Tagged: Nolan Ryan

Day 3 of “Operation Jeter Countdown”

Another day, another swipe at Jeter and his agent by the Yankees (or should I say by a so-called Yankees source). This time, the message was for Jeter and Casey Close to “drink the reality potion,” according to ESPN. Alrighty then. Are we on a school playground? Is this how grownup business people talk? Why so rude? It’s a negotiation, not a personal grudge match. I understand that the Yankees don’t want to pay Jeter more than they think he’s worth, but why the sniping? For tonight’s Countdown Video until we can declare “Mission Accomplished,” I picked an interview Jeter did with Jeremy Schaap in ’99. Most of it is Jeter’s usual “I always had a dream to play for the New York Yankees” stuff. It’s Schaap’s last question and Jeter’s prescient answer that are worth the price of admission.
He can’t see himself ever wearing anything other than Yankee pinstripes, but he gets that “this is a business. They could trade me tomorrow.”
Maybe he was the only one who could have predicted this current standoff, knowing the organization and the game as well as he does. We’ll see. In the meantime, how about Nolan Ryan “reaching out” to Pettitte? As if Andy would ever play for the Rangers. Good try, cowboy. 
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P.S. I actually forgot it was Mo’s birthday. Shame on me! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MO!
P.P.S. Very sad to hear about the passing of former Yankee Gil McDougald. RIP, Gil.

Fun in Arkansas With Cashman and Mr./ Mrs. Lee

As everyone knows by now, Brian Cashman flew down to Arkansas for a visit with Cliff Lee and his wife Kristen. Presumably, his goal was to express the Yankees’ keen interest in signing Lee as well as answer any questions the couple might have about life in New York – and, of course, to allay Mrs. L’s fears about boorish Yankee fans. But how did the meeting go? Nobody’s coming out with details, so I decided I needed to flesh things out for myself. Here’s how I think it went down today…
* Cashman drove up to Mr. and Mrs. Lee’s big new house, rang the doorbell and was greeted by the entire Lee clan, Southern hospitality being what it is.
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* He arrived bearing gifts – some toys for the kids with a slight subliminal message.
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* Mrs. Lee sent the children off to play with their presents and invited Cash to sit down for lunch. She had decided to use her favorite caterer.
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* Despite the fact that Cash watches his diet and almost never eats fried foods (especially chicken skin), he threw back a few legs and thighs while he described the joys of playing for the New York Yankees. He talked about the franchise’s history and tradition. He ticked off the names of all its legendary stars. He made a speech about how Yankee fans were the best ever, but he was interrupted by Mrs. Lee and the conversation detoured.
Kristen: “They spit at me and threw beer and shouted mean things. It hurt my heart.”
Cash: “I’m so sorry about that. But there are always a few bad apples at every ballpark.”
Cliff: “Mr. Cashman is right, honey. You know what happens when guys get all liquored up.”
Kristen: “They pass out, that’s what. These people didn’t pass out.”
Cash: “I can guarantee you, Kristen, that the same scenario would never happen if your husband came to pitch for us. You’d be treated like royalty.”
Kristen: “I don’t know about that. I talked to Karen Burnett the other day and she said the fans boo her whenever A.J. has a bad game.”
Cash (laughs): “Your husband will never have a bad game, so no worries.”
Cliff: “Nice of you to say, Mr. Cashman.”
Cash: “Brian.”
Cliff: “Brian. But sometimes it’s just not my day and I stink up the joint. What then?”
Cash: “Cliff, the fans will love you. I’m so certain of it that I’ll put a ‘boo clause’ in your contract. You’ll get an additional $50,000 for every game involving fans booing you or your wife. Fair?”
Cliff: “Extremely.” (Turns to his wife) “What do you say, honey?”
Kristen: “Very fair. But Brian, I have to be sure we’ll be happy with the Yankees. You understand.”
Cash: “I do. And I promise you that if you join the Yankee family you’ll never regret it. Look at me. I’ve been in the organization since I was a kid. The Steinbrenners are the best owners in baseball.”
Kristen: “Nolan Ryan said he was the best owner. He was here yesterday.”
Cash: “Did he make an offer?”
Cliff: “No. We just went hunting. Do you hunt, Brian?”
Cash (panicking): “Um, I play tennis. There isn’t much hunting in Connecticut, although we do have a lot of deer.”
Kristen: “Nolan said we should stay in Texas.”
Cash: “We’ve got better shopping up in New York. Ask Leigh Teixeira.”
Kristen: “I’ve never met her but Amber Sabathia says she’s super sweet.”
Cash: “They’ll take you to Saks and Neiman’s and Bloomie’s. You ladies will have a blast together.”
Kristen (bolting up from the table): “Designer shoes and dresses and everything! I want Cliffy to be a Yankee! Where do we sign?”
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And that was that. Mission accomplished. I think.

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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She-Fan Exclusive: Suzyn Waldman Interviews Nolan Ryan

You won’t find this clip anywhere else. I flew to Arlington, stood outside the office of Rangers president Nolan Ryan, and overheard our own Suzyn chatting up Nolan. I cracked open the door, focused the She-Fan Cam and here’s the result.
Only a few more nights until the action gets underway in Arlington. So if you haven’t entered the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes contest or want to revise your predictions, click here. You have until Thursday night at midnight PT.

Now We Know: We’re Going To Arlington

But where, exactly, IS Arlington? Yes, I’m aware that it’s in Texas, but where? I figured I’d better check since our boys will be flying there.
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OK, so it’s not in the Panhandle. And it’s not near the Mexican border. It’s not even in the vicinity of Austin or Houston or El Paso. It’s kind of close to Texarkana, which is an actual place not a country-and-western song, and is, therefore, practically in Arkansas, home of Cliff Lee, as well as A.J. and Moseley. What’s it like in Arlington? According to Wikipedia…
Arlington is a city in Tarrant CountyTexas within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the seventh-largest city in Texas and the 49th largest city in the United States.[3]


OK, so it’s not that small, and our Yankees will find plenty of places where they can amuse themselves.
Located approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles (32 km) west of downtown Dallas, Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in ArlingtonCowboys Stadium, the International Bowling Campus (which houses the United States Bowling CongressInternational Bowling Museum and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), the headquarters for American Mensa, and the theme parks Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags).
Cool. They can go bowling if they need to get away from it all, not to mention hop on a roller coaster.
According to the American Lung Association, Dallas has the 12th highest air pollution among U.S. cities. Much of the air pollution in Dallas and the surrounding area comes from a hazardous materials incineration plant in the small town of Midlothian and from concrete installations in neighbouring Ellis County.


Uh-oh. So they won’t be able to breathe. And the last thing CC needs before he makes his start on Friday night is to be exposed to hazardous materials. He’ll have enough trouble staying away from the BBQ joints. But the real hazard, as far as I’m concerned, is Lee and we don’t have to worry about him for awhile. I was hoping we’d play the Rays and we’re not. So we’ll have to get used to the following:
* Relentless close-ups of Nolan Ryan.
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* Vlad Guerrero swinging at balls on the ground, in the air, off the top of his head.
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* Replays of Josh Hamilton winning the Home Run Derby.
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* Neftali Feliz’s “cheddar,” as David Wells and Dennis Eckersley dubbed his fastball.
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The Rangers are an excellent team and I congratulate them for winning their series. But just like the highly anticipated new FOX show “Lone Star,” they should prepare to be cancelled after just a few episodes.
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P.S. Now that our opponent is known, it’s a good time to enter the Crumbs cupcakes contest or amend your predictions. Click here for details. The deadline for entering is Thursday at midnight, PT.