Tag Archives: MLB

2015 World Series – Game 1 Live Blog

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Warning: I will attempt my very first live blog of any sporting event. It’s fitting that I do it with two teams that I’m not a fan of and I don’t cheer for… this will prevent a lot of colorful language from hitting the inter-webs.

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8:30am (The Next Morning): So I’ll admit it, I went to bed after the final posting last night, but, I did turn the TV on to see how this things played out in the 11th inning. I only made it through a few pitches and I was out… luckily I threw the TV on 30-minute sleep mode. The game didn’t play out as I had hoped with the Royals walking off and beating the Mets by a score of 5-4. Even though my team isn’t in the series, I really enjoyed the game and I learned a lot about all the players involved from both teams. Blogging a sporting even is not only taxing but it’s also rewarding. I learned things about players that I normally wouldn’t watch during the regular season and I have a deeper appreciation for both organizations. Mets and Royals fans, you both cheer for teams that you should be proud of! I hope those that followed my blog last night enjoyed my live blogging event… a special “thanks” to all of the full-time bloggers out there for letting a guy like me into your arena for a few hours.

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“Hey Mets fans… don’t forget where you’re from.”

Generally I don’t get involved in back and forth banter when it comes to websites like the NY Post and such but it’s World Series time I’m all in.

A few different websites are reporting that Mets fans are not too thrilled with the idea of having Yankees fans rooting for their team during the World Series. Going as far as to say, “We don’t need them bandwagoning our team.” The New York Times went out of their way to interview some drunken Met fan that compared Yankees fans rooting for the Mets to “…post-war Nazi’s wanting to come over for tea 10 years after the war.”

Seriously?

When I was growing up, Willie Randolph was my Yankee hero. I started liking the Mets in junior high school because they had a right-fielder named Darryl Strawberry. He was tall and lanky like me and I discovered my love of playing right-field because of him. I wasn’t quick enough to play the infield like Willie could. So in the 80’s, I loved the Yankees but I also cheered for the Mets. Once their front office decided that Davey Johnson wasn’t of value to them anymore and treated him like he hadn’t brought them their first championship in 17 years, I was done cheering for them.

 

Me and legendary Mets Outfielder Darryl Strawberry

 

Here’s why I still won’t cheer for the Mets, even throughout this World Series; Yankees fans are not Turncoats.

Mets fans… you can keep your team, we have our own. Unlike Mets, Cubs and Red Sox fans… we don’t start flying our team’s colors once the “good” starts happening for them. In the last 3 weeks, I’ve seen more Cubs hats and jerseys than I can ever remember. Mets “fans” are all over the place now too… and to their credit, Red Sox fans are nowhere to be found, as usual. It’s disgusting. I do realize that there are some die-hard and loyal Mets fans out there who feel the same way towards the Yankees and their fans, and that’s fine… I respect that. But, what those fans need to realize is that we aren’t interested in joining your nation or sacrificing our team loyalty to follow another team because of the moment. When any NY team enters a finals series, I’m excited for them… because I’m a New Yorker. If they win, I’m even happier because “When N.Y. does good… New York does good!” If you know what I mean. It’s completely insane to not want a team from your home state to do well when your team is no longer in the fight. But please, don’t think that Yankees fans are over here cheering the Mets along as if they were our team…. flying the colors in good times like their fans do. It’s not the Yankee way. We suffered through the 80’s and early 90’s with horrible teams but we always flew the colors and we welcomed the rest of New York to join us. That’s what winners do, they act like they’ve been there before and they never forget where they’re from.

 

Go Yanks!

 


The No Hitter

I’ve been a baseball fan for most of my 44 years and I just listened to my very first no-hitter game on the radio.

The irony of it is that Cole Hamels may very well be traded before the July 31st deadline and may have pitched his last game for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Congrats Cole!


It’s time to turn the page…

Note: This post was originally written  for a special “Pinch Hit” series for the website The Greedy Pinstripes. It was originally posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013


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No One Man is Above The Team” – Coach James DeBell Sr.
(A frequent quote by my high school baseball coach)

I knew it was coming eventually. Not the move to another team, not the way that it was done, not the money involved, not the turning his back on the city of New York and the Yankee fans and not the leaving behind a chance to be immortal in the garden that is Monument Park. It was that one question from my wife that I really needed days, not hours, to ponder… “How do you feel about Cano leaving the Yankees?” A question that was so raw and one that I never thought in a million years that I’d have to answer.

I met my wife Liz 3 years ago and though I’ve been a life-long fan of the Yankees, I’d never been to Yankee Stadium before. She’s not a fan of sports at all, but, my very first visit to the stadium was in the form of tickets for my birthday, thanks to her. We played the Blue Jays during Labor Day Weekend… Jeter had the day off due to a late night extra-inning game the night before, Bartolo Colon pitched good enough to keep us in it and Cano, true to form, had the biggest hit of the game… a two-run double to give us the lead and eventually the win. It was a great day and now my wife is as much a Yankee fan as I am, CC Sabathia is her favorite… and she named our puppy after my favorite player. The Yankees are a part of our everyday lives in some way, shape or form. You will always see the logo or some reminder of the team somewhere in our home. Baseball has and always will be a part of my life. I’ve played the game since I was able to hold a bat and swing it, it’s important to me and I love the “game”. Fans of other sports find us crazy because we sit and watch what they consider to be a “boring” sport, yet they have no idea just how smart you have to be to either play or understand this game that we love.

I don’t know how I feel about it babe, I mean… I’ll miss him but we have to think about the team as a whole, we can’t afford bad deals anymore.

I know that this really gets over-used but sports folks say it all the time, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” However, there is definitely an M & E in “Team” and that’s exactly what Robinson Cano was thinking with his demands for a record breaking contract. And to be frank, I personally couldn’t care less that he’s walking away from the Yankees and possible immortality when I really think about it. Robinson Cano is one of the most talented baseball players I’ve ever had a chance to watch grow into a major league player. The only flaw that I’ve ever seen is his game is him not feeling the need to hustle out some at-bats here and there but I personally think there’s a deeper reason behind it. I think the game is boring to him and he no longer finds any challenge in it, at least in New York with the Yankees. I saw it this season in his at-bats, in his fielding when flipping the ball to first after having to barely move to get it. Cano is so good at what he does that to the casual eye, he’s truly amazing (which he is) and what he’s doing is effortless, but, to the trained eye he’s just going through the motions and bored with being in that moment. Over the weekend it was mentioned that Cano wanted out of New York because he didn’t like playing for Joe Girardi and while I have no idea how much of that is true or not, nothing screams “selfish” like complaining about where your manager puts you in the line-up, especially publicly.  Managers are paid to manage and players are paid to play and the saddest part about this, if it’s true, is that Joe bleeds Yankee blue and was tossed from 5 games this past season, mostly for defending his players. But, he’s a horrible guy to play for because he just can’t seem to put Cano right where he wants to be in the lineup… I get it. Whatever. I personally don’t think Cano is the “star” that he thinks he is or that his representation has convinced him that he is. While he was healthy for most of the season and other’s like Jeter, Texeira and Granderson were hurt, the Yankees reportedly lost $58 million in ticket sales. If Cano had $240 million star power, I personally think those figures would have been more ‘green’, seeing as how he spent most of his time on the field this past season.

When Cano first signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation, I thought it was as bad a move for Jay Z as it was for him. Jay is the self-proclaimed “King of New York ” and could possibly be labeled as the single person who priced one of our most talented assets right out of the Bronx. He’s boasted on songs that he’s made the “Yankee hat more famous than a Yankees can”… too much bravado about an organization that he clearly knows little about. The Yankees were winning championships before the Great Depression and while I love Jay and some of his music, this isn’t the music business. Legends are made in this game called baseball… through hard work, dedication, patience and hustle. And while most can live with the lack of hustle from Cano, I can’t. Mainly because he wants to be paid like a super-star team leader, but, doesn’t want to act like one on the field during the final year of his current contract.  I was taught from day one when learning the game of baseball that no matter what, you ran to first like you were ultimately going to be safe, you respected the game and the people that played it before you and you respected your coaches and the umpires even if you didn’t understand their decisions. The game of baseball is not easy to play, though the legends in the making who are playing in the majors today make it seem that way. Ted Williams once said something to the effect of players who fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate will end up being some of the greatest to ever play the game.

There is no organization on this planet like the New York Yankees. When you see the logo, you know who it is, if you see a picture of The Frieze, you know where it is and when you see the pinstripes, you know what they’re about. Winning. Pride. Loyalty. I’ve turned the page on my loyalty to Robinson Cano and as being one of his fans. When I look at the men who have played in Pinstripes before him and how most have humbled themselves for the betterment of the team, I’m grateful that Monument Park isn’t a part of his vision for his own career. I can’t cheer on someone who is okay with coming to the yard every day and making it about themselves instead of the team. I’ve heard free agent after free agent come to the podium over the years and say, “Being a Yankee has always been a life-long dream of mine, so this is one of the greatest days of my life!” They’ve come from every organization, even the Red Sox. So while I wish Robinson the best, I really won’t miss him or the fact that Jay Z thinks that he would have been the man to help “sell the Yankee brand”. The Yankees don’t need any player to sell what they have to offer. The proof lies in those free agents coming to the podium… this stuff that the Yankees have sells itself.

Loyalty


Welcome, FOX Sports 1

Please Destroy ESPN!
I
 know hate is a strong word… but I really hate “monopolies”. The big machines that role over the little man simply because “they can”… because there’s nothing to stop them. It’s happened in every sport (mostly on the major league levels), in the video gaming industry with exclusive licensing, the music industry, you name it. There are many that will say that my beloved Yankees is among those businesses that can be considered a monopoly but even as they are proving this year, sometimes monopolies can fall victim to themselves.

For a long time, sports fans have had only one option for a network dedicated to 24/7 sport and it is in the form of the self proclaimed “worldwide leader in sports”. I don’t want to mention their name because this is less about them and more about the network that’s building up to challenge what Dan Patrick refers to as “The Mothership”. FOX Sports 1 is launching tomorrow, August 17th and I’m pretty excited about it. I know there have been other networks that have tried this and haven’t put a dent in The Mothership’s ratings. But in my opinion, the launch of FOX Sports 1 isn’t really about taking down The Mothership… it’s more about having another quality option as a sports fan. The keyword is quality and the winner in this situation is definitely sports fans.

Take nothing from The Mothership, it is a dynasty that has to be recognized. But, I personally feel that for the last 2-3 years, the network has served the equivalent of tap water to viewers when it had the ability to serve spring water, at the same cost. Why are they doing this? Because they can… because the fans are thirsty and they’ll drink whatever is presented to them, especially when it’s the only option. Every promo that I’ve seen for Fox Sports 1 has boasted futuristic sets, host that appear to be having “fun” at doing their jobs and an array of talented hosts ranging from retired athlete to former morning show hosts.

I personally feel that if FS1 simply acknowledges The Mothership with a tip of the hat as it walks through the door, there will nothing else for them to worry about. If they can concentrate on coexisting and not conquering, they can be nothing except succeed. I wish everyone involved with the launch of FOX Sports 1 the best of success.


“Not So Great” Yankee Fact

Arod_2Over the past 3 seasons, the Yankees have paid Alex Rodriguez $91 million dollars in exchange for 34 Home-runs and 119 RBI’s. Curtis Granderson, hit 43 Home-runs (a Team best) and had 106 RBI’s (another Team best) in 2012 alone… at a salary of $10 million. Many people are calling for Curtis Granderson to be traded before the end of the 2013 season. Alex Rodriguez has yet to pick up a bat and swing it meaningfully this season.

*Hater’s side note – Granderson led the Yankees in strikeouts in 2012
**Reality side note: Home-run hitters generally strike out more than other hitters on their respective teams


I’m famous!!!! Well, kinda…

So, it was just another day of me neglecting my own blog, betraying the small and loyal reader-base that I have when I  casually responded to the  blog post ARE GRANDERSON’S DAYS IN PINSTRIPES NUMBERED? at Bleeding Yankee Blue.

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For those who aren’t baseball or Yankee fans… here’s the skinny in six sentences or less. Some baseball enthusiasts believe that Curtis Granderson, who is currently injured, should be considered for a trade or dangled as trade bait by the Yankees. It was my opinion that all he’s done is be a class act on and off the field, not complain about money or playing time and most of all, produce on the field. There are other Yankees who have done far less and they’re as hard to get rid of as the Bubonic Plague, even though the Yankees should try REALLY hard to do so. I read that post and that’s when THIS happened…

WHY WOULD WE TRADE CURTIS GRANDERSON?

I’ve written several passionate comments to posts on BYB about my beloved Yankees but this one seems to have struck a nerve. I have to thank Robert Casey (Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu), founder of the BYB blog, for taking time out to acknowledge my comment and for giving it the attention it has received.  I also have to apologize to “Suzie Pinstripe” (Twitter: @SuzieProf), the  BYB Opinion Columnist, for my ranting response to her post. It was nothing personal towards her and I just think that I’ve heard so many times that Granderson “isn’t doing” something when all he’s done is do good things.

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My gripe is not with those asking for him to be traded as much as it is with other Yankee players. Those players who are making as much as $30 million a year and are not only do nothing on the field, but, who are doing everything to bring the wrong kind of attention off the field… allegedly.

You know how people get those “Free Such-and-Such” T-Shirts made when someone who is actually guilty gets locked up, but, in their own mind they’ve decided to make these people martyrs? Well, yeah… that’s not me. If a guy needs to get run outta town, I’m all for it if the numbers dictate that. BUT, that Granderson T-Shirt is looking like a pretty good idea right now because all the guy ever does is produce.


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