publish,” an email from Melissa floated into my inbox with a photo of our “core four” at the game tonight. Without further ado, here are (from left to right): Jane, Melissa, Eddie and Peggy.
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And take a look at the buttons the gang is sporting. Melissa made them and here’s what they say…
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How cool are they? I love them!!!!!

Doing What Championship Teams Do: Stepping Up

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No, that’s not Marcus Thames in the pic, but it might as well be. No A-Rod? No problem. Thames and his power bat have kept the Yankees in business down the stretch, and no one is more surprised than I am. I just didn’t think he would be such an important pickup for us, but clearly I was wrong. And no Pettitte? No problem there either. Well, OK, there’s been a big problem but somehow the Yanks have managed to solve it. Vazquez and Moseley were both pretty lousy today, but the bullpen did its job and shut down the Blue Jays. Of course, having Bautista F-bomb himself out of the lineup helped the cause, but mostly it was that incredible DP by Cano to Teixeira that turned the game around. I’m convinced that if Tex hadn’t gone into baseball, he could have done this.
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So the streak is now at eight games with twenty-six games left. That’s right. 26. Where did the season go? How could we possibly be at Labor Day weekend already? And, most importantly, can the Yankees pull away from the Rays and take sole possession of first place – for good?

 New York 86 50 .632 8-2 W8 48-22 38-28
 Tampa Bay 83 51 .619 2.0 26 7-3 W2 43-26 40-25

Vazquez As Mop Up Man

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He was good and Moseley was not, so why not use him in a game with a big lead? He was effective and held the A’s in check to get the win. Should he be put back in the rotation? I don’t know. I still don’t trust him. The person I do trust lately is Thames. My God, the guy has turned into a bona fide slugger.
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Swisher and Tex had hot bats too, and while Jeter continues to look schlubby at the plate his defense sparkled tonight.
But I need to change the subject. Sure, it’s great that we won the series opener, but could we talk about the weather for a sec? I’m going to the game on Friday – my first trip to the Stadium this year. Nova will be pitching and I have nice seats, and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s just one hitch.
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Earl. Category 4. Possible landfall on the East Coast on Friday. Will it land in the Bronx? Please no.