Saturday, August 31, 2013


One down, 20 wins to go.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Playoffs Start Tonight

Ten games at home. We need to win eight.

Anybody wanna buy a bridge?

Starting now, A-Rod must hit in the clutch. Beginning this weekend, Phil Hughes - or whomever it is - must be lights-out. In a few hours, Robbie's hand must heal. Maybe Slade Heathcott will jell! We must play better than we have all season. Eight out of ten. No problemo. Then, we need to drive to Baltimore and win three out of four.

Murderer's Row, and then Cano. Isn't that what they once called us?

That's what we need.

Well, sorry... because I'm not saying anything you don't already know. The '13 season started on a crappy note, getting whupped by Boston, and our pennant hopes ended shortly after the All-Star break. Our Wild Card race - which was expanded by King Bud last year - is probably going to end within a hangover of Labor Day, with a whole stinking month left to play.  After that, we can "relish our role as spoilers!"

For the Yankees to compete meaningfully in 2014, Bud Selig needs to add another Wild Card slot. No, make it two.

The two Wild Wild Card teams would play a five-innings, winner take-all half game, in the ballpark of the team that clinched the second Wild Card berth. The team that wins the half-game would play the Second Wild Card in a traditional one-game series.

Maybe Bud can add four more Wild Wild Wild Cards. They would play one-inning games - no, better idea: One batter vs. one pitcher - a one at-bat playoff round. Think of it: If he gets on base, his team advances to the five-inning game, and then to the single whole Wild Card game. The Yankees would, of course, be Wild Wild Wild Card favorites, because we would send up The Captain. Then in the five-inning game? Hmmm.  Right now, I'd go with Adam Warren, the hot hand!  That would free up Andy for the Wild Card game - I think he'll turn 50 next year - and who knows, one of these days, Slade Heathcott will jell!

Eight of ten, folks.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Today's Huffington Post Scoreboard

Signs You Are Middle Aged: 40

Females Kicking Ass on TV: 27

Moments that Will Transport You to 1910: 17

Most Loyal Dogs: 16

(TIE) Miami-Area Mayors Arrested This Month: 3
Words that Ended My Marriage: 3
Top Places to Retire in Asia: 3

Miley Cyrus VMA Rumors Totally Debunked: 1

Brian Cashman is catching grief for supposedly opposing the Alphonso Soriano trade: If he did, GOOD FOR HIM

A mini-controversy is raging in the left-brain of the Yankiverse, apparently because Brian Cashman went Lizzie Borden on some reporter who suggested that he opposed the Alphonso Soriano trade. At the time, Cashman went on record saying he didn't want to give up Corey Black. You can read all about it in River Ave.

Of course, this is an another example of the Yankees prematurely claiming that a trade is a grand success. Yeah, Sori has been on a tear. But frankly,  I see him standing at home plate - watching the ball all the way to the wall (which it doesn't always go over) -  and I think, "This is our clubhouse veteran next year." The Cubs knew exactly what they were giving away.  Who knows what Corey Black will be, but for the Yankiverse to start a witch-hunt over whether Cashman opposed the deal is almost as ridiculous as Cashman rushing to insist he always supported it. Good God, are we nuts or what?

After the Vernon Wells deal - (we traded Exicaino Cayones and Kramer Sneed for the lug) - the Yankee brass quickly took victory bows. Wells looked good in April. Now, as we stare into the gaping jaws of having him next year, it's  clear that California knew exactly what it was giving away.

Actually, I'm sorry to be whipping on Wells, because he runs out balls - he's been more of team guy than I thought he would be -  but he hasn't hit a lick since May, and when your cleanup hitter tanks, you are dead.

Did we win on the Wells trade? I dunno. Would we have been better off playing Juan Rivera or Zolio or one of the lost legions from the scrap heap? I dunno. But when I think of Wells playing for us next year... Kramer Sneed sounds pretty interesting.

If this were an election, they'd call it, and not even Karl Rove would disagree

Last week, using barbaric kitchen math, I calculated that the Yankees could sustain 10 losses over the final month and still win that fraudulent, second, one-game Wild Card berth. Frankly, I was being optimistic - but, hell, I'm a sunny guy. (I see a 2-1 count as "half full," not half-empty.) Truth is, 10 losses might not even cut it. 

Well, we're now down to eight losses in the month of September. And who anticipated that two would come at the club-foot hands of our genetic-ape cousins, the Toronto Blue Jays?

Well, it could still happen. It just won't, that's all. Everybody knows it. Last night, the late Tim Russert would have pulled out his chalkboard and crossed us off his list. Nate Silver would still be color-coding his chart. If we consider the YES Network to be the Yankee version of Fox News - a fair comparison, by the way - they will hem and haw until eight losses are in the books. But it's only a matter of time before Coney blurts out the truth: That bomb we've been holding since last winter, vowing to cut payroll, has finally gone off.

Between Robbie Cano's hand and Eduardo Nunez's knee, we could easily see Alberto Gonzalez as our month of September's infield centerpiece.

We have Hiroki Kuroda, who Girardi has worked all season like a rented mule, cracking under the strain.

And then there is Phil Hughes, the latest flaring toothache of the Yankiverse: Everyone wants him thrown into the bullpen, if not the ocean... but who pitches in his place? Chris Bootcheck? 

Eight losses? We might be hard-pressed to deliver eight wins.

I believe last night offered a microcosm of 2013's final month. We were gone early, so if you had a movie - (We watched "Hitchcock," harmless, though Anthony Hopkins didn't look one iota like the title character) - or Predator drone to rewire (mine's been hiccuping lately) you didn't have to worry about missing anything: The 2013 Yankees are not a team that comes back from a seven-run deficit.

Or a team that goes 21-8 in September.

Oh well, let's enjoy the next week. The playoffs have begun.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Miley Cyrus didn't invent the Twerk

Who can forget when Don Zimmer and Pedro Martinez 
bumped and jammed together at the 2002 MTV awards.
Back in the 1950s, TV viewers were 
appalled when Yogi "did it" with Don Larson
These days, A-Rod loves to 
spontaneously twerk 
during Yankee games.

Even the Captain gets into the act!

Today's Huffington Post Scoreboard

Females Kicking Ass on TV: 27

Things You Don't Want in a True Love: 24

Must-Know Sites: 21

Bars to Visit Before You Die: 15

Hot Biographies Coming Out this Fall: 11

Truths About Exercise that Nobody Wants to Believe: 6

Women Revealing How They Got Over Their Eating Issues: 4

Building the perfect beast

To unite America, A-Rod needs to date Miley Cyrus.

Hello, Mr. Selig? Are you there? Can somebody pick up! Do you know that a Redsock is dating a porn star?

Hello, hello?, I'm calling for Mr. Selig? Hello? Anybody there?

Well, I'm livid. LIVID!  I just heard on the news that a Boston Redsock fellow, Mike Napoli, is running around with some X-rated movie Jezebel, Rachel Starr, and she's been in more than 100 naughty films, and - my God, Mr. Selig, have you ever seen those movies? Our church group has watched a bunch - somebody has to document this filth! - and I cannot even describe the goings on, except to say that if this is the moral standard of the Boston Redsocks, well, you have to do something!

Hello? Can anybody pick up the phone? Hello?

Well, Mr. Selig, I know you care about children, because you're fighting  that horrible A-Rod man. But you have to get involved. The integrity of the game is at stake. What messages are we sending the Little Leaguers? That they should take steroids and date porn stars? My God. I didn't even want to watch that Little League World Series, because that 6'2" boy - they claim he's 12 - well, he's probably on the phone right now, lining up a motel room with one of those Kardashian trollops.

Mr. Selig, please pick up the phone. Please, you gotta do- BEEEP

Is A-Rod heating up for his final meltdown?

The Iron Law of Wackos says that, as the authorities close in, you mix the Kool-Aid, soak the barricades in gasoline, and make sure everybody has a bullet for himself, and one for each member of his family. That final confrontation, the one where everybody dies in a network-televised inferno: That's the money shot. That's your legacy, Mr. Koresh. Want people to remember your name, Reverend Jones? Go out with a hail of hellfire near a CNN sound truck. 

On that note, it's fair to expect Alex Rodriguez to hit 10 home runs in the next month, passing Willie Mays - (who was also once banned from baseball, by the way) - on the all-time MLB Home Run list (of morality-approved players.)  A-Rod has now homered in two straight games. The last time he did it, I think he was dating Cameron Diaz, and Thomas Dewey was President.

Nevertheless, I'm betting the juju gods have something special planned for us: The money shot.

No final Arod chapter can be complete without the meltdown, the collapse - the winning runs on base, the swing and the miss, the glare at the ump, and the long march back to the dugout, with that sad Arod glance over his shoulder at the pitcher who ruined eternity. When the end comes for Arod - and, yes, for the 2013 nightmare Yankee season - I believe it will happen with just such a flourish. I'm starting to think it is meant to happen... that a team and its fan base cannot endure such torment without a final reason, a resolution that puts everything into perspective.

And, frankly, folks, I don't care anymore. Our little mating dance with the Wild Card race - the Yankees' last two weeks, featuring Arod as our midway dunking clown - gave us  a reason to watch the team, when otherwise there was none.

If we were still playing Alberto Gonzalez at third - God bless you, sir - we would 10 games out, the bleachers would be full of sea gulls, and the games would be pointless, beyond checking the box scores to see how Robbie and Gardner did. 

Arod's return gave us something to watch: A few sideshows, en route to the final explosion and the ensuing scenes of Hell. No, it won't be pretty, folks, when the barn roof finally collapses. But it will be over, done, and it will be riveting. That's the Iron Law of Egomaniacs (See Olbermann, Keith): Never be boring.

And say whatever you wish about Arod. But add this addenda to his gravestone: HE WAS NEVER BORING.

Two home runs in two nights. Watch out, Willie. (And you, too, Rev. Jones.) Hey, can I have seconds on that Kool-Aid?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Show a little faith, there's magic in the mike: Met fan Chris Christie attacks The Master, ensuring he will never reach thuuuuuuuuuuuuh White House

He hugs Obama, ridicules Ron Paul's boy, and now this:

Garden State Gov. Chris Christie - aka the "Talking Tummy Band" - has ripped the legendary radio voice of the New York Yankees for being - well - John Sterling.

For reasons that would need to be explained by Theodore H. White, Christie yesterday co-hosted a sports talk show on WFAN radio. Quickly, he was asked - as certainly all prospective voters yearn to know - his personal opinion on thuuuuuuuuh Yankee announcing team.

"I don't want to hear one more thing from John Sterling. You can play Suzyn Waldman any time you want, but John Sterling turns my stomach. ... I just can't take him."

Obviously, Christie is courting the lady vote. It won't work. Christie is a card-carrying Met fan. The United States has never elected a Met fan President. It never will. You can look it up.  The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College to make sure it never happens.  And if Christie runs against Hillary (Yankee fan, by the way), the attack on The Master should be played at the Democratic Convention.

Today's Huffington Post Scoreboard

Simpsons' GIFs that teach you absolutely nothing about life: 36

Most dysfunctional book couples: 17

U.S. Cities that could disappear soon due to climate change: 14

Cult brands so popular they don't need to advertise: 10

Ways to become a creature of new habits: 6

Foods that increase body odor: 5

Yankee official pre-game propaganda

Every day, MLB - via the Yankees - disseminates an incredible amount of information about scheduled games.

Check this out. It's merely a snippet of the Press Notes sent to media outlets - which you can access, too. Right here.

Pineda Not Special

One-third of current MLB pitchers have had Tommy John surgery.

Welcome to new Yankee fan celebrity: Joe Odom

According to THE DAILY MAIL, Lamar Odom, on the lam from Khloe Kardashian, says his dad, Joe, (Yankee fan, by the way)  did him wrong.

During a 2011 episode of his spin-off series Khloe & Lamar, the basketball star revealed that his father Joe Odom is a 'heroin addict,' and was largely absent after his mother passed away from colon cancer when he was just 12-years-old.

In the photos, old Joe wears a Yankee cap. Can't help but think the pain of 2013 has contributed to putting him and his son back on Skid Row.

The last month of Yankeehood looms for more than just Mariano

We are approaching the final chapter in several Yankee plot arcs, which, sadly, are starting to resemble the concluding season of "Lost."

Of course, there currently remains an 0.2 percent statistical chance that the Yankees will win the 2013 World Series - (no lie!) - as calculated on Baseball Prospectus. (Chance of us making the Wild Card: 7.5 percent.) If we beat the odds, all shall be forgiven, planets will realign, and the only concern will be getting tickets for the tribute concert featuring Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. 

But as we hit the home stretch, several Yankees are wearing pinstripes for their final outings  at least until Old Timers Day 2022.

For starters, let's leave Mariano out of this. His plot line, and his reputation, will remain secure, no matter what happens next month. A traumatic streak of blown saves - even pennant-killing losses - won't even scratch his center field plaque. He will leave with head high.  The others, well... they might hear catcalls in a cavernous and empty stadium in the din of early October. 

So let's prepare. The de facto last week of summer is a good time to ponder the transitory life of Yankeehood.

Farewell, A-Rod

Odds are, he'll be suspended for most, if not all of 2014. After that, the Yankees will never bring him back. What more is there to say? We've defended him on this blog,  because of the hypocrisy of MLB. Soon, it won't matter. But for whatever it's worth, I'd like to offer one last thought.

The other night, Alphonso Soriano stood at home plate and admired his magnificent home run against Tampa. He preened and he flexed, and he waited for the ball to disappear into the stands. Trouble was, it didn't. This is the next year's Yankee cleanup hitter (and likely role model for our young players.) Say you want about Alex, over all the years we watched him, he never did that.

Anyway, he's gone. They'll never even bring him back for Old Timers Day.

Farewell, Phil Hughes

After last night, it's easy to take a potshot at Phil. He really wasn't that bad. His real problem was one that is endemic of the Yankees: We put such exaggerated expectations on young players that they never can satisfy us. They were calling him "Phil Franchise" as a rookie. What a joke.

Maybe Hughes will find happiness in the NL Central. Would we have been better off with Johann Santana? Doesn't matter. He's gone.

Farewell, Joba
Damn, we loved him. He was our Everyman, our Babe Ruth lookalike. When Joba burst onto the scene, some doofass around Jersey was arrested for impersonating him in bars, bedding women who thought he was Joba.  (I would say the guy was working with what he had.) And remember Joba's dad, sitting in the wheelchair? It breaks your heart.

What the hell happened to him? He's now the Wil Nieves of Yankee pitchers. If we are ahead by 10 or behind by 10, it's Joba Time. (And if we're ahead by 10, if Joba comes in, there's still a chance Mariano will get the save.) He's horrible. He never came back fully from that ankle injury on the trampoline. I have to believe, though, he will be cheered when he returns at Old Timers Day 2020. Damn, we loved the guy.

Farewell, Grandyman
I could be wrong on this. He's a free agent, and the Yankees will probably pick up his option, hoping for a draft pick. He might flip and decide to stay, thinking a good season would score the big long-term contract. Still, I think his time here is done.

Great guy. Quality person.  He could be a YES announcer someday, or a Congressman. But I see the moral of the story this way:  Yankee fans never forget what we give up in trades. And the Grandyman deal - Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke - will haunt us for years.

There are other players likely to disappear.  Kuroda could be gone, wooed by the Dodgers endless tap of money. The same with Robbie Cano. (Something about his detached mannerisms lately, and the fact that he didn't take Hal's "solid offer,"  lead me to suspect he's already half out the door.) Loverboy will leave. And I think it's time - at least on this blog - to ponder the unponderable.

Farewell John (and Suzyn?)

No idea what the Yankees are thinking here. But during each of the last several winters,  the organization has played serious pocket pool with ESPN over radio broadcast rights.

One of these years, they'll pull the trigger.

The launch of Fox Sports One, there could be a money stampede for Yankee radio this winter.  (Or not? Who knows?) How would it affect the 2014 broadcasting team? Dunno. It won't seem right, listening to Yankee games without John and Suzyn. But next year looms as The Yankee Apocalypse - the end of one world, and the beginning of another.

The Master could be singing his final WinWarbles this fall. Just a thought...

Of course, there still is that 0.2 percent chance that we win the World Series. Let's hope Jay and Alicia keep October open.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nine losses left in the season

Maybe eight. But, hell,  let's be optimistic.

Bud Selig considering lifetime MLB ban of Miley Cyrus

With a tongue like that, she must be juicing.

It-Is-High Exclusive:

Musician/Yankee fan Gary Frenay--a five-tool player with Frenay & Lenin, The Fab Cats and The Flashcubes, among other championship acts--was present at the big Yankee win at Dodgers Stadium on July 31st, just before which John and Suzyn appeared to him, like Mary to St. Bernadette!  Naturally, I have questions about this, and Gary graciously answers them all after the jump!

We can absorb ten more losses this season

Ten losses. It seems like a lot, but it's not. Ten losses. That's our wiggle room.

Ten losses. That's a couple Phil Hughes meltdowns, one Joba outing, a handful of those one-run scoring nights - and maybe a game pissed away by a bad umpiring call. Ten stinkin' losses.  Any more, and it's football season: How 'bout them Gints! Eleven losses, and we're looking at next year's Yankee roster, which is to say, we're looking for a resurgence sometime around 2016. Wake me before the asteroid hits. Slade Heathcott will be 35.

Ten more losses.

That's my kitchen table math. It aint exactly algorithms. We have 31 games to play. We are four games behind, with three teams above us. If we win two out of every three, that's a higher winning percentage than any of the Wild Card contenders have shown for the season, and it probably wins us a trip to that one-game playoff, the illusionary crap shot that Bud Selig created for MLB marketing purposes. You know, the special, limited-edition collectable caps that the winning team will be handed after the one-game playoff victory. We'll all want to buy one as keepsakes.

Ten losses, give or take. If we win two out of three - well, that aint bad, as Meat Loaf said (Yankee fan, by the way.)

The wins won't register. It's just the losses now that will kill us.

We have three left with the White Sox. If we don't sweep them, and batter them in doing so, we deserve to have our balls turned into Mentos and then poured into Diet Coke. I'm calling it 3-0. No losses.

We have six with Toronto. This frightens me. We won't beat them forever. I'm figuring two losses.

We have seven with Boston. Insert sigh here. If we're lucky, we take the series. Still, three losses.

Seven with Baltimore. We simply must beat them five times. Two losses.

Three with Tampa. At home. I'll stay optimistic.  One loss. 

Three with Houston, and three with San Francisco. Some of the last series of the year. Both teams suck. Both teams are playing for draft picks. If we're in it, we should sweep them both. But we won't, of course. Late season tomato cans always rise up against the Yankees. Two losses.

That's 10 losses, right there. We would still make it. (Or not, if some other team goes crazy). We must win every series, or get boiling hot and sweep somebody.

If we lose tonight, it's not over.

If we lose tonight and tomorrow, it's not over.

We have 10 losses to eat. Bon appetit!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

If they sweep us....

Well, after all is said and done...

It will mean we simply are not very good.

You can't beat up on Toronto all the time. Eventually, you have to win against a good team.

If we lose tonight... well, we'll have had a four-game run... topped off with a three or four-game losing streak: The quintessential predicament of a mediocre team.

I am too demoralized to write this morning. You know something? They actually had me believing we could do this. What an idiot. I'm too old to be so stupid.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

In The End, It Is All Wishful Thinking

It is my fault.

I thought I could sneak in a meaningless comment without impacting the Ju-Ju that was working for the Yankees, but I was wrong.

Next time the Yankees go on a run, if I am still alive, I will simply remain silent.

Now that I have awakened, however, I want to point out the obvious.  This team, even with the band-aid squad back on scene, does not have the horses to win.

If you look carefully, our line-up is still overflowing with guys hitting .218, give or take.  A-Rod is back to taking that first pitch strike meatball, and then flailing at either low inside, or low outside balls.  With two strikes, he watches a perfect pitch paint the plate and walks to the dugout, spitting seed husks.

Derek, meanwhile, is having mixed results ( good hit; bad field ) in Scranton.  Each game, another of our .218 hitters goes on the DL, or turns up under the weather. Nunny is playing hurt and is still worthy of an error a game, if needed.

 It is nice to have Tex on the bench for home games, though.  Don't you agree?

Kuroda held this team up for most of the year, and now he is fading.  Andy is rallying a bit, but is still only good for 6 innings. And how much does he have left for September, against the quality teams? CC wins if we score 8 or 9.  Hughes is a mystery ready to be traded, where he will become a consistent winner.  Phellps is done and Bettances now has the job of inflating the balloons for kiddy day in Scranton.

More no-names keep appearing.  But they all hit .218.

And, as our captain ( El Duque ) mentioned;  when the September call-up floods the bench,  when pumpkin seed sellers have their " Black September" for sales, the average age of the team will rise whilst our team BA will diminish.

We have no talent at all in the minors.  None.  Remember?

Final prediction for 2013:  In the end, the Yankees will stay in the hunt but miss the playoffs by a single game.  One loss too many.

One blown save.

A season of false starts?

The epitaph for 2013?

 Today, CC Sabathia pitches.  Used to be, sending CC out against Tampa was like setting loose a hungry lion in an arena of corn-fed Christians.

Now, we cringe at the thought of Adam Warren pitching the fourth. 

Last night's Yankee game was a B-grade horror movie by Roger Corman. The arm fell off our best monster - Hiroki - but Girardi left him in, and left him in, and left him in... saving the bullpen? At the expense of our best pitcher? For what... so we can use them today when CC goes out in the second?

If we lose today, we lose another series, we lose another chance, we lose another week, and - frankly - we lose the surge of hope that was generated - falsely, perhaps - by the hideous malpractice of the Toronto Blue Jays. 

A-Rod's batting average is down to the .260s. An 0-for-12 series, and he'll have David Adams numbers. 

Brett Gardner is going in for an MRI on his hand, after being hit by a pitch. Does anyone in the 2013 Yankiverse recall an MRI coming back with anything less than terrible news?

The September call-ups are a week away. It's the time when teams showcase their future talent, giving hope to fans that brighter times will be coming. If we're not in a wild card race - and we are not far from being out of it - we will be coming upon the saddest Yankee September since the dim daze of the early 1990s. God help us.

Of course, if we win today...

Friday, August 23, 2013






Why, that would be silly. There's no such thing as "Juju," right?


No difference. Correct?

Gomorrah v. Tampa: With umps and syringes in our pocket, the Damned Yankees head south

The Evil Empire (TM) - (Note: The Levine Dream Team should also trademark "Spawns of Satan" and "Evildoers from Hell" - is grinning today, from lawyer to lawyer, as our club of demons - led by Osama bin Arod - heads to the God-fearing, Koran-burning capital of the world - Florida - hoping to fling more innocent children into yet another sinkhole straight to hell. To scare them witless, we should play in hoodies.

That's the story arc of Major League Baseball's media, where anyone with a keen moral compass must root against the Yankees - the team of Arod Hitler - because, well, if you have be told why, you might as well swear allegiance to the Beastmaster yourself.  It's like tapping your toes to that Daft Punk song, "Get Lucky:" Everyone else is doing it. So get with the program!

Yesterday, the Yankees deliciously proved that the umpires too can act as useful tools of Satan - with not one but two blown calls on a sinking liner to center. On the YES Network, Michael Kay and David Cone belched sulfur about the Yankees lucking out on the call.  But the following inning, The Master and Mrs. Yogi were grousing over the Yankees being screwed by the bad call in center. Jeez. It's confusing when the sons of George Satanbrenner take the reigns.

Let's face it: As Yankee fans, we have no choice but to revel in our supreme evil.

For supporting this team, I will burn in Hell.

I will stand before a dark tribunal, led by a three-headed demon - each with the face of Bud Selig but a different hairpiece - and each gavel blow will have the impact of a Ryan Dempster fastball hitting my ribs.

For eternity, I will sit in a dugout between Bobby Valentine and Tim McCarver, hands stuck to my mouth with pine tar, while the 2004 ALCS is rerun on NESN.

All because I sided with Satan in this nightmare 2013 season.

Ah, but it will be worth it... YES, IT WOULD BE WORTH IT... just for that wondrous glimpse of the Apocalypse... Bud Selig style:

The Yankees, led by Darth Va-Rod, win the World Series on a blown call, obvious to everybody but the ump who botches it.

This comes at 2 a.m., following a two-hour rain delay that Bud Selig himself ordered, because it seemingly would hurt the Yankees' chances.

After the game, the $25 million-per-year Commissioner refuses to come into the Yankee locker room to award the World Championship trophy. Instead, Vladimir Putin is sent, in the hope that he will steal A-Rod's ring.

Ahhhhhhh, a two month run, in exchange for eternity in hell? What choice do we have?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Do you believe in evil miracles? Yessssssssss.

Exclusive: Official minutes of Secret Yankee Brass meeting this week in Tampa

Several news outlets have reported that Hal Steinbrenner this week called the Yankee Legion of Super Suits to Tampa for a rant session about the farm system, which has turned out bumper crops of pebbles now for three seasons. (BTW: Next year's harvest could be the juiciest, bursting with flavor, Pop Rocks yet.)

This is great news. It almost makes me believe Hal is reading some Yankee blogs, who for years have been decrying the dead farm system - while the mainstream beat writers work to capture those delightful post-game quotes, which are so treasured by Yankee fans.

At considerable expense, IT IS HIGH hired Brian Cashman's rappeling teacher to shinny down from the building's roof and cup a microphone to the window, allowing us to record the event. Unfortunately, the man fell to his death.

Nevertheless, another source came through. The following are official minutes of the session.

9:00 a.m. Owner Hal S. opened meeting, welcoming summer interns from Wharton School.

9:01 a.m. Mr. Cashman recited Pledge of Allegiance. President Levine sang National Anthem. Breakfast buffet served. Gavel accidentally landed on thumb of intern. Team Dr. P.O. Quackman offered first-aid.
9:16 a.m. Owner Hal S. opening remarks.  Asked, "What the f--- going on?" Noted, "J---- C----, who the f----!  Slade f--- Heathcott!" Inquired, "Oh my G---, f---  Gary Sanchez?"

9:29 a.m. Owner Hal S. accidentally smashed Mr. Coffee decanter over intern's forehead. First-aid applied by Dr. Quackman.

9:35 a.m.  Intern revived, bleeding stopped. Intern signed waiver of liability or insurance claims, as provided by President Levine.

9:45 a.m. Discussion of latest L. Lohan topless pics on internet.

9:54 a.m. Mr. Sterling gave presentation on Tab Hunter celebrity memoir.

10:00 a.m. Mr. Cashman named winner of A-Rod photo dart-throwing contest. Seconded by Mr. Kay.

10:05 a.m. Owner Hal S. set fire to A-Rod photo, following dart contest.  Seconded by Mr. Scott Proctor.

10:06 a.m. President Levine emptied fire extinguisher on A-Rod photo. Seconded by Mr. Selig (via internet).

10:20 a.m. Presentation on Yankee Code of Ethics by Mr. Mel Hall (via transmission from New York State Correctional Facility at Attica.)

10:30 a.m.  Owner Hank S. proposed Smoke Break. Seconded by Dr. Strawberry.

11:30 a.m. Super Juice Health Lunch served by Yankee co-litigant ally and former Biogenesis president "Doctor" A Bosch. Menu included items designed to combat "low T" and stimulate "personal growth."

11:50 a.m.  Co-owner and second sibling Hank S., announced feeling "super-charged for work;" challenged Wharton interns to shirtless wrestling contest.

Noon: Intern accidentally thrown from fourth story window during wrestling contest. Ambulance called by Dr. Quackman. While awaiting ambulance, owner Hal S. said to have set personal record for pushups.

12:15 p.m. Board table smashed into bits by Owner Hal S. 

12:20 p.m. Move for meeting to be adjourned for group to go "wilding." Meet to be convened later at Pole Dance hotspot. Seconded by Mr. Cone.

Yankeetorial: Next, it will be Tampa's chance to throw at A-Rod

The Evil Empire (TM) has visited two cities on its "Boo the A-Rod Zombie" Tour. In both, The Beastmaster took a fastball off the left arm, to the joy of the paying crowds of modern Dagwood Bumsteads and former Miss Floridas. No one went home thirsty. They got to see The Beastmaster in pain.

Tomorrow, we ride the Bean-Time  Express to Tampa, where Evan Longoria has already made a series of piercing anti-A-Rod wails - reminiscent of Donald Sutherland's squeal at the end of the mid-seventies "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" remake. The sanctity of the game! It's all about integrity! The children are watching this! Somebody must do something! Where the hell is the Johnny Walker? 

When I hear players go off on A-Rod - and I appreciate that some have a point here - I cannot help but think of Bible Belt pastors decrying gay marriage, while they secretly grope the altar boys online. If you're looking for suspects, never overlook the guy screaming the loudest. But certainly, no one would ever speak such things about a Tampa player. Only Yankees break the rules.

Well, Joe Girardi can yell all he wants about The Beastmaster's safety. It won't do any good. When MLB doesn't care about protecting him - if the next ball grazes A-Rod's chin, Bud Selig won't even dare try to feign public remorse - the team has only one defense: Stay in each game, and make it costly for any pitcher to piss off the batters or put a runner on base. If we fall down by four or five runs against a King Felix - well, The Beastmaster might should wear a suit of armor to the plate.

It's sad that we are discussing this. But let's face it: Right now, the Yankees are the demons of baseball - the bad guys in the World Wrestling Federation. We have a pile of games against Tampa and Baltimore still to play, and if our pitching holds, anything could happen. We are a threat to Bud Selig's clean post-season - (though ratings would go through the roof, if we make it, lining old BeezelBud's pockets.)  Wherever we go, fans will scream for blood, and some pitcher with nothing to lose - except maybe a federal investigation into his online visits - surely will give them what they want.

Here you go, Tampa! Step right up! See The Beastmaster, LIVE! And do we have a hero willing to make him fall?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

As personifications of evil, the Yankees must have black beards

The other night in Boston, one detail was missing from the image of A-Rod touching home plate with eyes and fingers pointed to heaven.

An evil black beard.

A Ming the Merciless beard. A Snidely Whiplash. Maybe even a Kristie Alley.

In celebration of the Yankees' rejuvenated status as pure evil, as the team that all god-fearing fans must instinctively hate, it is time for the organization to end its outdated ban on facial shrubbery.

If A-Rod were allowed pure freedom of expression, he could dress as a woman (which, by the way, would also be effective) and grow the chin roughage.

Free the Yankee chins.
Let my people grow.

The Evil Empire... evil again? John and Suzyn are fightin' mad

Yesterday, torrents of rage boiled from the Hertz 24/7 Broadcast Booth, (formerly the Lowe's Broadcast Booth: "Let's build something togethahhhhhh....") when John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman learned of MLB's "punishment" of Ryan Dempster... who may be the reincarnation of Phil Linz's harmonica.

Quickly, the Yankiverse truth posse called the spade the spade... the kettle black... and "it" as they saw "it:" The MLB justice system is a sham, a hoax, a mirage, a dingbob.

At the time, I was involved with a certain critical undertaking, requiring hammer and nail, and thus could not apply my full diligence to their precise words. Hopefully, historians someday will sift through game audio and restore the conversation, which should be heard by all American citizens and certainly studied in law schools across the country.

Both John and Suzyn lambasted the MLB "suspension," which isn't even a slap on Dempster's wrist. It's more like the soft lips of Bud Selig tenderly touching his knuckles.

The basic John and Suzyn talking points:

1. It's not fair. Not fair at all. You can talk all you want about A-Rod and the appeals process, but this is not fair. Not fair at all. Dempster won't miss playing time. That's not fair. NOT fair.

2. As a result, two-bit no-account pitchers, looking to make a name for themselves in Cleveland or Tampa, will be inspired to throw at A-Rod. Somebody will lose an eye. What will MLB say when that happens? Tough beans? It's not fair. NOT fair.

3. As for the claim that A-Rod supposedly lied to MLB investigators? Well, what about Dempster, Mr. Moral Policeman? When reporters asked him if he purposely threw at A-Rod, he claimed otherwise. That was a lie. A bold-faced lie. Everybody knows he was lying. Not fair. NOT fair.

We are backed into a corner, the whole world rooting against us.

In other words, we got 'em where we want 'em.

Still, it's not fair. NOT fair.

We are finally ahead of Kansas City

This is simultaneously hopeful and troubling:
We are now ahead of the Kansas City Royals.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Forget A-Rod: Everybody in the world is mad at Ryan Dempster

Yank and Redsock fans today can enjoy one great and unifying cause: Screaming for the shrunken head of Mr. Ryan Dempster, the Boston Beaner. For two days now, the packs of roving Gammonites have generally sided with A-Rod, refusing to support any pitcher who was obviously throwing at a batter. Even Curt Schilling, the Baghdad Bob of ESPN's Redsock coverage - and who led a chorus of voices that turned the Sunday night game into a midway sideshow with A-Rod as the dunking clown - derided Dempster's craven and cowardly act.

Today's Daily News speculates that Dempster could be the spark that turns around the Yankee season - with 39 games left. And the writers are still marveling about how "Fightin' Joe" Girardi backed his wayward troop. (Listen: If Joe hadn't raised bloody hell, it would have been a disgrace.)

Today, we at IT IS HIGH want to publicly forgive Mr. Dempster for his misguided act, which was obviously committed during the heat of battle. And I think it's worth noting Dempster's true crime, as the good and moral people of Boston see it:

He is guilty of blowing a three-run lead.

Yep. That's why the Redsock Nation wants a necklace of his teeth. He flubbed the game. If Dempster had shut down the Yankees into the eighth, today they'd be naming a bridge after him. The A-Rod beaning would be icing on the cake, a moment to cherish in their jewel box memories.

I know this sounds cynical - but whenever the nation's Champion of Truth, Bud Selig, starts railing about the integrity of the game, cynicism becomes my safe house. Also, I recognize that the A-Rod dispute has a million levels, and will be fought for at least the next five years.

But I view baseball with one core belief: If A-Rod had hit last October and led the Yankees to the World Series, everything would be different. The Yankees would still be treating him as royalty, and there is a possibility that this entire Biogenesis scandal might have never gone public. (I'm not saying that's good, just that it might have been swept under the rug.)

I think that's how A-Rod sees it. And I understand see why he feels that way. He believes his crime was striking out so many times on the world stage. And if so, he's got a point.

Today, it's hard to imagine the A-Rod quagmire leading to anything positive for the Yankees. We are not only Wild Card also-rans, but we are hauling this huge public relations anvil from town to town, while we wage war within our organization. Derek Jeter has already called the season a nightmare. The worst could be yet to come.

And yet, AND YET...

If A-Rod is right, and the instincts of cynicism are true... there IS one possible way out:

Lead the Yankees to a miracle championship.

If so, we in the Yankiverse should start scouring the landscape. Somewhere, we need to start the christening process for Ryan Dempster Bridge.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Yankees are now officially Back. Hot. Together. Returning. Glotchy. Parumbus.

I give up. Ten brain burps.

1. It's too late for The Great Reawakening. Two weeks too late. Everybody knows this. Nevertheless, last night was the peak of the season. Can we actually turn it around? Damn. We fall for this... every time.

2. Who cares if there is acrimony between A-Rod and the Yankee front office. If they are all gone next spring, it would be fine with me.

3. Brett Gardner is the de facto captain of the Yankees.

4. Thank God Joe got himself tossed from the game. I was proud of him.

5. At one point, Curt Schilling on ESPN actually compared last night's Yankee uprising to the 2004 championship series, when the Redsocks rallied. (Anything to mention that series, eh?) Whenever Schilling spoke, his words were flavored with contempt for the Yankees. He's worse than Sterling. At least John is beset by unbridled Yankee joy. Schilling just hates the Yankees.

6. At this point, we should have one basic quest: Keep the Redsocks out of the playoffs.

7. If there is a moral standard on all this A-Rod business - and I've been arguing for weeks that we should not apply morality to baseball - Ryan Dempster hit a new low. That was as blatant as blatant gets.

8. A-Rod used the appeals process to to hit one of the most memorable home runs of his career.

9. The Redsocks really look like whiners, complaining that A-Rod is playing against them. They also look nervous. I think they're going to crack apart and finish out of the running.

10. As soon as we fall out of this, we should send CC to California and let him rest. It hurts to see him struggle so badly. He's not getting better.

Sign this man to a contract tonight ...

Yeah, he's been out of baseball for a couple years, there's got to be a spot in the bullpen for anyone who Tweets this:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Yankees are now officially Done. Finished. Over. Kaput. Smoogey. Phlarm.

Yesterday, August 17, 2013—a date which will live in infamy— the United Yankees of America formally ended its reign as a major power in the baseball world.

From now on, the best thing that can happen is that we lose. Yes, lose. Today, tomorrow, all next week and all next month. Just lose. (Except on Mariano's Day.) There is no point to winning a game here and there. It won't matter.

Joel Sherman outlined it last week. If the Yankees lose enough to rate as one of the worst 10 records in baseball - and we're not far from that supreme peak of incompetence - the team will not only draft high next year, but they can sign free agents without losing picks. Unfortunately, that won't even help enough. The Yankees next winter won't sign big free agents because, a: There are none out there, and b: The prime objective of the ownership is to cut payroll to a mythical number - last estimated at $189 million. And then there is the fact that big free agents do not resuscitate dead organisms (see California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays.)

And we are lying in the street with a Do Not Resuscitate tag on our toes. Nobody in the farm system has had what could be considered a breakout year. This comes after our previous great hopes - Jesus Montero, Andrew Brackman, et al - proved to be epic mirages. It's hard to even know if they were ever really great prospects, or just creations of a Yankee hype machine, which is now pumping air around the Slade Heathcotts and Mason Williamses.

Two of our vaunted three first-round picks this year have yet to see a pitch. It's as if we draft high-ceiling prospects and then immediately rearrange their hitting and pitching styles. If we drafted Stan Musial, would he have ever made it through Single A, or would some Yankee hitting coach - trying to earn the big payout - demanded that he change his stance? 

Brian Cashman is a likeable and energetic general manager, king of the scrap heap. But throughout his career, he has labored in the shadow of Yankee money and an overbearing ownership. (The Steinboys are becoming their father; is anyone surprised?) Cash needs to go to a small market and prove once and for all whether he can build a baseball power... because he has now been running the Yankees for more than a decade, and we are a fractured, tired operation, listing in the water.

It was not Cashman, but Gene Michael and Bob Watson, who built the great Yankee teams of Joe Torre. But Cash kept our aging ship afloat for about five years - from 2003 to 2008, before the infusion of free agents pushed us back into contention. That was no easy feat. But it's time for the Yankees to start over, and that means a new person in the front office.

It's over, folks. Not just the 2013 season, but the great Yankee run. We are the walking dead, unaware that blood is oozing from our ears, and our intestines are hanging out. The best thing that can happen is that tonight, our mortal enemy takes pity on us. It refuses to let us stagger the streets, corrupting the memory of what we were. It needs to put the muzzle to our forehead and pull the trigger. It's time to lose. It's time to start thinking of a young Yankee team, somewhere off in the future. Kaput. Smoogy. Phlarm. I never thought I'd be using such words.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's A-Rod Shame Weekend in America

Between today's "Shame of the Week" on Fox, CBS's attack on "60 Minutes," (et tu, Morley?) and ESPN's "Chilling with Schilling" morality extravaganza Sunday night - well, let's face it, folks-  the American media popes have waited a long time for this moment.

The plan is for the Yankees to be humiliated, booed out of Boston, eliminated from all races, and ridiculed, rebuked, condemned, on the national stage. It should be the most enjoyable Yankee-hating excursion since the afternoon when Reggie and Billy squared off in the dugout, prompting concerns over the downfall of civilization,.

Now, the unnamed sources of Bud the Lips are claiming that A-Rat snitched - a deed beyond dirty, because he was not only lying to MLB but also dishing dirt on the brotherhood. Frankly, a lifetime ban won't be enough. This calls for concrete booties.

I hereby propose that A-Rod also be banned from post-retirement appearances in shopping malls, Ramada Inns, thruway rest stops and on Dancing with the Stars. (Though I personally would allow him on Hillbilly Hand-Fishing.)


Hmm, I hesitate to mention the gorilla sitting across from me. His name is not Magilla. It is "Hope." Yes, a glimmer of hope - yes, hope! - in this hopeless season. Last night, our blowout early lead harkened back to the days of Lou and Catfish, when Billy and Reggie appalled the Oh-Dears of American justice. Everyone hated the Yankees then.  We were pure evil, pure greed, pure defiance.

That year, Boston held a 7 and a half game lead with 41 games to play.

Today, we are down by 7 and one games. There are 41 games to play.

Apocalypses don't happen twice in a lifetime, do they?

We'll know soon enough. It's Shame Weekend. Wear Kevlar. (And go get 'em, Hiroki.)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Instant Replay: The already too-long game might be lengthened by 20 minutes

OK, t'is blaspheme to question the MLB leadership about the long-overdue embrace of instant replay. Truth is, they should have done it five years ago. If the Yanks lose tonight because some fat slob, who should be taking Thruway tolls, misses a call at home plate, we'll be screaming for Bud Selig's hair gerbil - just letting this ridiculousness continue for so long.

Selig - who once proposed putting Spider-Man 3 movie logos on the bases - claims to honor the grand traditions of baseball, especially when those grand traditions are grandly profitable. So OK - I get the move toward instant replay.  It had to happen.

But - and I hate to say this - Selig's been right: We'll lose something here. Any time baseball inches closer to the NFL, we throw overboard a little more of our humanity. Frankly, there is nothing more galling in sports than subjecting 60,000 fans in a stadium - sometimes in rain or freezing temperatures - to a 10-minute wait, while technicians haggle over some call that matters to a guy's personal stats.

It's common on Super YES-Mo for the Yankee announcers to be divided over whether a guy is out or safe. The camera angles just don't allow an easy answer. So in those moments - at times in blowouts, like yesterday - everybody in the bleachers will just stand around and wait. Three calls for each manager to challenge? We know what will happen: They'll wait for the TV replay - order the players to create a delay, while someone watches the video feed, and if it's remotely close, they'll issue a challenge.

Does anyone think Billy Martin would have ever gone a game without using all three challenges? These are like timeouts in the last two minutes of a basketball game. Need to get a pitcher up in the bullpen? Challenge the last play. You bought yourself five minutes, while the matter is considered in New York.

This could add 20 minutes to a game. Thus, the 7:10 p.m. game ends around 11:30 p.m., long after Yours Truly is in bed, dreaming of Slade Heathcott in a geisha dress.

Tonight, we play the Redsocks, which generally adds 10 minutes to a game. You could factor in another 10 to cover the booing of A-Rod.  If orange is the new black, five is the new four-hour game.

Just a thought, next time we're all standing around, waiting for something to happen.

The campaign continues. Now A-Rod's a snitch?

From "two sources with direct knowledge of the case." Hmm. I wonder who that would be? Officer Toodie and Officer Muldoon?

Jete's in the news: Papa's got a brand new hag

Derek Jeter may or may not be engaged to Hannah Davis, who some are calling "the new Kate Upton," which makes Kate Upton "the old Kate Upton," which is sad.

Jeet's old enough to be - at least in parts of Florida - her father.

Listen: The Captain can do whatever The Captain wants. As John Sterling says, he's "an amazing human being." Most websites and gossip bloggers - the wisest people in the world - would consider Hannah Davis to be the Lou Gehrig of beauty: the luckiest girl on the face of the earth. And if they find happiness and joy together - well - that's all I want for Derek Jeter in life:  The man has already given me plenty of both.

But in my long and tedious time here, I've known some pretty cool, handsome guys - lady killers - who were always dating the hot babes, 15 and 20 years younger. They were living the life! And the relationship always ended with them getting dumped on the side of the road.

Of course, they weren't millionaires. (Actually, a couple were.)

Here's the deal: Does an intelligent 23 year old supermodel want to settle down and spit out kids, as the 40something husband might be inclined to want? Nope. The beauties want to experience Hollywood, careers, the fashion world - they want to make it on their own. They're not ready to be somebody's full time wife. And you can't blame them.

Of course, there is always true love, which transcends age barriers. If it's true that Jete's hitching up, well, let's hope he has found it. He deserves it. But it's gotta be ard work, being 39 and playing a 23-year-old's position. And it's going to take a lot of energy to be find a lifetime relationship with a 23-year-old stunner.

Insert sigh here.

Frankly, I always felt Derek Jeter was married to the Yankees. Does this news make him a polygamist?

Mark Reynolds: Fresh meat from the scrap heap, as we limp to Boston Market

The Retrieval Empire keeps churning. We have signed Mark Reynolds, who used to kill us, when he didn't strike out. Unfortunately, he fans enough to make Curtis Granderson resemble Bobby Richardson.  It's beyond my imaginative capabilities to foresee Reynolds doing anything but homering or striking out - and not in equal measures. But we have reached the Bobby McGee definition of freedom - just another word for nuthin left to lose: At least we won't have to watch Lyle Overbay over-sway against a torturous lefty. Reynolds is streaky. Fenway is Fenway. Why not?

After this weekend, none of this may matter. And why post a photograph of Taylor Swift, other than give readers a reason to visit this blog? I'll get to that.

You see, my Sidney Ponson bunion is flaring. It swells up into the perfect likeness of firstbaseman Travis Ishikawa, whenever the Yankees sign a player who will probably last one weekend, or less. We're like those punks who kidnap Amish guys, shave their beards and let them go. By the time Reynolds is done feeling his chin, he might be back on the scrap heap.
This has been the Year of Passing Through Yankees, with Brian Cashman as the ticket-taker, diligently trying to shrink the budget. Our biggest goal - perhaps our only goal - is to avoid long term commitments.

Thus, we are the Taylor Swifts of baseball. Badaboom.

Tonight, my friends.