Tagged: Evan Longoria

Break’s Over

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No more home run derbies, all star games and barbecues with the family. It’s time for the Yankees to get back to work in the Bronx. Yes, the weekend will be emotional with the tributes to Steinbrenner and Sheppard, but the Rays won’t be playing the role of sympathetic friend; they’ll be looking to bring us to our knees.
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We must dominate the invaders from Tampa Bay, and who better to do that than CC. He has to neutralize Longoria, Crawford and company and send a message to our division rival that we are not handing over the American League East any time soon.
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That means:
* keeping the Rays from stealing.
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* not letting any of them make web gem-type catches.
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* saying something that will get Upton mad.
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* smashing Joe Maddon’s glasses.
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What else…Oh, yeah, we need to score a lot of runs so that nobody in our bullpen can screw things up.
Go Yankees.

Dealing With Catwalks

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Okay, no. I don’t mean that kind of catwalk. I don’t even mean this kind.
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I’m talking about all that stuff on the ceiling at Tropicana Field.
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During today’s 7-3 Yankees win over the Rays, Longoria hit a pop-up that the Yanks thought was a foul ball, the Rays thought was a fair ball, and the umpires thought was….Who knows that they thought; they looked befuddled.
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No matter. Despite A.J’s shaky first inning, during which I muttered some very uncharitable things at him via the TV, combined with the Yankees’ inability to hit James Shields early, it all turned out just fine. I really must learn to have more faith in my team.
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A.J., as we all know, has a tendency to unravel when things go badly, but he came back strong and ended up pitching really well through seven. Not even the catwalk business upset the rhythm he had established with Jorge, his new BFF.
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(I think Jorge and I wear the same shade of nail polish, by the way: OPI’s Funny Bunny.)
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Back to the game. Once again, we got the offense when we needed it – again off the Rays’ pen. A-Rod…JoPo…Swisher…Granderson…Cano – clap clap clap for them. Not so much clapping for poor Tex, who went 0-for-4 on his birthday.
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He even had a little glaring match with Pat Burrell, who slid into first base as if he were trying to break up a double play. But, again, no matter. The Yankees have now won back-to-back series against division rivals and head home for Opening Day on Tuesday. Has everybody entered the Cooperstown Cookie Contest by now? If not, you have until midnight.
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Hitting The Road

If I had told people that the Yankees would go 9-1 on their homestand, I would have gotten reactions like this.

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And even this.
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That Swisher. Such a goofball. But even he probably wouldn’t have predicted such a great run after the All-Star break.
Mitre was mediocre in Sunday’s game, but “mediocre” might be just fine for the time being. He throws strikes. He induces ground balls. He doesn’t look panicked out there. He’ll do as the fifth starter until he proves he’s not worthy.
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The bullpen is looking better and better, especially with Bruney gaining in confidence and effectiveness. I’m a little worried about Coke though. I shake my head every time somebody says, “He’s been amazing, except that he gives up home runs.”
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The last time I checked, giving up home runs wasn’t a good thing. Hughes continues to impress, and Mo is just, well, Mo. He could probably throw that cutter in his sleep.
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Tex keeps rolling. Cody Ransom has been more-than-decent as A-Rod’s fill-in. And Melky will have to step up while Gardner’s thumb heals.
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I admit I was thrown when I heard about Brett the Jet’s injury. How will we compensate for his speed on the bases? Could we get this guy to un-retire?
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Cano finally got a big hit with men in scoring position. And Jeter seems to get more acrobatic with age. I mean, could you do this?
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What I’m saying is that I think we’re ready for the ten-day road trip, which begins at the cowbell palace known as The Trop.
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Sure, there will be challenges in Tampa. Big ones, not the least of which is this.
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Tough place to catch fly balls. What’s more, there are Rays that always cause the Yankees headaches: Upton, Crawford, Longoria, Pena. I’m hoping AJ can handle them all when he opens the series and flashes them that stare.
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The Bombers have hit the road as I’m typing this. Actually, they must be in Florida by now.
If I were addressing them at their hotel, I’d say: “Win every game on the trip.”
“She-Fan, you’re cracked,” Jeter would say. “We can’t win every game.”
“Well, you can win ninety-nine percent of them,” I’d counter. “You just did it.”
Everybody would realize I was right. And Joba would let out a victory roar.
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Enough Already!

Here’s how my Thursday went. How was yours?

* 7 a.m. I ventured outside to get my newspaper and was nearly blown over by the 60 mph winds that were fanning the wildfires.
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* 8 a.m. I listened to our local news and heard that over 2500 acres had burned (we were at 400 yesterday), along with 75 houses.

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* 10 a.m. I sorted through my emails and found one from a friend named John who’d been forced to evacuate. “We’re safe,” he wrote. “But our house is in the hands of the winds and the firefighters.”
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* Noon: Among the emails that go directly to my web site about my book was one from a reader named Dennis who wrote, “I can’t believe you missed a game because it was hot out. I travel all the way from western Mass to get away from these ****** Red Sox fans and would drive through any type of weather to get to the Bronx. You don’t deserve to be a Yankee fan.”
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* 2 p.m. A tree in front of our house was knocked over by a gust of wind and split right down the middle.
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* 3 p.m. I turned on the water in the sink only there wasn’t any.
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* 4 p.m. I sat down to watch Yankees-Rays. Before I even blinked, Pettitte gave up homers to Bartlett and Pena, followed two innings later by another to Longoria. Oh, Andy.
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* 5 p.m. With the Rays ahead 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the very large Niemann walked Melky and allowed a single to Pena before being replaced by Cormier, who gave up doubles to Molina and Damon. The Yanks pulled to within 4-3. That was the good news. Then, up came Tex, who K-ed and heard boos from the fans.
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* 5:30 p.m. Matsui tacked on a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth, tying the score, but what was Cervelli, our newly called up AA catcher, doing behind home plate in the top of the sixth? Could it be that Molina, our backup catcher/everyday catcher, was hurt? Of course.
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* 6:30 p.m. Just as I started to think about dinner, the YES Network showed its nightly anti-smoking commercial featuring the woman with the disfigured hands. Talk about an appetite killer.
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* 6:45 p.m. Jose Veras had his usual meltdown in the seventh, and the Rays jumped ahead 6-4. But Damon lined a two-run shot in the eighth, tying things up at 6-6. I felt pure joy as I watched Mo trot in from the pen for the ninth….only to witness the unthinkable: back-to-back homers by Crawford and Longoria. Never has Mo given up two in a row. Not in his entire career.
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* 7 p.m. The sight of Girardi taking Mo out and bringing in Robertson – and the subsequent news that Mo has been suffering from “arm strength issues” – was too much.
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7:30 p.m. After the 8-6 loss, the Yankees’ fifth straight, I tried to perk up. I reminded myself that A-Rod had left camp in Florida and would be in the lineup on Friday in Baltimore.
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* 7:45 p.m. But then I heard the wind start to howl even worse than it had been howling all day. The lights flickered too. I looked out the window and saw smoke – lots of it – and suddenly it was back to living in the midst of a raging wildfire.
With baseball over for the night, I grabbed my She-Fan Cam and went outside to play one of those Weather Channel people. Here’s my “report.” The sound isn’t very good, because I was getting knocked around by the wind, but I gave it a shot.
Thanks to all those who’ve expressed concern for my safety and that of the firefighters and residents of Santa Barbara. As of this writing, the fire continues to grow and has the potential to last for months, like the one I mentioned in my book that broke out here in the summer of ’07. But we’re supposed to get a cold front by the weekend – maybe a little fog, if not some actual rain.
(Flip Video Contest Reminder: Deadline is Friday, May 15th to win one of these!)


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She-Fan Exclusive: Japanese Manager Disses Americans

Shortly after Jeter and company were eliminated from the WBC, I fought the crowds at Dodger Stadium and the blustery conditions and found my way into the clubhouse. I made it inside just as the manager of the Japanese team was answering questions posed by the media. Fortunately, I am fluent in Japanese and can interpret everything for the American blogosphere.

She-Fan: “Sir, why do you think you beat Team USA so convincingly?”
Managerアメリカ人weren’ よいt非常に。
(Translation: “The Americans weren’t very good.”)
She-Fan: “Could you be a little more specific?”
Manager彼が打撃練習を投げていたように先発投手、見るローイOswalt。 彼は何も有しなかった。
(Translation: “Their starting pitcher, Roy Oswalt, looked like he was throwing batting practice. He had nothing.”)
She-Fan: “That’s rather harsh, Sir. It wasn’t all Oswalt’s fault.”
Manager本当。 アメリカ人は3つの間違いを作った。 いかに薄く水っい得ることができるか。 Weren’ 巧みなプレーヤーがあるために仮定されるtデイヴィッドライトおよびブライアンロバーツか。 そしていかにデレックJeterについてか。 私に彼はfat.”を見た;
(Translation: “True. The Americans made three errors. How sloppy can you get? Weren’t David Wright and Brian Roberts supposed to be skilled players? And how about Derek Jeter? To me he looked fat.”)
She-Fan: “Fat? Jeter is in great shape, Sir. Well, I guess he could lose a few pounds, but once he’s back in Tampa he’ll – Never mind. Any other comments about the game?”
Manager: エバンLongoriaは主状態で打った。 He’ s子供だけ、権利か。そしてアダムDunnはこと彼を過ぎた球のしたたりの権利認めた。 私達の全チームはそれが起こったときに笑い始めた。
(Translation: “Evan Longoria struck out in a key situation. He’s only a child, right? And Adam Dunn let that ball dribble right past him. Our whole team started laughing when that happened.”)
She-Fan: “Not very good sportsmanship, if you ask me.”
Manager多分ない、しかしそれは陽気だった。
(Translation: “Maybe not, but it was hilarious.”)
She-Fan: “Any thoughts on your match-up against Korea?”
Managerはい。 私はアメリカ人がTVのゲームを見ることをして非常刺激的があり、私が望むことを考えるそれらを。 私達がこと”のそれらの競技者より面白いあなたの読者を言いなさい; アメリカIdol.”
(Translation: “Yes. I think playing them will be very exciting, and I hope the Americans will watch the game on TV. Please tell your readers that we are more entertaining than those contestants on ‘American Idol.'”)
So there you have it – straight from the post-game press conference. I tried to get Jeter to say a few words, but he was on his third Big Mac with fries and didn’t want to be disturbed.

Brian Cashman Is Such A Kidder

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According to widely published reports, Yankees GM Brian Cashman won’t be acquiring an established third baseman to fill in for A-Rod while he’s rehabbing his hip. No signing a free agent. No sending another team prospects in a trade. Nada.
“I’m not optimistic about doing anything,” he said. “Our answer is here in camp.”
Yeah, right. Because the Yankees never go out and get a high-profile player. Tell that to Bubba Crosby, our supposed center fielder until we ended up with Johnny Damon. Or to Enrique Wilson, our supposed third baseman until we ended up with A-Rod. Or to Nick Swisher, our supposed first baseman until we ended up with Mark Teixeira. Sure, we’ll put Cody Ransom or Angel Berroa out there on Opening Day at our brand new stadium. Hahahahahahaha.

I asked a couple of other Yankee She-Fans if they found Cashman’s remarks as hilarious as I did. Here are their reactions.
O.K., so the Yankees will cast a wide net for a guy to play third. But who will it be?
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I know, I know. I’m reaching. It’ll probably be him.
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But how will I ever be able to spell Grudzielanek whenever I do a post about him? It’s always something, isn’t it?
At least Joba pitched well tonight and so did Phil Coke, and the Baby Bombers went on an offensive tear, beating the Reds 7-1.

And the AL Rookie of the Year Goes to…

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Actually, they don’t announce the awards until tomorrow so I’m jumping the gun. But the odds are that the AL statuette will go to…Evan Michael Longoria. If I’m wrong and it’s Ellsbury or Joba or somebody, I’ll hang my head in shame. But why else would Erin Andrews be interviewing Evan if he’s not the winner?
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I’m sticking with him. As a tribute, here’s my special presentation of “E: The True Longoria Story.”
It all begins on October 7th, 1985, the date of Evan’s birth. He’s a Libra, meaning his symbol is a scale of justice.
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Libras are very balanced people, good diplomats. Gandhi, for instance, was a Libra. So if there’s ever a bench-clearing brawl, watch for Evan to be right there in the middle brokering a peace agreement.
He grew up in the city of Downey, California, southeast of L.A. What is there to say about Downey, you ask? For starters, it boasts the very first one of these on the planet earth.
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And the very oldest surviving one of these.
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Talk about historical significance in the realm of fast food restaurants! Not only that, Downey is the former home of
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That’s right. The Carpenters. It’s also the current home of
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Yep, Weird Al Yankovic. Bet you’ve been wondering where he’s been keeping himself.
Like other superstar athletes before him, Evan Longoria went Catholic when it came to schooling.
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At St. John Bosco (not to be confused with the Bosco chocolate syrup I overdosed on as a child), Evan played baseball and was guided in his moral principles by the Salesians, a religious order founded by this man.
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He earned a scholarship to Long Beach State, where he majored in criminology (those scales of justice again) and played baseball. He was a shortstop in high school but moved to third base because the Dirtbags (their name, not mine) already had a shortstop.
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While Troy Tulowitzki eventually ended up with the Rockies, Evan landed with the Rays, never dreaming how much fun he would have in Tampa Bay.
His last name caught the attention of actress Eva Longoria, naturally, and to wish him luck she sent him this.
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Yes, a bottle of Cristal, the world’s most expensive champagne. To return the favor, the young and clueless Evan sent Eva this.
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Oh, well. He’s still learning. And Eva wasn’t turned off by his cheesy gesture. In fact, she offered him a cameo on her show.
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Speaking of wives, Evan isn’t married and doesn’t have a girlfriend, although he was spotted at a USF football game with this woman.
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Her name is Jaime Hanna and she’s a Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader who also works as a dental hygienist.
So. Life is pretty awesome right now for Evan Michael Longoria. Congratulations to him on winning the AL Rookie of the Year….Unless, of course, I wake up tomorrow morning and find out he didn’t win it after all.

Rays-Phillies Game 4: Baseball Sure Is Unpredictable

After tonight’s thrashing of the Rays by the Phils, my head feels like a giant puzzle.

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Seriously, what to make of the fact that in a blog post two days ago I offered Ryan Howard several ways for busting out of his slump. I guess one of them worked, because look at him.
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He’s dancing with joy over having smacked two homers and driven in five runs. This guy couldn’t buy a hit and now he’s a slugger again. Strange, yes?
And then there’s the case of
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Joe Blanton – a mediocre pitcher who, for no apparent reason, chose tonight to impersonate Cy Young. He even went deep! How do you figure?
There were plenty of other oddities:
* the normally capable Iwamura making two errors
* the much-heralded Rays relievers serving up bombs
* the sizzling hot bats of Longoria and Pena turning to icecubes.
Oh, and how about the National Anthem?
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Did Patti Labelle TRY to sound like a cat in heat?
It was such a strange game, from start to finish, and just goes to prove that those of us who predicted Tampa Bay would win the World Series might be dead wrong. I mean, Hamels vs. Kazmir tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park? Could spell The End for the Cinderfellas.
But the strangest part of all? When Fox’s Ken Rosenthal brought us breaking news from Mrs. Jamie Moyer.
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According to Karen Moyer, Jamie pitched last night’s game despite a bout of stomach flu. “He was sweating so badly I had to keep changing the sheets and pillowcases on the bed,” she confided to Ken, who then passed this crucial tidbit on to us, along with other details of Moyer’s unfortunate symptoms.
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Memo to Fox: There IS such a thing as too much information.

Thoughts on the Rays’ First Postseason Win Ever

First of all, I hate being on the sidelines and writing about other team’s successes. But if any team deserves to be written about, it’s the Rays. Here’s why.

* They finally managed to fill up the Trop today! Did you see all those people banging on their cowbells? Where were they all summer? Up north, I know. Well, it was sweet of them to lock up their real houses, come on down to their Florida condos and take in a little baseball.
* Evan Longorio hit two homers. The guy is in his first major league season, and yet look how well he performs on the big stage. There should be no further discussion about who is more famous…..
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                     OR…..
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* The Rays can now claim that they, too, have a high-strung (okay, looney) reliever in the grand tradition of Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky and Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams. The minute he had words with Orlando Cabrera, I thought, Yup. He needs a nickname.
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And so I’m calling him Grant “The Mad Australian” Balfour.
* The Rays beat the White Sox in spite of losing Carlos Pena early in the game. Pena’s problem? Blurry left eye. Apparently, he scratched it at home last night. But do we believe that story or do we think his hand slipped while he was….
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Yes, even professional ballplayers yawn. Not every game is a nail-biter, plus they stay up way past their bedtimes.