Thursday, March 31, 2011

Introducing The THUH Project

Years ago, we set out to make IT IS HIGH the most comprehensive analytical tool for the John Sterling WinWarble on earth. Today, we say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

The key to every WinWarble is the THUH.

This year, we will place every THUH in succession-- so that when you, the Yankee fan, feel lonely and blue, you can hear every THUH, all season.

Today, our first THUH.



John's Warble... 6:25 seconds


• It is certainly not baseball weather. It is frigid.
• They have to get the game in today because tomorrow is going to be even worse.
• Boy, the weather was perfect in Florida.
• When we got off the plane in NY, what a shock. The weather, I mean.
• It is so cold.

• I got up at 5 this morning because I couldn't wait for Yankee baseball.

*All talking points paraphrased.

YES Network's Pre-Game Opening Show Highights

Kim Jones appearing nude for an interview with Jeter
Michael Kay displaying the bloody sheet from his wedding night.
Nancy Newman revealing her Twitter handle may be "Hello Newman"
Jack Curry whips up his favorite opening day curry dish
Ken Singleton declares his gay love for Michael Kay
Bob Lorenz performing excerpts from his Stand Up Comedy routine

And now for this brief message ...

No, we don't take advertising here. But I thought I'd point out that you can get a digital download of The Baseball Project's newest album for just $3.99 today.

If "The Deadly Spinners" weren't already our official band, I'd nominate The Baseball Project. In fact, maybe they can be co-official bands.

... we now return you to your regular programming.

'Goodbye Cruel World, It's Opening Day'

If you're not going to post it, el Duque, I will:

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.

-- el duque, 2008 --

If I ran the team

If I ran the team we'd be something to see
We would win every game, what a team we would be...

Check out my piece today on Slate.

Peter Gammons donates portrait of Pedro Martinez to the Smithsonian ... can we donate one, too?

Yes, the completely unbiased ESPN reporter donated the Pedro portrait to the Smithsonian.

So, can we donate one too? How about this one?

I mean, it's more of a pop-art style, but I think it sums things up pretty well.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Andy Kindler Finally Gets Funny

Imagine if he had Alph on the show

Meet Your 2011 World Champions

...according to the unbiased experts at fair-and-balanced ESPN.

What Is It With The Yankees And Lefty Relievers?

1. Sergio Mitre, for whom we traded Jose Tabata, a mid-range pitcher (whose name I forgot), and two prospects is on the 60 day disabled list, after missing all of the last two seasons with arm problems.

Isn't he always disabled? Are we sure his name isn't Pavano?

2. Feliciano was the one member of the NY Mets who always showed up for work. He had never been on the DL his entire career. Now, he sneezes and breaks a rib, pulls a quad muscle and strains an oblique. The Nick Johnson of 2011. Watch.

3. Kei Igawa is our $51 million dollar experiment in international relations. A career leader in wins for AAA. Bad teeth. And no hope of ever recording an important out for the Yankees. Kudos to our scouting staff.

4. Boone Logan was a number 1 pick of the Phillies when I was in third grade. He has done marginally well against the one lefty he faces per game, unless he walks him. He has never gotten out a righty batter.

5. Somebody named Harrison is likely to go north with the team until the Feliciano person pretends to be healthy again.

I also think:

1. Chavez, until he gets injured, will be one of our best off season acquisitions.

2. Jorge will struggle and we'll be calling for Jorge II (Vasquez) or Jesus to DH by June.

3. AJ will be a 8-10 game winner, despite the occasional good outing. I am going to order a fatwah on the first f****** announcer who tells us, " what great stuff AJ has."

4. Tex will not start out well, despite all the machinations to do so. But he, as always, will contribute mightily to our success through defense.

5. Andruw Jones is a real wild card and I am betting he gives us a lot of outs in big situations. If Greg Golsten recovers, I'd sooner see him as back-up.

6. We have to get Cervelli back, and soon. Molina should be bullpen guy and emergency back-up.

7. Russell Martin will be the best off-season acquisition.

8. Opening day ( night ) will either be a rain out or extended until 2am by rain/sleet delays. I advise everyone to sell their tickets to some rube, and sit in a bar.

Write this Down: My 11 Predictions for '11

1. We will face a "Shortstop Situation." Simms v. Hostetler. Morton v. Staubach. Jeter v. Nunez. It's gonna tear the fabric of the Yankiverse. Before August, Jeet will tweak a donut hole or go 0-20, and everybody will be happy and sad by the performance of his replacement. That's because Eduardo Nunez is a damn good SS, Jeet's equal with a glove, faster and -- well -- don't gemmie wrong: Cappy's our boy. But a dispute is brewin', and depending on how Jeet deals with the Maddens & Feinsteins... might not be pretty. (Who was it Ryan Leach was trying to oust?)

2. Jesus is goneth. If you read IIH, you know I hate those words, because at some point, we as an organization must stand behind our farm system -- or it'll collapse like it did in the 1980s. But Montero is history. How do I know? Aint rocket science. On the YES website the other day, they ranked Yankee prospects and put low-level catcher Gary Sanchez No. 2. That's absurd. To put a half-season wonderboy over Betances and Baneulos et al. -- ridiculous. They did it with something in mind: Soften us up for Jesus' betrayal. He's gone. Only question is what will Pontius Cashman receive? King Felix Barabas?

3. Jorge will fizzle as DH. As Cher said, "You better siddown, kids." This will suck. Jorge Posada is a great, proud Yankee and - urine-scented hands notwithstanding - a future Yankee manager (Except Don Mattingly, now learning Managing 101 in LA, will move east for the job in two years.) But what can we expect from Jorge: 20, 90, .255? Thirty GIDP? He's slower than Barbara Bush. (The old one.) His body's a wreck. He'll bat 7th. No guarantee he'll like DHing either. Only a matter of time.

4. AJ Burnett will be AJ Burnett. What's with the questions about who AJ Burnett is? He's AJ Burnett. What we've seen is what we'll get. He'll amaze us, then disappoint us, amaze us, disappoint us. Lights out in his head, then lights out on the mound. He's not the worth the money, but since when is that our concern? Fourteen wins? Maybe 14 losses. Take the wins and be happy. He's ours.

5. No Killer will B a factor this year. Sad to say it: The kids are not all right. The best is Baneulos, and we'll ruin him by rushing him. Betances needs a year in the coal mine. Brackman might make it in our bullpen, but he'll probably come up next year too. If any make it, it's for Folger's. And their innings counts will be on everybody's minds. Think Phil Hughes in 2007. They're not going to be ready. 

6. Our prince will come. We have a wave of young pitchers. One will help us. I'm betting Ivan Nova. It might Noesi, Phelps, who knows. This is why you don't trade young pitchers. If you have five, you might get one. We have five. We'll get something for it.

7. Bartolo golon by May 1. Colon rhymes with Ponson. Listen: He's made a heartwarming little comeback, but it speaks volumes that Girardi won't let him start. A few spring zeros against the Mud Hens don't make a bullpen ace. And if he does pitch well, he'll pull a tit and that's it. Only a matter of time. As usual, we'll be caught holding the bag on old fart's career.

8. Arod will have a great year. Barring injuries or Madonna. Clearly, Alex he has gotten himself into physical shape, recognizing this might be his last shot at a great, awesome MVP year. Barring injuries or Jessica Simpson... this is his 40-120-.320 season. Evan Longora stays home July 7.

9. Brett Gardner will steal 70 bases. He should have led off last year. Neither Jeet nor Swisher causes pitchers to become twitchers. This is his Gardner's career year. This is peak age for a speed player. Now or never. Now. Unless he busts another thumb. Can we have them removed?

10. Boston will win the division by 10 games. Look at the lineup, look at the starters, look at the bullpen -- seriously, if you had a choice, who would you prefer: Aceves or Colon? Yeessh. How did we let that slip through? Our chance is the Wild Card. But WE WILL WIN THE WILD CARD.

11. Kevin Millwood will win 10 games for us. Listen: This guy knows how to pitch. In a month, when he is ready, we will be moaning for a serviceable starter. This is the best insurance policy Cashman could buy. Don't knock this guy. He's the classic veteran who will excel in NYC. Ten wins can be the Wild Card. Game three starter in the playoffs against Texas. Revenge? Let's hope.

There you have it, my stones on the block. Your move, readers... time to speak...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It is time to take nominations for March YANKEE EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH


Gustavo Molina: Rango.
Bartolo Colon: Mars Needs Moms.
Jesus Montero: Sucker Punch.
Curtis Granderson: The Green Hornet
Kevin Long: The Adjustment Bureau
Derek Jeter: Just Go With It
Ivan Nova: I Am Number Four
Kevin Millwood: Cedar Rapids

Big League Catching Dreams Get Pierced

Go For The Gustavo

You only go around once, why settle for less?
We did. That's what happens when Jesus fails you.

Gustavo Molina: The Poem

He’s got the speed, he’s in condition,
And when he catches, we shout “Bravo!”
He’s got the name for his position.
The last Molina… yes, “Gustavo!”

He cannot run. (They never do.)
He’d lose a race to Terri Schiavo.
But his name’s of that famous crew,
The last Molina… yes, “Gustavo!”

Frames the strike zone, straight and narrow
Swings the bat? Well, not quite boffo…
Still, he’s better than Montero!
The last Molina… who? “Gustavo!”


Monday, March 28, 2011

Millwood Arrives in Camp

It’s been a while,” Millwood said. “I’ve been in California working out for the last five or six weeks, and I was pretty sick of that. It’s nice to be in a clubhouse and actually feel like a part of something.”

Good News in the Lehigh Valley!

Hope you're not looking over your shoulder, Philly fans. Our man in Pa., Chuck Frantz, is bringing Mayham to the Mountain this season.

A Rod Is Bursting At The Seems

Rodriguez said his big spring numbers — .404 average with six homers and 14 RBI — are simply a product of what’s happening “behind the curtain.”

Scientific Pie Chart Comparing Yankee Optimisms

Jose Fails To Pass Jose's Twin Brother Off As Jose

Former slugger Jose Canseco skips boxing match, sends twin brother to Hard Rock event


Some 30 minutes before his bout against Billy Padden at the Passion nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, it was discovered that the Canseco who was in South Florida ready to fight was not the same guy who hit 462 homeruns in the Major Leagues.
Damon Feldman, promoter of the celebrity boxing program, which also includes female boxing, had tell about 400 fans who had paid their tickets that there would not be a fight.
“We discovered the Canseco who showed up was Ozzie when he took off his shirt and didn’t have José’s tattoos on the biceps that appear in our advertising,” a Celebrity Boxing representative told El Nuevo Herald. The man said he did not want to be identified.
José Canseco did not respond to telephone calls.  
“We made him a transfer of $5,000 when we agreed on the fight,” the source said. “Hours before the fight Saturday, we issued a check for the remaining $5,000 in the name of José Canseco, and we delivered it to whom we thought was José Canseco. He declined it and asked that the check be made out to cash, which we did.
 Note to Jose: do not try this in Syracuse.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


New Bigfoot sighting

Showalter takes aim at Jeter

Top 10 best selling baseball jerseys

Hank the Tank Shirts are now available

Letter to the Editor: A gem from H.L.Culbreath

Tampa Tribune (Florida)

March 23, 2011 Wednesday

To the Editor:

In a recent Steve Otto column ("A civil campaign heads south," March 14), he commented that Phil McNiff was about to retire from the New York Yankees after 20-plus years. Just after Phil retired from the FBI and took a job with George Steinbrenner, H.L. Culbreath and I were on a plane to Tallahassee when we spotted Phil and waved to him. As we were leaving the plane, H.L. jokingly commented, "That will be the best-paying, shortest-lived job Phil will ever have." H.L. Culbreath was right about most things at TECO and the broader Tampa community, but he surely got that one wrong. And I'm glad he did.

Congratulations to Phil, one of Tampa's really good guys.

Dave Campbell

No one Is talking About It

I'm just noting that our newest, full-time, designated hitter was not exactly overwhelming this spring.

He is also just about 40, I think.

Luckily, this is not likely to be a major problem, but it quickly could become one.

Politically we need Jorge to be successful. He is a great clubhouse leader.

He has been clutch his entire career.

We love the guy.

We need him to be a constant threat and we need him to deliver.

Not strike outs. Not rally killing double plays.

Doubles to the gaps will suffice.

But I sense the end is near.

It's late March, and we're falling apart

Anybody getting the sense it'll be a long year? Consider this domino drop from the Fates:

Three days ago, Sergio Mitre is odd man out. Hate to lose him. In past years, we'd have somebody juke a gonad, so we could hold onto him. Not this year. OK. So be it.

Cashman suddenly has a hole to fill. Curtis Granderson, having a great spring, has pulled a tit. Might miss the opener. Cash sends out mass email to GMs titled "Make her scream with new Yankee product."

Milwaukee bites. They take Mitre for an OF named Chris Dickerson, who can fill in for Grandy. 

So what happens? Yesterday, Pedro Feliciano -- never on the DL in his career -- tweaks a corpuscle. We have no lefty to replace him. Gotta go with RHers. Like Mitre, if he was still around.

Well, you say: At least we have Dickerson. Nope. We don't. He pulls out of yesterday's game with cramps.

I am fearing a core reactor breach in our juju gods containment area. In other words, this is bad.

The Melkman Could Have Rung Twice

Just think we could have had the beloved Melky back for a song as a fourth outfielder. Surely John and Suzy would have loved it  Instead we cock around with the likes of Andruw Jones, Chris Dickerson and Justin Maxwell.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dropping like flies: Feliciano to DL?

Pedro Feliciano is the latest Yankee who might miss opening day.

This is no longer funny. In two months, we've gone from a hopeful season to one in which Japan is glowing, the Middle East is at war, Charlie Sheen is drinking blood, Liz is dead, unions are illegal, the NFL has been canceled, the superbug is out there, our LF is Anduw Jones and our bridge to Mariano might be Bartolo Colon. Yeesh.

Letter to the Editor: Anger in Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie Journal (New York)

March 19, 2011 Saturday

To the Editor:

The deficits in New York were caused by Wall Street greed and giveaways to large corporations. The state gives away $5.4 billion annually in corporate welfare while local governments hand out another $2.8 billion with little to show for it.

IBM collected massive amounts of welfare while shipping jobs to Asia. Taxpayers partially financed Yankee Stadium even though the Yankees are the richest team in baseball. Since 2000, corporate welfare has increased 33 percent, while the corporate share of state taxes has shrunk dramatically. Wall Street had profits of over $114 billion but they pay far less in taxes than people who do productive work.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised most of his money from Wall Street and other corporations and had the enthusiastic backing of the special-interest business council. The first thing he did upon assuming office was to cut taxes for the wealthiest 3 percent at a cost of $5 billion.

New York used to be the Empire State but thanks to corporate-bought politicians our infrastructure is falling apart, education is grossly underfunded, crime is rampant and poverty, homelessness and inequality have risen dramatically.

As long as Albany is controlled by corporate lobbyists, New York will continue to decline. The state Senate is a cesspool of corruption (e.g., Joe Bruno, Vinnie Leibell). We could save a lot of money by abolishing this useless institution and having a unicameral legislature.

We also need to strip these part-time legislators of pensions and health insurance, abolish member items and impose strict term limits.

Manfred Holl

Hey Buck Showalter, This Scud's For You

from nomaas
Uh. Oh. Rule #1: You never question Theo Epstein. If you do, every single bracelet-wearing, membership-card holding Red Sox fan will come for you -- just like Kool-Aid slurper and Boston sportswriter, Gordon Edes:

Kevin Millwood: The Poem... Revisited

We have him.

There is one Yankee nearing manhood,
His name, my friends, is Kevin Millwood.
He'll not bring us poison pill-hood,
Or cause deep debt in dollar bill-hood.

In fact, we know he'll climb uphillhood,
As a Yankee... Kevin Millwood.
With those gems of old Brazilhood,
Colon, Freddie... all are still good.

He won't fall, like Jack and Jill would,
Spawn corrections, like George Will should.
Win 14? I think he still could!
Cashman has signed Kevin Millwood!

Say It Ain't So, Sergio?

With oil prices so high, was this the best time to get rid of Sergio?
Maybe he wasn't that great, but he did his job of middle innings' reliever adequately. Paul Lebowitz weighs in on why it was a bad move.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Yes, Virginia, there IS an Easter Bunny: Kevin Millwood will soon be ours, mwahahahahaha

Today, we feel like Charlie Sheen. We're within nickels of signing the Kevin Millwood to some minor league scrap metal voucher, which means he'll be paid with bottle deposits, based on what he does. (Scott Walker in Wisconsin would probably like this deal.) It's the best news in weeks.

Listen: Since spring training began, we've lost Francisco Cervelli, Curtis Granderson, Hosni Mubarik, Moammar Gaddafi's staff of implanted virgin bodyguards and the entire country of Japan (BTW: Our gift to the Japanese, Kei Igawa, has been sent back)... Now, at last... something to celebrate: Theman who does to innings what iodine tablets do to radiation!

OK, some of you hate this. Fine. Don't show us your Underalls. This is a mnor league deal at the end of spring training, and our payroll is BELOW $200 million, which is the Mendoza Line of Yankee spending. Not gonna break us. Not gonna keep us from signing the next Latino 16 year-old, who is already into his second marriage. It's money. We got money. We're not the Mets.

And to any 1927 Redsock fans out there looking to gloat -- go ahead. Anybody see how Clay the Spay Buchtooth pitched yesterday? Beckett’s ERA? (5.02) Dice K’s? (6.05). Carl Crawfish is hitting .205 BA with 1 extra base hit, and Speedy Gonzalez  is.143 BA with no extra base hits. Yep, she's only spring. But how DID the Redsocks do in '27?

Millwood is another piece of rubber to be inserted into sneakers between Garcia/Colon and any of the prospects who might not be ready. We snickered when Cash signed Colon. Now he's Paul frickin  Quantrill. We smirked when Cash signed Chavez. Now he's the second coming of Eric Hinske.
Millwood is ours. We're thinking. We're plotting evil. There is no better omen than that.
(If only we had been thinking two months ago, when Ace Aceves was still on the market.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Timeline about Freddy Garcia's willingness to pitch for Yankees

Dec. 10: Garcia Says Would Consider Playing in NY

Jan 8: Garcia: "I'd pitch for Yanks if price is right"

Jan, 22: Garcia, Yankees, eye contract.

Feb. 22: Garcia Glad to Be a Yankee

March 13: Garcia Eyeing Fourth Slot in Yankee Rotation

March 19: Garcia Eyeing Fifth Slot in Yankee Rotation

March 24: Garcia Says Will Accept Bullpen Role

March 31: Garcia will take pitching, pinch runner role

April 4: Garcia Says Will Clean Lockers for Yankees

May 5: Unemployed Garcia Arrested for Stalking Yankees

June 3: Yankees seek Order of Protection against Garcia

July 4: Garcia holding 25 Yankees hostage in bomb threat

July 5: Freddy Garcia remembered as "committed Yankee"

Some Early Predictions

1. AJ Burnett will be as lousy this year as he was last year.

2. Andruw Jones will bomb out totally if he has to start games. Otherwise, he'll hit about .218 with little power.

3. Brett Gardiner will not bunt nearly as often as he should. He did not work on bunting this spring, unless it was in secret.

4. Tex will not have a hot March/April.

5. Colon will make the team. Then, he will suck.

6. Cashman is going to trade someone, or a group of someones, the Yanks ( and all Yankee fans ) will regret trading.

7. This Soriano dude will turn out to be a " head case." While talented, it worries me that he refused to pitch to division rivals during spring training. Didn't they all face him last year? Is this a county championship race at the high school level?

8. Mitre has never been reliable and won't be this year, either.

More later.

My Best Move Of The Week

After a 1-1-1 week in Tampa, I moved on to visit some friends in Sarasota.

It was 80 degrees and sunny, so we headed to the beach.

One of the things you need to know is that public parking at the beach is highly limited and competitive, particularly given the season ( spring break, one round of ncaa madness in Tampa, vacation for many, etc ).

If you aren't there by 10:30am you are pretty much out of luck. Nonetheless, we had arrived about 11:15am. We nailed the last space available and went to the gulf for a while.

By the time we swam our 4 miles ( I was working on my butterfly stroke) and were returning to the car, it was clear that people had been circling the parking lot for an hour or more watching and waiting for folks who look like they are headed back to their cars.

As we neared our soon to be "prime" parking spot, I noticed a twenty something with his girlfriend driving a snazzy convertible which he likely had not paid for himself.

But more than that, he was wearing a Red Sox hat. The one with the two red socks on it. He had that arrogant, " I am entitled to luck out" look, and was eying us and tailing us salivating at the prospect of getting our parking spot soon to be vacated for him.

When we were just about at our car, I told my party to "cut through " the lane as though our car was one more line away. In order to follow us there, he had to go around the end of the line of cars and reverse directions, leading to another loop of the entire ( seemingly endless ) lot. It was one way, so he had no option to do otherwise.

As soon as he was committed, and another car was approaching the tailing position he had just vacated, we returned to where our car actually was ( which he had originally been lined up to get ) now set-up for another car.

In the language of the Boston Bruins, we "deked" him.

My friends said, "why did you do that?"

My reply: " I am not letting some over-privileged, asshole Red Sox fan have our parking space. I hope he has to circle for another hour.."

All this and I wasn't driving and it wasn't my car.

Forbes: The Mets and Dodgers will soon be selling their office furniture

Forbes's annual blitz of MLB -- featuring Andrew ("Baseball and Billions") Zimbalist -- brings revelations (Basically, saying the Yankees are baseball's wealthiest team doesn't count; it's like saying the Atlantic Ocean is "moist.") regarding two prime denizens of our traditional shitlist: The Dodgers and Mets are running on fumes.

My fave top 10 lines (for real) from the Forbes report:

1. "Selig, derisively known as “the Steroid Commissioner” for the blind eye he turned toward the artificial bulking up of the players throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, now faces the possibility of becoming known as “the Debt Commissioner.”

2. "The situation with the Mets looks particularly bleak."

3. "Over nearly two decades the Mets’ owners withdrew $94 million of other people’s money from the Mets-related accounts at Madoff’s investment firm."

4. "What’s clear from the court documents is that Frank McCourt used the team (Dodgers) as collateral to rack up $459 million in debt from 2004 to 2009."

5. "McCourt took $108 million of the money in personal distributions and funneled it into the couple’s real estate purchases. It also 'supported the couple’s very expensive lifestyle.'"

6. "The McCourts bought eight houses across the country, including a $28 million Malibu mansion."

7. "In 2006 McCourt turned two of the stadium’s parking lots into a separate company, then took a $60 million loan against it. He used $12 million of that on the team and took the rest of the money."

8. "It doesn’t help that many of the Dodgers’ deferred player salaries, like the $20 million still owed to former outfielder Manny Ramirez, are coming due."

9. "The Mets are unlikely to replace much of the $60 million in salaries that comes off its books after 2011."

10. "The Dodgers’ payroll slipped to twelfth in the league last year, behind the small-market Minnesota Twins."

A New Low In Red Sox Nation Taunting

This sample of photoshopped trash was sent to me by a spy who tracks a sox site. Bad enough they
mock Joba, but this New England  teabagger saw fit to attack the manliness of our Vice President just because he admired Mariano.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Biden Says Mariano Will Be Next In Line In Presidential Succession

The VP paid a visit to the Yankee camp today to make the very popular announcement.

Today's News Cycle Final Four Bracket

First bad omen? We're signing Joes off the scrap pile

Look: I don't know anything about Jose D. Ortegano, except that he's 23, throws LH, is a starter, and has a cool-sounding name, if you remove the middle initial.

Oh, yeah, and that we signed him from Atlanta's discard pile today.

OK, let's all agree it's good to know somebody Bronix wonks are Googling everybody who turns up in the neighborhood recylcling bin.

But... with the game's largest payroll and a solid farm system -- as we are told -- shouldn't teams be picking the corn from our stool?

Not complainin.' Just sayin.'

Missing links

Baseball flush with bathroom etiquette

Jeter named single greatest jock in NY history

AJ Burnett gets spring tatt.

And so it begins: Grandy is hurt

For the first 30 days, the best part of Camp Tamp was the injury rate. Yeah, Frankie C self-immolated again -- happens every spring -- but he's Plan B. Joba tweaked his weenie last week, and Colin Curtis -- the outfielder with the anchorman man -- went home in a supersling. We were generally safe and secure. (Keep your family safe and secure with NY Life...)

Yesterday, everything changed. Granderson pulled up twitching. Strained oblique. Whatever the hell that is. They say if it were Game Seven of the World Seires, he'd play. Whoopie. With Granyman out, Andruw Jones starts, and suddenly our top-to-bottom line-up looks more bottom-to-top.

But it's not losing Grandy for a week that scares us. It's like the western, where Scrappy and Mule are cooking beans over a fake fire. The Scrappster says, "It's quiet." Mule says, "Yeah. Too quiet."

It's too quiet. And we're too thin. Last night, on the MLB Speculation Network, one of the speculators speculated that A-Rod will have a great year, returning to Top 5 player status. Great. Just great. If the guy had broken into A-Rod's house and set skateboards on the stairways, or infected Cameron Diaz with the new measles, he couldn't have hung a greater curse on us.

All spring we've been contented. Now, Bartolo Colon is our fifth pitcher, and Andruw Jones might be starting. It's not quiet anymore. Is it starting?

'27 Redsocks make championship video

Boston's 2011 World Championship celebration has begun.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

50 Unexplainable Black and White Photographs

Off topic. But you gotta check this out.

Missing links

A-Rod and Cameron Diaz guzzle Busch

Yanks do it American Idol style

Jeet alters his stride and NYC tailor wants CC’s Big & Tall Pants.

Swisher finds religion, loses his swing?

Congratulations to Tampa Bay Rays for winning 2011 Battle for City of Tampa Bay

Give the Devils their due: Oompa beat us 3-1 last night, fair'n'square, to capture Spring 2011 bragging rights to their city, even if they must play in the area's second most expensive facility, behind St. Jetersburg.

In their ongoing quest to compete with the Yankees press clippings, the Tampons have assembled an amazing multitude of Bronx backstories, past and future pinstripers. They're like a sequel producer who couldn't get Brad and Angelina, but picked up all the bit cast from the original.

Consider these Yankee backstories:

Johnny Damon: 'Nuff said. (The goal for 2011 should be to put Tampa in our rearview, then obtain Johnny in a trade for the playoffs.)

Manny Ramirez:  'Nuff spat. Always claimed he wanted to play for Yankees. Nevah gonna happem.

Kyle Farnsworth: Penciled in for late-inning stress. Hahahahahahahahahhaa. Ve shall see vat ve shall see.

David Price: Will always be compared to Phil Hughes. Future Yankee, too.

Jeff Neimann: Yankee killer, also potential future Yankee, if we decide to switch to basketball.
Kelly Stoppach: Broke up CC's no-hitter last year. Forever on shitlist.

Evan Longora: Dethroned A-rod on all-star team, though mostly because voters confuse him with star of Desperate Housewives.Let's see if he holds up or becomes Eric Chavez. (Note to Eric Chavez: Have good year, and I'll delete that line.)
BJ Upton: Rumored trade subject all last winter. Cashman sniffed, but Rays wanted island of Manhattan, Jersey, Connecticut and scraps of underware from Lady Gaga tour bus. When contract runs out, he'll still be young... catch my drift? Right now, trapped in a bad romance. Mwahahahahaha.

Monday, March 21, 2011

If This Was 1996 Bartolo Could Win The James P. Dawson Award

Yankeetorial: Mars needs women, and Jesus needs Scranton

Entering spring training, if there was universally accepted point in Yankeedom, it was that Jesus Montero was ticketed for Scranton. The concept worked. He'd get seasoning, roll into a hot streak and then come up ready to catch or DH, or maybe both. He wouldn't get traumatized by teams looking to embarrass a big-ticket rookie. You didn't throw a 21-year-old to the wolves, especially in New York.

When Franciso Cervelli got hurt, everything changed. We drank a keg of giddy reports outlining the great strides Montero has made since last spring -- which is true -- and we celebrated him as a sure thing to make the team. Ever since, it's been fallback mode -- bloggers and scouts competing to lead the negative bandwagon. To make matters worse, he hasn't hit well in Tampa.

The result is starting to scare me. Now, we're saying Austin Romine might go north as the back-up catcher. I don't mean to devalue Romine, but what was meant to be Montero's low-stress spring is looming as the kind of month that can leave bitter feelings. The Yankiverse has a tendency to overhype young players, then rip them for not being immediate all-stars. (Manny Banuelos, they're making your Cross, as we speak.) If Montero comes up and fails, the media drums will start beating out the story that Cashman blew it: He should have traded the kid.

We need Cervelli back, and Montero needs a month in the Anthracite Museum. He needs to come to New York because he's either destroyed the International League, or we have nobody else. He does not need to be sitting the bench and playing every fourth day under a laser scope.

This is the worse-case scenario: A bad start by the Yankees, Montero not hitting, Cashman under pressure -- we trade our future for some Liriano. God save us.

My Name Is Brian McGuire Cashman, I'm A Survivor

Harvey Araton's Times' love story about the scrappy second basemen from Catholic University
The book on Brian Cashman was that he was a small but scrappy second baseman, excellent speed, active bat, good glove, average arm and stubborn as a Steinbrenner in his approach to the game.
As a four-year starter and leadoff hitter at Catholic University in Washington in the mid-to-late 1980s, Cashman was known for refusing to look down the third-base line at his coach for fear of seeing the take sign.
“I had trouble with secondary pitches,” he said. “If the first pitch of the game was a fastball, I would jump on it and hammer it, opposite of the approach I have as a general manager. I like guys with high on-base percentages.”
Ask Cashman a question, almost any question, and invariably the answer rambles around to what’s best for the Yankees.
One of these years, this admitted workaholic promises to change the subject, take the exotic vacation that somehow eluded him through college and beyond. He will go to Europe, a continent he has yet to set foot on. He will finally make time to explore his religious and ancestral roots.
“My name is Brian McGuire Cashman, Irish Roman Catholic, but I have never been to the Vatican and I have not been to County Cork,” he said, in his peppy monotone and with what sounded like a 50-50 mix of personal regret and professional pride.
Wherever Cashman has traveled abroad — China, Japan, Latin America — his sight was set on the business of summers in the South Bronx. At 43 but in his 25th year of working for the Yankees, he acknowledged that he probably needs to get out more.
“Let’s do it over here — I could use some sun,” he said to a recent interview request, choosing a shadeless corner of the team’s spring training complex. Committed as he is to the Yankees’ cause, the blue-eyed, fair-skinned Cashman has apparently not given up on a state of being — tanned and rested — that has proved more challenging than his unlikely rise from Yankees summer intern to general manager to quarter-century organizational fixture.

"I could use some sun," he says. We could use a starting rotation without A.J. as its number 2 man.
“Let’s do it over here." What do Cash and Harvey plan on doing?

10 Reasons Why We Should Keep Freddy Garcia, (even though he's getting hammered)

1 He's only 34 and has many great years left.

2. Who cares? World coming to end soon anyway.

3. Don't want the Redsocks to get him.

4. AL East hitters not prepared for 84-mph fastball.

5. If gone, who does Bartolo compete with?

6. By mid-July, he'll be on a roll.

7. Can't bear thought of Kevin Millwood smirking at us.

8. Great recent success with reclamation projects (Javier Vazquez, Chan Ho Park, Chad Gaudin, et al.)

9. He was good 8 years ago.

10. With Mitre, Nova and Burnett starting, we'll need all the middle-inning relievers we can get. Say, can we go north with a 15-man staff?

Which One Of These May Be The False Messiah?

Or heaven forbid is it both? Joel Sherman reports on the catching progress of the guy on the right.
I asked four scouts independently about Montero's defense the past few days, and none was enthused about his chances to stay a catcher long term.One scout went this far: "No matter how many different ways you ask, I don't see a catcher. Just because you have shin guards and a mask, that doesn't make you a catcher."The Yanks disagree, of course. Joe Girardi called Montero "a work in process," and said he still thinks "he can be an above-average catcher."Nevertheless, even the Yanks have seen regression in this camp, with one team official saying Montero's defense had been poor about the last 10 days. One theory is that Montero, 21, has tensed up as he has gone from trying to win the backup job to attempting not to lose it. He went from pursuing the position to the clear favorite when Francisco Cervelli broke his foot."I do think it is possible that he wants it so bad that maybe he is trying not to mess up now," Girardi said.
As for the guy on the left. I had my long anticipated first experience with Crown Royal Black down in North Liberty Heights' Philly this weekend. When I ordered a double the waiter's eyes lit up in silent recognition of , "Behold, here goes a real man."  My wife thought I'd be incapable of making the drive back to homeland Brooklyn. I went about my business finishing them off with a repressed grimace and with the realization that I'm nothing more than a double a egg cream farmhand.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

If I Could Only Load Photos from this Bar....

I want to shoot myself.

I just spent an hour writing up yesterday's game , edited it, and hit some f****** button that lost it all.

I haven't the energy to re-write the thing.

So here is my summary:

There were thousands of gross people at the game yesterday. All eating double orders of cheese fries and swigging gallon containers of soda. Some did it even with one arm in a sling.

America's breadbasket is safe. That Federal initiative to slim us down is dead aborning, as they say.

Garcia won and then lost his starting role in his 6 innings. If Nunez could have made one more great catch ( I think the sun got him ), Garcia would have escaped the 4th inning ( 3 runs ). But he didn't.

Freddy had a decent bounce-back in the 5th and was cruising until he got taken deep in the 6th. So now, I see him, Colon and AJ still fighting for a spot.

I hate AJ and think he will kill us again this year. That's why I hope he gets cut.

Nunez is a nice player who will make the team as back-up utility guy. He is hitting .317 and knocked in game tying run yesterday with a base hit. And he did make a great catch in LF yesterday, filling in for Brett Gardiner. A huge upgrade from Pena whose artistry with his glove is legend, but who cannot hit.

Chavez is hitting .375 and looks rejuvinated. Andruw Jones looks sluggish, and he isn't hitting his weight. He and Belliard could have a belly shaking contest.

MO was amazing again. I still don't understand the two hitters who never took their bats off their shoulders while facing him. MO always throws strikes. For what are the batters waiting? They both went down looking.

Ryan Pope has returned, but has a long ways to go until we can again consider him a "future closer hope."

All the young guys ( Including Montero ) are not hitting. Pena, Melky, Maxwell, Romine, Russo, the latest Molina etc. No one is up to .200

Vasquez, at .467, is the exception and he is probaly not young. He disappointed me yesterday with a bad looking at bat and K. So did Jesus.

I kept hoping to see our ambidexterous pitcher but he doesn't seem to be here.

I imitated him at the bar last night with a manhattan in each hand.

Marketing lines for MLB and Victoria's Secret merger

Bud Selig has done it again. According to an MLB news release:

By popular demand, Major League Baseball and Victoria's Secret PINK announced that the availability of co-branded VS Pink female clothing has expanded for this season. Stock has more than doubled from 11 to 23 clubs, with the addition of the D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Rockies, Tigers, Brewers, A's, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Rangers and Nationals. All 30 clubs will be represented in 2012.

Check out this awesome testimonial! It's fuggin' awesome!

"I think it is awesome that MLB is pairing up with Victoria's Secret for more of us," 21-year-old Dodgers fan Kathy Damato of Macedon, N.Y., said after ordering a VS Pink tee from the Shop. "I feel like VS Pink gives the women's MLB line a more youthful appearance and is definitely more my taste, and I'm sure it is more appealing to my age group."

Some Marketing Lines for the MLB-VS Merger

The Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Bra

The Teddy Ballgame

Chien-Ming Thong

The Homer Bush

Panty Petttitte

The "Poosh Em Up" Tony Lazzari Brassier

The Pube Waddell

The Butt Showalter

While The Jete's Away, Alph Will Play

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Alph aint gonna like this one

One pitch away from a quality start, Freddy conjures up a nightmare.

Canada In Florida

Yesterday's game was against Toronto in some place named Dunedin.

They have LaBatt's ( a plus ) and canadian bacon as snacks. The stadium was sold out because the Yanks were coming, but the sell-out crowd was 5, 678. The aptly named ballpark is; Florida Auto Exchange stadium.

There is no shade, all the foul balls that go out of the ballbark hit a car or a person, and the cinderblock walls reminded me of Randall's island in the 1960's. I mean, talk about a place that needs to invest some money in a new facility.....

The only thing worse than the infastructure was watching ( suffering through ) AJ Burnett pitch. The guy still can't get by a hitter without a 3-2 count. He has no out pitch, save the one that bounces in the dirt and makes it to the backstop. And, were I playing third base again, I would stand out in left field and talk with my teammate between pitches.

AJ's problem is not simply that he can't throw a first pitch strike, he takes an interminable amount of time to do anything. The fans hated him because the game was so slow. He must be the guy that made that umpire declare Yankee/Red Sox games take too long.

He and Martin could not get their signs straight. Shouldn't that be a non-issue by now?

And AJ still sucks, folks. We really have to worry about Cashman pulling a deal and dealing away the best pitching prospect we have had in years...the Banuelos kid.

Don't be deceived by the box score. In my view, AJ was worse than the stats indicate. An hour per half inning. And runs yielded, earned or not, every inning. That's AJ.

He made our new catcher Russell Martin look like El Duque back there. He had about 4 errors on pitches to the backstop from where he had to throw guys out at first, and threw to the outfield instead. The Jays must have thought Martin was Jorge Posada, because they stole 4 bases off him.

My new idol, Jorge Vasquez, got into the game late and was 1-1 with a walk. Scored a run and hit a few shots foul that rocked the stadium. How old is this dude? He can hit better than anyone I've seen. I think he is close to .500 now.

Is he the Fernando Valenzuela of hitting?

Brandon Laird played well in the late innings, and went 1-1 with an rbi. He is a prospect. I also think Nunez makes this team. Grandy was great as usual.

There is something the Yankees like about Justin Maxwell. He looks ( body type ) a bit like Darryl Strawberry, but does not hit like him. Does he have an option whereby they can send him to AAA?

I also wonder about Andruw Jones. Even though he got a single yesterday, does he get a bye due to his prior reputation? And what happened to Greg Golsten? Is he hurt?

Andy Brackman pitched the final inning for the Yanks and drew gasps for his height. He pitched an inning and got three guys out. Not dominating, but fine work.

This afternoon we raid G. Steinbrenner stadium for the re-match.

How did Jimmy know that I was drinking with Minka last night?