Main

February 12, 2014

OH NO My Captain, Say it Ain't So

The last of the so-called "Core Four," Captain Derek Jeter has announced that the 2014 season will be his final in professional baseball. The past year, he sported so many injuries, this Yankee fan was starting to doubt that he'd ever come back. But of that "Core Four," all but three are now retired: Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera to much well-deserved fanfare, and soon, Derek will join them.

I am upset and depressed; Jeter, by far, my favorite baseball player (in my lifetime of active involvement in Yankee fanaticism, Jeter ranks only with two other former captains of the Yankees: Ron Guidry and Don Mattingly, for both talent and humanity). Though my apartment still requires much work after the October fire, it has been and remains (since the mid-1990s), a virtual shrine to Derek. I will miss him, but I will always cherish the fact that I got to see him play, the personification of class, grace, heart, and talent.

Go Derek! Go Yanks!

October 18, 2013

Song of the Day #1143

Song of the Day: Enter Sandman, written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich, is the Metallica song that allows us to celebrate the exit of The Sandman himself, legendary relief pitcher, Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in the history of the game, with the most regular season and postseason saves in baseball history. One of the Core Four, who sports five World Series rings, he is the last active Major League Baseball player to wear the Number 42 (the MLB-wide retired number of the trailblazing Jackie Robinson), now retired at Yankee Stadium, on a ceremonial day that greeted him to the field as Metallica performed this song live in his honor (a theme song for Mo upon his entrance in any save situation at The Stadium). As we stand on the precipice of this year's World Series, the postseason isn't the same without him (or the Yankees for this frustrated fan), but no season will ever be the same without Mo. Here's the official video from the band and their appearance at Yankee Stadium on Mo's Day.

April 18, 2013

Song of the Day #1125

Song of the Day: Sweet Caroline, words and music by Neil Diamond, was a huge hit for the singer. Today, a few days after the horrific massacre at the Boston Marathon, the song takes on an even more poignant tone than its original intent as a paean to the young Caroline Kennedy. A perennial at Fenway Park, it was played after the 3rd inning on April 16, 2013 in Yankee Stadium, as the New York Yankees faithful sang along in solidarity [YouTube link] with those whose lives have been forever altered by the events in Boston. On a day when Yankees and Diamondback players all wore #42 in tribute to a famed Brooklyn Dodger, this was as sweet a gesture as one could find among great sports rivals, who put aside competition for a day, in remembrance. The Fenway Faithful did the same in the days after 9/11, when they sang along to "New York, New York." I watched the Stadium crowd rise to the occasion, and I now can't listen to the song with dry eyes. Stand tall. Check out the full Neil Diamond recording.

April 01, 2013

Song of the Day #1123

Song of the Day: Drive By, words and music by Patrick Monahan, Espen Lind, and Amund Bjorklund, was recorded by the band Train. The full song can be heard on YouTube, but I must admit that I have a sentimental attachment to it because it was featured in a Tri-State New York-area Ford car commercial starring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Jeter misses Opening Day 2013, despite having started for 16 of the last 17 years. He's still on the mend from last year's devastating post-season ankle break. I wish it were all an April Fools' Day joke, but it isn't.  Still, baseball is back in New York today, Big Time! For the first time since 1956, when the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers each held Opening Day festivities, two New York teams are opening at home today: the New York Mets host the San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox (and they are dedicating their games to those who lost their lives in the Newtown tragedy). Here's hoping that The Captain joins the party before too long. But for now: Play Ball!

October 29, 2012

Song of the Day #1080

Song of the Day: Swept Away, words and music by Sara Allen and Daryl Hall (who provides the guitar solo), was a terrific #1 1984 dance track recorded by Diana Ross. So, the Detroit Tigers Swept Away the New York Yankees in 4 straight, and the San Francisco Giants (not the New York Football Giants, who barely swept away the Dallas Cowboys yesterday) did likewise to the Tigers, winning the World Series in 4 games. And here in the New York tri-state area, we dig in so as not to be Swept Away by Hurricane Sandy. Check out the Arthur Baker 12" club mix on YouTube.

October 18, 2012

Yankees: On To Spring Training!

UGH.

Boy was that awful. The Detroit Tigers swept the New York Yankees in the ALCS, and move on to the World Series.

Nothing was more awful than losing The Captain, who went down in Game 1 of this series with a broken ankle. But not even Derek Jeter could have saved this team's anemic hitting.

UGH.

Hopefully, the Yanks, and Derek, will be back in the swing of things in Spring 2013.

October 12, 2012

Yankees: On To the ALCS!!!

The New York Yankees just won the ALDS in 5 games, beating the tough Baltimore Orioles, 3-1, with C.C. Sabathia going the distance.

It never gets old.

Now, the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers.

Go Yanks!

September 28, 2012

Song of the Day #1076

Song of the Day: Empire State of Mind features the words and music of Alexander Shuckburgh, Angela Hunte and Jane't "Jnay" Sewell-Ulepic, Bert Keyes and Sylvia Robinson (a sample from their "Love on a Two-Way Street"), Alicia Keys and Shawn Corey Carter, otherwise known as Jay-Z, both of whom perform on the recording. Tonight, Jay-Z opens up eight concert dates at Brooklyn's new entertainment arena: the Barclays Center, where Jay-Z's basketball team, the newly named Brooklyn Nets, will open their season in October. Professional sports will return to Brooklyn for the first time since Dem Bums left. This is a paean to the city where Jay-Z was born. And any song with a shout out to Sinatra gets Two Thumbs Up in my book, any day. Tonight, Brooklyn gives the Empire State another jewel in its crown. Check out the official video.

August 12, 2012

Song of the Day #1068

Song of the Day: Olympics Fanfare Medley combines the robust "Bugler's Dream," composed by Leo Arnaud and the celebratory John Williams composition, "Summon the Heroes." They are both wonderful fanfares, tributes to the indomitable spirit of the Olympics. Tonight is the closing ceremony of the exciting 2012 London Summer Olympics. Check out the Arnaud theme, the John Williams theme, and the medley.

April 13, 2012

Song of the Day #1038

Song of the Day: The Unsinkable Molly Brown ("I Ain't Down Yet"), words and music by Meredith Wilson, is featured in the 1960 Broadway musical, in which the lead character was played by Tammy Grimes, who won the 1961 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress. The 1964 cinematic adaptation garnered six Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress nomination for Debbie Reynolds who became the feisty Molly Brown on screen. Born Margaret, though her friends called her Maggie, she is known to history as Molly. A traveler on the Titanic, she was the quintessential strong woman and suffragist who, in Lifeboat No. 6, exhorted the crew to return to the waters of death, in search of survivors. On screen, so many have portrayed her, including: the independent, playful, and feisty Kathy Bates in the 1997 Cameron blockbuster; the ever-effervescent Thelma Ritter, who is named "Maude Young" but is clearly Molly, in the 1953 film, "Titanic"; and Cloris Leachman played her twice: as Maggie Brown in a 1950s dramatization for "Television Time" [YouTube link to that episode], and in the television movie, "S.O.S. Titanic". Molly Brown survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic. No wonder the character sings this song as a celebration of The Unsinkable. No better day to note it than on Friday the 13th, which happens to be both Good Friday for the Eastern Orthodox and Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Check out Tammy Grimes in the Broadway cast version [amazon.com sample] and, my favorite, Debbie Reynolds from the film version and (watch her inspire Titanic lifeboat survivors) [YouTube links]. You'll be singing: "Told Ya So! Told Ya So! Told Ya, Told Ya, Told Ya So!"

April 06, 2012

Song of the Day #1081

Song of the Day: Glory Days, composed and performed by "The Boss," Bruce Springsteen, appears on his huge hit album, "Born in the U.S.A." It's the perfect way to kick off the New York Yankees' 2012 baseball season, which begins today in Florida against the Rays. Check out the terrific baseball-inspired video on YouTube. And Go Yanks!!!

April 05, 2012

Song of the Day #1080

Song of the Day: Meet the Mets, words and lyrics by Ruth Roberts and Bill Katz, is the fight song of the New York Mets, who open their 2012 baseball season today at Citi Field. I'm a diehard Yankees fan, but I have to admit . . . uh, I actually have always liked this theme from the cross-town rivals. Play ball! And check out the Mets song [YouTube link].

February 06, 2012

Song of the Day #1021

Song of the Day: The Verdict ("The Bottom") [sample clip at that link], composed by Johnny Mandel, captures perfectly the mind-set of Frank Galvin, a seemingly washed-up attorney, who has one last chance to take on a big case, one last chance for personal redemption. The character is played by the Oscar-nominated Paul Newman, in what was, arguably, his greatest performance as an actor. The acclaimed director Sidney Lumet, who passed away in April 2011, said this of Newman's work in the 1982 film: "The slightest gesture, the slightest look, deep riches pour out." Amen. (Oh, and This Verdict Is In and It's Not 'The Bottom' but the Very Top!: The New York Giants Win the Super Bowl!! Bravo!!!)

February 05, 2012

Song of the Day #1020

Song of the Day: Heaven Can Wait features the Oscar-nominated score of composer Dave Grusin. It's one of my favorite cinema comedies (actually an adaptation of Harry Segall's 1938 play of the same name, and a remake of the 1941 film, "Here Comes Mr. Jordan"). But it's also a movie whose final sequences take place at the Super Bowl. And that's where the New York Giants are today, facing off with their arch football rivals, the New England Patriots, whom Big Blue beat at the 2007 Super Bowl. (Okay, okay, I'll give handsome Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady 1/2 of 1 point, just for admitting to a "man-crush" on New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.) But I say: One Mo' Time! Go Eli Manning! Go Giants! And Go Grusin for capturing so many moods in his kaleidoscopic main theme from this 1978 film (YouTube clip at that link).

October 01, 2011

Yankees: Looking Back ... and To The Future

Fifty years ago today, New York Yankees right fielder Roger Maris hit his 61st home run of the season, setting what was, then, the single-season home run record. 61 in '61. It was long said, however, that this achievement would always be tarnished by an asterisk, since the 61st home run came on the final day of a 162-game regular season schedule, whereas The Babe had hit his record-setting 60th home run in the old 154-game regular season schedule.

All the more reason to add a few asterisks to the "records" set by those players who "surpassed" Maris in the Steroid Era.

Be that as it may, here's a Salute to one of the Great M&M boys, as the Yankees win their first 2011 post-season game, tonight, beating Detroit, 9-3.

Viva Maris! And Go Yanks!

July 09, 2011

D3K

Readers of Notablog surely know that I've had a long-time bromance with the great Yankee Captain, shortstop Derek Jeter.

A few minutes ago, DJ got his 3000th hit, the first New York Yankee player... in fact, the first player in the history of New York baseball, and the 4th youngest player in MLB history, to achieve this remarkable career feat. Only 27 other players in baseball history have achieved this feat, and only 10 of these have achieved it with a single team.

DJ did it with style... a Home Run, to tie the score, 1-1, against the Tampa Bay Rays. I am so elated, so proud, so happy for this man. He is pure, unadulterated class.

Three (thousand) cheers for Derek Sanderson Jeter

Ok... there's still a ballgame to play... Yankees just went ahead, 2-1. But oh how sweet it is to see history this afternoon.

PS - DJ, who wears Number 2, hit his 2nd hit of the day at 2pm, only the 2nd player in MLB history to hit a Home Run for his 3000th hit. Oh, and this 3000th hit was his 3rd Home Run of the season.

PPS - DJ goes 5 for 5 on the day, and drives in what becomes the winning run, in a 5-4 Yankee victory!

November 05, 2009

New York Yankees: World Series Champs!

It's like New Year's Eve in the neighborhood right now... because the New York Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 4 games to 2, to earn their 27th World Series Championship!

CONGRATULATIONS to the greatest franchise in sports history!

October 26, 2009

Congrats to the Yankees for 40th AL Banner!

Last night, the New York Yankees won their 40th American League Championship Pennant, beating the LA Angels of Anaheim four games to two. The World Series opens in Da Bronx on Wednesday, October 28th against the Philadelphia Phillies. Yuck.

I can't stand the Phillies. Anyway.

I'll be root, root, rooting for the home team! Go Yankees!!!

September 12, 2009

Derek Jeter: All-Time Yankees Hits Leader

My favorite Yankee player just broke the all-time franchise hit record, held by the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig, for the past 72 years. Derek Jeter's single in the third inning---his 2,722nd lifetime hit---pulled him ahead of Gehrig, for the lead in all-time Yankee hits. It was a thrill to watch. Even the principal owner, George Steinbrenner, had something nice to say about Jeter: "For those who say today's game can't produce legendary players, I have two words: Derek Jeter. ... As historic and significant as becoming the Yankees' all-time hit leader is, the accomplishment is all the more impressive because Derek is one of the finest young men playing the game today."

Amen.

And, for the record, Jeter added another hit during the game, increasing his franchise record to 2,723 hits. Bravo!

September 29, 2008

Shea Goodbye to 2008 Baseball Season

The Mets and the Yankees ended the 2008 season on losing notes yesterday; the Mets closed Shea Stadium to make way for the 2009 opening of Citi Field with a devastating loss to the Florida Marlins for the second straight year, preventing them from moving into the playoffs. And the Yanks lost the final game of their season in Fenway Park, having already played the last game at Yankee Stadium ... to make way for a new Yankee Stadium opening next year.

The Yanks' loss last night was in the second game of a doubleheader (due to a rainout on Saturday) with the Red Sox; they had won the first game, giving pitcher Mike Mussina the first 20-game winning season of his career. But it's going to be a quiet postseason in NYC... the first time since the 1994 strike-shortened season that the city will not host October baseball.

I did watch some of the festivities at Shea, however, as the Mets hosted some of the baseball stars of yesteryear. This was a stadium that was, in 1975, home to both the Yankees and the Mets, and the football Giants and the Jets, while Yankee Stadium was being remodeled. This was a stadium that had hosted concerts from the Beatles to the Boss, and even Pope John Paul II. The stadium farewell tribute ended with a final pitch from Hall of Famer Tom Seaver to soon-to-be-Hall of Famer, Mike Piazza. Even Yankee great Yogi Berra showed up (he had managed the team in the early 1970s, taking them to World Series in 1973).

I'd gone to a few games at Shea through the years; while it was not the baseball cathedral that Yankee Stadium was, it still had its charm. I will miss these two stadiums; here's hoping the 2009 season brings the teams two new homes, and two winning seasons (well, okay, in the unlikely event that they face each other in the World Series ... ONE winning season).

Shea Goodbye. Wait 'til next year!

September 21, 2008

Farewell, Yankee Stadium

Readers of Notablog know that I am a fanatic when it comes to the New York Yankees. Tonight, the 85-year old Yankee Stadium, "the House that Ruth Built," hosts the final regular season baseball game of its storied history. The Yankees face the Baltimore Orioles in a prime-time ESPN event, a great goodbye to The Stadium.

I am not too thrilled about this move away from one of the hallowed fields of baseball. Back in 2005, I was privileged to tour this "baseball cathedral." It was a day that ranks up there with some of my fondest memories of the place. A Yankee fan since childhood, I first set foot in the Stadium... the old Stadium, long before its mid-70s refurbishing. It was for a Mayor's Trophy game between the Mets and the Yankees and the Stadium was incredibly imposing to my young eyes. But when the Yankees returned to their home turf, after a two-season stint at Shea Stadium (which also closes at the end of this year's baseball season), I started attending many more games, especially in 1978, when the Yankees came back from a 14-game mid-season deficit to win their division against the Boston Red Sox, and then, the American League Pennant and the World Series.

There was a long drought in the Bronx through the 1980s and early 1990s ... but I still root, root, rooted for the home team, though, in truth, it was mostly the Mets who owned NYC baseball and the back of the sports pages during this period. Indeed, I spent most of my adult years rooting for a loser, so unspoiled was I by the decades of remarkable Yankee dominance.

When the team returned to its winning ways in the late '90s, with a new crop of talent, it was a true delight. Alas, this year hasn't been such a delight; after 13 straight years of making it to the postseason, the Yankees are most likely playing the very last baseball game on this field.

ABC World News Tonight tributed the place as part of last Friday's "Person of the Week" segment (you can read or, better still, view that segment here). Charlie Gibson reminds us that it wasn't just a home for baseball; it has hosted "Popes and Presidents," and some of the greatest sports events of the past century, from the 1938 Joe Louis-Max Schmeling boxing match to the 1958 Colts-Giants "all-time greatest" football game.

But, ultimately, it is about baseball. As Gibson said, "With a nod to Wrigley and Fenway, this has been baseball's capital for so many years."

I hope to make it to the "new" Yankee Stadium, with its retro design that harks back to the old beauty I first encountered as a child. But no place will be this place. A Field of Dreams, for sure. And for so many memorable realities.

Farewell, Yankee Stadium.

Update: Take a look at these really nice essays and links from the NY Times and the NY Daily News, dealing with tonight's Stadium finale:

Echoes in the Bronx
Blogging the Bombers
Reggie Jackson Has a Hard Time Leaving
Mike Lupica, Magic of Stadium Bridges Generations (and check out Lupica's piece on Derek Jeter)
A Tribute to the Great Bob Sheppard (Yankee Stadium Announcer)

Update #2, 9/22/2008: Check out these follow-up stories by Bill Madden, Filip Bondy, Mike Lupica, Mark Feinsand, and a couple of NY Times features here and here. Cliche that it is... it was truly a night to remember...

September 17, 2008

Derek Jeter Breaks Record

Yankee fans have little to cheer this year; the team ain't gonna make the postseason, and the Ol' Stadium is being torn down at the end of the season, as a new one opens across the street for the 2009 baseball season.

But last night, Derek Jeter gave fans a reason to cheer. He moved into sole possession of 1st place: the player with the most hits in Yankee Stadium, a record that, arguably will always be held by #2. (I say "arguably" because a case might be made that there is still a record there to be beat: Most home-field hits by a Yankee, which, conceivably, might be broken in the new stadium.) Jeter beat Lou Gehrig's former record of 1,269 hits, and now holds 1,271 hits at the great baseball cathedral in Da Bronx. And just last week, he moved into second place on the all-time Yankee hit list, jumping over Babe Ruth's 2,518 hits, and now standing behind Gehrig, who holds the team record 2,721 hits. Jeter currently has 2,532 hits; if he stays healthy, he may be the one Yankee player who, someday, reaches the 3000 hit plateau.

In any event, thanks, Captain Jeter... for giving us something to cheer about.

August 16, 2008

Phabulous Phelps!

Swimmer Michael Phelps, with a little help from Team USA, takes home his eighth gold medal tonight at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He writes himself into the history books, beating the 1972 7-medal Gold Haul of Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz.

Bravo, Michael! Bravo!

July 16, 2008

All Star Stadium

Thank goodness for DVR... 'cause some of us just keep fighting to stay awake for some of these events that seem to go on and on all night!

Nevertheless, it was an event worth watching, if only because the 2008 All-Star Game took place at Yankee Stadium, the last time any All Star Game will have ever been played on that particular field of dreams. The ol' ballpark in Da Bronx is being replaced in 2009 by a new retro stadium across the street.

It was certainly odd to see Red Sox and Yankees players on the same side, the American League, which happened to win the game in the 15th inning, 4-3. Seeing 49 Hall of Fame ballplayers and all those current stars on the same field was a thrill for sure. Heck, even seeing Yankee Boss George Steinbrenner was poignant.

But, in reality, it was the Stadium itself, that Cathedral of Baseball, that was the biggest All Star on this night. I've not been out to the ballpark in the Bronx for quite a while, but I will always hold dear its history, and my memories of it.

There's still another half of a season to go, and while it looks improbable that the Yankees will give New York another October... I'm still root, root, rooting for the home team.

Go Yanks!

July 13, 2008

Bobby Murcer, RIP

I was very deeply saddened by the loss of Bobby Murcer, a long-time Yankees player and broadcaster, and all-around-good-guy. Murcer had been battling cancer for quite a while, and his fans, and I count myself among them, were rooting for his return to the broadcast booth. He'd made a brief return after cancer treatments, but he eventually had to leave the YES network; Yankees fans had hoped to see him back at the stadium in time for this week's All-Star Game, which is the last All-Star Game to be played in the old Yankee Stadium. Next year, the new Yankee Stadium opens across the street; after this season, the House that Ruth Built will be no more.

Alas, now Bobby has joined the field of dreams of baseball eternity.

In the New York Daily News, Bill Madden had this to say, reminiscing about how Murcer, who had been traded from the Yanks late in his baseball career, made his way back to the Bronx:

It wasn't until late June of 1979 that [Yankees owner, George] Steinbrenner reunited the 33-year-old Murcer with the Yankees, as the Cubs, who were just looking to dump his $320,000 contract, sent him back to the Bronx for a non-prospect minor-league pitcher named Paul Semall. At the time of the deal, the Yankees, who had lost their closer, [Rich "Goose"] Gossage, to a thumb injury (the result of a shower room fight with teammate Cliff Johnson) were already falling out of the AL East pennant race. Then, on Aug. 2, an off-day, the Yankees and the rest of baseball were shocked by the news that [Yankees catcher and team captain, Thurman] Munson had been killed in the crash of his single-engine private jet as he was practicing landings at the Canton, Ohio, airport.
No one in baseball was closer to Munson than Murcer, who, only the night before, had watched from his car at the end of the runway of a small Chicago airport as Munson took off on his solo flight home to Canton. Four days later, after delivering the eulogy at the Munson funeral in Canton, Murcer, despite having gotten no sleep, implored Yankee manager Billy Martin to let him play in the game that night at the Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles. It would be his finest hour as a Yankee as he honored Munson's memory by driving in all five runs, with a three-run homer and two-run single, in their emotional 5-4 win.
"He loved the game, his fans, his friends, and most of all his family," Murcer had said in the eulogy for Munson. "He is lost, but not gone. He will be missed, but not forgotten."
Now they are both lost.

Mike Lupica tells us of this "prince of the city": "There will be a moment of silence for him Tuesday night, at the All-Star Game. Then one last time they will cheer Bobby Murcer big at Yankee Stadium, the biggest place the kid from Oklahoma ever saw, this time to the heavens."

June 07, 2008

No Brown Crown, No Jim McKay

I guess we were spoiled back in the 1970s; in 1973, I saw Secretariat, the greatest of them all, in my opinion, take the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Seattle Slew followed in 1977, and Affirmed beat out Alydar in three successive thrilling races to take the Crown in 1978.

But Da' Tara beat Big Brown in his bid to be the first horse to take the Triple Crown in 30 years. Having won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Big Brown came up short at New York's Belmont.

I sometimes wonder if we'll ever see another Triple Crown winner!

On a much sadder note, it is perhaps ironic that on this day, another great voice of sports broadcasting was silenced: Jim McKay, who passed away at the age of 86. I will always remember his stints at the "Wide World of Sports" and his remarkable reporting from the tragic Munich Olympics. He will be missed by sports fans the world over.

March 31, 2008

Play Ball 2008!

Today marks the last Opening Day at the Old Yankee Stadium. Next year, a new ballpark opens across the street from the field of dreams. And in another week, Shea Stadium will have its last Opening Day, as the Mets prepare to move into their new ballpark.

Good luck to New York's teams ... and if you haven't been to these ballparks, make a trip in 2008. Take advantage of the stadium tours. Indeed, for me, the Yankee Stadium tour was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Play ball!

February 05, 2008

No Rain on Our Parade

There is a 50% chance for rain in the Big Apple, but it's all sunshine in Giants land today. The Giants parade up the "Canyon of Heroes" begins at 11 a.m. in celebration of their improbable victory over the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl.

You can watch the action here or on any local TV channel in NYC.

Sometimes, New York Daily News writer Mike Lupica infuriates me (I've been enjoying his political articles more than his sports articles of late!). But when he's good, he's great. Yesterday was one terrific article followed by another today. Lupica writes:

This time the Yankees didn't go out in the first round and the Mets didn't blow a seven-game lead. The Patriots didn't go to 19-0. Boston didn't ring up New York again. The Giants come across the river today and bring the Lombardi Trophy with them. For the first time in a long time the sports capital of the world isn't someplace else.

Some of us would like the good cheer of the Giants to rub off on our local baseball teams.

Good news: Ten days for pitchers and catchers to report to Spring Training. Woo hoo!

For now, however, it's time to have a parade! Go Big Blue!

February 03, 2008

HOLY $#%&!!! The Giants Win the Super Bowl!!!

I don't #%^$*^@ believe it!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Postscript (7:17 a.m., February 04, 2008): Ok, now I'm a little calmer. :) But the Giants achieved one of the greatest upsets in NFL Super Bowl history, stunning the Perfect Patriots, who were vying for a 19-0 season, beating them with 35 seconds left on the clock, 17-14. As New Yorkers chanted "18 and 1"... the Giants won the game, led by Most Valuable Player, Quarterback Eli Manning (who follows his MVP brother Peyton, who took the Colts to a Super Bowl victory last year).

Congratulations to Big Blue!!!

Song of the Day #867

Song of the Day: Blue Bossa is a jazz standard composed by jazz trumpeter Kenny Dorham. It's a lilting bossa nova that has been recorded by many artists, including jazz greats Joe Pass and J. J. Johnson, super pianist McCoy Tyner, and Kenny Dorham himself (audio clips at those links). And watch a YouTube video performance by Zack Kim. Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I'm cheering on Big Blue: Go Giants!

January 20, 2008

Go Giants!

Okay, okay, so they play in Joisey. But they still wear that NY on their helmuts, and the New York Giants are going to the Super Bowl. WTF!?! I can't believe it that Little Manning is taking his team to Arizona.

Wow.

To face those unbeaten New England Patriots. Ugh.

Well, for the second year in a row, a Manning makes the Super Bowl, and Eli tries to follow his brother Peyton to victory. Well, at least the temperatures will be higher than the ones the Giants had to deal with in Lambeau Field, against the Green Bay Packers. A nice 23-20 sudden death overtime victory for Big Blue. Congratulations!

October 30, 2007

Goodbye Donnie Baseball; Hello Joe G.

Many Yankee fans thought for sure that beloved Don Mattingly would become the new manager of the New York Yankees. It turns out that Donnie Baseball is not to be in the Bronx, and former Yankees catcher Joe Girardi (who was also a former NL Manager of the Year, when he managed the Florida Marlins in 2006) is slated to be the new manager in the post-Torre era.

Word has it that the "front office" guys didn't want another manager like Joe Torre, with a quieter disposition, which rules out Mattingly. In his previous stint with the Marlins, Girardi showed a bit of 'kick-ass,' but that 'kick ass' quality got him into a bit of trouble with the owners. Hmmm... not sure if that is a good thing with the Steinbrenner family, but I'm already looking forward to Spring Training.

Meanwhile, Joe Torre might be going to the west coast to manage the LA Dodgers... and Mattingly might join him as hitting coach.

October 29, 2007

Baseball $ox

Congratulations to Red Sox Nation for their second World Series championship in the new century. Looks like the beginning of the last century ...

Perhaps the Bosox will try to deal a death blow to their hated rivals, the New York Yankees, by making Alex Rodriguez an offer he can't refuse. Apparently, nearly a quarter of a billion dollars wasn't enough to keep A-Rod in the Bronx ... so a Big Bronx Cheer to this talented free agent and probable 2007 MVP.

Don't let the clubhouse door hit you on the way out.

October 19, 2007

Passings

Changes happening... some permanent... let me note a few:

o Deborah Kerr, whom I loved in such movies as "The King and I," "An Affair to Remember," and "Quo Vadis," passed away on Tuesday, October 16, 2007.

o Joey Bishop, whose humor made me chuckle in the 1960s and 1970s, passed away on Wednesday, October 17, 2007; he was the last surviving member of Hollywood's famed "Rat Pack."

o Laissez Faire Books is closing its doors after 36 years in business. I will always be enormously thankful to LFB for carrying my various books and monographs through the years. My very best wishes to everybody connected to LFB for providing liberty lovers with one of the most important sources of libertarian literature in the world.

o And, finally, I note the passing of the Joe Torre Era of Yankees Baseball. I still think that the Yankees greatest weakness is their starting pitching (and their long relief), not their manager. It's the pitching (or lack thereof) that has led to early exits from the postseason for several years running now. The organization is going a long way toward correcting its pitching weakness by re-investing in a long-depleted farm system. The rebuilding may take a few years, but I'm confident it will be for the best. Losing Manager Joe Torre, however, is not for the best, and I will miss his steady hand and stabilizing influence. Thanks, Joe, for a great run!

September 27, 2007

Holy Cow! Yanks Clinch Wild Card!

Holy Cow, indeed! After a miserable start to the season, the Yanks came roaring back and have clinched the Wild Card in the American League. Post-season starts next week! Stay tuned!

August 14, 2007

Merv and The Scooter

Over the past two days, two of the most memorable personalities of my youth passed away. Yesterday, I found out about the passing of Merv Griffin, who is known best today as the producer of long-running game shows, such as Wheel of Fortune and, my favorite, Jeopardy. But my fondest memory of the affable Griffin is as the syndicated television talk show host who always gave us great entertainment, like that night back in the late 1970s when Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme scatted their way through "Lady Be Good" and other jazz standards.

This afternoon, I heard about the loss of the great Hall of Fame Yankee shortstop, Phil Rizzuto. I wasn't around when Rizzuto played shortstop for the Yankees, but his voice was a staple on radio and television for those of us who followed the Yankees from the 1960s through the 1990s. Nothing was more hilarious than listening to his color commentary during a game. His classic stories, his shout-out "happy birthday" wishes to various fans, his love of the cannoli provided us with a diet of gut-busting riotous moments on any given summer night (check out the book, O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto, for some of Rizzuto's 'poetry').

I'll miss Merv and the Scooter. Rest in peace.

June 09, 2007

You Go, Girl!

Congratulations to "Rags to Riches" ... first Filly to win the Belmont Stakes in 102 years!

February 21, 2007

As the (Yankee) World Turns

Spring Training is here, and that means that as the Yankees take Legends Field in Florida, Soap Opera takes Center Stage!

The media has been all over the changing relationship between Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter. A couple of days ago, A-Rod told reporters:

"Let's make a contract. . . . You don’t ask about Derek anymore, and I promise I’ll stop lying to you. Rodriguez went on to admit that he and Jeter were not the buddies they once were, while stressing that they function well as teammates. "We were best of friends about 10, 13 or 14 years ago, and we still get along well," Rodriguez said. "We have a good working relationship. I cheer very hard for him, and he cheers hard for me, and, more importantly, we’re both trying to win a world championship. We’ll leave it right there. . . . People are just assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are," Rodriguez said. "They’re not. But obviously, it's not as good as it used to be, when we were blood brothers. . . . You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week and now you don't sleep over," Rodriguez said. "It's not that big of a deal."

Well, uh, A-Rod also got, uh, married. That could have helped to change his, uh, sleeping habits, no?

Oy vey. I could run with this one. (Biting tongue... trying hard not to say anything outrageous...)

So, Captain Jeter responded the day after:

"On the field and in the clubhouse, our relationship is fine," Jeter said before the workout. "Away from the field, people want to keep tabs on how many times we go out to eat. That has no bearing on what we're trying to do on the field. . . . I don't have a rift with Alex," Jeter said. "We go out there, we work together. This is our fourth year together. It's annoying to hear about it all the time. Everyone assumes they know what our relationship is. They see us on the field. If one person gives another one a look, it's a story. If we're at opposite ends of the bench, people say it's a story." Jeter, whose romantic life has turned up in the pages of gossip magazines, values his privacy. He said he considers his friendship with Rodriguez a private matter. "I understand my job is public," Jeter said. "But your private life is your private life. Once you open that door, it never stops. I don't feel it's necessary to talk about things that don't have to do with baseball. It doesn't have an impact on anything."

Asked to characterize his relationship with A-Rod, Jeter said further:

"How would I characterize it? I would characterize it as it doesn't make a difference," Jeter said. "I have a lot of relationships that have changed over 10 years. What we do away from the field, how much time we spend together, it makes no difference."

So, there you have it! Spring is in the air! Pretty soon we'll all be talking about the game, I hope!

February 01, 2007

Song of the Day #785

Song of the Day: If You Go Away, words and music by Jacques Brel (English translation by Rod McKuen), speaks of a "summer day" ... which is precisely what I'd like right now. There's not too much to complain about this winter in New York City, as it has been milder than usual. However, we are expecting a bit of snow, ice, and rain tonight. Ugh. But hey, only 14 days till pitchers and catchers report to the Yankee Spring Training Camp! In any event, this is a terrific song that has been recorded by artists such as Damita Jo, Frank Sinatra, and Dusty Springfield (audio clips at those links). I first heard this song when my sister-in-law, Joanne Barry, performed it at Gil Hodges' Grand Slam Cocktail Lounge.

November 22, 2006

Jeter Wuz Robbed!

Readers of Notablog know that I'm a huge New York Yankees fan and a big Derek Jeter fan, and let me just say that, with regard to yesterday's balloting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, in which Jeter came in second, I'd like to give the Baseball Writers a BIG BRONX CHEER!

This year, Jeter won the Hank Aaron Award, the Silver Slugger Award, and the Gold Glove. And yet, it was Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins who took home MVP honors.

Now, I am not saying that Morneau isn't a fine player; but I don't see how anybody votes for Morneau as the MVP when the Twins line-up also includes the terrifically talented 2006 AL batting champion Joe Mauer.

In a season during which so many Yankee players were injured (e.g., Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui) or relatively ineffective (e.g., Alex Rodriguez), Jeter remained Mr. Consistency: one of baseball's fiercest clutch hitters, who hit .381 with runners in scoring position. Take Jeter out of that Yankee line-up and I don't believe the team makes the playoffs. He was that valuable to their success this year.

While Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News thinks the vote was "most logical," I tell ya, Jeter Wuz Robbed!.

Wait 'til next year!

Update: I have already been questioned by a few people with regard to the comparative statistics for Morneau and Jeter. Okay, okay, let's talk numbers:

Morneau beats Jeter in only three categories: RBIs (Morneau has 130 to Jeter's 97); Home Runs (Morneau has 34 to Jeter's 14), and the batting average with runners-in-scoring-position stat (Morneau .375 to Jeter's .343).

So let's talk about every other category: Jeter beats Morneau in runs scored (118 to 97); hits (214 to 190); doubles (39 to 37); triples (3 to 1); walks (69 to 53); steals (34 to 3); batting average (.343 to .321); on-base percentage (.417 to .375); runners-in-scoring-position with two outs (.369 to .303) and batting average "close and late" (.325 to .299).

And, again, Jeter did it in a line-up that was struck by injuries to key offensive players (Sheffield, Matsui, Cano, and others for limited times) and awful inconsistency from regular players, like A-Rod. His fielding was also consistent, earning him a Gold Glove, and he brings to the table all the "intangibles" that make him one of the greatest Yankees of his generation.

'Nuff said.

October 04, 2006

Postseason Sparkle

There's a long, long way to go, but yesterday the postseason started off with a bang for Yankee fans. The Yanks took the opener of their division series against the Detroit Tigers, 8-4. MVP candidate Derek Jeter was terrific, going 5 for 5, with a solo homer, and some sparkling defensive plays as well. Whatever path these Yankees take this October, I still marvel at the record-setting production of this great Yankee ballplayer.

Go Jeter. Go Yanks.

September 21, 2006

Baseball Fever Grips Apple

The Mets have won the National League East for the first time in 18 years. And the Yanks have taken the American League East for the ninth straight year. (And after a 25-game hitting streak, Captain Clutch is an MVP candidate as well!) There is melodrama, for sure, but one thing is clear: New York, New York is a baseball town, heading for what many of us hope will be a memorable October.

And the fans agree: The Yanks and Mets will both set attendance records this year.

Pass the Cracker Jacks.

Comments welcome.

August 18, 2006

The House that George Built

Okay. Please put your rationality to the side. We're talking baseball fanaticism here. And the utility of good luck charms. And the disutility of curses!

Last summer, I expressed jitters with regard to the newly proposed Yankee Stadium, which will sit across the street from the current Cathedral of Baseball. On Wednesday, August 16th, the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new stadium was held. The stadium is scheduled to make its public debut on Opening Day, 2009.

Well, I still got them jitters. It's just not going to be the same. That's not the field on which Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle played. Despite its "retro" look, the "mystique" of the new venue is just not going to be the same. Call me a mysitc! I don't care!

Some friends remind me that Madison Square Garden wasn't always in its current place and that things change all the time. Puhlease. Don't even compare the two. And right now, nobody would flip out if the Knicks found a new home or even ... a new team!

Anyway, Boss George Steinbrenner has been itching for this stadium for a couple of decades. And everybody is happy that he's staying in Da Bronx (though, rightfully, not so happy that so many tax dollars are going for "infrastructure" development), rather than moving the team to New Jersey. (Yeah, the Joisey Yanks... like THAT would ever fly!)

It was, of course, careful planning that led to the selection of August 16th as the date of the groundbreaking. That was the date, in 1921, that the groundbreaking for the original Yankee Stadium took place. And that was the date, in 1948, that Babe Ruth passed away.

And it might yet be the day that Babe Ruth rolled over in his grave. Indeed, Yankee fan that I am, I do hope the Yanks continue their winning ways, or people will be talking about the Curse of the Bambino again... only this time, it will be one that infects the Yankees, rather than that team from Boston.

Comments welcome.

June 18, 2006

All-Time Yankees

Tom Stone continues to post draft chapters on his all-time baseball teams. Yesterday, he posted on his selections for the Yankees All-Time Team, and I largely agree with all his choices.

If Alex Rodriguez ever comes into his own at third base, he might give players like Graig Nettles a run for the money, but Lord... the jury is still out. (I used to have debates all the time with a friend, who used to be a fan of Clete Boyer, and who insisted Boyer was better than Nettles. But I keep thinking of Nettles flying through the air and that's enough for me.)

My only possible divergence from Tom is in terms of the Extra Spot on the roster. I know Dave Winfield had good numbers, but I can't shake that impression of him as "Mr. May"... whereas when a guy like Thurmon Munson was in the World Series, he was a real clutch hitter.

In any event, it's a very enjoyable discussion for Yankee fans... check it out!

May 26, 2006

D2K

Notablog readers don't need to be reminded that Derek Jeter is one of my favorite Yankees of all time.

Well, the Yanks are currently losing to the Kansas City Royals, 7-5; the game is in rain delay. But this much is official: Derek Jeter started the evening with 1,999 career hits, and he collected two more, putting his total at 2,001. That makes Jeter only the eighth Yankee in the team's illustrious history to collect 2000 or more hits.

Congratulations to the Yankee Captain!

And Go Yanks!

Update: Uh, yeah, the Yanks did end up losing that game, 7-6.

Comments welcome.

April 18, 2006

Jason Dixon Interviews Me

Today, I publish a Notablog exclusive: An interview of me conducted by Jason Dixon. The interview was conducted in late 2005-early 2006, but is finally seeing the light of day here at Notablog.

Check it out:

An Interview Conducted by Jason Dixon

Comments welcome. Also noted at L&P.

April 12, 2006

Opening Day in Da Bronx

Yesterday, the Yanks took the ninth consecutive Opening Day in Da Bronx. And they did it with "Captain Clout."

Go Yanks!

Comments welcome.

April 04, 2006

Major League Round-Up

The New York Mets won their opener, 3-2, hosting the biggest Opening Day sellout crowd in their history at Shea Stadium, with 3B David Wright hitting an opposite field home run.

And then, last night, the New York Yankees rocked pitcher Barry Zito and the Oakland As with a 15-2 opening day victory. A-Rod had a grand slam home run, Johnny Damon went 3 for 7 in his Yankee debut, Hideki Matsui tacked on a HR too, and The Captain had 2 RBIs, 2 hits, and scored 2 runs.

That's not all the news: I caught a few moments of the San Diego Padres-San Francisco Giants game on ESPN as well. Former Mets catcher Mike Piazza hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Padres player; he led his team to a 6-1 victory over the Giants. Barry Bonds, under suspicion of rampant steroid use over the last few years, was greeted with quite a few boos; at one point a fan threw a syringe in his direction. Bonds should expect that and more in the coming weeks, as he moves toward eclipsing Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's career home run stats.

One game down, 161 games to go.

Oh, and that reminds me: Check out fellow blogger Tom Stone's post on his baseball book project here. I have had some really good baseball chats with Tom, who runs Episteme Links. His Philosopher Stone blog started up last month.

Comments welcome.

April 03, 2006

Play Ball!

The World Champion Chicago White Sox opened the 2006 baseball season with a win last night.

Today, weather permitting, the New York Mets open their season at Shea Stadium, and the Yankees open their season on the road, in Oakland.

I'm still busy with journal editing, but you can rest assured I'll be watching the Yanks, starting 10 p.m. tonight.

GO YANKS!

Comments welcome.

February 26, 2006

Apolo Anton Oh-Yesss!

Congrats to Apolo Anton Ohno on winning the Gold Medal in the thrilling 500-meter short-track speedskating race last night.

Tonight, the Closing Ceremonies of the XX Winter Olympics.

Comments welcome.

February 25, 2006

Winter Olympics and More

Readers may have noticed that I'm doing a lot of singing and music-listening on the blog over the past couple of weeks. I just haven't had as much time to blog, even though there have been quite a few issues I'd like to write about. The upcoming Journal of Ayn Rand Studies Spring issue has been taking up a lot of my time during the day, and will continue to occupy me through the month of March. In the evening, I've been catching up on my reading, and enjoying the XX Winter Olympics (which has compelled me to tape a few of the TV series I watch on a regular basis ... so I'm behind on a number of programs...).

I have really enjoyed the skiing and the aerials, ice hockey, speed skating, snowboarding, and figure skating too (though I was rather disappointed that Sasha Cohen failed to get the gold). Last night, the figure skaters treated us to the Exhibition Gala; I have to say that I was most impressed with, and moved by, the interpretive piece performed by Johnny Weir to Frank Sinatra's rendition of "My Way." If ever there were a song perfect for a specific figure skater, this was it. Too much grace is sacrificed during the competitions in the quest to achieve technical points. Weir was among those who reminded us of just how graceful and beautiful this sport can be.

I'll have some things to say about current events in the coming days and weeks.

Comments welcome.

February 17, 2006

Spring (Training) is Here

With a dismal forecast by the Groundhog, and the biggest snowfall in New York City history, with temperatures entering the 60s today, and dropping back down to the 20s tonight, we're not quite sure what season it is. But yesterday, pitchers and catchers reported to Yankees Spring Training Camp. And that's good enough for me on my birthday (which is today!).

Welcome back, Yanks! Only 13 days, 3 hours, and 45 minutes to the first Spring Training Exhibition Game!

Comments welcome.

February 16, 2006

Song of the Day #549

Song of the Day: Nessun Dorma, an aria composed by Giacomo Puccini, with librettists Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, for the opera, "Turandot," has been sung by many great tenors. Listen to an audio clip from Luciano Pavarotti, who performed the piece for the XX Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.

February 11, 2006

Song of the Day #544

Song of the Day: Spank, words and music by Ronald L. Smith, was recorded by Jimmy "Bo" Horne. It was one of a multitude of classic dance tracks mixed to perfection during the XX Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Torino, Italy last night. Leave it to my Italian paisans to stage a "Parade of Nations" as if it were one huge disco party. And many of the featured songs can be found on my list of favorites, including today's pick, a huge dance hit from 1979. Listen to audio clips of the irresistible original version and a remixed version as well.

January 09, 2006

Song of the Day #514

Song of the Day: All Blues, composed by Miles Davis, is from one of my favorite jazz albums of all time: "Kind of Blue." After "Blue Suede Shoes" and a Big Blue loss, I'll be in Blue for a few days. This classic features such players as Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, and the great Bill Evans, who contributed much to the modal approach to jazz featured on this recording. Listen to audio clips here and here.

January 06, 2006

Go Giants!

I am only a casual football fan; my passion remains baseball, and I'm counting the days to February 14, 2006. Yes, it's Valentine's Day. But it's also when pitchers and catchers report to Yankee Spring Training Camp.

As football goes, I grew up when the Giants and the Jets actually played in New York City. They were (and still are) called the New York Giants and the New York Jets... and yet, they play in New Jersey, and are on the verge of creating a new sports complex in the Garden State, where they will both continue to play.

But I still find myself rooting for Big Blue and Gang Green. I know that's sacrilegious; you're supposed to be a fan of one or the other. Like I said: I'm a casual fan.

In any event, my hopes for the Jets were dashed when poor Chad Pennington had another season-ending injury in 2005. But I still do like the future prospects for young Eli Manning (who just turned 25), Quarterback for the Giants, and I'm hoping for a Giant Sunday as the NFC East Division champs begin their playoff quest.

Go Giants!

Comments welcome.

December 21, 2005

Eu-Damon-ia

The whole freaking world is falling apart, I know. The Iraqi elections have emboldened a religious element with ties to Iran. Iran has a President who spouts anti-Semitic garbage, boasts about nuclear ambitions, and bans Western music. The Transit Worker's Union has staged a damn strike as buses and subways ground to a halt in New York City. I'm having to get up at 4 a.m. just to help my sister get off to work. At least the courts struck down that Intelligent Design nonsense in Pennsylvania.

But if you were expecting predictable commentary about all the above, fuhgedaboudit.

All that matters to me this morning is that the New York Yankees have Followed Their Damon.

He's not the best fielding center fielder, but he is Johnny Damon, and this signing of the now-former Boston Red Sox leadoff hitter must surely be creating havoc in Beantown, among those who see the Yanks as the Evil Empire.

Poor Johnny is going to have to go for a haircut and trim his beard; for Yankee fans, however, let's just hope this trimming doesn't trim his stats, Samson-like.

Comments welcome.

November 25, 2005

Song of the Day #467

Song of the Day: Vogue features the words and music of the remixer and producer Shep Pettibone and pop icon Madonna, who recorded the song. This dance track, bathed in a pop-house beat, captures the once-underground phenomenon of "voguing." In her "rap," Madonna mentions many great stars who "strike a pose ... on the cover of a magazine," including the Yankee Clipper, [Joe] DiMaggio, who was born on this day in 1914. Listen to audio clips of several versions of this song here.

November 14, 2005

A-Rod: MVP

Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the NY Yankees, edged out Bosox DH David Ortiz to become the 2005 MVP of the American League. Read all about it here.

As I expressed here, I'm somewhat ambivalent about A-Rod's MVP. He had the stats ... but he still has something to prove to me in the postseason. Granted, the MVP award is not about the postseason. But something is missing.

In any event, I don't want to be a killjoy... so congrats, A-Rod. Next year, I'd like to see you put a World Series Ring on your finger too.

Update: Check out Mike Lupica and Sam Borden on all this in the New York Daily News.

Comments welcome.

November 05, 2005

Ron Guidry: Yankee Pitching Coach

Notablog readers know that Ron Guidry is one of my favorite Yankees of all-time (see here, for example).

I was really sorry to see pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre leave the Bronx, but good news for the Yanks: Guidry has taken the position of Yankee pitching coach. Read all about it here. Of course, it would be really nice if Gator actually has healthy pitchers to coach.

Anyway, congrats to Louisiana Lightning!

Comments welcome.

November 01, 2005

Oh Captain, My Captain

Well, it's little consolation for being knocked out of the postseason so quickly, but... the first of the postseason honors are coming in, and my favorite Yankee, shortstop and Captain of the team, Derek Jeter got his second straight Gold Glove today.

Go Derek!

Now I'm waiting for the announcements for MVP (A-Rod is in contention) and Rookie of the Year (Robinson Cano is in contention). We'll see...

Comments welcome.

October 27, 2005

Song of the Day #438 (for #1 Sox)

Song of the Day (b): Chicago (That Toddlin' Town) features the words and music of Fred Fischer, a popular Tin Pan Alley composer. It's my musical tribute to the Chicago White Sox for winning their first World Series Championship since 1917. They swept the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, and took 11 out of 12 in the postseason. Shoeless Joe? Dirty Black Sox? After the Red Sox, there are no more curses in baseball. Maybe the Chicago Cubs are next! Or maybe these triumphs are only possible for teams named after different kinds of, uh, socks. Either way, listen here to an audio clip of Frank Sinatra singing this timeless tune.

October 11, 2005

Waitil Next Year!

Yeah, yeah, I'm disappointed in the Yankees' loss last night to the Angels. The "Waitil Next Year!" refrain is starting to make me sound like an old Brooklyn Dodgers' fan.

I could go on and on about why I think the Yankees are coming up short. It's just that I've said it all before, back in the 1980s. And it does feel like the 1980s all over again.

Boss George Steinbrenner should start thinking about what it was that got the Yankees back to their winning ways in the late '90s. He spent a lot of time getting away from his "gotta-win-now" philosophy in the '80s when he turned toward his farm system and nourished the talents of a Derek Jeter, a Jorge Posada, an Andy Pettitte, a Bernie Williams, a Mo Rivera. That core team, peppered with fine acquisitions through trades and free agency, gave New York a great run after a long drought.

Since 2000, Steinbrenner has gone back to the '80s; he has spent too much time spending too much money on A-list All-Stars, some of whom have yet to prove that they can really make it in the postseason. I still get the feeling that it's not a team, not the kind of team that brought New York four World Series Championships in five years from 1996 to 2000.

In any event, baseball fan that I am, I will be watching the playoffs and the World Series. I'm hoping that the Rings go to yet another team named after an important piece of footwear. Like the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox who hadn't won a title since 1918, the Chicago White Sox are long overdue for one (since they've not won a Championship since 1917).

If these Sox make it to the finish line, can the Chicago Cubs be far behind?

In any event, if the White Sox make it, at least I'll have a few former Yankee pitchers (Contreras and El Duque) to cheer in the Series. And if the Astros beat the Cardinals in the National League to face the White Sox in the Series, it'll be like a New York Yankees' pitchers' reunion, with Clemens and Pettitte on the mound for Houston.

The Yankees could have used some of those former pinstripers this year.

Comments welcome.

October 03, 2005

Touring a Baseball Cathedral

The 2005 baseball postseason is set: Of most interest to this New York fan, the Yankees are headed out West to play the Angels. (If the rumors are true, some NY baseball greats might be joining the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim next season; if true, I tip my baseball cap to the Mets' Mike Piazza, All-Star catcher.)

In the meanwhile, it is very difficult to predict what will happen in a short series. With Derek Jeter bruising his knee yesterday, and some of the other regulars not in the best of shape, the Yanks still move forward in their quest for an unprecedented 27th World Series Championship.

As a diehard Yankee fan, I genuinely celebrate all the great victories that the Yankees have had. Younger fans have been somewhat spoiled in the Joe Torre era, in terms of postseason play. Ironically, I have seen more "downs" than "ups" for my teamthat's what happens when you're born in 1960, instead of, say, 1940. I remember the long drought between 1965 and 1976 ('76 is the year the Yanks were swept four straight by the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series). I didn't experience the true euphoria of a World Series victory until 1977-78, and then had to deal with the even longer drought of the 1980s and early 90s. (The Yanks lost the Series in 1981, and couldn't get near another World Series competition for another 15 years.)

Today, as Yankee fans look forward to another trophy, I want to take time out to look backwardto the Summer of '05. I could have easily titled this essay, "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" but it centers instead on my love of the New York Yankees and a memorable summer tour of Yankee Stadium, an iconic baseball cathedral. You can read the full photo essay here:

Touring a Baseball Cathedral

Comments welcome.

October 01, 2005

Yankees Win the AL East!!!

The New York Yankees win the Eastern Division of the American League, beating Boston today, and heading to the postseason for the 11th straight year.

Lots more to follow. It's just great to achieve this AL title (and Boston is not out of the postseason yet... that won't be determined for another day, or possibly two).

For now... CONGRATULATIONS to the Yankees... and GRIND IT!!!

GO YANKS!!!

Comments welcome.

September 29, 2005

Barry Bonds v. Babe Ruth

Last night, Alex Rodriguez set the Yankees' single-season club home-run record for right-handed hitters: he hit the 47th home-run of the season, eclipsing Joe DiMaggio's record 46 HRs. (And the Yanks have moved one game up, into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division of the American League, with four games to play, including three with the Boston Red Sox this weekend. Nail-biting till the last out, I'm sure...)

Home runs are still the sexiest of baseball hits. And other players are still vying to set all-time career home-run tallies. Chief among these is San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds. He's third on the career home run list and is only a few behind Babe Ruth, who is second only to Hank Aaron.

Now, I'm not really wanting to debate the virtues and vices of Bonds and Ruth. These two exemplary players are of a different time and place. The game has changed so much over the years, and comparisons are likely to be of the apple-and-orange variety.

But lots of people are making noise about who has been the greatest HR hitter of all time.

A cursory look at career home-run statistics will show a few interesting tidbits: Ruth hit 714 career home runs in the regular season, with 8,399 career at-bats. Placed in that context, it beats Hank Aaron, who hit 755 career HRs in 12,364 at-bats, and Barry Bonds, who currently has 708 HRs in 9,137 at-bats.

But NY Times sports writer Alan Schwarz compares Bonds and Ruth on another measure: triples. In his September 18, 2005 article, "Statistical Twins Are Separated By Triples," he has a few very interesting observations:

With every beguiling arc he shoots into the San Francisco night, Barry Bondswho returned to the Giants' lineup Monday after missing the first 142 games of the season with a knee injurysteps closer to Babe Ruth on the career home run list. ... Bonds has dominated his era almost as much as Ruth did his, so comparisons between the two players' home run rates, on-base percentages, walks and what-not are quite the rage. There are few surprises, except for this: The greatest difference between the career batting records of Bonds, a smooth and swift athlete for most of his career, and Ruth, generally remembered as a lumbering oaf, is that Ruth hit vastly more triples.

Think about that. Babe Ruth ... the "lumbering oaf"... hit more triples. I found that remarkable. Schwarz continues:

Numbers are the marionettes of rhetoric, but a surface glance at the record books does paint a rather bizarre picture of these two sluggers. They got other hits at reasonably similar paces: Ruth hit home runs more often (1 per 14.9 plate appearances to Bonds's 16.5), while Bonds had a higher frequency of doubles (every 20.6 times up to Ruth's 21.0). Ruth singled 20 percent more often than Bonds, which is quite a bit.
But that is not nearly as striking as the triples column. Bonds has 77 triples in his career; Ruth legged out 136more than only a handful of players since his retirement. When you compare how the performances of Ruth and Bonds towered over their respective leagues, a considerable portion of Ruth's edge derives from his noseand legsfor the triple. As Casey Stengel once said, Huh?

Schwarz offers this explanation: "Bonds plays in a home run era, thanks to cozier ballparks, smaller strike zones and additional fertilizer."

And we all know that "fertilizer" is a euphemism for a word that begins with S. Yeah. Steroids.

In Ruth's era, however, the "fences, often quite tall, stood much farther from home plate, often an extra 20 to 60 feet or more from the power alleys to center field." But this surely had a productive effect on the number of Ruth's triples: "Booming drives would often land over outfielders' heads and roll all the way to the fence, during which time even Ruth, an average runner at his best, could reach third base comfortably."

Schwarz tells us an interesting story about how, in 1918, star Red Sox pitcher, Babe Ruth, wrote an article for Baseball Magazine entitled ''Why a Pitcher Should Hit.'' He quotes Ruth as saying: ''If there is any one thing that appeals to me more than winning a close game from a tough rival, it's knocking out a good clean three bagger with men on bases.''

Interestingly, baseball historian John Thorn says that most of Ruth's triples probably would have been HRs in today's smaller ballparks. Ruth may have ended up with a tally closer to 800.

Schwarz continues:

Ruth's career O.P.S. (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) was 1.164, or 53 percent higher than his contemporaries. Bonds entered this week at 1.053, 41 percent above his league. Take away the at-bats in which each player tripled, and Bonds winds up just .087 behind Ruth in O.P.S. Ruth's 53-41 edge in percentage over his competition would be cut to 48-37.

Bonds, of course, was once quoted (during the 2003 All-Star break) as saying: ''In the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right? I got his slugging percentage and I'll take his home runs and that's it. Don't talk about him no more.''

Schwarz reminds us, though, that even if "Bonds could have easily caught the Bambino in a footrace, and will most likely catch him in home runs," it is Babe Ruth who "will forever stand alone" on the three-bagger.

I confess that Bonds's hubris has always pissed me off. I think he's one remarkably talented ballplayer. But Mr. Baseball he'll never be. And, in fact, Schwarz's good points on triples don't even begin to do justice to the comparison.

So I wrote to the NY Times. I'm a bit like Don Quixote in this quest: Over many, many years, not a single letter I've sent in, to any section of the paper, has ever been published. Now having heard from Schwarz, my "hitless" streak continues. I know that my letter won't be published. So I publish it here, as I reflect on the Bonds vs. Ruth debate:

Barry Bonds said that "In the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right?" Well, by comparison, Ruth is still "everything." And not only in triples. Ruth set the overwhelming majority of his records in fewer at-bats than Bonds. He was the face of baseball because he was one of the all-time greatest hitters and a fine pitcher too, who held records in that department for the better part of the 20th century. Oh, and as one of the most physically "unfit" baseball players of his era, he also set his records without any hint of steroid use. Bonds may "step closer to Babe Ruth," but he'll forever be in Ruthian shadows.

Comments welcome.

September 24, 2005

There Are No Rose Petals in Baseball

Readers of Notablog are familiar with the humanity inherent in my "Rose Petal Assumption," that is, the assumption that it is possible to find "one rose petal in a pile of manure." It makes for a wonderful way to bridge differences and to create a context of civility when people are discussing contentious topics honestly.

It's the kind of premise that informs the best of sportsmanship too: "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."

Well, of course. Nobody who is a true sports fiend wants to win the game by cheating.

But let me be very clear about one thing: This close to the end of the regular baseball season: IT'S ALL ABOUT WINNING FAIR AND SQUARE. With an emphasis here on winning.

At this point, I'm not interested in philosophic platitudes about Rose Petals.

I'm a Yankee fanatic. My team has been "grinding it" all season long; it has been painful to watch some of these older ballplayers grinding themselves onto the disabled list with each passing week. But I've been a Yankee fan all my life. Even through the mid-to-late 1960s and through the early 1970s, when they didn't win. Even through the long drought of the 80s and through 1995, when Donnie "Baseball" Mattingly couldn't get himself arrested into a World Series if he tried.

Well.

My pal George Cordero reminds me in this thread:

The following comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand; however, I strongly believe Mr. Sciabarra will not mind. Chris, did you happen to notice that the Yankees have moved into first place! Small is 9-0, R. Johnson "might" finally be healthy enough to be a play-offs factor, and Rivera continues to be brilliant. If the BoSox miss the play-offs, Francon will be crucified in Boston. My only fear (and I suspect) is that after Francon is fired, Torre will be the new BoSox manager for next year.

It's a legitimate fear, George, especially with that other George, "Boss" Steinbrenner, making nice-nice with Lou Piniella, who is most definitely not returning to the dreaded Devil Rays as manager (those dreaded Rays have kicked Yankee butt this season).

But the Yanks are in 1st Place again, for the first time since mid-July. The Red Sox are chasing the Yanks, and the two teams face-off in a major duel next weekend, the final three games of the season. I have a suspicion that the team that wins that series is going into the postseason. The loser probably won't have enough wins to take the AL wild card. So...

IT'S WIN OR LOSE! There are No Rose Petals in Baseball. I'm not looking to find that "one rose petal" in any manure piles. Not to mix metaphors, but I'm taking the hose to the manure, and looking for the clean sweep!

Today, Yankee Stadium will set an all-time franchise record as the season attendance goes above 4 million for the first time in Yankee history. That's an average of more than 50,000 fans per game. It's my hope that they will all be cheering:

GO YANKEES!!!

Comments welcome. No civility can be guaranteed if you're a Yankee hater.

September 20, 2005

The Bugs of Summer

A few summers back, I was going through a particularly difficult period. Everything seemed to be going wrong on so many levels. The weather was miserable. My health wasn't too great. Friends and family were in distress over other life problems.

On one hot, humid, sticky, and terribly cloudy day that summer, I walked down my block, a bit disheartened by this state of affairs. For one brief moment, I looked up at the sky and saw the most elegant Monarch butterfly. And for that one moment, a feeling of total relaxation came over me. A world with that kind of beauty, I reasoned, will allow for all these difficulties to pass.

And in that instant ... I kid you not ... a bird flew by, grabbed the Monarch in its beak, and flew off.

I looked up at the sky again. Shook my head in disbelief. And couldn't help but chuckle. It was as if the gods had sent me a message: "Life really is that dismal, Chris, and you'll get no relief today!"

But it all came to pass. And several consecutive summers with lousy weather have given way to one of the most glorious summers in New York City that we've had in recent years.

I love the summer.

Now, in its waning days, I have a slight sense of melancholy, which is tempered only by the still-warm temperatures in the still-Baking Apple. They'll reach 84 degrees today, and the 80s throughout the rest of this week.

One of the things I'll most miss about summer, however, are the bugs. The insects. Flying. Crawling. Creeping. They are a perennial sign of life. And this summer in the city was like the classic summers of old. Bugs that were not too plentiful in recent years seem to have come back in droves. Maybe it was the weather.

June into early July started out with the biggest burst of fireflies ("lightning bugs") that I've ever seen in my entire life while living here in Brooklyn. So sparkling was the nightly display that the front lawns and backyards of my neighborhood looked as if it were Christmas in July. Mating insects never seemed so sexy.

The fireflies eventually went away ... only to be replaced by hordes of various kinds of butterflies. There were even more Monarch butterflies this summer. One afternoon, two Monarchs were fluttering around one another in a spiral; I followed their dance for almost the length of my entire block, my dog Blondie in tow. I'm sure they found romance beyond my field of vision. At least there were no birds descending this time 'round!

I've had a Beetle land in my hair, a Ladybug land on my hand, a Jurassic-sized Dragonfly (or "Dining Needle") land bingo on my beach blanket. I've marveled at athletic grasshoppers and diligent ants. In fact, as my aging dog's diet has changed, I had all this leftover Fit and Trim. I chopped it into a fine substance, and dumped it on the borders of sand and grass at Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn. When I came back the following week, I saw that the ants had made a hotel out of it ... the kind of hotel that you could eat if you got tired of living there!

As July literally melted into the "Dog Days of August," the Cicadas arrived like clockwork for their annual appearance. In unison, they sing, though their melody sounds more like a sprawling sprinkler system, reverberating for miles around, reassuring us that they'll hold off the Fall for as long as they can.

September is here. Their sounds are almost gone.

And I confess that I'll miss the sounds and sights of the Bugs of Summer.

But there are Sounds and Sights of Autumn too.

Soon the Boys of Summer will be gearing up for the Fall Classic. For me, the crack of the October bat is as musical as the nightly chorus of crickets still serenading us (they'll stick around for quite a while yet...).

Do not ask me about the Yankees' chances; I'm having periodic nervous breakdowns with this team all season! But that's part of the summer too! At least these Damn Yankees (who have adopted the phrase "Grind It" as their mantra) are giving us a fun run in the final weeks of the regular season (Bubba Crosby's walk-off home run last night was terrific).

So here's to the Summer of 2005 ... you and your bugs were nice to be around.

Comments welcome.

June 18, 2005

Derek Jeter, Yankee

From the very first moment that he took the field in 1995 to his full Rookie of the Year season in 1996, from his naming as MVP of the 2000 All-Star Game and 2000 World Series to his naming as Captain of the Yankees, from his stellar Gold Glove play as shortstop to his clutch hitting, Derek Jeter has been my favorite Yankee player for over a decade now.

But his greatness will never be captured by raw statistics, which, no matter how good they might be simply do not express the consummate professionalism or remarkable talent and passion of this wonderful ballplayer. As older generations looked to the Ruths and the Gehrigs, the DiMaggios and the Mantles, this generation gets to see Jeter, Number 2, leaping into the stands to catch a foul ball to save the game or hitting a walk-off homer to win the game. This generation gets to see what it hopes will be another retired number, another Yankee great, whose image will someday grace Monument Park.

And yet, in his 11 years as Yankee shortstop, Derek Jeter has never hit a Grand Slam home run. 135 at-bats with the bases loaded, he's hit for a .333 average, but has never hit a home run to clear the bases.

Until today. Live on Fox. Game of the Week against the Chicago Cubs in a regular season interleague contest. First time the Cubs have been in for a series at Yankee Stadium since 1938. And he hit a second solo homer for good measure to power the Yanks to an 8-1 victory over the NL team.

Now if only the Yanks could get themselves together this year.

Sigh.

Either way, I'm in awe of The Captain.

Comments welcome.

June 16, 2005

A New Yankee Stadium?

I watched the whole YES Network press conference, with all those self-congratulating politicians, as the Yankee brass unveiled their plans for a new Stadium, this one a retro-design that harks back to the original 1923 cathedral of baseball. Okay, so the team foots the entire $800 million price tag. But ... the stadium will no longer be located on its original hallowed sports ground. It will be built across the street on the land of Macombs Dam Park and John Mully Park.

They're playing with "the House that Ruth built." This will no longer be the ball field of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, or Berra. I'm sure it will be pretty. And I'm glad it's staying in the Bronx.

But I got the jitters already.

If you've not seen the original, you've got till the 2009 season.

Comments welcome.

May 26, 2005

Another Winner Last Night

Derek Jeter led the New York Yankees to a win over the Detroit Tigers, 4-2, with one of those classic catches that will be shown on sports highlight shows for eons ... along with his many other spectacular plays.

Yanks and Bosox face off this weekend. Go Derek! Go Yanks!

Comments welcome... unless you're a Boston Red Sox fan. :)

May 24, 2005

Subway Series Slopfest

Well, it was an enjoyable "Subway Series" between baseball's New York Yankees and New York Mets. Yanks took two of the three games at Shea Stadium, including the last one pitched by Pedro Martinez (formerly of Red Sox Nation).

Though the series was riddled with errors and sloppy play on both sides, I was impressed with the promise shown by some of the young players on the Mets, including David Wright (nice story on him in today's NY Times).

Still, the best image I saw was in the New York Daily News. A fan did a take-off on the "Who's Your Daddy" chant that followed Pedro Martinez last season every time he faced off against the Yankees. The fan, dressed like Darth Vader, sported a sign: "Pedro, I am Your Father."

Yanks face the Red Sox this coming Memorial Day weekend; neither team is in first place in the American League East... but it will be fun, regardless.

Comments welcome.

April 17, 2005

The Dialectics of Baseball

Some people, who admit to their own obsessions, have noted my obsession with baseball, and have wondered when I'm going to explain the sport's "dialectical significance," along with its "singular place in the fabric of liberty and of our nations cultural life."

Well. With the Baltimore Orioles sweeping my last place New York Yankees in a three-game set, I'm not feeling very baseball-friendly right now. Ah, the season is early... though I think owner George Steinbrenner has probably just set a record for the earliest moment in the season to express his disgust with his multimillion dollar ball club.

So. The only dialectical insight I have right now is that there is an internal relationship between Steinbrenner's disgust and the Yankee losing record, and that winning is the yin to the losing of yang.

We'll get 'em tomorrow.

Comments welcome. But Yankee haters... BEWARE.

This post is noted at Not PC too (with a suitably triadic title: Baseball v. Rugby v. AFL).

April 05, 2005

Yanks 2, Boston 0

I know, I know, it's still very early ... but that was fun.

The Bosox tied the game in the 9th inning, and Derek Jeter came up in the bottom of the 9th, the Stadium bathed in spring sunlight, and hit a walk-off home run to win the game for the Yanks, 4-3. Carl Pavano failed to get his first Yankee win, but he had 7Ks in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Okay, I promise not to do this for every game. It's just so good to see baseball again.

Comments welcome.

April 04, 2005

Yanks 1, Boston 0

Okay, we've got a long way to go. But it was still nice seeing pitcher Randy Johnson make his debut at The Stadium. It was still nice seeing shortstop, and Yankee captain, Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees beat the, cough, cough, ahem, World Champion Boston Red Sox, 9-2, in the first game of the 2005 Major League Baseball Season.

Let's Go Yanks!

In the meanwhile, today, the New York Mets have their first official game of the new season, led by their new manager, former Yankee Willie Randolph. They are a team to watch, especially their fresh third baseman, David Wright.

Spring is here. Daylight Savings Time has returned. Baseball is back. Life is good.

Comments welcome.

April 03, 2005

Song of the Day #221

Song of the Day: Take Me Out to the Ball Game, composed by Jack Norworth in 1908 (and re-fashioned in 1927), is a perennial baseball park favorite, and one of my all-time favorites too... because it reminds me of my favorite sport, played in my favorite ballpark, by my favorite team, which just so happens to be opening up the 2005 baseball season tonight. Go Yanks! Oh, and I loved a 1996 commercial version of this song by the Goo Goo Dolls. Listen to an audio clip of that version here. And read David Hinckley's essay on this "Great Baseball Song."

January 09, 2005

Go Jets!

I didn't think they'd pull it off... but they did. Who knows what else is in store in this post-season, but for now: GO JETS!

January 03, 2005

Bring on the NFL Postseason!

The end of their season may not have been all that great, but congratulations to the New York Jets for making their way into the postseason. And though the New York Giants did not get into the postseason, it was really great to see rookie quarterback Eli Manning win his first professional football game.

November 20, 2004

The Washington Nationals Are Born!

An old baseball team is relocated to the nation's capital: "The Washington Nationals Are Born!" (noted at Liberty & Power Group Blog).

Update: See comments at L&P here.

November 04, 2004

Congratulations to Ken and Willie

In the world of games and sports, big congratulations to two winners today:

Ken Jennings, who, after 66 appearances on "Jeopardy," has cumulative winnings of $2,197,000, making him the biggest game-show winner ever.

And to former Yankee second baseman and coach Willie Randolph, who joins the New York Mets as their new manager: Good luck, Willie. We'll miss your presence at The Stadium!

November 03, 2004

I Told You So

I'm ecstatic over the results of yesterday's vote!

Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter won his first Gold Glove! (See follow-up "Go Jeter!" comments at L&P.)

As for that other race, the one in which President George W. Bush won four more years? Aside from a brief mention at SOLO HQ, read my lengthier, if preliminary, post-election analysis at L&P: "I Told You So." A PDF is available here. And check out follow-up comments here at L&P.

October 28, 2004

All Bets Are Off!

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for their 4-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 100th World Series! The Sox were a wild card team; they beat the 101-game winning Yanks and the 105-game winning Cards. What's the significance of this underdog victory? Check out my L&P essay, "All Bets Are Off!" ... and find out.

October 22, 2004

The Fall Classic

I have some follow-up thoughts about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in today's L&P post: "The Fall Classic." Check out the comments too.

October 21, 2004

When You're a Loser ...

... it doesn't feel all that good. And what a loss it was for Yankee fans. But who am I to talk about losses? Not in the face of a history of enormous losses by the Boston Red Sox, who have spent nearly a century under the delusion that they are victims of the Curse of the Bambino, an alleged curse that emerged after they dealt Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees; for this, they have not won a World Series since 1918 ... and whatever their victories over the guys in pinstripes, it is only a World Series win that will vanquish that curse forever in the hearts of the Beantown faithful.

Continue reading "When You're a Loser ..." »

October 20, 2004

It All Comes Down to This

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are tied at three games each in the American League Championship Series. The winner meets the National League champ in the World Series.

Boston pitcher Curt Schilling was the big winner last night. Take a look at Aeon Skoble's thoughts on this: Who's Your Daddy? Uh, I mean: "Who's Your Heavenly Father?" And I have two comments on Schilling's Bleeding Red Sox.

Update: And don't forget, it is Mickey Mantle's Birthday. GO YANKS!

October 09, 2004

Yanks versus Sox, Again

The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, and advance to the American League Championship Series to face their long-time rivals, the Boston Red Sox. See my post at L&P: Here We Go Again....

October 07, 2004

October Baseball

Whether the Yankees ultimately win or lose this division series with the Minnesota Twins, last night's game, for Yankee fans especially, was the quintessential example of October baseball. A thrilling, dramatic extra-inning game in Da Bronx, as Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, and the Yanks won, 7-6. The series is now even, and the action now shifts to Minnesota.

October 05, 2004

Song of the Day #36

(Yes, #36: I neglected to take into account the two songs I picked on 9/11/04; so the titles have been corrected, and even the daily listing here has been corrected to reflect the change.)

Song of the Day: Here Come the Yankees is music to my ears, given that today is the opening of baseball's 2004 post-season. The New York Yankees face-off against the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series. GO YANKS!

October 02, 2004

October 01, 2004

Congratulations to the New York Yankees, who won their 100th game of the season last night, along with the Eastern Division of the American League. The game was won on Bernie Williams' walk-off 2-run homer, the 241st home-run of the season for the team, setting a new team record for the Bronx Bombers (beating the old one set by the great 1961 team). The Yanks also set a single-season attendance record: 3,775,292 (and an all-time road attendance record). Three more games to the regular season; the postseason begins next week. GO YANKS!  (Yes, Aeon Skoble posted on this too... at L&P.)

I have a number of posts and essays that will be posted in the coming days, with reflections on everything from the Presidential debates to the legacy of singer Mario Lanza; but October is here, and so is the ...

Song of the Day (#32): When October Goes is a unique song in many ways for its "evocation of life's twilight years." Barry Manilow actually wrote the music to poetry left behind by Johnny Mercer. It has been recorded by Rosemary Clooney and Nancy Wilson. But Manilow himself offers a most tender version, featured on his fine jazz-inspired album, 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe.