Monday, December 31, 2012

Happily leaving 2012 behind (at least when it comes to NY sports)

What a thoroughly disappointing and anti-climactic years for New York sports. We should probably call it the Year of the Letdown. This sports fan is worn out from all the stomping my heart went through as I supported teams who obviously didn't want to win as badly as I wanted them to win. It can be discouraging and sad when you have more intensity and heart than the players who are actually PAID to have, you know, intensity and heart.

2012 started off great, sports-wise. The New York Giants once again lorded over the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. A New York victory is always sweet, but sticking it to Tom Brady is always sweeter.

Alas, Super Bowl XLVI was technically part of the 2011 NFL season. Whether or not you think it counts for 2012, it was all down hill from there.

The New York Rangers actually finished first in the NHL Eastern Conference to make it to the Stanley Cup playoffs this past spring - woo hoo! A reason to actually watch hockey and maybe finally learn what this game is all about. They made it all the way to the conference finals - one step short of the Stanley Cup Finals - only to be eliminated by the New Jersey Devils. ::Sigh:: Guess this fan girl won't be becoming a hockey fan anytime soon (especially since the NHL lockout that occurred over the off season has kept hockey fans in a permanent off season for the 2012-2013 non-season.)

The New York Mets turned in a now-typical disappointing season. I don't even know where they fell in the final standings. The Yankees showed some signs of life, taking advantage of a less-than lackluster Red Sox team and winning, yet again, the American League East. I even went to more Yankee games this year than I have in forever - four or five I think - and as it turns out, I was bringing my daughter (and future female sports fan!) in utero to several of those games...but alas, even though the Yanks won the AL East, just as they do every year, they rolled over and played dead, as they do every year, once they faced the Tigers in the ALCS. It was beyond disappointing to watch - it was excruciating. And it didn't make me feel any better that the Tigers then rolled over and played dead in the World Series. That just made for a totally boring series.

The U.S. women's gymnastic team was a bright spot in the Summer Olympics that was otherwise eh. I don't think I even watched more than a few hours of it. It just lacked the same excitement and intensity of the last Summer Olympics and Michael Phelps' win after win after win. 

The New Jersey Nets came to Brooklyn this year - that was somewhat exciting. After years of lackluster Knicks playing, I had another team I could root for! Maybe I could start watching basketball again! And then, as it turns out, the Knicks actually got good this year! The Knicks are in first place! And guess what? Even though the Nets have had an uneven season so far, they're in second place. Do I see a glimmer of hope? Maybe. But it IS the Year of the Letdown, so I'll keep my cautious optimism at bay until we're further along in the season.

Which brings us back to football. If you're regular readers of mine. You already know how I feel about the Jets. If not, you can read about it here. They were eliminated weeks ago from the post season. The Giants FINALLY showed some intensity and heart in yesterday's final week game (albeit against the down-and-out Eagles) but it was too little, too late. You can't play three of the last four weeks of the season as if you're a Pee Wee league team, you can't hand over control of your post season destiny to three other teams when you had it squarely in your own hands, and expect to make the playoffs. So even though their victory yesterday was a blowout, the defending Super Bowl champs won't even see any postseason play.

Such is the Year of the Letdown.

New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, you are my only hope!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tebow Time over in New York? (Psst...it never started)

So word on the street - and by street, I mean everywhere - is that Tim Tebow won't be returning to the New York Jets next season.

First of all, why is this news?

Why would the Jets want him back? They never used him. (Case in point, when they decided to bench Mark Sanchez in this upcoming Sunday's game, they leap-frogged over Tebow to third string QB Greg McElroy to start).

Why would Tebow want to come back? They never used him.

This acquisition never made sense to me. Yes, Sanchez struggled, and yes, Tebow struggled while in Denver, but what team with a big name starting QB (Jets & Sanchez) acquires another big name starting QB (Tebow) without getting rid of the first?

Sure, there were intriguing possibilities before the season started - with 2 QBs, the Jets could maybe run a more effective Wildcat. With 2 QBs on the field at one time, it could add great versatility to the team's offense. But did any of these possibilities pan out? Nope. Tebow spent much of the season on the bench. The Jets would bring Tebow in for one play, essentially cooling off whatever groove Sanchez had managed to get into with his offense, and then bring Sanchez back in immediately, effectively keeping Tebow from getting into any kind of groove. It was a recipe for disaster from the start. The Jets basically shot themselves in the foot before the season even started by making this move.

Tebow is a good quarterback. Sanchez...was...a good quarterback. But Tebow is young and needs playing time to mature and gain experience in order to get better. Sanchez, somehow, has regressed in recent years after an initial promising few seasons...maybe instead of inspiring Sanchez to play better and retain his starting position, bringing Tebow to the team was a great blow that threw him even more off his game. In any case, the way the Jets played this year, its obvious that they don't look to Sanchez as their leader. And a great QB has to be a leader.

So I don't know what's in store for next season - to be honest, I'm a Giants fan, so I'm still stuck on this season, hoping this year's hodgepodge, uneven team can win their next two games and make it to the playoffs - but I'd say its in both Tebow and the Jet's favor for him to end up somewhere else.

Two more weeks left in the regular season - how are your teams' postseason prospects shaping up?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sports commercials that make me laugh right now

After a rough week for New York football teams, with the Jets being eliminated (rightfully so - sorry Dad!) from postseason play and the Giants continuing to play what is just a super uneven season devoid of any kind of passion, I'm in need of a good laugh, so here are two of my favorite sports-themed commercials right now:




Monday, December 3, 2012

Tony Romo passes Troy Aikman for the Dallas Cowboys lead in TD passes, but what does that mean?

This is going to be a short post just fyi. In last night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tony Romo became the Cowboys franchise leader in touchdown passes, surpassing Cowboys legend Troy Aikman.

I am a well documented un-fan of Romo and the Cowboys. I'm not a hater. I'm just saying, let's call a spade a spade. The Cowboys might've been a great team, Aikman might've been a great player, but the Cowboys of today are not the same great team - they're an ordinary team and Romo is an ordinary quarterback. He's not a bad quarterback. He's not even a mediocre quarterback. But is he a great quarterback? The Cowboys might make it to the playoffs every year, but so do half the teams in the NFL.

Troy Aikman led the Cowboys to not one, not two, but three Super Bowl victories. How many victories does Romo have under his belt?

So, for Romo to have more TD passes than Aikman makes me wonder - is Romo playing against better teams than Aikman was? He has more TD passes but fewer wins - or at least, fewer championships, and really, that's the golden ring to all these owners/coaches/players. Or is it just that statistics are, as I've always suspected, for the most part, completely meaningless?

Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From Newsday.com: Source: Andy Pettitte to return in 2013 for Yankees

Taking a break from football and basketball and other fall sports - Looks like the New York Yankees will sign not only Pettitte but Mariano Rivera and Hiroki Kuroda for the 2013 season. I love Pettitte and I thought he did well when he wasn't injured last season, so I'm always happy whenever he returns. Mariano will be 43 but as a closer, age shouldn't be too much of a factor. Missed him last season. Kuroda was awful at the start of 2012 but turned into a dynamo - and with CC Sabathia also pitching, looks like the Yankees will have a formidable lineup.

Of course, pitching rotations always look great before the season starts. Ask me again a few months in when we know what injuries and mishaps we're REALLY dealing with.

Still, a Pettitte return would be a nice early Christmas present for this fan girl! :) If you're a Cablevision or Newsday subscriber, you can read the whole story here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

From NBC Sports: How I learned to stop worrying and love overtime

First, I just wanna point out how much I love this headline - I just rewatched Dr. Strangelove, one of my all time favorite movies, a couple of weeks ago (for those who don't know, the full title of Stanley Kubrick's classic movie is Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb).

Anywho, nice little article by Michael David Smith about the (somewhat) new NFL overtime rules. As a rule, I am a huge, huge opponent to sudden death as a way to end a game, or any other method (like the shoot out in tied soccer games) where a team wins or loses, and sometimes in very important games, based more on luck (such as winning a coin toss to gain first possession) than on skill. I still am not convinced of the NFL changes, which are still semi sudden death, in that once one team scores a touchdown, whether or not the overtime period is over, the game is over, but the fact that BOTH teams now get the chance to get their offense the ball and that the first team to have possession must try to march all the way down the field for a touchdown rather than half-ass it to midfield and settle for a field goal, I guess is better than nothing. Anyway, you can read the story here.

And yay for a New York Jets win - yay, FINALLY! - yesterday. With some pretty sweet Mark Sanchez passes to boot (my dad, a staunch Mark Sanchez defender, must have been really happy to see that)! With the New York Giants on a bye week, it was up to the Jets to get me my New York win, and they came through when I needed them the most. Thank god.

Next up: Turkey Day showdown between the Jets and the New England Patriots. Can't wait!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Big deal, she’s a girl: Football player’s video is just darn good

This video has already gone viral, so chances are, you've seen it, but I liked author Kavita Varma-White's take that what should make this video so appealing is not that Sam Gordon is a girl, but that this is a video of a kid - any kid, boy or girl - who is just that good.

Weeks like these, especially if you're in my area, which was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy and then 10 days later by a wintery nor'easter, you need to read stories that makes you smile.

You go, girl! :)

Big deal, she’s a girl: Football player’s video is just darn good

Friday, November 2, 2012

NYC Marathon cancelled in wake of Superstorm Sandy

Mayor Bloomberg's office announced this afternoon that the New York City Marathon would be cancelled this weekend, reversing his stand this week to keep the marathon on, saying it wouldn't divert resources from Sandy recovery efforts and that it would bring New Yorkers and racers from out of town together.

Personally, I think cancelling the marathon was the right call. The city and surrounding areas are in a fragile state right now. As someone who lives on Long Island, less than 25 miles from Manhattan and even closer to Queens and Brooklyn, three of the boroughs where the race would take place, I've been without power for four whole days now - no heat in the freezing cold, no hot water, no fridge or stove, no lights. I spend my mornings and evenings in the dark and my days lugging what I can to whatever nearby facility has electricity for me to recharge & catch up on the news - hotel yesterday, library today. My father's house flooded and was damaged, and many of my neighbors and friends lost everything they owned. Now, even though the winds have died down and the waters have receded, while many of us wait for the power to go back on, all of us are dealing with a severe gas shortage, limiting travel for all of us and generator use for others. We don't need a sporting event to rally around - for the most part, we've been rallying around each other. We have more important things to think about, like how we're going to stay warm tonight or where we're going to stay if we don't even have a home to go back to. And for families and friends of the approximate 100 people who were killed in Sandy's fury, there's a whole other set of emotional issues to deal with.

Hotels were facing the dilemma of evicting evacuees, those without homes, in order to honor reservations for those running in the marathon. While Bloomberg claimed no resources or manpower would be diverted from the recovery effort for the marathon, clearly there were supplies like generators being used for the marathon that could have been put toward those affected by the storm. So good on Bloomberg for finally having some common sense and making the only obvious decision regarding the race. There's always next year.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Sandy - hope things start/continue to get better for us all, soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Brooklyn Islanders?

Charles Wang, owner of the New York Islanders, announced today that when the hockey team's contract is up with Nassau County in 2015, the team has committed to a 25-year deal with Brooklyn and the Barclays Center.

I live in Nassau County, within walking distance of the Coliseum, which Wang has been trying to get the county to refurbish/renovate/something for the past I don't even know how many years. A lot of people I know, Islander fans, are upset about the move but grateful that the team will still be close by.

I'm not a hockey fan. But my mom was. And according to my dad, she was a major Islanders fan, so I wonder how she would have reacted to the news. I don't feel bad for the county for the loss of revenue - they didn't want the team to stay. Charles Wang is a Nassau County guy (albeit a super rich Nassau County guy). But he gives back to this area - he supports schools, businesses, and churches in this county. I'm sure he did everything he could to keep the team here - if the county had been willing to work with him, he would've done what he could to make sure the Islanders were a Long Island fixture.

Oh well. With the NHL season currently in jeopardy, there isn't much other hockey news to talk about. And like I said, I'm not a fan anyway, but what with it being super local news and having to do with my mom's favorite hockey team, I figured I'd mention it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New York Yankees: DOA

This isn't going to be a long post. I have more important things to worry about then the Yankees' pedestrian performance in this series. Game 4 of the ALCS isn't even over yet but I'm calling it. The Yanks were dead on arrival - I'm four months pregnant and I could've played better than these guys have.

It just boggles the mind how a team full of millionaire superstars can completely shut down in the postseason - they played well enough to come in first in their division, and yet they can't even score a run in the postseason? They can't even get a hit? I'm no baseball expert, but I know for a fact that you can't win a game if you can't get men on base, and you sure as heck can't win a series. The Detroit Tigers, in their defense, have been playing outstanding and that hasn't helped, but the Yanks are pretty equally as good, ordinarily. The past few games, they don't even look like they should be qualified to play Little League. My fiance says they haven't been playing with any fire, with any spirit, and maybe that's part of the problem - this is old hat to them, and they don't want it as badly as we, the fans, do. Losing Derek Jeter didn't help - the player this should be oldest hat for always gave 110 percent and played with heart, but a team that collapses after the loss of one player is not a team to begin with.

I don't feel like talking about A-Rod. I've never been his biggest fan to begin with, but I'm disappointed in the likes of Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher - they're young enough that they should still care. Mark Texeira stepped up a bit but again, one player does not make a team. Raul Ibanez gave more than his share, putting to shame players 10 years younger than him, but as an older player, maybe this series meant more as possibly being his last.

All I can say is, I'm dumbfounded that a first place team can't put up more than big fat zeros in a do or die game, and it makes me really glad the baseball season is over. Now I can concentrate on a team that actually cares, the New York Giants. And it clears up my television watching schedule. So I guess that's a plus, too.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just a few quick thoughts on baseball's Division League Series

Well, the San Francisco Giants are the first of the postseason teams to move on, eliminating the Reds in Game 5. The Washington Nationals are fighting for their lives right now against the Cards, and tonight Baltimore and the Yanks and the A's and Tigers both have match-ups. What I find interesting is that not a single division series was a sweep. Every single one of them has had some back-and-forth, which I guess means these teams that made it to the postseason have been pretty evenly matched so far. Which is a good thing. It's no fun when one team beats up on another (even when the team doing the beating is yours) and there's nothing more boring when there's no competition between teams. That's right - sweeps are boring. I hate when the Yankees sweep. Almost as much as I hate when they're swept... ;)

Speaking of my Yanks, what a nailbiter last night's win was. Kudos to Raul Ibanez, who has proven that just because you're 40 doesn't mean your major league baseball career has to be over - talk about clutch! I did not see that coming. Also, I hope Derek Jeter is okay - he was limping last night and was finally removed from the game after an at-bat where he couldn't even put his full weight on his front leg. Not good - because talk about clutch...there's a reason Jeter is the captain and the face of the Yankees. They need him. Although it was nice to see that other players could step up and the team could still win without him.

Also speaking of the Yankees, let's all keep manager Joe Girardi in our thoughts or prayers today, whether you're a Yanks fan or not. His father, Jerry Girardi, passed away last weekend and the news has finally become public.

And as a final thought, even though I am a diehard Yankees fan, I'm kinda rooting for the Nats...I'm a sucker for an underdog (though the way they played this season they might not be considered underdogs, their franchise as a whole is) and I lived in Washington, D.C. for four years and would love to see their team keep advancing...though I still want the Yanks to win the series! ;)

Yanks-Os 7:30 p.m., As-Tigers 9:30 p.m. EST

Be there!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown

No, not in horseracing.

A few days before it became official, my fiance and I were trying to figure out what stats an MLB player had to be #1 in to win the Triple Crown title - for two baseball fans, we were pretty clueless. I think I got two out of three. But maybe that just goes to show that it really has been 45 years since the last Triple Crown winner. Neither of us was born yet in 1967, so how would we know? That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, a player has to rank #1 in batting average, homers, and runs batted in (RBIs). Melky Cabrera's suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs (uh, don't even get me started on that) may have helped pave the way for the other Cabrera's win, since at the time of his suspension, Melky had the highest batting average, but the Tigers' Cabrera has always been a force to be reckoned with on the field, so congrats to him on his accomplishment - he's not a Yankee, but I appreciate well-rounded excellence wherever it can be found.

Oh, and congrats to the Yankees, too, for FINALLY clinching the AL East Division...

The first round of Wild Card games (1-game playoff) will be tomorrow Oct. 5 between Baltimore-Texas and St. Louis-Atlanta. Division series playoffs begin Saturday Oct. 6 - be there!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Time flies when you're having fun: final day of baseball's regular season

Although it kinda feels like the MLB season just started, today is the final day of baseball's regular season - that is, unless the New York Yankees lose today and the Baltimore Orioles win, in which case it would force a one-game tie-breaker, which would be considered part of the regular season. They're both guaranteed to be in the postseason - it's still a matter of who goes in as winner of the division and who goes in as a wild card. It's kind of exciting that on the last day of the season, wins and losses still matter.

Anyway, I went to a record (for me) number of games at Yankee Stadium this year - versus the Twins (and my fake boyfriend Joe Mauer) back in April, versus Boston, the Orioles, and Indians over the summer, and then versus the Orioles again Labor Day weekend - it was my first New York-Boston series in years, but who knew I would see them play twice the team they're ending up fighting tooth and nail down to the very last day to clinch the division - not their normal rivals up in New England, but the Orioles. (By the way, I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but the very first Yankee game I went to was versus the Orioles, except it wasn't at Yankee Stadium, it was down in Camden Yards.) And, I got to be a part of the Bleacher Creatures' roll call for the first time ever and it was a blast!

So I thought it would be fun to look back at my summer of baseball, in photos. If your team has made it to the post season, good luck! If not, you can root for my team...or just be glad that it's also football season!

June 27, 2012: New York Yankees v. Cleveland Indians

June 27, 2012: C'mon, Yanks!

July 28, 2012: Yankee Stadium...and that sky is looking a little foreboding...

July 28, 2012: Inside Yankee Stadium

July 28, 2012: Yay! At my first Yankees-Red Sox game in years!

July 28, 2012: And my first New York-Boston game in years will have to wait a little longer as the tarp comes out and the sky threatens...


July 28, 2012: Ruh-roh...storm clouds rolling in over Yankee Stadium.

July 28, 2012: Two hour rain delay...boo! This baseball fan girl is not a happy camper, even though I had the forethought to buy a New York Yankees poncho...


July 28, 2012: Jon Lester warms up on a wet field while Yankees fans heckle him.

July 28, 2012: Yankee Stadium, y'all.

Aug. 1, 2012: New York Yankees v. Baltimore Orioles, from my view as a Bleacher Creature. This game started on time but it started raining during...thank God I brought my Yankees poncho with me!

Sept. 2, 2012: New York Yankees v. Baltimore Orioles game with Sam, Suzy, and Matt...a great way to end the summer!

Sept. 2, 2012: Nick Swisher at bat.

Sept. 2, 2012: At Yankee Stadium with my fiance Sam.


Monday, September 24, 2012

CNN.com: Avalanche disaster revives fears about Nepal's crowded mountains

If you read this blog, you already know how I feel about the overcrowding on Mount Everest as well as the irresponsible climbing by amateurs and for-profit climbing outfits, so I can't help but pass along this story. Talks about all those things in the whole Nepal/Tibet Himalayan region, not just Everest. Read the story here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NFL, please save me from MLB!

Thank God the NFL season is beginning anew and the New York Giants are playing tonight because the Yankees are trying to give me a stroke. Approaching the end of the season, in first place for 84 days straight, and they decide to get tired and have injuries and just, in general, be old and are now tied for first with the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles!!!I can feel my blood pressure rising just by writing that...

So I'm more than thrilled that tonight, the Giants will be playing, and not only that, they will be playing the Dallas Cowboys, and hopefully, the Giants will kick ass, because I like when they kick ass, and I especially like when they kick Dallas' ass.

Go Big Blue!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 Olympics: Female athletes makin' us proud!





(Some of this info might be spoilers, if they're results from today that haven't aired in primetime yet, so consider yourself warned!!)


There are so many of them competing well at the games, bringing home medals, playing with class and grace, being good examples of good sportsmanship, supporting members of their teams, and just being the kind of role models girls need (and unfortunately get to see only every two years). This is just a short round-up, focusing on American athletes, of what we've seen at the Olympics so far:

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings win their third goal medal for beach volleyball.

These two were phenomenal to watch - they are such a good team that they flowed like they were one player...they knew what the other was doing and where she was without even looking! And after beating the Italians in the quarter finals, they both congratulated their opponents on a job well done.

Allyson Felix wins gold in the women's 200 m.


The women of the U.S. gymnastics team.
Aly Raisman won two individual medals, a bronze for the balance beam and a gold for her floor routine - as someone who's afraid to even do a somersault, watching her flip and twist effortlessly through the air was amazing, like an airborne ballet. Also, let's give all these ladies a hand for giving the U.S. women's gymnastics team its first team gold medal since 1996.

In addition, the U.S. women's soccer team and women's basketball team have both made it to the gold medal game, and today Claressa Shields won a gold medal for women's boxing, which is an Olympic sport for the first time.

(All photos are courtesy of NBCOlympics.com - please visit their website here for more info and more photos on the Games!!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From NBCNews.com: For first time, women from every nation ready to rock Olympics

This is just so awesome. According to Scott Stump's article, for the first time in the history of modern Olympics, all 205 nations competing at the Summer Games in London are sending at least one female athlete: Brunei, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are sending a woman for the first time, and it's the first time the U.S. will have more female athletes competing than male athletes. Maybe it's hormones, but that kinda brings tears to my eyes. When the Olympic Games are pretty much the only place to see female athletes compete on a main stage, it's kick ass that they're getting more of an opportunity than their earlier counterparts (even from as recently as two years ago!) and it's kick ass for all the little girls out there today who need strong, positive female role models, whether those little girls want to grow up to rock the Olympics or just rock the world.

You can read the whole story here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A quick thought on the NCAA sanctions against Penn State

Well done.

While the penalties the NCAA imposed on Penn State this morning may seem harsh to some - $60 million in fines to be put toward external programs to prevent child abuse and/or help child abuse victims, 4-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships, 5 years probation, and 13 years of won games erased from Joe Paterno's record and the schools record - I'm relieved to see that someone, that some organization, realizes it should never be "football first." And not just talking about football - that no college sports program should take priority over the college itself, or in the case of Penn State, over the welfare of a child. Kids go to college to get an education. Colleges are institutions of higher learning. For some people, sports are their ticket in. For some schools, sports programs, but especially football programs, are their way of helping pay for improvements or additions to the school to assist their students in furthering their education. But when the school becomes ancillary to the sports program, when the coach becomes so popular and powerful that he answers to no one, when the heads of the education part of the institution defer to others in decisions and don't stand up for their students or for the integrity of the institution, then there is something really twisted and really wrong. And when innocent children become the victims because of that twisted culture, when they have nobody to stand up for them, then there's something really, REALLY wrong. Jerry Sandusky was a monster. Joe Paterno was not a monster but he placed football above all else that he allowed a monster to survive - the same can be said for all in Penn State's administration who allowed him to survive. Sometimes athletic programs that are money makers for a school think they are above the school. Sometimes the athletes themselves think that, sometimes it's the coaches, sometimes it's the school itself. So good on the NCAA for stepping in with sanctions harsh enough that other schools will have a "think about it first" attitude before letting something like this happen again. And as a side note, also good on the NCAA for doing what it can to help out all of the Penn State athletes in the football program who will be affected by these sanctions - they were part of the program but not part of the problem, and it's the program and school that's being punished, so good for the NCAA for trying to minimize the amount of the punishment that will affect those players.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rant of the day: Poor sports in Kansas City

Hope everyone caught the Home Run Derby last night - congrats to Prince Fielder for winning it for a second time - that dude is a beast! As a sports fan who can't help but become embroiled in bitter sports rivalries (how excited was this fangirl that the New York Yankees took 3 of 4 games from the Red Sox this past weekend??), it's always nice to see, at something like the Derby, players from opposing sides of those rivalries laughing together and cheering each other on. David Ortiz kept encouraging Robinson Cano and was excited as a little kid at almost every Mark Trumbo homer. In the middle of a season of playing against each other, the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game are a chance for players - and fans - to play with each other and have a little bit of fun. The players were all having fun, so why was it that when Robinson Cano got up to bat, the stadium erupted into boos and didn't stop the entire time? How is that sportsmanlike? How is that fun? Kansas City fans were upset that Cano, captain of the American League Derby team, hadn't picked one of their players to hit in the Derby. Really? That's worth acting like a bunch of petulant 5-year-olds? There are only four spots on each team - four. There are probably a dozen players who deserved to be on each team. It's not like Cano picked every single one of them EXCEPT Billy Butler. But you win - your booing worked and Cano didn't hit a single home run. He came in dead last. Dead last with a smile on his face. He was tweeting throughout the entire Derby and every single tweet was something encouraging for another player, was something upbeat, fun, excited - he was having a grand ole' time, in spite of the nastiness of Kansas City fans. And really, in the end, I guess Cano wins after all, because all three players he chose over Butler were the last men standing - guess he made the best choices after all.

Here endeth the rant. All-Star Game tonight - be there!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Take me out to the ball game...

Got to enjoy another game at Yankee Stadium this past Wednesday. Went by myself, but made some new friends, enjoyed a hot dog and a beer, got to see one of my favorite players, Andy Pettitte, pitch and unfortunately fracture his ankle (boo!), but the weather was sunny and gorgeous and New York won the game. It was nice to see so many families out at the game and it was a pleasant surprise to see not so many dads out with their kids, but so many dads out with their DAUGHTERS. Girls like baseball, too! So good on you, dads, for spending quality time with your kids and instilling a love of the game in both your sons and daughters!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A quick thought on the Roger Clemens verdict

Roger Clemens is not guilty of lying to Congress during the MLB steroids investigation. This case is oddly reminiscent of the not-too-distant John Edwards misuse of campaign funds case. In both, there really wasn't enough evidence to convict. In both, the defendant is an arrogant, entitled, selfish sleazeball who you kinda just want to punch in the face...but that doesn't make them criminals. Unfortunately, it's not against the law to be an a$$h-l-. And I say this as someone who used to like both these guys, Edwards moreso than Clemens. The good news is now we can move on and we don't have to hear about either of these guys anymore. Or, at least one can hope.

Here endeth the rant.

Yay Yankees for winning 10-games in a row - *this* is the kind of sports news I want to write about! My team is making me proud - can't wait to see you guys in person at Yankee Stadium again next week!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Matt Cain throws Giants' first perfect game

Congrats to Matt Cain on the San Francisco Giants' first perfect game, and only the 22nd perfect game in baseball history. I'm not a Giants fan by any means, but a game well played is a game well played, and a perfect game is still an elusive accomplishment and something any pitcher as well as his team should be proud of - because a pitcher can't do it without his team. Special shout-out to one Giants player who caught a ball at the wall for an out - former New York Yankee Melky Cabrera. While Robinson Cano was definitely worth hanging on to more, was always sorry to see Melky go - glad to see he's doing well with his new teammates. You can read more about it here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A good day for sports fans...

There's something for everybody today! Watching the UEFA Euro 2012 Netherlands-Denmark soccer match right now - Michael Ballack was commentating in the studio! Love him! (Rooting for Germany to win the whole thing of cours!!) But if you don't consider soccer a real sport - and don't tell the boyfriend if that's the case, he'll get very defensive - we have the Yankees-Mets Subway Series continuation, Game 7 between the Heat and Celtics in the NBA playoffs, Kings vs. Devils in the Stanley Cup race, Pacquiao vs Bradley in boxing later on, and of course, the Belmont Stakes, though that's much, much less exciting now that I'll Have Another has been scratched and once again, we have to wait another year for a possible Triple Crown. The point is, it's a veritable sports smorgasbord today, even for non-mainstream or less popular sports. Now, the problem begins if you're a total sports fan and you have to choose what to watch, what to DVR, and what to catch on Sports Center...here's hoping very few of you end up in a Sophie's Choice situation!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

OKC! OKC! OKC!

Ok(c)...I'm not an Oklahoma City fan. But I love me an underdog. And I love me an underdog that wants the win, that's hungry for the win...and watching the Thunder-Spurs game right now, OKC is gunning for this win. Their fans are in it. Their fans are so cute I just want to put them all in my pocket, all those middle-aged white people in their Thunder shirts, cheering and screaming at the top of their lungs at every Thunder basket at this point. That's what you want to see, in the game, in any game - excited fans, but also, and maybe more importantly, excited players. The boyfriend complains all the time that the Yankees aren't hungry for the win any more and he's got a point - they've been there, done that. But the Thunder look hungry. Even just watching the Kings-Devils game on NBC Sports, I told the boyfriend that I didn't feel any intensity - neither team looked like they needed that win, and yet, they both did really need it. I expected to see some of that passion in the play of the Kings players, seeing as they're in the same situation as the Thunder - underdogs and new kids on the championship road block - but I see it in this game. I always say that there's so much back and forth in basketball scoring that you don't have to watch until the fourth quarter, and that's pretty much when the Thunder pulled ahead and stayed ahead. They're up by 6 right now with less than 15 seconds on the clock, after trailing for most off the game, and barring any last second deals with the devil, they're going to the Finals. I think the crowd in that stadium might spontaneously combust from all the excitement. I love it.

Here's to the underdogs, and to wanting the win, whether you're on the court/field or in the stands! You go, OKC! :)

On a day when work is sending my blood pressure through the roof, a little sports humor to the rescue

Work is killing me today. Almost literally. I can feel my blood pressure rising and either my eyes or my brain are going to explode from the hundreds of names and thousands of scholarships (in veeeerrry tiny print) I'm proofreading for our yearly high school scholarship issue, so this column here by Steve Rushin on SI.com was a welcome relief and had me chuckling and, more importantly, my blood pressure dropping. For anyone who has ever watched sports and not known all the rules, or maybe only got half the rules plus lingo at most, if you were lucky and really paying attention OR for any true sports fanatics who are virtual encyclopedias of sports knowledge, I really enjoyed this read. It made me feel both more stupid AND less stupid as a sports fan at the same time. But totally in a good way, since at least for a few minutes it kept me from thinking about killing myself and/or my co-workers. Sports (and reading!) to the rescue - making the world a better (safer) place in action!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weekly sports musings: basketball, hockey, rugby, oh my!

I have no horse in any postseason race anymore, and so my interest has waned. A lot. Since I haven't watched a game since the New York Rangers were knocked out of the Stanley Cup race, I guess I'm still not a hockey fan. Since it was the Devils who did it, I'm kinda glad the L.A. Kings are one win away from their first championship.

Speaking of underdogs who have gone from an 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 lead, the Oklahoma City Thunder not only ended the Spurs' 20 game win streak, they've pushed San Antonio to the brink of being out of the race. Now, while I'm not a fan of any team in the NBA finals, there are teams I'm actively rooting against. Well, team. I'd much rather see the Spurs or Thunder in the Finals than the Celtics or Heat. Of course, only one team from the east and one from the west will make it, and both the teams I prefer are in the west - so whichever team wins from the west I'd like to kick the ass of whichever eastern team makes it in, although a complete underdog victory for the Thunder would be just awesome. But if a team from the east has to make it to the finals, the Celtics are the lesser of two evils - I have a LeBron James voodoo doll hidden under my bed that I like to stick with sharp pins during a game. I don't want the Heat to win. But I really, really, REALLY don't want LeBron to get a championship. LeBron is not as despicable a character as Kobe Bryant in my book, but he's disloyal and greedy and full of himself and for this female sports fan, yeah, that counts. I hope he gets to enjoy his big fat Miami paycheck and zero championships.

On another note, the boyfriend and I were watching college rugby championship games this week with Dartmouth versus Arizona. Maybe it's because it was a college level game and not professional, but the game just seemed pointless and dumb. First, it was only 20 minutes long - and regular season games are only 14 minutes. I feel like PAL games (obviously not rugby games, though) with 5-year-olds last longer than that. And I don't understand the point of a game where you can only pass the ball backwards. And where you get tackled but the other team doesn't try to strip you of the ball, where you just politely hand it off to one of your teammates. And where balls were being passed and run up the pitch and the other team wasn't doing anything to stop them. Maybe it's because I only saw one game. But as of right now, I just don't get it. I do, however, like their uniforms. Look at those massive thighs! 



Anyway...lest you're asking yourself, "Weren't you watching this with your boyfriend?," indeed I was, and I made the thigh comment to him as well, but softened it with saying he would look good in a rugby shirt - jersey? I have no idea - but he would.

Celtics vs. Heat tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST, Kings for the Stanley Cup win tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Johan Santana makes Mets history

Congratulations to Johan Santana on his no-hitter yesterday for the New York Mets. As we all know, I'm an avid Yankees fan, but I don't hate on big achievements (especially if it doesn't affect my Yanks!) and I especially don't hate on New York teams. Apparently it's the first in Mets' history, and while a no-hitter is not as rare and therefore not as special as a perfect game, it's still a big deal, especially in a day and age where the almighty pitch count rules and very few starting pitchers actually finish a game. (I'll be honest though, guys and girls - I had to ask my boyfriend the difference between a perfect game and a no-hitter - a no-hitter explains itself, but in a perfect game, there are no walks, hit-by-pitches, etc. and no one even gets on base). Sports lesson of the day, y'all! Enjoy your weekend! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Women in sports...or not ::sigh::

The 2012 London Summer Olympics are almost upon us. And the big news in female Olympians today? That hurdler Lolo Jones plans to remain a virgin until she marries.

Why, why, why, why, why????? Who cares? If you've read any of my other blog posts in this and my television blog, you know that I'm very frustrated by the "news" today...why are news agencies reporting on things that aren't news? Do I admire that someone who is in the mainstream and is a bit of a celebrity has the conviction to stick to what she believes? Sure. But I would rather have read an article about her prowess as a hurdler, how she's hoping to come back as the favorite to win the gold in Beijing and actually take it this time. You get to read so little about women athletes in "big name" news and this is what I have to deal with when we finally get an article about us??? I'm not even going to link to the article because I'm too annoyed. It's on the Huffington Post if you're interested. Me, I'll be waiting for real news about female athletes.


Climbers’ traffic jam blamed for Mount Everest deaths

Climbers’ traffic jam blamed for Mount Everest deaths

Every few years you read a story like this. It happened in 1996. It happened a few years ago when two men were left for dead and one ended up surviving. This is not news, people. This happens ALL THE TIME. This is a large reason for the 1996 tragedy on Everest. Too many people, too many unqualified people, too many people who have no business being anywhere on the slopes of Everest beyond base camp but have the money to pay for other people to put their own lives in danger to guide them up and down, are up there. And too many of these people don't realize that getting up the mountain is only half the battle - in order for it to be considered a successful climb, in order for your loved ones to be happy back home, you have to get back down safely.

I love reading about Everest. I love reading about the men and women who, for whatever reason, feel the need to push themselves completely to the limit, who need to climb to the top of the world and almost die in order to feel alive - I consider it a sporting activity, which is why I am writing about it here. But the fact that this is a mountain that is the literally the top of the world and there are TRAFFIC JAMS there??? There's something wrong with that. Traffic jams at the top of the world put EVERYONE'S lives at risk. Between that and the garbage and waste accumulating on the mountain...things on the Nepal/Tibetan China border have to change. Seriously. Or we'll keep reading non-news stories like this every Himalayan climbing season.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Movin' on up: Oklahoma City Thunder advance to next round

Last night the Thunder ousted the L.A. Lakers from the NBA playoffs. I can't say I'm disappointed. I CAN say I'm pretty happy about that. I dislike Kobe Bryant so much as a human being that I find it impossible to root for him. Yes, I'm a girl. I have a hard time separating a player's personal behavior with his athlete's persona. Don't even get me started on Metta World Peace. I guess now he'll have the time to actually ruminate on world peace. But aside from the fact that a team I refuse to root for is no longer in the game, when I don't have a dog in the fight, I like to root for the underdog. I know zilch about the Thunder. But I know they're (relatively) new under their new name, I know they're in a region that isn't inundated with professional sports teams, I know that when I was watching the game last night the fans inside AND outside the stadium looked to be having so much fun, and I know they're not one of the powerhouses in the playoffs. So good for them for playing well and surprising a lot of people out there. Now, if we could just get rid of LeBron and the Heat, this fan girl would be a super happy camper!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In honor of the New York Rangers moving on to the Eastern finals...

...I'd just like to give a special shout-out to my favorite aspect of the game - remember, I'm still in the learning stages, so I'm just trying to keep things simple - but seriously, this is what I'm most looking forward to in the next round of the play-offs, besides the Rangers hopefully showing it to New Jersey:





That's right - Henrik Lundqvist's helmet. This thing is just beyond awesome and I'm mesmerized by it in every game. So glad I get to see more of it this season.

Rock on, my friend. Rock on.

The Rangers meet the Devils this Monday at 8 EST. Be there!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A chance for the next generation to shine

Last night, David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first save as temporary closer for the New York Yankees. As the boyfriend pointed out to me the other day, if there's any silver lining to Mariano Rivera's ACL injury knocking him out of the game for who knows how long, it's that this provides an opportunity for some of the younger pitchers to step up and show their stuff. In a complete role reversal, I took on his normally jaded Yankee fan persona and told him that ideally, that's what should happen, but this being the Yankees, they would probably throw a ton of money at some bloated, aging, fading former super star as a quick fix to a very serious problem, not having a closer.

To my delight, it appears that I was wrong.

The fact of the matter is, even if this injury doesn't end Mo's career, he's nearing the end of his career age-wise anyway, and the Yankees are going to need to find somebody to take his spot. I don't know if that guy is Robertson...at one point, I thought it might be Joba Chamberlain, but both the Yankees and Joba screwed up that opportunity...but the team's best bet is to hand the ball to their younger pitchers and have them show what they're made of. They need their young pitchers to step up, and I guarantee, at least some of those pitchers want this opportunity, have dreamed of this opportunity, are itching for the chance to prove that they are the next generation of legendary Yankee players. Jeter and Rivera weren't always here, and they won't be here forever. Let's see what players our kids are going to be idolizing, whose jerseys they're going to be buying.

So I'm excited by Robertson's save. I've always liked him. I hope this wasn't a fluke. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this kid will show us.

 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New York Rangers causing this non-hockey fan some puck-related excitement

I do not watch hockey. I don't understand it, I don't know any of the players, and I can never tell who has the puck. But I am a fan of New York teams, so I've been watching some of the Stanley Cup playoffs, since the Rangers are in it. Last night the boyfriend and I had the Rangers-Caps game on in the background while we were on our laptops working, but surprisingly, we were actually doing some watching, too.

And what a game to watch.

The Knicks, despite their last-chance win against the Heat the other night, and the first-round Rangers, who for some reason struggled mightily against an eighth-seed teem despite being a number one seed, have made me skeptical of things going well in the playoffs this time of year, so I wasn't surprised when the Rangers were down 2-1 with seconds to go in the game. The boyfriend and I had two shows about to start recording at 10 p.m. so our tv channel was going to change anyway, which was good, because I didn't really want to see the Rangers lose. And then, just a mere few seconds before my television automatically changed over, the Rangers tied it up.

Pretty exciting stuff.

So of course I had to stop one of my recordings and go back to NBC Sports to see the rest of the game, and what do I find? The Predators-Coyotes game is on! WTF? I had to scramble around to see if they were showing OT on another station (they weren't - the other game was just on during the intermission), and found it just as, less than two minutes into OT, the Rangers got a goal and won it.

It really is all about timing, isn't it?

So while the Knicks are crashing and burning in spectacular fashion, at least now the Rangers are up 3 games to 2 in this series. Let's keep the momentum going, boys! You may make a hockey fan out of this girl yet!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Title IX...

It's actually not until next month, but I read a really great article on SI.com by Ann Killion about Title IX: "Title IX helped level playing field, gave women chance to succeed." I'll admit, it even got me a little teary-eyed when she talked about her son not batting an eyelash to cheer on the girls' soccer team at his high school. As someone born after Title IX, it isn't something I ever even think about - it never even crossed my mind that I wouldn't be able to play sports in high school for any reason except being too klutzy. But I remember my mom telling me stories about how she would liked to have played sports in high school, but there weren't any teams. And while professional sports for women lag way behind sports for men in variety and popularity and probably never will catch up, the fact that there were no teams for normal, every day girls is just beyond mind-boggling. Anyway, if you're interested in reading more, you can find the story here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New York sports fan dilemma tonight...

If you're a New York sports fan, tonight is the night - the good news is, the Yankees are off and the Mets are playing this afternoon. The bad news is, you could be in a bit of a quandry - tonight at 8 p.m. the Knicks play their final game of the regular season and an hour earlier, the Rangers begin Game 7 against the Ottawa Senators to move on to the next round of the NHL playoffs. The Knicks already have a playoff spot, so I suppose the game tonight is not must-see-TV unless you're a super hardcore basketball fan - I guess that's also when a DVR comes in handy, if you're able to avoid commercials and Facebook status updates and tweets until you get a chance to watch the game yourself.

I think I might personally be checking out the Rangers game - Game 7 is do-or-die and though I'm not a hockey fan, I am a New York fan and I would love to get the chance to watch them play in the next round. They say New York doesn't get to see two sports champions in the same season and the Giants won the Super Bowl this year, which doesn't bode well for either the Rangers or the Knicks (though technically, the Super Bowl this year was for the 2011 season). We can still hope, though...everyone else already hates New Yorkers, we might as well give them a reason by winning everything! ;)

On another sports fan note, the boyfriend has really gotten into soccer lately and so we've been watching some of that - apparently there's some kind of Cup playoff going on in Europe right now...he's tried explaining it to me but I'm still not really understanding it. All I know is that Real Madrid and Barcelona are considered the top two teams - unfortunately, the boyfriend's adopted team of Barcelona was knocked out by Chelsea (I think). I'm sure we'll be watching more of those happenings, so as I understand more, I'll write more. But whatever your sport of choice, "root, root, root for the home team..."!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 inaugural trip to Yankee Stadium April 18

We're in the middle of a drought but of course it rained the day the boyfriend and I went to Yankee Stadium last week. I guess it could have been worse, whether it rained harder or was windier or colder.

Of course, it also could've been better - the Yankees could've beat the Twins and actually won the game. We got to the stadium halfway through the first inning and the score was already 0-4. Not cool, man. But it was fun anyway. We were sitting toward the front of the terrace level along the first base line, just into right field. It's amazing how much of a difference there is between how far away the grandstand feels and sitting just one level below.

But I love going to a game - I love eating Nathan's hotdogs and drinking a $12 beer (though I don't like paying for that beer!) and feeling the stadium shake and hearing everyone screaming and cheering. Plus, I got to see my baseball boyfriend, Joe Mauer, so that always makes for a good night! ;)

At least the Yanks have done better since then - the Red Sox are a mess right now and last night the Yanks actually beat the Texas Rangers, who have been on a roll so far this season. But what drives me nuts is that we're not even out of the first month and experts and fans are already lamenting whose season is over and what teams are done and whose going to win this whole thing. Really? When the Orioles are in first place, you know it's too early in the season - you gotta let things shake out still.

Anyway, this was the Twins' only trip to town this season but I'd like to get to a day game in the summer - those are my favorite baseball games. You can get some sun and make some friends, and it's not after midnight when you finally get home (unless, of course, it's a Yankees-Red Sox all-day marathon!)

New York takes on the Rangers again tonight - let's go, Yanks!

Yankee Stadium, April 18, 2012, versus the Minnesota Twins



Friday, April 13, 2012

New York Yankees home opener and some Rangers ramblings as well

Last night the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of the NHL playoffs. I was waiting for my bestie to arrive in Penn Station so we could go see The Fray in concert at Radio City (squee! They were so good!), and while I was waiting, I decided to have a beer and watch the Yankees. Well, the Yankees weren't playing, but hockey was on, and a New York team at that (and actually, they were playing right above my head in Madison Square Garden - I rode the train into the city with everyone in their Rangers gear), so I decided to sit and watch. After all, the boyfriend and I had just decided that hockey was the perfect the sport, so I might as well try it, right?

I mean, it's definitely exciting. There's a lot of action. But the puck is so tiny and moves so fast, I can't really follow it. I don't know where it is until it's already somewhere else. And I get that the goal is to get the puck in the net, but other than that, I don't understand the rules, the tiny nuances of the game. I think maybe after you get a goal you have to start a fight with the other team, but that's just conjecture based on what I saw. It seems to be like lacrosse on ice...but to be honest, I don't really understand the nuances of lacrosse either. Oh well. It doesn't hurt that Henrik Lundqvist is super cute. I should watch just for that.

Don't tell my boyfriend.

The point is, the Rangers won, so well done, and congrats Rangers fans - hope your team can keep it up. Now for sports I DO watch, today is the Yanks home opener at Yankee Stadium. Where they're playing the Angels, notorious Yankee-killers, though not so much recently. Oh wait, now they have Albert Pujols on their team. That's right, Pujols, arguably the best player in the game right now, is in the American league, on a team we play a lot, and on a team that historically always killed us. This does not bode well. For those of you lucky to be off today, the game is on this afternoon. I will be stealthly checking in on it on MLB.com from my cubicle whilst pretending to be working hard and looking forward to seeing the Yanks in action in person next week. Going to the April 18th game versus the Twins and JM. And trying not to buy tickets for another Yanks v. Twins game now that I have my paycheck burning a hole in my pocket.

I'm a fan girl. What can I do?

No matter who you're a fan of, enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lou Gehrig: As the baseball season begins, paying respects to a baseball legend...

I am a genealogy enthusiast, and a cousin of mine and I went up to Albany yesterday to do some family tree research. On the way back, she wanted to stop at a cemetery in Valhalla, New York, to try to find the graves of some newly discovered ancestors. I had never even heard of Kensico Cemetery, but this place is huge, and beautiful, with these large, fancy, elaborate, sometimes beautiful and sometimes ostentatious headstones. They even give historic walking tours, because apparently there are a whole bunch of famous people buried there - Ayn Rand, Tommy Dorsey, Glenda the Good Witch (probably not her real name, but that's the name the cemetery employee told us, so maybe? :)) ... and New York Yankee Lou Gehrig. I thought that was pretty cool. And what was even better was that his headstone was nice, but simple and low key, and he's surrounded by his family in his plot. I thought it was especially appropriate that as the new baseball season begins, fresh and new and full of promise, that I got the chance to pay my respects to one of the all-time baseball greats, who I'm sure, wherever he is, is rooting for the home team today.

Go Yanks! :)

Lou Gehrig's grave in Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, NY. Taken 7 April 2012 by Mary Ellen Gorry.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yankee Stadium (and Joe Mauer), here I come!

It has become a tradition for me to go to at least one Yankee game a year, which is not always an easy thing to swing, considering how expensive ticket prices are - c'mon, Steinbrenners! Don't you make enough money charging me $12 for a beer????

The tradition has also been to go to a game where the visiting team is the Minnesota Twins - if you're asking why, you obviously don't read my blog on a regular basis. Last year, I didn't get to see my favorite homegrown Minnesota boy while he was in town, but yesterday I bought my tickets to see Joe Mauer - er, I mean, the New York Yankees - play. Unfortunately, the Twins are here very early in the season - the game is April 18th. I prefer something during the summer AND during the day, but I'll take what I can get. I went to TWO Yanks v. Twins games two years ago and actually wore a Joe Mauer jersey to one of them. It was surprising how many Twins fans I encountered on the subway AND how many Yankees fans did not heckle me (it wasn't a Boston Red Sox jersey, after all), but I did confuse a group of guys at the Stadium who stopped to ask me why I was wearing a Mauer shirt but a Yankees cap. As I tell my boyfriend, I'm a girl - don't try to figure me out.

Speaking of the boyfriend, I'm bringing him to the game. I figured two years in to the relationship, it's about time my real boyfriend and baseball boyfriend meet. And while the boyfriend always accuses me of being a Joe Mauer fan most of all, I tell him this - I root for Joe Mauer to do awesome in every game (yes, I cheer for him when he's at bat at Yankee Stadium), but I always, ALWAYS want the Yanks to win!

:)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

D'Brickashaw Ferguson talks about Tim Tebow as a New York Jet

I don't really have much to add to this article from Newsday.com today, which you can find here. I just like to give play to fellow Freeporters (anyone who reads my blog knows D'Brickashaw played saxophone with my sister in high school and used to walk her home from school). And you get all the media hype about this trade and all the commentators, um, comments, but this gives a bit of insight into what's going on in the locker room. And I know Brick to be a level-headed, decent guy, so I value his opinion. If he's intrigued by this trade, then so am I.

Note to readers: you might not be able to read the whole article on the Newsday website, unless you're a Newsday or Cablevision subscriber.

Should be an interesting upcoming NFL season.

The perfect sport?

The boyfriend and I got into a discussion last night about what exactly is the perfect sport. He's been watching a lot of soccer lately and had been discussing the sport with his father yesterday. I, as you all know, am a huge fan of the New York Yankees and New York Giants, but even I will admit that each game has failings: baseball can be long and boring and football has too many commercials. The boyfriend, who is an ambivalent Yankee fan, agrees with both those assessments. He likes soccer, because there are almost no commercial interruptions, but most of the games are very low-scoring, which doesn't make for a whole lot of action. I forgot what his problem with basketball was, but I'm sure he mentioned too many commercials and excessive salaries. (As you may have guessed, he's not a huge fan of the sports-as-moneymaker-for-networks-and-players angle). He finally landed on rugby, which he claims has few commercial interruptions and lots of action, before admitting that perhaps hockey is the perfect game.

Except neither of us watch hockey.

I'm intrigued by hockey - I think its similarity to soccer and lacrosse, except that it's on skates, would make it easier for me to learn to understand than, say, rugby, which I don't get at all, but I've never had anyone around who watches hockey and can explain it to me, I don't know any of the players, and I don't like to ice skate.

I'm a girl. Not liking ice skating is allowed to be on my list of criteria for not watching a sport.

But, now that the New York Rangers are killing it and have secured a playoff spot, maybe I should finally give hockey a go...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tim Tebow to be a Jet?

That's what all the news outlets are reporting, that the Denver Broncos just traded Tebow to the New York Jets. What's interesting to me about that is that a few Jets fans, including my die-hard Jets fan brother, picked Tebow and the Broncs as their team to root for in the playoffs since the Jets didn't make it.

This move, though, doesn't make any sense to me unless they're not planning on starting Tebow as QB. Mark Sanchez has been inconsistent but he's consistently led his team, with the exception of this past season, to the playoffs for several years in a row, and not just to the first round of the playoffs. Maybe having Tebow there to compete for the starting position will light a fire under Sanchez to work harder and get better, but he's young and he's personable and he deserves a chance to grow into being a great quarterback. NBC Sports' Michael David Smith raised an interesting question though, that maybe the Jets would plan to use Tebow as a wildcat quarterback, much as they did with Brad Smith when he was on the team - Smith played QB in college and having those skills allowed the Jets to play as if they had two quarterbacks on the field at one time, even though Smith was usually not in the QB position. I'm more of a Giants fan than a Jets fan, so I'm not really that emotionally invested in the outcome, but I do like Sanchez, so I hope he's not gone - I would hate to see him pushed out the same way Tebow was just pushed out of Denver, but I guess we'll see what happens...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's tough to know just when to go: nice Newsday article on Andy Pettitte's return

As y'all are aware, Andy Pettitte is officially un-retiring today from the New York Yankees. I wrote about this just the other day, but I had to write again because there was a really thoughtful, well-written article in Newsday today by Mark Herrmann where a few ex-Yanks like Joe Girardi, Reggie Jackson, and Goose Gossage talk about the decision to keep playing or not, and how they dealt with it - sometimes you know when you're done, and sometimes you think you're done but you realize you're not. I can respect that. Athletes get so few good years - retiring at 38 or 40? I wish! - that I can see wanting to make sure you got good use out of all of them, and if Andy feels like he still has something to give, then I respect that he has to try. I was just so happy that one of my all-time favorite players got the opportunity to leave on his own terms and on a high note that him returning makes me nervous that he'll have a bad year and that's all anyone will remember. But maybe I'm the one who needs to take a deep breath, have a little faith, and enjoy the ride.

If you're a Newsday or Cablevision subscriber, you can read the article here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peyton Manning goes from being a young horse to a bucking one...

The news at the moment is that apparently, barring any complications, Peyton Manning is going to be a Denver Bronco. So Denver is pulling a Yankees move, edging out young but erratic Tim Tebow for aging, injured but tried-and-true Manning. I don't think it's completely unexpected. The Broncs and especially John Elway never really seemed to be completely on board the Tebow train, but it's too bad they didn't give the kid a little bit more time to prove himself...though with the NFL season being only 17 weeks long, there's really not a lot of time to give a QB that chance. Oh well. I guess this means no more Jimmy Fallon doing Tim Tebow as David Bowie, but maybe now the media will also leave Tebow alone about his Christianity. If convicted and accused felons/adulterers/rapists can play the game without much media scrutiny, a kid whose only crimes are that he's only good, not great, and that he believes in God should be shown the same courtesy. But as I am a Manning, not a Tebow fan, welcome back to the game, Peyton. Us fan girls here have missed you!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New York Yankees and Andy Pettitte: reunited and it feels so good...

It has never been a secret that Andy Pettitte was always one of my three favorite Yankees - when I was hanging posters on my college dorm room walls, cut outs of his photo from the newspaper were smack dab in the middle.

So I was obviously upset when he retired a little more than a year ago...but at the same time, it seemed like a natural end to what had been a pretty great career, though marred a bit by his admission of using performance-enhancing drugs. He got that last World Series ring in 2009 with the rest of the core four and while he was still a reliable pitcher, he was getting older and had lost some of his edge, so while I would miss him, it was a fitting time for him to leave. I had seen him pitch in person. I was okay with his decision.

Now he's re-signed with the Yanks. A part of me jumped for joy at the news - that part was the human person on the outside. I also squealed with glee. I am a fan girl. I can't help it. But part of me thinks - why? I love love love Pettitte but after bowing out gracefully and on a somewhat high note, why come back for more? Why fade out in a whimper after, for all intents and purposes, you already went out with a bang? And of course it brings me back to my ever present pet peeve with my favorite team - why give that spot to a fading, aging superstar when you could have given an up-and-comer with potential a chance to prove his worth, a chance to shine, and a chance to become a possible future core member of the team, much as Pettitte was 15 years ago?

So, once again, the sports world is tearing me apart a bit inside. But let me be the first to say that while I have mixed feelings about Andy re-signing with the Yanks, the possibility of getting to see him pitch in person again makes me really excited about going to a Yankee game this upcoming season.

Fan girl, out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The bottomline: Peyton versus the Colts

I have mixed feelings about the Indianapolis Colts releasing Peyton Manning today. I love Peyton Manning. Even as a New Yorker, I'm not afraid to admit it. Of my three Manning jerseys, one is a Peyton Colt's jersey. He's an amazing athlete and seems like a decent guy to boot, although I have to admit it was his stint on Saturday Night Live that really sealed the deal on my Peyton crush.

I know he was very badly hurt last season, so hurt he didn't even play. And that doesn't bode well for a player. Also, it doesn't bode well for any athlete, hurt or not, once he hits the mid-30s mark in age, which Peyton has. Maybe his best years are behind him. Maybe he'll never be the same quarterback who got the Colts to two Super Bowls and won one. And that's fair for the Colts to take that into consideration. I'm all about new, young blood. Just read my posts (rants) about the New York Yankees.

But I'm also about loyalty, and just as I have a problem with players who become so full of themselves that they leave their teammates and fans without so much as a by-your-leave (I'm totally looking at you LeBron...that's right), I have a problem with teams that, because of the bottom line, won't let a lifelong player, a player who kept the team in the spotlight, finish out his career with them.

I crush hard on Joe Mauer because he's so good (well, except for last season) that he could have his choice of World Series-bound teams to play with. He's a hot commodity. But he lives and breathes Minnesota. And while the Twins have lately been a playoff team, he seems okay with the fact that they might never make it to the World Series. And then I look at Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees - he's another player who has stayed with the same team his whole career, and he's still good, but he's not the player he used to be. The Yankees could find a younger, stronger, faster shortstop to replace him, and in a year or so, they probably will, but they're willing to find Jeter another position in the field to allow him to play out his career where he started.

So I get where the Colts are coming from. For them, it's about money - it's about what they can afford and it's about what they can get for their money. That's what business is all about, and the NFL, just like any other sports league, is a business. That's the bottomline. But sometimes, you have to forget about the money and act like a human being. That's my bottomline.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New York Knicks win, again: bizarro world continues

Last night the boyfriend and I were flipping around the television channels. Mostly we were watching The Godfather, because, well, the movie rocks. Hard. But during commercial breaks we were watching the Knicks-Cavs game. Two minutes of game, then back to the movie. But here's the kicker. I started enjoying myself so much watching the Knicks - the Knicks! - that I kinda wanted to keep the channel on the game. Instead of watching The Godfather, one of the all time great movies, ever.

Bizarro world.

The thing is - and this will sound familiar to anyone who has heard me go on and on about my love for Nick Swisher - the Knicks looked like they were having fun. Maybe they were having fun because they were starting to do well, but maybe they were starting to do well because they were having fun, but the whole dynamic of the game changed in that the players were looking energized and the bench was dancing and cheering and the *crowd* was chanting *for* the team and suddenly the Knicks looked like they wanted it and they were going for it. With all the dunks and alley-oops the Knicks were rocking, those players were beginning to look like they could literally fly. Like superheroes. The boyfriend, as we started watching the game, was telling me how the Knicks don't typically play well defensively, but then *he* started to get into the game as they started stealing the ball and getting those rebounds and basically, stepping up their defense.

The Knicks were looking good...I feel like I'm in a whole 'nother universe. The boyfriend did admit that the Cavs haven't been all that great of a team since LeBron James totally gave Cleveland the finger and jumped ship, but considering the Cavaliers were beating the Knicks by 17 points at one point last night, it was a pretty exciting win. Special shout-out to Jeremy Lin, of course, and to Steve Novak, whose sweet spot is apparently the entire court as he was sinking every three-pointer he was putting up.

Monday, February 27, 2012

As the MLB season quickly approaches, what's the most pressing question facing the New York Yankees?

Well, according to CBS radio this morning, the most important thing the Yanks must deal with is, now that A.J. Burnett has been traded, who will take over doling out the all important walk-off win whipped cream pie-in-the-face?

I kid you not.

Now, to be fair, I loved that about A.J. Burnett. I thought it brought a levity and lightheartedness to a clubhouse that can often come across as all-business and no-nonsense. Whenever a Yankee was responsible for a walk-off win, A.J. would smash him in the face with a pie - originally shaving cream, I believe, but eventually whipped cream. Didn't matter if he was in the dugout or giving a live television interview, A.J. would find him. I always enjoyed watching for it.

Unfortunately, A.J.'s pie antics did not translate to doing well on the mound and seeing as I had started to dread the games that he started, I'm not sorry to see him go. But the newscasters today on the radio were all a-twitter, not about who would replace him in the starting rotation, but who would replace him with the pie plate?

I mean, ladies and gentleman, this is what baseball is all about.

Their unanimous choice, not surprisingly, at least not to me, was rightfielder Nick Swisher. Why? "Because he always looks like he's having fun anyway." That's what I'm talking about. That's what I liked about the pie antics, that for at least a few seconds after the game, it didn't look like it was all about winning - it kinda looked like playing baseball was sort of about having fun. And that's one of the main reasons - and those of you who read this blog regularly know this - that I love Nick Swisher. He just always looks like he's having fun. He just always looks like he loves everything about the game, including probably most importantly in my humble opinion, the fans.

So while the rest of the next couple of months will be spent debating starting lineups, trades, new players, health and fitness reports, stats, predictions, etc. etc., I think we're all relieved to know that at least the most important question, the pie question, has been settled.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hell hath frozen over...I'm watching the Knicks

...that's right. You heard it here first. For the first time in about 15 years, this fan girl is watching the New York Knicks. Voluntarily. They are on, right now, playing the Miami Heat, and I want to see if they have it in them to beat those ol' so-and-sos...well, let's just say I don't like the Heat and I want them to lose. And I want the Knicks to beat them. And I want to see the Knicks beat them. I haven't felt this way in years and it feels both bizarre and....comforting.

The Knicks are losing right now. But not by much. I'm excited to finally see Jeremy Lin in action. And I would really love it if they could just stick it to LeBron James. That would totally make my day. Bitter much? Well, yes...I used to be a Knicks fan after all. But in a part of me that I thought was long dead...there is a fluttering, a faint sign of life.  So for the first time in over a decade, let's here it...

Lets go Knicks!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Linsane!...

...but this Jeremy Lin fellow is coming close to working a miracle. No, not the last second game-winning shots he's making. No, not all the assists he has. No, not his part in creating the seven-game winning streak the New York Knicks are now on. Well, yes, all that put together and more...as a Christian, I'm sure he'll appreciate the miraculous nature of what is happening here. The miracle that Lin has (very nearly) wrought is that for the first time in about 15 years, he's making me care about basketball. He's making me pay attention to basketball headlines in the morning. He's making me actively seek out news about how the Knicks are doing. He's making me want to be a part of the Lin-sanity. He's making me write about *basketball* in my blog. He is - ::gasp:: - almost kinda sorta making me want to turn on a Knicks game and actually see this guy in action.

I don't think I've voluntarily watched a Knicks game since the late 1990s...it's been a mild winter here in New York, but maybe Hell really *has* frozen over!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Not to harp, because I like Victor Cruz, but...

...on the MSNBC.com sports page here, Victor Cruz, who had a beyond amazing year with the New York Giants and made a whole fanbase, including this fan girl, fall in love with him and his salsa-dancing and game-winning receiving ways, talks about how he deserves a raise. I totally get that. He was paid what he was deemed worth at the start of the season and he's proven that if he keeps up this performance, he should be along side the guys in the big leagues who get paid big-league salaries.

But you know what? I don't get paid what I'm worth either. Neither do a lot of Americans. Most of us *deserve* to make more. Welcome to the imperfect world! And forget about those who don't get paid at all because they can't find jobs. So, while I agree that he should get paid at least the same amount as the guys he's, in a lot of cases, out-performing who make way more than him, it's kind of in poor taste to complain about what he DID make, when it's more than 10 times the amount I got paid this past year, and 4 times the amount my "rich" friends make annually.

I like you, Victor Cruz, I know you're young and still learning the ropes of being a sports mega-superstar, and I like that you're standing up for yourself, because you can't let the powers-that-be take advantage of you, BUT please don't let this new fame go to your head. It's unlikeable when people who make a ton of money complain that they don't make enough money AND it makes them unrelatable...and I want to still like you! Yours is the jersey I'm considering buying next...don't make me regret that!

Fan girl, out... :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rant of the day: the Yankees are at it again...and not in a good way

I read an article at Newsday.com today that the New York Yankees are looking for a hitter, preferably a leftie, and their top candidates are, drumroll please...Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui, and Johnny Damon.

Wtf?

Raul Ibanez is 39 years old. Hideki Matsui will be 38 this year. Johnny Damon just turned 38 a few months ago. Now, in Real Life, 38-39 is nothing to look twice at. It's not old. In fact, many 38-39 year old men still act like children. Just ask my almost-41-year-old boyfriend, who constantly makes me feel like I'm babysitting a 12-year-old. But in The Sports World? 38 years old is ANCIENT....why why WHY WHY do the Yankees insist on doing this and pissing me off in the process? Why do they think that spending their money on an aging, fading former superstar for one or two years is a better investment than scouting and cultivating young talent via the homegrown farm system, which could reap young up-and-coming future superstars??? Where do they think the likes of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera came from? Yes, it takes time, but if you get another Mo out of it, isn't it worth it?

I had started to think the Yankees were changing their thought process on this when they were patient with a young, unseasoned, immature Robinson Cano, who - guess what! - is turning out to be a phenomenal YOUNG player, but I guess my elation was premature. And maybe I'm wrong, but weren't both Matsui and Damon ALREADY on the Yankees and let go because they were getting too old and slow and losing power in their bats and their throwing arms? Am I wrong? Did I hallucinate that?

I wish they would realize the worth in investing in players like Cano and Nick Swisher and even Mark Texeira, who is still in his early 30s. Nobody wants to see a team of old men get their butts kicked on the field by teams that realize the importance of giving young players - the FUTURE of baseball - a shot.

::Sigh::

I love them, I bleed pinstripes, I really do, but they really make it very difficult for me sometimes to stand by my fandom.

Here endeth the rant. Fan girl, out.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

From Zap2It.com: CBS Sports Fantasy Baseball Boyfriend: To simplify things for girls - Pop2it - Zap2it

You go, girl! Andrea Reiher stands up for female sports fans everywhere...and just as a personal note, Joe Mauer IS my fantasy baseball boyfriend, but when I play in a fantasy baseball league, I'm choosing him - just like I choose all my other players - because he rocks the game, not because I think he's cute. Read more about it here:

CBS Sports Fantasy Baseball Boyfriend: To simplify things for girls - Pop2it - Zap2it

My two cents on Gisele Bundchen's two cents...

So, I'm a little late to the game when it comes to the comments Gisele made following the Pats' Super Bowl loss blaming the New England receivers, but it's everywhere...EVERYONE is talking about it. And since I'm a girl which means I must love tabloid fodder and love to gossip, here's my two cents...

I am not a Tom Brady fan...but I'm also not a Gisele fan. I think she is a large reason that people don't like Brady, that they find him unrelatable. And - shocker - I'm about to say something nice about Tom Brady; I think Gisele could take a page out of her husband's playbook when it comes to being gracious about losing and not throwing anyone under the bus. It doesn't do anybody any good to lay blame to the media and to the public, and while Gisele was not giving an interview, she was in a public place surrounded by, well, the public.

I liked very much what Herm Edwards said on Sports Center yesterday when he was asked about whether or not Gisele was right in what she said - he noted that emotions run high after a game, and negative emotions run extremely high after such a devastating loss. Edwards noted that Gisele was venting, which is fair enough, but when he was coaching and his teams lost, he would meet with his wife privately and allow her to vent for five minutes, which made her feel better and better able to be stoic and more importantly, QUIET, in public afterward, whether giving an interview or not. I thought that was a smart and understanding solution to that kind of scenario. Gisele's behavior just made her - and by association, her husband, who defended Wes Welker like a good teammate and captain should while at the podium - look like a sore loser and it made her look classless.

Here endeth the rant.

The calm after the storm

If Tuesdays weren't deadline day at work and super busy as a result, this fan girl would've been up at the crack of dawn to see the Giants' championship parade in New York City this morning. I have fond memories of attending the New York Yankees parade in 2009 with my brother, almost being crushed by a wave of rabid fans. Of course, this is my favorite photo of that day:

Nick Swisher greets Yankees fans at the championship parade in 2009.





It's just so apparent how excited Nick Swisher is to be there with his fans. His love of the game and of the fans is contagious. I could get used to this championship parade thing happening every few years. I am resolved to go to the next one, which hopefully won't be too far off!

Anywho...football season is officially over. Baseball doesn't start until the spring. And so begins the sports lull in my life, the void I have to try to fill every single year. Sometimes I have a winter Olympics to watch. Sometimes I give the Knicks a go. I tried college basketball for awhile. I still don't understand hockey. So I hope the Giants are enjoying the celebration of their victory today, and until MLB's opening day 2012, I am open to suggestions on how to get my sports fix until then!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New York Giants, Super Bowl champs!

There's no need for me to rehash all the ins and outs of last night's game. Sports Illustrated's website provides some great analysis and commentary if you're online, and ESPN is talking it to death if you're watching tv. All I will say is that I love my team, I love that they wanted to win, and I kinda love that it was the Patriots that they stuck it to. I will proudly rock both my Eli Manning jerseys for many years to come. I think this picture, from the New York Post homepage, says it all: