Tagged: Gene Monahan

The Yankees Could Probably Open An Envelope…


…and it would be exciting. They have a way of turning even the mundane into the dramatic. Not that today’s home opener was mundane – far from it – but there was so much emotion packed into one baseball game that my head almost exploded while I was watching on TV.
I mean, how about long-time head trainer Gene Monahan, in the midst of treatment for cancer, showing up to receive his World Series ring?
Or what about Steinbrenner putting in a rare appearance and Jeter presenting him with his ring?
And could there be a more moving moment than when the players mobbed Matsui or when the crowd gave him a huge ovation?
And, of course, I have to mention Bernieeeee throwing out the first pitch.
Sweet. And then there was the game itself. Pettitte never ceases to amaze me. Year in and year out, he’s on the mound delivering when it counts. Six scoreless innings against a very tough opponent? He took care of it, getting in and, more importantly, out of jams.
Nick Johnson smacked a homer in his first at bat, reminding us that number two hitters don’t have to be named Johnny Damon. Jeter and Posada, as they have on many an Opening Day, provided offense. Cano continued to hit the ball hard. Swisher made a tremendous running catch that ended in one of these.
In fact, for most of the game it felt as if the Yankees could do no wrong and the Angels would keep looking flustered and off balance – the exact opposite of the bad old days when the Yanks couldn’t buy a win from the Halos. But then came Chan Ho’s homer to Morales – one mistake pitch that cost him – followed by a truly lousy outing by Robertson, who hasn’t been as sharp in 2010 as he was last year. The only good thing about Abreu’s grand slam was that it created the need to bring in The God of Closers.
I suppose it was only fitting that Mo get the save, given the occasion. Oh, and the other positive aspect to the Angels’ late rally was that it made the final score:
Yankees 7
Angels 5
Which made contest winners out of three lucky commenters on this blog who predicted the outcome:
Pinstripe Mike
Congratulations to them! A Vintage Yankee Stadium Tin filled with Cooperstown Cookies will be headed their way as soon as they send me their addresses. I hope they’ll report back after they’ve sampled their prizes. I also look forward to hearing from those who were at the game today. Watching it on TV was better than nothing (even though I was stuck with the Angels feed here in California), but being there in person must have been a day to remember.

The Walk-Off Wounded

I’m still basking in the afterglow of the Yankees’ 4-3 defeat of the Blue Jays – yet another game they won in thrilling, walk-off fashion. What’s not to love about this team? Sure, they frustrate me sometimes. AJ was throwing wild pitches like a madman. Pena allowed himself to be picked off first base. Matsui was 0-for-5. But I can’t argue with the way the 2009 Bombers nearly always find a way to escape the jaws of defeat.
But as they head to Seattle to begin their long road trip, all is not well in Yankeeville. Not medically speaking. The sudden casualties?
* Jeter was hit on the foot in the first inning. Diagnosis? Contusion.
* Posada caught a foul tip off the knuckle of his middle finger in the eighth. Diagnosis? Contusion.
* A-Rod was drilled on his elbow in the 11th. Diagnosis? Contusion.
* Mo complained of shoulder soreness. Diagnosis? “Crankiness,” according to Girardi.
I decided to fly out to Seattle myself and harass Yankees head trainer Gene Monahan for answers. 
Here’s our conversation.
She-Fan: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Gene. I’m really worried about Jeter, Posada, A-Rod and Mo. Can you update me on their conditions?
Gene: They’re suffering from contusions.
She-Fan: What IS a contusion anyway?
Gene: An abrasion. A trauma. An ecchymosis.
She-Fan: Please spare me the medical jargon and speak English, Gene.
Gene: Fine. They’ve got shiners. Black-and-blue marks.
She-Fan: What about Mo? Girardi said his shoulder was cranky. Can a shoulder even BE cranky?
Gene: That’s just Joe being Joe. Mo’s shoulder is crabby, not cranky.
She-Fan: That’s so funny I forgot to laugh. Why are the Yankees secretive with the media when it comes to injuries?
Gene: You’re not the media, She-Fan. You’re just a blogger.
She-Fan: And you’re not a doctor, Gene Monahan. You’re just a trainer.
Gene: Good point. Forgive me.
She-Fan: I’ll consider it if you make sure my boys are healthy.
Gene: I’ll do my best.

So there you have it. Gene Monahan had a bit of an attitude, but he said he’ll do his best. I just hope it’s good enough.

How the Yanks Can Unload Those 7 Remaining Luxury Boxes

As everyone has heard by now, Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost admitted that 7 of the 56 “luxury suites” at the new Stadium remain available at $600,000 each. Which is another way of saying they just can’t sell the turkeys. Lonn (I hope he doesn’t mind me calling him by his interesting first name) blamed the economy, but I’m wondering if it’s the accommodations themselves that are lacking. I mean, are they worth $600,000? Do they come with everything a New York titan would want in a luxury box?
Lonn said his primary goal with the new Yankee Stadium was “to elevate the fan experience.” But does that apply to the really rich fan’s experience¬†too?
Sure, the luxury suites will have flat-screened, high-def TVs showing not only live games but weather and traffic reports. And the really rich fans will be able to order food whenever the mood strikes. No need to call Domino’s.
Or shlep to the Hebrew National concession stands like the rest of us.
The really rich fans will have their own personal waiter and bartender, naturally.
Not impressed? Neither am I. Not for $600,000. More is required. So here are my suggestions for how to sell the 7 remaining luxury boxes. Lonn? Please pay attention.
For starters, I’d install one of these in the suites. The Bronx gets hot in the summer, and really rich fans deserve to cool off in privacy.
In addition to the Jacuzzis, the suites must have comfy chairs covered in fine corinthian leather.
Another necessity – especially if the game is a tense pitcher’s duel and the really rich fans feel tightness in the neck and shoulders – is this.
Conversely, if the game is really boring there should be the option of having this.
For the really rich fans who are focused on what’s happening on the field and want to exert control over the situation, a special phone should be installed.
Their calls will go straight to the dugout. Just imagine! They can call Girardi if they think he’s not managing the game properly. They can demand to speak to Dave Eiland if they want to criticize his pitching moves. Or maybe it’s Kevin Long they’ll want to blame when A-Rod hits into a rally-killing double play. They’ll even be able to call Gene Monahan if they pull a hammy. Wow, right?
And – get this – the really rich fans will be able to argue balls and strikes! They can’t be thrown out of the game, so why not pick up that phone and summon the crew chief to their suite?
Oh, and they should be able to make announcements on the scoreboard simply by pressing a button. Instead of suffering through everybody’s Happy Birthdays, they can send a personal message directly to their employees, spouses, kids, whatever – right where the score usually goes.
The suites should also be wired so that the really rich fans can take a turn imitating Bob Sheppard during the game and intone the words “Der-ek Jet-ah” for all to hear.
(Yes, of course, the microphone should be solid gold. We’re talking about $600,000.)
And finally, the really rich fans in the luxury suites should be entitled to a post-game confab with the Yankees captain.
They’ll have carte blanche to ask him anything and – here’s the biggie – he’ll be compelled to answer without resorting to cliches like: “Bottom line, we just need to win games.”
Sounds like a much better package than what the Yankees are currently offering, doesn’t it?