Saturday, September 08, 2012

Fenway Wrap-Up--During The Game!

Kim and I went to Fenway tonight. Forecast looked bad, we waited, decided to go, got there just in time for the first inning. Saw Dice give up 5 early runs. Rains came. This is classic Kim. She (like most people) hates rain delays, yet if there's ever a game with, like, three of them, you know she was there. So we weren't surprised when we saw the forecast, and I knew going in that we were gonna have to leave at a certain point.

That point came after about a half hour of rain, which we made the most of under a big umbrella in the Monster Seats, with a handful of others who stayed. We walked over to a Mexican place, got vanilla flan and coconut cheesecake (and Kim got wine and beer due to a waiter error--I think in Groundhog Day Bill Murray says you're not supposed to mix those, ever, but she's still alive, though saying a lot of things that don't make sense), sat there for an hour, and then drove home which also takes an hour with the now restarted game on the radio.

Now we're home. And the game's still going on. This rivals the time my friend Mike left Fenway (in like 1989) during a rain delay, then saw the end of the game on TV at home. In Ridgefield, CT. Two and a half hours away.

Anyway it's 6-2 Jays in the 8th.

The O's beat the Yanks so those two are tied again. We got to watch some of that game on the video board at Fenway. I heard it ended on a bad call. Ha. I want the Yanks' collapse to feature every single cheap thing they've ever had go in their favor go against them. Rays lost so they stay two back.

Pictures from rainy Fenway to follow....

[Update: Pics now up.]

Friday, September 07, 2012


Yanks go up 7-0 on O's, hold on 8-5. Rays win, so the Yanks are up 1 on Balt, 2 on Tam.

Red Sox fall into a tie with Jays as Toronto wins 7-5 at rainy Fenway (we got no rain at all in Prov, what gives?).

PawSox lose on walk-off dong by Melky II: Your Sister is a Werewolf after being up by 2 going bottom 9. So they lead 2 games to 1, still one win away from the Governor's Cup Finals.

But you probably knew most to all of that.

The New Yankee Way

"I love that it's a close race because I just love good baseball."

"I'm glad to see Showalter succeed."

And countless sentences starting with

"Even if we don't win..."

Mike Francessa just casually said "hey, it's possible the Yanks don't make the playoffs. That's fine. Nothin' wrong with that."

So the attitude of the team with the biggest payroll, with a division and two wild card spots available, is suddenly there's nothing wrong with not making the playoffs? I didn't hear anybody say that in April.

And how are these "winning is more important than breathing" fans able to say with a straight face: "if we don't win"? While tied for first place! I'll tell you why. Because Yankee fans need to win. And if they discover that their own team might not win, they quickly come up with alternate idea. If you act like you don't care if your team loses, you win when they when and when they lose.

They've always done that--we all know about the mass exodus that occurs when the Mets are good and the Yanks aren't ("I just root for New York!")--but at least in the past they'd wait till their own team was out of it. But thanks to the 2004 Red Sox (the gift that keeps on giving), they now start planning for failure before it even happens!

Of course, I always get pleasure from seeing the Yanks lose even when own team is out of it. But here's the huge difference. When you constantly brag about your 27 championships, and when your team's goal every year is to win another one, you can't take credit for a "win" unless you actually win. And they're not even doing the thing of being happy at their rival's failures, they're claiming to be okay with their own team losing! (Again, pre-emptively even.) They're so afraid of everybody mocking them all off-season (at least maybe they'll get lucky and people will blame it on how they played and not buy into the media making up random stories of why) that they're trying to deflect it by acting like they won't even care if they don't win. Can one Yankee fan please come out and admit he's pissed and he wants nothing more than for his team to win every game by ten runs and sweep through the playoffs? I never heard this "I'm just rooting for good baseball/If we don't win here's my plan" bullshit when they were ten games up....

Thursday, September 06, 2012

A-Rod Continues To Not Save The Yankees

Yanks almost win but still lose!

So that turd Strop who gave the Yanks the game last weekend comes in and again chokes. A 6-1 8th inning O's lead becomes 6-6 with help of 4 walks and a wild pitch and general Stropery. I was a racecar in the red at that point. After Buck finally got off his ass and removed him, the next guy finally got the third out, and then....

The O's went to Dongtown! Right away they stormed back with three dongs before an out was made in the bottom of the 8th! That made it 10-6 Baltimore and all was right with the world again. Orioles win. Both teams tied for first again, idle Rays now 2 out.

After Joba gave up a dong to make it 6-1 Birds after 7, things were bleak in Yankville. Yet after they tied it at 6 and brought in Robertson, you know they were thinking it was Yank-ifest destiny. That thought was quickly erased. Nice job showing resolve, O's. They actually got some people in the seats tonight, too.

MLBN showed the MASN feed tonight. Wow is Gary Thorne stupid. I'll never forgive him for his accusations that one of the greatest moments in baseball history was fake. But even if I did...he's still stupid. In the first inning, Swisher came up. Now here's a guy who's been striking out left and right, in the midst of a huge slump. 4 for his last 35. And Thorne says, "The Yankees have Swisher batting second, only because...." At this point I thought he was gonna say something like "they've got nobody else" or "they want a lefty in the 2 hole." Instead, he finishes with, "it's working." Remember, this is a guy who watched 3 Yankee games a few days ago.

But as the pressure of the game heightened, so did Thorne's stupidity. The Yanks had a 2-run single to tie the game in the 8th inning. His call of that single after both runs had scored? "And it's now a 1-run game! ... .... ... and it's a tie game as the other run scored too." He then adds, "and the Yanks have scored 5 here in the SIXTH inning to tie the game." Yes, he fucked up the inning and the score on one play, at a moment where both things were critical to get right.

I actually thought the color guy was really good--despite his note that David Robertson was "the predecessor to Mariano Rivera."

Bonus thought of the day: The Orioles have a Pedro and a Manny.

[Update, 12:!2 a.m.: Bonus thought of the next day: The PawSox are up 2-0 in their playoff series with the SWB Yanks. One more win and it's on to the finals! Get your tickets now.... And follow the Paws year round at the #1 PawSox blog of all-time, PawSox Heavy, formerly Baseball Heavy.]

Girardi On Phone Early

Yanks-O's, four games in Balty, starting tonight. And the O's already lead 4-0 in the first! I'm busting, Jerry, I'm busting!

All Three Bad

Yanks and O's games were both close tonight, could have gone either way. Right around the same time, the Jays broke a 2-2 tie with a 4-run 7th against Balty, and the Rays, after having come back to tie twice, made a crucial error to give the Yanks the game. It was tied at 4, one out in the 7th, second and third, and Jeter hits a grounder right at the drawn-in second baseman. He's got Ichiro dead to rights even after his slight double-pump, but throws it nowhere near the catcher. A second run scores on the play and the Yanks win 6-4. The killer is that Nick Whiffer was on deck. That would have been the third out, jam over, but the Rays had to screw it up. (Also, Stupid Maddon could have broken the game open in the first but was busy doing two-strike safety squeezes.)

NY easily could have been swept in each of the last two series, their only wins being handed to them on a platter that I'm sure Jeter smelted with both hands tied behind his back. Instead they go 2-4. They now go to Baltimore for four games, 1 up on the O's and 2.5 on the Rays. Man it woulda looked nice with the O's up 1 and the Rays just a half-game behind the Molesters of Handicapped Children.

The Red Sox ended before 1 a.m. tonight, and Cook wasn't all that bad, but again we had trouble scoring, and lost 2-1 in Seattle. The 1-8 west coast trip mercifully comes to a close. Unnecessary shot at Valentine by Orsillo as his call after the final out was "and the Red Sox go 1-8 under Bobby Valentine on this road trip." How does it feel to try and play god from your perch, asshole? I'm done with him too. Can't announce for shit anymore anyway. (Notice, though, that I don't confuse NESN and their staff's follies with the team playing poorly--I don't sit here saying "the front office needs to stop dicking around hiring shitty directors and cameramen and announcers and start putting good clubhouse guys on the team!"

I'm so glad I haven't listened to sports radio since July. It was over the top then, I can't imagine what it must be like now.

[Great line by Drunk Uncle Piniella aka Sour-Ass Lou tonight: "Boy, Derek Jeter sure has fun playing this game. That's what makes him so good." On the ESPN game the night before, Rick Sutcliffe praised Jeter for hitting a routine grounder and running it out. These people have completely lost it.]

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Punch Drunk Irony

I just got the funniest e-mail. It was from the PR people who send out stuff for that crappy radio station that rhymes with double-screw pee-pee lie. It says that Bobby Valentine said to that fatass blowhard "personality" whose nickname rhymes with The Pig Blow that if he were there, he'd punch him right in the face! Me too, Bobby. Me too.

What's great is that we've had so many players this year, and the manager, come right out and bash the media.

What stinks is that the media has trained people to think that if the team's doing poorly, anything they do off the field is the cause of it. So instead of saying, "awesome, they're telling the media what they think of them," they're trained to say "they need to stop bashing the media and start playing better!"

I didn't even listen to the actual quote, but this is a case where I hope for once it's accurate and that he said in complete honesty that he'd like to punch that stupid ratings (AND CUPCAKE)-hungry smear of tub stank in the face. (They said the question he was responding to was whether or not he'd checked out. What a dick.)

And while I'm at it, I'd like to say something about Jonny Miller. (That's the guy with the weird voice you hear at every player interview and managerial press conference.) Look, I don't know why his voice is so fucked up. I don't care what disease he has that makes him sound like he's regurgitating marbles, he should just shut the hell up and retire. This guy is such an asshole. He loves to ask players the most inappropriate things right after games. You don't go up to a guy's teammate after he's been traded and ask if it was "because of the attitude." It's time for these guys to start mocking him. Like, when he asks a question, just keep saying "I don't understand what you're saying," and then finally move on to the next question. He shouldn't get a pass because his mouth doesn't work.

People have every right to be pissed at the team for how they've played all season (though you have to consider the historic, record-setting injuries), but these so-called journalists are just making shit up to make it worse. Even McAdam the other day started a report with "As if the losing isn't bad enough, now..." and proceeded to mention something the media took upon themselves to make into a big deal! We're the ones that should be saying to him, "as if the losing isn't bad enough, you have to go and stir more shit!" And now we have Valentine baited into telling a dude he'd physically assault him, and we know who's gonna get the short end of this stick. When the year started, I hoped Bobby could beat the media at their own game. I feel like they've won. They got what they wanted. And now they've got the quote they need to make themselves look like the good guys. I'd love it, though, if he could stick around, do something good with next year's team, and be championed by the fans as the media tries to bait him over and over, and every time he says, "I stand by my statement--I'd punch each and every one of you in the face," while the fans all cheer and laugh their asses off at the media.

Bal @ Tor, 7:07
Yanks @ TB, 7:10
SOX @ Sea, 10:10

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

10 Game Lead = Gone

Me, August 8th, 2012: "They've got a real shot at blowing this!" As of tonight, the Yankees' division lead (formerly 10 games) is toast!

Cano donged in the first to put NY up 2-0, but the Rays scored the next 5 and breezed to the 5-2 win, all while the Orioles were racking up a dozen at rainy ex-Skydome. So we knew the O's had done their part, it was just a question of the Rays holding on, which they did easily.

The standings, with proper alphabetical order used in case of ties, unlike how ESPN listed them after the game:

New York Yankees --
Tampa Bay Rays 1.5
Boston Red Sox [a really high #]
Toronto Blue Jays [fortunately an even higher #]

I love how I've been able to watch the collapse, as Yanks games have been on national TV almost every day lately.

I think they said only three times in the last 18 years a team has relinquished a 10-game division lead. The Yanks are in danger of blowing leads of 10+ to two different teams in the same year. If that's ever happened in history, somebody let me know.

Of course, none of this will matter if they win the thing anyway--but having TWO teams so close to them makes the chances so much higher that they won't. Keep the pressure on, everybody! (I'm trying not to think about how fun it would have been if the Red Sox had just had a normal year and were one of the teams taking advantage of this historic collapse.)

[Update, 1:38 a.m.: Red Sox win first game on road trip. In EIGHTH try. Bailey gives up 2-out triple in 9th, but gets last out for 4-3 win. (NESN has right fielder behind score box on final play as ball is in the air, leaving us clueless until he finally emerges and makes the catch. Stupid NESN....)]

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Answer: The Yankee fan at right is mistaken. He is under the impression that his team's rivals, the Boston Red Sox, have not won a World Series since the year 1918 A.D. In reality, the Red Sox have won twice since then: 2004 A.D. and 2007 A.D. The irony here is that in the 2004 playoffs, the Red Sox made history by becoming the only Major League Baseball team to come back from being down 3 games to 0 in a 7-game series and win. Though records are hazy, if one does enough research one will find that the team who had been ahead 3-0 in that series was the New York Yankees. From there the Red Sox went on to sweep the World Series and break their 86-year championship drought, rendering taunts of "your team hasn't won since 1918" completely meaningless.

The other irony here would be the fact that Yankee fans seem to be appalled when Red Sox fans take pleasure in their failures, knowing that they themselves have routinely mocked the other side of the rivalry for decades, even, as illustrated beautifully here, pining for the days of long-extinct taunts (inventing the "retro-taunt," if you will).


For some reason, maybe because Michael Kay decided not to make a big deal of it, the blunder of the game wasn't picked up on by the media. So I'll have to show the world myself! Top 8, tie game, 2 outs:

I timed Cano at 5.3 seconds down the line from crack of bat to clunk of foot. All because of his decision to stop and watch. It was fun to watch the play over and over--I recommend it. It's also funny that David Price can be seen in the dugout saying, "he didn't run out of the box!" Why Kay wouldn't be mad about this, I don't know. It's not like it's Jeter where you have to always think good thoughts about him or he'll send you off into the cornfield or turn you into a jack-in-the-box. Maybe since this is actually considered hustling relative to the rest of Cano's career, he gave him the benefit of the doubt. But there's no excuse for stopping. Not even "oh, I thought he was gonna catch it." Run till he does catch it. It was a line drive at a fielder's feet! I think he short-hopped it anyway, before it bounced off of him. Why are you assuming it's caught? Or even fielded cleanly? This is a play you should be benched for even if it was a meaningless game, let alone at a crucial time like this. Then he goes and lets the eventual winning run score because he made no attempt to knock down a slow grounder. How is this not being talked about?

(Funny how in the screenshot I used for that vid, you can see the catcher ahead of Cano as he runs to back up first. I guess he didn't assume the ball would be caught.)

And here's a funny thing from their Sunday game:

In case you couldn't view it, TBS basically staged a shot of two young Yankee fans in the stands acting "frustrated" with their team. Problem was, they cut to the camera before the kids were told to start acting, and as a bonus, they stayed with it long enough for us to see the moment they were told to stop, at which point they head back to their seats, leaving the "designated frustrated kids staged shot area." TBS tried to make it seem as if they just happened to find two overly dramatic utes in the crowd, but instead we got a behind-the-scenes lesson in how staged shots work. I'm surprised they didn't accidentally allow the audio of the guy saying "action" to seep through....

Monday, September 03, 2012

Yankee Collapse Nearly Complete

O's win, Yanks lose to Rays! O's 1 back, Rays 2.5 back!

Do you realize that I wait for Robinson Cano-nchalant to fuck up plays like children waiting for the ice cream truck? You can never give up on a ball hit by or to Cano--he just might decide to not run it out or take his sweet time on a throw.

Today, it happened. At a vital moment. Top 8th, 2 outs, tie game. Yanks clinging to life in the division race. Cano lines one to the third baseman. It bounces off the guy and rolls away. My immediate thought was "you've got time, Cano might not have run!" Guy goes and gets the ball a few feet away, throws to first wildly, but the first baseman still has time to make the tag on Cano on a great play. Inning over. I awaited the replay with bated-ass breath.

They came back from break, and we see the shot of Cano swinging, then watching the ball...pausing....I mean literally stopping in his tracks waiting to see what happens...and then "oh shit I have to run!!!" Between the ball rolling away and the bad throw, even a Molina would have been safe, provided he just put his head down and run in this very, very important situation. Michael Kay missed a chance to rip the shit out of Cano, just saying how he thought it was gonna be caught and that's why he stopped. As if that's okay! You'd think Singleton or drunk uncle Lou Piniella would have been appalled but no.

And it doesn't end there! Bottom of the same inning, with a man on second, two outs, still tied, and there's a grounder to Cano's left. It's really slow. But way to his left. He gets near it, but only gives it a wave as it rolls through to the outfield. Go-ahead run scores. Rays win 4-3 as Yanks leave tying run at 3rd in 9th. Had Cano dove, he would have stopped the ball, and prevented the run. He had no play at first, but the game stays tied if he dives. (He could have learned this move from Jeter, who earlier in the game refused to dive on a ball right under his glove--the announcers said nothing.)

So the world famous Ca-nonchalance costs them a game at the worst possible time. I hope that Kay's ignoring of the gaffe doesn't mean that the media ignores it too.

Laboring Yanks Head South

From the NY Post:

The Orioles then pounded the Yankees bullpen during a three-run eighth that sent much of the crowd of 46,501 heading for the Major Deegan.

It was an easy choice. Holiday traffic over a train wreck.

Yanks @ TB, 1:10

Bal @ Tor, 1:07

Sox vs. Media, always

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Orioles Win Series

O's WIN 8-3! They were down early but Reynolds' 3-run dong turned a 3-1 Yanks lead into 5-3 Orioles. Jeter had a chance with the tying runs on but hit into a tailor-made DP to end the 7th. The O's also ended the previous inning on an amazing DP. Then Lowe came in, and, mission accomplished! He allowed a hit and then walked in a run on the two batters he faced. He was one of 247 Yankee pitchers on the day. Then a Markakis 2-run single wrapped it up. A "Let's Go O's" was heard at Yankee Stadium!

So they really did show up all weekend, with only a TYR (typical Yankee rally, with a walk tying the game and error giving them the lead) between them and the sweep, which would have meant a tie for first in the AL East right now.

But we'll have to settle for the Yanks holding a slim 2-game lead with just about a month left. Rays are 3.5 back with their win today. O's go to Toronto and the Yanks go to Tampa this week, before the Yanks and O's meet up again next weekend in Balty.

Red Sox only gave up 2 runs before the first out today! I'd say the score of the game right now but I'm pretty sure it'll change by the time I finish the sentence so what's the point?

Congrats to the PawSox, who clinched the wild card yesterday. Yes, a team called the Red Sox is in the playoffs!

New Producers

In my latest installment of The Producers, you'll take a multiple choice quiz! When a Yankee hits a home run, you should know what's vital to show the audience before the hitter even reaches second base....


O's @ Yanks (TBS), 1.

SOX @ A's, 4.

Rays also play at 1 and need to win to A. keep a second set of footsteps in the Yanks' ears, and B. keep the Blue Jays behind us in our battle for the cellar.

Media Still Needs A "Culture Change," Put 'Em On Waivers

A few things about tonight's shitty 7-1 loss in Oakland:

1. The Aceves thing. Say what you will about whether or not he should have just gotten out of Salty's way, but don't tell me he "shoved" or "barreled through" Salty. That's what that lunkheaded Pete Abe and the NESN Daily guy said about it. There was barely any contact at all, and it came when Aceves raised his arms in an attempt to catch the ball as he was calling for it. I made a video for you:

Thing to remember about Aceves: The guy seems to take a lot of pride in his fielding. Go to a game early and you'll see him taking pepper drills with Gary Tuck. How many times have we heard announcers say "why don't pitchers just learn how to catch pop-ups?" Guy thought he had the best chance at a ball he knew he could catch so he went for it. And dropped it. In an inning where he also had "words" with Pedroia in the dugout. So it all looked really bad. But I think when you take a step back you see this wasn't any kind of travesty. I also like how Aceves stood up to Abe himself in post-game. Abe asked him about the miscommunication on the field and Aceves started berating him by saying "that's what you say, you're not asking, you're telling" and patronizingly calling him "buddy." Man, I hope that pantload was shitting his pants. I love how we're hearing more and more from the players how shitty this media is, along with more ignoring or "none of your business" answers. I feel kind of vindicated for having the anti-media weekend. Anyway, the thing I didn't like was Aceves shooing his manager away for doing nothing more than trying to pat him on the ass.

2. The Salty bunt. When the A's fans were booing him his next time up after bunting to end a perfect game bid in the fifth inning, my mind went right to: I didn't hear them booing their own team the night before when they were tacking on runs 19 and 20 in the 8th inning. Yet a bunt in a no-hitter that hadn't even reached 5 innings and they're appalled? Gimme a break. Remy agreed with my theory, and got PISSED when Don took the other side. They were bickering like an old married couple, but you could tell Jerry was actually mad. If you're gonna follow the unwritten code for one thing, you have to follow it for all the things.

3. Don getting ahead of himself. I've mentioned before how Don will often jump the gun on a play, occasionally screwing himself when what he assumes will happen doesn't. But tonight he took it to the next level. He was so sure Podsednik was going to jump at the wall for a home run ball, he actually called it as "Podsednik leaps..." and didn't correct himself when the guy stayed on the ground. The whole thing was made funnier by the fact that the wall is, what, 12-15 feet high at that point? Check out the video I "hosted" about the play:

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