Showing posts with label Red Sox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Sox. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Strong

Boston Strong

I am a New Yorker through and through. More importantly, I’m an American. My  heart goes out to all those affected by whatever sick person committed such a cowardly act.
In the wake of the tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, I want to take some time to reflect on my limited experience as a runner as well as my time spent in Boston.
I hate to run but that hasn’t stopped me from participating in several running events over the course of the last several years. I ran a 5K road race through Central Park a few years back in December and actually did pretty well. I ran a 5K in Manchester, CT this past September to support cerebral palsy and finished 102nd out of 214 racers–I did so with Nolan in tow as I pushed him in the stroller the entire way. Modest results but results nonetheless. My wife on the other hand, she not only competed in those races as well but she completed a half-marathon in Rhinebeck, NY last September in 1 hour, 55 minutes. I would have keeled over after 55 minutes. She also did a Shape Diva Dash and most recently a Fit-Athalon at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. I think I can speak for her as well when I say there was never any fear of something devastating happening upon completion of said races. Finishing a race of any kind gives people a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of joy. For me, it’s more like a sense of relief.
Then there was the 2013 Boston Marathon. Words cannot describe the scene that unfolded at the finish line and I will spare you my opinion. It’s mind-numbing, to say the least. On Patriot’s Day, a day that many Bostonians and Massachusites have off in remembrance of the battles of Concord and Lexington way back in 1775–two battles that were the first ones fought in the American Revolutionary War.
As for my time spent in Boston, let’s just say it’s a hell of a city. I’ve been there with my wife for a weekend away as well as for Red Sox games, even though I’m a Yankees fan. The sense of pride the people of Boston feel towards their city and their hometown Red Sox is unparalleled in America. Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, there’s Red Sox hats, Red Sox t-shirts, Red Sox jerseys. And while all this was going on, the actual Boston Red Sox were boarding a bus en route to Cleveland, not knowing what had just transpired.
Sport generally offers a getaway from the craziness that is the world we live in–it offers people a place to go to take their mind off things for three hours and enjoy talking to complete strangers about their views on sports and otherwise. Red Sox designated hitterJonny Gomes said it well, “There are some people having surgery today to save lives. At the same time (baseball) is something we can do to get people’s minds off things and, you know, hopefully, grab a breath of fresh air.” The Red Sox may not have known exactly what was happening, but they got a sense that something was awry when their police escort to the airport left the caravan.
Had the Red Sox been in town for a series following their Patriot's Day game at Fenway Park, there’s no doubt they would have helped out the best they could.
The Red Sox took the field in Cleveland with heavy hearts last night and got a win–for themselves and for the city of Boston.
President Obama said it best, perhaps, “Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.”
My wife and I stay on Boylston Street when we go to Boston and have passed the finish line several times–albeit not on race day. It’s a lively street around the block from the world-famous Newbury Street with lots to do and tons of people walking around, sightseeing, eating, drinking and just enjoying themselves.
Will what happened on April 15 change the way Boston and it’s visitors live their lives? Absolutely. But my hope is that regardless of what type of world we live in, people will refuse to live in fear. Life is precious and should never be taken for granted, and for that reason alone, we should all live it to the fullest.
America is with you Boston. Believe it. And based on the note left in the Red Sox dugout during last night’s game, I’d say it’s pretty evident.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

MLB: By the #'s; Nolan: By the #'s

MLB
It's been a pretty wild and unpredictable beginning to the 2012 MLB season.  I'm going to go through some numbers that might surprise you a little bit, or maybe not at all.

  • 14 - teams over the .500 mark.  Those who are not in this group - Phillies, Red Sox, Tigers, Giants, Angels
  • 8 - teams over the .500 mark that are from either the AL East or NL East, so don't give me your East Coast bias talk
  • .397, .380 - Derek Jeter's and David Ortiz' batting average, respectively - aging rather well it seems
  • .196 - Albert Pujols' batting average - can he be a bust?
  • 2 - teams from the DC/Baltimore area that are in 1st place - the Orioles and Nationals
  • 45 - strikeouts by Adam Dunn (in 106 AB's), which is actually on pace for less K's than last year
  • .406/12 - batting average and home run total for Matt Kemp, the early favorite for NL MVP
  • 11/10 - HR's allowed by Ervin Santana and Clay Buchholz in 38.2 and 32.2 IP, respectively
  • 13.50 - ERA of Philip Humber in his three starts since his Perfect Game against the Mariners
  • 3 of 7 - starts in which Jered Weaver has actually let up a run, twice against the Twins, the worst team in baseball
  • .156 - BAA for two lefties, both at different stages of their careers - Ted Lilly and Gio Gonzalez
  • 0 - teams that have reached the 20 win plateau - the Indians were the first to do it in 2011 (20-8) - although four three teams can get there today/tonight (Tampa Bay, Baltimore or Texas, San Francisco)
NOLAN
We're trying a new sleep method for when we put the little guy down to sleep.  We used to rock him until he was asleep then transfer him to the crib but he's getting a little big to rock for thirty minutes.

We put him in the crib awake, lay him down, and sit beside the crib until he falls asleep.  Gradually, we're going to (I hope) get to the point where we can put him in and leave the room immediately.  I think he's going through a little separation anxiety phase so he gets scared when he can't see us putting him to sleep.

It's only been a year and two weeks but it's time for him to grow up a little bit.

I lied in the header, there are no numbers related to Nolan in this post.

Have a good Tuesday.  It's a dreary but dry day so far here in CT.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day Games

Because I'm a stay at home dad, there are some perks, namely getting to spend all day every day with Nolan.  There is also baseball.

Surprisingly, baseball on television captures Nolan's attention for periods of time.  He'll look at the TV and then back at me as if to say, "What's going on here?" - and it's kind of funny.

Early in the season, there have been plenty of day games for me us to watch.

We watched the Reds walk off on the Cardinals the other day.
The Nationals walked off on the Mets yesterday.

Today I'm flipping between the Angels/Yankees game and the Rays/Red Sox game.  My loyalty to the Yankees runs deep however, and coupled with the fact that I can only take listening to the Red Sox announcers for 60 seconds at most, the Yankees game has remained on 99% of the time - even for commercials.  The Red Sox guys call the players by their first name like they are best buddies.  And their accents I haven't quite warmed up to yet.

I wish MLB Network would put on the Tigers/White Sox game on - through four innings Max Scherzer has 8 K's and through 5 Jake Peavy has 7 K's.  Three hits, 1 HBP, and one caught stealing combined.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oddities

  • Tigers closer Jose Valverde was perfect in save chances last season - 49 for 49.  He blew one this year in his first chance, against the Red Sox.  He did pick up the win, however.
  • The Mets are 4-0?  Really?
  • The Rays and Padres are the only two teams with a grand slam
  • The Padres are hitting .266 in day games compared to .109 in night games
  • The Phillies have only 4 extra base hits - Hunter Pence has a 2B and HR, John Mayberry and Freddy Galvis have a 2B each
  • The New York Yankees pitching staff has the 2nd worst WHIP at 1.74 (Atlanta is 1.78)
  • The Red Sox have the worst ERA in the majors at 6.75
  • The Rays are the only team with a BB:K ratio instead of a K:BB ratio
  • The Braves and Twins remain the only two teams without a win
Have a great Tuesday, freaks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Instagram Feature; MLB Opening Weekend

Instagram Feature
If you've been thinking to yourself, "there sure are a lot of pictures on the top of this page" when you check out WRT, you're right, there are.  My Instagram feed is fed right to the blog.

Thanks to the people at Instagram for bringing their platform over to Android.  I can finally snap and shoot photos with my phone and share them with the world.  There's plenty of filter options to make it look like I'm a really good photographer.  I promise not to take pictures of the sky - those are severely played out and have become boring to look at - unless it's a kick ass shot.  And I am not a hipster.

MLB Opening Weekend Storylines
Baseball season is here and so are the premature headlines that are shaping the baseball world.

Here's some shocking stories and some that aren't so shocking.
  • SHOCKER - The New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles are both 3-0.  They swept the Braves at Citi Field, holding them to just seven runs while scoring twelve of their own.  Johan Santana was the only starter not to get a W (Niese and Dickey both got W's).  Lucas Duda has two homeruns and David Wright is hitting .667.  For the O's, the pitching has been the story - 5 runs allowed in their three-game sweep in Minnesota.
  • NO SHOCK - The World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals are picking up right where they left off and are 3-1.  They beat the Marlins in the first game stateside and then took 2 of 3 from the Prince-less Brewers.  They did all this on the road.  Carlos Beltran looks rejuvenated and Lance Lynn threw an absolute gem, striking out eight Brewers in 6.2 innings on Easter Sunday.
  • SHOCKER - Yankees and Red Sox are both 0-3.  The good news for the Bombers is that the last time they started 0-3, they won 114 games and the World Series in 1998.  They got dominated by the Rays, who many experts believe will win the AL East.  Bobby Valentine was hoping to have a better start, but his Red Sox were swept by the Tigers.  They coughed up a ninth-inning lead and an eleventh-inning lead yesterday - you think they miss Papelbon?
  • NO SHOCK - The Twins lack of offense.  Justin Morneau, Denard Span, and Josh Willingham are the only three with more than one hit.  Joe Mauer is hitting .100.  Mauer and Morneau are really the only two Twins who can do some damage.  It's going to be a long season in Minnesota.
Some "By The Numbers" stuff.
  •  4 - Players with 3 HR's - Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Miguel Cabrera, and Corey Hart
  • 10 - # of hits for Rafael Furcal, the only player in the majors with double digit hits
  • 1 - Duane Below of the Tigers is the only pitcher with 2 wins - both in relief.
  • 3 - Saves (2) + Wins (1) for Rays reliever Fernando Rodney, in 1.2 innings pitched
  • 2 - Losses by Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon in his 1 inning pitched this season
  • .500 - Fielding percentage of Angels 3B Mark Trumbo (3 errors in 6 total chances, in 2 games)
  • #8 - Kurt Suzuki has thrown out 3 of 8 runners - the 5 SBA in four games is alarming for the pitchers
  • 5 - # of teams sitting at 3-0 as well as teams stuck at 0-3
Let's remember, it's only three games (four for some).  I am not hitting the panic button with the Yankees nor am I anointing the Orioles the favorite in the AL East.  It is what it is, one weekend.  There are still 158/159 games to - buckle up.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Numbers Game - #9

The Splendid Splinter and best hitter to ever play Ted Williams

Mr. 61 Roger Maris

The late, great Steve "Air" McNair

Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe

My sinful Raiders reference, Punter Shane Lechler

Thursday, September 30, 2010

moving time; time to move; yanks on the move

  for once, i am at a loss for words and topics.  i am physically drained from all the moving i've done this past week.  boxing up stuff, boxing up more stuff, and carrying some stuff to the garbage.  it seemed to never end, and then today, when it was supposed to pour all day, it didn't really rain so i finished the move relatively easy - with the help of rene ruiz - my trusty assistant.

  now all that's left to do is unpack everything.  and believe me, i plan on getting rid of a fair amount of stuff.  it's a mess in there right now and poor nathan probably feels like he's trapped in a cave, but soon enough it'll start to look like something.

  bob's discount furniture screwed us.  they were supposed to send a certificate of insurance to the new building and never did.  yada yada yada.  i called, complained (to put it lightly) and they give me $75 store credit.  i wanted nothing to do with a store credit, so i had them take the money off my order.  jackasses.

  time for bullpen city.  game this saturday at njit.  let's see how this one goes.  last weekend wasn't all rainbows and lollipops.  we beat pace 8-7 in 17 innings thanks to a 5 run burst in the 17th when we put the starters back in.  time for some of these newcomers to make a move and step up.  some hustle in practice often leads to hustle in games.  that's the sad part, a lot of these guys don't hustle.  it's the easiest thing to do.  drives me nuts.

  yankees clinched a postseason birth for i think the 15th time in 16 years.  they still trail the rays by half a game in the east so hopefully they can finish off the job and take home another pennant.  the rays finish with two games at the lowly royals while the yankees take the trip up the mass pike for a showdown with the hated red sox.  c.c. isn't scheduled to pitch so hopefully the offense (if they all aren't resting) can make up for what they lack on the mound.  it's sad to see how bad the starting pitching drops off after c.c.

  anyway, one-way ticket to bullpen city.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No TV

  Day 10 of no program television is now upon us.  Things are going well, besides not being able to check out some high quality prime-time shows (all of Lindsay's shows, plus MLB baseball, SportsCenter, American Pickers, Pawn Stars to name a few).

  Netflix has come in handy as of late, movies come and go on about a three day schedule.  We watched Step Brothers the other night, hilarious freaking movie.  Lindsay's first viewing, my second.  Still entertaining.  Will Ferrell has to be one of the funniest actors alive.  Hands down.  Then we sent away for Up In The Air.  George Clooney is awesome in that one, and I'm not generally a huge fan.  But the premise was great, it was funny, and it had won awards out the ass.  I say those awards were well deserved.  Two nights ago, Jesse came over for dinner with me, Linds, and Nathan because Julia was in St. Maarten with her sister.  We ate, and watched JUNO.  Same director (Jason Reitman) as Up In The Air, and just as funny if not funnier.  The language is hilarious, the words they use.  If you haven't seen JUNO, go see it.  It also won plenty of awards from the press and media.  Well deserved.  Just because DirecTV sucks the big one doesn't mean they can damper my television viewing experience.  I still got DVD's sucker!!

  On the baseball, the Yankees are once again tied with the Rays for first place in the AL East.  Both teams share the best record in baseball (78-48) but the Red Sox are still hovering, only six games back.

  Lindsay kicked my ass at Scrabble last night, 296-216.  What an absolute drubbing it was.  I was out of it from my third turn.  I had seven consecutive turns where I had at least 5 vowels on my rack.  Needless to say, 1-point letters when your down 50 points are useless.

  It's getting muggy in the office, per usual.  I share my office with the entire student-athlete population, so the traffic is high and some of the odors are pretty horrific.  Gonna take a stroll and take care of some things on campus.  Meeting with broker today - hope things work out for this new place.

  Fingers crossed. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Break Time

   First of all, LeBron James is a bag of expletives.  Go after a title on a team where you're the man, not one head of a three headed monster.  Way to wimp out.

   Now that the MLB season has reached the All-Star break, I want to take a look at some of the top stories, as far as I'm concerned, in the first half.

   1.  Friar Power.  The San Diego Padres are 14 games over .500 (they were 75-87 last year) and up by two games in the much-improved NL West.  I mean this is a pitchers dominated team - with the best ERA (3.25) and WHIP (1.23) in the MLB.  They're hitting a paltry .250 but are in first place - pitching wins.  Look at the pathetic KC Royals - they lead the majors in hitting (.282) and are 10 games under .500 and 10.5 GB of the 1st place White Sox.  Watch out for the hooded clergy, they're here for real, and I don't think their pitching will go out of style.  They have no pressure to succeed and their best pitcher has only 27 starts under his belt for his career (Mat Latos) and a journeyman John Garland is reverting back to old form (when he won 18 games back-to-back years with the White Sox).  The Padres are good man, but so is everyone else in the West.  It's gonna be exciting.

   2.  Abe Vigoda (aka Jamie Moyer).  How in the hell is this guy 9-8?  I watched him dominate the Yankees (8 IP, 3 H, 2 R) and get shellacked by the Red Sox the very next start (1 IP, 9 H, 9 R).  He's got a 4.51 ERA in over 107 innings pitched - better than A.J. Burnett (4.75), John Lackey (4.78), and Brandon Morrow (4.86) - all guys with far superior stuff.  I watch him pitch and it actually infuriates me.  How can this guy do this at the highest level?  He throws 83 mph!  Are you kidding me?  I have to move on, it's pissing me off even thinking about it.  Good for you Jamie, you old bastard.

   3.  Vuvuzelas at a baseball game?  Really Marlins?  Fire the PR guy instead of letting Fredi Gonzalez get the axe.  This was something that people bitched about at the World Cup 2010, and once the USA was eliminated, everyone bitched about everything related to the World Cup.  And the Marlins decide it's a good idea to hand out half-assed vuvuzelas to fans for a game versus in-state rival Tampa Bay?  Give it a rest.  That goes against everything a traditional baseball fan stands for.  At least give out cowbells or something like that, everyone needs to have more cowbell.  Vuvuzela Night?  Never going to a Marlins game, on principle alone.

   4.  Marco...Polo...Teixeira?  He's hitting an eye-popping .254, but surprisingly has 17 HR and 60 RBI.  He seems to be AL version of Adam Dunn - HR's and right around a .250 BA (Dunn is at 22 HR and .288 in 2010).  He went into the break on fire, hitting .419 in July.  I mean he did virtually nothing in April (.136, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and the Yankees still managed to go 15-7.  They have a two game lead over the Rays and a five game lead over the Red Sox and they haven't even had the best record in the AL East in any given month (TB - Apr., TOR - May, BOS - June, TB - July).  Not to mention the heading to this paragraph - Mark Teixeira is having a mediocre season at best.  If they played the White Sox, Twins, and Mariners every series, he'd be hitting .450 for the year (.545 vs. CWS, .400 vs. MIN, .448 vs. SEA).  If he can stay hot after the break, watch out baseball!  Good time to be a Yankee fan.

   That's all I have time for.  Gotta go work on a few things.  We just got a new GTee in, may go take a few hacks off that, get some frustration out.

   HR Derby tonight at 8 pm Eastern (5 pm Pacific) - Swisher looking to bring the trophy back to the Bronx with him.

   Be well people.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We're talkin' NY baseball

Yankees Win.  The-e-e-e-e-e-e Yankees Win!

OK so it wasn't a huge win, but seeing how Boston and Tampa Bay both lost, it gave the Yankees another day to be alone at the top of the AL Beast.

Andy Pettitte was an absolute monster last night, going seven strong innings while scattering seven hits in the Yanks 9-3 win over Arizona.  The ageless one improved to 9-2 on the season and is looking forward to an impending All-Star nod.  His ERA dropped to 2.48, he struck out seven batters, and threw 73 of 113 pitches for strikes.  Unlike previous nights starter AJ Burnett, Pettitte limited the damage with 2-out - allowing only a fluky 2-run single to P Dan Haren in the second inning. (Haren is hitting .452 this  season with 6 RBI.)

The Mets bounced back from their Subway Series loss, pounding out 18 hits in a demolition of the Tigers, 14-6.  Both starters were equally terrible - Justin Verlander (2 IP, 5 R) and Jonathan Niese (4.2 IP, 6 R). (Niese, for whatever reason, went back out after a 90 minute rain delay.  That's no way to treat a young arm Jerry Manuel.)  Verlander's relief was just as bad as he was - Jay Sborz had an MLB-debut to forget - .2 IP, 3 H, 5 R - and left with 67.50 ERA.  It'll get better Jay.  Angel Pagan was huge for Los Mets (4-6, 3 R, 2B, 3B, 4 RBI) and David Wright had a solid game for the Mets (3-3, 3 R, 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI).

I don't get to watch many Mets games - but from what I remember, they have some lollygaggers.  Maybe I just think they loaf around, or maybe it's from my disdain for the way Carlos Beltran plays the game.  I am not so sure the Mets miss him - Pagan is hitting .304 with 34 RBI and 41 R to go along with 14 SB.  Pretty good production for a guy with a $1,500,000 salary. (Beltran makes $11,000,000 and hasn't stepped on the field.)

Crap, it's late, gotta get ready for work.  T$H's new album Weight of the World is awesome.  I'll discuss later.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baseball and Birthdays

Well, the Yankees almost pulled it off last night against the Phillies.  Brad Lidge's ERA went up from a 1.12 to a 2.00 and he made the game pretty interesting.  He's been pretty automatic since he's been healthy this season, so it was good that the Yanks showed a little fight.  I was on the flight back from Dallas, so I missed it.  We flew AirTran but I wish I would have gone JetBlue.  AirTran has some of the most cramped seating of any airline I've ever been on.  K, K, BB, 2B, 1B, K.  He struck out the side, but all the drama started with a two-out walk to Mark Teixeira and could have ended with a walk-off. 

The Rays are reeling (7-6 in June), the Yankees have been fairly steady (10-4 in June), as are the Sox (10-5 in June).  The Blue Jays have fallen back down to Earth and the O's are still looking for an answer.  Shaping up to be a three horse race again, for like the fifth straight season. 

I am going to the Yankees game tonight - and am just counting my blessings I don't have to suffer through a Jamie Moyer start.  Kyle Kendrick vs. Andy Pettitte.  Andy is going for win #201 as a Yankee and #238 overall.  He is putting up incredible numbers thus far, with his only real bad outing being against the Rays on May 20th (5 IP, 9 H, 7 R) in am 8-6 loss.  Looking forward to the game - it's always nice seeing a game at the Stadium, freaking thing is awesome.  It's really a sight to be seen.

The Rays are on the docket too, as Big Game James Shields takes on Tim Hudson in Atlanta.  The Yanks could take over first place tonight.  Hudson has been nothing short of dominant this year (6-2, 2.43 ERA).  He's had some command issues (30 BB in 85.1 IP) but has pitched out of the jams for the most part.  His last outing was a 2-1 CG loss to the Twins (8 IP, 7 H, 2 K).  When he's on, he's tough to hit.  Let's go Timmy.

Party at the "Copacabana", Barry Manilow turns 64 years old today.  He's still knocking them dead - I mean he should be, he's probably had a lot of $$ pumped in and out of his face.  He's made quite the transformation - I mean normally, you go from left to right, he went the opposite direction.  Wrinkles be gone, poof!!  I am kind of glad he chose Barry Manilow, seeing how he was born Barry Alan Pincus.  He was raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn.  He started off writing jingles, and his most famous being State Farm Insurance ("Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there...") and Band-Aid's (I am stuck on Band-Aid, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!").  Happy Birthday Barry, and thanks for taking on your mother's last name.

Back at work, gotta do some work.  Going to purchase some chain and lock it down at Gaelic.

Lock it up!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1 - History in the Making

Several things to cover on this most glorious day - my birthday.

Birthdays - First and foremost, I'd like to thank God for making this all possi...oh wait, I didn't win an award - I did make it to my 29th birthday.  Thanks to all those close to me, and far from me, and those who I've yet to meet.

Ryan Darcy is 29 years old today.  He is the man, a loving husband (to Lindsay), and a dog owner (Nathan).  I will not go into too much detail, as there may be some creepy stalkers out there (as if anyone reads this blog anyway).  Today, I plan on doing whatever the I want, so tough shit trying to reign me in.  Got a nice Bose sound dock for my iPod, since all I have as far as audio equipment is lousy laptop speakers, a nice dinner and show from my dog, and Red Sox tickets for July.  I am steadfast in my allegiance to the Yankees, but taking in a game at Fenway will be fun.  I share my birthday with plenty of famous people, although I've never rubbed shoulders with any I'm about to mention.

Marilyn Monroe would have been 84 today, but she passed away in 1962, so we won't go too deep into her life - she was an actress, singer, and model in her time, and for good reason.  She dated Yankee great Joltin' Joe DiMaggio for a short while - they even eloped in 1954 and went to Japan, of all places, for their honeymoon.



Also checking off another year on their calendar is actor Morgan Freeman, of Shawshank Redemption and Lean on Me fame.  He's a hell of an actor and turns 73 today.  He also played the role of God in Bruce Almighty as well as Evan Almighty, both very funny movies.  Happy birthday Mo.

Supermodel Heidi Klum turns 37 today, but doesn't look a day over 25.  I guess that's the whole idea of a supermodel.  She's married to Seal - I can't figure out what the hell is wrong with that mans face.  She hosts "Project Runway," but she has also done Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue several times.  Tough life.  Happy Birthday to all.



Big Z also turns 29 today.  Carlos Zambrano, happy birthday you nut job.  I hope you keep dominating in the bullpen out there in Wrigley.  Don't let the boo birds get you down - you can always pull a Rick Ankiel and start swinging it, you got a mean stroke. 





Local News Today - There have been several manhole cover explosions today - one on Jerome Ave., one on DeKalb Ave., and one on Bainbridge Ave.  There are also high CO levels detected.  The authorities are on the scene, if you know what I mean.

Also, a woman in her 20's was found and pronounced dead at 5:40 this morning on E. Gun Hill Rd. with an apparent gun shot wound to the head.  Police are investigating.

Thank God everything bad happens on the other side of the Bronx.  Knock on wood.

Events - In 1792, the great state of Kentucky became the 15th state.  Four years later, Tennessee was granted it's statehood.  KY was never a territory but was part of Virginia and TN was part of the Southwest Territory prior to its statehood.  Good BBQ'ing down there, from what I hear.  Only been to Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN.   Lot of Elvis wannabes as well.  There are nine minor league baseball teams in Tennessee and two in Kentucky.  The state drink of Kentucky is milk, while the state fruit is the blackberry.  The state fruit of Tennessee is the tomato and the state wild animal is the raccoon.  Who knew states official wild animals.  Only in the South y'all.

Sports History - In 1925, Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp, which consequently started his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.

Misc. History - In 1941, 12.59" of rain fell on the plains in Burlington, KS, still a state record.  The rain must fall mainly on the plain, in Kansas.  In unrelated news, in 1880, the first pay telephone was installed, so go ahead and drop a quarter in and call someone you love, just to say hello.

Back to work, blah!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bad showing

Where have all the clutch performers gone?  We needed guys to step up today, and no one seemed to deliver.  We didn't help ourselves - 8 walks and a hit by pitch - 2 scored.  Can you guess the final score?  7-5 bad guys.  Did our freshman SS make an error, yeah - but even still, we had two outs with only one run allowed and it ballooned into a 6-run fourth inning.  Pitcher's need to be able to get an out - one single, solitary out, in a row.  They've gotten one out in a row thousands of times in their baseball lives.  We threw up 0's all day (except for a solo HR in the B6), and had a chance at the end.  It just wasn't meant to be today.

Got a big one tomorrow at 3pm.  Big is actually an understatement.  Lose, and the season is over.  Win, and live to play another day.  Whoever is tougher tomorrow will prevail.  Backs to the wall, fight your way out.  We need to deliver the first punch, right in the mouth, early on.


Yankees won both - 1-0 in the suspended game from yesterday (Jeter hit a HR 399' to left center).  The bullpen patched together the shutout.  In today's scheduled game, they won 3-2, behind a Nick Swisher HR to right field.  Mariano closed out both games, earning saves in both, his 9th and 10th of the year.

Boston finished off a surprising sweep at The Trop, beating the Rays 11-3 behind Adrián Béltre's 6 RBI. 

The Magic are up 13 on the Celtics with 8:59 left in the game.  Celts lead the series 3-1.  Maybe Dwight Howard read my blog and decided to grow a pair and play like a man - he's got 17 points, 7 boards, 5 blocks, and only 1 foul.  Go Dwight Go!

Big one tomorrow.  Act as if.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sports Free

The Celtics and the Red Sox.  They're both on television - and I am watching neither.  I am a New York sports fan - well, a Yankees fan.  I can really care less about the other teams in New York.  I do like when the Giants do well though, but I can't really get into the NFL all that much. 

Dinner tonight was at the Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem - some kids looked completely out of place.  It's not that hard to fit in, but a wool cap or brown leather flip-flops in Harlem?  Come on.  I went with the Elgin Sausage and the Brisket, with Macaroni & Cheese and Simmered Veggies as my sides - and of course the corn bread.  Y'all!  Oh yeah, and two pieces of PB Pie to go!

"The Best Thing I Ever Ate" is on, and funny enough, the Neely's are on right now ranting and raving about some cobbler.  I hate them.  But I like this show, a lot of the places are in NYC.  I can't afford any of them, but it's kind of cool to know that they're close, in case I hit the lottery.  Or win a scratch-off ticket for like a few hundred.

Night off from sports tonight.  We head up to Fishkill tomorrow and play at 3pm Wednesday against Canisius.  Follow it live at the MAAC Championship site.  Go Jaspers!!

It's hotter than hell in here, fan's on, sleeping's easy. 

WOW!  That's a LOW price!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Misc.

TV:  Lindsay is watching "Real Housewives of NY" on DVR and this "Countess" is singing this song, and this boob who's playing the piano is convincing her she sounds good - this is total trash, I want to throw the remote through the television, but I'll hold back.  Here's the link for those of you who love torturing yourself:  LuAnn's Craptastic Song.

Music:  The first random song of the day today was "1901" by Phoenix.  Makes you want to nod your head a little bit.  I'm not a huge fan of it, but I might let it play all the way through - here's a link to this one:  "1901".

Local News:  According to NY1, more than 40% of streetlights are out on our local highways here in the Bronx.  Here's the breakdown:  Major Deegan (I-87):  38%; Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95):  46%; Henry Hudson Parkway (US-9):  43%.  Not only are we dealing with pot-hole filled roads, but the damn light aren't working either.  The Alexander Hamilton Bridge, however, is in complete darkness.

Sports:  The Yankees blew another game last night, to the Red Sox - Mariano got the loss because Marcus Thames went from hero to goat in the course of 24 hours.  Dropped a pop-up in short right field - bad baseball play.  Tonight they open up a two-game set with the best team in baseball, the Rays.  Tonight's pitching matchup is: Wade Davis (TB) 3-3, 3.38 ERA vs. A.J. Burnett (NY) 4-1, 3.31 ERA.  Fixing to be a pretty tight one, unless Davis pitches like he generally does against the Yankees - 5.73 ERA in two home starts vs. NY in his career.  This is his first time taking the bump in the Bronx.  I just hope Carlos Peña decides not to get hot - he's only hitting .191 with 5 HR this year.  Friday, the Yankees head to Queens to open up their weekend series with Los Mets

Miscellaneous:  Lindsay has been asking me what I want for my birthday for the past few weeks and I honestly have no idea what I want.  I am a very good gift giver, but when it comes to telling people (Lindsay) what I want, I struggle.  Nathan is here, next to me, chewing his rawhide - he loves the stuff, but only the ones with a bacon flavored treat in the middle - gives him something to work for.  He snagged a piece of Lindsay's steak tonight - I made steaks with an avocado/jalapeño/mango/salsa mixture - pretty good.  Dessert is Ben & Jerry's Key Lime Pie flavor - it's a limited batch. 

Hands Off!  Let's go Yankees!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1st Place ... Reds?

The Cincinnati Reds are sitting pretty in 1st place in the NL Central - they're actually only up by 1 game on the Cardinals, but they deserve the spotlight.  Today they rallied for three runs in B9 off Brewers closer and future HOF'er Trevor Hoffman, who has been nothing short of terrible this year, to beat the Brewers 5-4.

Five blown saves?  ERA over 11.00?  I know the Brewers are struggling this year, but still - this is a guy with a career 2.83 ERA and 596 career saves. 

The inning was a nightmare - single by Janish, HR by Rolen, 2B by Heisey, BB to Phillips, 1B to Joey Votto.  Votto hit a solo HR in the 8th to cut the Brewers lead to 4-2.  It is only the third time in 1055 IP where he hasn't recorded an out and his first since July 19, 2006 against the Phillies.

May 18, 2010 vs. CIN:  0.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 HR, (L, BS #5)
July 19, 2006 vs. PHI:  0.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, (BS #3)
April 28, 1999 vs. NYM:  0.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, (L)

Not a great week for big name closers.  Sunday--Mariano Rivera blew a game vs. the Twins, Monday--Papelbon blew a game vs. the Yankees, Tuesday--Hoffman blew a game vs. Cincinnati.

ABC!  Always Be Closing!

Walk It Off

Monday night in the MLB featured some great games and some laughers.

We'll narrow it down to the Top 3 - all walk-off wins:

#3 - At "The Trop", the Rays got a walk-off, one out squeeze bunt from Jason Bartlett in the 11th inning, beating the Indians 4-3.  Several weeks ago the Indians go burned by the Angels on a similar play, but there were two outs when Howie Kendrick got his base hit bunt past the pitcher.  Chris Perez was complaining about it being a "stupid play" - listen man, it's the big leagues, you need to get wins when you can.  It ain't Kendricks fault your team sucks.  The Rays improved to an MLB best 27-11.  The Tribe fell to 15-21.

#2 - Aramis Ramirez raised his average all the way to .175 in this one, and hit the walk-off 2R HR in the 9th off Rockies pitcher Matt Belisle to give the Cubs a 4-2 win.  Ramirez singled in the 1st, driving in the Cubs first run of the game.  Ramirez has been on a tear lately - he's raised his average from .148 to .175 over the past 10 games.  The saddest fact is, he only has 3 multi-hit games all year - this guy makes $16.75 million a year.  What is wrong with the Cubs?  Rockies fall to 19-19, Cubs improve to 17-22.

#1 - Poor Papelbon.  Ha.  Not only did he allow A-Rod to tie the game in the 9th with a 2R HR, he allowed a 2R HR by Marcus Thames to lose the game.  After the "A-bomb from A-Rod", Cano flew out to centerfield before Cervelli got drilled in the elbow.  Thames came to the plate and wasted little time - he jumped on the 92 mph fastball and hit a line-drive into the LF seats.  Yes, he pimped it a little out of the box, but you know what, it was his first career walk-off HR.  He threw the bat, and began his sprint around the bases.  Then he got the pie face.  I stayed up for it, and was pissed when the blew the lead, but man, it's always nice walking-off on the Red Sox.  Yankees 25-13, Red Sox 19-20. 

Plenty to do today - 3,600 white folding chairs waiting for me to set them up.  Graduation season is upon us.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ryan Freel Retires

Former MLB'er Ryan Freel has decided to call it quits.  He spent the past few weeks in the Atlantic League with the Somerset Patriots.  In nine games, he hit .265 with 3 R and 4 RBI.  He will best be remembered for his three-year stretch with the Cincinnati Reds - 2004-2006 - where he had his most success.  He was a .268 career hitter, 100 doubles, and 143 stolen bases.  A modest career, but for three of his eight years, he was as feared a baserunner as you could think of.

During those three seasons in Cincy, he hit .273, scored 210 runs, 60 doubles, and 110 stolen bases.  I never heard of the guy but I knew he could run like the wind, and I always saw his names at the top of the category leaders in SB's.  My brother Jesse had the good fortune to play with him in Somerset this season, and said he was one of the most down to earth guys he'd ever played with.  He was with the Rays for three seasons - first in Hudson Valley (SS), then in Columbus, GA (A), then in Port Charlotte, FL (A+).  He shared a clubhouse with Pat Burrell, Jason Bartlett, Scott Kazmir - Freel was the most real.

He did have one blemish, a drunk driving charge after an opening night win over the Mets in 2005, but we're all human.

Happy Trails Ryan Freel.  Thanks for the hustle!

By the way - Dice-K still can't figure it out!  The Yanks are up 6-2, T5, Dice-K's line not looking so fine:  4 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP.  He's thrown 90 pitches (53S/37B) in four innings.  Let's hope the Yankees can keep this lead and get another game up on the Red Sox.  Nathan is sleeping on the couch, taking up a lot of real estate.  Lindsay is reading, accusing me of ignorance.

Time to search for birthday gifts - I'm almost 30 - actually only 29 on June 1.  Later you old farts!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yankees looking to extend domination of Twins

Today's 1:05pm tilt between the Twins and Yankees will feature two lesser known arms for both side - Nick Blackburn (MIN) vs. Sergio Mitre (NYY).  Game 1 had AJ Burnett taking on Scott Baker.  Game 2 was two lefties, Andy Pettitte vs. Francisco Liriano.  Advantage:  NYY.

The Yankees took the first two games of this series and are looking for their third series sweep of the season (vs. TEX, vs. BAL).  The first game was tight until A-Rod decided to show up, belting a grand slam in the 7th with the Yankees down a run - IBB to Teixeira to pitch to Alex Rodriguez?  Then bring in a guy who A-Rod is 4-6 with 3HR against?  Gardy, bad  idea!!  The second game was won behind with pitching - Andy Pettitte gave them 6.1 innings of 2-hit ball in his first start in 10 days.  A-Rod had another good game at the plate - in his last 10, he's hitting .378 (14-37) with 3 2B, 2 HR, and 11 RBI.  Looks like he is starting to get hot.  Teixeira hit an absolute bomb in the 7th inning, and he is starting to pick it up a little too - in his last 10, he's hitting .317 (13-41) with 2 2B, 5 HR, and 16 RBI.  He's raised his average from .136 to .217 since we flipped the calendar to May.  That's two big names stepping up for the Yankees, who are surprisingly only 6-4 in the past 10 games.

Blackburn has pitched against the Yankees before - most recently in last years playoffs.  He pitched well enough to win (5.2 IP, 3H, 1R) but didn't.  Overall, in 4 career starts vs. the Yankees, his numbers look like this:  16.1 IP, 21 H, 12 R (9 ER), good for a 4.96 ERA, almost a full run above his career ERA of 4.20.  He seems to be struggling with his command a little this year - through 39.2 IP he's walked eleven batters and struck out only nine.  He has never been a strikeout pitcher, but the most walks he's allowed was 41 last season (in 205.2 IP).  Four starts vs. NYY?  Seems like I hear his name every time they play one another.  Weird.

Mitre has been throwing the ball fairly well this year - I mean he has HOF numbers compared to his career stats:  2010 - 3.86 ERA; Career - 5.50 ERA.  The trick with him may be the bullpen.  He can fool a few hitters at a time, but starting hasn't panned out for him.  I think it's a good idea once the rotation gets back in order, but in the long run, he'll be a bullpen guy.  And for some reason, I like Sergio Mitre, I hope he does well.  Don't ask why, I don't have any ties to Mexico or any of the other teams he's played for.

Game's on at 1:05pm, I will more than likely not watch, gonna be in the city for brunch.  May be able to catch the tail end of what will hopefully be the 14th straight win over the Twins.  The Twins are up a game and a half on the Tigers, who are hosting the Red Sox.  They pulled it out last night on the always exciting two out, walk-off walk to Ramón Santiago, a career .245 hitter.  Poor Red Sox, can't close games out with their bullpen.  What a shame.

Time to take Nathan out - he's slept all night, woke up at 5:45am, and is sleeping again.  The life of a dog is one I'll never understand.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Strasburg Monument

If I was a fan in the greater D.C. area, I would be pretty stoked knowing that Stephen Strasburg was just promoted to AAA Syracuse.  He is now one step away from playing his home games at Nationals Park - Field Dimensions:  Left Field- 336 Feet - Left-Center Field- 377 Feet - Center Field- 402 Feet - Right-Center Field- 370 Feet - Right Field- 335 Feet.  Have at it young man.  Let's take a look at the Nationals stats as a pitching staff and where they rank among the rest of the MLB.

ERA - 4.81 (23rd).  Still .09 better than the RED SOX.  His 1.64 ERA in 5 Double-A starts is as promising as his mid-to-uppers 90's heat.  That team ERA will go down once he gets there - I mean they have 3 starters with more than 3 starts who have ERA's over a 6.34 - Lannan 6.34, Stammen 6.75, Marquis 20.52.

Saves - 10 (1st).  At least he knows that if he turns the ball over to Matty Capps in the 9th, he'll preserve a W for Big Steve.

Strikeouts - 143 (29th).  He's averaging 1.2 K/IP.  If he pitches 100 innings, that's 120 K right there.

WHIP - 1.50 (24th).  Strasburg has let up 13 hits and allowed 6 walks in 22 IP, putting his WHIP at a miniscule .86, somewhere in the Roy Halladay/Phil Hughes/Barry Zito range (.88).  NO, HE WILL NOT BE AS GOOD AS DOC!

Keep your heads up Nats fans, help is on the way.  In the meantime, Liván Hernández dominance will have to suffice.

Let the coronation begin - my guess is early June.  They're 1 GB of the Phillies today, they'll be 7 GB by the time he joins the club.

Later. 

CERVELLI!!  3-3, 2 1B, 1 3B, 2 R, 1 SAC - he's hitting .387.  Joba time