Tough loss in the Tundra.

I file last night’s loss under the”looks can be decieving” category, as I thought I was going to enjoy a good night baseball at The Stadium.  It got cold quick, and Im not talking the temperature of the Yankee bat rack these last couple of games.  But, I toughed it out, first out to the last, and went home wondering what the hey went wrong.

Judging from past performances against AJ Burnett, I didnt know what to expect, as he has either been a bum or really good.  I guess we saw the latter of the equation, as not for nothing, the home plate umpire gave him a TON of calls that Moose didn’t get.  The Yankee offense was kept in check last night, as Burnett mixed up his pitches well, and the lineup couldn’t muster anything on the basepads.  Other than A-Rod’s shot into the home bullpen, and Jason’s fly-out to Vernon Wells(who was getting it from the Right Field Bleachers…and gave some back as well), there weren’t any hard hit balls.  How do you bring the tying run to home plate with no outs and not capitalize?  A-Rod strikes out, Jason Giambi hits one that, during the summer would have hit the black easily, but wasn’t meant to be last night.   Robbie flies out in foul territory, and the game ends, just like that. 

I don’t think that Moose had all that bad a performance last night, other than Vernon Wells’ shot to the left field porch, wasnt hit hard.  The curve was snapping, and he induced 4 double plays.  5 2/3 innings, but paid for the mistakes that he made.  Offense didnt pick him up, and the Yanks fall, 5-2.

I read an article on that made me shake my head this afternoon; it dealt with 2 fans trying to steal screws from the bunting on Opening Night.  What a couple of boneheads!!  Why would you want a screw?  I guess to each their own.    

Tonight, we have Phil Hughes toeing the rubber against Dustin McGowan in a battle of youngsters at The Big Ballpark in The Bronx.  I definitely look forward to see Phillie have a strong performance and for the Yanks to score more than 3 runs a game. 



Melky Shines in the Home Opener.

The Home Opener went down last night, and it lived up to all the hype.  Holladay Vs. Wang, facing up in the final home opener at The House. The Stadium was awash in Midnight Blue and the customary bunting, and she looked as beautiful as she ever has. 

I got to my seat in time for player introductions, and I got to see Yogi and Mr. October walk up to the mound and deliver the ceremonial first pitch.  The atmosphere was electric last night, and it had that surreal look to and feel to it, similar to a Yankees-Red Sox game.  I definitely had fun there last night, as this was the first home opener that I was able to attend.  David Eckstein steps in against Chien Ming Wang.  Wang delivers, and we are under way.

As I mentioned in the title, Melky Cabrera was as instrumental in last night’s win as was Wang’s power sinker.  On the Lyle Overbay shot, I honestly thought it was destined for the wall, until I see no. 28 make a mad dash and make the play!  The place goes bonkers at that point, then soon settles down.  Aaron Hill steps in and takes a Wang delivery to the gaps, but who else but The Melk Man can make plays like those?  Ranging to his far right, not only making the grab but lying down and sliding in the grass to top it all off. I honestly thought that Melky wasnt going to make either play, but I learned valuable lesson last night: The Melk Man always delivers.  Not only that, he provides the equalizer with a high arc to the short porch that made Doc Holladay mutter under his breath. 

With the score 3-2 after Wang twirled 7 strong, You knew what time it was….JOBA TIME!!!  Running in for his first game of the season, it looks like Ill be seeing him running in from the bullpen in the 8th for years to come.  I know that he is going to wind up in the rotation, but the bullpen is where he belongs.  He is the ultimate set-up man, and looked like a grizzled veteran out there, making The Big Hurt look simple last night, as he pumped his fist in typical Joba fashion.  Then it came.

Cue “Enter: Sandman” by Metallica.  The Greatest That Ever Did It, retired the Jays in order to send 55,112 ofmy closest friends home happy, recording his first save of 2008 and helping the Yanks notch their first win of the season.

Im back in the House tonight, as I make the trip with Stephanie tonight to Section 41 in the Right Field Bleachers.  It will be my first Roll Call of the season, and although Im still a bit hoarse from last night, Im sure I can get my act together and be in good voice this evening.  Ill do my best to bring us a win, hopefully the River Ave. Crew can do the same.  The Moose faces off against AJ Burnett, and Im looking for the Yankee bats to come out tonight.


The Home Opener That Wasn’t.


I had a good feeling about today.  Go online, check for ticket availability, purchase a ticket, haul butt to Yankee Stadium from Yonkers, and watch the game.  I took the day off from freelancing and had planned to watch the Yanks and their final home opener at The House That Ruth Built.  Too bad Mother Nature had other plans.  Honestly, I felt that the game could have and should have been played this afternoon, as about all that was falling at around 2:00 PM equated to a fine mist that was most definitely playable.  Given how the Yankee grounds crew can make the field playable after 5 inches of snow (2003, anyone?) and the fact that the outfield drains like no one’s business, we SHOULD have seen some baseball today.  The late afternoon was rain free, and as I sit here at 8:00 PM, it still hasnt rained. 

In the excitement of me picking up my ticket and proceeding to Gate 4 by The Bat, I spotted Charles Leaf from Fox 5, and decided to ham it up one time due to my excitement.  I seriously thought that I wouldn’t find myself on TV, but there I was, on the 6 O’ clock news, looking as dorky as ever, proclaiming that there was no other place that I would have rather been than on the corner of 161st St and River Ave.  Stephanie made sure she DVR’d it for its posterity, further cementing said dorkiness. 

Tomorrow night will be one for the ages, as Chien Ming Wang faces off against Doc Halladay at what will be (weather pending, of course) the final home opener at The Stadium. Of course, Im looking for a Yankee win, but Im also looking to see a well pitched game by 2 of the better pitchers in the AL East.  The road to 27 Championships begins tomorrow night, and the final farewell to the Stadium I have called my second home begins tomorrow night.



As The Smoke Clears…..

I managed to catch a feed of Joe Girardi’s press conference this afternoon, and I must admit that it felt good to see. This all has a 1996-ish feel to it, as when Joe Torre took over from Buck Showalter. Its a changing of the guard, as today marked the beginning of a new era.
The back of the Daily News today featured A-Rod with arms open and the headline “Can We Talk?”. WHO THE **** ARE YOU TRYING TO KID, A-ROD!! If you really wanted to stay in NY, then why did you opt out? Oh, I get it, you wanted to test the market. DUH! Who else is going to pay you like the Yanks have over the last 4 years? I had a feeling that this was gonna go down the way it did, and not for nothing, I hope that Hank and Brian stick to their guns and NOT negotiate a new contract. Every last detail of this story has A-Rod’s arrogance and disingenuousness attached to it. Everything is about money when it comes to ******** like this, and as always, he always thinks of himself. I for one think that A-Rod makes way to much money to begin with, and typifies everything that is wrong with baseball; greed, shadiness and Scot Boras. I think that A-Rod is an uneducated dolt who has never had to make an assertive decision in his life; its almost has Boras has A-Rod by the leash, ordering commands at his prize dog at the Westminster Kennel Club. Give it up, A-Rod. No one is gonna pay you what you think you deserve. Matter of fact, I got about 7 bucks in my pocket, you want those too?

Sign Jorgie and Mariano ASAP. Nuff said. Jorgie a Met? Give me a break.

Some dude on Fifth Ave saw me in my Yankees jacket and hat and shouted out “The Yankees are DONE!!” Yeah right, man. Its funny how when you ask someone to repeat themselves they keep it moving.

November is here, and Im expecting full Hot Stove action for the rest of the year. There are way too many big ticket free agents out there, and there are a couple of free agents out there that I wouldnt mind seeing in Pinstripes. I hope that the re-structured front office does the right thing and doesent blow a whole wad of cash on another **** pitcher.

It seems more and more by the minute that Joe Torre is taking his managerial skills to the LA Dodgers. I think that Joe is gonna do the same thing he did here, which is making the most out of the talent present and really brining out the best out of his players. Ill miss you, Joe, NYC is still your town.

I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, as a Digital Media Specialist at Atari, Inc. ( I just think its a fancy term for a graphic designer, but hey, if Im a specialist, so be it). Im certainly diggin my new gig, as I get treated with respect here and my opinion and expertise are valued here. Im in some downtime right now, as I wait for someone to hand me off some artwork that has to be manipulated. It feels good to write again, and I hope that this winter gives me more reason to write.


Fiero Francis Rizzuto, Rest in Peace.

The routine every night when I was growing up was simple; My stepdad came home at around 5:30, dinner was served at around 6, and my mom would turn on channel 41 to watch her novelas for about an hour.  7 through about 9:30 was all mine, as I would watch The Bronx Bombers on WPIX 11 on the only color TV in the house.  My mom knew at an early age what The Yanks meant to me, so she would let me have it. 

Then I would wait for it.


You dont know how those words bought a snotty-nosed 6 year old such happiness, cause I knew that the Yanks did something good. 

Then there was the time that I met The Scooter myself.  Reuben, my step-sister’s husband, took myself and his son Carlos Alvin to the Stadium for a saturday day game ( I think that they played The Brewers that day), in 1985.  I was about 9 then, and I yell out his name, "PHIL"!  He comes over to me, shook my hand and said" Heya kid, how are you?"  I told him that I was happy cause I was at the Stadium, and I wanted to do my Scooter impression.  I proceeded to give the best " Holy Cow" impression that I could, got a pat on the head and he went on his way to the parking lot. 

So Im getting ready to leave, and I read on my MLB Dashboard widget that Phil Rizzuto passed away this morning.  Words cant express my shock, and how I find myself saddened at our loss.  Im gonna be greedy and say that I still wish he was here, and that I hope that he indeed finds himself in a better place.  You were a great Yankee, an even greater announcer, and an even better person.  I found out recently that he was sick, and hoped he would get better. 

Phil Rizzuto, may you Rest In Peace.


Locked And Loaded. Also, an apology.

Art is indeed a cruel mistress.

As my 4 readers know, I make my living in the real world as a graphic artist, and at the ripe age of 30, am trying my hardest to advance my career.  That means TONS of freelancing.  And no time to write, which ***** the most cause other than art and design, writing is my other creative outlet.  And I need to write. Im no Alex French(my Red Sox buddy recently wrote a cover story for GQ), but its something that I love to do.  Almost as much as art and playing baseball.

*******, its been awhile.  And the last post that I wrote that the Yanks are 25 bums, but that is no longer the case.  Goes to show how much the big boy knows about the team he loves.  The Yanks have turned the corner BIG TIME.  And much has transpired since I last posted.

Barry broke the record.  I remember when he broke The Bambino’s record, I wrote a nasty missive at how he needs to own up, and admit that he cheated.  WHO CARES!!!  All I know is that I never shared a locker with Barry Bonds, never have I worked out with the dude, so I cant say whether or not the record is tainted.  I have never seen the dude shoot up steroids of taking the cream of clear or whatever muscleheads are taking these days, so my opinion is a moot point.  All I can do as a fan of the Great Game is to respect that record and watch the cloud of suspicion cast over the next dude that attempts to break the record. 

A-Rod hits number 500.  You dont know how pumped I was for that. 

And the recent Yankee run.  Oh, man, this is the reason that I love The Bombers.  Everything(with the exception of Kyle Farnsworth) is clicking right now.  Hitting has been phenomenal.  no dead wood in the lineup, and everyone is doing their thing.  Pitching has been superb.  The starting rotation has finally stabilized, and with the arrival of Joba Chamberlain, we finally have a reliable bridge to Mariano Rivera, a la Mo to Wetteland in 96.  THAT WAS WHAT THE YANKS HAVE BEEN LACKING SINCE 2002!!!!  For as many "8th inning" guys the Yanks have tried out in the last few years,  I think that Joba fills the role quite well, as his performance dictated last night.  Not only does this kid has killer stuff, but his composure and poise predates his youth. At times I felt like I was watching Dennis Eckersley back in the day. I predict big things for this kid, as I Dont see the Yankees letting go of this kid anytime soon.  The Bombers upgraded big time by bringing this kid up, and he isnt going anywhere.  He looks like he was born to pitch on this stage, and looked like a grizzled vet. 

What I liked about the win last night was the fact that they did it against Fausto Carmona.  I not surprised about this dude, he has been doing his thing this season, and his stuff is indicative of this.  This is further proof of the caustic nature of the Yankee lineup, as they are just scoring runs no matter who they face.  You gotta feel good about this lineup, as everyone has been picking each other up, and everyone is playing their role.  A-Rod started things off by taking the aforementioned Carmona DEEEEP to center field.  Melky!  Man is this kid hitting!  15 straight, and he is racking up RBIs to boot.  You gotta give it up to the kid, he is making Brian Cashman look like a genius, and as many trade offers as he got for Melky before the deadline, I thank Brian for not trading him, this kid is gonna be a leader, and someone who will play his entire career in the Pinstripes. 

Phil Hughes…..what can I say about this kid that I havent said already?  This kid is the truth.  The Baby Rocket pitched magnificently last night, as he basically handcuffed the Indians lineup all night, save for a dinger given up to Josh Barfield.  His curveball had NASTY bite to it, resulting in too many Indians batters looking really bad either looking at it or flailing out.  His greatest strength was changing speeds, something that he did all night and it was something the Indians had no answer for.  He did get into some early jams, but worked his way out by displaying that curve and changeup.  All in all, Donnie Baseball reaches .500 as a manager.

Guess where Im leaving for on tuesday……….wait for it……..ECUADOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After 7 long years(or what seems like an eternity, depending on your point of view), Im leaving to visit the Pearl of the Pacific, Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Last time I went there, I was 23 years old, and it was an experience that I will never forget.  I have a lot of family over there, and there have been many additions to the Ladines family that I have to make acquiantances with.  I know, Im gonna miss the best part of the season, as the Yanks will finally know where they stand after these next 2 weeks, but Ill be back for the Boston series!!  Im going to try to post from Ecuador, but will have to be limited as I can only dial up from there.  Im going to try to catch up with the Yanks as much as I can, and Im gonna miss the 5 boros, and Im gonna miss watching The Bombers every night.  Its gonna be an experience as Stephanie is coming with me, and she has never left North America, and she gets to experience another Latin American culture.   But hey, ITS ECUADOR!! 

All this makes for a really happy Yankee fan these days.  Im looking for this to last the rest of the season, as we are within smelling the playoffs, and October is becoming more of a reality as each day passes us by.  The Bombers are owning their destiny right now, its up to them to make it happen.



I woke up this morning full of energy cause  I had tickets to the game this afternoon.  Steph and I got some breakfast, then headed out.  I visited my man VinRock(Bald Vinny the Bleacher Creature) and picked up a new navy THE BLEACHERS tee, went inside and got to watch warmups for a while.  The next 3 hours found me sitting in my seat wishing that I had stayed home and watched it on TV.

Today was anything but good.  It was hot.  And from the start the Yankees showed no life.  It was evident in the crowd as the left field bleachers resembled a library.  What got me the most was the fact that after Chien-Ming Wang gave up those 3 runs in the first, the Angels lineup was held in check.  The Bombers resembled a high school team, as they mustered absolutely NOTHING at the plate.  Not that Jeff Nelson was helping matters either, as his VERY wide strike zone allowed for some pitches to be called for strikes, and Kelvim Escobar looked like Cy Young out there, and it was frustrating cause we were in the game for the most part.  The Yanks showed some life in the 9th as Melky managed to get on as he legged one out on a grounder that bounced off of Howie Kendrick’s glove.  Bobby Abreu worked a 1-2 count when Nelson rang him up on a pitch
that way outside.   Abreu engaged
in a heated argument with Nelson, who talked back to the outfielder and
told him, in Abreu’s words, that it had been a good pitch.  It was a **** strike zone and something that equated to nothing.  As a result, there were too many swings and misses and far too many bad calls.  Frustrating isnt the word that I want to use, pure GARBAGE is the word that I want to use here.  The drive home ******, as I was in a bad mood the entire ride up the Grand Concourse into Yonkers. 

I dont know whats going to happen from here.  All I know is that I have seen alot of rough times with this team, and Im not going to give up.  I think that all of this is testing my loyalty, and Im sure that I will pass with flying colors.  All I will say is that there is no certainty about tomorrow, and that you can only worry about today.  Tomorrow, John Lackey goes up against Mike Mussina, and its something that we can always worry about tomorrow.  Hopefully we can turn it around tomorrow, and The Moose can get us a quality start. 


Turn Around?

There is no doubt in my mind that last night the Yankees played well.  Honestly, they have been playing well the last 3 days, earning a win in 2.  Is this the turn-around that the Yanks and their fans have been craving these last 7 weeks?  I think so.  Alot of things went well last night, and seeing the Yanks play as aggresively as they did last night was a sight for sore eyes. 

Although Chien-Ming Wang didnt have his best stuff out there last night, The Bombers found a way to earn the W.  A-Rod hit a SHOT to Big Fe Country(Left Field Bleachers, Section 57.  Most of the time when I buy Bleacher tickets, I end up in Section 57.  Go Figure), and JG hits one to the upper deck.  Tim Wakefield had NOTHING last night, as what he threw what equated to Stephanie throwing a ball to me from 20 feet out.  Like I said up top, Wang-O didnt have his sinker out there last night, but the slider was a feasible secondary pitch.  He got into a lot of 3 ball counts, but for the most part, kept Boston from getting the timely hit.  Robbie came up and and gave Wakie a bit of "Who’s Your Daddy"  and took him to the gaps for a triple that just kept going and blew it wide open for the Yanks.   Manny was kept in check last night, and to his credit made a very un-Manny like play.  Brian Bruney came in and made Manny look simple on a fastball down the heart of the plate, something that on any other night he would have turned into a souvenir and would have made one of those ridiculous Central Park statue poses(right after a whole flock of pigeons after lunchtime.  Yuck).  As I hear the sweet sound of BOSTON $UCKS emanating from The South Bronx, I knew that the night would be a good one.  Scott Proctor locked it up, and Farnie came in and shut the door, putting the Yanks 9.5 behind Boston, and improves the record to 20-23.  Hey, I gotta take as many positives as I can from this win. 

Onto tonight, as The Moose goes up against Julian Tavarez, who is turning out the best season of his career, which is saying alot for a 2-4 pitcher.  Im looking for The Moose to turn it around from his last start, and for the Yankee bats to keep up with last nights performance.  Unfortunately, I wont be able to watch the game the first time around, as me and the MadDogs go up against the Gotham Athletics tonight at Roberto Clemente State Park in the Boogie Down tonight.  Oh well, thank God for Yankees Encore right after the post game!!!

BOSTON $UCKS!!!!!!!!
BOSTON $UCKS!!!!!!!!

No Way.

This has to be it.  Let today be the spark under the Yankees’ collective backside.  Im not going to mince  words here:  The Yankees **** right now. Losing 4 of 6, at a very difficult juncture in the schedule, right before we play the resurgent Mets. Then the Sox come to town. 

Im at a loss for words right now, so Im ending this post here. This has to get better, before they get a **** of alot worse.  Remember when I said me hit bottom a couple of weeks back?  We have returned to that same spot.  This is not the charecter of a winning team, and this is something that must be remedied.  Things need to be shaken up here, and it needs to happen now.