Tagged: Mariano Rivera

The Second Day After…

I went to another movie screening. Yesterday’s film was a very good distraction and helped me forget that THE YANKEES AREN’T GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES, so I was looking forward to this morning’s offering. It was “The King’s Speech,” which is coming out in December and will – I guarantee it – be nominated for Best Picture come Academy Awards time. It’s hard to imagine Colin Firth not giving a great performance and he doesn’t disappoint in the role of King George VI, a man with a horrible stammer who nevertheless had to reassure a country at war.

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Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are terrific too, and the director told us after the screening how meticulously he researched the story to insure its authenticity. Two thumbs up from me. Tomorrow night I’ll be seeing Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” And then it will be on to Wednesday night and Game 1 of Rangers-Giants. I’ve decided to jump on the Giants’ orange-and-black bandwagon.
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The Dodgers are sort of my “second” team after the Yankees, because of Mattingly, and I know it’s heresy for Dodger fans to root for the hated Giants. But Michael’s brother and cousins live in SF and I live in California, and it’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement of castoffs like Cody Ross making it all the way to the big event. That said, someone needs to explain to me why Brian Wilson and other members of the bullpen have those dyed black beards.
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It must be some solidarity thing? Like: “Let’s all do this and see if it’s lucky for us?” And I get why Sandoval is called “Panda,” but isn’t that what everybody called this guy?
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I guess you can have more than one “Panda” in baseball. What you can’t have more than one of is “Mo, “Jeet,” “Tex,” “A-Rod”….Uh-oh. I’m feeling sad again. Better go watch a movie or something. How is everyone else doing? Do we need a group hug?

The Party’s Over

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It was fun while it lasted. No, it was more than fun. It was fabulous. Sure I’m disappointed with tonight’s outcome and I spent the last six outs of the game reaching for the tissues, but how can I be upset about a team that made it to Game 6 of the ALCS? I feel lucky that our season lasted as long as it did when other fans had to watch their guys go home. The truth is, the Yankees were out-pitched and out-hit by those plucky Rangers throughout the series and didn’t play championship caliber baseball when it counted. (There’s no point in my doing a postmortem here; we all saw what happened.) It’ll be interesting to see how Texas fares against either the Phillies or Giants, but they’ll be tough to beat if they stay as hot and focused as they were against us and the Rays. As for the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes contest…
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You all predicted that the Yankees would win the series, so there was no clear victor – at first. Since I was bound and determined to give away some cupcakes, I went back and looked at the questions and counted who had the majority of them right. Here they were:
Q: Which team will win the ALCS? (Not applicable)
Q: In how many games? (Not applicable)
Q: Who will be the series MVP? (Not applicable)
Q: Will there be any ejections? (Applicable)
Q: How many appearances will Mo make? (Applicable)
Q: Will the Good A.J. show up? (Applicable)
Only one of you guessed the last three questions correctly. (While the sort-of-Good-A.J. showed up for five innings, the Bad A.J. got the loss.) The winner is…cheshirecat! I hope the sweets will ease the pain of tonight’s loss, just a little.
I congratulate the Rangers for a job well done, but most of all I applaud my Yankees for bringing me so much pleasure all year long. 
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I miss them already. (Uh-oh. Here come the tears again. I’d better sign off.)

Still Breathing

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How much better do I feel knowing the Yankees are on a plane to Dallas instead of cleaning out their lockers in the Bronx? This much better.
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I wasn’t ready for our season to be over and neither, apparently, were the Yankees. CC didn’t have his dominant stuff, but if there’s a pitcher (besides Andy Pettitte) who can grind through an outing and still retire very good hitters in very big situations, it’s our ace. Huge applause for him.
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The bats came alive against Wilson, who helped by not having the kind of control he had the last time out. The homers by Cano, Swisher and Granderson were awesome, but so were singles that kept the line moving. Speaking of Grandy, I’m thinking maybe we should give the prize of the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes to Kevin Long for turning his season completely around. What do you think? OK, never mind. Maybe Barbara or Melissa will knit/sew him a nice scarf instead.
Yankees.scarf.jpgThere was still an issue with RISP, but I’m not going there. Not when I’m this happy. So let’s talk about Wood. When he spun around and picked off Andrus at second, I gave him a standing ovation.
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And Mo. Well. It was just good to see him after what seemed like an eternity. Of course, there was another moment of panic when Fat Elvis went down trying to catch that foul ball. I swear I thought we were seeing The Curse of the First Basemen. But once I figured out that he was OK, I watched the replays of his banana peel slip and slide and (I admit it) I laughed.
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I hope he’ll get plenty of treatment for his neck/back and feel 100% on Friday night. I’m just so excited that there will even BE a Friday night. Yes, we’ll have to deal with the Rangers’ white towel-waving home crowd and yet another elimination game, but at least we’ll have a shot at tying up the series and forcing a Game 7. In other words, it’s not over until she sings.
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Tipping Our Cap to Lee And Calling Him Our Daddy

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No, Cliff Lee is not a god. He’s not even the best pitcher in the major leagues. But he owns the Yankees, and his performance tonight only highlighted the point. He made the hitters look like Little Leaguers (no offense to the kids below, who could probably have done a better job).
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Was Lee really that good or did his whole aura mess with the Yankees’ heads? Probably both. He threw strikes and they couldn’t hit them. At all. It was a shame because Andy pitched great, minus the mistake to Hamilton. He was everything we could have hoped for and more, and he deserved better. What was Dave Robertson doing in the ninth giving up all those runs? Why wasn’t Mo in there with the score at 2-0 to hold the Rangers down and allow the Yanks to score in the bottom of the inning? I have no idea. I’m hoping the beat writers will ask Girardi and I’ll read about it in the morning. In the meantime, I’m retiring the “lucky” turkey burgers and planning a menu change for tomorrow night: last year’s good luck charm during the World Series.
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I guess I should have figured things wouldn’t go well. We’ve been having uncharacteristically rotten weather here in SoCal with rain and fog day after day, but tonight was the capper: a rare thunderstorm with vicious lightning. We just don’t get that stuff here, so naturally the power went out in the house about six times during the game, leaving us in the dark.
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The Yankees must have felt like they had a power outage too. They certainly looked like it. If I were Girardi, I’d have a team meeting before Game 4 and say the following in a really loud, authoritative voice:
“You’re the Yankees, the reigning World Champions of baseball. You’re playing in Yankee Stadium in front of 50,000 fans who paid big bucks to come and cheer for you. You need to remember who you are, how you played all year long, how much you want to move forward into the next round, and, above all, how the layoff between this series and the ALDS is not an excuse for mediocrity. Oh, and She-Fan will be clogging her arteries with cheesy, greasy, fatty plaque by having pizza on your behalf. The least you can do is win the game for her.”

Yanks-Rangers Game 1: Picking Up Our Horse

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OMG, what an amazing ride. And there are people in the world who don’t watch baseball? I mean seriously. Raise your hand if you saw or listened to the game and didn’t think it was exciting, no matter which team you root for. Not possible.
CC was awful and who would have expected it. I had dismissed all the talk about the extra rest – nine days worth – but he looked rusty. If you had told me he’d only last four innings I would have laughed, but there it was. Still, his play at home in the first was fantastic. For a big guy he got down fast. I bet the earth moved when he hit the ground.
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When Joba came in with the Rangers ahead 5-0, I figured we were in mop up mode. But after he held Texas scoreless and then Moseley pitched brilliantly and Cano went deep, I couldn’t help thinking maybe C.J. Wilson would be pulled and we’d break the door down.
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And that’s what happened. As improbable as it seemed, the Yanks silenced the white towel-waving crowd in Arlington after Gardner’s head first slide into first base triggered a barrage of hits. Could we put our hands together for him, Jeter, Swisher, Tex, A-Rod, Cano and Thames?
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With the Yankees now up 6-5 (and me in absolute delirium), Wood couldn’t find the strike zone and nearly made me stick my hand through the TV and wring his neck. But all I can say is THANK YOU, IAN KINSLER! I guess your deer antlers didn’t have magic powers tonight.
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How about that rundown? LOVED Jeter’s little fake throw that preceded the tag. Was that pickoff the straw that broke the Rangers’ back? Probably. But Michael Young’s strikeout against Mo was pretty devastating. You could tell by the change in mood of George W. Bush and Nolan Ryan.

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 (Hat tip to Friend of the Blog Michael Fierman)
Anyhow, the Yankees gave us fans a miraculous victory that I’ll be reliving in my head all night. I can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon when the game will be on at 1 o’clock here. For once I won’t be blacked out by Fox.
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Why You Can Throw Out The Regular Season

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Not to discount everything that happened before the playoffs started, but I was thinking about all the Yankees “truisms” – comments the media kept pounding into our heads that turned out not to be true in the ALDS. For example:
* The Yanks have trouble beating lefties.
* It’s harder to win on the road.
* Jeter’s not hitting.
* Mo is showing his age.
* Hughes doesn’t win at home.
* Andy’s rusty.
* Berkman’s power days are over.
* The Twins are hungry while the Yankees are fading.
When I look over that list, I have to laugh. What happened to all the conventional wisdom?
* The Yankees beat Lefty Liriano and Lefty Duensing.
* They won two games at Target Field.
* Jeter had four hits in the series.
* Mo notched two saves.
* Hughes won at home in convincing fashion.
* Andy gave up two runs in seven innings.
* Berkman homered and doubled.
* The Twins may have been hungry but the Yanks were hungrier.
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I wonder what the pundits will say when the ALCS gets going. There will be story lines galore – the TBS guys have all that time in the booth to fill – and I can anticipate some already.
* Posada can’t throw out runners.
* Posada can’t catch A.J.
* Posada is too old.
No, everything won’t be about Jorge, but we’ll be hearing about him for sure. You can also cue the “Girardi could be managing the Cubs next year if the Yankees don’t win it all” blather. And: “Cano is having a fine year but Josh Hamilton is the MVP.” Oh, and brace yourself for the Payroll Conversation; it’s a given. All that being said, I cannot wait until Friday night. If this week is a taste of what life will be like once baseball is over, I don’t want any.
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P.S. A quick reminder about the Crumbs Yankees Cupcakes Contest. We’ll know our opponent by the end of the day tomorrow, so be sure to answer all the contest questions, make your predictions, and enter to win six scrumptious cupcakes. Click here for details.

Who Wants Cupcakes?

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Actually, I should have said, “Who doesn’t want cupcakes?” Yankees cupcakes, that is. Courtesy of the talented folks at Crumbs Bake Shop.
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To celebrate the Bombers and their march into the ALCS, Crumbs has created a brand new Yankees cupcake that will go on sale Monday in all 13 of their New York locations. It features vanilla cake, vanilla cream cheese frosting, and Yankees blue and white sprinkles with the NYY logo on top. Is it to die for or what?
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If you live in NYC, you can walk into a Crumbs store and buy the cupcakes OR you can enter this blog’s exclusive contest and win a gift certificate for a signature size six-pack of these delicious treats. Yes, I said six of them! There will only be one winner and the gift certificate will be valid until 12/31/10. What do you have to do to win? Be the first commenter with the correct answers to the all of the following six questions:
1) Which team will win the ALCS?
2) How many games will the ALCS go?
3) Who will be the ALCS MVP?
4) Will a manager or player get ejected during the ALCS?
5) How many appearances will Mo make?
6) Will the Good A.J. show up?
I know, I know. We have no idea whether our rivals will be the Rays or the Rangers. Not until Tuesday. That’s why you can either wait to enter the contest until after that series is decided OR enter now OR change your mind after your first try and enter more than once. Just keep in mind that the lucky winner will be the first person (by their time stamp) who leaves the comment with the correct answer to all six questions. All entries must be left here by Thursday night, the eve of Game 1, by midnight Pacific Time, and the winner will be crowned and cupcaked once the series is over. Got it? I’ll post a reminder each day until we close the contest on Thursday, but in the meantime may the best prognosticator win!
UPDATE/ CLARIFICATION:
#1 I see from some of the comments that I neglected to mention: CRUMBS SHIPS! If you win, you’ll be getting a gift certificate for the six cupcakes and Crumbs will send them to you wherever you are. My bad for not explaining that. This is not just a New York contest. 

#2) The A.J. question means: Will the Good A.J. show up to pitch, not just to throw pie in someone’s face!

Thanks.

Yanks-Twins Game 1: Sheer Joy

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If only this little cheerleader could be wearing Yankees blue. Oh, well. You get the idea, which is that I’m really, really excited right now. Mo just saved the game and the Yanks came from behind to torture the Twins yet again. What a nail biter.
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CC didn’t have his best stuff, but it didn’t matter; the offense picked him up. Grandy rewarded Joe’s faith in him, Tex went deep, Cano had a big RBI, lalalala. The next thing I knew we were erasing Minny’s lead – twice – and winning the ballgame. The only controversy was the Golson catch – and it was a catch, as the replay clearly showed. Why bother to have an extra outfield ump or two if they all miss the call? Oh well. I can afford to be charitable about it, since there was no harm done. 
In other news, I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Doc Halladay for the no-hitter. He’s an amazing pitcher. I’ll never stop wishing he were a Yankee, but what a thrill for Phillies fans.
Back to our game, the victory sure does make me feel better about tomorrow night. I assume Mo won’t be available for Game 2, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I just hope Andy feels dandy and pitches like it.

There Was Only One Thing To Do After This One

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Celebrate. Uh-huh. 
Getting into the postseason is no small feat, and, like the Yankees, I decided not to let the occasion go by with merely a “Yay.” After watching the players douse each other in the visitors clubhouse at the Rogers Centre (I don’t get the post-game show here, so I had to wait for the party clips on the YES web site), Michael covered the shower wall with plastic so it would look “authentic” (a Hefty garbage bag like last year), escorted me inside, dumped champagne on my head and handed me the rest of the bottle. It wasn’t the good stuff and tasted like stale beer, but the sentiment was there even if I did end up looking like Alice Cooper. Woohoo, Yankeeeeeeees!
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CC was The Man. He gave the team innings. He gave them effectiveness. He gave them the confidence to score runs. (Loved all the sac flies.) He gave them a true ace. And Mo. Well. Of course he wrapped it up. I know the division title is still up for grabs, but just knowing for sure that we’ll be watching October baseball is a thrill that never gets old. I thought back to 2007 when I was following the Yanks around the country for the She-Fan book. We were in Tampa, at the Trop, when they clinched their Wild Card berth and the Post’s Charles Wenzelberg promised he’d bring me back a champagne cork from the party. True to his word, he brought me the cork when we were in Cleveland for the ALDS. I still have it.
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I keep it with my jewelry. To me, having a memento from a Yankees celebration is more valuable than diamonds or pearls.

That Game Nearly Killed Me – In A Good Way

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Is there a Yankee fan who wasn’t hyperventilating tonight? I doubt it. Where/how do I even begin to talk about this game?
First: the decision to start Hughes instead of Moseley. Whether it was Girardi’s idea or Cashman’s edict, who cares. It was the right move for every reason, and Huuuuughes rose to the occasion. I feel so much better about our pitching after seeing how he stepped up.
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Dice K was dealing, so Tex’s bloop single and A-Rod’s homer were enormous. Just huge. Kudos to them for giving us the lead for the first time in ages. A-Rod looks ready and willing to carry this team if necessary.
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Cano drove home the tying run and is a lock for the MVP now. OK, not a lock, but he sure made a good case for himself tonight.
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Dave Robertson. Great job in a pressure situation. How lucky are we to have him? Same goes for Kerry Wood. And really nice outing by Joba – yes, Joba – as well as Boone Logan.
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Girardi was playing Russian roulette with all the moving parts, but the game had a happy ending. Miranda’s walkoff walk (I love typing that) wasn’t a pretty type of win, but who needs pretty. Given the Rays’ loss, we’re only a half a game back in the division. Way to capitalize, Yankees.
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I can’t not mention the obvious: Mo blew another save – his fourth in the month of September. I’ve been saying, “No big deal,” but maybe there’s cause for concern after all. I’d love to know if he’s injured and not telling anyone, or whether he’s simply going through an ineffective period. I love him too much to even contemplate the possibility that he’s wearing down.
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And Jorge. Seriously. Not only couldn’t he give us a sac fly when we needed a run, but those throws. Ugh. Why not just send out a press release to other teams that they should run on his arm whenever possible?
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But I quibble. Tonight was a great baseball game and the Yankees came out on top. (Freya, you promised we’d win and you came through!) I’m going to bed feeling nice and secure.
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