Tagged: WBC

She-Fan Exclusive: Japanese Manager Disses Americans

Shortly after Jeter and company were eliminated from the WBC, I fought the crowds at Dodger Stadium and the blustery conditions and found my way into the clubhouse. I made it inside just as the manager of the Japanese team was answering questions posed by the media. Fortunately, I am fluent in Japanese and can interpret everything for the American blogosphere.

She-Fan: “Sir, why do you think you beat Team USA so convincingly?”
Managerアメリカ人weren’ よいt非常に。
(Translation: “The Americans weren’t very good.”)
She-Fan: “Could you be a little more specific?”
Manager彼が打撃練習を投げていたように先発投手、見るローイOswalt。 彼は何も有しなかった。
(Translation: “Their starting pitcher, Roy Oswalt, looked like he was throwing batting practice. He had nothing.”)
She-Fan: “That’s rather harsh, Sir. It wasn’t all Oswalt’s fault.”
Manager本当。 アメリカ人は3つの間違いを作った。 いかに薄く水っい得ることができるか。 Weren’ 巧みなプレーヤーがあるために仮定されるtデイヴィッドライトおよびブライアンロバーツか。 そしていかにデレックJeterについてか。 私に彼はfat.”を見た;
(Translation: “True. The Americans made three errors. How sloppy can you get? Weren’t David Wright and Brian Roberts supposed to be skilled players? And how about Derek Jeter? To me he looked fat.”)
She-Fan: “Fat? Jeter is in great shape, Sir. Well, I guess he could lose a few pounds, but once he’s back in Tampa he’ll – Never mind. Any other comments about the game?”
Manager: エバンLongoriaは主状態で打った。 He’ s子供だけ、権利か。そしてアダムDunnはこと彼を過ぎた球のしたたりの権利認めた。 私達の全チームはそれが起こったときに笑い始めた。
(Translation: “Evan Longoria struck out in a key situation. He’s only a child, right? And Adam Dunn let that ball dribble right past him. Our whole team started laughing when that happened.”)
She-Fan: “Not very good sportsmanship, if you ask me.”
(Translation: “Maybe not, but it was hilarious.”)
She-Fan: “Any thoughts on your match-up against Korea?”
Managerはい。 私はアメリカ人がTVのゲームを見ることをして非常刺激的があり、私が望むことを考えるそれらを。 私達がこと”のそれらの競技者より面白いあなたの読者を言いなさい; アメリカIdol.”
(Translation: “Yes. I think playing them will be very exciting, and I hope the Americans will watch the game on TV. Please tell your readers that we are more entertaining than those contestants on ‘American Idol.'”)
So there you have it – straight from the post-game press conference. I tried to get Jeter to say a few words, but he was on his third Big Mac with fries and didn’t want to be disturbed.

The Yankees/Team USA/The Yankees/Team USA….Help!

With the Yankees in action against the Pirates at the very same time that Team USA was facing elimination against Puerto Rico, I felt compelled to follow both games and, as a result, developed a severe case of split personality.

Part of me was my usual Yankee-centric self, caring only about the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Why shouldn’t I? There was a lot at stake.
Like would CC rebound from his awful outing?
Would Mo throw strikes in his spring training debut?
Would Posada be able to catch without his arm falling off?
There were more plot twists than on this.
Luckily, all was well in Yankeeville as the Bombers beat the Pirates 9-2.
CC went four solid innings, only giving up a run while striking out seven. Sweet.
Mo threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Really sweet.
Jorge’s arm didn’t fall off, and he seemed happy about that.
With the victory sealed, I turned my attention to the goings-on in Miami. As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of the WBC. I think the tournament should be played in December or January, when it wouldn’t conflict with spring training and would provide welcome entertainment for those of us who are starving for baseball at that time of year. But whatever. Team USA was down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth, about to be booted out of the tourney. Up to the plate stepped David Wright.
He may be a Met, but I was rooting for him to do something, anything, to keep Team USA’s hopes alive, even if he does stick out his tongue when he swings the bat.
I yelled at the TV. “WRIGHT, GET A HIT!”
And he did. He went down and got a pitch that was out of the strike zone and golfed it into right for a walk-off single. Game over. Group hug. Everybody pile on.
Yes, my split personality defaulted right back to the Yankees, and my main concern was my Captain.
My husband walked into the room and asked who I was talking to.
“David Wright and Derek Jeter,” I said with a shrug, as if it was obvious.
He rolled his eyes. “I guess I should worry when you start telling me these guys talk back.”
I didn’t dare mention that in my twisted imagination they already do. And I certainly didn’t tell him about the strange thing I did on a basketball court the other day. Take a look, but please keep it to yourself.

Jane’s Addiction


No, my problem isn’t meth. (Let’s root for this lady to get treatment, both for her drug habit and her overuse of blue eye shadow.)
And it’s not this.
I don’t even drink this.

I’m hopelessly hooked on the Yankees, of course. And I need to cut back on my blogging or I’ll lose any semblance of a normal life.
But here’s the source of my latest obsession (besides Xavier Nady): the She-Fan Cam.
flip-video-camcorder-1.jpgLook at it, would you please? It’s smaller than a cell phone and only a little bigger than an iPod, and you can slip it in your pocket and take it anywhere.
I couldn’t get along without it while I was roaming around Tampa last week, and I can’t get along without it now that I’m home.
I’ve had it with me at the supermarket, at the dry cleaner, even at a doctor’s appointment – always in the off-chance that I might get someone somewhere to talk about baseball.
Take today, for instance. My nails looked like hell from so much blogging, so I went for a manicure at the Fess Parker Resort here in Santa Barbara.
Fess Parker Resort.jpg(Yes, for anyone old enough to remember, he’s the same Fess Parker who played Davy Crockett on TV.)
Fess Parker and Betsy gun_crockett-www-tvacres-com.jpgAnyhow, when I arrived at the salon I sat down with Lonnie, my manicurist. As she whipped out her tools, I whipped out the She-Fan Cam.
I tried to convert Lonnie by explaining the finer points of the game, but she said her favorite sport is stretching out on a beach and drinking margaritas. Oh, well.
You know who I’m dying to thrust into the glare of the She-Fan Cam next? This guy.
canoinfield.jpgWhat in the world was Cano thinking? He neglected to tell the Yankees he had a sore shoulder before trotting off to play in the WBC and is now being sent for an MRI? Would I ever like to grill him.
I also wish I could turn the She-Fan Cam on him.
AJ. spring.JPGA.J. had a terrific outing against the Astros. I’d ask him if he would make me a promise to keep throwing filthy stuff and not wind up on the DL.
And finally, I’d have a video chat with the Captain.
JETER-WBC-YANKEES.02.05.09.jpgI’d want to find out what happened against Puerto Rico. A mercy loss. Not good, guys.
P.S. Bob at “The Voice of the Yankees Universe” got a sneak peek inside the new Stadium and took lots of great pix. Have a look.
P.P.S. “Ron Kaplan’s Baseball Bookshelf” posted the audio of an interview with me about my book. Have a listen.

Like CC Sabathia, I Lack “Feel”

In the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to the Tigers today, CC had a five-run meltdown in the second inning and was pulled. After the game, he said he lacked feel but was confident he’d find it. He looks confident, doesn’t he? He’ll be fine. Better than fine.
But what about me? I lack feel as a fan, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find it. I’m speaking of my feel, not for the Yankees, but for the WBC, the tournament I’m supposed to care passionately about but do not. Right this minute, for instance, I’m watching Team USA against Venezuela and I can’t keep my eyes open. In other words, I should be exhibiting the enthusiasm of this fan.
And instead, I’m exhibiting the stupor of this woman.
Perhaps it’s the announcers, who are congenial enough but don’t convey a sense of urgency about the proceedings. Maybe it’s the fact that the Rogers Centre is practically empty and you can hear every whistle and catcall. Or maybe it’s simply that the game has all the thrills of an All-Star event – i.e. I’m not invested in the outcome.
Of course, I love seeing Jeter.
But that’s because he’s a Yankee. The truth is I’d rather be watching him at spring training in Tampa with other Yankees, not galavanting around North America with Dustin Pedroia. I mean, it’s very sweet that they’re bonding, but the person he should be bonding with is this guy.
Tex has been with the team for two minutes. It would be nice if the Captain got to know him before the season starts.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m a complete whiner.
I just want to see the Yankees. That’s all. I think it’s great that the team from the Netherlands has advanced, and other heartwarming stories abound. But I have a one-track mind. I do. It’s the Yankees or nothing for me.

Is There A Full Moon?

Watching Team USA play the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field was enjoyable but weird. It felt as if we had loaned Jeter and his Captain-ness out for an All Star game. 
And what to make of Brett Gardner and his relentlessly hot bat? He has worked his way into my subconscious and is even starting to show up in my dreams.
Then there was the news that A-Rod bolted from the Dominican team after their exhibition game and flew to Vail, Colorado. The reason? No, not a quick ski trip. The problem, apparently, is this.
hip cyst.jpg
I know. The photo looks a lot like a porterhouse, all marbled and fatty, but it’s actually an X-ray of a hip with a cyst. See the cyst right there in the middle? That’s what A-Rod has. So he’s off to consult a doctor named Marc Phillipon.
Yes, you’d be smiling too if you were “one of the world’s leading orthopedic surgeons,” which is how Dr. Phillipon is described on his web site – or, should I say, the web site of the facility where he’s a partner. It’s called the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic. And, no, it’s not named for this man.
The clinic promotes a product line of nutrients and vitamins called “Liquissentials.”
One can only hope that whatever is in them is not banned by Major League Baseball.
Speaking of which, I was settling into my chair tonight to catch the MLB Network’s roundup of the day’s news. Harold Reynolds and the guys were about to discuss the latest in the Dodgers-Manny soap opera when suddenly my TV screen went blank.
And then I heard a man’s voice yell, “Fernando Vina? What the f**k!”
The man was not my husband, either.
Obviously, there was a malfunction in the studio, and somebody F-bombed on national television. Uh-oh. Will there be a fine? A suspension? A public reprimand followed by a tearful apology?
If so, I’ll probably miss it. I’ll be on a plane to Florida, en route to spring training in Tampa and my signing at Barnes & Noble. I don’t like to fly, as anyone who’s read my book already knows, so please send happy thoughts for a flight with no mechanical problems, no flock of geese anywhere near the engines, and no bad plane wine.

On The Eve Of The WBC….My Thoughts About “Age-Gate”

OMG! Jeter will be wearing another uniform when he faces the Yankees!


Honestly, I’ll live. I’m sure the game will be exciting and I’ll watch the tournament with interest. But tonight? I’m thinking about Angel Berroa.
It’s been six long years since he won the Rookie of the Year award with the Royals.
Who would have guessed the Yankees would invite him to spring training to compete for the utility infielder’s job – and that he’d hit a double and a homer in today’s game against the Astros?
Angel, you may remember, ran afoul with MLB in 2002 when he was embroiled in “Age-Gate,” the scandal involving several Latin American players who claimed to be younger than they really were.
Will he win a roster spot with the Yanks? Does it matter how old he is if he can hit the ball and field his position? Do I care if he has an AARP card or uses Botox or covers his gray like the guys in the Just For Men Haircolor commercial?
Another Yankee who was cagey about his age was this guy.
If a pitcher can contort his body into a pretzel like El Duque did and still manage to get batters out, he can be on my team any day.
Less amusing is the case of Esmailyn Gonzalez, the 19-year-old Dominican who scored a $1.4 million signing bonus from the Nationals in 2008.
esmailyn_gonzalez.jpgEsmailyn’s real name turned out to be the far less melodious Carlos Alvarez David Lugo, and he was 23, not 19. The Nats were conned; this kid wasn’t who he said he was.
Still, far be it from me to judge someone who’s trying to climb the corporate ladder by shaving a few years off the resume. It happens every day.
What will really blow my mind is when a female ballplayer from the Dominican comes over here insisting she’s a guy and gets a big contract.
I mean, could you swear this person is a man or a woman? I defy you.
Seriously. Ramon? Or Rosa? You decide. But I’m seeing a faint mustache.

She-Fan Headed For First Stint On Blogger DL!

Wouldn’t you know it? I came into spring training feeling great – in my best shape yet – and was totally ready for the press conferences, the workouts, the obligatory team meetings, everything that accompanies being a Yankee fan. I was even geared up for the WBC, having signed up for MLB.TV Premium and convinced myself that the whole affair wasn’t just a silly exhibition.

But then it happened.

I experienced a sharp, searing pain in my lower left molar.
I’m talking about this kind of torture.
I whined to my husband Michael, who suggested various home remedies.
Ultimately, I had no choice but to submit to an examination by an actual dentist – something I dread almost as much as facing Roy Halladay.
The diagnosis? A cracked tooth and…”pulp death.”
“You need a root canal,” said the dentist, who launched into a description of the procedure.
I demanded a second opinion. “I’m flying to Birmingham, Alabama,” I said defiantly. “Dr. James Andrews will know if I need surgery or not.”
The dentist laughed and said I could get a second opinion if I really wanted one but that my toothache would only worsen as the day went on.
“Fine,” I said. “Schedule it. But I’m not missing significant time with my team.”
“Never mind.”
So I’m set for tomorrow – 1 p.m. Pacific Time – and I’d better not miss anything big while I’m in the chair utterly helpless like this guy.
No steroids revelations. No Manny signing. No anything until I’m back on my feet.
And that could take awhile. I assume I’ll be out of it in the car going home.
And then I’ll probably sleep off the Vicodin for a few hours.
But as soon as I come to, I’ll be at the computer, I swear. This game is about playing the right way, no excuses or shortcuts, even if it means blogging hurt.

So What If A-Rod Wants to Play for the Dominican Team?

In case anyone missed it, David Ortiz, who has been described as a “close friend” of the Yankees third baseman, said A-Rod will play for the Dominican team in the 2009 WBC, not the American team. This news indicates a change of heart for A-Rod, who, after much soul-searching, decided to play for the American team last time around.
So is Alex Rodriguez American, Dominican or bi? And should we care? Is it any of our business?

In his column on Yahoo Sports, Jeff Passan makes a federal case out of the subject, announcing that A-Rod is having an identity crisis and should be institutionalized. (O.K. I’m exaggerating about the padded cell part, but only slightly.) Well, excuse me, Jeff, but why can’t a player have an allegiance to both the country of his birth as well as the country of his heritage? While it’s true that he grew up mostly in the U.S., his parents, Lourdes and Victor, are from the Dominican. What’s wrong with honoring their culture, their customs, their affinity for spicy, heartburn-inducing foods? 
I say you can’t know what somebody else is going through unless you walk in their shoes.
If I were playing in the WBC, which team would I play for?
I was born and raised in America, so that would be the easy choice.

But my ancestors came from Germany. I don’t speak German. I don’t hang out with Germans. I’m afraid of German shepherds. But I do have a fondness for sauerkraut, Wiener schnitzel and apple strudel.
I also drive a fast German car, use dishwasher-safe German dishes and keep my house so neat and orderly and Germanic you wouldn’t know anyone lived there. Plus, I do a very entertaining imitation of Colonel Klink from “Hogan’s Heroes.”
Perhaps I am bi, just like A-Rod, and maybe I should play for the German team in the WBC (if there were a German team).
I’m just pointing out that these are not simple matters, so lay off A-Rod, Jeff Passan.
Speaking of not simple matters, I went to a screening of the new Brad Pitt movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” It opens December 25th and also stars Cate Blanchett. It’s nearly three hours of BOREDOM. It’ll probably get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but it was what I call a 12-watch looker (I looked at my watch 12 times). See at your own risk.