I got back from Detroit the other night around 9:30. The missus was starting to zone out, but she mentioned that she noticed there was a Yankee game on. It seemed that none of her shows were on at that moment, which is the only reason she offered that tidbit up in the first place. Didn’t make much of a difference anyway, as I figured that it was probably just a tape delay of a game that had been over for five hours, and even if it wasn’t, there is very little interesting to me about watching a spring training game. So I flipped to YES HD to confirm my suspicions. It was actually more interesting than I thought. It was a live game, first of all, and on top of that, it was tied in the bottom of the ninth with two on for the Yanks and two outs. I tuned in just in time to see a walk load them up. Then the next guy up, somebody named Brett Gardner, runs the count full. Interesting. I start talking out loud, to the missus, in theory, but she wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention. “This guy really should be looking for a base hit. I’m sure he’s thinking that he’s not up there to walk his way onto the team. But I would love to see him take this next pitch, because there is no way this pitcher, [who was another non-roster invitee and sweating like Patrick Ewing] is going to throw a strike.” And as I again prove how much I know, the guy looks at strike three, which came right down Broadway at about 68 miles an hour. And after another inning, the game ended in a tie.
I can’t help it. I want to win every time I turn on the tv. Even if it means a kid has to pass up a chance to see what he can do by taking when swinging would do him a lot more good. So I was rooting for him to take the pitch. It’s my nature.
Speaking of which, has anybody noticed that the Yankees have only lost one game this spring? Now, I’m pretty sure I just put the whammy on them, which is probably just as well, as this is no time for a hot streak. What can you draw from this? Nothing, I guess. Maybe yet another confirmation that the farm system is a whole lot better than the “the Yankees mortgaged their farm to win today” crowd has been bleating about for the last few years. Maybe the Yanks are issuing a reminder that the team that finished with the best record in baseball last year hasn’t entirely forgotten how to win. In any case, it serves as appeasement for those of us jonesing for w’s, regardless of the month.
Just a friendly suggestion for Mr. Torre from the BPS, but let’s pencil Mr. Igawa in for the number five starter, and I emphasize pencil. And let’s have a good “plan B” on that one, shall we? Just a suggestion…
As I tap the keys, I’m waiting for the Big Boy to get here with Mrs. Big Boy, as the missus and I are taking them out to Tuscany Grill on Third Avenue for Mrs. Big Boy’s birthday. The gorgonzola pizza for appetizer is a given, along with maybe a stuffed pepper and parmesan drizzled with olive oil for the table, but the real question is what to do for the entrée. I’m going back and forth between the skirt steak and the double-cut pork chop with cherry peppers. Game time decision, I guess.
Many thanks for the early comments, boys. We’ll start small, I guess. Six in a week. I can work with that. I think the once-a-week-during-spring-training format works for me, if it works for you guys. Come opening day we’ll kick things up to full throttle.
Vino, glad to see you jumped in early. I have no idea what Big Willie’s St. Paddy’s Day plan is, but I can say with confidence that it will involve him being slumped over a fire hydrant somewhere uptown. I expect nothing less. Level, Nick, JD, Raoul, welcome aboard, boys. Let’s get it rolling.
The voicemail at work came in the early afternoon. The text message came around the same time, I think. Both from Juice. Both said the same thing. In so many words, something to the effect of, “Get off your lazy *ss and get the BPS band back together.” He’s right, what can I say. In an extraordinary display of laziness, I have let the BPS lay undisturbed for what is now pushing three months. I told you guys that this was the way it was going to go. So now I’m in the blue room, chilling in front of the keyboard, with the Chemical Brothers supplying the background noise. The keys have got pretty good action tonight. The lighting is good. The missus is out with her crew celebrating Staten Island Mary’s birthday. Welcome back.
I guess I should remind everyone that the BPS is not back full swing just yet. We’ll wait for the season for that. But I’ll try not to cash out for the long stretches. At least I’ve had all of your comments to read to keep the fires burning. [Some good-natured sarcasm highlighting the fact that there have been exactly two comments in the last two months – I guess we’re all lazy in the off-season].
So what’s news to me? How about what Tony Sherry reported to me last night before he kicked me off the phone so he could watch the rest of Idol. That the first swing of the Yankee season, from Johnny Dangerously, went deep into the Tampa sky. And that Giambino followed shortly thereafter. And that they both described themselves as feeling “sexy” on the field. Kind of like Acc after he takes down an order of 25 (mild) wings. Phil Hughes caught reigning MVP Justin Morneau looking before strolling off the field to thunderous, standing room only applause. But most importantly, they reminded me why I show up. To watch them win. And win they did.
I don’t know a lot of what’s been going on in spring training so far. Here in New York the papers were full of the “are Jeter and A-Rod buddies” stuff for a while. And then for some reason it was front page news when A-Rod admitted that they weren’t. That’s just the press being lazy. I’ve always lobbied (to no one in particular) for the sports section to be about sports. If you want to print the drama, put it on Page Six. But why, when I want to read about what kind of pitches the new Japanese guy throws, do I need to wade through pages and pages of A Current Affair. Somebody needs to create a sports gossip page. Leave the sports pages to sports.
Speaking of new Japanese pitchers, what a buzz Dice-K has created down in Fort Myers. Maybe he’s going to be a monster. But maybe this has got letdown written all over it (as does, some may say, the Phil Hughes hype-machine). Here’s my one point on this. The Japanese pitchers that have come over have rarely been as advertised. Nomo had a couple of good years, but got hammered once the league figured out his corkscrew. And I don’t think I have to remind anybody about our first Hideki. So here’s the rather obvious problem. Dice has never faced major-league batters. That’s a pretty big hole in his resume. Most of the testimonials to his other-worldliness that we’ve heard have pertained to his performance in the World Baseball Classic last year. But does anybody remember that his team somehow pulled off the championship without ever beating any of the strongest teams – the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, or Venezuela? Not their fault, of course. They danced through the raindrops of the perverted but necessary readers-digest schedule. They played Korea three times, and lost twice. But the third time was a charm. And they lost to the U.S., courtesy of Allie, who came up with the, yes, clutch winning hit. So who exactly did this guy beat to garner all of the halogen media glare? Or is it just a function of the cash that the Red Sox shelled out for him? Time will tell.
Well, good start, boys. Foreshadowing? I hope so. Until then, me and the boys are going to don our green Yankee/shamrock gear and march down Fifth Avenue in a few weeks. And then, well, we’re going to do what we always do. Believe the dream….