Tagged: Mets

All Alone At The Top


king-kong-on-empire-state-400x300.jpg
I know. It’s only one day…in June. But first place is first place, and given all the injuries on this team it’s pretty satisfying for the Yankees to be where they are right now. What a game today, right? It had a little of everything – superb pitching by CC, a granny by Tex for his second homer in two days, a bunt by Swisher, an amazing catch by Gardner, a near-ejection by Posada (loved how Girardi had to clap his hand over JoPo’s mouth), another save by Mo, etc etc. What does it all mean as the Yanks head west?
NY_santa_plane.jpg
It means that with the Rays, Red Sox and Jays all playing well, we’re in for a real dogfight.
dogs-kissing.jpg
(I decided to show kissing instead of fighting, but you get the idea.)
If A-Rod’s hip is OK and Tex gets hot and stays hot and Aceves comes back to help us out of the pen, I think we’ll be just fine. In the meantime, we’ve got Gardner. Seriously, I knew he was fast (duh) and could slap the ball around Damon style, but I never figured him to be this good. He’s hitting .312, for God’s sake. It seems as if he’s always on base and scoring a run. What a bargain he’s turned out to be.
woman-with-sale-shopping-bag.jpg
Right now I’m in countdown mode. It’s only six days until I’ll be at Dodger Stadium watching the Yankees in person. Michael and I will be sitting with Twitter buddy @SunnySoCal, and lots of other friendly faces will be there too, including this blog’s Yankee she-fans, Peggy and Ladyjane, and our Dodger counterparts, Cat and Emma. And, of course, it’ll be a reunion for the players with Torre and Mattingly. I’ve gotten used to seeing Joe in Dodger blue, but not Donnie. Never Donnie.
donMatt.jpg

Maybe the Yankees missed me?

I couldn’t watch the game today, but the Yankees won….So maybe they needed a break from all my moaning? I had a Cinema Society screening of the new movie “Cyrus” and a party afterwards for the directors. I really liked the movie, by the way. Ten fingers up.
10_fingers.jpg
“Cyrus” is an indie comedy with Jonah Hill like you’ve never seen him before. He’s not playing a goofy slacker kid this time; he’s the seriously creepy son of Marisa Tomei. John C. Reilly is fantastic – funny and so likable. Anyhow, here’s the trailer for anyone who’s interested.
None of the stars came up from LA for the gathering, but Michael saw Oprah at the supermarket the other day (in the produce section, to be specific). Does that count?
Produce_section.jpg
The second I got out of the theater, I checked the Yankees’ score on my phone and screamed when I saw Huuuuuughes had won #10 – and that Tex and Grandy had big homers. Just watched the replay of the game now. It’s a good thing I knew how it ended, because when I saw Reyes smack his two into the seats I was not happy. But it did end happily, thanks to the Joba/Mo combo. And now, onto the rubber match tomorrow. Should be a good contest.
rubber-band_~IS249-035.jpg
There’s just one thing….Jeter hurt his heel the day before? Enough with the injuries. Seriously. 

It’s Official: Yanks Suffering From Debilitating Virus

quarantine-sign3.jpg
Apparently, this virus affects otherwise healthy young men and turns them into hitters who can’t hit. It doesn’t matter if the pitcher is Jamie Moyer or Hisanori Takahashi or assorted no-name relievers. It really doesn’t. The virus causes the bats to fall asleep anywhere, any time, in any position.
sleeping-bats.jpg
Last night the virus sufferers wasted a gem by Andy Pettitte. Tonight they ate into a brilliant performance by Javy Vazquez. The poor guy pitched his heart out and his teammates stood by and watched. Strange. Very strange. If there’s a doctor out there with any experience in curing this virus, I hope he or she will step forward before it’s too late. 
Infectious Disease Control WHO[3].png

I know, I know. It’s only May. So what?

I still don’t like losing – May or no May. In fact, this is practically my anniversary of the article I wrote in the New York Times announcing I was divorcing the Yankees after they lost a series to the Mets.

CHEERING SECTION

To Love and to Cherish for All Eternity, or Not

Published: May 27, 2007

I am no stranger to divorce. I am a two-time loser, having severed my unions with both the man I married when I was too young to know better and the man I wed when I was too work-obsessed to pay attention.

But I honestly thought I was over that particular brand of heartbreak — the accusations, the recriminations, the tears, the lonely nights, the division of property. I was determined not to put myself through another breakup, and yet I do not see any other way out. My current relationship has unraveled.

I gave it everything I have. I am sick and tired of the “I trieds” and the “What do you expect me to dos?” I’ve been begging for answers and all I have gotten are platitudes. Enough is enough.

And so I am divorcing the New York Yankees — all 25 men on the active roster, in addition to the manager, the coaches and the general manager. Oh, and the trainer, too. And, of course, the owner and all his baseball people.

The grounds for the divorce will be mental cruelty. I mean, I made a commitment to these guys, emotional and financial, and they betrayed and humiliated me by allowing the Red Sox — the Red Sox! — to run away with the division. When I think how I defended the Yankees to their legions of detractors, it hurts. It really hurts.

I was so loyal, so trusting, so willing to shell out $165 so I could buy Major League Baseball’s Extra Innings package and watch all the games from my house in California. And yet look at how they treated me. I will tell you how they treated me — as if I were a Kansas City Royals fan.

Yeah, I know. There have been injuries. A sore back. A cracked fingernail. A bone spur. A hammy. Please. I am not stupid. If a guy does not want to show up for me, he should simply say so and stop making excuses.

And yeah, there have been disruptions in routine. But again. A rainout is no reason to act all out of sorts and say, “I guess I just didn’t have good stuff.”

When, exactly, did I fall out of love with the Yankees? (To clarify: I will always love them, but I am no longer in love with them. There is too much anger, too much baggage between us now.)

Maybe it was when Cashman started spending a fortune to acquire pitchers who suddenly could not pitch, at least not in pinstripes. Vázquez. Loaiza. Contreras. Weaver. Wright. Pavano. Every time one of these guys would take the mound (or consult a surgeon), my heart would crack a little more. I kept wanting to slap Cashman, to make him feel the pain I was feeling, to strike back against what I perceived to be his abusive behavior toward me.

And do not get me started on how he breached my faith by overpaying for Clemens, a man who forced me to care about him only to leave me for Houston. It is still too raw.

Or maybe the love died when Zimmer quit and Torre had to make managerial decisions on his own. There were all those nights when Joe would call for Tanyon Sturtze in relief — so many nights that he turned that poor guy’s arm into a pretzel, the way he is doing now with Scott Proctor. There were also the nights when he would pull Mussina or Wang or whichever starter was actually pitching brilliantly and efficiently in favor of a reliever who would blow the game. (See Sturtze.)

And then there was his flip-flopping: “I won’t use Mo in the eighth”; “I have to use Mo in the eighth.” Those mixed messages can really get to a person in love. We all need to know where we stand, don’t we?

But my passion — that mad, crazy, dizzying feeling — really petered out as a result of the team’s collective offensive slump. (No, this is not about you, Jeter, although I have not forgiven you for not sticking up for A-Rod last year; and Jorge, you are not to blame, given your smoldering-hot bat.)

When I first fell in love with the Yankees, players knew how to bunt. They knew how to get runners over and get ’em in. They knew how to make productive outs. And — here is the biggie — they knew how to hit consistently and in the clutch.

Watching the current lineup flail at the ball was what finally made me decide to take action. I will pack up my Yankees T-shirts and caps and anything else I own with the interlocking N and Y and donate them to charity. I will stop checking the scores hourly. I will no longer dream about what might have been.

The truth is, I have already started to look elsewhere for satisfaction and companionship, which is how you really know a relationship is over. I have been watching the Devil Rayslately, and let me tell you: They do for me what the Yankees could not. They entertain me. They make me laugh. They put me in a good mood. They run and hit and they are young and cute. They do not win often, but they are fun!

Do you know how refreshing that is? How liberating? I am feeling frisky and free and unburdened now that I am with the Rays. (That is our little pet name.) It is not quite love. Not yet. But I am open to it.

As for the Yankees, if they suddenly start winning and somehow become not only the American League champions this season but the World Series champions, I will take that as a sign that they want me back and I will give them serious consideration. But as of right now, we are over. I am not that into them anymore.

Jane Heller is the author of 13 novels. The latest is “Some Nerve.” She lives in Sant
a Barbara, Calif., but grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., worshiping at the cathedral in the Bronx.

The article led to my She-Fan book, which led to this blog. Fortunately, I came to my senses and got back together with the Yankees for better or worse. Still, watching tonight’s game made me remember the “worse.” Poor Yanks. They looked like this.
deer_in_headlights.jpg
Sure, they teased us with yet another late-inning comeback, but it was too little too late and the series was lost. Santana was great and CC was horrible and the offense continues not to be clutch. I really expected Girardi to shuffle the lineup, just to shake things up, but no. So here’s what I think needs to happen to get the boys back on track.
1) AJ should shove a whipped cream towel in every player’s face, just to remind them what come-from-behind wins feel like.
arod-pie.jpg
2) Their traveling secretary should arrange for oxygen masks to be available during the entire charter flight to Minny.
oxygen.plane.jpg
3) On the plane they should be forced to watch nothing but this.
Any other ideas? Besides hiring a faith healer to work on everybody who’s injured?
faith.healer.jpg

Tonight’s Loss To The Mets In A Nutshell

nutshell.jpg
* The Yankees left 13 men on base and were 3-for-14 with RISP.

* Mark Teixeira is killing us with the bat, although he’s still a genius with the glove.

* Jeter isn’t a very impressive leadoff guy right now.

* Randy Winn is about as good a left fielder as I am.

* Kevin Russo, a call-up from Triple A, is our hottest hitter.

* Phil Hughes wasn’t sharp, but three runs shouldn’t have been insurmountable.

* Chan Ho Park isn’t getting people out.

* I miss Damon and Matsui.

* I sound like a yapping dog, but I can’t help it.

Dog.Yanks.JPG.jpeg

Another Game, Another Casualty

Here’s the setup….Javy Vazquez pitches like the ace of the staff against the Mets and lays down two perfect bunts. He gives up one hit through six innings and his pitch count is low enough for a complete game. Here’s the punch line….Vazquez shakes his arm, is led into the dugout by the trainer, is said to have injured a finger on that last bunt and is headed for x-rays. Talk about a sick joke. HAHAHAHAHA.
sick.joke.jpg
The x-rays turned out to be negative, but still. Will he miss a start? Will he pitch but have his mechanics thrown off again? Will we have to call up, oh, say, someone like him?
igawa.jpg
Who knows. The good news is that the first installment of this year’s Subway Series went to the Yanks, but not without drama – naturally. After Joba did his job and preserved the Yankees’ slim 2-0 lead, the stage was set for Mo. Why were my hands so clammy?
sweatypalms.jpg
I guess they have a mind of their own (my hands, I mean). They remembered Mo’s last two outings and got nervous – with good reason, as it turned out. Did he have to give up that run, which could easily have led to more? Mo, Mo, Mo. I’d really like him to default back to his shut-them-down self – and at his earliest convenience. In the meantime, I’d like to compliment both the Yankees and Mets for making this game a quickie. I probably sound like Joe West, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world to spend less than four hours watching baseball.
woman.TV.jpg

Goodbye, Brian Anthony Bruney

With today’s news that Bruney was traded to the Nationals for a draft pick (please let whoever it is be good), I thought we should give the former Yankee a nice send-off.
waving.bye.jpg
He came to us after having been DFA-ed by the Diamondbacks and left by the side of the road somewhere in Arizona.
Car eaten by dogs.jpg
After a stint in the minors, he arrived in the majors looking downright flabby.
fat.bruney.jpg
A reliever who was used in several situations, he was impressive but inconsistent and I, for one, got tired of hearing about his “good stuff” because he always seemed to walk the leadoff batter. He decided to go on a diet in the off-season and showed up in Tampa 20 pounds lighter.
Bruney.thin.jpg
He pitched well – so well that he was supposed to be Mo’s 8th inning set-up guy. But then tragedy struck: the same dreaded lisfranc injury that had robbed us of poor Wang.
lisfranc.xray.jpg
He avoided surgery and returned to the team, but he was never the same. He tried shaving his head. He tried changing the number on his uniform. He tried biofeedback, acupuncture and psychic intervention. He even tried visiting a faith healer.
faith.healer.jpg
(See him standing off to the right, behind the guy in white?) Despite his best efforts, he was relegated to the role of mop-up man.
man.mop.jpg
Frustrated and unhappy, he lashed out at K-Rod after the Mets closer gave one of his “performances” on the mound.
krod1-183x300.jpg
“A tired act” is what Bru called K-Rod’s celebration, verbalizing what most Yankee fans were already thinking. The remark came back to bite Bru the next day while the two teams were warming up on the field.
krod-bruney.jpg
K-Rod took exception but no punches were thrown, and Bruney eventually apologized.
man-apologizing-thumb49977491.jpg
And now Brian Bruney is gone. Yes, he has become a Nat.
gnat.jpg
I wish him the best of luck with his new team and urge him to remember the great times he had as a Yankee whenever he gets sad. I mean, he did win the World Series. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
the-sneeze.jpg

Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 3

Gold.Fan 010.jpg
Last night I announced the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Postseason Enemy – the opposing player who best helped the Yankees win the ALDS, ALCS or World Series. Congratulations again to Brad Lidge.
Tonight’s award goes to the opposing player who contributed mightily to this year’s most exciting phenomenon: the walk-off victory. The Yankees had 15 walk-offs during the regular season, some more significant than others but all a great source of pleasure for Yankee fans – and for A.J. Burnett.
burnett-pie-face-mirandajpg-5f91d29aa4837d43_medium.jpg
And the nominees for Best Regular Season Walk-Off Enemy are…
Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels
fuentes.jpg
Yes, Fuentes was one of last night’s nominees, but he merits another look in this category. On May 1st, he allowed a bases-loaded walk-off single by Posada in the ninth, and the Yanks beat the Angels 10-9 after having been down by five runs in the game. A big win against a big rival.
Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins
nathan.jpg
Another return nominee, Nathan was on the mound on May 15th, which, by the way, marked A-Rod’s debut at the new Stadium as well as the game in which Brett Gardner had an inside-the-park home run. In the ninth, Gardner tripled off Nathan, Tex singled, A-Rod walked, Cano was walked intentionally, and – with the bases loaded – Melky blooped a two-out single to win the game 5-4. The Yanks went on to sweep the Twins with three consecutive walk-offs.
Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies
lidge.jpg
Yet another return nominee, Lidge pitched the ninth on May 23rd. The Yanks were down by two runs, but the Phillies closer walked Damon, gave up a game-tying homer to A-Rod, allowed a single to Cano, who stole second, and served up a walk-off single to Melky. A foreshadowing of things to come.
Luis Castillo, New York Mets
castillo.jpg
We all know what happened on June 12th, but here’s the recap. The Yanks were down by a run in the ninth when K-Rod came in to close it out for the Mets. Jeter singled, stole second and K-Rod intentionally walked Tex to pitch to a struggling A-Rod, who popped up to Castillo for the third out. Inexplicably, L-Cas dropped the ball, and Tex and A-Rod scored the winning runs. The best part was watching K-Rod celebrate – prematurely.
Shawn Camp, Toronto Blue Jays
camp.jpg
July 4th was George Steinbrenner’s birthday and the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech. So it was only fitting that Roy Halladay did not get the win on this day. Instead, he left the game in a funk after Damon’s two-run shot tied the score in the seventh. It wasn’t until the 12th that Posada singled in the winning run off Camp, who is a double She-Fan Award nominee for the walk-off single he gave up to Cano on August 12th.
Junichi Tazawa, Boston Red Sox
tazawa.jpg
Who can forget the August 7th game that lasted 15 innings and five-and-a-half hours? It was Burnett against Beckett, two former Marlins, and the score was 0-0 when A-Rod stepped in against the rookie Red Sox pitcher and belted one into the seats with Jeter aboard for a 2-0 walk-off. The win expanded the Yankees’ lead in the AL East to four-and-a-half games.
Kyle Farnsworth, Kansas City Royals
farnsworth.jpg
No, the game on September 29th against the Royals hardly mattered in terms of the pennant race. But seeing old friend Farnsy was a treat nonetheless. With the September call-ups in the lineup, Cervelli got the Yankees’ ninth-inning rally going with a ground ball that deflected off Farnsworth for a single. Cisco moved to third on Hinske’s single and scored on Cano’s sac fly. Up to the plate stepped another call-up, Juan Miranda, whose grounder off Farnsy’s leg scored Hinske. The Yanks won 4-3 and all was right with the world.
The envelope please.
env.jpg
And the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Regular Season Walk-off Enemy goes to…
***** Junichi Tazawa *****
tazawa.jpg
The sentimental favorite would have been Castillo, of course. But an interleague series against the hapless Mets that didn’t really count for a lot except in entertainment value? Conversely, the 15-inning game against the Red Sox was huge. They had beaten us eight straight times coming into the series, and first place in the division was on the line. Once A-Rod hit that shot off of Tazawa, they had to settle for a Wild Card berth. Congratulations to Mr. Tazawa. Oh, wait. Mr. Tazawa is out of the country and can’t be here to accept his award. Accepting it for him is his teammate.
papelbon.jpg
“Oh, wow,” said Mr. Papelbon. “The She-Fan Award is really heavy.”
“That’s because it’s solid gold,” I said. “Maybe you’ll win one next year.”
Gold.Fan 010.jpg

There Are Closers And There Are Closers

K-Rod…
K-Rod.jpg
…walked Mo with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth tonight to put the Yankees up by two runs and hand Mo his first RBI ever.
mo.mets.jpg
And then Mo finished off the Mets in their half inning for the Yankees’ 4-2 victory, the series sweep and his milestone 500th career save.
After he notched the final out, there was no fist pumping, no theatrics, just his customary classy, humble demeanor. His teammates gathered around to congratulate him, and I sat in my living room sobbing like a sentimental fool.
woman-crying.jpg
Mo is my favorite Yankee, and I was touched by the outpouring of affection for him.
So while an actual ball game did take place at Citi Field – Wang got his first win of the year, the bats struck early against Livan Hernandez, Cano was horrible in the clutch, Hughes was impressive in relief, the Mets looked absolutely hapless – this one was about Mo.
And we go around the horn.
From Newsday…
From the Daily News…

Mariano Rivera earns 500th save as Yankees sweep Mets

From MLB.com…

From the New York Times…
Milestone for Rivera and Sweep for Yanks

I hope he’s celebrating with some champagne. He said on ESPN tonight that he doesn’t even drink coffee, but maybe he’s having a little toast with his pals. Here’s one from me, Mo:
“Thanks for all those saves (and even the non-saves). Don’t ever retire. We need you. Here’s to your continued good health.”
Clink.

champagne_toast-268x300.jpg
Enter Sandman…