Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Even more thrilling than the 4-3 win was A-Rod's statement to the fans. They want clutch, well he gave them clutch. The Yankees were losing the game 3-2 in the bottom of the 12th when A-Rod stepped to the plate. The game was close to a must win if they wanted to keep pace with the red hot Sox. Atlanta is a team they should beat. They were 7-7 in interleague against a weaker NL and fell behind the AL leaders. Basically, the Yankees were in trouble and needed to win the series. The pressure was on high.

This time A-Rod put a stop to all the boos as he hit a WALKOFF 2 run home run (and had 3 RBIs). Most of the fans in the stadium and on talk shows had been showering him with boos the whole season, and especially the past month, before, during, and after every at bat. It could not get any worse. After his MVP year and winning AL player of the month in May, he was having the worst month of his career. He was 2 for his last 20 (but he has been walking a lot and can get on base). But even though he was slumping the fans had no right to treat him so abominably. They went overboard. It is like they want to hate him. Fans have a right to boo a player, but use some judgement and moderation. As A-Rod said, "Boos don't help me, booing is part of the game but understand you're not helping." Fans should get rid of their short term memory and give the guy a chance. Don't go right back to booing him on Friday is he doesn't get that big homer or game winning base hit.

During this whole saga with A-Rod, he has become one of my favorite players. Not many players would put up with that kind of reception. A-Rod sucked it up even though he is very sensetive and the boos really hurt him. He keeps going out there and works harder than ever. He never makes excuses for himself and does not hide from the media. I have a lot of respect for him. I can't wait to see the highlight and the pure exhileration on his face as he flipped his helmet in the air.

A-Rod is one of the greatest players ever to play the game. He is a great all around player with offense, defense, speed, and a great arm. He came to New York knowing he would be switching positions even though he was an All-Star and Gold Glove shortstop. He made concessions to come here and win a championship and he will stay here until he does. Furthermore, I think fans should remember that he is a human being, a great guy, and a perfect role model for all kids. Yes he makes a lot of money (Jeter only makes 5 million less), but he gives so much back. A-Rod is someone kids can look up to. He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played, he doesn't take steroids, and he has good values ... A-Rod is not a player that just sits back and cruises now that he has his big contract. He goes out there and works harder than everyone else. There is never a lack of effort or not running out ground balls, but sometimes trying too hard hurts him.

Michael Kay had a great interview with A-Rod right after the game on 1050 ESPN radio (if they post it on the website I will give out the link). A-Rod really opened up and showed the fans the person behind the player. He also said straight out, "I've been pretty close to awful." During the interview his wife was there (because they were on their way home) and she said that she almost got into fights trying to tell people to "shut the hell up" and stop booing her husband. I felt so good for him that he finally shut the fans up temporarily. He doesn't deserve the treatment he gets from the fans and the media.

The only thing I'm going to say about the game is that Wang pitched great, Mo was Mo, and the bullpen was not so great but only gave up one run to Atlanta. So if the pitching and offense can work together and grit it out the Yankees can win. The starting pitching has been stellar with the exception of Chacon. They have enough talent to get through the injuries. But they do need a few people to step it up offensively, namely Giambi and A-Rod who are starting to pick up the team. The Yankees need A-Rod the most right now and he wants so desperately to help the team. Hopefully this will get him on his way, but fans can certainly help by getting behind him. Remember, he is on your team. You go A-Rod!

I am going out to buy an A-Rod jersey whether it is on sale or not!

Another Yankee Goes Down

I really need a punching bag right now, but since I don't have one I'll take out my frustration on the keyboard. No, not because the Yankees lost. Even though I am a hardcore fan I do have my priorities in order.

Robbie Cano was just put on the 15 day DL (retroactive to Monday). He is the 3rd member of the Yankee starting lineup to be out for an extended period of time. Even though he will hopefully not be gone for more than 2 weeks, when you add this to the major gaps already there, it is a devestating blow. The Yankees are a totally different team. Cano was a .325 hitter this season and he will be replaced by Cairo, who is a great stand in player, but does not come close to Cano's offensive talent. I know this team has grit, but they have been struggling of late. How much bad news an bad breaks can a team handle (even a team like the Yankees)? That being said, the team has gotten a lot younger, which can be a good thing.

Last night, the depleted offense could not capitalize on a great start by Wright, who only gave up one run in 6 innings. The bullpen gave away 4 more runs and the offense only managed 2. (Now Chacon seems to be the only one who has to straighten things out on the starting rotation.) With all the injuries to star players the Yankees do not have any room for mistakes. If the pitchers hold up their end of the deal, then the offense must find a way to score enough runs to get by.

After Atlanta the Yankees have a huge weekend series against the Mets who definitely have the offense and pitching to sweep this Yankee team. The Mets weren't even able to take care of Boston (so far) for the Yankees so that they could have a little more room for error as they try to keep pace. I am rooting hard for the Mets to win the next 2 games against Boston.

Cashman said that Cano will not be able to play in the All-Star game. He was leading the ballot for American League second basemen, and he really deserved the honor after the great year he is having. So much for the AL roster of a Yankee infield (Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, and Giambi and Posada on reserves) vs. Red Sox outfield (Manny, Nixon and Crisp in running, Varitak catching, Ortiz at 1st, and Loretta and Lowell runners up for 2nd and 3rd). That would have been great to watch.

As of this morning the Yankees are 3.5 games behind Boston. The Yankees have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games while the Red Sox are cruising along as they ride a 10 game winning streak. The good news is, Boston can't keep up that pace forever. Too tired to continue to try to make some sense.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

First Move


Keep making the first move
Going after what I want

Trying to hold out
Waiting for you
To make the first move
Waiting tears me up inside
Holding back
Trying not to push
Can’t push you away
But you need a push

Tentative step
Big step
Or leap of faith
All the way

Afraid of chasing you away
But even more afraid to wait
Afraid with time
You’ll forget
And I’ll lose
My place

To be rejected
To lose all hope

Losing my pride
A lifetime
Of regret
Of what if

Time is up
Your turn is over
I can’t wait any longer
I’m not leaving
Anything to chance
I’m either going to
Break the door down
Or close it forever
I’m making my move

…what about you?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yankee Thoughts

This Yankees win was a long time in coming making it that much sweeter. Before tonight, they lost 3 in a row and 7 of their last 10. The Yankees had been playing really well despite being plagued by injuries. However, lately the injuries have been taking their toll. They cannot seem to beat the weaker teams: when they get the run support then the pitchers struggle and when they get great pitching and length there is no run support. The Yanks are losing games they should win and blowing the leads they do get. But, despite this bad stretch I am not down yet. Slowly the injured will start crawling back, players will come out of their slumps (although Wang and Johnson seem to have righted the wrong), and the Yankees will most definitely make some sort of deal in the near future either for an outfielder (because I think there is no way they resign Sheff after injuries will cause him to miss almost the whole season) or a starting pitcher, maybe both. Thus far, they are sticking it out with Boston in the battle for first. The Yankees will start winning again and there is more than half the season to play.

Moving on, A-Rod has struggled of late. Anyone can see that. But, enough with the boos. Sure he makes a lot of money, but if someone offered you that contract would you turn it down?? He is human just like the rest of us. Give him some space. You know he'll pull out of his slump. After all he did win the MVP last season. A-Rod plays his heart out and is his own harshest critic. If a majority of the fans at the games cheered and got behind him with standing ovations maybe they would get better results. A-Rod has being doing better of late. Stop pointing to every failed at bat and look at the at bats he excels, some of which have been overshadowed in the midst of the recent losses. For example, this week on Sunday he had an RBI double that gave the Yanks the lead at the time (lost after giving up a walkoff homer), some key walks in big situations, and one of the game tying RBI singles in tonight's game.

Moos pitched OK, but has not had a win in his last 3 starts (8-3). It is too bad he didn't stick around long enough to get one tonight. I would love for him to finally have a 20 win season this year. He gave up 5 runs on 2 homers to the same batter, Howard, who actually knocked in all 7 Philli runs. Otherwise I thought he was fine.

Bernie has been a lifesaver for the Yanks. He is batting .290 and was 5 for 5 tonight. If they hadn't resigned him they would be lost. All the yankee fans at the game were chanting his name after each big hit, just like they do at every home game.

One funny milestone, Mo had his first ever major league at bat after all his years in the majors. He struck out on 3 pitches. All the Yankees in the dugout were watching intently and laughing at him. When he walked back to the dugout the Yankee fans sitting behind the dugout were all high fiving him. Mo pretended to be disgusted with himself and laughed too. That's how it was described on radio. I wish I could have seen it. Priceless.

Overall it was a great game because they kept coming back to tie and eventually took the lead for good in the 8th after rallying for 4 runs. Mo came on to close out the game in the bottom of the 8th. They really needed this win. And of course there was a dramatic ending. There were 2 outs and 2 runners on on 2 pop fly typical Rivera hits and Howard was up (had knocked in all 7 runs). But, you just knew Mo would not let the team down, and sure enought he came through and got a groundout to end the game. Ballgame over. Yankees win. Theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Yaaaaaankeeeeeeeeeeees Win!! I couldn't resist that :-).

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Daily Dose of Starbucks

Part of NYC culture… no matter what time of day you can see someone walking around with a Starbucks cup… a quick double shot in the morning after a long night… a businessman/woman, white collar, blue collar, dress down, tourist, student, intern who gets the morning or afternoon coffee for everyone trying to balance it all and make sure they have everything right, anyone and everyone…so many choices, too many decisions, overwhelming at times… hot drinks, cold drinks, ice or no ice, tall, grande, vente, the customers who order the same thing every morning, the ones who like a little variation, those who take it black, those who take it without sugar, those who take it with milk, whole, fat free, or half and half, those who just get a regular or decaf “plain”, no Starbucks is plain, or the long fancy names with lots of flavors, low fat, choice or whipped cream, chock full of calories… your choice defines you for that moment, reveals your mood… just the coffee, with a piece of cake, a cookie, or bagel… getting a Starbucks because it is the chic thing to do… Starbucks card, cash, credit card, to stay and sit, or to go and on the run... the Starbucks in your building, around the corner, down the block, or even, gasp, 2 blocks down and one avenue over, every Starbucks blending with the surrounding, a Starbucks every 2 blocks, yet they all survive… it’s all still your daily dose of Starbucks… Love the notes on the side of the cup… some food for thought to start your day… I’m addicted

Starbucks…can’t remember life without it

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Road Trip




Rush Hour


Getting lost
Turning around
Are we there yet



Nap time

Cell phone

Car partners
Make it
Or break it

On time
Nice try

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The New and the Old

With the rainout tonight, I have plenty of time on my hands to comment on last night's game. The Yankees pulled off a 2-1 win against their biggest rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in a game that featured a great blend of both the new and the old. Wang, a new sensation last year after coming to the big leagues, was shaky early. Unlike last season, he has been very inconsistent of late and it's hard to know which pitcher will take the mound on a given night. But, despite throwing almost 50 pitches in the first two innings, Wang battled to keep the Yankees in the game and pitched through the seventh. The only run he gave up was a monster solo shot to Ortiz. Farnsworth pitched a scoreless eighth. Then “Enter Sandman” blared as Mo came on to close out the game in the ninth. Mo was back to his reliable self after back pain sidelined him for a few games.

Jeter was out for his second game in a row so Cairo started at shortstop. Philips once again took his place at first base relegating Giambi to DH. Andy is a far superior defensive first baseman and because he has been hot of late he is “forcing” Torre to continue playing him. Bernie has been taking Sheffield’s place in right field and sometimes spelling Damon in center. Without Bernie I don’t know where the Yankees would be. He has saved the team from falling apart in the outfield and has really contributed with his bat. Sure enough, Bernie came through again with a solo homer to tie the game at one. The fans went crazy and chanted his name until he came out for a curtain call. I could hear the stadium shaking.

But, the night was not over yet. The Yankees managed to scratch out a run with two outs in the seventh. They started a rally on Cairo’s infield single (that rolled right below the glove of the pitcher), Johnny Damon singled, and Cabrera walked. That brought Giambi to the plate and, after what seemed like a really long at bat, he worked a walk to force home a run (the game winning run).

The game seemed to be winding down with two outs in the eighth as Farnsworth dug in to face Manny Ramirez. But, then the stadium became very quiet as Manny smacked a long fly ball that seemed destined to be a home run. The whole outfield had been playing him very deep and both Cabrera and Damon sprinted into action to try and chase the ball down. At the last second both players jumped, and Cabrera raised his glove over the wall to bring back Manny’s home run to save the game and preserve the Yankees’ ownership of first place. As he was coming down with the ball in his glove he hit with wall with enough force that he fell face first onto the field. Cabrera’s game saving catch to rob Manny of a game tying home run was unbelievable. Some even called it the turning point of the season. The celebration/jubilation on the field by the players was electrifying. They all knew it was something special. It was great to see the exuberance from a Yankee team that is usually all corporate and serious. Baseball is fun again. The players were jumping up and down like little kids. Damon had jumped the wall with Cabrera and when he landed he pumped his fists in the air and skipped backwards. Farnsworth was staring in disbelief (it looked like he was saying holy sh--) before he hugged A-Rod and then bear hugged Melky as they walked off the field. And Susan Waldman, a Yankee broadcaster, said that the Yankees were celebrating as they walked back to the clubhouse at the end of the game.

Finally, last night there were seven Yankees who originated in the Yankee farm system: Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Chien-Ming Wang, Robby Cano, Andy Phillips, and Melky Cabrera. For once, they are playing without superstars at every position. They are playing the game how it was meant to be played and not just relying on the long ball, and I am loving it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pinstripes in the Park

Actual date: Wednesday May 31st

On Wednesday night I went to Bryant Park for the second annual Pinstripes in the Park. The event is sponsored by Continental Airlines (and of coarse the Yankees an YES Network) who set up a huge screen in tha park so that Yankee fans can watch an away game in a mini stadium type atmosphere, or at least they try to duplicate it. Fans pincic on the grass, socialize, watch the game on a grassy field, buy ballpark concessions, and hear from Yankee greats of the past. During commercial breaks Continental had a raffle every inning (every fan was given aboarding pass with a different 5 digit flight number) to give a way 2 round trip tickets to a destination f your choice anywhere in the U.S..

I entered the park as the pregame was wrapping up and sat down middle and center. I went alone as no one I knew in the city at the time could care less about the Yankees. So I put on my headphones and waited for the game to begin. I waited, and waited, and waited some more. The game was scheduled to begin at 7:05, but right before game time storm cluods passed right above the Detroit Tiger's stadium. Everything was set up to be a great game with Moos on the mound for the Yankees and one of the Tigers' best, Robertson. The Tigers held onto first place in the AL Central division while the Yankees were fighting with Boston for first in the AL East and came into the game in a tie. As the rain delay continued people began to trickle out. They weren't interested in watching the Yankeeographies. I felt bad for all the little kids who were not able to stay for the first pitch.

Finally, after a delay of a little over an hour and a half the game began. The Yankees quickly made 2 outs in the first, but scratched a run on a Posada hit. 1-0. Moos seemed a little shaky at first as he walked the first batter of the game for the Tigers, but Cairo quickly turned a double play on a ground ball hit by the following batter. In fact, after the walk, the next 6 batters hit the ball straight to Cairo who initiated the first 6 putouts of the game. Moos looked really good. The Yankees did not score another run until the 5th and it looked to be a great pitchers duel. I had to leave in the 7th to catch my ride home.

To make a long story short, the Yanks tacked on 4 runs in the last 2 innings. Moos pitched a complete game gem, which was a G-dsend because the bullpen had been exhausted in the last 2 games. The final score was 6-1 (Detroit scored an unearned run in the 9th) and the Yanks were playing without Jeter, Damon, Sheffield (and Matsui), which made the win even sweeter.

Pinstripes in the Park is a great idea, rain delay or not. It would be great if they hosted another event during the playoffs. Now that would be fun!