Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mariano Rivera, Mr. Sandman?

According to my dad, the Yankee closer should consider changing his entrance music.

When Mo came out of the bullpen in the eighth inning tonight, I crowed, "Enter Sandman!" My dad looked at me weirdly, so I explained: "That's the song that's playing. Enter Sandman. You know, cuz he's lights out?"

If you've never heard it, this is it:



It's awesome. It totally pumps you up for the closer.

Anyway, my dad goes, "Enter Sandman? I know that song." And then proceeded to sing this:



Yeah. I kid you not.

While I can pretty much guarantee Rivera would be the only closer in baseball with that theme music, Mr. Sandman is striking fear in the hearts of no one.

Mr. Sandman? It's just Sandman to you.... :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yankees back on top...I love this game!

The Yanks just won their 27th World Series championship! I don't think I have to tell you that I am beyond psyched, that this was the perfect ending to what was a fantastic season. I have more to say about the Series and this game, but for tonight let me just say:

*congrats to those guys who came to the Yankees to win a championship this past decade and finally made it

*congrats to the core four who waited 9 years to be on top again (and add to that Joe Girardi, who won a couple of rings as catcher and now has his first as manager)

*congrats to the new guard, those young players who the Yankees have finally put their faith in who will hopefully carry on the legacy in the coming years once the core four are gone...

*it's nice that there's a bridge of players from the old days to now, that it's been long enough since their last championship that most of the players are new, but not long enough that it's a completely different team from the dynasty of the 1990s.

*the Phillies put up a good fight (though tonight it kinda felt like they gave up...even if it's just a little bit, it can do you in), but you took the Series to six and it was the first time in years I felt the two teams were well matched (as well as both deserving of being in the Series)...

*and a special congrats to Chase Utley (yes, a Philly!) for his powerful offense and contributions to how well the Phillies played. They named a lot of stats and records he tied and most of them were stupid and meaningless, but he tied Reggie Jackson for hitting 5 homers in a Series and he should be proud that he gave the Phillies a chance.

*and also to Philly pitcher Cliff Lee, who completely dominated on the mound and was by far the best pitcher, out of both teams, in this series. You also gave your team a fighting chance. It's just too bad they didn't clone ya.

It's midnight, so good night for now!

Bottom of the 5th, Yanks up 7-1

Just a thought as the Yankees are beating up on the Phils (knocked Pedro out in the 4th - why aren't their starters starting to warm up in the bullpen yet? This game is do-or-die for the Phils...), and I hate to pick on the current Philly pitcher, J. A. Happ, because he is quite adorable, but if your initials are J and A, and you want to be known as "Jay," then why not just use the J? No where in the English language does "J. A." spell "Jay." (Yes, J. A. Happ pronounces his name Jay Happ...) Does he not like the way J. Happ looks? Cuz I think it looks kinda snazzy. But no, first of all, when you insist on pronouncing "J. A." as Jay, nobody will ever pronounce your name right - not announcers in other ballparks, not fans of other teams at home, not the morons commenting on the game on tv. "J. A." can be pronounced Ja. Stupid. Or Ya if you're German (yes). Or Ha if you're Spanish. Which might be the most appropriate, cuz it is kinda funny...

I love that the Yanks are winning, especially behind Pettitte, but I kinda wish the Phils would put up a fight...

World Series, Game 6 - Pettitte v. Martinez

This is a showdown I love, between two old warhorses. I expected Philly to win behind Cliff Lee yet again Monday night, and it's been great to see these teams, for the most part, evenly matched, but as a Yankee fan I feel good about tonight...we're back home, we have veteran Pettitte on the mound - love him! - and even if Pedro's on his game, which he sometimes is, all we hafta do is be patient, work the count, get him to 100 pitches, and get to the bullpen. Most pitchers nowadays are on pitch counts but Pedro is the only pitcher I've ever seen break down like clockwork at 100 pitches. Without fail. Every. Single. Time. It's pretty effing cold out. As awesome and electric as the atmosphere at the Stadium will be tonight, I'm glad I'll be watching from the warmth of my living room.

Being here actually still feels so surreal. As a Yankee fan, I got so used to winning World Series, and then just being in the World Series, and then not being in the World Series. It feels weird to be back. And exciting. My Yanks of the last five years did not deserve to be here. But this team does. And they deserve to win it too. But whether they win tonight or win tomorrow, it should be exciting.

Phils have to win tonight to force a Game 7. If the Yanks win, they win.

1 1/2 hours till game time...can't wait!!

100 Days till Vancity

Winter Olympics, Vancouver, on NBC.

What's your favorite winter Olympic sport? As a girl, I admit I kinda enjoy the ice skating. Anyone who can land those kinda jumps on ice skates is amazing...this from a girl who can't even stand up on skates (despite a skating class in which I was both the oldest and worst skater...anyway...). But any event where there's a charismatic athlete or compelling story - Dan Jansen? - or even a great name - Pecabo Street? Apolo Anton Ohno? - can draw my attention. Wonder what it'll be this year...

100 days! See ya then!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Split Series: Going back to Philly...

The next game of the World Series takes place this All Hallow's Eve (Halloween. On Saturday). The Phils and Yanks find themselves tied with 1 win apiece. The next 3 games will be in Philly territory. Cliff Lee pitched a phenomenal gem Game 1. Mark Texeira found his swing in Game 2, at the same time that the brilliant A.J. Burnett showed up (you never know which Burnett you'll get). Who knows what Game 3 will have in store?

Watch it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Found it!: Mac sends a love letter to Chase Utley

Okay, in this clip, Dee is trying to figure out which Philly she's going to try to kiss when she runs out onto the field while Dennis and Charlie are distracting security by getting into a fight. Her first thought is Shane Victorino, here she thinks maybe Ryan Howard, but Mac tries to convince her it has to be Chase Utley, and there's a really good reason why, ha ha ha...








This is Chase Utley...can you blame Mac? :)






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Baseball fan alert: World Series Game One tonight

Game 1, Phillies v. Yanks at Yankee Stadium, 7:57 p.m. on Fox. It's possible there will be a rain delay as it's been torrential downpours here on Long Island all day but I heard the weather's supposed to clear by tonight, so I've got my fingers crossed.

There's a clip from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show on FX, that I'm looking for because this past week's episode was called "The World Series Defense" and it takes place in 2008 when the Phillies were playing in the World Series (they're defending champions) and the gang is trying to get into the game. With the Phillies in the Series again, starting this week, this ep was perfectly timed. This show usually makes me laugh, but it had me totally cracking up, and though I'm a diehard Yankee fan as we all know, the gang as Phillies fans and all the Phillies jokes and even the Phillies love (gotta respect that - Rob McElhenney, the main co-creator behind the show, was born and raised in Philadelphia) was hilarious. There's one part in particular that I'm looking for. If I can find it, I'll post it. Meanwhile...

Watch the game!

Go Yanks!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Mets Dilemma

I think that should be the unofficial name of the 2009 World Series. Any self-respecting Mets fan cannot, in good faith, root for the Phillies. That would be like Obama rooting for Osama.

Well, probably not quite that serious. (Tell that to a Mets fan.)

At the same time, Mets fans pride themselves on being New Yorkers who don't root for the Yankees. The Yankees might not be their mortal enemy, but when it comes to the Yanks, there is no love lost.

So for Mets fans, the dilemma is who to root for. Do you boycott the Series altogether? Not an option if you're a true baseball fan? Do you hope the MLB suddenly changes the rules so that it's entirely possible that neither team could win? It's worth wishing for, I guess. But I implore all you Mets fans, as New Yorkers first and foremost, to let your New York pride lead your decision. For once, if even for just a moment, we can all be on the same team and root for the same team, at the top of our obnoxiously fabulous and awesome lungs that *New York* beats Philadelphia come this November.

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!!

And then there were two...

Yankees won the AL pennant last night, beating the Angels 5-2, taking 4 out of six games. Wednesday the World Series will open at Yankee Stadium against the Phillies, a team I expect to put up much more of a fight than either the Angels or the Twins. The Twins were out of their league, lucky just to be a part of the postseason. The Angels, normally Yankee-killers, repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with a slew of errors. The Phillies, I think, will make the Yankees work to win it. And if it goes to seven games, I'll probably be about ready to have a heart attack, but the World Series is a snooze when one team is outmatched and gets swept in four. As long as my team comes out on top in the end, I'll take the exciting nailbiter instead.

Last night tho it was fitting that Andy Pettitte was the starting pitcher, Jorge Posada caught the game, and Mariano Rivera got the save. Those three, along with Derek Jeter, are the only current Yankees left from the 1996-2000 World Series-winning era...boys, lets show these newbies how it's done!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baseball and stale Chips - Eric Wilbur's Sports Blog - Boston.com

Baseball and stale Chips - Eric Wilbur's Sports Blog - Boston.com

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Just because I hate sports commentators in general with their inane, stupid comments because God forbid there be nothing but ambient sounds of the game for a few seconds...I actually had to turn the sound completely off during one of the baseball games this week because Chip Caray's commentary brought me dangerously close to throwing the remote through my dad's new television set.

Anyway, glad to see it's not just me.

3 down, 1 to go...

We have three baseball teams moving on to the next round - the Dodgers, the Angels, and the Yankees (woo hoo!...). Tonight the Phillies and Rockies are playing a game they were supposed to play the other day that got postponed due to snow... I love winter, but I don't think I could live someplace where it snowed in early October. Beautiful fall weather, woo hoo!!

Anyway, Rockies-Phils, currently tied at 4 in the 6th inning, tied in the series 1-1. They'll be the only series that's not a sweep and that will go to a game 4, but tonight is still an important game, as it will put one team ahead and one game closer to the next round. I'm rooting for the Rockies for several reasons:

1. New York solidarity. Mets fans hate the Phillies. Many Mets fans hate Yankee fans, but us New York fans have to stick together. Phillies, boo!

2. I have cousins who live in Colorado. I identify with teams in all ways and manners, and knowing people in the vicinity is one way it works, so extra fandom extends to the Rockies.

3. Every series needs an underdog. There may be some argument that the Angels sweeping the Red Sox is an example of a victorious underdog, but the Angels deserve their spot in the next round. They've been one of the premiere teams throughout the season, and only their inability to ever beat Boston in the postseason earns them the title of underdog - in fact, I'm extremely worried about the Yankees facing them in this next round, which means they aren't exactly underdogs. The Phillies are defending World Series champs, so let's get those Rockies in to the next round - all new blood!

And just cuz I wouldn't be a Yankee fan without mentioning it, congrats to New York for making it to the ALCS for the first time since 2004...although it started being weird to not get to the World Series at the beginning of the 2000s, it's now kinda weird to make it beyond the ALDS...so this is pretty exciting. And even though they swept the Twins, congrats to Minnesota for making the Yankees work for their victories and making them earn their spot in the ALCS. Some teams, no matter how good, just end up rolling over, but the Twins put up a fight and made it a sweep that actually kept me on the edge of me seat and that was actually fun to watch...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why you never stop watching...

...I fell asleep during the Yankees-Twins game Friday night and when I woke up, it was the 9th inning and the Twins were up 3-1. For a brief second, I contemplated that quite probably the Yanks would be traveling to Minnesota with a series tied 1-1. But as the saying goes, it ain't over till it's over. And I know it happens to all teams in all sports, but I've found it to be especially true with the Yankees. There was one year, sometime back in the late 90s or early 00s, that I would go to bed, frustrated and angry, with the Yankees down, and wake to find that they had ended up winning. Not surprisingly, the Yankees tied it up Friday in the bottom of the 9th. Surprisingly, it was A-Rod who did it. Looks like somebody has found his October swing. And then Mark Texeira, a new Yankee this year and possibly my new favorite, won it in the 11th with a walk-off homerun. You just never know. In a game, in a series - it's never over till it's over. Right now, both the Cardinals and the Red Sox are down in their series 2-0. Both are on the brink. The Red Sox know better than anyone that you can be on the brink of elimination every single game until not only are you not, but you come out on top, victorious. And there are never any foregone conclusions. The Red Sox sent out their 1-2 aces, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, who were supposed to pretty much ensure two wins and both games resulted in losses. I wasn't sure A.J. Burnett could deliver for the Yankees on Friday and he kinda didn't, but they still won. In football, they talk about "any given Sunday." Any team can win on any given Sunday. You just don't know. So you can shut off your tv in frustration or feeling like you've gotten the game in your pocket, or leave the ballpark cuz there's no way you're team can come back and win it or no way they can give it up and lose it, and then wake up in the morning and find out you were completely wrong. That's why it's always exciting, and that's why, you never, ever stop watching...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

End of the worst. Streak. Ever.

Well, I guess it's not the worst streak ever. Those Cubs fans are still itching for a World Series title. But last night, after going 0 for 29 in the postseason (that goes all the way back to 2004, people), Alex Rodriguez finally got a postseason hit. And then just to prove it wasn't a fluke, he got another.

Welcome to October, A-Rod.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Let's go Yankees, let's go!

That's it. I think the post headline expresses everything I need to say right now...

Oh, except the first results are in. Phils over Rockies, 5-1. Boo! (That would be me booing, not trying to act like a ghost...)

Sometimes players don't suck, they're just on the wrong team: Carl Pavano

Ok, I just had to put this out there, that I am constantly amazed how a player can be mediocre to downright bad on one team, get traded to another, and suddenly look like he belongs at the professional level again.

I use Carl Pavano as an example. He played for the Yankees for 4 seasons and in that time, made only 26 starts (one of which I was actually in the stands to see...lucky me) ... I think some fans forgot he was even on the team.

In any case, he now pitches for the Twins and has gone 14-9. That's not fantastic, but it's pretty decent. It's also only 3 fewer games in one season in Minnesota than in 4 seasons total in New York, so right there, that's a marked improvement.

I guess it's not completely insane, that a player could be on the "wrong" team, especially when that team is a New York team. Some players are just not cut out for New York - not the team expectations, not the media scrutiny, and not the fan expectations. As phenomenal a player as they might be, they might always be a fish out of water in New York. Randy Johnson is another example. Awesome pitcher who became just okay on the Yankees and who, you could tell, realized too late he didn't really want to be here.

Anyway, I always inexplicably liked Pavano, even when he was our number one benchwarmer and always liked to see him do well, so I'm glad to see he's earning his money in a more productive and winning fashion on a right team than he did on the wrong one.

As the postseason begins, who to root for?

I should clarify that headline. I will, of course, be rooting for the Yankees. But while the Yanks are taking on the Twins in the first round of play (starting tonight - well, this afternoon really), there are a bunch of other first round series going on as well. During the playoffs, I like to catch as many of the other games as possible so I know who my team might (hopefully) be up against in the next round and the World Series.

If you're a regular baseball fan, you get to know the players on the teams your team tends to play a lot - for that reason, in this first round of postseason play, I'm fairly familiar with most of the Red Sox and the Angels, and just out of love for Joe Mauer, I'm fairly familiar with the Twins as well. I never watch National League play so I'm less familiar with those teams in the running - a few of the Rockies I know from their World Series run a couple of years back, and I know Manny Ramirez is on the Dodgers and Albert Pujols is on the the Cardinals and Ryan Howard is on the Phillies (actually, to be honest, out of New York-based solidarity fandom with the Mets, I'm familiar with more than a few players on their nemesis team, the Phillies).

Anyway, the point is, you know what to expect from certain players both on your team and other teams, as well as what to expect from your team against certain teams. So when you're watching these other playoff teams, you have to figure out who to root for to make it to the next round to be the best matchup for your team to make it all the way.

Since I'm more in tune with the AL, let's focus on that for now. The last time the Yankees were in the playoffs, I think it was coming down to the wire as to whether they or the Red Sox would come in first in the AL East - the other would come in as the wild card. This was 2007. That year, the Yanks got in as the wild card team, which I was actually optimistic about, because it meant they would play the Tigers and not the Yankee-owning Angels in the first round. Sigh of relief breathed.

Of course, the Tigers knocked the Yankees out in that first round. Major grumbling ensued.

No scrappy Tigers this season. Scrappy Twins instead. But the Yanks beat the Twins 7-0 in games this year, so fingers crossed that the Yanks will dominate.

In other games, the Angels might own the Yankees (usually), but in the postseason, Angel ownage (usually) goes to the Red Sox. Whenever they meet up in the postseason, the Red Sox prevail. Which is good news for the Yanks, should both teams prevail in the first round. Boston might have owned the Yankees at the beginning of the year, but the Yankees had their number enough to pretty much even up the series and own them the second half of the year.

But, this year the Angels started playing differently, which might mean they could beat the Red Sox this time around. Boo!

But we like when the Red Sox get beat...yay!

But whatever the Angels are doing to play differently this year, the Yanks have started to figure them out and have actually won some late season games against them...yay!

But Red Sox-Yankee baseball is, in my humble opinion, the best kind of baseball there is...

But I really can't will myself to root for the Red Sox, at all, even if it means them beating the Angels...boo!

As for the National League (yeah, I'm going back to that), I'm gonna root for the Rockies. When I don't really know the teams, I always go with the underdog. And while Colorado isn't the underdog they were when they made it to the World Series last time, they're still the scrappiest and least-likely team out of the NL bunch. Plus, I think the Yankees could kill them in the World Series...

And while I'm talking about who to root for, let me add that on the Yankees themselves, I'm rooting for players like Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, who have had at best questionable stuff in October and at worst, no stuff at all, to finally figure themselves out. And for young up-and-comers like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain to prove that the Yankees are on the right track with developing young homegrown talent instead of spending the GNP of a small nation on a fading superstar to bolster their line-up and bullpen.

Let the postseason begin...may the best team win!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Congrats to the Twins, AL Central champions!

The Twins just beat the Tigers in a nailbiter of a nearly 5 hour game, 6-5 in the 12th inning. No doubt that both of these teams wanted it bad. One team has to lose, but when both teams put all their heart and soul into playing the game and in trying to come out on top, that's the kind of game you wanna watch. I can't remember the last time I watched an entire baseball game without the distraction of a book or computer, much less a game that went into extra innings, much less a game that featured neither the Mets nor the Yankees...

I'd like to give a special shout-out to Rick Porcello, the Tigers' starting pitcher, who left the game in the sixth inning with a 3-2 lead, who pitched a gem of a game, this 20 year old rookie who looked like a veteran on the mound, and even though it was a game his team ultimately lost, I'm looking forward to watching him pitch against the Yankees next season.

Speaking of the Yankees...the Twins have a date with them in New York at 6 pm tomorrow. Their players are going to be beat. Their bullpen is going to be in tatters. I don't know how they're even going to show up on the field. But as of this moment, after cheering out loud, embarrassingly loud, in my living room, when the Twins won, my allegiance switches firmly back to my Yanks. I am going to enjoy watching at least three games with my Joe Mauer on the field - the Yanks don't play the Twins an awful lot, so at least three games against them and him in a row will be a treat, but when it comes down to it, I'm cheering "Let's go, Yankees!"

But for tonight, anyway, I cheer for the Twins... :)

Joe Mauer stealing signs - cheating or another example of what an awesome, all-around ball player he is?



Ok, obviously the headline of this post tips you as to which one I think it is, but stealing signs in baseball is not illegal. Pitchers will inadvertantly tip their pitches to both hitters and runners all the time. One team will try to read another team's signs to tell if a steal is on or a hit and run, leading to pitchouts. It's part of the game, trying to outmaneuver the other team. It's not like the Twins had a guy on the sidelines or in the stands figuring out Laird's signs and relaying them to the Twins. It was a player in the game who was savvy enough to figure out what was going on and use it to his advantage. And in my humble opinion, one, if you're a good enough baseball player that you can figure out the other team's signs, tip them to the batter, and still pay enough attention to your own game so that you don't get picked off and you're ready to run as soon as that ball is in play, that doesn't make you a cheater, that makes you a better ball player. And two, in the case of Verlander and Laird, if you have Joe Mauer on second, one of the best catchers in the game today in full sight of the pitches you're calling and you don't think he's going to figure it out and/or you don't do anything to try to keep it from him, then you deserve to have your signs stolen.

Go Twins!

Fantasy baseball: still in the running

So, up until this week, all four of my fantasy baseball teams were kicking ass. And then the Yankees decided to stop trying and my point totals went into the toilet.

So, three of my teams were eliminated. But one has made it to the next round...go me!

Once the playoffs start, the style of play in my fantasy league changes. You no longer have players and get points for those players (how could you, since many of them are not on postseason teams?) Instead, you try to string together the longest streak by picking one team to win each day. If your team wins, your streak continues. If your team loses, your streak starts over again from 0. So from here on out, it really becomes a game of luck. I mean, you know who the favored teams are and who the underdogs are, but upsets happen all the time in sports. Any team could win on any given day. My picks will probably be Yankee heavy. But sometimes other teams will have an ace of a pitcher on the mound and I may have to go with them. We'll see. I wish I was playing with four chances to win, but one shot at the grand prize is better than no shot, right?

The baseball regular season is over...except not quite yet

As is wont to happen every now and then, even after 162 games, two teams in the same division end up with the same exact record. Such is the case with this year's Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Every other team in the postseason is set to go, some starting tomorrow, except the Twins/Tigers. Oh, and the Yankees, who will be playing whichever team comes out on top.

The Twins and Tigers take each other on tonight at 5 pm Eastern time in a tiebreaker game to see who makes it to the postseason. The good news is it looks like the game will be shown on TBS, so even if you live out of market (like me), you should be able to catch the action. If you're still at work at 5, follow it on MLB.com.

We all know who I'll be rooting for...silent cheer for that team!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mauer Power!

Ok, anyway who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I am an unabashed Yankees fan.

I have more than a soft spot, however, for the Twins.

It all stems from Joe Mauer, of course. If you read this blog, you know about my not so secret love affair with Minnesota's home-grown golden boy. But tonight, the Twins tied the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central race. That's it...that's pretty much the only race left. We know the Dodgers and the Phillies are gonna make it, but the question still remains whether the Twins or the Tigers will make it to the postseason.

I am a huge Joe Mauer fan. Besides Derek Jeter, and possibly even in front of, he might be my favorite player playing today. In baseball. Or in any sport. Besides that, one of my best friends moved to Minnesota several years ago and so I have so ties and affinity to the team and region. There are so many fly-over, middle-states I don't care about, but Minnesota is not one of them...

Anyway, in the last week, the Tigers have been fading, and the Twins have been surging. The worst part is, of course, that should the Twins outlast the Tigers, they'll face the Yankees in the first round, and we all know where my loyalties lie when it comes down to that. If Joe Mauer and I are meant to be, he'll love me in spite of my Yankees loyalty...

Still, even though I'll be hoping for a first round ouster, I'm hoping for a few more days of Twins action in the post-season. I wear my Derek Jeter shirt with pride, but I wear my Joe Mauer shirt with equal pride... homegrown boys represent!

Mauer Power! :)

Jets fans, welcome to Freeport...



I just noticed this this week, that Ocean Avenue, the street around the block from me, has been ceremoniously renamed "D'Brickashaw Ferguson Way." I've spoken of Brick before. He was a friend of my sister's in junior high and high school - I remember taking my sister to her first day of junior high and speaking with him in the hallway.

He's an offensive starter for the Jets now. And the Jets are doing really well. So, having grown up on Ocean, around the block from where we live, I guess it's only appropriate that we acknowledge our current "hometown hero." My sister says he may be getting a little too full of himself. I'm not sure I wouldn't if I was also in his shoes. Anyway, it's the Jets. And they're rockin'. So Brick is rockin'. Hence Ocean, "D'Brickashaw Way" is rockin'...

Can't wait till they name a street after me... :)

J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!

(Go, Giants!) :)

Hockey

I think I may have written this before, but with hockey season starting again, I thought I'd just remind people that you're probably not gonna read a lot about hockey in here. I don't watch hockey. I don't get hockey. I've been to one hockey game in my life and I didn't really watch it. I dated a guy a few years ago who was totally into hockey and when he stopped calling me back, I cheered, both to myself and out loud, when the NHL went on strike about a month later (I know, a little evil...still don't care). Anyway, that's probably the most attention I've ever paid to hockey.

Sometimes you get drawn into a sport cuz of your dad. Sometimes cuz of a brother. Sometimes you may have played that sport in a PAL league when you were little. Sometimes a team does well and you jump on the bandwagon. Sometimes there's a cute player. And sometimes, you get into a sport to impress a guy. It's okay, we can say it. It's not how you get into a sport that's important. I do know a couple of guys who are into hockey. The Rangers' Henrik Lundquist is super hot. I just don't understand the game and I don't have anyone to explain it to me. If you can explain it to me, then I'll try to watch a game. Till then, I'm gonna stick to the sports I know. But that could always change. And I'll be sure to let you know if it does...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who are these people?

If you've been watching baseball, you may have noticed lately that the teams you've been watching just don't look the same - the players you've gotten used to are not the players now taking the field.

This is what happens at the tail end of the season. For a team like the Yankees, who clinched the AL East and homefield advantage over the weekend, these games no longer matter in making the postseason. So they can sit their Jeters and their ARods, give them a chance to rest up and/or heal in time for the postseason, and give their recent minor-league call-ups or bench players a chance to shine, or at least see what it feels like to play at the major league level.

This is the time of year when a player like Ramiro Pena, who spent most of the year in the minor league and some time on the bench, gets a chance to hit his first major-league home run, which he did last night against Kansas City. This is the time of year when we welcome back Shelley Duncan, who tears it up in Triple A and who has a powerful major league bat but is just not quite good enough to make the Yankee roster full time during the regular season...although with injuries and retirements and trades, you never know when there's gonna be another opening.

Anyway, if you're watching baseball because you like the way ARod looks in his tight pants - don't worry, he'll be back to playing full time as soon as the postseason begins. So either take a break from the action for the next week, or see if any of these other guys might have something to offer...

PS The Tigers and Twins are playing a doubleheader. This is one of the only races left in baseball till the postseason, so if you want some potentially nailbiting action, this is where it's at. Plus, Joe Mauer, arguably the most talented and best looking guy in baseball right now - so this series has it all. If you don't get it on TV, follow these games online, ya dig?

I think it goes without saying who I'm rooting for, but I'll say it anyway - Mauer Power!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good news and bad news

The bad news is whereas last Sunday all the games lined up perfectly, this Sunday every single game was at 1 - Jets, Giants, Yankees. Oh, and on top of it all, I had to work, so I missed everything.

The good news is all my teams won, so now both football teams are starting the season 3-0 and the Yankees clinched both the AL East and homefield advantage. So, kudos all around. Wish I coulda seen some of it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back to form

Enough of this not making it to the postseason crap from last year. Last night, a Ranger loss or a Yankee win was all that was necessary for the Yankees to clinch at least a wild card spot in the postseason, and by (just barely) beating the Angels, they secured that spot.

These West Coast games really kill me, though. Staying up till 1 on a worknight because the game is tied at 5 in the 8th inning does not make me a happy camper in the morning. Coming out on top helps a little. Thank god for an early game today (12:30 their time, 3:30 ours), but the fact that the Yankees still haven't figured out the Angels, or at best have just barely figured them out occasionally, worries me for the postseason. Angels, Yanks, Boston will definitely be in. AL Central is still a race between first place Detroit and the Twins right on their heels.

We all know I'm biased. I'm kinda rooting for the Twins.

Mauer Power!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sports metaphors a la The Office: A little something fun for a Tuesday morning...

Enough about actual sports for a minute. I was so tired and discouraged last night that I fell asleep before the end of the Yankee game anyway. The following is from the season 2 episode of "The Office" called "Boys and Girls" when Jan, from corporate, gives a "women in the workplace" seminar to the women of the office, in which she explains sports metaphors used in the workplace that may or may not be familiar to the women. I always laugh, although it is the delivery, particularly Mindy Kaling as Kelly, that truly sells this scene for me. Anyway, enjoy!

Jan Levinson-Gould: Sports metaphors are one of the ways women feel left out of the language of the office. Now, I know this might sound silly, but many women ask to go over it. So, fumble means…

Phyllis: Mistake.

Meredith: Slip.

Jan Levinson-Gould: Right. Par for the course is a golf term. It means right on track. Uh, below par means worse. Wait, that should mean better. That doesn’t make sense.

Kelly Kapoor: What about second base? Like, if Michael said he got to second base with you? Does that mean you, like, closed a deal?

Jan Levinson-Gould: Excuse me?

Kelly Kapoor: I mean, that’s a baseball term, right?

Jan Levinson-Gould: I don’t know what… Michael was… talking about, I don’t know.

Kelly Kapoor: [turns to the camera and winks]

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fantasy baseball playoffs begin!

So, I play fantasy baseball on MLB.com. You can have up to five teams. This year I had four. Last year I did really poorly because all my teams were Yankee-heavy, and the Yanks just sucked up one side and down the other. This year, my teams are still Yankee-heavy, but because, despite evidence to the contrary this week, the Yankees are doing well this season, all four of my teams made it to the postseason, which begins today.

It adds another layer of being invested in the season, and it kinda helps you learn who some of the other major players in the MLB are - or, if you're teams completely suck, who they're not. My teams go heavy on Joe Mauer, too, obviously, as well as other AL players, since I'm more familiar with players and teams the Yankees actually play against. Not complaining about having Albert Pujols on one of my rosters though. Never get to see him play unless the Cards make it to the postseason, but arguably the best player in baseball today.

Although I'm still captain of Team Mauer. Don't tell Jeter...

Manning to Manningham to Manninghamton...

...just kidding. There's no Manninghamton. Though if there were a third part of an offensive (that's a play by the offense, not a play meant to offend) play by the NY Giants, they might have to hire someone with a third syllable added on to the Manning - Manningham name just to make it super awesome...

The Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football tonight with four seconds on the clock. This inaugural game at the new Cowboy's stadium between these archrivals was exactly the kind of game you hope for - nailbiting, edge-of-your-seat, changing leads, great plays, lucky plays, etc. etc. - as long as your team comes out on top. Which mine did. Anyway, a lot of the credit for the win goes to Eli Manning's passes and Mario Manningham's receptions. Steve Smith also played a large role, and I urge him to consider changing his name to Steve Manninghamton to complete the pattern. Steve Manninghamly would also be acceptable.

Congrats also go to the New York Jets, who beat the New England Patriots - defensively in the first half, and offensively with some great plays by rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez finally stepping up in the second half.

No comment on my Yanks, who are doing everything in their power for some reason to keep from reaching 100 wins this season...I never wrote that I thought they could do it, so I couldn't have jinxed it...stop settling! Boston has stepped up their game. You don't have to kill yourselves, but strike some kind of fear in the hearts of your opponents. There's no excuse for losing to the Mariners. No offense, Seattle.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A sportscentric perfect storm

Today is the perfect sports-watching day for me. It couldn't have turned out more perfectly. Jets at 1. Yankees at 4. Giants at 8. The Eli Manning Super Bowl jersey has already been donned. Let the games begin!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A few days late but congrats to Jeter...

...for passing Lou Gehrig's Yankee hit record. It happened Friday night. The game was delayed more than two hours because of rain, which actually worked to my benefit as i was driving out east to the North Fork of Long Island for the finale of my month-long birthday celebration. The rain delay gave me enough time to get there and get to a Friday's for dinner where I was able to watch Derek get his record breaking hit. I had my Derek Jeter shirt on in support of him and the bar was full of Yankee fans, so that when he got his single, everyone in the place started clapping and cheering, which was kinda fun. As with most sports, a lot of the fun is in the atmosphere, in being around other people who are having fun and enjoying the game, too, so it was nice that that's how it went down, even though the Yanks ended up losing to the Orioles.

So, a late congrats to Derek Jeter for his new record and for doing it in a year when the Yankees have, for the first time in many years, a very real shot at making it back to the World Series...

Fingers crossed, knock on wood! :)

NFL Week One: A good day for New York teams

This weekend was the finale of my month-long 30th birthday celebration so I'll man up and admit that until noon today, I forgot there would be football games on this afternoon - I know, I'm a terrible fan! But I was home in time watch both the Jets and the Giants and neither game disappointed.

The Jets have a new head coach, Rex Ryan, and a rookie quarterback, Mark Sanchez. I wouldn't say there's been controversy over both, but I will say there's been a lot of off-season discussion about how both will fare. If the rest of the season is like today's game, it seems they'll be okay. Sanchez was completing passes like it's his job - oh wait, it is! - but there's something exciting about watching someone, especially a very young newbie someone, play a smooth, well executed game. It's almost like a beautifully choreographed dance. Or some other disgustingly poetic and girly comparison, ha ha...

I would say the Giants game was not quite as smooth, although they also came away with a victory...Eli Manning is looking more and more like his brother every day, and Steve Smith is the player who particularly stood out today with some outstanding catches on the field.

I watched the Jets game with my dad. He's a huge Jets fan. I'm more of a Giants fan, as is made evident by the two (yes, two) Eli Manning jerseys I own - I don't wear them at any time except Sundays during the football season, but one is a Super Bowl XLII edition. The other, according to my dad, is "not a Giant's jersey" as it's got powder blue lettering and sparkles on it, so I explained to him that it's a girl's jersey and that he's lucky I didn't get the pink one. But I love my girl's jersey anyway...um, and apparently he didn't know I root for the Giants, even though it's been two seasons since I jumped on that bandwagon. Dad, now you know! ... but I appreciate all teams New York, so I enjoy watching the Jets with my dad. He explains all the things I don't understand - and there are still a lot of things I don't understand about the game, so I ask tons of questions - plus, he always has snacks! :)

Next week - Jets v. Patriots and Giants v. Cowboys. Should be good!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New NFL season starts tonight

Just to show how out of touch I can still be even when it comes to sports I watch, I was totally taken by surprise to learn that a new NFL season starts this week. The majority of the games will, as per usual, be played on Sunday, but it's the Steelers versus the Titans, which sounds like it should be a pretty good game.

For those of you who are Yankee fans, they're not playing tonight, so you might wanna check it out. Or you may want to watch the series premiere of The Vampire Diaries on the CW...but that's a whole other post for a whole other blog ;) ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

if you're not a contender, you're a spoiler

At this point of the baseball season, teams are getting eliminated from the playoff race right and left. In the opinion of some, elimination makes their games meaningless and the players have nothing to play for.

Not true.

Yes, teams that have been eliminated don't have the playoffs to play for, but they get to play spoiler to those teams that still are in the race. These spoilers can make or break the postseason for other teams. The Yankees all but have the AL East wrapped up, but the Red Sox, while in the Wild Card lead, are being closely trailed by the Rangers. Two or three losses can make all the difference in that race, and who can make that happen? The teams they play, even those teams that have no hope of the postseason.

Now, I'm not saying that, say, the Orioles should sit there and consider whether they want to play hard or lackadaisically based on whether or not they want a certain team to have a better or worse chance in making the postseason...but it would certainly be interesting if they did!

2,721 down, 1 to go...

Derek Jeter tied Lou Gehrig tonight for the most hits ever by a Yankee.

The past couple of days saw Jeter go 0 for 12 before finally getting 3 hits tonight. And though he failed to surpass the record tonight, the season isn't over. And Jeter's career isn't over either.

If you know nothing about baseball, you know the name Lou Gehrig. Possibly simply because of its association with ALS, the degenerative disease that forced Gehrig's early retirement and eventually killed him. But Gehrig is one of the game's greats. And in a baseball era of greed, cheating, and individual fame-seeking, it's nice to see Gehrig's record tied and probably broken by the team player and class act that is Jeter. Plus, in a season where Boston has, yet again, let me down by failing to make the AL East more than a one-team race (if there's only one team in the running, is it even a race?), Jeter's chasing of Gehrig's record adds a little buzz and excitement to an otherwise unnewsworthy coasting to the regular season finish line.

The Yankees have an off day tomorrow, so I'll wish Jeter good luck for the game on Friday, and since I'll be on a mini vacation to the North Fork, I'll hope that I can find a bar with a tv so I can watch Yankee history unfold! :)