Tagged: Michael Jackson

A TMZ Christmas

Since there weren’t any Yankees making news over the holiday, I had way too much time on my hands. I found myself musing about Randy Quaid, who, after being arrested in Texas, showed up at a hearing here in Santa Barbara this week. He and his wife are accused of skipping out on the $10,000 tab they ran up at the San Ysidro Ranch, a resort near my house. Mug shots are so unflattering, aren’t they?
Charlie Sheen got into a little scrape while vacationing in Aspen.
At least the media let the Tiger Woods story die (wishful thinking).
No, I promise this blog isn’t going all tabloid. The above items are just an excuse to post the following celebrity look-alike pics a friend sent me today. Enjoy and hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Rest Does Wonders For A-Rod

It’s a miracle, really. A couple of weeks ago, A-Rod was lethargic, dragging, zombie-like. Then it dawned on the Yankees that he hadn’t had a day off since he came back from hip surgery. Cashman and Girardi put their heads together…
…and (light bulb going off here) decided to give their star third baseman a rest.
Al sat out a couple of games against the Marlins and – voila! – he stopped being a zombie.
Now he’s no longer flailing at pitches out of the zone and looking fragile on plays at third and, best of all, he’s hitting bombs again.
Tonight’s blast into Monument Park in the sixth broke a 2-2 tie and carried the Yanks to a 4-2 victory over Seattle – their seventh straight win.
It was a nice, quick dismissal of the Mariners – not like last night’s game, which moved along as slowly as this.
One reason was that the offense couldn’t get much done against Washburn, except for homers by Damon and Melky. The other reason is that Pettitte pitched a very good game of his own.
Through seven innings, Andy threw strikes, mixed his pitches well and completely shut down the sleeve-tugging, bat-pointing Ichiro.
Aceves and Coke did their jobs in relief, and Mo notched save # 502. I’ll never understand why a long man like Alfredo was brought in for one batter or why Hughes was warming and Bruney wasn’t. But the good news is that the bullpen is getting it done these days and I don’t find myself doing this whenever I see them coming.
The oddity of the game was Tex bobbling Valentien’s potential double play ball in the fourth. He wasn’t charged with an error, but the fact that he allowed a run to score was surprising. His defense has totally spoiled me, but I guess he’s entitled to a bobble once in awhile.
Eric Hinske had his first session with the media as a Yankee. I listened, courtesy of Pete Abe’s blog, and wasn’t surprised to hear him repeat the usual “I’m honored to be here” mantra. Actually, he sounded thrilled to be out of Pittsburgh, and who could blame him?
His acquisition wasn’t exactly the trade of the century, but the news was broadcast around the world. Witness this reporter’s breathless coverage and tell me Hinske isn’t a big deal.

Back in the real world (sort of), it seems my holiday weekend won’t be about Michael Jackson after all. The family’s spokesperson announced that it would be too expensive and complicated to motorcade MJ’s body to Santa Barbara and bury it at Neverland. What about all those truckloads of these that had been deposited outside the ranch for fans, along with the balloons and the flowers?
My hunch is that they’ll have an event at Neverland after the memorial. And if they do, I just might show up with the She-Fan Cam.

Sluggish Start, Fun Finish

First came the raindrops….Then came the members of the Westhill High School girls softball team, who were invited onto the field by Brian Cashman to stand with all the Yankees during the National Anthem. On the outside, the girls were very composed.


On the inside, they had to be feeling like this.

Well, I would have.
I loved that Mo was asked to throw out the first pitch. How fitting, since he would also throw the last pitch for save #501.
Joba’s outing was decent, but he kept getting into bad pitch counts and the game slowed to an absolute crawl.
For the longest time, it seemed as if all we’d get were those two measly runs in the second on Woodward’s two errors. I mean, we were 0-for-10 with RISP, for God’s sake, and the offense looked comatose.
Joba had trouble getting Ichiro out and Jorge had trouble throwing him out, and Ronny Cedeno, whose average is well below the Mendoza line, homered. Please.
The game was tied at 3-3 for what felt like an eternity, and the most exciting thing at that point was the appearance of a Seattle reliever named Jakubauskas. It was sort of fun listening to Kay and Singleton trying to get their heads around it.
Phil Coke set down the two batters he faced in the sixth, and Phil Hughes was brilliant in the seventh, including his strikeout of Griffey on a 98 mph fastball. Sweet.
But it wasn’t until the bottom of the frame that things got really interesting for the Yanks. With Damon aboard, A-Rod crushed one.
Bruney blew the lead in the top of the eighth. (Why even go to him when Hughes was pitching like a genius?) Luckily, the Mariners brought in White for the bottom of the eighth, and he’s my new favorite opposing reliever. Why?
Matsui: doubled.
Gardner: pinch ran.
Swisher: bunt single.
Melky: double.
Score: 6-5 Yankees.
Jeter tacked on a two-RBI single, giving Mo an 8-5 cushion for the ninth. Game over – a good night for the pinstripes.
Off topic, I was really looking forward to a quiet July 4th weekend here in Santa Barbara. Now? Not so much. Michael Jackson’s body is being driven up here from LA by some zillion-car caravan on Thursday, and there’s a “public viewing” for fans/gawkers/anybody on Friday. Yeah, Friday of the holiday weekend. I don’t live near Neverland, but you have to pass my exit on the 101 Freeway to get to it.
The California Highway Patrol, as well as the Santa Barbara County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, are anticipating that traffic will come to a standstill and hotels and restaurants will be jammed.
Here’s where I’ll be.

A Game That Felt Like A Doubleheader

“Is it over yet?” I said to my husband when the Yankees jumped out to an 8-1 lead.


“It’s only the fourth inning,” he said, then nodded out. Before I knew it, he was starting to snore.
It was that kind of a game. Sloppy. Long. Perfect for switching over to CNN during the commercials to watch clips of Michael Jackson.
Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was in northern Santa Barbara County, and my local journalists covered his trial on a daily basis. To people here, he wasn’t the king of pop but yet another celebrity who had lost his way.
Moonwalk in peace, MJ.
Moonwalking MJ.jpg
Speaking of celebrities losing their way, A-Rod seems to have found his. He was swinging the bat better on Wednesday and turned it up another notch tonight. That solo shot in the first was nice, but his bases-loaded single in the seventh was a thing of beauty.
(Like Jacko, he, too, wears a white glove when he performs.)
It was a good night for Al, who tied Reggie’s home run record, knocked in four runs and seemed unusually pumped up.
It was not such a good night for Pettitte. He wasn’t as ineffective as Derek Lowe, but he had a huge lead and nearly gave it away – grounds for this.
I don’t know why Girardi didn’t use Phil Hughes in relief, but I’ve given up trying to figure out everybody’s role in the pen.
I’m just glad Mo got his 499th save and the Yanks beat the Braves 11-7. It wasn’t pretty, and Swisher, Damon and Jeter looked like deer in the headlights at times. Oh, and Gardner spazzed out on that ball hit by the Devil Wears Prado.
But a win is a win, and the best news is that the offense is back! We can hit again! We remembered what to do with the bats!
Now we must be excellent against the Mets this weekend. I’m predicting we win two out of three. If that’s going out on a limb, so be it.

Yankees/Red Sox Star Of The Game


Jerry Meals was behind home plate for Boston’s 6-4 victory at the Stadium on Monday night. According to the umpires’ web site, Meals was born in October 1961 in Pennsylvania and resides in Ohio with his wife, Robyn, and their five children: Laci, Peyton, Jansen and twins Rylee Ann and Raegan Grace. In the off-season, he enjoys hunting and woodworking.
If only he called balls and strikes with such precision. Both teams seemed frustrated with him, but it was Jeter who argued (as much as Jeter will ever argue) and Girardi who shot out of the dugout to chime in, ultimately getting tossed.
Joe’s ejection ignited the Yanks – temporarily – as Damon and Tex hit back-to-backers against Lester and turned the manager into a human version of this.
But a come-from-behind win was not to be on a night that only began after a two-plus-hour rain delay. (This was one of those times when it’s good to be on the west coast.) Lester dominated while Yankees pitchers allowed eight of these.
Hughes was in trouble right from the get go. Ortiz came into the game slumping? No problem. Phil kept throwing him fat pitches and – presto! – no more slump. Did the rain delay affect him on the mound? Was that last outing in Detroit a fluke? And why was he shaking off Molina so many times that it made my own head shake?
woman shaking head.jpg
Aceves did a respectable job in long relief (Brett Bombko must be wondering who he has to blackmail in order to get to the bigs), but Edwar Edwar Edwar. Eat something, would you please?
You’re the size of a carrot stick. And walking two out of the three batters you faced puts you in the Jose Veras category, which could lead to this.
Molina had a lousy night behind the plate – a rarity for him.
He looked like a tub of lard trying to catch up to those two balls in foul territory. Maybe he should lose a few pounds and give them to Edwar.
Congrats to Tex for hitting his first homers – one from each side – this season. He’s probably pissed that he struck out in the ninth with two on (so am I), but at least there were signs of life there.
Will the Yankees beat the Red Sox on Tuesday night? I guess it will depend on Joba’s ability to deal with his mother’s arrest. I’m sure it won’t be easy. On the other hand, maybe he’ll welcome the chance to focus strictly on baseball instead of on the mug shot that’s too pathetic for me to post.
O.K. Fine. I’ll post it for those who haven’t seen it. Here is Mrs. Joba.