After today’s game, I hopped on a plane and went straight to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where Pettitte was just emerging from the Carl Pavano Memorial MRI Tube.
I was freaked out when he left the game after only 77 pitches because he was experiencing pain in his elbow or wherever it was on his arm. I mean, didn’t I just write a post about how the Yankees were dropping like flies? Did he have to be another fly? Apparently so.
The results of the MRI indicated that there was inflammation. But I needed more than that. So I ambushed him and peppered him with questions.
Here’s our conversation. I admit I was confrontational, but I was upset. Forgive me.
She-Fan: Why are you doing this to us, Andy? We have enough players with injuries.
Andy: It’s not like I got hurt on purpose, jeez. It just happened.
She-Fan: Nothing just happens. You should have been more careful. You’re not a rookie anymore.
Andy: I get that. I’ll be fine once I rest the arm.
She-Fan: Well, what are we supposed to do in the meantime? We’re already down a starting pitcher if you count Javy. Do you expect Cashman to use Aceves in your place? Or Mitre? Or do you think he can just go out and buy somebody – like maybe Lincecum or Halladay?
Andy: You’re kind of sarcastic. You remind me of my wife.
She-Fan: And you remind me of John Travolta. You both have holes in your chin.
Andy: I liked him in “Wild Hogs.”
She-Fan: Getting back to the Yankees, it was because of you that Girardi was forced to tax the bullpen today, which almost allowed the Orioles to get back into it. You do realize that the ninth inning gave me palpitations. It was like a bad dream having to watch this team try to close out the win without Mo.
Andy: I have inflammation in my arm. What was I supposed to do? Stay out there?
She-Fan: I don’t know. I have inflammation in my right index finger and I’m still writing this blog, so you tell me.
Andy: Look, I’ll be okay in a few days. Don’t get so riled up.
She-Fan: I’m a Yankee fan. We get riled up.
Andy: Well, y’all need to calm down, because the pain I’m having isn’t like the kind where you need surgery.
Andy: I never swear. It’s not polite.
She-Fan: I didn’t mean curse. I meant promise.
Andy: Promise. I’ll be back on the mound soon. You’ll see.
I reached way up (Andy is very tall) and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then I thanked him for reassuring me. I offered to buy him dinner, but he said he had plans with some of the guys. Likely story.
Speaking of dinner, did everyone see this in the Post today? What got me wasn’t the company A-Rod’s been keeping but his diet. Steamed fish with veggies? No wonder he’s not hitting for power. Give this guy a steak!
Alex Rodriguez is batting 1.000 with Hollywood blondes. The night before A-Rod and his girlfriend, Cameron Diaz, dined with Kate Winslet at Hotel Griffou — which we told you about yesterday — the lovebirds broke bread with Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow at Macao Trading Company. Diaz and Paltrow arrived first, and were joined by Barrymore. “Cameron got a call, then ordered a steamed fish with veggies for her ‘friend’ who was on his way,” said a spy. When Alex arrived, after the Yanks beat the White Sox 6-4, Barrymore “moved so the couple could sit together.”
I’m not talking about pitching. Apparently, Sabathia was taken down by a case of stomach flu and couldn’t complete his workout.
(Here’s an AP photo of Nick Swisher doing his best imitation of CC driving the porcelain bus.)
I sincerely hope the bug isn’t contagious, because the very last thing the Yankees need right now is a clubhouse full of upchuckers.
On to a more pleasant subject: the Academy Awards.
I’m excited about tomorrow night’s show (I’ll be live blogging), even though it’ll probably last for hours and people will make boring speeches and Hugh Jackman isn’t my idea of an A-list host – plus I’m still miffed that Clint Eastwood/Gran Torino and Bruce Springsteen/The Wrestler weren’t nominated. On Oscars eve, here are my predictions.
The nominees are:
Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button)
Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Who should win: Sean Penn
Who will win: Mickey Rourke
(Sean has already been nominated five times and won once, so I pick Mickey to take the prize. Hollywood loves a comeback story, and he’s sure to say something odd and endearing up at the podium.)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River)
Kate Winslet (The Reader)
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Who should win: Melissa Leo
Who will win: Kate Winslet
(Kate is the new Meryl and it’s her year. As amazing as Melissa Leo was, nobody saw Frozen River; she’s lucky to have been nominated.)
Who should win: Slumdog Millionaire
Who will win: Slumdog Millionaire
(I started to get Slumdog Fatigue a few weeks ago when the movie won all the run-up awards, but I still think it’ll bring home the gold.)
The only remaining question is….Which of these should I wear?
I really like the gown in the bottom row, second from the right, but who am I kidding. I’ll end up wearing this.
Last night was all about Kate Winslet, who appeared at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to receive an award for her work in “The Reader” and “Revolutionary Road.”
Unlike some of the stars who show up at this event, Winslet took the time to sign autographs before striking a pose on the red carpet.
(No, I’m not in that mosh pit. I avoid crowds except at ball games.)
Between clips of her movies, Winslet answered questions from film critic Leonard Maltin.
(No, I didn’t raise my hand and say, “Are you a Yankee fan?”)
After the ceremony, there was a private party for Winslet at a clothing boutique in downtown SB.
(No, I didn’t go. I was invited, but it was raining and I decided to bag it. Well, O.K. It wasn’t just the rain. The truth is, I was afraid I’d spill red wine on some of the clothes and/or Winslet. Remember my post about the chili? I don’t trust myself anymore.)
Today was about the movies themselves, not the glitz, and they’re the reason I look forward to the Festival every year. These are small films, foreign films, films that will never make it to the Multiplex – indie movies that are shown at festivals in Toronto, Sundance and Santa Barbara in the hopes of finding distributors. They come from countries like Japan and China, Norway and Germany, Mexico and Argentina, even Russia and Afghanistan. This morning I saw one from New Zealand. Talk about movies being the universal language.
This afternoon was a screening of “Sugar,” the baseball movie I’ve mentioned. Is it the greatest movie ever? No. But it’s definitely worth seeing. It’s an eye-opening look at how young players in the Dominican Republic will do almost anything to get to the States and stay here.
The main character, Sugar Santos, is a pitcher with a wicked knuckle curve.
When he’s plucked from the baseball academy where he and his friends train and given the chance to play for a minor league team in Iowa, he can’t believe his good fortune. But the transition isn’t easy. He has to adjust to an English speaking country (he orders French toast for breakfast every morning, because it’s the only thing he knows how to say), deal with fans who yell “You suck” at him (you’ll never utter those words again) and stay healthy or be sent back to the Dominican (he resorts to taking PEDs).
There are lighthearted moments, and I let out an actual cheer when Sugar and his friends talk about playing for the Yankees. But mostly, the movie is about how hard it is for these kids to make it here. We have no idea. Seriously.
As I was leaving the theater, I vowed to go much easier on Robinson Cano.
Do you hear that, Robbie? I’m going to give you a break. I won’t scream at the TV the first time you swing at a pitch in the dirt or forget to run out a ground ball or let a dribbler get through the infield. I have sympathy for you now.
For him too.
Just don’t take advantage of my newfound generosity of spirit. Movie or no movie, you’d better bust it this year.
My last post was about how I had a run-in over this.
Today I ventured out in it again….this time to a local theater where Roger Durling, the executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, gave everybody a preview of the movies we’ll be seeing between January 22nd and February 1st. The Festival is a big deal here in town, and since I love movies almost as much as I love baseball, it’s a big deal for me too.
I settled into my seat with a few hundred other Santa Barbarans and braced for an incident involving the words “Yankees” and “suck.” Maybe yesterday was not an aberration and I’d be called out again for my allegiance to the Bombers.
Nope. Nothing. This was such a polite crowd that nobody even asked me to remove my cap so they could see over my head. Crisis averted.
Roger kicked off the afternoon by telling us about the stars who were coming to accept awards and attend parties, including Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz. But it was when he said, “Clint Eastwood,” that I really snapped to attention.
Clint Eastwood? Clint “Get off my lawn” Eastwood? One of my all-time faves?
Turns out he’ll be here on Thursday, January 29th. I probably have no shot at meeting him, but stranger things have happened.
“I wonder if he likes baseball,” I whispered to my husband Michael, who told me to be quiet.
“I bet he’s a Giants fan,” I said anyway. “He used to be the mayor of Carmel, which is closer to San Francisco than L.A.”
“You have a one-track mind,” said Michael. “Give baseball a rest, O.K.?”
“I’m just -“
I sat silently as I learned about the Festival’s opening film, a political thriller called “Nothing But The Truth,” with Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon and Alan Alda….about some foreign films that are rumored to be Academy Award nominees….and about “Going Home,” a documentary about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, who will be on hand for a Q&A.
I was thinking how much I was looking forward to the movies and yet….I was also thinking how antsy I’m getting about spring training. I want baseball to start!
Just then, something amazing happened. The Festival’s director said, “This weekend we’ll be showing a movie called ‘Sugar.’ A big hit at Sundance, it’s a terrific film aboutbaseball.”
All right! I gave my husband a “So there” look.
“Sugar” is the story of a ballplayer named Miguel “Sugar” Santos, who’s recruited from his home in the Dominican Republic to play for a minor league team in the Midwest after he masters the art of the knuckle curve.
The movie is about his adjustment to life in the American Heartland and gives us inside looks at both minor league baseball and the immigrant experience.
Here’s a review I pulled from Variety. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But hey, it’s a baseball movie. How bad could it be?
I’ll weigh in once I see it. In the meantime, check out this clip of the writer-directors speaking at the Sundance Festival a few days ago.
One more thing….Happy birthday to my Red Sox-loving brother-in-law up there in ice-cold Concord. Have a great day, Geoff!
Remember when Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio played doomed lovers in “Titanic?”
They’re at it again, this time as a doomed married couple in “Revolutionary Road.”
The movie, which opens in limited release on December 26th and has been nominated for four Golden Globes (best director, best picture, best actress and actor), is based on a very grim novel by Richard Yates about the miseries of married life in the suburbs in the ’50s.
Also in the movie is Kathy Bates as a real estate agent
and Michael Shannon (from “When the Devil Knows You’re Dead”) as her psychotic son.
Director Sam Mendes, Kate Winslet’s real-life husband, directed “American Beauty” a few years ago and there are similarities. Both films are about couples who feel trapped in their marriages – and scream at each other a lot. The difference is that “American Beauty” had moments of levity. “Revolutionary Road” is serious business throughout. The actors are all great (Kate as the frustrated housewife; Leo as the man in the grey flannel suit), but I walked out of the theater going, “Did I really need to see this?”
Side note. The movie was shot in Darien, CT, home of Brian Cashman. Can’t help inserting a Yankees reference somewhere.
Another side note. Michael Shannon did a Q&A with us after the screening. He was asked what his next project is, and he said, “I’m doing a movie with Mickey Rourke.” I guess Mickey wasn’t kidding when he told us yesterday that he was making a comeback.
Did I enjoy “Revolutionary Road?”
Let me put it in baseball terms. You’re a Yankee fan. You’re watching a Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway. It’s a tense contest. No score. You’re appreciating the effort from both sides, but you’re squirming in your seat, wishing it would be over. Bottom of the ninth. David Ortiz hits a walk-off homer.
The movie was well done, but no. I didn’t enjoy it.
Here’s the trailer. Even the music is depressing. I’ll be glad to get back to blogging about baseball tomorrow.
No, I haven’t gone all TMZ on you. I’m aware that the winter meetings are kicking off in Vegas. But since I have absolutely no control over what happens there, I might as well take a break for some movies.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival starts at the end of next month and it’s a big deal here in town – sort of a mini-Sundance. It lasts for two weeks and everybody sees tons of movies and hears actors talk about their work. Last year, for example, we had Angelina Jolie (accompanied by Brad) discussing “A Mighty Heart.” We also had Javier Bardem, who cracked jokes about making “No Country for Old Men” with the Coen brothers.
Grrrr. Such a sexy beast.
The year before, we had Helen Mirren, who ended up winning the best actress Oscar for “The Queen.”
Veddy veddy proper lady – until she admitted that she quite enjoys playing nude scenes.
And Will Smith and his wife Jada were on hand so he could tell us about “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Don’t they look like a loving couple? Either that or they’re….acting.
This year, we’re getting Penelope Cruz and Clint Eastwood, among many others, and I’ll be sitting in the front row for every event.
O.K. I’m lying about the front row. I’ll be lucky if I can see anything from way up in the balcony, but it’ll be fun just the same.
In advance of the Festival, the studios send prints of their films that are in contention for awards and we get to screen them.
Recent screenings have included “Doubt,” “Milk,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Before that, I saw “Body of Lies,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Changeling,” “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” and the French film “I’ve Loved You So Long.” My favorites of those? “Frost/Nixon” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona.”
This weekend, I saw two more films. The first was “The Reader” starring Kate Winslet.
Interesting shoes if you like dog collars.
It opens January 9th and co-stars Ralph Fiennes. Set in post WW II Germany, it’s based on the bestselling novel and Oprah pick. Here’s the setup: Ten years after his affair with a mysterious older woman, a law student discovers she’s a defendant in a war crimes trial. It’s not a Holocaust story; it’s more about the generation of Germans dealing with its aftermath. Very compelling. I bet Kate gets an Oscar nom.
The other movie was “Frozen River” starring Melissa Leo. Remember her as Detective Kay Howard on “Homicide?”
It’s an indie flick that was shot in, like, 20 days for hardly any money, and it takes place in a border town on the Mohawk reservation, somewhere between New York State and Quebec. Melissa’s character is drawn into the smuggling of illegal aliens in order to feed her kids. It’s winning all kinds of pre-Oscar awards. It certainly opened my eyes to the problems of Native Americans.
Here are the trailers for both films in case anyone else needs a break from speculating about which free agent will land where. (Come on, Cee Cee. Sign already.)