Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2015 Arrives: Shaughnessy Is Trolling Redsocks Fans Already

If you want to see Jeter's Hall of Fame Weekend, 2020, you better start making reservations now

Go ahead, run the search. Last night, there were 8 locations, 
ready to take your reservation for July 24-25, 2020

Daily News plays keep 'em or dump 'em

And you can vote too.

(A-Rod's at 70-30, out-a-here)

A-rod gotta dance dirty: Bizarre Google Yankee connections

Seek no significance.
This is what happens when your team isn't playing in October.

I don't know which I like most: 
A-Rod goes deep wang hurt, or A-Rod gotta dance dirty.
Both should become nicknames for Alex.

Jeter underwear? OK, I can sort of get that.
Jeter ukraine has me. And Jeter unfiltered... nope.

What's Tex anymore without an injury reference?

Funny or Die's salute to Derek Jeter

It's here. Each of them - Chris Rock, Will Farrell and Kevin Hart - have done much funnier stuff. But there is a real gem here... the video that loads immediately following this - the salute to the greatest broadcaster of all time. 

Who should Yankee fans root for in the playoffs? The answer is obvious. The Yankees, dammit!

The NY Times Tyler Kepner - (who is no Tyler Clippard) - this morning puts forth some namby-pamby, do-gooder analysis that claims Yankee and Met fans should support the longest suffering cities in baseball because - oh, hell, I didn't read it, life is too short.

The fact is, the Yankees can benefit by what happens in this hell-spawned post-season. And even if Marshmallow Hal Steinbrenner right now is sitting with a loaded Luger in his mouth, reading a job application from Sidney Ponson, we must stay the course and stay coarse - that is, root for our swine-like self-interest... because that's what it once meant to be a Yankee fan. Have you forgotten? We were feared, reviled! as "the Evil Empire." Now, we're the Evil Town Dump. Gyadammit, let's at least be eeeeee-vil.

Here's my rankings of who we should root for, and why. Tell me if I'm wrong. I don't claim to be right. Just eeeee-vil.

1. Baltimore. (And this has nothing to do with my still smoldering opinion of Buck Showalter.) Simply stated, if they win, they'll fall apart. JJ Hardy will want more money next winter. So will Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz. They can't sign them all. They'll probably let Matt Wieters walk, too. It's damn hard to repeat. If the O's win, they'll have won their championship for the next 20 years, fulfilled their quota, and they can return to insignificance, and I say, GO YOU O's.

2. Royals. Same basic deal. Let them win. Who cares? They have most of their players already signed through the next ice age. I wouldn't mind seeing them mop the floor with Anaheim. Plus, a KC win will be baseball's worst nightmare, marketing wise. All those executives in Bud Selig's office who are still congratulating themselves for the collapse of the Yankees... let them stare into the void of a Kansas City dynasty and think about the bottom line. Aint gonna be no Eric Hosmer farewell tour.

3. Dodgers. Mattingly love here. I still believe he is fated to someday run the Yankees. I would happily see them win it, especially if it causes them to keep Hanley Ramirez from us. I personally think that Hanley is the closest living human to A-Rod, in terms of DNA, and bringing him to NY as Jeter's replacement would be an incredible mistake.

4. Tigers. This winter, Scherzer and Victor Martinez will jump ship. It's now or never for Detroit. I'm still smarting over how they tortured us in recent playoff years; we've never gotten revenge. Still, I'm thinking the Redsocks will go after Scherzer, because they don't have to worry about losing first round picks. If the Tigers win, Boston's price tag goes up. (Same for James Shields of KC, BTW.) 

5. Angels. Let's face it: We're never going to get Mike Trout, until he's 44 and built like Carlos Beltran. I don't see many free agents on their roster who we want. Screw them. If they win, maybe they'll be less hungry to go after John Lester or the next slugger from Cuba - (whom we really need to sign, BTW.)  

6. Pirates. Our favorite trading partners. If they win, the price of their talent only goes up when Cashman calls, and for some reason, they're one of the few teams willing to deal with us. I have nothing against Pittsburgh, but why overpay in the next deal?

7. Giants. The Panda is a free agent, but we're stuck with A-Rod at third, and I don't think we want another guy shaped like Zelous Wheeler. They've won their share of championships and have managed to keep their core players. If they beat LA, the Dodgers will go nuts and probably spend the moon on Lester. I don't see any gain for us if they win it.

8. Cardinals. Screw them. A couple years ago, five or 10 maybe, they beat us with Bob Gibson, Tim McCarver and Bill White - and don't think I've forgotten or forgiven! Adam Wainwright had the class to throw Jeter a meatball, and then the gall to shoot off his mouth about it. Screw him. Screw them. We gain nothing by them winning the World Series. Plus, they've twice rolled over for Boston. Pttuuii.

9. Washington. I'm worried here, because I think it's only a matter of time before the Yankees empty their entire farm system for Bryce Harper, and I'm not sure that's a good idea. Harper grew up as a nutjob Yankee fan, and at some point, he'll want to take his act to Gotham. If Washington wins, his price will go up. We're better off with him fizzling, going 0-for-20, and creating animosity, so when the Caps have had enough, it's only half the farm system. Maybe we'll keep Aaron Judge.

10. A's. Another team always on the cusp of winning - and which never does. If they win, the price of their players will rise. Most notably, I'm thinking about John Lester. He's the one free agent pitcher out there who - because he was traded in the mid-season - WON'T cost us our first round pick. Boston doesn't have to worry about losing picks, thanks to engineering a collapse. But we can't keep pissing away first round picks. That means we want John Lester! And that means we don't want him pitching Oakland to the World Series.

See? Being eeee-vil is easy. All you have to do is think about Number One.

World crisis uncovered by Drudge

Monday, September 29, 2014

Boston finally sobers up: "One of the most painful baseball moments in a city’s history of painful baseball moments — a defeat during the 2003 American League Championship Series — was a cause for joy yesterday. Later, an Aretha Franklin impersonator came on the field to sing “Respect.” It’s not often you can say this, but I was just glad my grandfathers are both dead so they didn’t have to live to see this."

Mwha-hahahahaha. This is priceless. It almost makes the entire season worthwhile!

Those stupid Boston idiots... They swallowed the whole Jeter farewell bullshit tour thing - hook, line, sinker, pole and boat.

You know how they think they're so smart? They were too stewpid to see this!  Bobby Orr? Yaz? Bernie Williams?  Did you see the looks on their doltish faces? What clowns. They should have thawed the frozen head of Ted Williams. Where was Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs? Pumpsie Green! Mwah-hahahahaha.

Boston, dear Boston... you poor sad idiots, you crack me up... but listen, I hate to have to tell you this but... hey, this whole thing about Jeter...


And you bit the worm. Oh, God! Wait a minute, wait a minute, I can still see it -- "Ladies and gentlemen, we've now got a special treat, ten minutes of listening to Bernie Williams on his classical guitar, during a 9-1 game, when you could be a bar getting blottoed..." Hahahahahaha. MAN, ARE YOU PEOPLE STEWWWWWWWWPID OR WHAT?


Listen, hello-o-o? Anybody home? I just gotta say, that was really nice to have you people acting so cordial, so solemn that - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  - no, I'm sorry, let me be serious now, because it was very nice to - hhahaHAHAHAHAHAHA -- ohh, please... really, guys, one last thing, because this was really appreciated, and I wanna say then little Dusty Pedroia retires, you know what? He can lick the lice from my butt crack, free of charge. I can't wait. Hahaugh.

Yankee scouts to hold private workout session with White House fence jumper

He climbed the fence, sprinted across the lawn, overpowered a guard and nearly made it to the nuclear football.

He's 42 - the perfect Yankee age!

Cashman better not let the Redsocks get this one.

Will Jeter grow a beard?

It began with Melky.

Then Robbie's chin left the nest.

Then Joba went furry.

The will the Captain let it grow?

Should we even bother hate Boston or Buck Showalter any more?

The Redsocks treated Jeter so nicely that I'm not sure it's worth wasting valuable bile on them next year.

Same with Showalter: He could have walked Jeter in that final Yankee Stadium game. There was one out, a man on second, and the human GIDP known as Brian McCann following Jeter in the order. A lot of managers would have told his pitcher to put Jeter on base. Buck didn't.

Here's an exciting thought: Next year, the Yankees will be led by A-Rod, Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Martin Prado - some sure-to-be-disappointing free agent - and whatever old-timers can be snapped up from the salary dump scrap heap. I bet Chris Young returns! Yippee!

Are we supposed to sit around, debating whether the Yankees should re-sign Chase Headley? Is that what we should do over the next month? Because I'm out. I'd rather debate whether the front office should be boiled in peanut oil or olive oil. What kind of feathers should go best on the tar?

I feel like I'm holding a wet paper bag filled with dead kittens.

Every team in baseball honored Jeter and Mariano. But the Yankees couldn't give either a post-season

They both deserved to end their careers on baseball's greatest stage.

The Yankees flat-out failed them.

Does anybody but the strength coach ever pay a price for incompetence?

Suzyn questions the brain trust: "Where's (Pirela) been? Why didn't he come up on September first? They brought everybody else up. Why not him?"

Jose Pirela, owner of the 2014 International League batting crown, will go down in the Yankiverse as the fellow whose single spawned Derek Jeter's final walk-off hit in the Bronx. Thus, he joins J.R. Murphy - the catcher standing on the mound when Mariano fatefully walked away - as a future trivia answer and keynote speaker of the 2027 airport Ramada baseball card convention near you.

Pirela's route to fame was hardly circuitous: It was ridiculous. You'd think the guy has Ebola, the way the Yankee brain trust ran from him. The poor kid - he's 24 - outhit everybody else at Scranton, yet when Brian Cashman looked for reinforcements, he only saw Antoan Richardson, Zelous Wheeler and the AARP all-star Mets cast-off, Chris Young. In July, when the Yankees finally acknowledged what every fan in captivity knew - that Brian Roberts couldn't cut it at 2B - nobody even considered Pirela. Nope. Can't hit. Can't field. Can't do the job...

Listen: I accept that Yankee scouts know more than we do. Trouble is, they have such a crappy record! It's not as if they are doing the job...

Over the weekend, John and Suzyn watched Pirela make several fine plays at second base. At one point, he ranged to his right, snagged a grounder, smartly threw to third and caught a runner off base, leading to a brilliant double play. That caused Suzyn to blow a gasket.

"WHERE'S HE BEEN?" she thundered. "Why didn't he come up on Sept. first? They brought everybody else up. WHY NOT HIM?"

Good question. This came as the news broke how Joe Girardi's secret clubhouse meeting, days earlier. Joe lit into certain players for their obesity and lack of production. But all season, Jose Pirela never even received the time of day from the Yankees. He just stayed in Scranton, played every position but catcher, and hit.

John noted that Pirela won the batting crown, but only hit .305.

"Three-oh-five?" Suzyn growled. "The Yankees don't have anybody hitting .305!"

Late September is a lousy time to get a fix on players. But this weekend, one of the reasons why Boston could afford to be so gracious is that the Redsocks are clearly moving in the right direction - while the Yankees are ready to fall into a Tampa sinkhole. Boston spent the last week unveiling next year. All David Cone and the other YES Yes-Men could say was that the Yankees have "a lot of work to do."

There isn't enough spin on a baseball to make the Yankee front office look competent.

Around now, fans are supposed to say, "Wait'll next year!"

I am already dreading 2015.

Alphonso will soon return from Norway, where he has been basking in the glow of his ancestors. If you thought he was angry this year...

"I'm going to stop talking... Listen, LISTEN!" The Master's final Jeterian call

Sunday, September 28, 2014

He's Done, the Other Old Guy Not

Infield hit, Baltimore chop to third, knocked in Ichiro...who continues to be our best hitter next to Ellsbury. Ich's triple knocked in two. His haters will say if we had someone else, it would have been an inside the park home run. Ah, but then it doesn't set up Jeter's RBI and hit and allows him to leave the game, which he did by his own choosing.

I respect Jeter as much as the next guy, but the only legendary player we have on the field now is the old Japanese dude. So even though he was a lifer for Seattle previously, he's ours now and I appreciate what he's done for us...especially this year.

Looking to the bleak days of 2015, it might be another thing worth celebrating, albeit in a much much lower level than the Captain, obviously.

Two future HOFers on this year's otherwise abysmal squad. It's not the playoffs, but it's something.

The only reason Derek Jeter should play today: The Master's final call

You can't predict baseball. But you can predict radio. Rush always hates Hillary, Delilah always loves love, and Casey - even from the other side - always says to reach for the stars, while keeping your feet planted on the ground.

I say John Sterling cries.

Clearly, Suzyn will.

They've sold the merchandise. They've poured the Gatorade. They've given the gifts. The lone remaining question in the Jeterian universe today is whether John Sterling, the ultimate professional voice, will lose it, and blubber like John Boehner during the last reel of Atlas Shrugged.

I say he cries. First, he assures us that he doesn't plan to cry. He says you're never supposed to get choked up behind the mike. And Jeter in New York managed not to cry.

Still, you'll know he's crying.

Youl hear the crowd - the Boston crowd - chanting Jeter's name. In the booth, you hear nothing, not John or Suzyn. Neither can speak. John will try. It doesn't work. Jeter steps out of the box. The crowd roars louder. The radio world only hears cheering. John is too overwhelmed to speak.

Her voice heavy with emotion, Suzyn tries to tell us about Celino and Barnes, the injury attorneys. She can't get it to the eight-eight-eight, eight-eight-eight-eight. Fuckit. She's bawling like a baby.

The crowd is still chanting. Jeter awaits the pitch. John pulls it together. His voice is three octaves higher than usual. "Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa pitch. SWUNG ON! THERE IT GOES! DEEP LEFT FIELD! IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT ISSSSSSSSS..."


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Things the anarchist in me wants to happen to the NFL

1. Washington Redskins win the Super Bowl. Fox Sports announcers decline to say their name out loud; Fox News pundits refuse to say the word Washington.

2. They beat the New York Jets, who have signed Rice Rice and Adrian Peterson, and are led by QB Michael Vick. Thus, they are despised by not only women and children, but dogs.

3. The city of Cleveland is evacuated after a train carrying NFL urine samples overturns, releasing toxic levels of steroids into the atmosphere. Later, to calm the public, officials announce that all samples passed the league's rigorous drug tests.

4. After protesting for better working conditions, NFL cheerleaders reject Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' attempt to "reach out" to them - because he literally attempts to reach out and grab their asses.

5. During Super Bowl half-time show, Rihanna and Eminem re-enact the Ray Rice elevator scene during a performance of "Love the Way You Lie," which they dedicate to Commissioner Roger Goodell. She suffers a wardrobe malfunction, and the ensuing Twitter cascade crashes the grid, delaying the second half for 12 hours.

6. In an attempt to curb wife-beatings, child-whippings and DWIs, New Orleans Saints coaches put a secret "bounty" on players who cause trouble.

7. Trying to look intellectual, Fox announcer Howie Long dons his glasses and accidentally pokes out both eyes.

8. During presentation of Lombardi Trophy, ghost of Vince Lombardi rises from grave and strangles Commissioner Goodell.

After this weekend, the face of the Yankees changes from Jeter to A-Rod

How's this for an icy bucket of Gatorade poured down your back:

After Sunday, our biggest name becomes the nation's most hated American after Jihad Johnny.

The day after tomorrow, instead of recalling the Flip and the Dive, we've got Super Bowl flashbacks to Cameron Diaz stuffing popcorn into an open maw.

Starting Monday, Steiner Collectibles can market limited edition, keepsake vials of glowing piss.

We're about to go from receiving warm and fuzzy hugs - confirmed Yankee haters coming up to say how much they always respected Jeter - back to the days of the hairy eyeball, and the sense that somebody just spat in your drink.

Next week, Alex Rodriguez' suspension ends.

What can we do? Well... the Weasel Empire could:

a) Jettison A-Rod. Just pay him off, or trade him for scrap, and eat the remaining years on his contract. That could leave us with the only thing worse than A-Rod returning - which would be to watch him have a great season for some other team, while we pay his salary. The odds are slim, but what if he hits 40 HRs and leads Seattle to the World Series? If that were to happen, frankly, I fear the things that I would write on this blog. The authorities would put me in Gitmo.

b) Roll the dice and play him. I prefer this option, though I respect that most Yankee fans barf at the thought of him. I say this: It's nice to have the focus of the world on the Yankees. I'd rather everyone boo us - especially the Oh Dears on ESPN - than have nobody give a crap. Next year, with or without A-Rod, the Yankees could finish below .500. Why be good losers? If we're going to be bad, let's be evil, too.

Just imagine yourself at a football game with a raging, aging psycho dominatrix pressing popcorn into your mouth. That's us. That's the face of the Yankees, starting Monday. Chew, everybody, chew.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Derek Jeter Day will save this franchise even in retirement.

My thoughts on the game last night are summed up as such:...
There are no words.

I was at that game. I spent $300 of money I didn't even have to get a left field bleacher ticket (which sidenote wasn't that bad of a view- about 10 rows back of exactly where Jeter hit the double). I told my father, and he thought I was crazy. He was at Mariano's game last year (a 3-0 loss to Tampa with only an inning and a half of good things happening for the Yankees), and he was telling me that I was gonna spend all that money to chant Jeter's name and then proceed to miserably watch him go 0-4 in a 5-2 loss. And after the 2nd batter in the first, I thought he was gonna be right too.

But then he hits the double, then the double play overturned on review. Then Brett the Jet Gardner breaking up the double play, giving Jeter the go-ahead RBI. Then of course the 9th. The despair when that tying homer hit the seats and the jubilation when Richardson scored. I don't think I even cheered that loudly; I was too busy picking up my jaw up from the floor. I saw it with my own freaking eyes and I still can't believe that just happened.

And for the first positive Yankees piece of analysis this site has seen since 2009: that game will help propel the Yankees and current ownership to great things in the future. I left that Stadium thinking there is no way you could top that. If the Yankees were to ever jump the shark, it happened on September 25th, 2014. If you're a Yankee fan and you aren't hungover from last night, you don't have a pulse.

But there is a next season. A whole 81 game schedule where Hal Scrooge McSteinbrenner and his lovable band of front office minions will have to sell tickets to, gain TV ratings for, and shill $10 beer and $35 t-shirts at. And a preliminary look at the roster shows this list of reliable players for the Yankees:
-Brett Gardner
-Dellin Betances
-J.R. Murphy

Robertson is a free agent. McCarthy and Headley are free agents. Kiroda might not come back. Tanaka will still probably need Tommy John surgery down the line. Nova is coming off TJ surgery. Sabathia is all kinds of question marks. Pineda still is Spanish for Pavano. Ellsbury (although he was healthy this year) and Teixeira (although he was as healthy this year as that Heart Attack burger in Vegas) are still injury prone. Brian McCann still has a job. Stephen Drew proved the impossible: you could actually downgrade from a past-his-prime 40 year old shortstop.

The Steinbrenners will look at this game, and naturally want to start preparing for next season. And when they start that preparation, the rude reality will hit them like 100 tons of bricks. This team is a disaster. And the worse part is there is no retirement tour to sell next year, no RE2PECT shirts to sell, no motivation to spend $300 on a bleacher ticket to see a game where your favorite team has already been eliminated, no random sucker willing to give Brandon Steiner (who has become one of the worst people in America over the past 2 months) $450 for JJ Hardy's gameworn socks. They still might be content with Cashman this offseason out of loyalty, but the bottom line from yesterday's game and the bottom lines from next year's games will put the fire under his seat.

And if this team doesn't get better, the message will get to Hal eventually through the only language he speaks (the language of money): Cashman's gotta go

Hub fans to bid Kid adieu

"Understand that we were a crowd of rational people. We knew that a home run cannot be produced at will; the right pitch must be perfectly met and luck must ride with the ball. Three innings before, we had seen a brave effort fail. The air was soggy; the season was exhausted. Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the future."


I Thought This Looked Familiar...

Hollywood ending indeed!

The lesson of Derek Jeter: Blink, and 20 years go by

When he began, it was a different world...

I followed his minor league exploits in Baseball America, which came in the mail every other week. At night, I'd go onto the World Wide Web through a dial-up connection, which died whenever someone picked up a phone. Onto some "fan forum" I'd spew 90-proof bile about Danny Tartabull and tell the world about this future Yankee shortstop: Robert Eenhoorn was his name. Next morning, Alphonso and I would waste hours at work, shooting emails back and forth, wondering if Daryl Boston could turn it around...

My oldest son was six. Imagine that. My daughter wasn't even born. I played pick-up basketball games on Sunday afternoons, and on Saturdays, we'd visit the zoo. We hauled a massive diaper bag, where at the bottom we sometimes stashed cans of beer - security guys don't plunge hands into diaper bags. We were learning the art of parenthood, one game at a time.

God, it was yesterday...

Twenty years, a minute ago...

These days, the back always aches, the hair is thin, and the house creaks and moans, because no kids live here. Evenings used to be filled with laughter and tantrums - unbridled chaos: a mix of Barney the dinosaur, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Nirvana. Now, every few minutes, you can hear the refrigerator rumble on.

But not last night. Last night, you heard yelling. My wife and I paced and shouted, juked and cheered. I stood in the front hall, watching YES in one room and listening to John and Suzyn from another. We held our old playoff positions. And when it happened, when he singled to right and the winning run scored, you would have thought the Yankees just won the World Series. And then, when he walked out to the empty shortstop position and bent over for his last time, the lesson of Derek Jeter hit me, loud and clear:

Savor every grounder.

Some folks grumble about the pace of baseball. They say the game moves too slowly to sate the modern A.D.D. appetite. They say football is the true American pastime. And, yes, occasionally, you think you've become frozen in time, and that, dear God, the ninth inning will never, ever, get here. But you blink, and twenty years go by...

Savor every grounder, folks. Like they say at Steiner Collectibles, there is a limited supply.

We won't see another Derek Jeter. I hope you got the message.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"You can't make this stuff up, YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!" The Master's final call.

It's on

Keith Olbermann's anti-Jeter rant, and why you should feel sorry for Keith

Keith Olbermann once again has dipped into the barrel marked "desperation" in his search to be considered "relevant."

His latest rant is a dismantling of Derek Jeter, ranting for close to 7 minutes and mocking Jeter for the sin of ... get ready for this ... not being as good as Babe Ruth.

Yep, Keith rants -- with a passion rarely seen since Miss Precious Perfect was not allowed into his Manhattan apartment building -- that Jeter is "not the best baseball player ever" and thus undeserving of a farewell tour and the adulation heaped upon him.

To prove this point, Olbermann rolls out the statistics including fWAR, OPS+ and, yes, he even references Red Ruffing's FiP (fielding-independent pitching) numbers in his Jeter takedown. (That last point is not a joke. He honest-to-God mentioned Red Ruffing's FiP).

To Keith, I'd like to make a few points.

Let it rain

This is as dark a day as the Yankiverse has seen, since Mustang and I launched this blog in 2007.

Everywhere, we see sadness, anger and disillusionment - and the sense that a great Yankee era has passed - (actually, it ended two years ago; we just didn't know it) - and a long, barren stretch lies ahead.

We've been free-falling now for so long that we've forgotten what it's like to actually be in a pennant race.

At some point, we must hit bottom.

At some point, we need more from the Yankees than nostalgia tours.

At some point, the Yankees system must yield more than one 28-year-old middle innings reliever.

At some point, we need a team whose average age is closer to 20 than 50.

At some point, we must stop falling.

I'm not sure this is it.

Tonight, Yankee fans deserve a starry sky, a warm breeze, a walk-off home run, a final tip of the cap, a series of loud and emotional chants and - yes - tears.

But the Yankee franchise - and the Faustian deal it made with Steiner Collectibles - deserves something else.

The Yankees deserve a hard, torrential, freezing rain that blows through the luxury boxes and shake the foundation of the new stadium - the fraudulent facsimile for the house they razed on the whims of billionaires. The Yankees deserve a flood of Biblical proportions, which washes the inherited detritus of the crony-fattened front office down through the dugouts and deep into the Hudson River, to finally bob up and go out with the Icelandic tide.

If you have tickets, may you enjoy a perfect night.

Truth be told, I hope it rains.

Jeter and Mo (with apologies to Robert Frost)

Some say the world will end in Jeter,
Some say in Mo.
From what I’ve seen of Dellin's heater
I hold with those who favor Jeter.
But now that we have perished twice,
I think I've seen enough from Joe
To know that Jeter, without Mo,
Will really, seriously blow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

McCann's Power Surge An Encouraging Sign That He Can Hit Meaningless HRs in Meaningless Games

River Ave. Blues has a post up about McCann finding his stroke late in the season. It makes some good points, I guess, but also kind of blames his lack of power (and lack of walks) on trying to hit the other way and beat the shift.

John and Suzyn must be spitting their coffee about now.

I think it's a lot more likely that the pressure is off and he's swinging more freely. Those outs the opposite way weren't necessarily an attempt to get hits, they were probably just lousy hitting and being late a lot. Hopefully he was just putting too much pressure on himself.

No doubt Kevin Long will straighten him out, as he's done with so many others this season. (*cough*) Guess we'll find out next year. Maybe.

Worst case, he could always learn how to bunt to third.

The link: McCann’s recent homer binge an encouraging sign heading into the offseason

How we get to the Canyon of Heroes (Revised)

Yes, it's difficult... but so was sending a cute robot to Mars, and the last time I checked, our little American rover was climbing Mount Curiosity! I'm old enough to remember when the fate of earth hinged on a ragtag group of Texas oil well drillers, who were shot into space to blow up a nasty old asteroid. What if Bruce Willis - (R.I.P., sir) - had said, "Oh, this is too tough, we can't do it!" Dammit, Ben Affleck would never have made "Argo!"

Here's all that needs to happen.

1. We sweep the last five games.

2. The A's and/or Royals lose their last five. The Mariners go 3-2, and the Indians go 3-1, leading to a four way tie for the Wild Card Away-Field Single-Game Playoff Slot. (WCAFSGPS).

3. We win the Round Robin Wild Card Away-Field Single-Game Slot playoff. (RRWCAFSGSP)  In the first round, we beat either KC, Cleveland or Seattle. Then we beat the other first-round advancing team in the Wild Card Away-Field Single-Game Slot Championship Playoff. (WCAFSGSCP)

4. We beat Oakland, whatever, whoever took the Regular Season Wild Card Home-Field Single Game Slot, (RSWCHFSGS) at their home park in the Wild Card Single-Game One-and-Done Playoff. (WCSGOADP).

5. We beat the Angels, who have the AL's best record, in the five-game American League Divisional Series. (ALDS)

6. We beat the winner of the ALDS between Baltimore and Detroit in the seven-game American League Championship Series. (ACLS)

7. We beat the National League champions in the seven-game World Series.

8. Parade down Canyon of Heroes. Speeches at City Hall. Movie deal. Peace and prosperity. Free beer and massive drugs for all. Appearance by God. Revolution against lizard people overlords. 

Will Jeter's great run end in a cold cascade of the devil's rain?

There is no God.

Either that, or He hath changed His rooting allegiance, and the Yankees are no longer His favorite team. For 100 years, God pulled strings on our behalf. Now, frankly, I think He's more interested in Extreme Frisbee.

Last night, everything was aligned to prove that God still watches YES Network with a Yankee cap on His head. With two outs in the ninth, we had the tying run - Brett Gardner, who honors God's commandment: Thou shalt not steal! - perched at first base. Derek Jeter marched the plate. A gapper would tie the game. A walk-off HR would unleash a cataclysm of faith - ending war, famine and pestilence across the globe, and telling everyone that, "Yes, God lives and loves His one true team, the New York Yahwehs!"


That's what I say today. Bah. There are no New York Yahwehs. There is just random chance, natural selection, and life is just a series of dog-eat-dog, Charles Darwin-inspired knife-fights in a giant food chain cafeteria. Don't clutch your beads and wait for St. Derek to deliver a miracle. That only happens in the movies. What happens in real life is that the forecast for Thursday - the End of Days on the Steiner Collectible Yankee Calendar - calls for rain, rain, rain. And there is no makeup date. This would be The End.

Let's face it. Somewhere along the way, the Yankees pissed off God. Was it when they yanked the ripcord on Brian Roberts, when he was just two ABs shy of a huge bonus? Was it when we booed Robbie in his return to the stadium? Was it giving a CF plaque to Tino, and letting Bernie wait until next year? What did we do? How did we suddenly slide back into 1988?

Thursday's forecast is rain. Could it really happen?

Thursday, we learn just how badly God hates this team.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

If Derek gets a hit and John doesn't call it, did it happen?

MLB.com notices the man who called every major-league pitch Derek Jeter ever saw.

On Monday morning, Steiner Sports will chop John Sterling into 1,000 pieces and sell him.

Seven-Step Plan: How we will win it all

It's quite simple.

1. We win our remaining six games.

2. Both KC and Seattle win only two of their final six games. Meanwhile, Cleveland (which beats KC twice) runs the table. That creates a four-way tie for the Wild Card Away-Field Single-Game Slot Playoff. (WCAFSGSP)

3. We win the two-game Wild Card Away-Field Single-Game Slot playoff. (WCAFSGSP)  In the first round, we beat either KC, Cleveland or Seattle. Then we beat the other first-round advancing team in the Wild Card Away-Field Single-Game Slot Championship Playoff. (WCAFSGSCP)

4. We beat Oakland, or whoever has won the Wild Card Home-Field Single Game Slot, (WCHFSGS) at their home park in the Wild Card Single-Game Playoff. (WCSGP).

5. We beat the Angels, who have the AL's best record, in the five-game American League Divisional Series. (ALDS)

6. We beat the winner of the five-game series between Baltimore and Detroit in the seven-game American League Championship Series. (ACLS)

7. We beat the National League champions in the seven-game World Series.

If Jeter keeps hitting, the ghost of Adam Wainwright will soon rise

It still bothers me that Derek Jeter's warm and fuzzy 2015 All-Star game farewell took an asterisk in the ribs from Adam Wainwright.

As you surely remember, the St. Louis pitcher and NL starter grooved Jeter a meatball, right down the fairway, which Derek whacked for a double. The problem? Wainwright later embarrassed himself and the game by telling everybody what he'd done. Good grief, if you're going to throw a guy a bone, keep your fat mouth shut about it. But Wainwright - angry that the American League scored - blabbed on TV.

What still nags at me, though, is one issue: Wainwright never said who put the meatball idea in his head. Was it his Cardinals manager, Mike Matheny? Or somebody higher up in the food chain? I doubt he came up with the notion himself. Somebody got to him. And later, he was willing to embarrass Jeter - but not to mention who hatched the plan.

So now we're watching Jeter - clueless for the last two weeks - go on a sudden hitting spree against Baltimore, which doesn't need to win these games. Though Buck Showalter hates the Yankees with the heat of a billion suns, he's always loved Jeter - (who doesn't?) - and, no matter how hard you want to believe, you also have to wonder if something is going on here?

For the record, considering all that's happened, it ABSOLUTELY SUCKS to be wondering if something is going on here.

And nobody would blame Jeter - he's the last guy to want leniency from the opposition. Still, if he keeps driving the ball off that left field wall - well, I'm sorry... We love Jeter and want him to do well - (points that, in this current environment, must always be stated in any posting that questions what's happening) - but there's been way too much orchestration of his farewell tour to NOT wonder if we're being played.

This is what happens when an organization - be it a government, corporation or sports team - decides to sell pageantry and myth-making instead of a winning product.

One of the best lines of the year, take a bow David Waldstein

"[I]t was Pirela who had a night he will not soon forget. He can one day tell his grandchildren that he was driven home by Jeter in his first game in the majors. Not in Jeter’s car. Pirela was standing on second base in the fifth inning when Jeter ripped a 3-2 pitch from Wei-Yin Chen into the left-field corner, the latest shot in his six-game hitting streak, and Pirela and Brett Gardner scored."

Dismissed as organizational fodder, ignored for a September 1 call-up, Jose Pirela makes his case

Throughout the 2014 season, Jose Pirela faced one unshakable problem: He wasn't a 30-something castoff from some penny-pinching National League team. If Pirela had been - say - a scrap heap meatball from San Diego or Washington, the Wizard of Waivers, Brian Cashman, would have snapped him up long ago, and Jose would have gotten a chance to play for the famous New York Yankees.

Unfortunately, Pirela spent the season hiding out in Scranton, where Cashman's scouts either never look - or when they do, they use the wrong end of the telescope. Pirela, who turns 25 next month, played a full year at Scranton - that's 130 games and 535 at bats - where he hit .305 with 10 HRs. (He also stole 15 bases.) He played every position but pitcher and catcher. You'd think it meant something when August ended.

Early on, the Yankee brain trust - yes, the same Brainiacs who put their eggs in Brian Roberts and Dean Anna - decided that Pirela was not a major league second baseman. So in June, when 2B prospect Rob Refsnyder literally smashed his way up from Trenton, Pirela was dispatched to left field. And when Sept. 1 came, Pirela didn't even get a coffee call to New York. It was only after injuries to Martin Prado and half the Atlantic Coast that the Yankees remembered Jose Pirela was alive. Last weekend, with the team facing a stretch with Francisco Cervelli at first base, Pirela arrived.

So last night, in his first-ever major league start, what does this No Name, who is studying to become a Nobody, do? Pirela gets two hits, including a triple. That's practically an entire week's output for Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran, the Bobbsy Twins of Sloan Kettering.

Of course, you're shaking your head - (I am, too) - saying, "But Duque, it's one game, too small a sample size. You cannot draw conclusions from one night!" And you're right. But here's the rub, and from my perspective, it's maddening:

Pirela could go 10 for 20 this week. It won't matter. Next year, he'll find himself back at Scranton. And Refsnyder, who has crushed the ball at every level, could hit .330 next March in Tampa. It won't matter. Martin Prado - thanks to his performance over another small sample size - will play 2B for the Yankees. That's written in the stone tablet of a $22 million contract. Thus, both Pirela and Refsnyder - if they're not lucky enough to be traded - will be exiled back to the Electric City of the Poconos, disillusioned and depressed, to become the 2015 versions of Austin Romine and Zolio Almonte. They'll hit .150 in the month of April, then get injured, and then forgotten. How many times does it have to happen?

Meanwhile, Brian Cashman - in his next waiver tour d'force - will pluck another Chris Young, Jesse Outman, Antoan Richardson, Zelous Wheeler, et al, from other teams' out baskets. Scranton will be larded with cynical 30-something dead-enders, and in the owner's box, Hal Steinbrenner will scratch his manicured head, wondering why the Yankee farm system does not produce players?

Here's a thought - and yes, I recognize that it comes from far left field, from a washed up, psychological misfit with nothing better to do than think about the Yankees every morning after gargling with a pot of coffee - but dammit, DAMMIT... here goes:

Could it be that the Yankee farm system does produce players? The problem is that the top of the organization simply lacks the courage to give them a chance?

"Can any other modern-day athlete have his cake and eat it, too, as gracefully as Jeter? He has repeatedly indicated he doesn’t want to make a spectacle of his last lap. Then he has repeatedly participated in or not blocked spectacle-like actions. And forget about not getting hurt by such choices. He seems to benefit from them."

Gammonite awakens, discovers himself to be cog in giant matrix of hypocrisy.

On Monday, Jeter pushed it some more, appearing at a midtown Manhattan theater where fans paid a range of four-figure prices to pose for a photo (the higher end) or just witness a mildly entertaining, half-hour conversation between the Yankees’ retiring shortstop and notorious memorabilia schlockmeister Brandon Steiner (the lower end). “The Captain’s Farewell,” they called it. Again, he emerged unscathed. Then he headed to the Bronx and contributed a two-run double, a walk and an RBI groundout to the Yankees’ 5-0 blanking of the Orioles.

Monday, September 22, 2014

From Kelly's horse head to the grounds crew's blown tarp, from Jeter's gyrations to Ichiro's bull's eye... A treasure trove of Yankee oddities

You've got one game to save humanity, ONE GAME: What's your all-time lineup? (Hint: Mine has Jeter at SS)

My batting order in the Existential Baseball League ultimate wild card game. Beat this.

2b  Joe Morgan
cf  Willie Mays
rf  Babe Ruth
lf  Hank Aaron
1b  Lou Gehrig
c  Yogi Berra
3b  Brooks Robinson
ss  Derek Jeter
p  Bob Gibson

(If the existential gods allowed the designated hitter, I'd put Roberto Clemente in right and have Babe as DH.)

"[T]he organization’s long-established devotion to winning games has been superseded by its effort to cast Jeter in the best possible light, pretending, with his placement in the field and the lineup, that he gives the team the best possible chance to win... The enduring image of the NFL’s 2014 season thus far is a piece of Atlantic City security camera videotape, while Major League Baseball has been able to pause and honor Jeter for his glories and how he has served the sport so well. But somewhere along the way, the Yankees drifted off course and winning became secondary to the 2014 Derek Jeter fairy tale."

Buster Olney says what everybody knows.

"The Post once claimed that after sleeping with women, Jeter would leave a gift basket of signed memorabilia in the car taking the “conquest” home. He’s avoided commenting on the item for three years. But he’s still annoyed. “Like I’m giving them signed baseballs and pictures of myself on the way out! Who comes up with a story like that?” He laughs, incredulous. “It said the reason people found out was because I gave the same girl the same basket and I had forgotten I’d given her one—like there are so many people coming through I forgot!” Even if Jeter were cheesy enough to have handed out souvenirs, he’s far too careful to have made that kind of mistake."

Derek Jeter Opens the Door.

Breaking Jeter: The Matt Lauer Interview

I find him hard to crack. Maybe he won’t until he’s played that last game and really breaks open and shares his emotions.”
- Matt Lauer, on interviewing Derek Jeter -

First, Mr. Jeter, thanks for stopping by. We’re all huge fans here at NBC, and it’s an honor to have you. Can I call you Derek?

Thank you. You know, I was reading up about you - so much has been written and said - and I learned that you’ve never been thrown out of a major league baseball game. Not one. That speaks to how you respect the sport, and it’s one of the reasons why you’re such a great role model. Still, I was wondering, didn’t you ever feel a need to argue with the umpires?

Yes, I understand they won’t reverse a call. But I shouldn’t you, as the Yankee captain, protest a call, at least once? For twenty years, the umps were always right? You never saw fit to speak out? Were you scared of them? Or were you above it? I say this respectfully, but were you just too high and mighty to get thrown out of a game?

No need to be defensive. Whatever your reasons, that’s fine. So... when the umps blew a call, you just decided to sit back and take it? You figured, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll get paid, anyway. If I just keep my mouth shut, everybody will admire me, and when I retire, they’ll shower me with gifts.” Is that what you thought?

Well, whatever you thought, it worked. This season, opposing teams lavished gifts upon you. The Angels gave you a paddleboard. The Astros gave you a pair of pinstriped cowboy boots. Do you ever wear them? When you’re sitting around the mansion, do you ever pretend that you’re a cowboy? Do you prance around, wearing chaps and pantaloons, and rope an imaginary steer? No? Of course, you don’t. What was I thinking? You couldn’t care less about their gifts. Just more crap for the yard sale, right? More trash for the bin! Did you throw your special boots into the dumpster, along with the paddleboard?

Yes, we will edit this interview. But, frankly, that’s not your business. Excuse me - EXCUSE ME FOR INTERRUPTING - but I guess we are quite pleased with ourselves, aren’t we? “Look at me, everybody! I’m Captain of the Yankees! I own a pair of special cowboy boots!” But you didn’t care enough to argue one single call, not one!

No, you just figured that if you respect the umps, avoid scandal and hustle out routine grounders, you’d never have to answer any questions. Nobody would care. Everyone knows how Derek Jeter always runs out routine grounders. Oh, he’s perfect! But maybe this isn’t about hustling out grounders, Derek. Have you thought of that? Maybe people don’t care if you hustle out routine grounders. When you hit a routine grounder, you’re out. Did you think of that before you hit it?

No, we’re not stopping the interview. This isn’t a game, where you can call time-out. I’m not Bryant Gumbel. The cameras are rolling. We’re wasting valuable electricity. Sit down.
You never grew a beard! You supported the Yankees’ ban on facial hair. You didn’t stand up for any teammate, not one, with a mustache. Oh, no, not you! Not the Captain. The Yankee ownership said, “SHAVE!” and you said, “HOW CLOSE, SIR!” Do you have a problem with self-expression? Do you hate freedom of choice? Oh, you’re clean-shaven, all right. No stubble on Derek Jeter’s chin. Everybody loves you. But who are you?

Stop sniveling, damn it! I don’t need another Ann Curry. OK… here, take this Kleenex. Now, I’m going to ask you one question, DEREK, and I want you to think very carefully before you give an answer. Take a deep breath. Ready?

Now... if you could be one "Star Wars" character, who would it be? And dammit, don’t say “Hans Solo,” because everybody does! What? You don't know? That’s it! CUT HIS MIKE, EDDIE. WE'RE DONE. JETER... YER OUT!

"As Jeter stood on second base during the ensuing pitching change, the Blue Jays’ outfielders — Anthony Gose, Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista — ran in to shake his hand and congratulate him, knowing this would very likely be their last chance to see him on the field in person."

Remind me to put three more names on the Christmas card list later this year.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jose Bautista, Yankee in 2022

By then, they'll forgive.

Steal this: Commemorative, limited-edition, bases being used in Yankee Stadium today

(Stolen from Reddit) 

Any chance these will be up for sale somewhere?

Oh, no! The Yankees may have lost their two big hitters: Teixeira (.217) and Beltran (.233)

In comedy, they say timing is everything. Maybe the same holds true for farce.

This year, the Incompetent Empire has suffered from dreadful timing, especially with injuries. Yesterday, Mark Teixeira was pulled after wincing noticably in a swing. Meanwhile, Carlos Beltran is in the waiting room for surgery on his elbow, an issue he battled all summer. Both guys apparently have been playing hurt.

Sadly, the injuries come too late to get these two clogged arteries out of the Yankee lineup.

Listen: I love Tex. I hope he someday hosts Saturday Night Live. But this season, he's been terrible, several notches below Overbay Country, and there is no graceful way to put it. If he can't return something remotely resembling his former self, the Yankees should waive him. He's worse than nothing.

Don't believe me? Here are some stats. (Children should leave the room.) Over the last 28 days, Tex is hitting .157. One-fifty-seven. Over the second half of this season: he is hitting .179. One-seventy-nine. In July, he hit .203. In August, .193. In September, .179.  Oh, and these Lenn Sakataian averages were not the reverse leverage of a power splurge. Over the entire second half of the season, Tex has six HRs. And he did this in the middle of our batting order. BE GONE, DEMON.

This year, Beltran was his Bobbsy Twin. Over the last 28 games, Carlos has hit .200. In the month of September, he is hitting .156. Again, he's batting third, fourth or fifth.

Anybody want to know why the Yankees can't score more than two runs per game? It's because these two dead batteries have been gumming up the works.

Down in Scranton, the Yankees have a no name, studying to become a nobody, called Kyle Roller. He is 26, too old for Baseball America, and what the experts call "organizational fodder," whatever that means. Generally, the Yankees stash these guys at Scranton until they die. Roller had a great year. He hit .300 with 26 HRs, most in the organization.

A September call up? No way. Never got so much as a tip of the cap.

I don't know if Kyle Roller has a future in baseball - I doubt he does with the Yankees, but that more a reflection of them than him. But I cannot believe Kyle Roller - or anybody, for that matter - could have done worse than Mark Teixeira did over the last month.

So, at last, ding dong, the witch is dead! The Bobbsy Twins are going home. Let's hope a winter of rest gives them time to heal - and to think about things like bunts, hits to the opposite field, and fooling overshifts. Otherwise, let's hope they think about retirement.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

BREAKING: Steiner Collectibles is slashing the price of Jeter Commemorative 3,000th Hit Wrist Bands!

I know what you're thinking: 
How can they stay in business!!!!

Obnoxious Tropicana Dome sound system advances to Final Four of John & Suzyn sh-tlist

It edged out "experts" who criticize Jeter's fielding.

Next up, the other semi-final bracket.

Yank hitters who cannot handle overshifts.
Sunday night getaway games.
The freezing Fenway Park booth.
Missed Yank scoring opportunities.

Good luck to all.

Another year!

Barring a change of heart or health, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, both of whom have been around the team since before Derek Jeter was drafted, appear likely to return for at least one more season, their 11th together.
John is 76, Suzyn is 68. I figure each has 10 to 15 years left - assuming the bullpen doesn't blow many more games like last week in Baltimore.
Only problem here - not sure how much to weigh upon this non-comment.
[T]he man primarily responsible for deciding whether Sterling stays in his current job is WFAN program director Mark Chernoff, and though he would not say so definitively, he gave no indication the radio duo's immediate future is in doubt.
"I don't really discuss contracts other than to say they are under contract to us for some length of time," he said.

Hello, Media? We need to talk about the 2014 Yankees...

Ahh, hello, dear media! Welcome, and thanks for stopping by! Your hair looks great. You're working out! Have you lost weight? Please, sit! Relax. We just want to talk...

Now... I want you to imagine yourself far off in the future. We're on a beautiful space ship - the star ship "Enterprise!" where bigotry no longer exists, and we're extending the seed of humanity across the universe, with dignity and grace, and weird sideburns. Now... I want you to imagine that the 2014 Yankees are a member of the crew... that's right, a beloved member, like Scotty... and now, I want you to think of this message being conveyed.

"He's dead, Jim."

That's right, media. Scotty is dead. So are the 2014 Yankees. 

They have been dead for a week, maybe two. Everybody knows this. Everybody has known this for a while. Derek Jeter has known it. Joe Girardi has known it. John and Suzyn have known it - good grief, you heard it in their voices during every at bat. It's over. It's been over now for such a long time, that some of us have blissfully moved on, thinking about next year and starting to appreciate the likes of Hiroki Kuroda and Dellin Betances, the rare glimmers of starlight in an otherwise barren night sky. But really.... it's over. 

You do not need to be doing things like this...

OK, I can appreciate the "Never say die!" spirit, which is supposed to be so heroic in sports. It's "Rudy." It's "Rocky." It's "Remember the Titans." It's Derek Jeter, fighting to the final out. Unfortunately, the 2014 Yankees have not been a fighting, ninth inning comeback team. Nor have they been a very good team, at all. They are basically a .500 team. And media, I want you to take a good look at the Yankee "wild card race," because "slim" isn't exactly the adjective Strunk and White would use.

I would say "ridiculous" is a better descriptor. The Yankees are five losses down, with three teams to pass, and nine to play. If they run the table - 9 and 0 - Oakland or Kansas City must still lose five, and Seattle four. Cleveland? Well - OK, we can probably take Chief Wahoo and his pals. 

OK, media - yes, I know - you gotta go. Taylor Swift just tweeted. One thing, though: I don't want you to feel defensive about this. We understand that you're just doing your job - promoting baseball, selling tickets and distracting us from turning against our lizard people overlords. But the Yankees should not get a free pass on hope, because they don't give their fans a free pass on much of anything. (See Steiner Collectibles; See Stadium Seat Prices; See Stubhub Lawsuit; See NY State Tax Breaks; See Greed.) 

You see, media... as fans, we really don't have any choice here: We have followed the Yankees all our lives. We loved them through Hoss Clarke. We loved them through Lenn Sakata. We will love this team, no matter what. So be straight with us, that's all. 

Now... hey! WTF? Taylor is pissed at Katy? GO-GO-GO! God speed!