The Yankees beat the Tigers on a game-ending balk by Luis Marte, scoring Zelous Wheeler in the bottom of the ninth.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Sorry Bernie and Donnie, but the Gammonites of Gotham are ready to vote Tanaka into Cooperstown right now
If Freddy Galvis had gone downtown against CC Sabathia, we would face concerns today about CC's diminished fastball. If Mr. Fred had hit it against David Phelps, questions would circulate about Phelps' standing as fifth starter. If the Big G had hit it off Michael Pineda, Brian Cashman would have swam home to Tampa from Clearwater.
Fortunately, he hit it off Masahiro Tanaka, whom the New York sportswriters have been trained to praise in a pitch-perfect chorus. Nobody saw it. Nobody cared. Not only did they praise Tanaka, but they went to the opposing team to garner more accolades. (Last time I looked, there are seldom more generous critics than players who just faced off against an opponent. Do you ever see them knock a guy?) Oh well...
Newsday: "... impressed both teams and the scouts..."
Times: "... another strong outing..."
Daily News John Harper: "...is already offering reason to believe he’ll live up to the hype that follows him from Japan, not to mention his $155 million contract.
Star-Ledger: "... he was terrific."
Marlon Byrd: "His fastball is explosive."
Ryan Howard: "He has control of the fastball."
Mark Teixeira: "He looked great."
Freddy Galvis: "He's got really good stuff."
Larry Rothschild: "I am not worried."
No. Yankee pitching coach Larry Rotchschild is not worried. Nor should he be.
Of course, nothing can be gleaned from the second outing of spring training. Nothing either way. It's just a hoop that Tanaka must jump through. Still, it's troubling when the entirity of the NY sports media is sure of something. That's what bothers me.
They were sure the Knicks would improve with Carmelo.
They were sure the Jets were rising under Rex Ryan.
They were sure about Granderson, Pavano, Randy Johnson and all the rest.
This we know: Fate is a maniac.
In 2014, nothing is certain about the Yankees. If we're lucky, Tanaka could be the Second Coming of Yu Darvish. And if so, that means some tough outings in the early summer. Freddy Galvis is the first guy to wallop a home run off him. He won't be the last. Let's not enshrine Tanaka too soon. Let's not even write him into the rotation just yet. He has a long way to go. He doesn't need hollow accolades.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
According to HSN, (the Howard Stern News network), late
night pin-up gorgon Chelsea Handler recently encountered Alex Rodriguez at a
party, when he approached her and asked - quoting now: “Chelsea, why do you
have to make fun of me all the time?”
I can picture A-Rod doing that. He’s wearing that droopy, sad puppy smile, the look when he’s going to strike out, but he hasn’t done it yet. His hands are clasped. He's whining again. He’s staring at the pitcher, King Felix, while all hope has drained from his once-mighty bat. He's not with Kate Hudson anymore. He's in the big leagues. This is Chelsea Handler.
According to Chelsea, Chelsea then said, “Get away from me, you’re disgusting. You’re gross.” She called him a “buffoon” and a “f—king a-hole.” (I’m not sure if a-hole was a humorous play on words, because she is a comedienne.) If she had a phone, or rolled-up newspaper, she would have beaten him with it. It’s not certain how A-Rod reacted to this complete humliation, but I think we've all an image in our minds: As he walks back to the dugout, carrying his bat, he glances back once, to gaze at her. Then he takes his spot on the pine with all the other rejected suitors, and a long line it is, because after all, this is not Cameron Diaz or Madonna. This is Chelsea Handler.
Speaking on behalf of humanity, I hereby applaud Chelsea Handler for showing the discipline to turn her back on a 6’3,” genetically honed, super-athletic, billionaire stud muffin, who may or may not have had other notions on that night - ideas he would have gleaned from Chelsea Handler’s memoirs or her show. Nevertheless, she “came through" in the clutch.
A one-night "Chelsea moment" for A-Rod could have been the worst thing, not only for civilization, but for the Yankees. Remember: We still have the bum under contract through 2016. Unless Kelly Johnson turns into Brooks Robinson, we’re still keeping third base open for A-Rod. The last thing Alex needed was Chelsea Ballhandler looking increasingly pregnant - and angry about it - while he hikes the comeback trail. And who knows? Maybe his stunning humiliation will cause him to push harder during workouts. Maybe a year from now, when he comes to bat in Tampa, he’ll look into the crowd and think, “OK, Chelsea, handle THIS.”
Now, philosophical question: What happens if A-Rod propositions Ellen Degeneres?
Last year, Lyle Overbay slowly captured our hearts, by over-achieving and hustling. But it was for nothing. We missed the playoffs. It wasn’t Lyle’s fault. He just wasn’t Tex. This year, it might be Russ Canzler, or probably somebody fresh from the scrapheap. But if Tex cannot play, the Yankees will be hard-pressed to win 85 games. In fact, they would be far more likely to suffer a complete, Met-like meltdown than to see a resurgence in the AL East.
So bring your juju to the radio or TV. It’s Tex Day, everybody. And from now on, every day is Tex Day. Until the day it’s not. And then we are screwed.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
It is really cool that YES is broadcasting games from Tampa. I can sit at a bar in my basement, suck down crown royals, snarf jalepena pickled eggs and cram popcorn into my mouth, without getting pissed off at a single fan.
I loved watching that AAA pick-up, Dean Anna, with the .410 on-base percentage strike out twice in a row. Guess he left some of the magic back on the coast.
Also, who is that guy Yangurla, and what if he goes 28-30? Does he get a shot? Sure he does; at Scranton. We would rather keep Ichiro to kill rallies.
I still like the Murphy kid, whatever he wants to call himself. And Almonte should be considered seriously for a spot.
Anyone want to comment on LaRoux? He has been lights out in the two outings I watched.
No shot. I know. Scranton or Trenton to wither.
I am starting an amber alert on Tyler Austin and Slade Heathcott.
Gary Sanchez can also strike out with the best of them.
Lucky we got the bald guy.
Meaningless fact that I hesitate to mention: Derek Jeter is 0-for-9 with three groundball double plays.
So there is NO REASON we should worry about the fact that he is 0-for-9 on the season with three double plays. NONE, WHATSOEFFINGEVER. Frankly, we should NOT EVEN MENTION IT, much less dwell upon it. He is ridding excess DP grounders from his system, exorcizing unwanted demons from his bat. DO NOT WORRY. Everything will be fine. OK? This is Derek Jeter we are talking about. THIS IS NOT DEAN ANNA. If it were Dean Anna, I would say, “Buy this man a ticket to Scranton, so we shall never have to see his pinstriped plumage again.” But the name is Jeter. Got that? J-E-T-E-R. He’ll be fine. Clip this and save it. HE. WILL. BE. FINE.
Did you hear me? I said he will be fine. So stop reading. There is nothing here to read. There is nothing here to see. I SAID HE WILL BE FINE. DO YOU EVEN UNDERSTAND ENGLISH? ARE YOU SIMPLY SITTING ON THIS WEBSITE, LOOKING AT THE PICTURES? THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE. DEREK JETER WILL BE FINE.
Oh, I get it. You’re being stubborn? You’re wondering if I’m going to mention the fact that utility infielder Yangeroo Solartullah (or something like that, I could look it up, but out of principle, I won’t) is now 7 for 9. What if Yangerula was bitten by a radioactive spider and now has spider strength and agility? What if he was shaking hands with Jeter at the precise moment that lightning flashed, and all of Jeter’s superpowers were transferred into his body? Well, it didn’t happen. Understand? It’s the first five games of spring training. If in July, Derek Jeter is 0-for-145 with 60 ground ball double plays, come and talk to me then. At that point, maybe we’ll start worrying. Maybe. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT NOW.
A big one-for-three will clear up everything. Besides, 0-for-nine is just an abstraction, a number analysis that does not characterize the quality of at-bats and placement of the ball. If those double play balls had hit a pebble and bounced into the outfield, he would now be 3 for 9, and we’d be talking about how hot he is. Oh for nine? Three groundball double plays. Big deal. Pass the meat loaf.
What does it mean?
What should we do?
Whose name should we not even mention?
When should we never not stop worrying?
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Ah, greetings, dearest Seattle, (aka: "Sleepless In..."), and
congrats again on winning the 2014 Super Bowl. May your concussions go away in
time for training camp.
When I think of you, I think of Bill and Melinda Gates' continuing campaigns on behalf of humanity, the cool, Emerald City that gave us Windows ’95 and Courtney Love… the town that will get to watch Robbie Cano run to first and say, “WTF? He’s… jogging?” and the once-domed baseball fan base that still has one remaining obligation to the world.
Monday, March 3, 2014
I have now seen two complete games on the YES network. Maybe three.
I have observed the following:
1. Corbin Joseph has been our toughest out. He has had good, tough at bats. He is now playing FB in a desperate attempt to have back-up value.
2. Austine Romine's offensive debut consisted of standing at the plate and watching three strikes go by. Great eye there Austin.
3. While everyone has put away any concerns about Derek's ability to run ( ankle, muscles, etc ), I have observed a pretty slow guy busting it to first base. He may just smack into a ton of double plays.
4. Ryan Joseph Murphy? Ryan James Murphy? He has been pretty good in his at bats and also looks decent catching. His mother didn't like the handle, "RJ." No matter; if he is good will will surely trade him. And he is in that historic photo with Mariano. Worth a career.
5. Francisco is, for sure, our number two catcher this year. Until he gets injured ( let's cut him a break this year, okay baseball diety? ).
6. I have only seen Derek and Gardy play, amongst all the " big names" ; the Beltrans, that Red Sox guy, Tex, etc. Ichiro still looks like he will never walk, and is a slap hitter whose biggest threat is the infield single.
7. Some infielder from San Diego made a great play. Then booted a routine grounder, just like
Nunez ( no sign of him either ).
8. Mason Williams looks decent in CF, but he can't hit at all. Biggest offensive punch in two games was a dribbler to the mound for a double play.
9. Where is Tyler Austin? Where is Slade?
10. Finally saw what's his name ( the switch hitting OF who had a great off season in Venezuela, and hit about .275 for the Yanks for a month or so last season ) but he did dick, hitting once from the left side.
11. Some no name has two home runs already.
12. The Pineda thing ( pitching two innings in a SIM game ) is ominous. I still say; he doesn't pitch for the Yankees.
13. Bettances has a good line, so far. But he doesn't strike guys out. They hit him hard. I say he fails.
Yanks are on again today at 1pm if you get YES.
Listen: We all want Pineda to succeed. I will happily apologize for every snarky word ever written about the guy, if he becomes a real MLB pitcher, like the one he supposedly was in Seattle. If Pineda could be a Number One or Number Two starter, the Yankees could win the AL East this year. That’s the kind of splash he would make on this franchise.
All right, no more talk about shortstops who came
over on the Mayflower. Not after watching Kim Novak last night on the Oscars. All
Derek Jeter needs is a Lifestyle Lift – (Debbie Boone had one!) -and we’ll be
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Shuttered Bronx strip club could become church
Platinum Pleasures, the last remaining strip club in Hunts Point, has shut its doors — but in lieu of lap dances, a neighborhood pastor wants to turn the former jiggle joint into a place of worship.Skyrocketing rents leave more Bronx families in cold
Skyrocketing rents are helping to push a growing number of Bronx families into homelessness, stretching resources even thinner in the borough that already counts the highest number of occupants in the city shelter system.
Although the county is one of the nation's poorest, the paper reports, it's also the third-most dense, so developers see an opportunity for customers to make a lot of lower-priced purchases that still add up to big bucks.
Police are now searching for the suspect, described as about 5'7" to 5'8" tall and stocky in build. He was last seen wearing a multi-colored dress with a black hooded jacket and a red hooded coat.
Few positions appear rock solid through the next millennium. But if we’re not stuffed to the wheelhouse with catchers, then take me to the train station and unhitch my red caboose, because my loco engine has run off the rails. (I have no clue what that metaphor means, but it sounded good coming off the bat.)