Tagged: Thanksgiving

My Jeter Countdown

I hope everybody has been enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve been enjoying mine. Well, except for the cold, hard reality that The Captain and The Yankees remain in negotiations hell. The fact that they haven’t made a deal and seem to be in a bona fide standoff is upsetting to me. It haunts my sleep. It creates low-level anxiety. It causes me to snap at my husband for no apparent reason.
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(Oddly, I’m not worried about Mo’s situation. The Yankees need him and will pay him, and that deal will happen.) Anyhow, I’ve decided that I’m going to post a different Jeter video every night on this blog until the announcement comes down that he’s safely back in the fold – no matter how long it takes. So here’s Video #1. I’d like Cashman and the Steinbrenners to watch it and then try to tell Casey Close with a straight face that his client is just another ballplayer.

My 2010 Thanksgiving Adventure At Rhonda’s

Oh, my. As I explained in yesterday’s post, I drive down to L.A. every year for Turkey Dinner at the home of my friend Rhonda, the Emmy-winning producer of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
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Rhonda (Cubs fan) hosts about 15 people and the food is always to die for, but the experience can be fraught with peril for a Yankee fan. Among those present again this year were Mary Ann (Yankees/baseball hater), along with her son Antonio (Dodger fan). 
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Also in attendance were TV show host and interior designer Jennifer Farrell and her TV producer boyfriend Mike (Cubs fan).
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Two newcomers/innocents this year were Rhonda’s friends Alison and Gail, who read yesterday’s blog and thought it was hilarious but had no inkling of the truly bad blood to come.
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As in past years, Rhonda set a magnificent table for us.
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And the meal was better than ever – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, Brussel sprouts, string bean casserole, salad (and that was AFTER the hors d’oeuvres that consisted of shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and all sorts of delicious cheeses, plus copious amounts of wine and champagne). I don’t remember ever stuffing myself the way I did last night.
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It was during the dessert buffet that things turned ugly. As I mentioned yesterday, I brought a chocolate fudge cake instead of my usual apple pie/tart/crisp because Mary Ann decided to make an apple dessert herself and one-up me. My cake was a big hit, especially with the side of whipped cream. But….well, let me show you.
First, Mike, the Cubs fan, irked me when he brought up Jeter in a taunting, thoroughly irritating way.
He did go on to say that he thought the Yankees should offer Jeter another year and more money, given what he’s meant to the team, but the damage was done; he had raised the dreaded Jeter-as-Red-Sock issue. And so I dragged him over to the dessert buffet, lowered his head into the bowl of whipped cream next to my chocolate cake and made him pay. He’s a nice guy, but a girl’s gotta do…
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I was back at the table, minding my own business and enjoying my dessert, until Mary Ann and I had a testy exchange. She has a lovely smile, but don’t be fooled; she speaks pure poison.
Since she liked my chocolate cake so much, there was only one way to punish her for her Yankees bashing.
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She retaliated by shooting some whipped cream AND chocolate cake at me.
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Even Rhonda’s cat Tooey looked a little frightened.

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Just another Thanksgiving. Can’t wait till next year, although I may not have to. Rhonda invited us all back for Easter. Oh boy.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

As I spend this Thanksgiving eve preparing for tomorrow’s drive down to L.A. for my friend Rhonda’s annual shindig, I thought I should give newcomers to this blog a taste of what went down in 2008. In a nutshell, Michael and I were the lone Yankee fans among a table full of naysayers and I got into it with…Well, take a walk with me down memory lane.
***

My Thanksgiving Saga/Yankees Brawl

My family lives back east, so my husband and I drive down to L.A. every Thanksgiving and celebrate at the home of our friend Rhonda Friedman. Rhonda not only takes in strays like us but prepares a fabulous meal and sets a very elegant, tasteful table – flowers, crystal, candles, the works.

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Rhonda is the supervising producer of the soap opera daytime drama, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She is frequently seen walking the red carpet at Emmy Awards and such.
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Rhonda always presides over a really nice group of people, but occasionally, as on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” there is drama.
This year, along with her family members, we were joined by her friend Jennifer Farrell, who until recently hosted the TV show “Find & Design,” which was like “Extreme Home Makeover” without the “Extreme.”
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Jennifer’s boyfriend Mike was there too. He produces/directs a reality series called “My Big Redneck Wedding” on Country Music TV. I had never heard of it, so I made him say the name of it about six times. Apparently,
it is hosted by this man.
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Also in attendance was Rhonda’s friend Mary Ann, the ex-wife of actor John Saxon. Does anyone remember him from the movies or the zillion TV series he was on?
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So there I was, sipping champagne, eating turkey and minding my own business, when Jennifer’s mom, who was visiting from Florida, said very animatedly, “Jane’s got a book coming out about how she loves the Yankees! I went to my Books-a-Million in Gainesville to buy it, but they don’t have it in stock yet!”

I smiled, eternally grateful that I would have at least one sale, and said, “It doesn’t come out until February 3rd. Maybe you could go back to the store then.”

I resumed eating, this time diving into the stuffing.

“The Yankees are losers,” said somebody down at the other end of the table. It might have been Rob, Rhonda’s brother. Their family is from Chicago and they’re Cubs fans. Or it might have been Mike, Jennifer’s boyfriend, who also roots for the Cubs.

“They had a down year, yes,” I admitted, feeling my blood pressure spike.

“A down year?” said Antonio, the dashingly handsome son of Mary Ann and John Saxon. “They sucked.”

I laughed. Well, it was Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to laugh and be jolly and forgiving.

“Yeah,” Mary Ann chimed in. “What do you think went wrong with them, Jane? Besides the pitching and hitting and fielding.”
O.K. That was downright sarcastic! Never mind that she and her son are Dodgers fans. No excuse for picking on my team during a lovely holiday meal.

I set down my fork and eyed her. “We had a new manager,” I said. “And there were injuries. A lot of injuries.”

“Plus, they sucked,” said Antonio.

Everybody at the table laughed. LAUGHED. Including my husband, a Yankee fan, or so I thought. Would no one but me defend the Pinstriped Ones? 

“We’ll bounce back and be very competitive next season,” I said, my heart thumping now. I was trying to keep it civil. I w
as.

Antonio smirked. “How? You can’t even sign Sabathia.”

Uh-oh. I gripped my champagne glass tightly and said through clenched teeth, “Then we’ll sign one of the other free agents. Lowe, maybe.”

“Lowe?” he said mockingly. “You can have him. He’s garbage.”
“Face it, Jane. The Yankees aren’t what they used to be,” said Mary Ann.

That did it. How dare she? How dare any of them?

I should have attempted to calm myself, done some deep breathing, shoved more food in my mouth. Instead – I’m so embarrassed to tell you this – I threw my champagne at Mary Ann. In turn, she grabbed a handful of candied yams and threw them at me.
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In the blink of an eye, she and I were really going at it.
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Needless to say, Rhonda’s beautiful table was ruined. My apologies to her. I can only hope and pray she’ll overlook my boorishness and invite me back next year.

***

No, nobody got hurt. It was a “fun fight.” When we went to Rhonda’s last year, the Yankees had just won the World Series so you’d think everybody would have been a tiny bit more respectful. Instead, I got an earful about how the my team “bought” a championship, blah blah blah. Enough is enough. This year I’m going armed with the chocolate fudge cake I baked earlier today.
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It’s a recipe from my friend Diane Worthington’s cookbook, Seriously Simple, and it’s incredibly dense with a chocolate walnut glaze. If anyone at Rhonda’s says even one negative thing about the Yankees I’ll pull it off the buffet table, stick it in my car and take it back home with me – plus the whipped cream that goes with it!

Here’s hoping my Thanksgiving – and yours – is full of laughter and good food. (I’ll report on this year’s ad
venture on Friday.) Before I sign off, in the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude, I’d like to give a shout out to Tom Kackley, the equipment/clubhouse manager for the Trenton Yankees. Tom emailed today to tell me about a fantastic auction he runs every year on eBay to raise money for the domestic violence shelter in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. Tom’s wife’s sister was murdered by her husband in ’97 and he felt powerless to help – until he came up with the idea for the auction. This year, it’s going on  until December 1st and there’s all sorts of Yankees memorabilia for sale. Check it out:


For more on the shelter he helps support, here’s the link for it. http://www.domesticviolenceproj.org/

 Enjoy!



Post Yanksgiving Odds and Ends

I don’t know about anyone else, but I spent Black Friday not going shopping. I’m just not into getting stampeded.
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Sitting in my inbox were a few interesting photos. Mike, a frequent commenter, sent me this one of Hilda Chester, who just may have been the original she-fan.
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Hilda rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers – and that’s putting it mildly. After reading this excerpt from Peter Goldenbock’s oral history of the Dodgers, I’m thinking Hilda was even more obsessed with her team than I am with mine.
Melissa, another friend of the blog, sent me a pic her brother took at their Thanksgiving. Apparently, her father had saved newspaper clippings about the Yanks and arranged them in the frame of an old mirror.
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The headline “Gehrig stricken with infantile paralysis” really stands out, doesn’t it? I guess that’s what everybody thought poor Lou had – at least for awhile.
Mary Ann, the trash talker from my Thanksgiving, took time out from saying mean things about the Yankees to send this pic she snapped of me, my husband, and Robert, the Yankee fan.
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I’m posting it because I’d like someone to tell me why my eyes are so scary in every single picture somebody takes of me. I once asked an eye doctor about this and he said, “It’s your pupils. They don’t contract.” Fine. But why must they make me look like a she demon?
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Speaking of “She Demons,” which was a cheesy horror movie from the 1950s, it’s how I came up with the term “she-fan.” You can hear me talking about that – as well as how I became a Yankee fan, the connection between the Mantle and Jeter eras, the journey that led me to write the “Confessions of a She-Fan” book and more – on a podcast hosted by Joe Magennis and just posted on “Baseballisms,” his terrific site. Here’s the link. Even if you’re not interested in hearing me ramble, you should sign up for Joe’s e-book that’s about to come out. It consists of real time Tweets from people on Twitter who were watching the World Series – fans reacting to the action with 140-character responses. It should be entertaining and bring back all the excitement of the Series, which, as we know, had a very happy ending.

My 2009 Thanksgiving Saga

As always, my husband and I went down to LA for Thanksgiving at our friend Rhonda’s house. And as always, she set a beautiful table.
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It’s hard to see in the pic I took, but this year her centerpiece was the Daytime Emmy she won for Best Show. (She produces “The Bold and the Beautiful.”) Talk about hardware. I think it weighed more than this.
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Speaking of the Yankees, no sooner did I sit down at dinner when Mary Ann, my nemesis from last Thanksgiving, started trashing the boys in pinstripes. I had asked her if she wanted to take back what she’d said last year (“The Yankees can’t hit, pitch or run the bases”) in light of our World Series triumph.
“No,” she said. “I still hate the Yankees. They didn’t win the World Series. They bought it.”
OK, I was ready for that. I did my whole speech consisting of all the arguments I’d rehearsed, many of them suggested by readers of this blog. Nothing made a dent.
“Arte Moreno is a much better owner than the Steinbrenners,” she said.
“How many championships have the Angels won?” I asked with a straight face.
“That’s not relevant,” she said. “The Angels are a better team.”
“But the Yankees beat them,” I reminded her.
“If you spend enough money, you can beat anybody,” she replied.
At this point I wanted to leap across Rhonda’s beautiful table and strangle Mary Ann. Instead, respecting my hostess, I asked her if she wanted to take it outside.
“Sure,” she said. “Why not?”
Here’s the result. I’m not proud of what I did, but I had to stick up for my Yankees.
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Yes, that’s me lying in a giant puddle of cranberry sauce. Mary Ann’s son Antonio is sitting in the chair joining his mother in a chant of “Yankees suck.” I wish I could show you the video of the confrontation, but I’d had a glass of champagne and it caused me to inadvertently hit the delete button after I recorded it. Luckily, Mary Ann and I made up before Rhonda took the turkey off the table and we were able to finish dinner without further incident. Except for her Yankee bashing, she’s really a very nice person. And the turkey was exceptionally tasty and perfectly carved.
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As luck would have it, there was a new guest at the table this year – an actor named Robert who lives in LA but who was born and raised in New York. He turned out to be a Yankee fan, thank God, and while everybody else was cleaning up in the kitchen, we talked about our favorite team. He told one story that had everybody laughing, especially given the recent news about the White House party crashers.
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Here’s Robert. I’m very excited about my assignment with him at the 2010 All-Star Game. You’ll understand after watching the vid. I hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving – or, as Robert said, a Happy Yanksgiving. 🙂

15+ Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving (Yankees Edition)

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#1) The Yankees won the World Series. (Duh, but still. It must be said.)
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#2) CC decided to take the Yankees’ money last off-season and moved to New York.
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#3) Tex idolized Mattingly as a kid and and his wife didn’t really want to live in Boston.
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#4) Pettitte finally sat down at the negotiating table and hammered out a deal with the Yankees.


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#5) A.J. didn’t spend his first Yankees season on the DL after all.
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#6) Jeter hardly ever grounded into double plays and passed Gehrig on the hits list.
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#7) A-Rod had an amazing hip surgeon.


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#8) Matsui had an amazing knee drainer.
sink-drainer.jpg#9) Jorge only sparked one fight (that we know about).



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#10) Aceves didn’t mind being Joba’s backup act.
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#11) Hughes took to the bullpen like the proverbial duck to water.
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#12) Melky stepped up when Gardner went down (and vice versa).
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13) Swisher turned out to be way better than Betemit.
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#14) Cano’s batting average took a big jump from the previous year.
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#15) The kids from the farm gave the team energy and depth.


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#16) The Guzman Experiment was short lived.


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#17) Damon stole two bases on one play in Game 4 against Philly.
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#18) Mo was Mo.
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I know. I missed some.
#19) Luis Castillo for dropping that pop-up and allowing the Yankees to beat the Mets. (Suggestion courtesy of @Gehriggirl on Twitter.)
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Only A Few More Days To My Thanksgiving Throwdown

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Long time readers of this blog might remember last year’s Thanksgiving post, when I recounted the trouble I encountered as a Yankee fan at my friend’s Rhonda’s house in LA. (My family is back east, so my husband and I always spend turkey day at her place, where she hosts a beautiful dinner with all of her close friends and family members.)
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Last year, the Yankees didn’t even make the playoffs, so I got an earful from Rhonda and her brother, who grew up in Chicago and are Cubs fans. I also heard it from her friend Mary Ann and her son Antonio, true blue Dodger fans. In fact, just about everybody at the table decided to make the Yankees the punch line of their jokes, and I was stuck defending my team by flashing the tattoo on my leg.
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OK, I don’t have a tattoo but I wished I did. People ended up flinging insults at me and I ended up flinging food at them, and it got ugly.
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This year should be very different, given that the Yankees won the World Series while the Cubs and Dodgers were home playing golf, but will it be? I’m anticipating the following from the hostile crowd:
“They bought the championship.”
“All the umpires’ bad calls went in their favor.”
“Jeter’s old.”
“A-Rod’s a cheater.”
“They bought the championship.”
“Burnett’s a head case.”
“Damon throws like a girl.”
“Teixeira chokes in the clutch.”
“They bought the championship.”
I would prefer a peaceful Thanksgiving, but I just know I’m going to need ammunition on Thursday.
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So if anyone has any great comebacks, I’d be glad to hear them. I do have a weapon I didn’t have last year: the She-Fan Cam.
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If anyone says something malicious about the Yanks, they’ll run the risk of having their foolish remarks published on YouTube, not to mention on this blog. And there’s another reason they should be afraid: I’m in charge of bringing the apple pie this year. If somebody isn’t appropriately respectful, they could wind up with this in their face.
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I really hate to make other people cry, but if I’m pushed….
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Music for Lovers (of the Yankees)

Just a quick post to Yankee fans….If you’re sitting at your family’s turkey dinner and you suddenly find yourself drifting away from the conversation and yearning to be at the Stadium watching your favorite team, here’s a treat.

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Just kidding. I don’t have any tix to give out. But Andrew at Scott Proctor’s Arm posted a Yankees Stadium Soundtrack featuring all the songs we love to love/hate during a game. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving at CC’s Place

The Major League owners met today and officially designated Hal Steinbrenner as the “control person” of the Yankees, officially ending George’s reign of terror tenure as boss. 
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My Hal. He’s something, isn’t he? In his first pronouncement as Control Person, he took a very Georgian stance on the Sabathia situation: “We’ve made him an offer. It’s not going to be there forever.”
In other words, “Hurry up or we’re taking our $140 million off the table.” I like it. Direct. No-nonsense. Even slightly intimidating, judging by Sabathia’s expression here.
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However, CC quickly reminded himself that he still has that backup offer from the Brewers, which gave him the confidence to counter Hal with: “I’m not making any decisions until after Thanksgiving. I’m eating my turkey in peace.”
She-Fan has just learned that when Sabathia said, “my turkey,” he meant it literally. I know it sounds implausible, but while his family shares the turkey his wife Amber labors over every year, the big guy gets a large bird of his own.
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And he finishes it in one sitting. No leftovers! Not even a drumstick! And he polishes off an entire vat of gravy!
I got acid reflux just thinking about this, so I called Amber Sabathia to verify the story. She was extremely friendly and confided, woman to woman, that she often worries about her husband’s cholesterol levels.
“I bet,” I said. “But how do you cook two turkeys at the same time? I’m sure you must have a huge kitchen and lots of household help. Even so, I have trouble making one turkey come out all moist and golden brown.”
That’s when poor Amber broke down in tears. “Thanksgiving is an annual nightmare, if you really want the truth.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I had no idea. Do you want to talk about it?”
“No.” She sighed. “I’ll just email you the video of CC’s turkey from last year. You’ll understand.”
A few minutes later, this landed in my inbox.