Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day Rain

When opening day is cold and rainy
It's like French-kissing Richard Cheney.

The seats are hard, your cheeks like ice,
Like smooching Condoleezza Rice.

An opening day, stuck in the rain,
Like swapping spit with John McCain.

Santana gets first win for Mets

... oops, wrong Santana. Sorry.

Rain Delay

This day was a major bummer. I got seats with Chin Ming's girlfriend; Shelly Duncan's girlfriend; and Eliot Spitzer's girlfriend.

We had hot dogs, chevrolets, pies, and Jim Beam.

We had seats two rows behind the dugout.

I even bought a package of Yankee stadium dirt for old times' sake.

And what happens? We got rained out.

I hate baseball.

Today's opener

Rain out theater... for the ladies

Tough day to be a fan


This sucks and I hate it.

You know, the Mariners' Safeco Field has a retractable roof. They play today no matter what. And NYC actually gets more rain than Seattle in summer. And we're putting up a new damn stadium with vodka saunas, solid gold bidets and liveried sex workers. But no retractable roof. SO: we will keep having more days like today from now until the end of time.

Tear Drops

John: "It's a little chilly at the old stadium..."

Susyn: "I mean... Haven’t we played in a lot worse than this?"

John: "Anyway… it doesn’t matter what we say. No one listens… Opening day becomes opening night… We will bid you bye-bye. We’re sorry. We wish we were playing."

Play Ball!*

(*- once the rain stops ... )(Had to get back to the poetry and smiles and fuzzy stuffed bunnies)

This is just great

Sorry to piss all over the opening day poetry and smiles and fuzzy stuffed bunnies, but Victor Conte, according to ESPN, is working on a tell-all book.

Would somebody, anybody, please not tell us all. We here at IT IS HIGH wouldn't mind a touch of blissful ignorance in our lives. Just a dash. A pinch.

By the way, when the book goes movie, we vote for Danny DeVito.


DeVito ...

Amazing metaphor for life resumes today

Nine, like, incredible links between baseball and, you know... wow.

1. Nine planets – nine positions.

2. Man and woman – pitcher and catcher.

3. Four seasons – four bases.

4. Father, Son, Holy Ghost – three strikes, yer out.

5. Designated driver – designated hitter.

6. Every journey starts and ends at home.

7. Insiders and outsiders -- Infielders and outfielders.

8. People -- fans.

9. In cases of two or more baserunners and with less than two outs, a fly ball determined to be catchable within the infield is immediately designated as an out, with the runners allowed to advance at their own discretion – tax law.

Goodbye, cruel world; it's opening day.

The gods place bets with loaded dice,
And all our earthly dreams betray,
But listen to one clown's advice,
Goodbye, cruel world; it’s opening day.

The politicians scrounge for power,
With consequences we shall pay.
But somewhere, it's our finest hour,
Goodbye, cruel world; it's opening day.

Our weary age is full of war,
The daily news brings dark dismay,
So surf the dreams worth living for,
Goodbye, cruel world; it’s opening day.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Opening Day Roll Call

Jacoby Ellsbury has had a monster spring


The way we were

March 30, 2007

Carl Pavano was officially announced as the Yankees' Opening Day starter on Friday, but only after plans for a surprise appearance by Andy Pettitte fell through...

"I definitely feel pretty good," Pavano said. "Physically, things have held me back, which psychologically sometimes hold you back, too. I think everything has come at a pretty good pace as far as the spring went. I feel like I'm definitely moving forward."

March 30, 2006

Mike Mussina's spring has been a successful one, most notably for the lack of any pain, discomfort or irritation in his right elbow. Forget the lofty 7.32 ERA, he's ready for the season to begin.

"We're throwing at full speed, I've thrown all my pitches and I haven't had any trouble," Mussina said. "I don't see any reason why I'd have anything to worry about. Something could always happen; it's a long year. But I don't see any reason to expect my elbow to give me any problems."

March 30, 2005

Joe Torre doesn't plan to announce his starting lineup for Sunday night's season opener until Saturday's workout, but the manager indicated on Thursday that Jason Giambi would be his designated hitter against David Wells and the Red Sox.

"It was fine when I was running," said Giambi, who injured himself while running out a double on Monday. "I didn't overdo it. It feels pretty good right now."

March 31, 2004

When Kevin Brown was traded to the New York Yankees in December, he said that it was like an early Christmas present for him to be thrust on to a team with a lineup capable of putting up runs in bunches.
Wednesday night, Christmas came nine months early for Brown, who was treated to 12 runs by his offense in New York's 12-1 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Tokyo Dome.

"The first three runs took so much pressure off," said Brown, who saw a 1-0 deficit turn into a 3-1 lead after Tony Clark's two-run home run in the fourth inning. "With a lead, you can go out and find something that's working, experiment where one swing of the bat isn't going to beat you."

March 22, 2003

Roger Clemens will kick off his 20th season in the Majors on March 31, as he was officially named the Yankees' Opening Day starter by Joe Torre on Saturday.

"Roger is thrilled by it. He's done it so often, and especially this being his last year, it's a heck of a way to tip your hat to what he's done," Torre said. "We weren't going to do it unless we saw what we saw in Spring Training, physically. He's been terrific, and he's having a good time."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Training is over.

Bring it on!

What would Shelley Duncan Do?

Batting eighth...

Hideki Matsui?

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Posada C
Cano 2B
Matsui DH
Cabrera CF

And what happens after Giambi proves he can't field 1B?

Transactions: Former Yanks Gone

CINNCINATI REDS - Assigned INF Andy Phillips to their minor league camp.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS - Released LHP Mike Meyers.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES -- Released RHP Jaret Wright.

The Gods are breaking up that fabled Yankee powerhouse of 2005.

Iggy Going to Hotbed of Japanese-American Culture

Kazuko's Restaurant
(570) 825-4488
40 Diamond St Wilkes Barre, PA 18702

Mirakuya Japanese Restaurant I
(570) 820-0901
695 Kidder St Ste 1 Wilkes Barre, PA 18702

Tokyo House Japanese Restaurant
(908) 927-0421
330 Airport Rd Bedminster, NJ 7921

Exclusive: Matsui's Other Women!

Look what fell into the hands of the IT IS HIGH I-Team -- exclusive photos of the other women in the life of Yankee slugger Hideki Matsui!

What a scoop, as you'll soon see.

Let's begin with the happy ending. This week, Hideki showed the world the final stop on his subway ride to true love. His new wife (kinda). That's her speaking into the microphone.

O0-La-La is all we have to say. Yet, as one examines Hideki's batting order of love, one discovers a lineup of broken hearts and a bullpen of failed dreams. Yet, it is an inspiring story, one of persistence and courage.

Let's tell it.

Soon after Hideki arrived in America, he met a young groupie named Lucy, who lived in Queens, we think. Their brief fling ended in the fall during football season, shortly after a picnic in Central Park when the two were attempting to kick field goals with some of the local kids.
Next came a woman named Vilma, a proctologist from the Bronx.

Things were going well with Vilma until Hideki was wooed away by the charms of her office assistant, Daphne!

Daphne was not the kind of girl who wanted a long-term relationship. She dumped him into the arms of her high-school friend, Veronica.

Hideki fell hard for Veronica. But her love of fame and money meant for a shallow relationship, one that left Hideki feeling empty and depressed. First he turned to Mountain Dew, then to booze, then the arms of ... Rosie

Rosie, however, had other plans. And men weren't in them.

Once again, Hideki hit the streets. He had a brief fling with someone he thought was a Wonderful Woman, but he turned out to be a wonderful man (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Hideki's head spun! He felt as if he might never attain the kind of love a leftfielding titan from the Yankees deserved. Then, one day, he opened up a letter from home, and in it he discovered the woman of his dreams ...

Her identity remains a mystery.
But isn't love a mystery?
And isn't true love even more mysterious?
Maybe not as mysterious as Einstein's search for the universal constant or what the heck the ancient Egyptians meant by building the sphinx or what Mona Lisa is smiling about, but love is still pretty mysterious.
You bet it is.

Ephraim and David Go to the White House

Um. So.

Did you see the story about the 22-year-old selling weapons to the

And did you wonder what kind of a stoner road movie Hollywood would make about him?

Well, yeah.


So yeah.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Step Right Up: Yankee Stadium Dirt for $29.95


Goes especially well in salads.


1. How will the Yankees do?

2. Will we win the World Series?

3. Who will be our best players?

4. Can we beat the other teams?

5. How will Joe Girardi do?

6. What will happen this year?

7. Will we do OK?

8. What if we don't do OK?

9. How will we do this year?

10. Do you have questions, too?

The Bill O'Reilly Baseball Abstract: NL Projections

"New York Times or not, I do love this team. I love this manager, Willie Randolph. He's a black man, you know. Not that it matters. And you wouldn't even know it, if you go into to the dugout. I went in one night. It was great. There wasn't one person, not one, who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more at bats!' I mean, it was like going into an Italian-run team."

"I like this club, but I'm not sure about Cecil's kid, Prince Fielder, being a vegetarian. He wants us to be kind to animals? What the hell for? Face it. Animals hate us. All our meats hate us. Cows, pigs, veal - despite everything we do for them, they hate us. If Fielder thinks he's going to get friendship from a chicken, forget it. But I like their pitching."

NL WEST: Dodgers
"Normally, I don't do Tinsel Town, because they just want to rip the President. If anybody put a manger scene outside Dodger Stadium, they'd want Dakota Fanning in the crib. But Joe Torre will change things. He was there on 9/11. He was there with Rudy Giuliani. He was there with George Bush. He was there with me. We were all there. And he's there to win."

WILDCARD: Giants. "Last year, I told the citizens of San Francisco, 'OK, listen, it's a free country, and the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to root for morons. You want Barry Bonds in your lineup, you won't get a nickel of my ticket money. If Joe Torre's team comes through here and blows you up, too bad. You're off my list.' Well, Bonds is gone. They got my message."

The Bill O'Reilly Baseball Abstract: AL Projections

The master of the No-Spin Zone on the upcoming season:

EAST: Red Sox:
“If I could, I would deport them. They are a disgusting, despicable, far-left, Barney Frank-supporting team. Lawyers. NPR listeners. That’s what they are. If you disagree with them, they brand you a Yankee fan. All the sudden, you’re the racist, you’re the jerk, you’re the guy who thinks Roger Clemens belongs in the Hall. Well, sorry, Harvard frat boys. You’re not for me. I'm not part of the Redsock Nation. I'm into America Nation. But I do like Curt Schilling. Only out of respect for him, I say, first place.”

“When that bridge fell, we were all Minnesotans. And to let that pitcher go to the Mets -- I forget his name – that had to hurt. But he's from Venezuela. Every penny is going to Hugo Chavez. You can't support that. And frankly, I hate the way Minnesota sucks up to that little crazy leftwing nutjob Al Franken. Guy thinks he’s funny. Hates the United States of America. I feel sorry for him. I’d punch his lights out. Growing up in Levittown, that’s how you settled things. You use your hands. But he's beneath me. So I go with Minnesota. What choice is there? The unions killed Detroit. And Cleveland is that wacko Kucinich and his George Soros-funded team. Never.”

WEST: Mariners.

“They have the Japanese guy, Ichy Sudoko, whatshisname, and I’m all for Japanese guys, and I’ve said this repeatedly, though God forbid, if you speak to race in this country, they come after you with a lynching party. But the Jap can play, and when he comes to bat, nobody ever shouts 'Pearl Harbor!' That tells you something right there. My old man would have shouted it, but, hey, that’s what growing up in Hell’s Kitchen did to you.”

WILD CARD: Yankees.
“I don’t know why I bother. The New York Times wouldn’t even review my books. They were best-sellers. Did I care? Not in the slightest. I’m above that. But what they did to Joe Torre, they’d do to me. What else would you expect from Keith Olbermann’s home town? That’s OK, though. It doesn't bother me. Water off a duck. Still, I don’t forget. No, I never forget. Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera, Bruney, that pyscho relief pitcher Kyle Farnslafel, it doesn’t matter. One of these days, they’ll get a knock on the door. A little visit from the security people at Fox News. Then we'll see what they have to say about Joe Torre."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Maybe Just Go With "Best Wishes" Next Time, Brian

Personalized autographs are nothing new.

Just ask Jack Hare, the world's champion globe-trotting fighter.

But, Jaysus, Mr. McNamee -- maybe ditch the clumsy "A lifetime of achievements can be defined by a singular monumental mistake" next time.

A simple "Best Wishes" ought to do.

Or follow Hare's lead and go with the dated but polite "Yours Faithfully."

Beware the Marlins!

Sure, Dontrelle and Cabrera just joined Pudge in Detroit, Lowell and Beckett are with the redsocks, Jack McKeon defected to Cuba, Conine retired and Pavano is, well, never mind, but the Yanks face the mighty Marlins for two games at The Stadium Formerly Known As Joe Robbie, so watch out Bronx Bombers!

Anything can happen in the Nexus of Weirdness known as South Florida. (Right, Joe Girardi?)

Ray of Hope: Karstens hurt, but not from line drive

Ahhh, spring!

That time of year to savor freshly cut grass, the chirping of birds, and the crack of bone when a line drive hits Jeff Karstens. (Or is it Rasner, I forget?)

Anyway, this spring is slightly different.

As Ed Price notes, Jeff pulled his groin today. A tweaked muscle got him before Dustin Pedroia's bat had the chance.

Evidently, this creates an opening for Darrel Rasner to get whacked by a batted ball.

Wait a minute: Have we done this before?

Also, Kei Igawa got into the act today.

No, he didn't play goalie with his ribs.

He just got totally smacked around. Four runs, five hits, three walks, 10 outs.

Later, Girardi claimed Kei pitched better than the numbers show.

Wow. Japanese baseball must be worse than we thought.

And, just maybe, we are worse than we thought.

Matsui Weds !!!

Hideki Matsui won the bet with Derek and Bobby Abreu on which of these three bachelors on the prowl would first marry.
Hideki snuck off to Manhattan yesterday and tied a knot.
Eliot Spitzer, Gov. MCGreavy and two unnamed partners of the former Governors' stood by his side. Jose Conseco's wife attended, and " flashed " as she sang the Japanese Wedding march, but the famous author himself was in Amarillo working on his bike.

There is great mystery as to who the bride is. Hideki did hold up a pencil sketch of her, but that was not enough to satisfy this intrepid reporter or the fans and followers of " It is High..."

Above are some key photos from the wedding ceremony and, for the right amount I will reveal which is the new Mrs. M.
As a special bonus, I will pay $500 US for the person who correctly identifies Alphonso in the top photo.

A real tour of a 2009 Yankee home game

What to do today? The yacht's getting new carpeting, and I simply cannot endure another day here in the Hamptons. I know! Let's call Buffy and BoBo and go to a game in the brand new stadium.

First inning: Ahh, we meet Islys in the Legends Lounge for a toast, with Harvey's Bristol Creme. "To President McCain!" Hmm. Is that Kline, my old Bear Sterns money manager, in the corner? Who shall we text message? Excuse me, sir? Can we turn the TV to the PGA?
Third inning: I'm famished. We head to the Yankee Steak House for a Pettitte cut.

Seventh inning. Our bellies full, we elevator up to the Club Suite. Does this have wi-fi?

Nineteenth Hole. Up to the Legends Suite. I'm a little disappointed actually. I would think they'd have a swimming pool and at least one television turned to Fox News? Look, there's Candy and Rip in the Outdoor Court.

Well, that was fun. And cheap, barely $1,500! By the way, did you catch who the teams were?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Headlines of the Yankee Campaign

CBS: Hillary Clinton "overstated" key
role in 1996 Yankee World Series.
Videos show she never played NY firstbase;
Chelsea still convinced Mom wore No. 23

Barack Obama decries ties to
ex-Redsock Manager Grady Little
Calls grandmother "typical Redsock fan;"
Says she never appreciated Mo Vaughn

John McCain vows to
"Stay the Course" in Bullpen
Says Bruney, Farnsworth, Karstens show stability,
Nevertheless, predicts 10 more years of bombings

It is time to get serious.

I've cleaned up my room and almost finished packing for opening day in NYC.

All the fun of Tampa is behind me now, and I think we really have to consider where the team is for the 2008 campaign.

I'm in the camp that this Yankee team does not make the playoffs. Here are my worries:

1. The fact that Jason Giambi is our best option at first base is frightening. It puts a major point of weakness in our defense. He doesn't throw well. His fielding is slightly below average. His offense "upside" is unknown at this point, due to aging, performance fall-off and injuries of last three seasons.

2. Our outfield is shaky, too. Oddly enough, Abreu is likely the most solid guy at the moment. Melky has shown plenty of promise, but which way will he go as the league gets to know him better? We still see little power from him.

3. Damon and Matsui should be fine as interchangeable parts, but both have lost a step on defense.

4. Shelly Duncan as back-up to the other four outfielders provides; possibility of " hot streak" power if he plays a lot; marginal defensive speed and glove; excellent arm. However, how effective will he be playing sparingly?

5. Catching is fine as long as Jorge ducks the aging thing and injury thing for another season.

6. Infield is good. Wilson Betemit is a pretty decent back-up player.

7. The real worry is pitching:

A. We really don't have an ace.

B. Chin Ming has shown erratic performances, and one wonders how is head is dealing with post-season collapse.

C. Moose is bound to wear down as the season progresses. Andy is already wearing down.

D. Hughes is not impressing me as the next Roger Clemens. Not based on Spring training outings. He may become great. Or, he could be 9-10.

E. Kennedy can't seem to start a game without giving up a quick four runs. We know how that wears on a team.

F. Joba, let's face it, has not yet come close to pitching like he did last season with the Yankees. I think he had one quality outing.

G. Why did LaTroy Hawkins get an automatic seat on the bus? He always walks the first two batters he sees. Haven't we lived the last two seasons with bullpen guys who do exactly that?

H. Farnsworth will be no different than he was last year, despite the magical relationship Joe G. purports to have with him.

I. The best reliever in Spring Training was this guy ( Patterson? ) who had never pitched above A ball, right? So he won't get a MLB job now.

J. There has only been inconsistency from Bruney, Henn, Vargas, Edwar, Olendorf, etc. Nothing to excite.

L. The Alan Horne and Jeff Marquez "cups of spring coffee" were pretty uneventful and unimpressive.

8. So, where is the light? I know we should be able to score runs with our offense. But that won't do the trick. We have no team speed. Defense is OK but not a great asset. And highly shaky pitching.

Most importantly, the Giants won the SB in a magical year which, to this moment, none of us believe really happened. The Ying and Yang of Giants/Yanks seems calibrated to burn the NYY this year.

The good news is that the Southern Mexico Independent League has a brand new all dirt field. I will spend a lot of time there scouting, and looking for Edwar and Bruney to regain their command, while adding new pitches to their arsenals.

Edwar told me he may start throwing lefty. Bruney wants to play some third base, but
feels " blocked" by A-Rod.

Who knew?

Family Fight: BernBaby you ignorant dupe

Heh, heh.

How's it feel, BernBabyBern?

Baseball fans everywhere outside the Bronx, having watched their memories march toward New York's riches or to a handful of other teams thanks to the bar set by the Yankees, might find it hard to work up a tear.

Don't like watching your memories sold? On QVC, no less? Kinda sucks, doesn't it? Now you know what fans outside the castle wall have been wailin' about for decades while all of Yankeedom played deaf and dumb.

Your heart is aching over merchants selling off your temple?
Aww shucks.

Jose Canseco: Speaking Truth to Hatred

Just in time for opening day, Ozzie Canseco’s twin brother, Jose, is cashing in his steroids fame for hosting the bash where his and Roger Clemens’ wife held a tit contest -- making him the biggest former celeb punch line since Zsa Zsa Gabor slapped the LA traffic cop.

In his new book: “Vindicated,” Jose says he hates, hates, absolutely hates Alex Rodriguez -- so deeply, so totally, so sincerely that he left A-Rod out of his first book, because, well, he hated him, hated him, hated him.

Godawmighty, he fukinay hates A-Rod!

“I hate your fucking guts,” Jose says, concluding a chapter devoted to hating A-Rod, with a direct statement to his imaginary reader, A-Rod -- a literary device borrowed from Ferris Buehler.

That’s hate. And it makes sense. After all, here’s a guy whose first book threw feces at every zookeeper in sight. Now, to his latest ghost writer, he blathers brand new, never-released allegations. It's like getting deleted scenes on Shrek 3. You thought you’d seen everything Jose could pump from his stomach, but he had some bile in reserve.

(Why the hatred? A-Rod coveted his wife, Jessica's future contest-winning boobs.)

It gets better. There’s a bizarre writing segment, like a dream sequence in an episode of “Friends,” where Jose – in a different font – includes excerpts of his “testimony” in a lie detector test. He claims to have introduced A-Rod to a steroids dealer. Apparently, the doofus thinks this excerpt proves he's telling the truth.

You know, in case someone – oh, I don’t know who – might doubt him.

This literary device dates back to Jack Abramoff.

OK… let’s try the Jose Canseco Literary Lie Detector:

Testing, one, two, three... OK, I have donned the shock collar, connected to the lie detector truth sequencer. If I tell a lie, I'll get a minor shock. Two plus two is threeAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Wow. That hurt.

OK. Ask a question. Fire away.


Well, Jose Canseco is the only guy in the world that inspires you to defend A-Rod.

He gives evil twins a bad name. He’s a sociopathic schoolyard bully who, if he grew up in Iraq 40 years ago, would have roomed with Saddam.

He's the Orville Reddenbacker of innuendo. Because that’s his business these days. He sells the Jose Canseco line of name-brand bullshit.

"Vindication?" He should have titled it "Moby Dork." He’ll be remembered for his bullshit. And Jessica’s boobs. I hear they're all naturaAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sold! Yankee Stadium on QVC

Quick. You've got a few minutes. Grab that remote and settle into the easy chair.

The Yankees kick off the "Farewell to the Cathedral" season at Yankee Stadium ...

.. on QVC.

Yep. Didn't even wait for Opening Day. It's a live broadcast from the baseball shrine. A "Yankee Stadium. The Farewell Season" two-hour sale-a-thon.

They're tearing down the greatest sports stadium in the world. But not before they can sell you something from it.

I'm already sick of the "new" Yankee Stadium, and they ain't even opened it yet. The $1.3 billion price tag. The $2,500 seats. The luxury boxes. The fucking concierge service!

But until the shiny happy new park is opened, they'll be content to sell our memories back to us. The first glimpse most of us will get of Yankee Stadium this year won't be Opening Day, but on a shopping network with some QVC shill fawning over Goose Gossage while telling us that all true fans will want this special limited-edition-certified-branded-official autographed something-or-other for just $249.99, plus shipping and handling.

Get ready for the marketing campaign from hell. This is just the beginning. They're going to milk every penny out of this Stadium that they can over the course of the next year before they tear it down like an old Ames store. Then, they'll bottle up the construction dust and sell that. Probably on QVC.

It's a hell of a way for the Shrine to go out.

Open Letter to Redsock Nation: Go ahead. Print the Playoff Tickets

Dear Madams or Sirs,

OK, it's over. You win. Undefeated. Untied. Unstoppable. Invincible. Invulnerable.

Dynasty. Second Season.

That's you.

You are The Nation. No sense bothering to play.

Nope. I came to this conclusion after reading Shaughy's column.

Covering a dynasty like yours has improved his writing, by at least four beers.

If you forked over big bucks to fly 6,700 miles from Fenway, you were happy. If you took the train in from Yokohama to see your Japanese idols, you were happy. If you were watching while you got dressed for work in your Brighton apartment, you were happy.

If you were sitting in an 8 by 8 cell at Gitmo, waiting to be water-boarded, you were happy.

If you were on an operating table, having surgery on your colon, you were happy.

If you were standing on a building ledge, with crowds below shouting, "JUMP," and you leaped into the air, you were happy.

The Redsocks win. THHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEH Redsocks win.

I haven't seen such a display of ecstacy since Britney Spears found Oxycontin.

Congrats are in order.

You're a dynasty. Two out of four. And one in a row.

You are The Nation. The world is happy.

Red Sox Fans Plan Team Reception at Logan

In only a few days, Boston nation's beloved "Sawk" will return from Tokyo and resume defense of their second championship.

This roving reporter stumbled upon the preparations of an enthusiastic group of Fenway season ticket holders, as they prepare a traditional hometown welcome home for the team at Logan airport.

" This will go down just great with a keg of Sam Adams Lager," mentioned the red-shirted ring leader.

Throw on a little tobasco and some parsley, and we have a championship feast for Jacoby and all his pals. We'll hand them each an intestine as they descend from the plane, and then the partying will begin. "

"It's great to finally be on top, so we can show the world the true class and character of the Boston fan."

Hughes Startles Baseball World

The eyes of the world have focused on phenom Phil Hughes.

Last night, in Tampa, Florida, we learned why there are " several voices who believe Phil Hughes is better than Kennedy or Chamberlain."

And we aren't talking comparisons with political luminaries. Just young pitching prospects.

It is now a recorded fact that in five innings against the Phillies, Phil only gave up 3 runs.

This may become a new standard for excellence in MLB.

To my mind, it shows that Cashman made the right choice in staying away from the Johan deal. Three runs in five innings is just extraordinary.

To my eyes, this is a can't miss prospect. A shoe-in for Cooperstown.

Think of it. Only three runs for every five innings pitched. The sky is the limit.

This guy will have an ERA well under 10.00 for the 2008 season. Count on it.

Only Matt Desalvo came close to such a performance once in Spring Training ( 3 runs in four innings), before he had to have arm surgery.

Jason Stark drinks Redsock Kool-Aid, performs tricks

I just read Jason Stark’s gushingly Gammonistic press release on humankind's joyous ascention via the Redsock Nation.

The levels of prescription drugs in the water at ESPN must be higher than thought.

Wearing your hip boots? OK, check this out.

They're everywhere. Thousands and thousands of them -- dressed in their favorite Red Sox shirts, the ones that say everything from "NOW I CAN DIE IN PEACE" to "I SURVIVED THE SANTANA TRADE." These two World Series victories, these two parades, have unleashed them on the rest of the planet. Loudly. And proudly.

Stark should quit ESPN and write fulltime for Mariah Carey. What happens to these people? Does everything in their world become hyperbole? Do they ever eat a hamburger that is just a hamburger? Yeesh. What do they shout during sex?


Folks, once again: If there is Redsocks Nation, there is a Yankee Universe.

And let’s not forget how the “Nation” formed: Through pure, unadulterated hatred.

For 50 years, they rallied around their venom. They shouted how a Yank loss was as good as a Redsock win. I’ve seen them cheer Yankee injuries.

They didn’t root for a team. They just rooted against one.

Now they’re champs. OK. Fine. They did exactly what we did: They shelled out the big bucks and signed the free agents.

In 1998, when we won our second World Series in Joe Torre's run, we received nothing but contempt from the sportswriting gods. We had "bought the pennant." We were "what's wrong with baseball." We were the "big market" bad guys.

Now, happiness is Redsock Fever.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Redsock Nation.

It's right there, in the press box.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Questions for Cash

Honest Abe at the LoHud is taking questions for an online tribunal featuring Brian Cashman.

Here's a few:

1. When you tell a guy he’s been traded to, say, Kansas City, do you ever crack a little joke, like saying, “Hey, guess who’s in store for some great Omaha steak!”

2. Seriously, did you let Doug Menk****ch walk simply because nobody could spell his name?

3. Before you sign a free agent, to make sure he’s well grounded, do you ever try to seduce his wife?

4. Which is stupider, calling him "Jeet" or “Cappy?”

5. Based on your experience, what player is most likely to fall for old the phone call joke and yell out, “JACK MEOFF?”

6. Do you have any recordings of George ranting into your answering machine?

7. After A-Rod ditched Scott Boras, did you have an office party?

8. Do you have a fantasy baseball team?

9. Third inning, April 13, down by 5, bases loaded: Igawa time?

10. Who tells Hank he has to go outside to smoke?

Jaret Wright's house is for sale

While taking a virtual tour of his home in Newport Beach, California, check the funky painting on the wall.

Hard to believe we swapped him for Chris Britton.

I wouldn't bid on Jaret's house, though.

He hasn't closed on anything in five years.

Inside Baseball: The IT IS HIGH office party bash


Ohhhhhh! Kaaaaay!

Enough with the e-mails, the letters, the couriers. We give.

Here are the behind-the-scenes shots from our weekly IT IS HIGH tailgate party, staged just before our last dust-up with the Tampa Bay Rays. We went a little overboard, but hey, we deserve it. We've been bustin' tail working on the fundamentals of covering the Yankees, correcitng misschpellings, syntax (heh, heh, we're party animals, get it?) and figuring out who was the sad hack who had to go back to the minors and work at Rays Index for a little more seasoning. (Sorry, Roger, we'll miss ya.)

Anyways, we got so carried away at the tailgate we missed the game! El duque tried a make-up post and used a Blue Jays game picture instead of a Rays game picture, but, hey, who cares!

So call off the lawyers, here are the shots.

This is Whitey Fraud, with a vixen trying to eat his Yankee hat.
This is I'm Bill White, with Mons Meg at his right wearing her mother's homemade cowboy hat. The Jersey girl on his left looks familiar somewhow, but we don't exactly remember the name. Hmmmm.

Wailin' Suzyn is in this photo. We're not saying which one to protect the writer's identity as leader of the IT IS HIGH I-Team.

This is Prince Frankenstein, on the left. What can we say? The guy's livin' the dream in Seattle!

We cleaned up Alphonso a little for this shot. He's the one in the "81" jersey.

Livin' up to his name is BernBabyBern, who got a little too much sun down here, not to mention a hilariously sweet haircut.

And, of course, the guy who spills his guts on these pages for our readers every day, el duque. (Honestly, his ego's not that big.)

(Seriously, looking for a laugh today? Check out Hot Chicks with Douchebags, the place where our party shots are stored for safe keeping.)

Let Manny be Rhonda: Ramirez brings "The Secret" to Orient

“One of the more intriguing sights in the clubhouse was Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez reading the self-motivational bestseller 'The Secret' with a highlight marker."
The Boston Herald, March 7
Yogi Berra’s reign as baseball’s philosopher-in-chief may be over, and not just because it’s over. The cruel reality is that Yogi’s mantle – not the Mickey one – has been passed to Bronx-born Redsock hitting/quote machine Manuel Aristides Ramirez.

Let's face it, Manny serves comments like his doubles, off the wall.

But now we learn that Manny has been injecting the performance enhancing meditations of Rhonda Byrne, best-selling author of “The Secret,” a book so steeped in self-empowerment that it makes Machiavelli’s “The Prince” read like a Mother Teresa primer on how to wash feet.

As Yog would say, “It’s surprising we’re surprised,” because a close look at the words of Byrne and Ramirez shows the two have always patrolled the same left field.

Byrne: “Let go of all those limiting thoughts.”

Ramirez: “We don't think -- we eliminate thinking.


Byrne: “I stand in awe at the magnificent intelligence that is this universe.”

Ramirez: “This game is weird, man. That's the way it is.

Byrne: “You can start with nothing, and out of nothing and out of no way, a way will be made.

Ramirez: “When you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's how you know you're a bad man.


Byrne: “When we shift our awareness or "frequency" from self-consciousness — where fear, impossibility or feelings of separation reside — to cosmic consciousness, which is in total harmony with the universe and where none of those feelings exist, then anything is possible.”

Ramirez: “The more relaxed you are, not having a lot of stuff on your mind, that's the best way to hit."


Byrne: “You must feel good. You must feel good about You.”

Ramirez: "I'm a gangster. I go and play the game, and that's the way I deal."


Byrne: “The law of attraction says that like attracts like, and when you think and feel what you want to attract on the inside, the law will use people, circumstances and events to magnetize what you want to you, and magnetize you to it. The law doesn't say, "Oh, he is not taking any action so we won't deliver." The law is the law. It is impersonal, exact, and precise.

Ramirez: “Wherever they pitch it, I hit it.


Byrne: “The feeling of love is the highest frequency you can emit. The greater the love you feel and emit, the greater the power you are harnessing.”

Ramirez: “I ain't got no problem with Boston.


Byrne: “The law of attraction is absolute; it is impersonal and it is precise and exact. This law governs this reciprocal universe that we live in. It is important to remember that we are energy. Einstein told us that. And energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just changes form.

Ramirez: “Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don't, so I don't worry.”

Byrne: “You attract to you what you think about most.”

Ramirez: "This is great. Just Manny being Manny."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Get Well, E5

That's the famous line by Oscar Gamble, who said as the team bus pulled into Cleveland, said, "Look, they named a street after Nettles." He pointed to a sign that said "E5."

Graig Nettles has cancer, the worst news we've heard about him since someone said, Graig Nettles has been traded.
Wasn't it yesterday that he was snatching the Series from the Dodgers, or breaking Spaceman Lee's collarbone, or cutting himself on the lawn mower and missing a Pavanoesque 30 days?
Today, he's in our thoughts.
So here are a few of his great one-liners.
"When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees I have accomplished both."
(ON THE BOSS) "The more we lose, the more Steinbrenner will fly in. And the more he flies, the better the chance there will be for a plane crash."
(ON SPARKY LYLE) "In one year, Sparky Lyle went from Cy Young to sayonara."
"The best thing about being a Yankee is getting to watch Reggie Jackson play every day. The worst thing about being a Yankee? Getting to watch Reggie Jackson play every day."
Bill James once argued that Nettles was the greatest position player in Major League history whose name starts with the letter "N."
Unless Wil Nieves starts ramping it up, he's probably still there.
Get well, Puff.

Happy Easter from your friends in the booth!

Suzyn: Goodness gracious, John! Have you ever seen anything so dramatic! Everyone thought He was dead, but He is arisen!
John: That's right Suzyn! The Christians win! Thaaaaaaaa Christians WIN!!!!!!