Thursday, April 30, 2020

Issues facing the Yankees, whether they play or not

The Death Star needs to make some tough money decisions.

Plague Theater: Bobby Murcer on "What's My Line?"

Leave it to Gene Shalit. 

At age 47, Manny Ramirez is trying a comeback in Taiwan

At last... a reason to go on!

The logistical challenge of playing baseball in 2020 requires one superhuman problem-solver, and his name is Jared Kushner

When you ponder MLB's current plan for baseball this year - opening around July 1 with 30 teams, empty home stadiums and no farm clubs - everything boils down to one breathtaking challenge of logistics, a Manhattan Project for sports. 

Yes, finally... a task worthy of Jared Kushner.

Consider the variables and questions: 

Can the league keep players, coaches and stadium staffs safe for - say - 90 games and a post-season? Keep in mind that one breach of security - one outbreak - could overwhelm a team and kill what had been a pennant race. 

Without farm clubs, how will franchises keep a roster of replacements? 
Considering the Yankees' unprecedented wave of injuries last year - 30 players missed time - it's hard to imagine the team needing a larder of less than 80. (To be safe, they'd probably need 100 bodies on call.) With no farm teams, that means running 30 extended, quarantined spring training camps in Florida and Arizona - maybe with families being isolated, as well. 

This goes far beyond the capabilities of Commissioner Rob Manfred or his lovable ownership committees. Baseball needs the kind of Slim-Fast-slurping super-being capable of siring a Trumpian offspring, and those in-law ladies from Fox News - however adept they are at crushing opponents in reality TV - cannot out-Jared Jared. 

Would baseball actually hold a World Series in empty stadiums, with crickets instead of delirious fans? This belongs on The Twilight Zone, not ESPN. It might be better than nothing... but not much better. The Lords of the Game - billionaires who are used to having every decision far to their advantage - now face a massive lose-lose situation. They need somebody who can reassure them that everything can be taken care of... if they know they right guy.

Not to say the season cannot be saved. Right now, the Yankees' YES Network is desperate for programming - anything live and moving - and every cable TV outlet across America is screaming for content. In NY, the Attorney General is calling for cable systems to lower their fees, because they've failed to deliver their most anticipated product: Prime-time sports. The Steinbrenner family will never miss a meal. Their yachts won't even miss a paste-waxing. But without fresh meat for YES, a few cabana boys may have to go. And only one man has the talent to make things happen.

For now, it makes sense to make plans. But if America suffers a second epidemic in the fall - as Doc Fauci (a Yankee fan, by the way) predicts - I can't think of a worse situation than to cancel 2020... again. I could be all wrong about this. But whomever takes on the job of creating the Pandemic League, good luck. America needs a hero. Where have you gone, Jared Kushner, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Woo-woo-woo.

Virtual Baseball: Bengals Feast on Lasagna. German in Go Kart Kollision.

The Detroit Tigers crunched into some prime Johnny Loiasiga tonight, ripping apart the young Yankees hurler and several relievers, en route to an 11-4 win.

Only three hits and two ribbies from D.J. LeMahieu kept the rout from being even worse, and Clint Frazier did manage to play his first error-free game of the year—the rare bright notes for the Bombers this evening.

Meanwhile, the Yanks' many off-field concerns continued to grow.  MLB's High Druidical Priest, Rob Manfred, announced today that he would personally travel to New Mexico to interview Giancarlo Stanton, and decide how long his suspension should be.

"I mean, if there is going to be a suspension.  I guess I have to say that," Manfred smirked.

Meanwhile, in the Dominican Republic, major Yankee screw-up Domingo German managed to drive his TrailMaster Go Kart into another Go Kart, on an otherwise empty Dominican beach today.  No one was seriously injured, beyond the already defective head of one of the drivers.

Experts from the Elias Sports Bureau differed on whether or not German's crash tied him for most vehicular incidents by a pitcher on the non-active list with Michael Pineda, who had two, shattering Carl Pavano's old record, set in a spectacular smash-up in the wee small hours of the morning in West Palm Beach.

"Sure, why not?  Go Karts and dune buggies are indeed street legal vehicles, and crashing them could easily cause gross bodily injury and even death," responded Herb Elias.  "One more such incident, and I recognize him as the undisputed record-holder."

"The idea that by simply turning over one of these glorified bumper cars truly sickens me," disagreed Amy Elias.  "I mean, c'mon!  It's not the same thing at all.  Pavano ran a Porsche into the back of a garbage truck, with a model at his side.  That's an all-American fuck-up!

"Don Larsen, wrapping his car around a telephone pole and taking out a post box at 5:30 in the morning—that's major league!" Ms. Elias continued.  "We don't know what exactly he was driving, but I would bet anything it was an early Thunderbird.  That's how Gooney Bird liked to roll.

"Pineda getting nailed twice for DUI in a Nissan SUV, well, that's already a big step down for spectacular stupidity by a Yankee in a motor vehicle.  But this German thing?  What exactly is the difference between a Go Kart and a dune buggy in the first place?  Isn't one a subset of the other?  What's next, we're going to debate buggies and sand rails?"

Meanwhile, Yankees fans launched a class-action suit, saying that they would prefer for Domingo German to go away so they can think about Domingo Jean again.

"Sure, he looked a little strange in his Yankees cap with that extreme flattop he had.  But I don't remember him ever hurting anybody or behaving like this," one plaintiff who wished to remain anonymous noted.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Your All-Time Yankee Opponent 3B open thread...

We must choose between four Hall of Famers, three future Hall of Famers and a former Yankee who made a tradition out of killing us in October. 

Okay, who's backing whom... and why?

Plague Theater: Paul Simon's Me and [Mickey] Down by the Schoolyard

A classic - also featuring John Madden.

(Hat tip to Tony!)

Cal Ripken Jr. elected IT IS HIGH All-Time Yankee Opponent at SS

Before we start beefing about whether Robin Yount or A-Rod have gotten screwed for the all-time IT IS HIGH opponent team, consider this:

Cal Ripken Jr. was a 19-year all-star, an eight-time Silver Slugger, a two-time MVP, a two-time Gold Glover and a first-time member to Cooperstown with 98.5 percent of the vote. (Who spurned him? Probably the same asshole who dissed Jeter. Somewhere among the Gammonites, there is a writer - or two - who got their rocks off by leaving Ripken and Jeter off their ballots.) 

Oh, there's also the thing about consecutive games. I know, he beat Lou Gehrig, and we must always instinctively hate him, but hell, Ripken was pretty good. 

Here are the totals of 241 votes cast:

Cal Ripken (69 votes): 29%
Robin Yount (48): 20
Alex Rodriguez (40): 17%
Alan Trammell (31): 13%
Nomar Garciaparra (24): 10%
Dick Groat (14): 17%
Rick Burleson (12): 5%

Luis Aparicio (3): 1%

He shoulda been a Yankee, by the way. Baltimore selected him in the second round of the 1978 draft - a year when the Yankees had three first-round picks: Rex Hudler, Matt Winters and Bryan Ryder. 

I just re-read the above paragraph and puked. (Note: In the second round, they drafted four clicks after Baltimore and selected - drum roll - Steve Balboni.) 

Okay, enough self-torture. But if the Yankees had drafted Ripken, imagine the difference in the eighties and nineties. Ripken would have played SS up until the arrival of Jeter, making that position the modern face of the franchise. 

Rex Hudler, Matt Winters and Bryan Ryder... 

That leaves our all-time opponent team as

1B Eddie Murray
2B Rod Carew
SS Cal Ripken

Not bad. Congratulations, Iron Man. 

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Drown Kitties. Manfred Says Stanton Will Be Tested for Drugs, May Face Lifetime Ban.

In Virtual Baseball today, the New York Yankees of another reality thrashed the Detroit Tigers at home, 12-3.

While thousands of Yankees fans chanted, "Better Dead Than No Red!", beloved right fielder Clint Frazier hit two home runs and two doubles, finishing with 7 RBI—even if he did misplay three balls in the field.  Thairo Estrada and Gio Urshela also homered for the bombers, while D.J. LeMahieu did many good things.

Taking advantage of all this Detroit largesse was J.A. Happ, who threw a rare complete game in order to give the Yankees' bullpen a rest, and who might have had a shutout, save for the three unearned Bengal markers that were registered on those Frazier miscues.

The win moves the Yankees to 20-9 on the young season, although they remain three games behind the hot-enough-to-fry-an-egg-on Rays.

Meanwhile, Baseball Commissioner and Evil Wraith Rob Manfred insisted today that Giancarlo Stanton would have to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs, following the bizarre press conference he gave after being rescued from the desert.

Brushing aside pleas from Yankees GM Brian Cashman—still cloistered after an unsettling, lizard  misrecognition incident—that Stanton was dehydrated and hallucinating after his travail in the desert, and that any hallucinogenic plant life he ate there was merely to keep himself alive, Manfred replied:

"There really aren't any excuses for Yankees—period."

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Plague Theater: Thurman's last at-bat

What do you think he does?

Trey Mancini: "I have Stage III colon cancer. I started chemotherapy on April 13. And I am so lucky."

"I've always loved spring training.  It’s one of my favorite times of year.  It just has a slower pace, a softer edge. It’s friendly. And it’s all about baseball, and I love baseball. But this year it was a little bit tougher..."

ESPN might soon show baseball... from Korea

Remember that 1996 blockbuster movie, "Independence Day?" where on July 3rd, space aliens blow up the White House, but then - on July 4th! - led by President Bill Pullman and emerging super-dweeb Jeff Goldblum, humanity  strikes back!  

Well, according to the Internet, America is about to strike back - on TV, anyway. ESPN and corona-test-king South Korea are said to be near a deal to broadcast baseball to the starved U.S. couch-quarantined audience, beginning May 5 - yep, one week from today. The remaining issue is duration: ESPN wants a short-term commitment, so that - in pure American tradition - it can ditch the Koreans quickly, if MLB comes back.

Of course, Korean baseball cannot replace the Yankees. Nor can games in deserted stadiums replace the thrill of Gerrit Cole pitching before 50,000 screaming nutjobs. The mere notion of HR king Byung Ho Park - (33 dings last year for Kiwoom) - is so hard to fathom that, at times, I think I'd prefer ditching the 2020 season altogether. But canceling baseball would be like canceling Christmas. Folks, this isn't hockey. It's Mickey and Yogi. We gotta try. 

For better or worse, Korea will remind us of what we've lost and show us what we're up against. 

If everything goes well - (Note: It never does) - MLB could launch a half-season in June or July. By then, we'll have six weeks of Korean ball under our belts. It won't sate our cravings, but Korea will show us whether a U.S. season is logistically feasible. 

And it might not be. Quarantining 30 teams, writing a new union agreement, playing in Florida or Arizona heat... it simply might not work. Worst-case scenario: We chase an illusion of normalcy and set ourselves up for a crushing pandemic second wave. We disregarded warnings about the first wave. Before we do it again, we better find Bill Pullman.

It's up to you, Korea. Lead the way. Show us how it's done. 

Virtual Off-Day: GIANCARLO FOUND! Traveled Through Desert with Nameless Nag. Clint Frazier's Job Reported in Jeopardy.

In a stunning turn of events even in what has been one of the Virtual New York Yankees' most extraordinary seasons off the field, long-lost slugger Giancarlo Stanton stumbled into a desert fracking station today, badly parched and burned by his long exposure to the sun, and wearing the shreds of his Yankees road uniform wrapped around his gaunt body.

Interviewed in the National Guard camp near the Mexican border where he was taken, Stanton appeared weary but surprisingly animated after he'd had a bath and a meal.  He was eager to answer reporters' questions about his long sojourn in the New Mexico desert, though he often seemed annoyed at their inability to comprehend his answers.

Many of the these questions involved the whereabouts of the horse that Stanton had reportedly been riding through much of his journey.

"I tell you, man:  it felt good to be out of the rain," Giancarlo informed the press.  "In the desert, you can remember your name, cause there's nobody out there for to give you no pain."

Asked if could remember the name of the horse he was on, Stanton shrugged the question off.

"I don't know the horse's name.  I tell you, though:  two days out in desert sun, my skin was red."

"You didn't know the horse's name?  What did you call it?  'Horse?' "

"C'mon, man!  Listen: after three days, I was lookin' at this river bed—"

"How did you feel about that, Giancarlo?"

"Felt bad, man.  I thought of the story it told of a river that flowed, and I was sad to see it was dead."

"Giancarlo, did you eat that horse—"

"Will you get off the fucking horse, man?  Look, maybe nine days after I was out there, I let the horse run free, because the desert had turned to sea.  You know what?  The ocean is a desert with its life underground, and the perfect disguise above.  Under the cities lies a heart made of ground, but you dickheads in the media won't give it no love."

Stanton subsequently admitted that he had survived in good part by eating small, spineless cacti he was able to discover out in the desert.  Soon after he devoured the first one, he was guided through the sands by a number of verbose, oversized animals, including a coyote and a crow.

He also described meeting "a man of knowledge," who would suddenly appear and disappear.  Stanton described this individual as a jolly, rotund figure, "both black and white," who might suddenly materialize right in front of him or on the top of a distant mountain.

At all times, though, Stanton recalled that this "man of knowledge" had a beer in one hand, a ham hock in the other, and two beautiful women wrapped around him.

"He taught me many things," the slugger related.  "Things about the game I never knew or understood before.  He opened up my whole mind.  He talked about hitting to the opposite field, and taking pitches, and playing the outfield, and even bunting.

"I asked what all this was, and he just threw back his head and laughed.  He said...he was a Yanqui way of knowledge—"

At that moment, Stanton, whose travails had reduced him to a mere 125 pounds, collapsed into the arms of his doctors.  They later assured reporters that he would be fine, after a few more days of rest and rehydration.

The story of Stanton's reappearance was immediately conveyed to Yankees GM Brian Cashman in the darkened, bird-fortified bunker he is now residing in under Yankee Stadium, after an unfortunate, Opening Day lizard misrecognition episode.

Cashmere's eyes reportedly glowed with delight when he heard the news, and he had to blink back tears of joy.

"Now-now I can trade Frazier at last!" he was headed to cry out.  "Now I got that red-headed bastard right where I want him!  Bwahahahahahah!"

Monday, April 27, 2020

Desperation .....

According to Roger Goodell, the recently completed NFL 2020 draft  ( 72 hours ) set a record for audience..... watching on TV, and from the Kremlin.

This, for the single most boring event, in the world.

All fans would be just as happy to receive a text of the players their team selected, and a second list of un-drafted free agents signed. No TV required.  Nor pre-draft hype, draft day ( s) hype, or post draft hype.

We are so eager for anything that gives even a semblance of live sports, that 8 zillion idiots tuned in for the endless commercials,  and the meaningless bull-shit vomited out of the mouths of Mel Keiper and others.  For 72 fucking hours.

And we are supposed to be thrilled to learn that all of these people actually live somewhere?  In rooms?  Sometimes with pets?  What an intimate insight.

Personally, I think the NFL should extend the draft to a full week.  One player for each team, for each round. Start at 7am EST and end no later than midnight.  And here is the kicker;  no one
involved ( including...especially...Roger Goodell ) allowed to sleep until Mr. Irrelevant goes to the Giants , at the end of round 7.

Maybe we will watch MLB with no fans and artificial sounds.  How tough can it be, by the way, to fake crowd shots?

If we turn this task over to the Astros , they will know how to fool everyone into thinking what we are watching is real.

We are fucking desperate.

Plague Theater: Breaking news: Thurman Munson is dead

In so many ways, it's still too soon...

Scarlett and the death of Yankee news

For those of you who are feeling alone, adrift, isolated, starved for human interaction - and who are not drinking heavily  - here's a chewable nugget of hope (via Reddit): 

Scarlett Johannson is one of us... a Yankee fan! She used to keep a rookie card of Derek Jeter in her wallet. Yes, she carried a wallet!

And there it is, your official Yankee news for the day. 


Actually, here is the News: There is no Yankee news for today, as there was none for yesterday, or for the day before, or for tomorrow, or for the day after tomorrow. Our car has stopped in a Yankee news desert, and until Giancarlo tweaks a gonad - he's overdue - we won't hear much on the wires. Now and then, Cooperstown Cashman or Aaron Boone will say something, anything, and Yankee fans will gather like lines outside a food bank, waiting to devour and digest their nothing-burger sentences. But for today, here it is: The Black Widow is a Yank fan. That's your ration of beans until tomorrow. Make it last. 

But wait... I saved a dollop of tofu gravy, just for you. We have another tidbit:

Over the weekend, Aaron Judge turned 28. Twenty-eight. Is this possible? Didn't he just win Rookie of the Year? He's only been around a couple seasons, right? Just long enough to be screwed out of the MVP award by a cheater, am I right? 

Well, he's 28. You can look it up. From a stats standpoint - (we being scientists of the game) - 28 should be near his apex season. Between 27 and 29, hitters generally peak. Though it may be impossible to beat his rookie season, 2020 should be one of the most productive years of Judge's life... (unless he is to be cheated out of another MVP, this time by the juju gods.) 

For whatever it's worth, here are the Yankees who could miss peak seasons, if 2020 is canceled.  

Luis Cessa 28
Gerrit Cole 29
Jordan Montgomery 27
Chad Green 28

Gary Sanchez 27
Mike Ford 27
Gio Urshela 28
Luke Voit 29
Aaron Judge 28
Mike Tauchman 29

Imagine the stress on - say - Gio Urshela, who needs to prove that 2019 was no fluke. A solid 2020 would surely mean a fat contract and lifetime security. A lost season? Well, that means he goes to arbitration next winter at age 29 and questions still circling overhead. He probably takes whatever the Yankees offer. I mean, when you knitted masks all year, do you want to go into arbitration? A year older and nothing to show for it. 

I can only imagine the disappointment and stresses being faced by baseball players this month. So, nope... we're not alone. In our drifting life raft, we have plenty of room. Hell, we have Scarlett!

Yanks Suffer First Virtual Pineapple Loss. Concerns Grow Over Master.

The Virtual New York Yankees seemed to be on the verge of sweeping the Cleveland Napoleons yesterday, only to suffer the team's first pineapple loss, 8-7 in ten innings.

In keeping with the Yanks' latest Season of Grit, the team battled back from early deficits of 1-2 and 2-3, behind desperation starter Luis "Unnessa" Cessa.  Their new call-up, 41-year-old Eric "Methuselah" Kratz, belted his first home run as a Yankee to tie the score in the seventh, then El Matador, Miguel Andujar lashed a grand-slam home run ten rows back in the left field stands, to put a little sunshine into the fans on a cold, drizzly day at Yankee Stadium.

But even with a 7-3 lead headed into the ninth, the Bombers' vaunted bullpen failed for once to bring it home.  First, Adam "Mr. Zero" Ottavino surrendered two runs on three walks followed by two consecutive wild pitches.  

Rushed in to try to salvage the game, Sweats Chapman walked another batter, struck out the next two Naps, then surrendered a two-run, game-tying double to Francisco Lindor.  In the tenth, Carlos Santana's long home run off Tommy Kahnle put the Bonapartists on top.

New York loaded the bases with none out against Cleveland closer Brad Hand in the bottom of the inning, but longtime Yankees nemesis Oliver Perez entered the game to strike out Brett Gardner, and induce late-game defensive replacement Estevan Florial to ground into a game-ending double-play.

Frustrated at his 0-23 start as a big leaguer, Florial leapt up and pounded the ceiling on his way back to the clubhouse, breaking two fingers and putting himself out of action for the next three weeks.

"Well, after all, it was a low ceiling," said manager Aaron Boone when he got the report on Florial.

Joining Florial on the DL was Kratz, after his first appearance replacing Chris Iannetta, who was felled by a bout of rheumatism.  Kratz's dramatic home run got the arthritis in his back and knees a-barkin' as he trotted around the bases, and they did not respond to the team doctor's usual arthritis remedy of rubbing bacon and toad scales on the injured areas.

Meanwhile, concerns continued to grow over the state of Yankees broadcaster John Sterling's mental health.

For the second day in a row, Sterling seemed possessed by bizarre delusions.  This time, he told doctors that he had once again been able to slip through the "time portal" he had previously found at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, where he is still undergoing a battery of tests.

"Unfortunately, you can only come out in 1904," related Sterling.

He then claimed to have lived through the next 16 years, until Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees for the 1920 season.  Sterling said that he altered the baseball events of that year, managing to keep Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman from being fatally beaned by Carl Mays at the Polo Grounds, and get the Yanks into a nine-game World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers—a Series that featured an astonishing home-run rampage by the Babe.

He further claimed to have stayed around long enough to make sure Ruth did NOT get an infected elbow against the Giants in 1921, enabling the Yankees to win that Series, too.

Asked by his doctors how he had possibly managed to survive in the American economy of over 100 years ago, Sterling said he had worked at all sorts of different trades:  "I was a breaker boy, a carney market, a roustabout, a lumberjack, a metal flanger, a ward heeler..anything I could do to help out the Yankees!"

Asked if he had "interfered" with any other events in history, Sterling said he had "tried to warn the duke"—referring to the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which set off World War I—but that the royal heir's driver had taken an unexpected route to visit the wounded in a Sarajevo hospital.

"There's no predicting the actions of Habsburg chauffeurs in some provincial city they've never seen before!" Sterling tried to explain.

Doctors found the venerable radio voice's reports a disturbing reflection of his apparent inner turmoil.

Every ball fan, of course, already knows of Ruth's herculean 12 home runs in the Yanks' 5-4 win over Brooklyn in the 1920 World Series, along with the unassisted triple play pulled off in that Series by Frank "Home Run" Baker.  They also remember the 7 home runs the Babe followed with, in the Yankees' 5-3 triumph over McGraw's Giants in 1921.

Less well-known is Chapman, who baseball historians noted was not "killed" at all in 1920, but quit the majors to work in his father-in-law's utilities business, soon after the then-Indians finished a close second that season.  Chapman died at the age of 90 in 1981, surrounded by his large and loving family, and still lamenting the fact that the Indians had never won the World Series.

The fact that Suzyn Waldman managed to find a photograph of Gavrilo Princip being arrested by an Austro-Hungarian officer in a hussar's uniform who bore an uncanny resemblance to Sterling was discounted as a mere coincidence.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Plague Theater: Mariano plays prop in unbelievable rap commercial

You wonder what is going through Mariano's head?

The All-Time Opposition Shortstop conundrum

The other day, HoraceClarke66 offered an interesting take on our IT IS HIGH ALL-TIME YANKEE OPPONENT SHORTSTOP POLL: 

No-Mah and A-Rod were both juicers. End of story... Kim Jong Un has crapped the bed... Dick Groat was a National Leaguer who hit .214 in his one World Series against us... Luis Aparicio and Rick Burleson were great glovemen, but popgun hitters who were below their average against us (especially Burleson)... Ripken's stats against the Yanks were considerably below his normal... Kim Jong Un has crapped the bed... That leaves Yount and Trammell, who were ALSO slight below normal against our guys. Young hit a little better, and for a little more power. He's my pick. And Kim Jong Un has crapped the bed...

As always, Hoss makes perfect sense. But I raise a caveat on Robin Yount: He played 11 seasons at SS and 10 in the OF, and we must not confuse the two. Over his career, Yount hit .284 as SS and .287 in the OF (with roughly the same number of HRs.) Against the Yankees, he hit .282 overall. (I did not do a breakdown of SS-v-CF against the Yankees; not enough cocktail napkins.)

Over his career, Ripken hit .266 against the Yankees - 10 points below his overall average. (He hit 33 HR in over 200 games.) He didn't kill us. But he broke one of our sacred records - Lou Gehrig's streak - in memorable fashion against us. He gets points for that.

A lifetime .285 hitter, Alan Trammell batted .275 against the Yankees (with 14 home runs.) This too doesn't jump out.

A confession: When I put up this poll, I went with memory. As a kid, I remember Luis Aparicio killing us, and as a young adult, I recall Rick Burleson delivering in the clutch. Dick Groat played on two teams that beat us in the world series. And then there were Nomar and A-Rod, whom I added as jokes. I thought they'd give us a smile. 

Here, I slightly disagree with Hoss. I don't believe we should ban players who juiced during eras when it was basically ubiquitous and legal. Also, shortstop was a hard position to be bulking up on steroids. I don't believe they should face automatic elimination, but you may feel differently, and that's fine.

Garciaparra played 11 seasons at SS. (He tried 1B at the grim end.) A career .313 hitter, he batted .326 against the Yankees (with 14 homers.) In other words, he hurt us. I hated the guy, but give him credit: He rose to the challenge.

Then there is A-Rod - a .295 hitter over his 22-year career. Against the Yankees, in times when he played SS, his career average is - gulp - .334. That's not a misprint. Three thirty four. Moreover, in 82 games - about half a regular season - he hit 28 home runs against us. That would project Ruthian numbers. The guy killed us.  

Now, I'm still not sure who is the greatest SS against us. But I've sort of decided it comes down to who is the greatest shortstop of all-time: Ripken or A-Rod?

One is the tireless god of virtue. The other is - well, Alex is still writing the story, I guess. (And Robin Yount could play on my team, any  time.) A conundrum, no?

Pssst. Pass the word: Kim Jong un has crapped the bed.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Send Napoleons to Their Waterloo. Concern Grows Over Sterling.

The Virtual New York Yankees handed the Cleveland Napoleons a walk-off Waterloo, as Clint Frazier's three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth abruptly seized defeat and reversed it to be a 7-6 victory.

Yankees starter Mike King had the worst start of his surprising rookie season, but as usual the legion of New York relievers bailed the team out, with Chad Green getting the win and Zach(k) Britton picking up the save.

Meanwhile, concern continued to grow over the state of John Sterling's health.  The much-adored broadcaster told friends today that he had managed to find a portal in time where he is staying at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.

Sterling said that he had been able to go back to the 1904 season that had concluded at Hilltop Park, on the site of where the hospital stands today.  He claimed that he had been able to reverse the outcome of the doubleheader on the final day of the season, so that the Highlanders defeated the Boston Pilgrims instead of the other way around.

He further claimed that he was able to reverse the cancellation of the World Series that year, and help the proto-Yankees to defeat the Giants, 5 games to 4, in the new, first-ever Subway Series.

These claims by Sterling greatly disturbed his doctors.

The story of how Happy Jack Chesbro bested Boston for his record 42nd victory to take the pennant, and then defeated Christy Mathewson, 1-0, in 12 inning of the decisive ninth game of the World Series is, of course, a well-known piece of New York baseball lore, one that used to be known by every schoolboy, back when there were still schoolboys.

"The fact that Mr. Sterling could really think he made this happen is very concernful," remarked Dr. Jack Finney.  "It may indicate that a neurological event has rendered him prone to illusions."

Pressed for more details on what this could mean, Dr. Finney conceded: "It could be he will never warble again."


Plague Theater: Ron Guidry with... DAVID NAUGHTON!

 American Werewolf in London, this is not.

Are these the Yankee statistical leaders for 2020?

Damn, do you feel it? Time itself has stopped. Every week is a month. Every month - yeesh, I can't think that far. This is nuts. 

Right now, in a Yankiverse far, far away... you commentators are talking me off the ledge, reminding me that it's only April, that Judge and Stanton will soon return, and that a three-game losing streak before May 1 means nothing, zilch, prompting me to get indignant, because - after all - "A loss is April is the same as a loss in..." oh, fukkit. 

Wait. How much time just elapsed? Thirty seconds? That's not fair! It felt like 10 minutes. 

Listen: In case you're missing it, I direct your attention to the brilliant novel that HoraceClarke66 is writing on a daily basis about the 2020 Yankee season. Read and savor. It's a far more enjoyable Yankiverse than this.

Today - it's Saturday, right? do weekends even matter? - here is all I got:  Yankee stat leaders for 2020. If the season never happens, our 2020 HR leader is - gulp - Higgy.

 As for RBIs, it's a tie between Gleyber and a farmhand OF named Trey Amburgey. 

And the hitting leaders are two roster-invitees, including Rosell Herrera, the 27-year-old, switch-hitting IF-OF, who looked like the Second Coming of Never Nervous Yangervis Solarte. Congrats to all. Ah, but that was so long ago. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Outslug Naps. Strange Disturbance at Border.

The Virtual Yankees managed to outslug Cleveland in its first visit to the Stadium this year, while strange doings at the border led to speculation that absent slugger Giancarlo Stanton destroyed the wall with Mexico.

The pitching-short Yanks started yet another pitcher of the future—perhaps—and Deivi Garcia was beaten like a drum, putting New York into an early, 8-2 hole.  But as usual, the Bombers were able to slug their way back on a cold, wet night in the Bronx, taking a 15-10 decision in the end.

Kyle Holder hit his first-ever home run in the majors, while Gio Urshela, Mike "Walkie" Tauchman, Luke Voit, and Kyle Higashioka added roundtrippers of their own.  It was the first double-Kyle home run day in Yankees history.

Yankees fans got to see for the first time the former Indians in their new uniforms, after Cleveland abruptly changed its name following a public outcry over "Indians" this past year.

Cleveland put the selection of a new name up to the fans—to a degree.  The first winner, "the Blues," referring to an old name of the AL Cleveland franchise, was vetoed by the club's Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame sponsor.

Another blast from the past from Cleveland's National League days—"the Spiders"—was defeated after a nearly rabid campaign against it by Cleveland Plain-Dealer publisher and arachniphobe, J. Jonah Jameson.

By default, then, the choice went to "the Napoleons," a nickname the club used to carry in honor of star second baseman, Napoleon Lajoie.  The term also used to indicate the very best, or nonpareil.

"I don't care man, it's fucking weird," said shortstop Francisco Lindor, who hit two home runs of his own tonight.

Nonetheless, the team wore its new road uniforms, complete with the small, bicorn details.  The home uniform will feature a silhouette of the famous French dictator.

"Napoleon conquered all of Europe.  We just want to conquer Ohio," said ancient Cleveland owner Larry Dolan, uncle of the notorious James Dolan.

"Suzyn, there's no predicting what major-league teams will do to milk even a few more dollars out of merchandise sales," tweeted voice of the Yankees John Sterling, from his hospital bed at Columbia-Prresbyterian, where he is to undergo a battery of tests.

Meanwhile, speculation revived about the whereabouts of missing slugger Giancarlo Stanton, after something or someone blasted an man-sized hole through the new border wall in New Mexico.

Local immigration officials expressed themselves as at a loss about what could have done such a thing, while the "Minutemen" patrolling the border seemed deeply shaken by the event, their bad facial hair turned a deep white overnight.

"It was El Diablo, that's for sure," said one Minuteman, referring to the strange, devilish figure that's haunted the border area in recent days, spooking the gun-happy vigilantes there.

The strange presence, wailing an unholy banshee cry, somehow burst right through the new wall—and then returned, frightening the fake soldiers all the more.  On closer inspection, though, the wall proved to be made entirely of papier-mache.

"I dunno.  There's SOMETHIN' out there," said one of the local blohards.

"Honestly, whether or not Mr. Bosch had distributed drugs to minors was not of paramount importance to me."

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made this remark about Tony Bosch to the disciplinary committee hearing Alex Rodriguez's appeal of his record suspension for PED use.

As detailed in Blood Sport, Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts' excellent account of the massive effort MLB mounted to bring A-Rod to justice, Manfred was the man ("Manfred Mann?") in charge of taking down the Yankees third-sacker.

There was a lot at stake for departing Commissioner Bud "Toupee" Selig.  He wanted to be remembered as the man who drove PEDs out of baseball—instead of the man who stood idly by while they devoured the game he claimed to love.  There was a lot at stake for Rob Manfred, too, as he would undoubtedly get to take Selig's lucrative, less-than-taxing position if he succeeded.

The result was that, according to Elfrink and Garcia-Roberts, MLB may have spent as much as $20 million running down A-Rod's pusher, the notorious Mr. Bosch.

This included unleashing a swarm of "ex-cops and former [federal] agents" on the sleazy, "anti-aging" underworld of South Florida.  These operatives behaved like something out of a Carl Hiaasen novel, impersonating police officers, intimidating witnesses, handing out de facto bribes, paying a convicted felon for stolen documents—even sleeping with a source.  Meanwhile, MLB's crack legal team filed enormous, frivolous lawsuits against anyone who had anything to do with Bosch.

MLB's ops also disrupted an active, state investigation into another line of Tony Bosch's:  peddling PEDs to underaged, high-school athletes.

When A-Rod's lawyers tried to bring that up at the hearings, Manfred brushed them off:

"Honestly, whether or not Mr. Bosch had distributed to minors was not of paramount importance to me.  Rarely do you get a witness who is prepared to testify firsthand about his distribution of drugs to professional athletes, who hasn't engaged in other conduct that's illegal."

I guess we should all be glad that Bosch hadn't murdered or raped anybody.

The reason he was "prepared to testify," incidentally, was that MLB also provided him with round-the-clock, personal protection, and free legal counsel.  In other words, a bribe.

It's impossible to feel sorry for Tony Bosch, of course, or A-Rod, who got what he had long had coming.

But selling hugely destructive drugs to minors doesn't matter?  That's not what baseball cares about, as long as they can violate every legal ethic to make themselves look better?

Why anyone should expect anything resembling justice from Rob Manfred, in this cheating scandal or anything else, is beyond me.

Plague Theater: Mariano was just a kid from somewhere

A lot of emotion for a sports drink.

A new book recalls the American tragedy of Mickey Mantle

"A Farewell to Arms, Legs and Jockstraps," former sportswriter Diane Shah's new memoir about life in testosterone-infested locker rooms, includes a tale about the cringe-worthy - (yet probably successful) - pickup moves employed by Mickey Charles Mantle. 

Considering all we know about The Mick's dark and drunken past, Shah's story isn't so horrifying: He crudely propositioned her in a greeting card. Not saying that's okay, only that I imagined worse... because, frankly, I've heard worse.

A friend once told me of the night long ago when he and his dad encountered several Yankees in a hotel corridor. His father politely asked for an autograph, but Mickey - drunk and out of control - became abusive. My friend - he must have been eight - braced himself to watch his dad get beaten up by his favorite Yankee. Somehow, Whitey Ford intervened - bless you, Whitey - and everyone cooled down. Of course, my friend never forgot that moment. For him, Mickey - and baseball - were never the same.

Another friend, a reporter, would tell of the time Mickey spoke at a youth banquet in Binghamton. The media asked for interviews, but one event official confided that Mickey might not be sober enough to make the dinner. He did, and at the end of his short speech, Mickey told all the kids wanting autographs to line up to his left, and all the women who wanted to see him later to go to his hotel room. Everyone in the crowd buried their heads. Ohh, Mickey...  

Still, I loved him as a kid, and I always will. Here's one of the best interviews ever done. It's 15 minutes, and it won't save you on car insurance. It's Bob Costas' finest hour (or quarter hour.) Have a Kleenex ready. I guarantee you will cry.

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Bag Tigers, Avert Aerial Disaster.

In Virtual Baseball today, the Yankees were winners twice over, belting the Bengals, 10-3 in their getaway game in Detroit, and narrowly avoiding a fiery death in their chartered flight back to New York.

As far as the baseball went, it was clear flying.  The Yanks got another well-pitched game from J.A. Happ, and plenty of hitting from their patchwork lineup.  Mike Ford, D.J. LeMahieu, and Thairo Estrada all homered, as did new backup catcher, Chris Iannetta.

Unfortunately for Iannetta, it was announced after the game that his trot around the bases had caused his rheumatism to act up, and he would join Gary Sanchez on the DL.

The biggest scare of the day came when the Yankees' flight back to La Guardia overshot the airport and was forced to make an emergency landing in Citi Field.

Fortunately, the fourth-place Mets' game against the high-flying, division-leading Miami Marlins had been called off due to rain—but not the team's auditions for a new Mr. and Mrs. Met.

As the airliner skidded across the wet grass at Citi Field, hundreds of would-be mascots scrambled for cover, screaming mutedly into their giant, baseball heads.

"Inside Mr. Met, no one can hear you scream," said Marlins' co-owner Derek Jeter, observing the scene.

The only damage caused in the end, though, was to the Mets' trademark, "home run apple," which was sheared in half by a wing on the descent.  Afterwards, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled that the Mets would not be allowed to homer again until it was repaired.

Pilots Nielsen and Hays, and chief stewardess Hagerty were detained by the FAA for questioning.  But reporters wondered why it was that the Yankees were flying the small charter airline, Fly Me to the Moon!, in the first place.

"I know it's a small airline, you don't have to tell me it's a small airline," shot back Yankees' road p.r. spokesman Nathan Thurm.  "I suppose you'd rather have a little more leg room, and not have Gerrit Cole.  Oh, give me some free peanuts, but let's dump Gardy, I guess that's what you'd prefer, huh?"

"Suzyn, there's no predicting wind velocity vectors on the approach to Flushing Bay," tweeted Yankees broadcaster John Sterling, still undergoing a battery of tests at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.

The win left the Yankees at 17-8, still three games behind the Tampa Bay en fuego Rays

"It's been an interesting year," remarked Manager Ma Boone, as the orange emergency ramps deployed for exit.

Thursday, April 23, 2020


Plague Theater: Catfish sells cars for - gulp - Harrelson Ford

Harrelson Ford?

In deference to pandemic, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred washes his hands of Redsock cheating scandal

I keep re-reading the "punishment" handed down yesterday by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, and keep reaching the same conclusion: 

What a joke.

What a fucking, fucking, fucking joke.

For this, we waited three months? They crack down on some middle-management schlunk, a sacrificial lackey for the entire organization. They suspend a manager who is already gone, and if the 2020 season is canceled, he won't miss one game, not one. And they take away a second-round draft pick. (Keep in mind that, in baseball, second-round picks are often lesser prospects, selected so the team can keep within mandatory signing caps.) They did nothing, nothing... 

Boston cheats and wins a championship, and this is supposed to teach a lesson? 

Well, it does teach a lesson: 

Go for it!

Do you realize that the young Yankee pitcher, Domingo German, will miss half the 2021 season due his punishment on a domestic violence dispute that a) never resulted in a police report, and that b) he confessed to and then sought counselling. Not to minimize German's actions, but he'll be still serving his suspension in mid-2021, while the instigators of the worst cheating scandal in modern sports history - Houston's and Boston's GM and managers - will be back in good standing. 

I know, I know... we're a Yankee fan site, by nature, hating of all things Bostonian. Thus, our opinions will never matter to the great and majestic Lords of the Game. But this deal amazes me. They whack a cameraman, a flunky, as if he did this on his own - while players, management and the franchise won't even feel a mosquito bite. 

It's like the giant corporation that pours millions of barrels of poison into the ocean... to get fined $100. 

Yep, the lesson here is clear. When baseball finally resumes, the Yankees should set up a secret centerfield camera, run the images through code-breaker software and cheat like hell. Every pitch. Let the batters wear buzzers. Why not? If you're not cheating, you're not trying. 

Message received.

In spirited balloting, Rod Carew voted IT IS HIGH all-time Yankee Opponent at 2B

Hall of Famer Rod Carew has been elected IIHIIFIIc All-Time Opposition Second-baseman. Like all recipients - (thus far, Eddie Murray at first-base) - Carew receives the "Sterling Silver Steak Knife" for torturing IT IS HIGH readers throughout their lives. He won despite a spirited, well-rounded vote, which included five Hall of Famers, two HOF candidates, and a great cheater.

The results (from 326 votes):

Rod Carew (61 votes): 19%
Dustin Pedroia (55): 17%

Frank White (42): 13%
Robbie Alomar (39): 12%
Bill Mazeroski (39): 12%
Joe Morgan (27): 8%

Lou Whitaker (24): 7%
Carlos Baerga (22): 7%
Jose Altuve (17): 5%

In 184 games against the Yankees, Carew hit .331 with 11 HRs and 70 RBIs. (In Yankee Stadium, he hit .336.) I think the fans recognized Carew as one of the greatest hitters in history, and they are rewarding him for it.  

Of course, he should have been a Yankee. Carew was born on a moving train in Panama, in a coach car required for black people. In 1962, to escape her abusive, alcoholic husband, his mom took the family to New York City. Carew couldn't play baseball at George Washington High School, because he had to work nights as a stock clerk. While playing for a sandlot team called the Cavaliers, he was discovered by a Twins scout, a transit system cop. He tried out at Yankee Stadium, then signed with Minnesota for $5,000 and $400 a month.

After his rookie league season, he served a year with the Marines to fulfill his obligations. (Though not yet a U.S. citizen, he was listed as a permanent U.S. resident.) He debuted in 1967 against Dave McNally of Baltimore and singled in his first at-bat. 

He is now 74. His number has been retired by both the Twins and Angels. 

There might be second-basemen with better career stats against the Yankees. But I doubt there was ever a better one to take the field against us.

Virtual Baseball: Yanks Outslug Detroit; No One Killed. Sanchez to DL.

The Virtual New York Yankees bounced back from a literal mauling last night, to outlast the Detroit Tigers at EComCon Park, 9-7.

Due to their injury-riddled starting staff, the Yanks threw yet another of their "Kiddie Korps" last night, Johnny Loaisiga, a.k.a, "Johnny Lasagna."  Lasagna looked more like meat loaf, however, as the Bengals batted him about mercilessly, running up an early 5-1 lead.

Strong hitting by the Yankees brought the club back as it has so often this season, with Miguel Andujar clubbing two home runs and a double, Clint Frazier adding another round-tripper, and Gio Urshela slicing a game-tying triple.  It was no hit at all, however, but a simple walk by Mike Ford—his fourth free pass of the evening—that forced in what proved to be the winning run.

The baseball world was still abuzz with word of the wild, human-feline brawl that had gone on the night before, in which controversial Medal of Freedom winner Joe Exotic was eaten alive by Medal of Freedom winner Leatrice the Lyger.  Historians agreed that this marked the first time in U.S. history that one Medal of Freedom recipient had devoured another.

No word on where the medal in question is now lodged.

Many fans left early, repelled by the stench of human blood that hung over the entire ballpark today.  But Yankees second baseman D.J. LeMahieu was unfazed, saying how much it reminded him of the photo safaris he has taken into the Bengali wilderness.

Detroit management thanked LeMahieu for his invaluable work in showing the Tigers grounds crew how to make the non-lethal fabric traps that eventually recaptured all of the beasts.

"It was no big deal," LeMahieu said afterwards with typical modesty.  "I mean, by then they were pretty groggy, having stuffed themselves on Tiger dogs and, well, other stuff..."

Perhaps the best summary of the night was provided by recuperating Yankees broadcaster John Sterling in a surprise call to the broadcast booth and his old partner, Suzyn Waldman.

"There's no predicting 400-pound predators interbred in a private zoo, Suzyn," said Sterling.

Meanwhile, with Gary Sanchez gone to the DL until surgeons can grow enough tissue to replace the divot in his leg, GM Brian Cashman called up Chris Iannetta, one of the 57 tottering back-up catchers Cashman signed last February.

"He's almost been good at times," Manager Ma Boone said in welcoming the new addition.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Pick the Image You Think Best Captures the Red Sox' Punishment

To help pass the time while we're all quarantined, let's play a fun new IIHIIFIIc game!

Pick the image(s) you think best capture the "punishment" handed down by the MLB today to the Boston Red Sox.

Did they get a...

....or one of these kinds of punishment?

Did they get 50 lashes with one of these?

or is it none of the above and they just went....

Maybe, in the words of El Duque, they just....

Be sure to tune tomorrow for an extra special IIHIIFIIc Brain Puzzler:

Is it an actual punishment to suspend a cheating manager
who's currently employed by no team
for an entire season that wasn't going to be played anyway?

Plague Theater: Willie, Nolan and Steve sing for Gillette

 With a twist of Yogi.

Whoosh. That's the sound of the Redsocks skating

MLB hands down a nothing-burger punishment for Boston's cheating.

BOOM! BAM! POW. Trending on Twitter... 

Facing shame offensive, Yankees do the right thing with employees

According to the Internet, the all-merciful benefactor, Hal Steinbrenner, has decided to pay Yankee employees and serfs through the month of May. The most-generous decision came yesterday, after the billionaire owner drew some tracer fire by delaying a move most franchises had already made. Tardy or not, let's give Hal a round of applause for doing the right thing. Okay, that's enough.

Obviously, one month won't be enough. If baseball is to be played in 2020, it certainly won't launch before Memorial Day, and gate revenues - with or without "Count Orlok" Giuliani and "Hydroxycholoquine" Hannity - will vanish like Dr. Tony Fauci. The owner of America's richest professional sports team will either support his people or throw them overboard. Right now, he's doing the Lord's work. Forhe'sajollygoodfellow, whichnobodycandeny.

Meanwhile, the toothless leadership of Minor League Baseball apparently has caved in to plans to shrink the number of farm clubs across America. In November, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred unveiled a scheme to eliminate 42 franchises - a scathingly cruel betrayal of small cities that bankrolled stadiums in the face of extortion by the wealthiest of the wealthy. Taxpayers ponied up to support franchises that, in general, didn't give a whit about the towns they were representing. Now, they'll be cut loose.

Nobody knows which cities will be disappeared, but upstate New York - heart of the Rust Belt - probably sits in the crosshairs. There are rumblings that the Binghamton Rumbleponies - a Double A franchise in a small city with a giant heart - could go. Baseball in Binghamton goes back to Joe Pepitone, Whitey Ford and Thurman Munson. Gone? Say it aint so.

These are dark days, my friends. 

Virtual Baseball: Yanks, Sanchez Mauled by Tigers, Suzyn Breaks Down.

It was a troubled virtual night for Yankees baseball in the Motor City, as the team not only dropped a 7-3 decision to the South Asian Quadrupeds, but also saw their starting catcher involved in a terrible brawl with the actual beasts themselves, while their sole remaining radio broadcaster broke down in tears.

It started out as a festive evening at EComCon Park, as the Tigers honored new Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Johnny Exotic from the hit cable TV series, Tiger King, accompanied by Donald Trump, Jr.  Mr. Exotic and Mr. Trump were escorted to the ballpark by a retinue of wildlife from Mr. Exotic's private zoo, including several tigers and a crossbred lion-tiger, or "lyger," named Leatrice.

All would figure heavily in the startling incidents to come.

The game began well for the Yankees, who got off to a 2-1 lead in the third inning behind Jordan Montgomery, when Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez hit consecutive home runs.

Suzyn Waldman tried to honor the occasion with partner John Sterling's trademark call on such occasions, but was only able to whimper, "Back-to-back.  Belly-to-belly...and heart-to-heart!  I miss you, John!"

Ms. Waldman then made the startling accusation that, "It's not just bad crab meat!  John's worse off than they're letting on, I just know it!  And I can't keep doing both jobs like this!"

Waldman wept intermittently through the rest of the game, but as the Yanks have made numerous "austerity moves" in the broadcast booth this year, there was no one to relieve her.  Paul O'Neill was the only YES broadcaster who made the trip with the team, and he had already broken his mic and stormed out of the TV booth in a fit of rage over mispronouncing "lyger."

Things were even more volatile down on the field, where Sanchez, after swatting his third home run in two days at EComCon once against spat at the Tigers' dugout afterwards.  Several of the Bengals then charged out of the dugout at him, resulting in a huge brawl near home plate.

Things got truly out of hand, however, when an excited Joe Exotic urged his charges to join the fray.  As the players screamed and the tigers swarmed, one 400-pound beast turned instead toward Donald Trump, Jr.'s box, causing the Secret Service agents surrounding the presidential zygote to unholster their weapons.

On seeing this, an enraged Joe Exotic drew down and seemed about to set off a gunfight.  Leatrice, noticing the agents in danger, swiftly made a daring leap and brought down her master.  As Joe wept and shrieked for mercy, Leatrice dragged him into the Tigers' clubhouse, where judging by the sounds emanating therefrom, he was probably eaten alive, although no club employee was willing to check.

Later, the White House announced that Leatrice the Lyger would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her swift and courageous action—assuming, at least, that she had not already ingested Mr. Exotic's medal, in which case no new decoration would be required.

After the brawl, Donald Trump, Jr. left the park, along with almost all the fans.  The grounds crew was put in charge of rounding up the stray lions and tigers, but seemed noticeably less than committed to performing this duty.

Instead, the great beasts could be seen padding about the warning track and occasionally attacking a hot dog vendor for the rest of the night, while their ungodly roars echoed through the chilly but pleasant Michigan night.

Sanchez was seen limping away from the brawl with a tiger-sized divot clearly removed from one leg.  Asked about his condition afterwards, manager Ma Boone replied, "Well, he's day-to-day."

Detroit proceeded to tattoo Montgomery, who did pitch his first-ever complete game in the major leagues, when no Yankees reliever would take the mound.

Questioned about his performance, Montgomery snapped, "What the hell do you want from me?  I didn't have my starting catcher!"

Most of the team hurried to leave the clubhouse without changing or showering, unnerved by noises from the home team locker room that they swore sounded like bones snapping.  D.J. LeMahieu, however, following a three-hit night, stayed on to instruct the grounds crew in making East African Big Cat traps from strips of tarpaulin and pitchers' jackets.



Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Plague Theater: "Can we call you Catfish Chapstick?"

What hath God wrought?

“From here to that couch — I never saw it after that,” he said, pointing to a sofa in the Yankees clubhouse. “All I felt was impact, and then falling on the ground. The whole side of my face was gone — I felt sharp pieces in my mouth. I was trying to be soft with them because I didn’t want to choke, but the pain was excruciating.”

Why we should cut Giancarlo Stanton some slack.

Will Hal Steinbrenner really clip his hired help during the shutdown?

Well, now I've heard everything... According to the internet, 18 of the 30 MLB owners plan to pay their staffs in full during this ridiculous, overly-hyped, fake news, virus shutdown. For what? So their employees can stay at home, drink sanitizers and watch Netflix while lounging in their milk baths? Once these obese freeloaders acquire the taste of money-for-nothing, they'll never again be worth one lick of doorknob spittle. As for this rinky-dink flu - from what I hear, more people die each year in their swimming pools (thank you, Dr. Phil) - but you don't hear us torching the Constitution over that, do you? How does anyone expect an honest MLB owner to feed his family? Down in Florida, some do-gooder wannabe named Jeter even says he'll forego his $5 million salary, and put the money toward needy people. Who elected him Pope? Once these basket cases get money for free, they'll never want to work again for the minimum wage, which some people want to be more than $5 per hour! Jesus fukinay Christ, when I started, two bucks an hour was damn good pay!

Fortunately, one hero owner is holding the line against giveaways: "Hand Me Down Hal" Steinbrenner! If his Yankee staffers don't pick cotton, let them eat cake. Let's see if watching Tiger King pays the mortgage. In an act of courage, Hal thus far has refused to pay the tab for laid off scouts, managers, cabana boys and whatever - and in this "flatten the curve" world, let's be thankful that somebody still appreciates frugality. It's bad enough that they've closed the bars just because some NPR bed-wetter caught the sniffles and called a news conference to demand a free ventilator. So we bought everyone on the East Coast their own ventilator, yet they're still whining? Now, they want cotton swabs? Tomorrow, it'll be vibrating beds. Good grief, people, rise up! Money doesn't grow on trees. Look at Greece! Do we want to be Greece? If we start paying everybody for not working, we'll turn into Greece. Three times a day, Souvlaki! You'll be tending to sheep. Greece! 

And now, to top everything off, we're supposed to sit back and watch Chinese baseball? Wait a minute. Chinese flu... Chinese baseball? CONNECT THE DOTS, PEOPLE! DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT? The Rakuten Monkeys are trying to steal our Yankee thunder, even our Red Thunder. We've got to turn this around, and thank God there are still owners out there who, in a pinch, refuse to pay their staff. Surely, it will mean lower ticket prices for all of us, when the boys of summer return - any day now. 

Virtual Baseball: Historic Win for Yanks, Holder. Suzyn Warbles Wanly.

The Virtual Yankees played a game for the ages tonight in Detroit's EConcom Stadium, hanging on for a 12-inning, 7-6 win over the Tigers.

Rallying from an early, 5-0 deficit, the Yanks moved into the lead thanks to two long home runs by Gary Sanchez, who signaled his overall disdain for all things Bengal by openly spitting at the Detroit dugout as he came around to touch home plate on his second dinger.

But the night belonged with Kyle Holder.  With the Yanks leading in the bottom of the 12th, closer "Night Sweats" Chapman entered the game and was as wild as a Tasmanian devil, walking the first two batters he saw, before facing dangerous Detroit DH, Miguel "One Big Tub-a-Juice" Cabrera.  

Chapman promptly hung a curve, which Cabrera lashed on a line up the middle, nearly decapitating the clammy hurler.  

But Kyle Holder, perfectly positioned, was able to snag Cabrera's smash just before it hit the ground. Holder then rolled over second base, retiring lead runner Dawel Lugo, popped to his feet, and ran down and tagged out Tigger backstop Grayson Greiner, who is slower than continental drift.

By so doing, Holder had not only completed the Yankees' first-ever, unassisted triple play, but also the first unassisted triple play in baseball history to end an extra-inning game.  It was the capper on what was an all-around excellent night for Kyle, who also had four singles and drove in three runs.

"Boy!" exulted manager Ma Boone.  "Why, the way he's going, he might have as high a ceiling as Estevan Florial some day!  And please excuse my language."

Detroit had mauled starter Luis "It's Nessa" Cessa, but the Yanks bounced right back behind their usual legion of relievers, to improve their record to 15-7.  The win left them still three games behind the smokin' Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzyn Waldman, alone in the Krazy-Kars-for-Kids radio broadcast booth, tried to warble the Yankees' win, but broke down in a fit of cigarette-induced coughing.  

Reached for comment where he was convalescing at Columbia-Presyterian Hospital, "former home of the New York Highlanders," Suzyn's erstwhile partner, John Sterling called it "the old college try," and marveled at the game's ending.

"I think it's safe to say:  there's no predicting baseball," The Master told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' new road spokesman, attorney Nathan Thurm, denied reports that Gerrit Cole was still not receiving proper medical attention, saying that he had gone for a CAT-scan just that morning.

Asked if that didn't really mean that he was taken to Bleecker Street to have Madame Cleo's psychic cat walk over him, Thurm replied testily, "I knew it was her cat.  I didn't say what kind of cat it was, you said it was that cat.  You're the one making all this fuss about cats and dogs."

Meanwhile, ranch hands and farm workers near the section of New Mexico where Giancarlo Stanton was last seen, reported the eerie howlings and rustlings of a strange, demonic creature, sometimes riding astride horse, in the still of the night.  The sounds made by this spectral vision spooked their cattle into stampeding and set dogs to yowling, but it vanished when they tried to approach it.

Monday, April 20, 2020

A Team for Today

MLB All-Cannabis Team

1B  Boo Powell
2B  Buzzy Wares
SS  Roxey Roach
3B  Xander (Don't) Bogaerts

LF  Ducky Hemp
CF  Chilli Davis
RF  Buzz Boyle

C  Taylor Teagarden

PH  Bert Weeden

RHP  Lil Stoner, Tobi Stoner, Herb Hash
LHP  Jung Bong, Josh Smoker

MGR  Dusty Baked

The Unnamed Temporary Sports Blog is back

That's right: The Unnamed Temporary Sports Blog, which you might recognize from a once-great website. (Hint: Deadspin.) 


The Jameis Winston work-out video.

5 Classic Games that Remind Us of Why We Miss Sports

or my pers fave:

My God Grant Us an NFL Draft Full of Technical Disasters

Almost a feeling of normalcy.