Tagged: NY Times

An Open Letter To “Yankee Faithful” – Stand By Your Man!

This article in today’s Daily News really bothered me. The Yankee fans that were interviewed expressed their wish that Joe Torre could manage the ’09 Yankees; they don’t think Joe Girardi is up to the task.

Memo to them: The torch has been passed.
two joes.jpg
Torre had a great run and I was terribly sad to see him go, as I made clear in The New York Times. But he’s gone. He’s with the Dodgers. Cashman and Company picked Girardi over Mattingly (and Pena), and he’s the one who’s been sitting in the manager’s office for a year now. In other words, it’s time to rally around him.
Did his rookie year go smoothly? No. Were there “issues” right from Day 1? Sure. A few examples:
* Ian Kennedy was supposed to make a start, but it was raining. So Girardi ended up using him in relief. A head-scratcher.
* Girardi seemed to shuffle the lineup almost daily. At first I thought he was being creative. Then I decided he was being disruptive. Players like to show up for a game not having to wonder about their status from day to day. This year he needs to establish a plan and stick to it, barring injuries.
* Speaking of player injuries, Girardi had a very tough time explaining their various ailments to the beat writers, as if he’d be giving away state secrets. His evasiveness came to a head at the end of the season with the mystery surrounding Mo’s shoulder. A testy press conference ensued.
* Cano wasn’t getting it done, and Girardi waited until September to bench him. Hard to fathom.
* Girardi used Wilson Betemit in situations where even I would have been a better option. Seriously. And he had an odd attachment to Kyle Farnsworth, even though the rest of us hid our eyes whenever Farnsy came in to relieve.
* Girardi banned candy and junk food from the clubhouse, and there were rumors that the veteran players thought he was too uptight.
All that said, the man wants to win badly and he’s got a lot of heart.
He’s not cool and collected like Torre. He doesn’t sit on the bench sipping green tea. He doesn’t even sit – he stands constantly, clenching his jaw and looking like he’s living and dying with every pitch. Nothing laid back about this Joe.
Sometimes he loses it completely.
But don’t we want our manager to be passionate? Fiery? A risk-taker?
I laugh at those who say, “Girardi would have to be an idiot not to be able to manage the team the Yankees are handing him.”
Really? If the job were so easy, why did Jim Leyland have such a tough time in Detroit last year? He’s arguably one of the best managers in the game. Certainly one of the most experienced.
With all the talk of Girardi’s “short leash” should the Yankees get off to a slow start, I’m standing by my man. He wasn’t necessarily my pick to replace Torre; I vacillated between him and Mattingly. He doesn’t have a provocative bestseller on the shelves. Nobody calls him the “Sinatra of Baseball.” He doesn’t hang out with Billy Crystal. But he’s my manager, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. 
What I’m saying is that I plan on us staying together – for the sake of the kids.

Misbehaving Jocks, Sparring Siblings And Other Issues Of The Day


Readers of the NY Daily News already saw this roundup today, but I just couldn’t help myself from posting it for others.
Which is your favorite meltdown? And which ones did they miss?
(Warning: Don’t eat before viewing the Mike Tyson snackathon.)
We’ve all had temper tantrums, although I think it’s safe to say we haven’t had them in front of a national audience or been injected with steroids before having them. Well, at least I haven’t. I’ve never used PEDs in order to gain an advantage over other bloggers, not even those front-runners over at Red State Blue State. Seriously. I’m clean. Never dabbled in the cream or the clear. Ask George Mitchell.
Speaking of whom, baseball’s steroids czar has been named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be the special envoy for Arab-Israeli affairs. No kidding. Mitchell made peace between the warring nations of our sport and now he’s going to make peace in the Middle East? Good luck with that.
And while I’m on the subject of steroids, how about Mark McGwire’s younger brother Jay?
(Jay is the desperately tanned bodybuilder; Mark is the midget-sized man on the right.)
As was reported on deadspin and MLB.com and now in today’s NY Times, baby brother Jay has been shopping a book proposal about how he turned Mark on to ‘roids. Never mind that the proposal is full of inaccuracies, and contradicts statements made by others; it’s just plain badly written. Sorry, guy, but not only are you a lousy person for ratting out a family member – you didn’t even bother to use Spell Check!
I really hope my older sister Susan Alexander, a faithful reader of this blog even though she doesn’t ever leave comments, will restrain herself from shopping a tell-all about me. Because hear this, Sue: You won’t get a penny for it. My life isn’t that interesting and you know it. Plus, as I said before, I’m clean.
Well, sure, I’ve made mistakes, sis. I was bratty when I was little. I get that.
And I experimented with cigarettes in your room one night and burned a hole in your precious bedspread.
And, yes, even though you said I had to stop sneaking around in your closet, I did it anyway –  the second you left the house.

And, O.K. There was that time in high school – just one time – when you told me I absolutely, positively couldn’t take your new car out for a spin….and yet I did.
I swear I didn’t mean to park it so close to the meter and cause that huge scratch across the passenger side door. I only had my learner’s permit! What did you expect?
You never had temper tantrums like the athletes at the top of this post, Sue. So please. Don’t have one now. Leave the books to me, all right?

For Red Sox Fans Out There

As Sox fans begrudgingly root for the Yankees to beat the Rays over the next few days so they can draw ever closer to the division lead, I’m reminded how complicated and tangled our “relationship” is. You Boston fans are as obsessed with the Empire as we’re obsessed with the Nation. Not that anyone in either camp would ever admit it. But I came clean in a recent NY Times piece about my love/hate thing for the Red Sox. Check it out here.

Why am I blogging?

In May of 2007, when the Yankees were in last place, I couldn’t take it. All the losing was killing me, keeping me up at night, making me snap at complete strangers, giving me a really bad headache. One night, after a humiliating interleague loss against the Mets, I stormed into my office and wrote an article about divorcing the Yankees. The grounds? Mental cruelty. I didn’t have a blog then, so I vented to the New York Times, which published my article. (You can read it here.) As a result of that article I landed a book deal for a nonfiction account of what it really means to be a fan. It’s called “Confessions of a She-Fan” and it’ll be out in February.

Now that I’ve finished it, I’ve been feeling desperate to be in a community of Yankee fans – people to commiserate with and celebrate with. Writing books is a solitary business. You basically sit in a room all day by yourself, wondering why in the world you didn’t pick another line of work, waiting for your publisher to call with news about something (your manuscript, your cover, your sales). I’m hoping that blogging will fill the void and distract me from checking my hourly ranking on amazon and the occasional snarky review.
Yes, it’s late in the season, but today’s game was a revelation. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to beat a team not named the Mariners or Orioles. I’ve been second-guessing Girardi all year – from not starting Kennedy because it might rain, only to use him in relief…to resting Damon when we desperately needed his hot bat…to giving non-answers to questions about players injuries. But he looked like a genius today, juggling the bullpen and sending Giambi up to pinch hit. Taking the finale against the Red Sox wasn’t as satisfying as sweeping them would have been, but it was sweet nevertheless.
Do the Yankees have a prayer of making the postseason? I gave up on them last year and vowed I wouldn’t do it again. But it’s looking bleak. Seriously. A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay loom this weekend. My heart tells me the Yanks can pull off a miracle comeback, but my husband says I’ve been drinking the Kool Aid.