Tagged: Jason Giambi

Melky Cabrera Stars In Epic Remake Of “Atonement”


In December, he was nearly traded to the Brewers for Mike Cameron. In March, he lost the center field job to Brett Gardner. And on April 16th, Opening Day at the Yankees’ Home Run Palace, he was stuck on the bench, a lonely soul relegated to the shadows. Why? Because he couldn’t hit, took odd routes to the ball, and refused to stop sliding head-first.
Today, after striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh, Miguel (aka “Melky”) Cabrera finally atoned for his sins.
In the bottom of the 14th inning of a nearly five-hour contest against the A’s, he hit his second homer of the game – a walkoff that resulted in the Yankees’ 9-7 victory.
Yes, he was joyful, as were his teammates.
And, long after the game was over, the celebrations continued around the world.
She-Fans sang his praises.
He-Fans chanted his name.
And one Yankee fan toasted him a few times too many.
Melky’s heroics did not obscure the fact that CC had a miserable outing, giving back every lead the offense handed him. (“Everything was off,” he told reporters. Swell.) And what was up with Damon’s misplay of Giambi’s little flare? With Posada not covering home for Jeter’s throw? With Suzuki morphing into a Yankee killer?
Who cares. The bullpen was spectacular, especially Veras. Matsui’s got the pop back in his bat. Cano and Tex have been playing like Gold Glovers. And the Yankees won both games of the rain-abbreviated series. 
Let the celebrating continue.

I Wish The Yankees Could Play The A’s Every Night

Wait. Let me amend that. I wish they could play the game they played tonight over and over for an entire season.

Not that their 5-3 win against Oakland was especially dramatic. It wasn’t a pitcher’s duel. There were no bean balls. Nobody hit a walk-off anything. Well, Brett Gardner did make a sensational catch on Giambi’s deep drive to center in the first inning.

But mostly, it was just a solid effort – from Pettitte’s seven innings to Mo’s efficient ninth (tying the career combo of Welch and Eckersley); from Damon’s homer in his 2000th game to Gardner’s two RBIs and stolen base; from Matsui’s offensive awakening to Cano’s continued consistency. Lots to like about this one – except that my Extra Innings Package forced me to watch the A’s Comcast feed and I was subjected to the two most boring broadcasters on earth.
Somehow, I knew the Yankees would win this game, the way you can sense when it’s about to rain. There was a certain smell in the air even before the first pitch.
O.K., maybe it was the smell of the lavender bushes outside my house, not the Yankees’ victory. It’s extremely hot here in Santa Barbara right now – record breaking – and all the windows are open. What I’m saying is that I felt confident that my team would get the “W,” and it was a different experience than screaming at the TV and doing this.
I was sort of amazed that I could stay calm for an entire game, even when the A’s scored a run off Bruney in the eighth to pull within two. No yelling. No hysteria. No jumping up and down and acting like a psycho.
“Do you think I’m finally maturing when it comes to the Yankees?” I asked my husband Michael, who has the unique ability to watch games and not raise his voice.
“No,” he said without looking up. “I think it’s because of the heat.”
I checked the weather forecast for tomorrow in anticipation of CC’s start. It’s supposed to be ten degrees cooler here. I guess that means I’ll be back to my old psycho self.
(Daily Flip Video Contest Reminder: Deadline is May 15th.)

What Kind Of A Fan Are You? Enter The Contest!

If you’ve been a frequent visitor to this blog, you’ve seen my occasional “She-Fan Cam” videos – clips of fans that I record on my always handy and totally addictive Flip Video camcorder.

If you’re new here, let me give you an example.
Now it’s your turn to focus the Cam on someone, because one of you is about to win a Flip Video camcorder.
Here’s the deal.
I want a photo of your Favorite Fan Moment – a picture of you at your diehard fan best. Maybe you’ll be in the stands at whichever ballpark you call home. Or maybe you’ll be sitting in front of the TV in full team regalia. Or maybe you’ll be scoring an autograph from a player. Your call. The point is to show you being a fan and loving it.
All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know you’d like to participate. And I’ll respond and let you know where and how to send the photo.
I’ll look over all the pics and choose my top five. Then I’ll post the five and you’ll vote for the Favorite Fan Moment.
The winner will receive a Flip Video Cam directly from Pure Digital. You won’t believe how easy to use this gadget is. For starters, it’s tiny – smaller than a cell phone and light enough to tuck in your pocket (perfect for slipping past surly security people at your local stadium). You just point it in the direction of your subject, hit the red “record” button, and you’re good to go.
I kept cutting off people’s heads the first day I got mine, but it’s really a no-brainer, even for technically challenged me.
When you’ve finished recording, you plug the Cam into your computer, download your videos and have fun. You can email them to friends or upload them on YouTube or make movies complete with music and credits. So many options.
I know. I sound like some cheesy infomercial right now. But seriously. I’ve had such a great time with my Cam that I wanted others to have the same experience. So I asked the people at Flip Video if they’d be up for giving one away to a deserving fan, and they agreed!
And no, this contest isn’t just for Yankee fans. It’s for anybody and everybody who’s passionate about baseball. Is that you? Then get to work!
Speaking of the Yankees, I was relieved (understatement) that they bounced back from Saturday’s debacle and beat the Indians 7-3. AJ didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept the Yanks in it, as did the relief corps of Albaladejo, Bruney and Mo. There were some really nice defensive plays by Ransom and Tex (I’m still pinching myself that we have a guy who makes Mattingly-like grabs at first base), in addition to Posada’s homer and Ransom’s double (many thanks to Choo for that one).
Now we take on the A’s for three games. It’ll be weird seeing Giambi back with Oakland. I wonder if he’ll be wearing his thong.

When A-Rod Addresses the Media, How Will It Go?

Assuming A-Rod returns from the Bahamas and decides to speak to the media about his steroids issue, what will his strategy be? So many choices. So many ways to handle the situation. So many precedents in popular culture. Let’s take a look.

1) He could go the Clemens route, appear on “60 Minutes” (again) and defiantly proclaim his innocence.
2) He could take his case to the ladies on “The View,” just as Alec Baldwin did after the world heard him go off on his daughter, and act apologetic and combative at the same time.
3) He could seek out the sympathetic Diane Sawyer, in the tradition of Mel Gibson after his anti-Semitic tirade, and try to be movie star charming.
4) He could bypass the talk show format altogether and instead hold a Giambi-type press conference in which he says he’s sorry but doesn’t say what for.
5) He could go in the direction of Andy Pettitte and say, “I was only trying to heal faster, not gain an edge on anybody, but I’m sorry and I promise never to do it again.”
6) He could pull an Elliot Spitzer and say he’s sorry for hurting his family, even as he’s making his wife stand there, mortified.
(Since A-Rod doesn’t currently have a wife, perhaps Madonna or even his mother would stand in.)
7) He could angrily deny wrongdoing by employing the “Finger Pointing Defense” perfected by Bill Clinton.
8) He could plead insanity like Blago.
9) He could emulate the remorseful Mike Tyson, who read a prepared statement apologizing for munching on both of Evander Holyfield’s ears.


10) And, finally, he could cry – just break down and let the tears flood his cheeks, like Jimmy Swaggert did so many memorable years ago.
While #10 would certainly be a YouTube sensation, I’m guessing we’ll see something along the lines of #5. 
I just hope I’m not asleep tomorrow morning when all this goes down. Living in the Pacific Time Zone does have its drawbacks.

Goodbye To You Too, Jason

While I’m in the mood to bid farewells, I hereby give Jason Giambi a personal sendoff.

He had lobster claws for hands at first base and couldn’t throw to second to save his life, but he provided some real power with his bat. And he was a great guy in the clubhouse.
One of the Yankees beat writers told me that Jason is fond of picking up strangers and taking them out for a night on the town. “He signs autographs for fans and buys them drinks,” said the writer. “And then he puts his arm around everybody and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got a limo downstairs. Where would you like to go?’ He treats the fans exactly the way you’d want a major league ballplayer to treat you.”
So, yeah. He did steroids. But he apologized and fought his way back, and now he’s with the A’s again.
He can grow the ‘stache and wear his golden thong, and he can let his hair get as long and greasy as he wants.
He wasn’t Mickey Mantle. He wasn’t even the Jason Giambi who won an MVP with the A’s. But he was a Yankee for seven years, which is long enough to care.
So to Jason I say: “Party on, dude!”
(hat tip: New Stadium Insider)
Oh, the memories….

Movie Break – “The Wrestler”

Remember Mickey Rourke, the actor in ’80s movies like “Diner,” “Rumble Fish” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village?” He was always the gritty, tough guy and used to look like this.
Then came a lot of bad movies, an arrest for spousal abuse and a DUI. I wouldn’t be much of a blogger if I didn’t post a mug shot or two.
Mickey left acting, tried his luck at boxing and essentially fell off the planet – until now. He’s back with a vengeance, starring in “The Wrestler,” which opens in limited release on December 17th. I went to a screening today and all I can say is: Go see this movie! It’s R-rated and not for the squeamish (I hid my eyes during the really gory parts), but it’s amazing.
Mickey plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a washed-up pro wrestler who tries to get his life together, even as he can’t give up the thrill of the show. Check out The Ram’s hair.
Marisa Tomei is great as the stripper with the heart of gold (lots of pole dancing, guys), and Evan Rachel Wood is very touching as The Ram’s estranged daughter. I can’t recommend the movie highly enough, but beware: It’s not “Rocky” and you won’t leave the theater feeling uplifted. You may leave humming the theme song though. Bruce Springsteen wrote the music that plays over the closing credits.
After the screening, there was a reception for the director and the cast members. I talked to Marisa Tomei, who was very chatty.
No, I didn’t ask her if she was a Yankee fan. I was more interested in how she could dance around naked in front of a zillion cameramen. She told me she downed a few shots of tequila before they shot the scene. Not a bad plan, I guess.
I also talked to 21-year-old Evan Rachel Wood, who is rumored to be dating 52-year-old Mickey Rourke following her breakup with Marilyn Manson. Seriously. Who dates Marilyn Manson? Who dates Mickey Rourke?
Yep, that’s what Mickey looked like at the party today – sunglasses, jewelry, lots of “repair work” on his face. I asked him if he did all his own stunts for the movie and he said he did, winding up in the hospital a few times. He also had to gain 35 pounds of muscle for the role. He claimed he did it by working out at the gym, but there’s a scene where he injects steroids right into his gluteous maximus. Maybe The Giambino taught him how to do it.
Today’s screening was part of the lead-up to the Santa Barbara Film Festival at the end of next month. I volunteered to participate in the trailer that will be shown before each film during the festival. I was asked to name my favorite movie genre, favorite movie in that genre and favorite line from the movie. My answers? No surprise. Favorite genre? Baseball movies. Favorite baseball movie? “Pride of the Yankees.” Favorite line from the movie? Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man” speech, naturally.
Here I am on the set trying to deliver the line. I was nervous and kept screwing it up. If only I’d had a couple of shots of tequila.
Here’s the trailer for “The Wrestler.” Check it out.

Swish Meets the New York Media, Sort Of

Just who is Nick Swisher anyway? In this picture he looks like a country singer minus the cowboy hat. The longer I stare at him the more I expect to hear Kenny Chesney wailing about his two-minute marriage to Renee Zellwegger.
If I seem a little mournful myself, it’s because I am. Did the Yankees really need yet another first baseman (hyphen) outfielder in the manner of Morgan Ensberg and Shelley Duncan? Haven’t we had enough players with hyphens? And that doesn’t even include Posada, our first baseman (hyphen) catcher, or Giambi, our previous first baseman (hyphen) designated hitter. Which is why I still want him.
Meanwhile, Nick did a long-distance conference call with the beat writers today, and my first impression after listening to the audio posted on Peter Abraham’s blog was: He uses the word “man” a lot. As in: “It’s an honor to put on the pinstripes, man.” And: “Every little kid in America dreams of playing for the New York Yankees, man.”
Memo to you, man: We’ve heard this kind of thing before.
My favorite part of the conference call wasn’t when he said, “Mr. Cashman seems like a wonderful gentleman,” even though it was hilarious the way it made Cash seem 100 years old. And it wasn’t when he said, “It meant the world to me that A-Rod called to welcome me to the team,” despite the fact that I choked up. It was when, after one of the writers mentioned how he had bounced between four different positions last year, Pete Abraham asked, “Is first base your best position, Nick?” And Nick said – I kid you not – “Defensively, yes, although I really haven’t had an opportunity to play there much.”
Excuse me? We signed you to play first base and you haven’t played there much? 
As I indicated, I still want him.
Oh, well. Since Nick is now a Yank, I suppose I should take a closer look.
The son of former catcher Steve Swisher, he was raised in the boring-sounding town of Parkersburg, West Virginia by his grandmother, Betty.
He wasn’t the most famous native of Parkersburg.
Patsy and John Ramsey photo.jpg
Patsy Ramsey was.
He went to Ohio State, excelled in baseball and got signed by the A’s where he fit right in with his long hair and Giambi-ish personality.
He even copied Giambi’s batting stance.
Known for his easygoing style and dedication to charities, he did engage in the occasional brawl.
swisherducksfight101.jpgActually, he kind of ducked that punch from Rangers’ pitcher Vicente Padilla, and the incident got him so unhinged he had to be restrained.
His next gig, with the White Sox, didn’t go so well.
He only batted .219 last year. (No, that’s not a typo.)
He did an interview with Chicago Magazine in which he admitted to being a bit of a party boy. He said, “Having fun and laughing works best for me.” If he’d only known that having fun and laughing is just not the Yankees Way.
He went on to say, “My style is a little bit rocker.” Did he mean this kind of rocker?
Or this kind?
He has a pretty girlfriend – a model he met when he played in the Cape Cod League.
And, according to Joe Girardi, he’ll be “a positive presence inside the clubhouse.”
Maybe he will be, and I’m just being an alarmist. He’s probably a great guy who will make zero errors at first, hit 40 homers and knock in 150 RBIs. I’ll support him 100% because I’m a Yankee fan and it’s my job to support my players. “Let’s go Swish-er!” Clap clap clap clap clap clap.
And yet… I still want him.