Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yankee Stadium Security: On Notice

Yankee Stadium security, you are officially on notice. We all know that the Yankees/Red Sox games bring out the crazies, but the new stadium “rules” have gone a bit too far.

Apparently, fans are no longer allowed to yell “Boston Sucks”. While I understand your desire to keep the game respectful, it's clear that your new security cavalry has never attended a game at Yankee Stadium. Lighten up. Besides, yelling “Boston Isn't Good” just doesn't have the same ring.

And you told my friend to turn her t-shirt inside out. Did it have obscenities on it? No. Did it degrade people of a specific gender or race? No. It said “Manny love loves Big Papi's little pee pee”. Now, I'm not sure which part was offensive. Was it the suggestion that Manny and Big Papi are gay? Because there's nothing wrong with being gay. Was it the suggestion that Big Papi only packs a few inches? Because there's nothing wrong with that either, as long as Papi knows how to satisfy Manny in other ways. My only conclusion, Mr. Security Guard, is that you have issues with both being gay and having a small penis.

Kicking out the guy in the next row for telling JD Drew he was a horse's ass? Well, that's just bad form. So Drew cried a little. He'll get over it. But just to play along, I've written down a few possibly acceptable heckles for the new regime:

“Drew, you're a bad outfielder”

“Your mother is a woman of loose morals”

“Hey ump, that was a terrible call, sir”

“Hey Manny, you're a guy who likes to sleep with other guys”

“Excuse me, Beckett. Would you kindly place your lips on my bottom?”

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

She's baaaaack!

A huge round of applause for Rob, who kicked this blog's ass while I was on vacation. I might have to fire myself and replace me with Rob. It was a much needed vacation, but thanks to lack of dependable internet access in the Outer Banks, I returned home to lots of catching up to do. Basically here's what I missed:

Vick pleaded guilty. They guy's lost his biggest endorsement, the rest of his contract, will most likely have to return his signing bonus and will do time. On top of that, he was just OK as a pro QB. I think it's about time we all stopped caring about this.

I got 3,000 emails regarding the Giants loss to the Jets. I've said it before and I'll say it again. PRE-SEASON SUCKS DONKEY BALLS. I don't care if the 4th string quarterback threw an interception intended for the 6th wide receiver.

Stephen A. got fired from the Philly Inquirer. A plethora of Cheesy Doodle jokes ensued. ZZZZZZZZ

David Wells is now a Dodger. And still a fat bastard.

Eli's whining because Tiki was being critical of his team leadership. Hey Eli, grow a set. It is now Tiki's job to analyze the NFL. Try winning a few games before you start crying like a bitch.

I have three fantasy teams and one of my leagues apparently made the decision to let 2 other girls into the league. And that's not the worst part. One will be using a computer drafting program to draft for her and the other is the wife of another league member. This goes against everything I stand for. And basically, this guy now has no “wife free” haven. Our league commissioner gets jackass of the week for allowing this to happen. And I don't care that she's pregnant. If she mispronounces a players name, she's doing a shot.

Less than two weeks to go before the beginning of the greatest 4 months of the year. It's a magical time filled with footballing, drinking, fantasy teams, shit talk, and general weekend debauchery. I absolutely live for it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Work Here Is Done

Thank you, Sarah, for letting me ruin your good name for a week of guest-bloggeratin'. I leave you with one of my favoritest Kids in the Hall sketches:



-Rob Iracane

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lots of Room For You On the Red Sox Bandwagon

Bloggy Yankees scribe Peter Abraham (extreme closeup!) links to the USA Today cover feature stating that, based on road attendance, the Red Sox have displaced the Yankees as "America's Team":

"Well … it depends how you look at it. The Red Sox have averaged 38,802 fans for road games. The Yankees have averaged 37,906. I’m not quite sure 896 people means one team is more popular than the other in the entire nation.

It’s also worth noting that when the Yankees play on the road, they fill 84 percent of the seats and the Red Sox 82 percent.

USA Today also failed to take into account that when the Red Sox play in New York, they’re playing in front of crowds of 55,000. When the Yankees play in Boston, they play before 36,000. So the Red Sox benefit in that exchange."
Heck yeah, Pete! Let's do the math:
  • The Red Sox are averaging 38,802 fans in 64 road games
  • That's about 2,483,328 total fans
  • The total attendance for six Red Sox/Yankees affairs in the Bronx was 329,704
  • The Red Sox' total road attendance everywhere but the Bronx was 2,153,624
  • In those 58 games, the average attendance is 37,131.
Weak! How 'bout them Yankees?
  • The Yankees are averaging 37,906 fans in 62 road games
  • That's about 2,350,172 total fans
  • The total attendance for six Yankees/Red Sox affairs in Boston was 219,905
  • The Yankees' total road attendance everywhere but tiny and charming Fenway Park was 2,130,267
  • In those 56 games, the average attendance is 38,040
Ding! So let's recap: when games in the super-huge dump known as Yankee Stadium and teeny-tiny cutesy-poo Fenway Park are taken out of the equation, the Yankees draw more road fans thatn the Red Sox. Who's "America's Team" now, Paul White? Huh? That's right. It's still the Red Sox, because Americans are weak, spineless lemmings who follow anything the media tells them to. How else would one explain the popularity of The Singing Bee?

-Rob Iracane

Jumping the Gun: Previewing the 2008 Yankees Coaches

Although the 2007 season is far from over, this Yankees fan is already looking forward to next year, the Yankees' final season in that history-filled dump at East 161st Street & River Avenue. Let's end this ridiculous exercise with the coaching staff:

  • Manager (2007): Joe Torre
  • Manager (2008): Don Mattingly
Regardless of how the Yankees finish this season, Joe Torre will not be fired. Still, his contract is up, he's put the finishing touches on his Hall of Fame resume, he's passed Casey friggin Stengel on the all time Yankee win list, and he's just fucking tired. Retire, write a book, embark on TV career, make big time bucks as a featured speaker, etcetera. He may have not always made the right moves or properly used his roster but screw you, he's Joe Torre and you're not.

So why Don Mattingly and not Joe Girardi? Because Mattingly didn't become bench coach so he could eventually be passed over by some has-been catcher who got way too much credit for a shitty team that overachieved to mediocrity. Mattingly is ready now!
  • General Manager (2007): Brian Cashman
  • General Manager (2008): Brian Cashman
C'mon, if you're a free agent and you have to decide which team to sign with, wouldn't you choose the name CASHman over the name, oh, lets say...Epstein?I have nothing to add to that hilarious statement.
  • Famous Dead Yankee (2007): Phil Rizzuto
  • Famous Dead Yankee (2008): Yogi Berra
Time's up, Yog.

-Rob Iracane

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Derek Jeter Is Dreamy

If you don't subscribe to XM Satellite Radio, you must hate baseball, or music, or both. Why must you hate baseball and/or music? Anyway, New York Yankee dreamboat and shortstop Derek Jeter was recently interviewed by Buck Martinez for XM Radio's Baseball Confidential series. I have nothing else to add. Derek Jeter is non-controversial and gives very bland interviews. He's only useful as a shortstop and a hitter and a leader and eye candy for the ladies and non-traditional males.

-Rob Iracane

Jumping the Gun: Previewing the 2008 Yankees Bullpen

Although the 2007 season is far from over, this Yankees fan is already looking forward to next year, the Yankees' final season in that history-filled dump at East 161st Street & River Avenue. Let's continue with the relief pitchers:

  • Closer (2007): Mariano Rivera
  • Closer (2008): Mariano Rivera
I'm tempted to pencil Edwar Ramirez in here. Mariano is a free agent and he's old enough to remember the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but give the guy a couple more years at $12-14 million per and we'll see where our fortunes lie.
  • Right-handed short relief (2007): Kyle Farnsworth, Luis Vizcaino, Scott Proctor, Brian Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Joba Chamberlain, amongst others
  • Right-handed short relief (2008): Kyle Farnsworth, Edwar Ramirez, Darrell Rasner/Jeff Karstens, EXCITING FREE AGENT ACQUISITION
I don't really know the difference between Rasner and Karstens. One's 27, one's 26. One broke his leg, one broke his finger. One makes $389,495, one makes $384,523. Neither is signed past this year, naturally. As for the free agent, let's take....Scott Linebrink. Sure.
  • LOOGY (2007): Mike Myers
  • LOOGY (2008): Sean Henn
Mike Myers is still the second most effective reliever for the 2007 Yankees (even as he languishes on the shitty White Sox). Unfortunately, he couldn't do the goddamned job he was hired for, getting lefties out. Fuck! This Sean Henn character probably can't do it much better but I'm flummoxed right now. If that meaningless stat known as the 'save' didn't exist, Mariano Rivera would be our LOOGY (yes, I know he throws right-handed but he does super well against lefties) and only come into high leverage situations. Oh well!

-Rob Iracane

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jorge Posada Can Cash In

As per Andy of the Stat of the Day blog at baseball-reference.com, our favorite catcher without a chin is having the best season ever by a 35-year-old catcher. Take that, Carlton Fisk! Also notable from Andy:

"I can only assume that they did not go after Teixeira because they expect to be able to resign Posada and play him largely at 1B next year (where he has appeared in 18 games previously in his career.)"
Interesting. I like this idea, as does commenter Handride.(via Bronx Banter)

-Rob Iracane

Jumping the Gun: Previewing the 2008 Yankees Rotation

Although the 2007 season is far from over, this Yankees fan is already looking forward to next year, the Yankees' final season in that history-filled dump at East 161st Street & River Avenue. Let's continue with the starting pitchers.

Here's how the 2007 rotation shaped up:

  • Chien-Ming Wang
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Mike Mussina
  • Roger Clemens
  • Kei Igawa/Phil Hughes
Here's how the 2008 rotation might look:
  • Chien-Ming Wang
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Mike Mussina
  • Joba Chamberlain
  • EXCITING FREE AGENT ACQUISITION
This assumes that Carl Pavano has been taken out behind the Stadium and shot, naturally. Andy Pettitte has an option for 2008, but it's a player option and not a team option. That being said, Pettitte knows how much we love him so he won't make the same mistake twice and leave the Yankees again. Mussina may be old and decrepit but he's due to make $11 million next year, so pencil him in. Joba Chamberlain has way too many effective pitches in his arsenal to stay in the bullpen.

So where, you might ask, is Phil Hughes? After last night, I'm too disappointed to include him right now, so I will play the part of Brian Cashman circa 2002 and make a wacky free agent signing...let's go with...Rodrigo Lopez.

-Rob Iracane

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jumping the Gun: Previewing the 2008 Yankees Outfield

Although the 2007 season is far from over, this Yankees fan is already looking forward to next year, the Yankees' final season in that history-filled dump at East 161st Street & River Avenue. Let's continue with the outfielders:

  • Right Field (2007): Bobby Abreu
  • Right Field (2008): Bobby Abreu
Who, on May 31st, would have ever thought that the Yankees might pick up Bob's $16 million option for the aught-eight season? At that point, Abreu was getting on base at a shitty .313 pace and slugging a Neifi Perezian .289; since that point he's raised both figures by 50 percent. He must have seen his his ex-wife in another porno. So you know what? We'll roll the dice on his age 34 season, only if we can get that Machado dame to keep blowing dudes on the internet.
  • Center Field (2007): Johnny Damon/Melky Cabrera
  • Center Field (2008): Melky Cabrera
Sorry Johnny. We knew it was a bad contract. Theo knew it was a bad contract. Heck, even you knew it was a bad contract. You're going to have to be traded to the Braves with some cash for a handful of prospects. On a related note, if I hear "The Melkman delivers!" one more time, I'm going to flush my XM radio down the toilet.
  • Left Field (2007): Hideki Matsui
  • Left Field (2008): Hideki Matsui
What's this bullshit about Matsui's knees I've been hearing lately? He might not be aging very gracefully, but he's one of only two Japanese imports that has been successful in New York (the other being the tons and tons of advertising money from Japanese corporations) so he'll have to suck it up and survive through the 2009 season.

Well that was boring! Fuck! I'll do the starting rotation tomorrow. Maybe I'll even think up an actual free agent from an actual DIFFERENT team.

-Rob Iracane

Jumping the Gun: Previewing the 2008 Yankees Infield

Although the 2007 season is far from over, this Yankees fan is already looking forward to next year, the Yankees' final season in that history-filled dump at East 161st Street & River Avenue. Let's start with the infielders:

  • Catcher (2007): Jorge Posada
  • Catcher (2008): Jose Molina
Look, I love Jorge as much as the next guy, and if it weren't for Derek Jeter, he'd probably be captain of this team. Still, he'll be a free agent coming off a career year so the value for the Yankees just won't be there. I'll let Posada cash in and make some coin for a few years, because I fucking care. Re-sign Jose Molina or any Molina for that matter.
  • First Base (2007): Doug Mientkiewicz, Jason Giambi, Andy Phillips, Josh Phelps, Miguel Cairo, Johnny Damon, Shelley Duncan, Shelley Winters, Lou Gehrig, Stuffy McInnis, and Santa Claus
  • First Base (2008): Doug Mientkiewicz
I'm totally gay for Dougie's glove. Giambi stays with the team as DH because, well, we can't trade him and we can't kill him.
  • Second Base (2007): Robinson Cano
  • Second Base (2008): Robinson Cano
Enough of the Rod Carew comparisons, Michael Kay. Cano is no Carew. If anything, he's a Bret Boone-type who will strive too much to hit home runs later in his career and then fizzle out. But we'll take him for now. He's only for now!
  • Third Base (2007): Alex Rodriguez
  • Third Base (2008): Alex Rodriguez
An open letter to Scott Boras: Love is a two-way street, Scotty Boy. Alex is going to get his $30 million one way or another, so let's make it nice and easy for the both of us. Extend his fucking contract so we can still get our little stipend from Tom Hicks and his team of no licks. How many more trophies and plaques and original paintings do we have to throw at your client to let him know that we LOVE him? With regards, Someone Who Has Always Cheered For A-Rod Even While Everyone Else Booed
  • Shortstop (2007): Derek Jeter
  • Shortstop (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015): Derek Jeter
He's so fucking dreamy.

Later, I'll tackle the outfielders. Not literally. I don't think I could wrap my arms around Bobby Abreu's fat legs.

-Rob Iracane

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm out!

Hey, folks. I'm going on a much needed vacation next week but sit tight. I've asked the great and powerful Rob Iracane, aka Deadspin Combudsman to watch the place while I'm gone.

Now, most of you probably don't know that Rob disagrees with pretty much everything I write. He's called me a chauvinist pig on more than one occasion. In fact, I guarantee he's coming prepared with a list of things to discredit me on while I'm gone. But that's ok. I'll right the ship when I get back.

So be good to Rob and make sure you check in next week to see what he has to say. And Rob, put the seat back down when you're done.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Youth Fighting Camps

[This article will appear on The Huffington Post as of 8/15/07]

Professional hockey player Derek Boogaard has opened the Boogaard Fighting Camp, a day camp devoted to teaching youth hockey players how to fight properly. The purpose of the camp is to teach the attendees, who range in age from 12 to 18, to learn how to effectively handle the inevitable on-ice fight. If the camp stays true to its cause, which is self defense, then it's not entirely a bad idea.
Since the inception of the camp it has drawn a mix of reviews from the public, including a good amount of outrage. Critics of the camp say that it is encouraging youth hockey players to engage in fighting, a practice that has made professional hockey popular with fans. Boogaard says it's just the opposite, that he's not urging them to fight but teaching them how to protect themselves. One could argue that it is similar to the purpose of teaching a child martial arts, which is widely used for the purpose of self defense. While the discipline of ice hockey is much different than martial arts, there is still a need to defend oneself in a fight. Learning how to do so decreases the chance of a player having to eat through a straw for four months.

If parents are taking issue with camps such as this, they need to look to a higher authority to direct their ire. Young athletes ultimately don't look to their coaches or parents to model themselves after. They look to the professionals of their sport. The struggling NHL has relied on fighting to keep their dwindling fan base interested. As long as the professional players continue to fight, the youth hockey players will follow suit.

You could argue that the youth organizations should ban the practice of fighting in hockey and that would solve the problem. However, should a young athlete want to be successful in the sport, whether in college, minor league, or professional, they need to learn how to survive all aspects of it. Currently, that includes fighting. A player who is not exposed to it at a young age is at a disadvantage later on in their athletic career.

Whether or not fighting should be tolerated in hockey is a separate issue. As long as it continues to be an accepted part of the game, we need to teach our youth players how to deal with it properly.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Getting to know SportsGirl

The boys from Ghosts of Wayne Fontes interviewed me for a post on Epic Carnival. Check it out for a glimpse into the mind of SportsGirl.

The interview was pretty long, so here are a few questions that didn't make the cut.

Ghosts: Is A-Rod going to break Bonds record?
SportsGirl: What* is* this* record* you* speak* of*?

Ghosts: Your fondest Red Sox/Yankees moment?
SportsGirl: My fondest Red Sox/Yankees moment was actually Vegas in June at Blondie’s Sports Bar watching the first game in the Yankees/Boston series and finding myself surrounded by Yankees and Red Sox fans. Halfway through the game, a Red Sox fan offered a Yankees fan $100 to eat 50 little restaurant packs of butter. And the crazy bastard did it. I’ve never been more prouder to be a Yankees fan. It wasn’t that he actually did it (because that was just plain stupid) but it was the fact that he got challenged and didn’t back down. It reminded me of the old Yankees who didn’t take crap from anyone, let alone Boston.

Ghosts: Would you say AC/DC was better when Bon Scott (Lead Singer) was alive or do you fancy their work since Brian Johnson (Lead Singer) took over?
SportsGirl: Wow, that's a tough call to make. I mean, Highway to Hell came out of the Bon Scott era and Back in Black was Brian Johnson. Those are two of the best albums ever produced. Honestly, I think the loss of Phil Rudd had a bigger impact on the band than the Scott/Johnson switch.

Ghosts: Who is the worst trash talker in [the KSK] league?
SportsGirl: You know, it's too early to tell, but I can be pretty obnoxious myself. I plan on highlighting the “Trash Talk Comment of the Week” on Strike Zones to call out the best trash talker from the week before. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 3, 2007

An Open Letter To Michael Strahan

Dear Michael,

You're being a little bitch.

I've been sitting on this contract thing for a bit. Partly because I wanted to see how it played out and partly because I just can't deal with training camp drama. It's hard enough to be a Giants fan these days.

But seriously, this is ridiculous. First of all, you're going to make Eli cry and he cries enough as it is. We've got his psyche duct taped together right now. I was hoping we'd at least make it to week 8 before he breaks like a little girl.

This not showing up to training camp crap? I'd expect that from Jeremy, but not you. You're better than that. I know it's getting tougher as you age to kick the hooker out of bed in the morning and get moving. But dammit, you gotta do what you gotta do.

And the retirement talk? It wasn't cute on Tiki and it's not cute on you. You guys need to learn to take care of that stuff in the off-season. You wanna retire? Fine. Whatever. But don't do it during the season. That's like being in bed with a woman (or Dr. Ian) and telling her mid thrust that you're breaking up with her. Sure you still get to finish, but she'll spend the rest of the time thinking about you leaving instead of fantasizing about Jeremy's tight end.

You know you're my favorite player on the team. Yours is my go-to jersey on Sundays and I always feel like a badass wearing it. Why? Because you're Michael Fucking Strahan. The animal. The legend. The man who mercilessly took down a scrambling Brett Favre to break the single season sack record. At least that's how I remember it anyway.

I guess what I'm saying is, stop whining about money and retirement and get to practice. The team needs you. Eli needs you. And dammit, I need you.

Signed,

Sports Girl

P.S. I saw your ex-wife the other day. She looks like shit. Just thought you should know.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Parents of the Year?

So this story has been in a couple of places and commented on by my far superior fellow sports bloggers (namely this guy and this guy), but you all had to know I couldn't resist a little commentary.

So little 5 year-old tennis phenom Jan Silva's parents have up and moved their family to a tennis farm so that little Jan can become the next tennis superstar. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing, or whether it qualifies as a jackass move by the parents. I mean, when I have a son one day I fully plan on tying his right arm down when he's born and making him a lefty. But this might go beyond sensibilities. Let's take a look at some quotes from the story and analyze, shall we?



"He also is the central player in an experiment that goes well beyond what most families would risk to build their child into a sports champion."
Well, right off the bat this is clearly a good thing. We have all of the key ingredients of a well-adjusted kid. Risk, child experimentation, and the desire to "build" said child into something. I'm on board so far.

"Sold our home with everything in it," says Scott, a 38-year-old social worker who played basketball at Southern Oregon University. "We're getting Jani ready for something much bigger."
Bah! Who needs possessions anyway. I'm sure the kid didn't mourn the loss of his Sponge Bob DVD's knowing that his parents had something "bigger" planned. That bike he got for Christmas? That's 4 year-old nonsense. Now that he's 5, he's ready for tennis elbow. Wait until his parents get him cuff surgery for his 9 th birthday. Best. Gift. Ever.

"The Mouratoglou Academy takes care of the Silvas' every need, including housing in a small chalet just overlooking the facility's 16 courts, meals, coaching, court time and equipment. The Silvas say they would be crazy not to take the opportunity to fulfill what they say is Jan's burning desire to play tennis."
If the kid's got a burning desire to play tennis, then it's definitely worth the sacrifice. Can you imagine having to live in a chalet without paying for rent, food, coaching or court time? I think they might be candidates for parents of the year just for toughing it out like that. I mean, do you remember that 5 year-old with the burning desire to be a rodeo champ? Of course not. Because his dickweed parents wouldn't man up and live rent free. They "thought" he'd be better off in school with his own friends. Assholes. Who the hell wants a socially well-adjusted kid? Not me.

"During his afternoon practice, Jan — in academy-provided Nike shoes and clothes — scampers around the court…"
Well, this might just do it for me. Little Jan has his first endorsement deal. It won't be long before he's swimming in logos and bathing with hookers in a bathtub full of cash. I am fully convinced that all the proper steps are being taken to ensure this kid's success. I'm fully on board with this.

"…the Silvas sold their house and two cars in Rancho Cordova, Calif., near Sacramento, and moved to France with their two other children so Jan could live and train full time."
What? They fucking moved their kids to France? France? I take it all back. That's just child abuse. I mean, this is the country that spawned a pussy military and Gerard Depardieu. Fucking frogs.

SportsGirl's verdict: Parental Dick Move of the Year