Wednesday, February 29, 2012
2. Jones’ Locker
3. ... And Goliath
2. Does said Ban include all pass-through clubhouse personnel - including groundskeepers, writers, celebrities, dealers, wives, sex toys and entourage hangers-on?
3. In cases of booze found, will said Contraband be rendered unusable through the application of a "traffic boot" system or can it be quickly swallowed?
4. Is there an official bell or buzzer that will signify the ending of a game, signaling the time for legally chugging spirits?
5. If a player stashes bottles or cans in his rectum, will he be subject to invasive searches?
6. What provisions will be made to ensure confiscated properties are maintained at proper temperatures to avoid skunkiness?
7. Will the ban extend to Pawtucket, where alcoholic beverages are a crucial element of rehabilitation assignments?
8. Will the team ban beer and wine ads during games, so players are not encouraged to break said Ban?
10. Will said Ban include LSD, ectasy, mushrooms, peyote and other halucinogenic substances regularly supplied by Managment?
I decided you should hear this from me before it hits the networks.
Friday, I was involved in a loud, abrasive confrontation - mentally - with Baltimore manager Buck Showalter at the Orioles spring training camp in Sarasota. It started innocently. I was minding my business, taking harmless photographs, when suddenly, Showalter burst boarishly into my field of vision.
"DON'T WALK AWAY FROM ME!" I screamed, silently. "YOU BLEW THE 1995 PLAYOFFS BY OVERPITCHING WETTELAND AND CONE, AND YOU DIDN'T KNOW ENOUGH TO PITCH AROUND GRIFFEY. MY DOG COULD SEE THE IDIOCY IN PITCHING TO GRIFFEY, A PERSON LYING IN A COMA IN A HOSPITAL BED WOULD KNOW BETTER, BUT YOU PITCHED TO HIM! THANK YOU, MANAGER OF THE YEAR! YOU REALLY NAVIGATED THAT ONE!"
He just rode off, as if nothing happened. Amazing.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The new media guides are here!
Dice-K pleased with first spring outing
Papi homers, Miller dazzles as Sox beat Twins
A-Gonz improving; CC set for Sox debut
Sox showcase top 3 lineup spots
Salty gets his work in
Note: there will be no One Year Ago Today tomorrow. First to guess why wins The Mayor's Cup.*
*Not an actual cup.
Yesterday, Boston announced it will cap its tap to players during games, a temperance move that Terry Francona - the latest ESPN Redsock mascot - calls a PR stunt, like having Jennifer Lopez show quarter-nip at the Oscars. Well, if it was a stunt, it worked: Captain Jason Varitek was out the door faster than anybody could say, "I'll have another."
There's a baseball zen saying to this: Clubhouse beer is brewed with bad hops.
Still, Boston apparently isn't ready to exorcize its real demon: Big C Clucky. Bobby V isn't going to ban fried chicken, an addiciton too powerful to be addressed. If they cut Clucky, Josh Beckett would fly the coop.
This year, no Boston player will wear a "C" on his jersey. But he'll have one waiting at the sixth inning buffet.
Monday, February 27, 2012
(... and hey, Deadspin: Jose was our self-help guru way before you jumped on the bandwagon)
2. The guy hates Braun. Maybe it's over a woman. Yeah, it's gotta be a woman. She's really hot, and she pit the two of them to fight, just for her amusement. When Braun won MVP, she chose him. So the guy hates Braun and has plotted for months to bring him down. Once he learned Braun needed to pee for tests, everything fell into place. You know what they say: Revenge is a beaker best served warm!
3. The guy is a dolt, one of those funny, almost loveable sidekicks that the master villains have in Disney movies. He was supposed to steal Braun's urine and take out any foreign substances (which might have occurred naturally, because Braun certainly doesn't use boosters). Instead, the idiot messed up and added testoserone. But hell, he's got an amusing laugh. Braun probably cracks him over the head 20 times a day with an ashtray and says, "You eeeeeeeembecile!"
4. Come on, be honest, guys: Don't we all think of stealing urine and boosting it with steroids? I know I do - five times a day, more on weekends. Anybody who claims he doesn't: He's lying. Guys, it's 2012. It's time to talk openly. Come clean. We can't hide it forever. It's not going away.
5. It was a good-natured practical joke between two grand old scoundrels. Braun started it two years ago, when he subscribed the guy to a bunch of man-boy love magazines, which arrived at the guy's workplace. Then the guy left a flaming bag of dogpoo on Braun's front porch, and videoed him stomping it out. Then Braun called and got him to page "Jack Meoff?" The guy had to get Braun back -- and he did!
6. There is a little known black market for celebrity urine - the hotter the better - and the guy was trying to cash in. Braun's urine would go for $500 an ounce - if clean. But if juiced, it's worth $4,000. I myself have some 1997 Sylvester Stallone Rocky V clean urine, though it was collected after he ate asparagas. I bring it out for special occasions - the smell is incredible, and I shoot LED lasers through it to amplify the salt crystals. It's absolutely priceless.
7. The guy hates the city of Milwaukee. (Maybe he's from Skogie.) He would do anything to hurt Milwaukee. Anything. His apartment has an entire wall of news clippings about Milwaukee, with the faces cut out and distorted Biblical passages scrawled in the margins -- stuff like, "As ye sew, so shall Milwaukee burn!"
8. The guy is a terrorist, pure and simple. He trained in one of those camps in Afghanistan. They taught him how to destroy major American institutions. Urine theft and pee boosting is one of the newer techniques of mass destruction. There is about to be a wave of them.
9. The guy is a paid hit man, under the new Theo Epstein regime in Chicago. Get used to this stuff, folks. The old, easygoing National League Central is about to change. They're going to see what it's like to play AL East style ball.
10. He doesn't know why he did it. A voice in his head just said, "You must steal Ryan Braun's pee and then boost it with performance enhancing drugs." The voice sounded like William Shatner. Who would ignore an order from Captain Kirk?
But still, I'm betting it's about a woman.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
While Captain Jason Varitek snubs Boston's spring training invitation, his #1 fan shutters her website:
My contract with the website's hosting company expires tomorrow, February 26th. I will not be renewing the contract.
5. Kevin Millwood - 37, on life-support last year. Drilled in Scranton. Drilled in Pawtucket. Won 4 games for Rockies in miserable NL West. On life-support again.
4. Pedro Feliciano - 34 and hurt. Cashman's huge mistake. We'll be lucky if he ever throws a pitch for us.
3. Jamie Moyer - 49, and hasn't pitched since 2010. Born during administration of John F. Kennedy. Benjamin Button, he's not. Billy Crystal had as much chance of making a roster.
2. Andy Tracy, 37, Reno Whatevers, last year's oldest living minor leaguer. He could run for school board. Plays 1B, for whatever it's worth.
1. Our boy, of course. The Chemist. Do I have to say the name? Goodnight hugs.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Fine. OK. So be it. But I wonder how the Gammonites would react to such a move if it involved Arod or Giambi - or any Yankee for that matter - rather than a college-Hollywood-golden boy from Milwaukee. Actually, it's not hard to imagine what they would say. Look at the way the Republican Presidential candidates describe anything done by Obama. That's how the sportswriters would be wailing, if only they could get Arod in their crosshairs.
Remember how indignant they were several years ago, when Arod was the victim of an actual conspiracy: Somebody leaked (no pun intended) the results of his drug tests, which had been taken along with hundreds of other under the full guarantee of secrecy. His were made public. Why? Because he's Arod. That's why. All the others who failed their drug tests - think: Milwaukee Brewers, etc. -- stayed secret. They set up a dungeon and waited for Alex to appear in camp, where he apologized, and they each could render their all-consuming eternal judgment. Some sportwriters will say Alex will never make the Hall of Fame because of the taint of performance enhancing drugs.
But Ryan Braun and his lawyers can walk in the front door. He's off the hook. He can look into the camera and swear to God that he never used PEDs, and that he was the victim of a conspiracy.
Friday, February 24, 2012
As stated above.
But this winter, the Yankees extended unto Arod the kind of loyalty that only a moose shows for his flying squirrel. They traded the next great hitter - a DH - so Alex would have a landing strip for the next few years on his ridiculous contract. If Jesus Montero remained, Arod would have to compete for at-bats, and it eventually would be a losing battle. With Montero in Seattle, Arod has a clear path to the DH. He might not need it this year, but he will soon. Whenever he steps to the plate as DH, it will because the Yankees traded a great prospect to make a place for him. He must never forget that.
And it goes beyond running out grounders. Alex must become a de facto second captain of the Yankees. He must serve as Jeter's lieutenant, nurturing young players and maybe calling out others who aren't performing. He has to always be a positive player, not a distraction. He owes the Yankees this, and I think he will fulfill that obligation.
Bu one more thing - and here's where it gets dicey. When the time comes that Alex can't hit, and another DH comes through the door, Arod has to walk away. He must leave the kind of money none of us will make in our lives - even if it means living hand-to-mouth in cardboard boxes on the street. He needs to retire gracefully, an NY on his plaque in the Hall of Fame. He needs to reciprocate in the loyalty the Yankees showed him.
I doubt many fans expect him to do this. I think he will. I don't think he wants to be riding the bench with an average in Lenn Sakata land. It would be like jogging out grounders. It just doesn't happen.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Ortiz: This lineup is dangerous
Crawford: The Yankees were 'never an option.'
Tito: 2011 Sox are perfect role players
'Glee' stars show their Sox“You can have some guys that maybe don’t always have the team’s goals the same but they better really be good. And we’ve had that sometimes in the past,” Francona said. “It’s not a perfect world but it certainly makes for a much better atmosphere when you have guys that care about winning.“It sets the tone for young guys better buy in. It’s a heckuva a lot easier for me to make examples of people when you have veterans running around working harder than anybody in camp.”
Yesterday, the news broke that a Cubs fan bought the domain name for Boston's minor league complex in sunny Whateverville, Florida, so anybody who clicks on the link is sent to the Yankees website. Because I'm temporarilly dislocated from the prime IIHIIFIIc headquarters, atop Mount Steinlympus, I cannot link to the pertinent news story. You'll have to take my word.
But listen: This is how we restore America's future (which is going to be the name of our Yankee super pac). One of our fans shoots Gaddafi, and a Cub fan pays us back with a kick to Boston's billiards. It's called doing a good deed, folks. So if you happen to be killing a foreign dictator, or prepping a world tour (Bruce Springsteen, Yankee fan) or working for global peace (Hillary Clinton, Yankee fan), or just saving families (Jerry Springer, Yankee fan), wear the cap. If possible, day glow blue-white face paint is always stylish. Pay it forward, Yankiverse. It might save another September.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Last season, for maybe the first time since 1995, we celebrated a mini-youth wave - Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, David Robertson, Ivan Nova. Without them, God knows where we would have finished. And the best part of this wave was that it seemed like only the tip. There was so much more to come.
Well, that was last year. With the signings (impending) of Eric Chavez, Bill Hall, Raul Ibanez, Andrew Jones and Hiroki Kurado, plus the trade of Jesus Montero, we seem to have regressed into the 1980s, when the stars of Columbus might as well buy houses there and run for school board.
Most notably, consider Brandon Laird, who has "Mike Lowell" written all over him. Been in Scranton two years, won the Triple A gold glove at third, played great defense last September in his cup of coffee, and now must either return to the Traveling Wilkes Barres or get traded for an Ed Yarnell.
Then there is Ramiro Pena, who frankly, his ship has sailed. He's the slick-fielding utilitiy shortstop version of Shelley Duncan. Doesn't matter what he does at Scranton. Going nowhere. It's just a matter of playing out his required options, until the day he can sign with a team that gives him a chance. Won't be us.
Jorge Vazquez, the legendary Mexican slugger? In two years, he has hit all the homeruns anybody could at Scranton. He's the Mexican version of Shelley Duncan. But unless an asteroid hits one side of the Yankee compound, he has no future with the team. Nope. Got a hole in his swing. Forgetaboutit.
And the starting pitchers - David Phelps, DJ Mitchell, et al: Stuck in Scrantonless Scranton.
Listen: It's a long season, and injuries to anybody (Talking to you, Mr. Chavez) could vault one of these guys into the starting lineup. And it's good to deep. But the NY Giants last year won the Super Bowl in part because Victor Cruz came out of nowhere to become a star. The Knicks, for the first time in eons, have a chance - because of Jeremy Lin. To win the World Series, a team needs emerging young talent. You just can't do it with a bunch of old guys.
So who will emerge from the Yankee system this year? Bill Hall?
Betances and Baneulos look like our only hopes. Everybody else? Buy a home in Scranton and run for school board.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Joe DeLessio wonders what John will say when Ibanez hits a home run.
How about this:
NO MORE BLAMIN' FOR NOT BEIN' JOHNNY DAMON!
Monday, February 20, 2012
Shaughnessy: Sunshine in Red Sox camp is blinding
Are the Red Sox starters the best in baseball?
Jeter on the Sox: 'Their team is great'
Teixeira, Cashman: 'We're the underdog'
Ortiz flashes some leather at first base
Sox players 'fans' of Henry, Werner and Lucchino
Finish line not necessarily imminent for Jason Varitek
I can relate. Go tramping around in a poorly-fitted sandal, and by the end of the weekend, you'll have a blister the size of Kim Kardashian's vagina, and it will be screaming just as loudly. It will rub and rub and rub - over and over and over -- my worst spot is atop the big toe - and your dogs will be growling. Forget walking. It's like stepping onto broken glass. All you can do is lie around the house in socks. And that takes a toll on any family. I've been there. I know this from experience. I too have known such a sandal.
Still - and I'm not judging anybody here - you have to wonder why Cashman didn't see this coming and have on-hand an extra pair of sneakers? Never put yourself in a position where a public sandal can bring you down.
It's good that he can talk about it in public. I know it's helped me, just knowing I'm not alone. Let's hope his healing process can begin. It's time for a visit from the good Dr. Scholls.
Nevertheless, they have one last chance this winter to redeem their sorry souls.
But first, an honest winter recap: They spent the bucks to keep CC. Kudos to the chef. And we were never going to chase Pujols, Fielder, Ortiz, Puckerface Papelbon or CJ Wilson - leading candidate for the 2012 Carl Pavano Award. Considering Kei Igawa, we had no reason to charge into that Japanese Ponzy scheme to peddle Yu Darvish. And the Cuban five-tool gym rat, Humanis Centepedes, (who couldn't hit a lick in winter ball,) didn't fit our needs. Besides, he didn't hit a lick in winter ball.
But there is one acquisition left on the board: Jorge Soler, the strapping 19-year-old from Cuba, who some scouts claim has the biggest upside of all. For him, no sealed bids. No need to assess his talents through a video. And we have a dearth of high-ceiling outfielders in our system. A splash of dollars for Soler won't affect our luxury taxes. All we need to do is want him.
Therein lies the question. How badly do the Yankee owners want to win?
Last week, we gave AJ Burnett for probably the worst Moreno ever from Pittsburgh, and considering Omar, that's a low bar. Now, we're bent on saving a few cents by ditching the great Johnny Damon for the uninspiring Raul Ibanez. We'll see how that works. But every time Raul comes up in the 9th with the bases loaded and two outs, we can ponder the notion that it could have been Johnny Damon. But, hey, we're saving a few bucks!
Therein lies two more questions: Did we pinch those fukking pennies so the nameless owners can upgrade their lake house 3D home entertainment theaters? Or were we planning to invest in Jorge Soler?
If we get Soler, whenever Ibanez strikes out, we can think - oh well - at least we got that kid in the minors; it wasn't a total loss of a winter.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
CC is the skinny guy on the right. Link
If you were still wondering if Old George is truly dead - that he might be living on some remote island where his plane crashed with a bunch of TVgenic mystery characters - give it up. We now have the satellite photos that prove the Yankees have gone from a passion-fueled franchise to a soul-less, spreadsheeted corporation that would build an army of orcs, if it could save ten dollars on Purina Orc Chow.
George loved to bring old Yankees back for a last chance. Try to imagine him telling Johnny Damon - as Brian Cashman did this week - that his great games for the Yankees means nothing, that on the basis of some scouting report, or some memo, the Yankees prefered a National Leaguer over an old teammate, one who helped lead us from a dark period.
I recognize it's a business. Also, as has been often stated, this blog is about Yankee Ids - we don't pretend to be scouts, or analysts, or sportswriters, or mathematicians. It's a passion blog. And the Yankees right now - being led by an executive clearly trying to keep personal passions to a minimum - look like a joyless and brutal organization.
Well, maybe it'll work. Maybe we'll win. I promise not to root against Ibanez, or Pineda, or anybody else we bring in at the expense of old friends. But George Steinbrenner, for all his foibles, would never have let Brian Cashman take the phone call from Johnny Damon. He would have taken it himself, and we'd have Johnny on a plane to New York within an hour. Moreover, Johnny would make damn certain - as we all suspect he will in 2012 - that he outhits Raul Ibanez, to show the Yankees who they should have signed.
Wait a minute. Lady Liberty would look incredible with a boob job.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
But nobody thought Tim Wakefield would ever quit. He was our constant, our one certainty. He was to baseball what the speed of light was to Einstein.
Watching Wakefield repeatedly get hammered in pursuit of his 200th win was one of the most enjoyable aspects of 2011, a year that was going to be remembered for two events: The Redsock collapse and the debut of Jesus Montero. Oh well. One of my great winter hopes was that "Wake" would soft-toss with his great-grandchildren and think himself a spry 43-year-old again, and decide to come back and save the team. His battle with a sore elbow and first-stage dimensia would bring a grin to every Yankee fan who can remember the last days of Dave LaPoint.
Well, truth be told, Tim Wakefield kicked our asses. We must never forget 2004. In fact, he needed 10 more years of rank mediocrity before the ledger balanced out for that Yankee collapse, which he helped orchestrate.
But who carries a grudge? Not me. In fact, I would like to see us hire him to run a secret Yankee Youth Academy that teaches the black art of throwing the knuckleball. It should be built inside a mountain. Seeing as how we're selling livestock these days, we ought to use our mone for something.
Wake is gone. Another one bites the dust. But get this: Yesterday, Boston invited Varitek to camp. Our last chance for revenge...
Friday, February 17, 2012
What in the name of Ron Klimkowski is going on?
They're saying we got a guy named Moreno for AJ Burnett.
He’s 25 and pitched four years at Single A in the Pirates' gulag. There's another guy involved, and I'm sure their combined ages total more than 50.
Four years at single A in the Pirates' gulag.
Four years at single A. In the Pirates’ gulag.
A plate of clams. We traded AJ Burnett for a plate of clams.
When we started this winter, our DH was the most exciting young hitter in baseball, a name that excited Yankee fans everywhere, who roused two home run curtain calls on his first day in active pinstripes. Now, it looks like the DH rathole is going to be Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez, whose batting averages - added together - will likely be shy of .500. What an exciting lineup! And if Michael Pineda tanks, we'll have Freddy Garcia as our second starter. What an exciting team!
A 25-year-old Single A pitcher. What a deal! And soon, Raul Ibanez! Thanks, Cash! You really have us amped for Opening Day!
(Scene, dark airport, small plane pulls into view. In trenchcoat, Brian Cashman appears from the fog. Looking beautiful, AJ Burnett hugs him. He places a letter of transit into AJ's trembling hands.)AJ: Brian, please. After these last few days of negotiations, I've made up my mind, I want to stay with you.
AJ: No, I'll reject it... just like I did LA!
Cash: Now, you’ve got to listen to me! Do you have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, you’d end up in the bullpen. Or rehabbing in Scranton. And they don't even have a stadium! You'd be stuck there the rest of your life. AJ Igawa! Isn’t that true?
AJ: You're just saying that to make me feel better...
Cash: I’m saying it because it’s true! Inside of us, we both know you belong in the National League Central. You'll become part of Pittsburgh, you’ll throw 200 innings, you'll be the Pirate pie-man. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not on it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your career.
Cash: We’ll always have Phily. Well, I thought we'd always have it, then you got lit up last October. Listen, I’ve got a job to do, and a stalker to shed. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, find a left-handed DH and a backup infielder, you can’t be any part of.
Look, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of seven starting pitchers don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy league. Someday, you’ll understand that. Now, now... here's salary dumping you, kid.
When appeared a conversation starter,
Said a man, “Did you hear about Gary Carter?”
I just chuckled, then bellowed, “I have no regrets!
“I have hated each one of those rat-sucking Mets.”
Now the guy looked so sad, I said, “Aww, sorry, man.
“Don’t listen to me; I’m a dumb Yankee fan.
“I never could root for the Mets, don’t you see?
“But I wish Gary Carter had once played for me.
“Back in the eighties, we could have been great,
“Instead of a team that you wanted to hate.
“And Easler, and Winfield, and Mattingly, too,
“Put Carter in there, it’s a fan’s dream come true.
“Hey! maybe that Drabek trade wouldn’t go through!
“With Carter, our line-up would add one more layer,
“How I would have loved him, if he were my player!
“I would have been proud if guarded our plate,
“And how would I so mourn the news of his fate.”
Someday, I do pray all my hatreds will cease,
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Lifetime four-one ERA.
Traded for the time of day...
Kept our batters safe from beans,
Traded for some stale sardines...
Hated Boston, loathed the Sox.
Traded for a box of rocks…
Always gracious after winnings,
Last year threw one-ninety innings!
Only thirty-five years old,
Ditched so owner saved some gold…
In the end, let it be known that the man called AJ Burnett - who last year rendered unto Yankeedom 190 innings - forgave us for betraying Jesus Montero, forgave us for embracing the delusion that Freddy Garcia has another year, forgave us for putting paper money ahead of winning the World Series.
Yesterday, in an act of self-sacrifice worthy of a cable makeover show, Burnett canceled a disasterous Yankee trade to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles-Anaheim Angels, which would have plunged his old teammates back into the stygian bleakness of 2007 -- returning Bobby Abreu to New York in a summer when Pink Floyd has been booked to bring "The Wall" to Yankee Stadium.
Our response to this magnificent act? We will deal Burnett to Pittsburgh, or Cleveland, or North Korea, or anywhere that Brian Cashman won't have to notice him outperform the new crop of pet pitchers we will keep - having traded him merely to save the billionaire owners a few extra scraps of blood money.
The Gammonites say today or tomorrow, the Yankees will announce the deal. They will rejoice over some 26-year-old outfield lugnut, and they will say this now gives us wriggle-room to sign Raul Obanez - (sarcasm alert:) lifting the hearts of Yankee fans everywhere.
But the actual deal was made two months ago: We signed Freddy Garcia for $4 million. Nothing against Freddy - he pitched well for us last year - but do we really think he's a better shot for 2012 than Burnett?
At least we were spared Abreu II. Thanks to you know who.