Posts Tagged ‘A-Rod’

Didn’t See This Coming

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Broom_icon.svg[4]Good for the Yankees. They bounced back from an awful stretch and knocked off the AL’s best team. Pineda also bounced back, which is a relief. I was worried that he was hurt and not saying anything. But he seemed more than OK in today’s finale. A-Rod continued his hot hitting; it feels weird seeing him pass Ruth and Gehrig and, soon, Jeter on the milestones list, but he’s definitely spearheading a lot of these wins.

And now the Yanks travel to the West Coast and that feels weird too. When I lived in CA, I loved the games against the CA teams because they aired at a decent hour there. Here? Not so much. I’m not staying up to watch them now that I’m in CT – just won’t happen – but I wish them a good trip.


A Series Sweep and a Birthday – Not Too Shabby

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Arethusa birthday

Yes, I ate that chocolate confection on Saturday night – that and much, much more. After the Yankees edged the Red Sox in Game 2 at Fenway, I celebrated my first birthday on the East Coast in years. Michael and I and our two good friends, my old boss in publishing and his partner, dined at Litchfield County’s #1 destination spot, Arethusa al tavolo in Bantam. Readers of my Mainly Jane blog may remember that I wrote about Arethusa last summer when I was researching my new novel in which my three heroines take cooking classes at a farm resort in CT. (My agent is sending out the manuscript to editors this week.) As part of my research, I interviewed Arethusa’s Executive Chef Dan Magill, who, it turns out, is not only a brilliant chef and all-around nice guy but an avid Yankees fan. When he found out I wrote this blog, he dubbed me “Bronx Bad Ass,” hence the inscription on Saturday night’s birthday dessert (the dessert before the other desserts, I should add; we all ate so much amazing food our stomachs were bulging and we vowed to fast for the next century).

Back to the Yankees, they’re on quite a roll. Their road record is staggeringly good. And while the Red Sox aren’t the formidable team they used to be, the Yanks have gotten their defense together. Their pitching has been stellar, both starters and relievers. And they’re getting clutch hits.

The most talked about clutch hit, of course, was A-Rod’s milestone pinch hit homer against Tazawa in Game 2. What to make of this guy? (A-Rod, not Tazawa.) He’s being such a good boy doing and saying all the right things. It’s as if he’s been taking Jeter pills. (“I just want to help the team win games.”) Cashman finally came out and admitted the Yankees don’t intend to pay him for the “Willie Mays” homer, so it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. But if A-Rod keeps contributing, stays healthy and plays clean, they may have to acknowledge his achievements after all.

As for last night’s game, even Beltran was a hitting star. Tex has been a revelation with all those homers this early in the season. Gardner and Ellsbury have been huge for us. Everybody (well, almost everybody) has contributed. And Adam Warren has turned out to be a much better solution in the rotation than I expected. The idiotic “retaliation” pitch that landed on Ellsbury’s butt for an earlier Hanley Ramirez hit-by-pitch was mildly entertaining and put some spice into the rivalry, which hasn’t been much of one lately. We’ll see if there’s a carry-over the next time the teams face off. If CC’s pitching, it could happen. He seems to get fired up about those things.

Anyhow, a great birthday weekend for me and a great road trip for the Yankees. I hope everyone enjoyed the nice spring weather here in the Northeast too.


Happy Ending to the Subway Series

Monday, April 27th, 2015


Game 3 was pretty sloppy in terms of the defense, but the Mets really played whoopsie with the ball. Yikes. Maybe they get nervous whenever they come to the Stadium or maybe it was the cold weather this time since the Yanks made their share of bonehead plays too. But in the end it was a Yankee victory, powered in part by the seemingly indestructible A-Rod. As everyone in the world knows by now, he’s one homer shy of Willie Mays’ milestone and the drama that’s getting front page news is will the Yankees pay him the bonus or won’t they? My guess is the two sides will reach some sort of settlement. I can’t see the Steinbrenners or A-Rod/Players Union wanting to drag this out during the season, nor can I see A-Rod wanting to ruin the good will he’s established with the fans and his teammates. But I’ve been wrong before. And when money’s involved, people act crazy so who knows.

The emergence of homer-happy Teixeira is also a nice story. Whether or not it’s his gluten-free diet that’s brought him back from last year’s mediocrity, it doesn’t matter. I’m just glad to see that swing again. Maybe Ellsbury should go gluten free so he doesn’t get injured so much. While he’s nursing his sore hip, Gardner’s been speedy. I’m just not wild about the mustache. Not on him or any of the others. They look like porn stars.

Andrew Miller, our closer for all intents and purposes, is doing a terrific job so far. Good signing, Cashman.

On to the Rays. I’m enjoying these games where the boys are playing better. There’s just one problem. Now that I’m on Eastern Standard Time, I’m going to sleep before the ESPN games are over, plus last night there was no way I was missing “Mad Men” for the end of Yankees-Mets.


Looking Up

Monday, April 20th, 2015


After this weekend’s sweep of the Rays, who are admittedly not the Rays of old and don’t look to be contenders for anyplace but the AL East cellar, I’m thinking the Yankees might be in better shape. Tanaka’s performance the other night was stellar and, unless A-Rod is using some new, undetected form of enhancement, he’s hitting like a guy who could actually help the team. Other contributions have been heartening too (McCann et al), but the real standout for me has been Miller. If he keeps getting those saves, I could become a believer.

As for the Didi Experiment, oh my. Nobody expected him to hit, but field? Yeah. He was supposed to be a defensive upgrade over Jeter and faster. Unfortunately he’s made errors, both mental and literal, and his baserunning has been head scratching. But I’m chalking it up to nerves. He has huge shoes to fill, plus he’s new to the league, new to New York, new to the major leagues. There’s a learning curve and I hope he comes around before the boo birds make things worse.

This Detroit series should be interesting. They’re good. Really good. But at the moment I’m more focused on unpacking the 100s of cartons that are sitting at the new house waiting for attention as well as the NY Rangers who play Game 3 of the playoffs tonight. Onward.


The Bronx Bombers?

Monday, April 13th, 2015


When Stephen Drew comes up with a pinch hit grand slam, it’s either a dream or a full moon. Or maybe he’s finally getting hot or if not “hot” then a little warmer. In any case, it was a pleasant surprise to see him go deep against the Orioles in Game 1 of the Yankees’ first series of the season at Camden Yards.

The awakening of the offense against the Sox over the weekend was fun too. I’ve been overwhelmed trying to get acclimated to my new house in CT in advance of the arrival of the moving truck with all my worldly belongings on it. (I feel like Diane Keaton’s character in “Baby Boom.” Remember how she bought the house in Vermont and everything went expensively wrong?) But having the games on TV in the background has been a nice escape.

It’s too early to have an opinion about Tanaka and CC in terms of their ability to pitch with injuries, but for now Pineda is looking good for the most part. The defense will tighten up, I’m sure. And A-Rod? He’s been a model citizen and the Yankees’ best hitter. I wish I could say he’s changed. I don’t have a clue. For all I know he could be ingesting some new form of enhancement. For all I know his body could break down in a month. For all I know he and the Yankees could go to court over his milestone bonuses. It doesn’t really matter to me at this point. I just want the team to stay competitive and healthy. (As I write this, Gardner is having his wrist X-rayed after getting hit by a pitch.)

Well, let me amend that. I just want the team to stay competitive and healthy and entertaining. A Janer is my favorite kind of win, of course, but tonight’s tense battle against the O’s is the kind of game that’ll keep me coming back for more.


The Injury Bug Is Back

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015


As the season is about to get underway, the Yankees have called in reinforcements already, acquiring a utility infielder from the Astros named Petit (not to be confused with Pettitte). Why did they need this guy? Because Didi, our new shortstop, is hurt and Ryan, his backup, is hurt and Pirela, the second baseman is hurt. That’s a lot of  “hurt” for April 2nd.

And I’m not counting Tex’s strained whatever and Ellsbury’s strained whatever, since they’re both said to be okay now. Maybe.

And of course I’m not counting the rehabbed knee of CC and the tenuous arm of Tanaka. Sigh.

On the bright side, it’s a long season and hope springs eternal, and the other teams in our division have problems of their own. And you know what else? It’s easier to approach the season with lowered expectations. At least it is for me. I’m not counting on Yankees 2015 to win a championship. I’m not even counting on them to make the playoffs. I’m hoping they’ll play good, solid, competitive baseball and leave the rest to the Baseball Gods. Or the Steinbrenners. Same thing. I’m also hoping A-Rod will not get hit by opposing pitchers. What I wouldn’t mind is if goes on a tear, popping A-bomb after A-Bomb. He can also lose the humble persona (I’ll do anything Joe wants me to do, I’m just here to play the game I love, I just want to help the team, etc.) and do something wild and crazy, like start dating – I don’t know – Gwyneth Paltrow. We need some off-the-field excitement if you ask me, just a whiff of naughtiness, and if anybody can deliver that, it’s the A-man.


Shaking off the Rust

Friday, March 13th, 2015


It’s been months since I even thought about writing a post for this blog. The holidays came and went and we were into a new year, and suddenly it was spring training. But other than A-Rod’s early arrival and various rumblings about his behavior and performance, it’s been about Tanaka’s healthy arm (knock on wood), CC’s extra weight (he says he feels better that way), Teixeira’s gluten free diet (he says he feels better that way) and Capuano’s early injury (calling Cole Hamels), and it’s been pretty lackluster. Yes, there will be numbers retired this season. Yes, we have new young players. Yes, we have Headley and Drew back. But I can’t get excited about any of it.

Maybe it’s because Jeter and Mo are gone. Maybe it’s because we didn’t make a splash during the off-season (the Cuban kid went to the Red Sox, of course, and Cashman meant it when he said we weren’t in the running for Scherzer or Shields). I’m genuinely hoping Michael Pineda has a terrific year and there’s a shot that he will. What I’m less sure about is the run production. The Yankees may emulate the Royals, but they’re not the Royals. They’ll have speed at the top of the lineup, but they’re the Bronx Bombers, pure and simple, and if they don’t do any Bronx Bombing this year, I’m not going to be very interested.

And then there’s the fact that I’m moving. I’ll be moving on Opening Day actually, which isn’t great planning on my part, so I’ll be distracted. But once I’m settled, I’ll get the YES network for real now that I’ll be on the East Coast, so if the Yankees are worth watching I’ll be able to watch. And I’ll be able to go to games at the Stadium.

I guess what I’m saying is I hope there will be stuff to write about. Until then, I’ll just go back to packing.



Banished. Barred. Banned.

Sunday, January 12th, 2014
Photo: Keith Allison

Photo: Keith Allison

No matter how you phrase it, the arbitrator handed down his decision yesterday and A-Rod is done for 2014. There’s a lot of speculation about what will happen in subsequent years – does he stage a comeback in 2015 at age 39, do the Yankees cut him loose and eat the remainder of his contract, does another team take a chance on him, etc. – but for the immediate future the Yankees are without their third baseman.

I wasn’t surprised the suspension was upheld, though cut down to 162 games. And I wasn’t surprised that A-Rod and his legal team intend to fight it or even that he’s pledged to show up at spring training next month no matter what anybody says. But here’s the thing about that. If he respects his teammates as much as he claims, if he respects his manager as much as he claims, if he respects the game as much as he claims, why show up in Tampa and create a circus? Why make Girardi answer daily questions about him when there’s a season to kick off? What’s he going to do on the bench: be a mentor, a cheerleader, a signer of autographs? Someone on Twitter suggested he should buy season tickets at Yankee Stadium and sit right behind the dugout if he wants in so badly. But at this point, the best thing he could do for his teammates and for the sport is to focus on fighting the fight, if that’s his choice, and staying in shape.

And speaking of those teammates, they really do need a good third baseman. I don’t have faith in Nunez over the course of the season and the other guys Cashman has picked up are utility players and don’t have much in the offensive department. But at least there’s some closure and the Yanks know for sure that there’s a need.

Mostly, I feel sad about all this. Alex Rodriguez started his baseball life as a young man with everything to gain. So much talent. So much promise. So much desire. Squandered.

And then there’s MLB. They don’t exactly come out looking clean either.

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for either side, if you ask me.

P.S.  Programming note. “60 Minutes” will have a segment with Scott Pelley interviewing the infamous Bosch, who will, apparently, provide “evidence.” I’ll be switching back and forth between this and the much more fun Golden Globes.


Practically Flat Lining Their Way Out

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013


I was hoping Kuroda and the Yankees would pull themselves together for these last few games, just for the hell of it, but they’re going out with a whimper, apparently. Ugh. A shutout. And bad pitching on top of it.

I’m trying to decide which team I’ll root for in the playoffs, if I even bother to watch. I’ll probably throw my support to my local Dodgers, since Donnie Baseball is the manager and most of my friends here are Dodgers fans, although I think their little swimming escapade in Arizona was pretty bush. My sentimental favorite is the Pirates because, well, nobody expected them to get in. I just don’t know how far they’ll go. There’s no one in the AL I’m willing to root for.

I’m also looking ahead to A-Rod’s war with MLB, especially after today’s NYT article about the world series of legal teams going at it. No telling what the result of that will be, but the headlines are sure to be juicy.


Breaking Records

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Genrig Dimaggio

I’d be a hypocrite if I said I wasn’t happy about A-Rod’s grand slam tonight. It gave the Yankees a win in the series opener against the Giants and kept them from a very long winter – temporarily.

But I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t conflicted about the grand slam moving him ahead of true Yankees legends. His record is tainted. We don’t know when he was using what banned substances or how they did or didn’t contribute to his ability to bang out homers. I’m sure Randy Levine isn’t thrilled to have to write those bonus checks for each of his milestones.

But he’s playing hurt and hasn’t been hitting (or running), and it must have been pure upper body strength that sent tonight’s big homer out of the Stadium.

CC, too, hung in there. I didn’t see the whole game, but I could tell he was grinding even against the weak-hitting Giants.

I was impressed by Nunez’s defense at third (yes, I’m actually praising Eduardo Scissorhands). Clearly, he’s capable and has a good arm. He just needs to….I don’t know……be more consistent?

Pettitte’s retirement announcement was a bittersweet reminder that it really is the end of an era. I keep wondering where our next starting pitchers will come from, but that’s a discussion for another time.