Tagged: Steinbrenner Field

In Deference To Fans Of The NY Jets…

I’m writing this post about football – and why I don’t watch it. I’m a former New Yorker, so I’m rooting for the Jets in the most tangential way, but I’ll be skipping the big game tomorrow and picking up the blog on Monday.

Why don’t I watch/like football? I’ve asked myself that a lot over the years. I love sports in general, with baseball being my favorite, and can easily get interested in hockey, basketball, tennis, even boxing. But I have a mental block where football is concerned. Total apathy. To me, it’s a bunch of very large men, wearing equipment that makes them unrecognizable, gathered around a field, occasionally huddling, occasionally walking around, occasionally tackling each other, occasionally running and throwing and kicking. I have no idea what “fourth and ten” means. I’m clueless about “yards” and “downs.” I couldn’t tell you the difference between a field goal and a touchdown. I don’t know what all those white lines signify. There’s so much starting and stopping that I wonder why people think baseball is boring.
This is not to say I don’t understand the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat; the emotions of rooting for a team don’t change from sport to sport. And I’m sure the scheduling of football – the fact that games are only played once a week – really heightens people’s interest. Getting together with friends and family to watch a game must feel like more of an event, whereas you can catch a baseball game almost any night of the week.
Maybe I’m just a hot weather girl and the notion of watching a game played in frigid temperatures doesn’t appeal to me. Dunno. But good luck to any Jets fans out there. I hope the Super Bowl is in your future – partly because it’ll be exciting for you guys and partly because it’ll mean football is over and baseball is about to begin.

The Nominees For The 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette (WINNER UPDATE)

I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to Twitter last year. I figured the last thing I needed was yet another social networking site, having already jumped into the Facebook experience as well as interacted with other baseball fans on this blog. But something surprising happened after my first few tweets: I fell in love with Twitter. I enjoy the immediacy of it, the brevity, the ability to read what everybody’s talking about all over the world, the rush of learning breaking news before it appears elsewhere, and, of course, the chance to connect with a whole new cast of Yankee fans. 
Thanks to Twitter, I got to meet face to face with several of those fans, some of whom were gracious enough to submit to the She-Fan Cam. I present their videos to you now and ask you to take a look at these four terrific women and vote for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette. Here they are…
(Drum roll)
1) Amanda (Twitter name @amandarykoff). Back in January, she was visiting her newborn nephew in Santa Barbara and stopped by my house for a “tweetup” – my very first. She discussed football in the video – a subject that would normally make my eyes glaze over – but she was so entertaining and enthusiastic about it that I wasn’t bored in the slightest. She really knows what she’s talking about, doesn’t she?
2) Stephanie (Twitter name @stephsamps). I was in Tampa for spring training in March, and she and I had arranged a tweetup at Steinbrenner Field. It was an unseasonably cold night in Florida and I was shivering and ready to bolt. She, on the other hand, was happily telling me all about her sightings of players whom she gets to see often since she lives there. There’s no question she loves her Yankees.
3) Denise (Twitter name @SunnySoCal). She and I had been tweeting about how we wanted to meet up at a Yankees-Dodgers game in LA in June. So she drove up from San Diego and I drove down from Santa Barbara and we sat together and had a blast, even though the Yankees lost. (A.J. had one of his meltdowns.) To say that she has a crush on A-Rod is an understatement, but she showed remarkable restraint in the video.
4) Gayle (Twitter name @gcf123). She’s a season tickets holder at the Stadium – lucky girl – so it was no fluke that she was there the September day I was at the game and we finally got to meet. How she manages the country’s top musical artists and travels around the country with them and yet still finds time for her Yanks is a testament to her fandom. She made some very accurate predictions in the video, btw.
So there you have it – the nominees for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette. Can you pick a winner, people? Even those of you who aren’t Yankee fans? Yes, of course you can. And this time only ONE VOTE per customer. None of this, “But I like two of them.” Just one!
Next up will be the big showdown for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Best Yankee Fan Video Period. Get ready for a very tough field.

After a day of voting, we had a three-way tie between Denise (@SunnySoCal), Amanda (@amandarykoff) and Gayle (@gcf123) for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette. Golden fans go out to each of them!
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You liked all four nominees, naturally, but in the end this race was almost too close to call. So congratulations to Denise, Amanda and Gayle and thanks to Stephanie too. You were all such great interview subjects. You guys rock.

Who Will Get Voted Off The Yankees Island?

The competition for the Yankees’ #5 starter is becoming both clearer and murkier. While Gaudin is pitching himself out of contention, the others – Hughes, Joba, Mitre and Aceves – are keeping things interesting in Tampa. What would I do if Opening Day were tomorrow and I had to make the Big Decision?
I can’t really justify my vote. Aceves and Mitre have both pitched well enough to earn the job. So has Joba, although his value as the 8th inning guy can’t be overlooked. I guess it’s just instinct; Hughes had the job from the get go, in my opinion. It was his to win or lose. Aceves is the best long reliever we’ve got and could always step in when there’s an injury or somebody gets shelled or Hughes has to be kept on an innings leash. As for Mitre? I don’t know. Trade him or keep him for the pen, so we can say goodbye to Albaladejo? 
The good news is the Yankees have plenty of arms that could help out in the pen right now – from Mark Melancon and Boone Logan to Amaury Sanit, the Cuban sensation who continues to impress. Yup, the more I see of the 2010 Yankees, the better I feel about their chances. CC’s performance today – and A-Rod’s tape measure homer – were hard to ignore.
P.S. I listened to the Yanks-Rays game tonight while I was in the car. The Rays announcers were talking about how unfriendly the staff is at Steinbrenner Field and how glad they were to be broadcasting from Port Charlotte. All I can say is, “The ushers and security people at SF were nice to me!” But maybe that’s because I was wearing this?

Yanks Won and I Froze

I feel like such a wuss. Let me get that out of the way right now. Why? Because I came to Tampa specifically to see the Yankees and yet I didn’t even stay until the end of Tuesday night’s game. I was just too damn cold.
The temps weren’t so bad when we got to Steinbrenner Field at 5 o’clock for the 7:05 start. In fact, I stood next to the Yankees dugout for what seemed like an eternity, waiting for the players to show their faces, and didn’t even feel the chill. I pulled out the She-Fan Cam and went about the business of interviewing she-fans who were also hanging around for some Yankees love. Here are my first two victims.
Still trolling, I came upon another pair of fans. Alyssa and Amanda were down from Staten Island to see the boys. Do they think the Yankees will repeat? Take a look.
Unfortunately, the Yankees never came out to take their turn in the batting cage, so Michael and I headed to our seats to watch the game. AJ didn’t have it and was pulled after two+ innings. Maybe he shouldn’t be working so hard on the changeup and just stick to his fastball? Mo got into his first game of the spring, and I was sooo excited to see him (and to hear “Enter Sandman”). But it was Hughes who really impressed on the mound. I know Aceves has been terrific, but I’m guessing Huuuughes will be our #5 guy. And then, of course, there were the boys: Jeter, A-Rod, Swish, Jorge, Cano, Gardner, Tex (sweet home run), plus newcomers Johnson and Granderson, neither of whom got a hit but, as I was reminded on Twitter, it’s only spring training. 
I think it was in the second or third inning when the temps started to plummet. I mean, I suddenly became aware that it was really cold – maybe it was when I saw a woman wearing a Yankees blue Santa suit? – and that I wasn’t dressed for winter. But I forgot my frostbitten fingers when I was joined by Stephanie (@stephsamps on Twitter) for our first tweet-up. She sure loves her Yankees. Here she is.
So even though Michael and I left the game after the sixth inning and felt like jerks doing it, there are times when the body just says, “Enough.” Last night was one of those times.
Today, it’s on to Clearwater to face the Phillies. There’s a 50% chance of rain and, of course, it’s cold again. But I’ll try to stick it out. I really will.

A Day Of Firsts At Steinbrenner Field

The 2010 Yankees got off to a sweet start, didn’t they?
* Impressive pitching by Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves.
* Nice catches in the wind by Hoffman and Gardner.
* Great seeing the Bombers again, period.
As with most early spring training games, there was sloppy play. And it’s hard to get a rhythm going when everybody’s being shuffled in and out like a game of musical chairs.
But there were a few firsts that signaled a good omen for the season.
* A-Rod got the Yankees’ first hit of the spring.
* Pena smacked the Yankees’ first homer.
* Colin Curtis broke the 3-3 tie in the 9th with his three-run walkoff homer, enabling the Yanks to beat the Pirates 6-3. There was no pie, sadly.
Colin Curtis? Who’s he?
I would never have been able to pick him out of a police lineup, but he certainly got my attention today.
He’s got a level lefty swing – almost Matsui-like – and he’s supposed to be a decent outfielder. Will he nudge Winn/Thames/Hoffman/Gardner aside any time soon? I highly doubt it; he’ll end up back in Scranton. But watch this video and tell me he’s not a terrific kid. He has a new fan in me, that’s for sure.

If I Lived In Tampa, I’d Be At The Airport

As everyone knows, this is the week that pitchers and catchers report. Sure, there are some players who came to camp early. But for the most part, Yankees will be arriving and if I were in Tampa I’d be staking out the airport.
Maybe I’d see CC unloading his luggage.
Or Andy hopping into his rental car.
Or A.J. practicing his pie throwing on some poor, unsuspecting passerby.
Maybe I’d see Jorge waiting for people to ask for his autograph.
Or I’d catch Cervelli hanging out with some very interesting looking friends.
The point is, if I were there I might see Yankees – lots of Yankees. After the long, long off-season, the sight of them would be very welcome indeed. I’m even psyching myself up for him. Yeah, it’s been a long off-season.
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Where Did Cashman Celebrate New Year’s?

The NY Post reported that Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly headed down to the island of Canouan to ring in 2010. How nice for them. The last time I was down there, Raffles didn’t exist and there was no electricity on the island.
But with the Yankees still without a clearly designated left fielder, I was more interested in where Brian Cashman was for New Year’s Eve. We know he wasn’t with Matt Holliday, since the Cardinals are about to announce their deal. And we know he wasn’t with Marlon Byrd, since the former Ranger is going to the Cubs. So where was he? Where is he? And what’s he been doing? 

Has he been partying at home in Connecticut?
Did he go to Times Square to watch the ball drop with people wearing those oddly shaped blue Nivea caps?
Has he been planted in front of his TV watching football?
Did he fly to Hawaii to caddy for Obama?
Did he drive up to Sugarbush to learn how to ski?
Or did he end up in Tampa meeting with the Steinbrenners?
Given the fact that there really aren’t any drool-over free agents left on the market, I wonder if he spent the holiday with Brett Gardner explaining to him that he has the job until 2011, at which time it will be handed to this guy.
As for me, I went to a great party on New Year’s Eve. There was lots of food, excellent champagne, interesting people and a roaring fire in the fireplace. But the highlight for me was when I was introduced to a lawyer named Michael Cooney.
“I read about your She-Fan book in the local paper,” he said. “I’m a diehard Yankee fan too.”
Well, talk about a conversation starter. It turns out that Cooney is very friendly with Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher and stays with him every year when he goes to spring training. I mentioned that Kelleher had been nice to me when I was at a game in Tampa last spring. (Here I am calling out to Mick and here he is smiling at me. That constitutes “nice.” At least he didn’t ignore me or tell me to go back to my seat.)
“I’m going down to stay with Mick in March,” said Cooney.
“Oh, wow. I’ll be down there in March too,” I said. Hint hint.
“We’ll have to get together,” he said. “When we go out to eat, all the other coaches come too. It’s fun to sit there listening to them talk about all the players.”
Uh, yah. I’m so there.