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Snuffed Out

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

candle snuffed out

It went as we feared it would. The Yankees were barely there. They were done against Boston. Done against Baltimore. And, last night, done against Houston. It was, as I think A-Rod expressed it, as if they’d hit a wall. And so the 2015 season is over for them. Yes, it was great to make the playoffs, even if it was a one-game Wild Card contest. But let’s be honest. We were all hoping for more.

It wasn’t that hard to watch the game, oddly enough. The Astros played with the youthful vigor, athleticism and fearlessness that characterized the Royals last year and once again our Yankees looked old and un-athletic. They started the season surprisingly strong but petered out, which is what an old team does. It was nice to have the infusion of Bird, Severino, Refsnyder, etc., but this wasn’t a particularly versatile team. Girardi didn’t have them try to bunt their way on base, just to get something going that might lead to a run. Neither did Torre when he managed in the more recent playoffs. And their answer was: “You have to go with the strengths of the guys you have.” Well, then why doesn’t Cashman ever get guys who can do more than stand there and swing the bat?

I figured Gardner for that guy, but he was a disaster, not only last night but for a while. And yet Girardi started him over Ellsbury. I’m still scratching my head over that one, but I guess the binder knows all. Tanaka did well enough – not perfect, but two runs is nothing to freak out about if your team scores runs.

Would having Teixeira in the lineup have changed things? Who knows, but I doubt it. My sense is that he would have petered out along with the others by now.

I’m sad because for me the baseball season ended last night. I have no interest in watching the Blue Jays do their thing, although I’ll check in on the Dodgers, my California team, and hope they can solve the Cardinals this year.

I do wish Hal would sell the team, that Cashman would follow Billy Eppler to the Angels or some other team in a faraway land and that the Yankees could get the fresh start they need. Plugging holes with new faces here and there isn’t the answer. Either the Yankees need lots of big sluggers or an overhaul of youthful speedsters. What they don’t need are old warhorses.


An Embarrassing Way to Gain Home-Field Advantage

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

head shame

The Yankees blew the weekend series in Baltimore – just sucked, let’s face it – and yet, thanks to the loss by the Astros, managed to win the opportunity to open the playoffs at the Stadium on Tuesday night. They were awful from top to bottom, and I have no idea how they’ll be able to get it together enough to beat the Astros, whose starting pitcher has virtually shut the Yanks down all season long. Tanaka will have to be perfect and the offense will have to emerge from its collective slumber. Stranger things have happened and as John Sterling says, “You can’t predict baseball,” but I’m not wildly optimistic. Hopeful, but not counting on it.

We’ll all need our lucky charms on Tuesday. I’ll be having lucky turkey burgers for dinner and wearing my lucky Mo T-shirt. Other than that, I’ll be pacing and pretending I’m not as nervous as I really am and watching between the fingers over my eyes……unless, of course, the Yankees jump out to an early lead – like a 10-0 type of lead – and I can relax.

If only that would happen. Sigh. Let’s go Yankees.



Friday, October 2nd, 2015

champagne clinch

OK, I have to fess up. The photo is from 2011 after the Yankees clinched their postseason berth and I went into the shower with the bottle of champagne and the runny mascara down my eyes. I didn’t have the energy to stage another photo last night, plus it was more fun watching the Yankees, particularly the Baby Bombers like Murphy, Refsnyder and Bird, take part in the champagne spraying-and-soaking ritual. And there was the fact that I was exhausted from wondering, after the Boston series, if they’d even win the Wild Card. They kept losing. They kept falling short. They kept looking flat or beat up or just not into it. But they pulled it together last night behind a solid performance from CC and a really solid one from Warren, along with timely homers, including those from the Baby Bombers. And now they’re officially the American League Wild Card team, poised for a one-game playoff on Tuesday night.

Girardi has already designated Tanaka for the job of starter for the big game. This makes me nervous. He can be so dominant, but he has a tendency to give up early runs, especially homers and especially lately. I hope to God he’s sharp because in the postseason you’re facing exceptional pitchers who don’t give up runs. Here are my other main hopes:

  • That A-Rod is the A-Rod of the first half of the season.
  • That Gardner emerges from his fog.
  • That Ellsbury isn’t hurt.
  • That Headley doesn’t keep making Chuck Knoblauch-type throws to first.
  • That Greg Bird hits even more homers than he has already.
  • That Betances and Miller get into the game, which would mean we have a lead, and pitch perfectly.

As for this weekend in Baltimore, rain or no rain, it’ll be nice for the older guys to rest and just enjoy their few days off. Same for me. It’s my anniversary on Sunday and I intend to relax before the stomach-churning of Tuesday night.


Our New Ace?

Sunday, September 27th, 2015
Photo: Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News

Photo: Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News

With Tanaka still recovering from his injury (will he be healthy enough to start the Wild Card game on October 6th?), is it possible that rookie Luis Severino will get the nod in the do-or-die one-game playoff? Evo’s gone. CC’s been better lately but inconsistent. Ditto: Warren and Nova. Severino, with just a couple of exceptions, has been a revelation and appears to be able to handle the stress of a pennant race. I guess it’ll all depend on how each pitcher matches up to the competition and how many days rest they’ve had. Right now, it’s voodoo math to me and I’m glad I’m not the one to have to figure it all out.

The one thing I do know is that with today’s win over the White Sox (they scored some runs – yay), the Yankees are counting down to October 6th. I’ve marked the date on my calendar, that’s for sure. I would have loved to win the division and avoid what promises to be a heart attack-worthy night of baseball, but they couldn’t overtake the Blue Jays. So here we are.

I’m still worried about the offense. It’s been pretty anemic. And against any team’s best pitcher, it’ll be tough to crank it up a notch. But again, here we are. These are our guys, and we just have to hope they’ll rise to the occasion on the 6th and play the game of their lives.



So Much For That

Thursday, September 24th, 2015


They owned us in last night’s series finale and they owned us all season. They’re our daddy. They took it to us. They flat-out beat us over and over, with a few blips in between.

After being shut out last night – shut out! – by the Jays’ starting pitcher, Marcus Stroman, the Yankees slunk out of Toronto not having edged closer to taking over the division but right back where they started with a 3 1/2 game deficit with only a dozen or so games left to play. I’m mighty pissed off. Yes, Tanaka was hurt, but Nova pitched really well and it was only because Girardi had to check his binder, micromanage and pull Nova for a cast of relievers who couldn’t keep the Jays in check that things got out of hand.

But there’s no point in going on about what might have been. The division title isn’t going to be ours unless something freakish happens. We’d have to win the rest of our games and the Jays would have to lose a bunch. Not likely. The trick now will be to secure the dreaded wild card, which is certainly not a given. Not with this team’s inconsistency. They can go from exhilarating highs to maddening lows – not the stuff winning teams are made of.

But they’ll keep trying, that I know. They do fight. So we’ll see.


So Long, Old Friend….Herewith the Wonderful NYT Obit

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Yogi Berra, Master Yankee Catcher With Goofy Wit, Dies at 90


Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.

His death was reported by the Yankees and by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J. Before moving to an assisted living facility in nearby West Caldwell, in 2012, Berra had lived for many years in neighboring Montclair.

In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankee career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

And so he was, and so he proved to be. Universally known simply as Yogi, probably the second most recognizable nickname in sports — even Yogi was not the Babe — Berra was not exactly an unlikely hero, but he was often portrayed as one: an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons whose skills were routinely underestimated; a well-built, appealingly open-faced man whose physical appearance was often belittled; and a prolific winner — not to mention a successful leader — whose intellect was a target of humor if not outright derision.

That he triumphed on the diamond again and again in spite of his perceived shortcomings was certainly a source of his popularity. So was the delight with which his famous, if not always documentable, pronouncements, somehow both nonsensical and sagacious, were received.

“You can observe a lot just by watching,” he is reputed to have declared once, describing his strategy as a manager.

“If you can’t imitate him,” he advised a young player who was mimicking the batting stance of the great slugger Frank Robinson, “don’t copy him.”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” he said, giving directions to his house. Either path, it turned out, got you there.

“Nobody goes there anymore,” he said of a popular restaurant. “It’s too crowded.”

Whether Berra actually uttered the many things attributed to him, or was the first to say them, or phrased them precisely the way they were reported, has long been a matter of speculation. Berra himself published a book in 1998 called “The Yogi Book: I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said!” But the Yogi-isms testified to a character — goofy and philosophical, flighty and down to earth — that came to define the man.

Berra’s Yogi-ness was exploited in advertisements for myriad products, among them Puss ’n Boots cat food and Miller Lite beer, but perhaps most famously, Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink. Asked if Yoo-Hoo was hyphenated, he is said to have replied, “No, ma’am, it isn’t even carbonated.”

If not exactly a Yogi-ism, it was the kind of response that might have come from Berra’s ursine namesake, the affable animated character Yogi Bear, who made his debut in 1958.

The character Yogi Berra may even have overshadowed the Hall of Fame ballplayer Yogi Berra, obscuring what a remarkable athlete he was. A notorious “bad ball” hitter — he swung at a lot of pitches that were not strikes but mashed them anyway — he was fearsome in the clutch and the most durable and consistently productive Yankee during the period of the team’s most relentless success.

In addition, as a catcher he played the most physically grueling and concentration-demanding position on the field. (For a respite from the chores and challenges of crouching behind the plate, Berra, who played before the designated hitter rule took effect in the American League in 1973, occasionally played the outfield.)

Stengel, the Hall of Fame manager whose shrewdness and talent were also often underestimated, recognized Berra’s gifts. He referred to Berra, even as a young player, as his assistant manager and compared him favorably to star catchers of previous eras like Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Hartnett and Bill Dickey. “You could look it up” was Stengel’s catchphrase, and indeed the record book declares that Berra was among the greatest catchers in the history of the game, some say the greatest of all.

Berra’s career batting average of .285 was not as high as that of his Yankee predecessor Dickey (.313), but Berra hit more home runs (358) and drove in more runs (1,430). Widely praised by pitchers for his astute pitch-calling, Berra led the American League in assists five times, and from 1957 through 1959 went 148 consecutive games behind the plate without making an error, a major league record at the time — though he was not a defensive wizard from the start.

Dickey, Berra explained, “learned me all his experience.”

On defense, he certainly surpassed Mike Piazza, the best-hitting catcher of recent vintage — and maybe ever. Johnny Bench, whose Cincinnati Reds teams of the 1970s were known as the Big Red Machine, and Berra were comparable in offensive production, except that Bench struck out three times as often. Berra whiffed a mere 414 times in more than 8,300 plate appearances over 19 seasons — an astonishingly small ratio for a power hitter.

Others — Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter and Ivan Rodriguez among them — also deserve consideration in a discussion of great catchers, but none was clearly superior to Berra on offense or defense. Only Roy Campanella, a contemporary rival who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and faced Berra in the World Series six times before his career was ended by an auto accident, equaled Berra’s total of three Most Valuable Player awards. And though Berra did not win the award in 1950 — his teammate Phil Rizzuto did — he gave one of the greatest season-long performances by a catcher that year, hitting .322, smacking 28 homers and driving in 124 runs.

Berra’s career was punctuated by storied episodes. In Game 3 of the 1947 World Series against the Dodgers, he hit the first pinch-hit home run in Series history, and in Game 4 he was behind the plate for what was almost the first no-hitter and was instead a stunning loss. With two out in the ninth inning and two men on base with walks, the Yankees’ starter, Bill Bevens, gave up a double to Cookie Lavagetto that cleared the bases and won the game.

In September 1951, once again on the brink of a no-hitter, this one by Allie Reynolds against the Red Sox, Berra made one of baseball’s legendary errors. With two out in the ninth inning, Ted Williams hit a towering foul ball between home plate and the Yankee dugout; it looked like the end of the game, sealing Reynolds’s second no-hitter of the season and making him the first American League pitcher to accomplish that feat. But as the ball plummeted, it was caught in a gust of wind; Berra lunged backward, and it deflected off his glove as he went sprawling.

Amazingly, on the next pitch, Williams hit an almost identical pop-up, and this time Berra caught it.

In the first game of the 1955 World Series against Brooklyn, the Yankees were ahead, 6-4, in the top of the eighth when the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson stole home. The plate umpire Bill Summers called him safe, and Berra went berserk, gesticulating in Summers’s face and creating one of the enduring images of an on-the-field tantrum. The Yankees won the game though not the Series — it was the only time Brooklyn got the better of Berra’s Yanks — but Berra never forgot the moment. More than 50 years later, he signed a photograph of the play for President Obama, writing, “Dear Mr. President, He was out!”

During the 1956 Series, again against Brooklyn, Berra was at the center of another indelible image, this one of sheer joy, when he leapt into the arms of Don Larsen, who had just struck out Dale Mitchell to end Game 5 and complete the only perfect game (and only no-hitter) in World Series history.

When reporters gathered at Berra’s locker after the game, he greeted them mischievously. “So,” he said, “what’s new?”

Beyond the historic moments and individual accomplishments, what most distinguished Berra’s career was how often he won. From 1946 to 1985, as a player, coach and manager, Berra appeared in a remarkable 21 World Series. Playing on powerful Yankee teams with teammates like Rizzuto and Joe DiMaggio early on and then Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle, Berra starred on World Series winners in 1947, ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’56 and ’58. He was a backup player on the championship teams of 1961 and ’62. (He also played on World Series losers in 1955, ’57, ’60 and ’63.) All told, his Yankee teams won the American League pennant 14 out of 17 years. He still holds Series records for games played, plate appearances, hits and doubles.

No other player has been a champion so often.

Lawrence Peter Berra was born on May 12, 1925, in the Italian enclave of St. Louis known as the Hill, which also fostered the baseball career of his boyhood friend Joe Garagiola. Berra was the fourth of five children. His father, Pietro, a construction worker and a bricklayer, and his mother, Paulina, were immigrants from Malvaglio, a northern Italian village near Milan. (As an adult, on a visit to his ancestral home, Berra took in a performance of “Tosca” at La Scala. “It was pretty good,” he said. “Even the music was nice.”)

As a boy, Berra was known as Larry, or Lawdie, as his mother pronounced it. As recounted in “Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee,” a 2009 biography by Allen Barra, one day in his early teens, young Larry and some friends had gone to the movies and were watching a travelogue about India when a Hindu yogi appeared on the screen sitting cross-legged. His posture struck one of the friends as precisely the way Berra sat on the ground as he waited his turn at bat. From that day on, he was Yogi Berra.

An ardent athlete but an indifferent student, Berra dropped out of school after the eighth grade. He played American Legion ball and worked odd jobs. As teenagers, both he and Garagiola tried out with the St. Louis Cardinals and were offered contracts by the Cardinals’ general manager, Branch Rickey. But Garagiola’s came with a $500 signing bonus and Berra’s just $250, so Berra declined to sign. (This was a harbinger of deals to come. Berra, whose salary as a player reached $65,000 in 1961, substantial for that era, would prove to be a canny contract negotiator, almost always extracting concessions from the Yankees’ penurious general manager George Weiss.)

In the meantime, the St. Louis Browns — they later moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles — also wanted to sign Berra but were not willing to pay any bonus at all. Then, the day after the 1942 World Series, in which the Cardinals beat the Yankees, a Yankee coach showed up at Berra’s parents’ house and offered him a minor-league contract — along with the elusive $500.

Berra’s professional baseball life began in Virginia in 1943 with the Norfolk Tars of the Class B Piedmont League. In 111 games he hit .253 and led the league’s catchers in errors, but he once had 12 hits and drove in 23 runs over two consecutive games. It was a promising start, but World War II put his career on hold. Berra joined the Navy. He took part in the invasion of Normandy and, two months later, in Operation Dragoon, an Allied assault on Marseilles in which he was bloodied by a bullet and earned a Purple Heart.

In 1946, after his discharge, he was assigned to the Newark Bears, then the Yankees’ top farm team. He played outfield and catcher and hit .314 with 15 home runs and 59 runs batted in 77 games, though his fielding still lacked polish; in one instance he hit an umpire with a throw from behind the plate meant for second base. Nonetheless, the Yankees summoned him in September. In his first big league game he had two hits, including a home run.

As a Yankee, Berra became a fan favorite, partly because of his superior play — he batted .305 and drove in 98 runs in 1948, his second full season — and partly because of his humility and guilelessness. In 1947, honored at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, a nervous Berra told the hometown crowd, “I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”

Berra was a hit with sportswriters, too, though they often portrayed him as a baseball idiot savant, an apelike, barely literate devotee of comic books and movies who spoke fractured English. So was born the Yogi caricature, of the triumphant rube.

“Even today,” Life magazine wrote in July 1949, “he has only pity for people who clutter their brains with such unnecessary and frivolous matters as literature and the sciences, not to mention grammar and orthography.”

Collier’s magazine declared, “With a body that only an anthropologist could love, the 185-pound Berra could pass easily as a member of the Neanderthal A.C.”

Berra tended to take the gibes in stride. If he was ugly, he was said to have remarked, it did not matter at the plate. “I never saw nobody hit one with his face,” he was quoted as saying. But when writers chided him about his girlfriend, Carmen Short, saying he was too unattractive to marry her, he responded, according to Colliers, “I’m human, ain’t I?”

Berra outlasted the ridicule. He married Ms. Short in 1949, and the marriage endured until her death in 2014. He is survived by their three sons — Tim, who played professional football for the Baltimore Colts; Dale, a former infielder for the Yankees, Pirates and Astros; and Lawrence Jr.

Certainly, assessments of Berra changed over the years.

“He has continued to allow people to regard him as an amiable clown because it brings him quick acceptance, despite ample proof, onfield and off, that he is intelligent, shrewd and opportunistic,” Robert Lipsyte wrote in The New York Times in October 1963.

At the time, Berra had just concluded his career as a Yankee player and the team had named him manager, a role in which he would continue to find success, though not with the same regularity he enjoyed as a player and not without drama and disappointment. Indeed things began badly. The Yankees, an aging team in 1964, played listless ball through much of the summer, and in mid-August they lost four straight games in Chicago to the first-place White Sox, leading to one of the kookier episodes of Berra’s career.

On the team bus to O’Hare Airport, the reserve infielder Phil Linz began playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the harmonica. Berra, in a foul mood over the losing streak, told him to knock it off, but Linz did not. (In another version of the story, Linz asked Mickey Mantle what Berra had said, and Mantle responded, “He said, ‘Play it louder.’ ”) Suddenly the harmonica went flying, having been either knocked out of Linz’s hands by Berra or thrown at Berra by Linz. (Players on the bus had different recollections.)

News reports of the incident made it sound as if Berra had lost control of the team, and though the Yankees caught and passed the White Sox in September, winning the pennant, Ralph Houk, the general manager, fired Berra after the team lost a seven-game World Series to St. Louis, in a bizarre move replacing him with the Cardinals’ manager, Johnny Keane.

Keane’s Yankees finished last in 1965.

Berra, meanwhile, moved across town, taking a job as a coach for the famously awful Mets under Stengel, who was finishing his career in Flushing. The team continued its mythic floundering until 1969, when the so-called Miracle Mets, with Gil Hodges as manager — and Berra coaching first base — won the World Series.

After Hodges died before the start of the 1972 season, Berra replaced him. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in that summer, but the Mets team he inherited faltered, finishing third, and for most of the 1973 season they were worse. In mid-August, the team was well under .500 and in sixth place, when Berra uttered perhaps the most famous Yogi-ism of all.

“It ain’t over till it’s over,” he said (or words to that effect), and, lo and behold, the Mets got hot, squeaking by the Cardinals to win the National League’s Eastern Division title.

They then beat the Reds in the League Championship Series before losing to the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Berra was rewarded for the resurgence with a three-year contract, but the Mets were dreadful in 1974, finishing fifth, and the next year, on Aug. 6, with the team in third place and having lost five straight games, Berra was fired.

Once again he switched leagues and city boroughs, returning to the Bronx as a Yankee coach, and in 1984 the owner, George M. Steinbrenner, named him to replace the volatile Billy Martin as manager. The team finished third that year, but during spring training in 1985, Steinbrenner promised him that he would finish the season as Yankee manager no matter what. However, after just 16 games (the Yankees were 6-10) the impatient and imperious Steinbrenner fired Berra anyway, bringing back Martin — and worse than breaking his word, perhaps, sending an underling to deliver the bad news.

The firing, which had an added sting because Berra’s son Dale had recently joined the Yankees, provoked one of baseball’s legendary feuds, and for 14 years Berra refused to set foot in Yankee Stadium, a period during which he coached four seasons for the Houston Astros.

In the meantime private donors helped establish the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the New Jersey campus of Montclair State University, which awarded Berra an honorary doctorate of humanities in 1996 and where a minor league ballpark, Yogi Berra Stadium, opened in 1998. A tribute to Berra with exhibits on his career, the museum runs programs for children dealing with baseball history. In January 1999, Steinbrenner, who died in 2010, went there to make amends.

“I know I made a mistake by not letting you go personally,” he told Berra. “It’s the worst mistake I ever made in baseball.”

Berra chose not to quibble with the semi-apology. To welcome him back into the Yankee fold, the team held a Yogi Berra Day on July 18, 1999. Also invited was Don Larsen, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which Berra caught.

Incredibly, in the game that day, David Cone of the Yankees pitched a perfect game.

It was, as Berra may or may not have said in another context, “déjà vu all over again,” a fittingly climactic episode for a wondrous baseball life.


That Series Was Huuuuuge

Monday, September 21st, 2015


If you had told me that CC would still be on the mound throwing his 100th+ pitch in tonight’s finale against the Mets, I would have said, “No way.” Judging by the first inning, I figured he’d be gone by the third and the Yankees would be scrounging for relievers to finish the game. But not only did CC steady himself, he kept the Mets totally in check, saved the over-taxed bullpen and delivered an enormous win. With the Jays losing again to the Red Sox (thank you, Boston), the Yanks drew within 2 1/2 games heading into the all-important series in Toronto.

Unfortunately, there was also Tanaka news: bad Tanaka news. What is it with these starting pitchers when they play in National League ballparks? The second they have a bat in their hands instead of a ball and a glove, they think they have to be Rickey Henderson. Tanaka was trying to beat out a bunt on Friday night when he strained his hamstring. Even so, he went on to pitch several more innings before coming out of the game and getting an MRI. So now he’s out with a grade 1 strain and Nova – the same Nova who was banished to the pen for his stinko pitching – will get the start against the Jays on Wednesday instead. *Shivers* I only hope Tanaka will be OK for his next start.

In better news, Ellsbury seems to be coming around. He certainly contributed with his speed, which has to be a confidence boost for him. And how about Ackley? The guy is hitting, and we need hitting. And speaking of hitting, my guy, Bird, had another homer, giving us a Janer. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be a one-season wonder like Kevin Maas or Shane Spencer.

So having won another series, the Yankees head to Toronto for the biggest series of the season. It’s make or break time, people. Fingers and toes crossed.


Rookies Rule, But What Happened to This Guy?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015
Photo: Ray Stubblebine

Photo: Ray Stubblebine

Last night’s finale in Tampa was a big win for the Yankees and a close one, but thanks in large part to Severino and Bird, we escaped the Trop by taking the series and staying three games behind the Jays. It burns me that the Jays actually lost to the Braves the night before while the Yankees were nearly getting no-hit, but I guess keeping pace is something. It’s just that the season is dwindling, along with opportunities to grab the division title. The Yanks need to keep winning as well as get lucky with a Jays loss, and without the contributions of Jacoby Ellsbury it’s going to be tough.

As good as the rookies have been, Ellsbury is the catalyst for our offense. Ellsbury is the guy who stirs the drink. Ellsbury is the one the Yankees shelled out the big money to. Yes, he was hurt – what else is new – but as long as he continues to lead off in that lineup, he needs to produce and instead he’s slumping badly. As in stinko. We lost Teixeira. A-Rod, too, has a bone bruise and will sit out the Mets series. Our big hitters are AWOL. So Ellsbury, if you can hear me, do something. Use the day off today and try some yoga, meditation, reiki healing, a hot bath with a nice glass of Malbec, whatever floats your boat, but I want you showing up on Friday night with fire in that bat and in those legs.



Way to Dig Yourselves a Hole, Yankees

Sunday, September 13th, 2015


I guess I should be grateful the Yankees didn’t get swept by the Blue Jays. The momentum was not in our favorite after the debacles on Saturday when nobody, it seemed, could pitch well enough to contain the bats of the Jays. The losses in that doubleheader really put into focus how much better the Jays are right now. They’re not infallible as today’s win in the finale demonstrated, thanks to a gem by Tanaka, but damn, they’re good.

The loss of Teixeira was also a blow this weekend. How does the guy need three MRIs to determine that his leg is broken? I mean seriously. Did the doctors graduate from Duck Dynasty Academy or something? I like Greg Bird, as I’ve said repeatedly, but he’s not Teixeira.

The division is not completely out of reach now. It’s just going to be tougher to overtake the Jays at this late stage. Again, I wish Cashman had made some moves at the trade deadline to fortify the team. Or should I blame Thrifty Hal? There were a lot of empty seats during what was arguably the most important series of the season. Maybe he should have thought about that before declining to go after David Price.


P.S. Fan of the Blog Peggy just sent me this photo of her adorable Yankee fan granddaughter and I couldn’t resist posting it! What a cutie pie.

Yankee Big Girl


Here Comes Toronto and I’m Scaaaared

Thursday, September 10th, 2015
Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images

Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images

I’m not even going to post about the Baltimore series. The last two games were pitiful, especially since the Red Sox were beating up on the Jays and we lost the chance to gain ground.

So now there’s rain in the forecast for tonight’s opener with the Jays. A doubleheader tomorrow or Saturday will not be optimum since we’re short on viable pitchers. I just hope we don’t get buried by the end of the weekend. This season has been such a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect the Yankees to be real contenders for the division title, but now that they are I’d hate to see them fall apart. Will be thinking positive thoughts!