Tagged: It Is High

I’m Sorry; This Entire Post Is A Rant About A.J. Burnett

When I saw this picture, I couldn’t help thinking of another character altogether.
But the image that sticks in my mind is the one of him walking off the mound after Joe pulled him tonight.
AJ leaving.jpg
He’s kind of smirking, kind of scowling, kind of nutty – sort of like Tony Perkins in “Psycho.”
But then I lit on the shot from the “It Is High” blog, and that did it. I started cracking up, and tonight’s miserable game became just a bad joke. Their caption is entitled…”A.J. Brunette.”
AJ Brunette.jpeg
He’s cute, isn’t he?
OK, enough about the photos and onto AJ’s “performance.” He had nothing. I mean nothing. The Jays can hit the ball, no question, but did every pitch have to be right in their happy zone? What the hell is wrong with Burnett? Is it just a confidence thing at this point? Because I thought he and Dave Eiland had worked it out, talked it out, hugged it out, whatever it is they do, and yet the result has been awful. I get why he needs to stay in the rotation; he did pitch well in the playoffs last year and Ivan Nova isn’t ready for prime time. But his 2010 has been abysmal, and it’s hard to understand why. Yes, I know. The Rays lost. So what? This isn’t about other teams. It’s about the fact that we need starters. Now. When I saw that Roy Halladay clinched tonight for the Phillies, I turned green with envy. He was the one I wanted all along. People said, “Oh, we don’t need him. We already have an ace.” True, but what would have been the problem with having two aces?
I’d better stop now before I explode.

Let Them Eat Cake

Yankee cake, that is.
Let me explain. I was wandering around in New Milford, CT today, trying to come up with the perfect dessert for my dinner party tomorrow night. One of my guests is “Alphonso” from the “It Is High” Yankees blog, and I was wishing I could serve something with a Yankees theme. Imagine my delight when I spotted a cute shop called Sugar Hoot, walked in and spotted a monitor at the cash register displaying photos of the bakery’s wares, including the above and this!
Needless to say, I whipped out the She-Fan Cam and asked to speak to the genius who made the edible Yankees caps (and yes, the caps are really cakes, which I didn’t realize until I started talking to the aforementioned genius). Here’s Kristyn in her own words.
Who cares if she’s a Red Sox fan? I asked if there was any chance she could make me a Yankees cap made of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting (she puts the blue “cap” part on top of the actual cake, but you can eat it too). Normally, the cake is a special order for birthday parties and such, but she was so kind and accommodating that she agreed to bake one for me for tomorrow night – plus she and her mom/ business partner gave Michael and me two complimentary cupcakes that were absolute heaven. I cannot wait for Alphonso to show up and see the cake, which I will hide in the bedroom until it’s time to bring it to the table as a big surprise. Of course it’s possible that he’ll read this blog post tonight and my “big surprise” will bomb. Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you’re ever in CT and in need of a sugar high, do yourself a favor and wander into Sugar Hoot like I did. You won’t be sorry.

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.
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? 
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.

Read It And Weep….Or Just Read

One of my favorite Yankees blogs is “It Is High, It Is Far, It Is…caught,” which is where I go whenever I need a good laugh. A couple of days ago, “El Duque,” their blogger-in-chief, posted the following. Keep in mind that Duque is a professional pessimist; he has a notion that if he keeps his expectations about the Yanks nice and low, he can only be pleasantly surprised. What I’m saying is, don’t hold his “predictions” against him.

Time to put up or shut up: 10 Yankee predictions for 2010

Commentators, readers, children of all ages… Lay down your Mothman prophesies…

It is time to separate the true prophets from those fools who are blinded by bloggery egoism.


1. The Yankees will finish in second place in the American League East. They will not win the Wild Card and they will not play in the post-season. This is because Baltimore and Toronto will be much improved. (The Jays didn’t, as has been popularly reported, give Halladay away for nothing.) As a result, the AL East will be one tough somebich division. And second place will not offer a Wild Card.

2. Johnny Damon will hit more home runs and bat higher than Curtis Granderson, who nevertheless will have a fine season and be popular in New York. It will not be Granderson’s fault that the Yankees fail to make the post-season. But Damon, as a point of personal pride, will make sure his numbers exceed the man wrongly viewed to be his replacement.

3. Mariano Rivera will pitch into August, then break down from age, and the Yankees will not have an adquate closer. If you saw me now, you would see tears in my eyes as I write these terrible words. But it can’t go on forever. He will tweak a muscle or something will fail, and when Mariano is not right, our whole team is not right. Who is going to replace him? Joba? Maybe someday. Not this year.

4. The Yankees will trade Jesus Montero and Brett Gardner for Carl Crawford at mid-season. The trade will backfire, as Crawford suffers adjustment pains in New York, and then, they have nobody to deal for a relief pitcher, down the stretch. But Jesus Montero will face growing pains at Triple A, when smart baserunners steal on every pitch. It will affect his hitting, and the Yankees will have no place for a DH. Tampa will be looking to trade Carl Crawford, and the Redsocks will be sniffing, and there will be no middle ground. Worse, we won’t just give up Montero and Gardner. It will also cost at least another top prospect. Yeow.

5. Javier Vasquez will pitch well for the Yankees, with an ERA of about 4.40; but he will not be offered a contract at the end of the season. It was never in the cards. They only traded for him because he was one-and-out. I don’t know how this will affect him, but I think he will give his heart and soul for this team, trying to win back fans who will never forgive him. He won’t get a shot at post-season redemption, and then he will be gone.

6. A-Rod will have the first off-year of his career, and questions will surround the future of his hip and the past of his bloodstream. He grew tired last year and really lost his swing for a while. Because of the great post-season he had, and that last game, when he drove in a pile of meaningless runs, we forget the ebbs and flows of his year. Also, he won’t have Hideki Matsui behind him in the order. We took Matsui for granted last year. We’ll miss him more than we think.

7. John Lackey will lead the Redsock pitching staff and become a notorious Yankee killer. He is a great pitcher and competitor, the closest to a Teixeira-type mentality that was on the market. I said it in December: Cashman is trying what Theo Epstein attempted in 2009 — to be too clever with his tinkering and outsmart everybody. The Penny/Smoltz/Baldelli/et al follies blew up in Epstein’s face, even though, just like Cashman’s moves this year, they were roundly cheered by the “experts.” This may be the year Cashman learns his lesson: If you got the cards, lay them down.

8. Nick Johnson will hit .300 and 20 home runs, but with nagging injuries to other key Yankees, his fulltime DH presence will prove a poor fit, and he will end up platooned. We will often lament the fact that he is slow on the bases, and we will look for a base-stealing benchplug, a Freddie Guzman, for the late innings, which will mean having to pare our outlandishly large pitching staff down to 11 or 10. This is the folly of a full-time DH on an old team.

9. Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will pitch hot and cold, finishing the season as question marks for the 2011 rotation. Seriously, can you imagine either of them ever being a sure thing? Even though it seems as if they must be pushing 30, they are still years away from their prime. That’s because we long ago began marketing them as future stars. Hell, we treatthem as if they are all-stars. We turned them into china dolls. They’ll come of age around 28, and I think they’ll be good. But that’s two-three years away. Question: Will they still be Yankees? Or will we be sick of them?

10. Kei Igawa w
ill return to Japan by the All-Star break. 
Everybody wants him gone. It was amazing that he was one of the first slobs cut from spring camp. He must have been awful. First, they announced that he would get a looksee as a situational lefty. Then he had a fine 1-2-3 outing. Then he got tagged. And then he was gone. No word yet on whether he’ll be a starter in Scranton. But really, can you imagine them paying all that money to a situational lefty out of the bullpen in Triple A? Nahhh. He’s gone.

My personal message to El Duque is this… Last February my Tarot card reader predicted the Yankees would win the 2009 World Series and they did. It’s time I paid her another visit and only then will we know what 2010 holds.


My Tuesday in New York City

Where’s summer? It’s cold here! Brrr.


Oh, well. I guess it’s better than sweltering in the heat.
This morning, I headed downtown from my hotel to SoHo, where I spent two very enjoyable hours being interviewed for Barbara Kopple’s ESPN documentary on the Yankees. A two-time Oscar winner, Barbara couldn’t have been more welcoming, and it was a pleasure to meet her. My husband Michael took a photo of me with her.
It was her very capable and enthusiastic associate, David Cassidy, who conducted the interview. He’s a diehard Yankee fan, so there was lots to talk about.
I have no idea if I said anything useful, but I guess I’ll find out after the documentary airs next year.
Then, it was back uptown to the studio where they tape YES’s “Yankees Magazine.” I had a lot of fun answering questions posed by George Pisanti, who’s been producing the show for several years. I’ll post my air date as soon as I have it.
Later, it was off to dinner with this guy….
…Alphonso, the infamous pessimist who makes special appearances on the Yankees blog, “It Is High.”
I had told him I wanted to watch the Yankees-Nats game, so he thoughtfully chose a restaurant with a TV tuned to the game – only to tell me over and over again why the Yankees would lose.
“No, they won’t,” I said, as the Yanks went up 2-0.
“Yes, they will,” he said, as the Nats went up 3-2.
OMG, I thought. Anderson Hernandez, the guy who never hits homers, according to my scouting report, smacked a three-run shot off CC!
“See how they can’t score any runs off this nobody pitcher named Martis?” said Alphonso, as he polished off his second Manhattan. “And look at A-Rod. Another terrible game for him. They’re a third place team, I’m telling you.”
“They are not,” I said, giving him a nudge in the ribs as Tex tied the score with a double.
“They’ll find a way to lose, and it’ll be an embarrassment,” he said, popping an oyster into his mouth and risking some dreaded food poisoning.
“Oh yeah?” I said just as Cano smacked a double off Ron Villone in the seventh, driving in the go-ahead run.
“But Joe’s bringing Bruney in for the eighth,” he said. “He’s not ready for this. It’s his first day off the DL.”
Bruney was more than ready. So was Mo. And then there were the dazzling defensive plays by Pena and Cano, who went 4-for-4. Except for Jeter coming out with ankle stiffness, it was a nice, neat 5-3 victory for the Yankees.
“But they should have beaten the Nationals 50-0,” said Alphonso.
“A win is a win!” I maintained, my frustration boiling over.
I hate to admit it, but I couldn’t contain myself a minute longer and threw my piece of salmon fillet in his face. He retaliated by dumping his entire serving of cherrystone clams on my head. What should have been a friendly dinner between bloggers disintegrated into pure chaos at the restaurant, which, by the way is called Docks and serves excellent seafood.

P.S. Videos Added

O.K. Laugh at me. I know I’m a loser when it comes to the videos below. But it was my first day with this camera! Cut me some slack! I get better, you’ll see!

In the meantime, here are clips of the Navy guy from the previous post, as well as the Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creature (head cut off for most of it) and the infamously pessimistic Alphonso from “It Is High,” whose identity had to be hidden for security reasons (hence the darkness).
Here’s the Navy guy.
And the Bleacher Creature.
And Alphonso (after two Manhattans).

Guess Which Book Joe Torre Is Reading?

Yep. Mine.

Before he left New York to join the Dodgers for spring training, Torre spent the day with Tom Goodman, whose Goodman Media handles the PR for Joe’s Safe at Home Foundation. Just as their board meeting was getting underway, Tom presented Joe with a copy of “She-Fan,” in which I had inscribed a personal note to the former Yankees manager. No, it did not say anything rude. I simply said I hoped he would enjoy reading about the 2007 season from a fan’s pov. Still, I wonder if Joe is sitting on his cross-country flight right now, wincing at the part where I called him out for not taking the team off the field during the Midges Incident in Cleveland.
Other points of interest….While Joe blitzed his way through Larry and Letterman, I’ve been getting the royal treatment from bloggers, and I’d like to express my appreciation. Many sites have posted extraordinarily nice reviews for the book, especially Was Watching and Sox and Pinstripes. Others have done Q&As with me, including Respect Jeter’s Gangster, We’ve Got Heart (a Nationals blog) and The Bronx View, which also hosts a great podcast. And I can’t forget the comic geniuses at It It High, who’ve been doing shtick about the book and making me laugh in the process.
If anyone has time on his or her hands on Sunday, I’ll be interviewed on a show called “Talking Baseball,” which airs on Radio America; I’ll be on live at 4:30 pm ET. I think it’s satellite radio, but for all I know it comes to us from someone’s basement.
Later on Sunday, I’ll have the pleasure of appearing with MLBlogs’ own Brit Morgan (The Yankees Baseball Whisperer) and Bernadette Pasley (This Fan’s Life) on their radio gig, “A Show of Their Own.” I’ll be interviewed at 6:30 pm ET, so call in at 347-945-7751 and say hi.
Oh, one last thing. I’ve got a piece running in Sunday’s New York Times sports section. It’s about my adventure with a tarot card reader. Seriously. I’ll post it when it’s available.
Correction: I’ll be on “A Show of Their Own” at 9:30 pm Eastern Time, not 6:30. Thanks to Bern for pointing that out!