Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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Heating Up
2008-06-01 05:56
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Em and I are down in Fort Lolipop, Florida visiting with Pat and Susie Jordan for a few days. We arrived yesterday and I think my wife, who doesn't do well in the heat, has already melted. It's middle-of-July hot down here, which is what we get for coming in the off-season. On the other hand, our flight was half-full, and our hotel isn't packed either. In all, it's a fine way to celebrate my 37th birthday which happens to be today. And it is all started with a smile when I checked Sportscenter this morning and saw that the Yanks actually pulled out that extra-inning game last night against the Twins. Hot dog.

Final Score: Yanks 7, Twins 6.

"A few days ago, we don't win this type of game," Manager Joe Girardi said.

Bobby Abreu knocked in the game-winner, Ross Olendorf was huge in relief, and Mr. Rivera earned the save by getting the final three outs on ten pitches. The Bombers are now one-game over .500.

Cool.

Comments
2008-06-01 06:24:32
1.   Chyll Will
Heppy Birt'day to a Heppy Ket! >;)
2008-06-01 07:00:26
2.   horace-clarke-era
Yes, really, happy birthday, young 'un. (I know there are those here who see Alex as nearing geriatricity, but ...)

I hate to be a banter buzz kill, but one of the reasons I tend to dodge the game threads (and skim them in the morning) is the doom-saying second-guessing that has come to define the threads in the time since I started reading them towards the end of last season's playoff rush. There's a lot of anger and anxiety management issues at work here, folks. We need Joe Torre to pop in and calm the waters, maybe. (Though having 2 first round HoF guys thrown out while on 2nd base, in a week, is pretty painful.)

Thought Farns was outstanding and seemed very poised. Dorf gets that game ball, by gutting it out. I was unsure about walking a useless ss to face a bunt single risk with Giambi still at first, but, what the hey, maybe Girardi DOES know more than we do? Someone called Dorf a sinkerballer? Is he really? Looked to me like 95 heat and a slider that worked against VERY impatient right handed kid bats ... these guys think they are on K.C. or something? And for all the talk about Mo in a tie game, on the road we STILL need a guy to close it if we get the lead, right? Reading Rivera on Dorf this morning, the stuff he says he has, the confidence boost this SHOULD give him, reminds me again that managing is more than pitch by pitch. (I suspect Hawkins is in rough shape right now and needs some 'safe' innings.)

I am now leaving the Damon's Da Mon group to run itself for a little while and confirming my presence on the
Abreu 'd Line (sorry, sorry!). Mo still has me, but he has all of us.

2008-06-01 07:49:21
3.   Jeb
2 I think you're somewhat right. There is a tendency to panic when we're in extra innings on the road because we haven't won in that situation in over a year. Yeah, we'd like Mo to save the game.

BUT ...

If one of the other relievers gives up a run Mo is left sitting on the bench. I suppose the question is what's the best percentage use of your best reliever on the road in a tie game. I really don't know the answer to that question, but the sentiment seems to be that he doesn't pitch the 12th if we don't survive the 9th, 10th and 11th.

All that being said -- and here's where I think you and I really agree -- we are never going to win anything until and unless we have an entire bullpen that we trust so that the manager can do exactly what he did do last night.

Maybe Farnsie can be the 8th inning guy, and maybe Ollie can pitch well too. I hope so because if our pen pitches like they did last night, we're going to win the East.

2008-06-01 07:49:41
4.   Chyll Will
2 To be fair, Horace, I believe there's a vociferous minority who color the threads with negativity for their own reasons, but I try not to allow that to prevent me from participating. As much as they have a right to post whatever happens to bother them, I have the same right to be irreverent. As many do with my comments, I suggest ignoring such that offends or annoys you.

Let me tell a story I often think of when faced with a dilemma like this... when we had field day in elementary school, I was the anchor for my fifth-grade class in tug-o-war. My classmates lined up against the other class along the heavy rope. Bang! We started pulling and pulling, but my classmates and I were steadily losing ground. One by one they each dropped the rope and fell to the ground, until I was the the only one left, pulling against fourteen other fifth graders on the other end of the rope. I dug in my heels and held on for dear life. The rope would not budge. My classmates saw this and started cheering, encouraging me to hold, even as I strained, nearly in tears. Then, each one of them regrouped and grabbed the rope again, pulling and pulling. We won. I've never forgotten that because it describes my whole life.

Without naming names, it's rather easy to define certain personalities here that offend you and perhaps many others, but in defense of some, I have found with genuine interest in the deeper meaning of their comments (or clever repartee) that they have a whole other dimension to them that would otherwise have been left dormant. Bantering about the Yanks is a jump-off point for discoursing a host of other topics related or not to the game. Also, it allows me to shed certain inhibitions and practice communicating with a wide variety of people.

The negativity and overbearing behavior would decrease if people didn't tie into it so much. Acknowledging it only makes it worse, in my opinion. That's not to say that you should pretend it's not there, but address it differently. If that doesn't help you, Take a break and regroup, but don't let it defeat you. I've seen less of many strong commentors here lately because of the negativity you mention, which makes us a poorer community overall, but I hope they don't give up. We need more of you guys to hang on for all of our sakes.

2008-06-01 07:51:22
5.   Jeb
Any word on what happened with Jason Lane?
2008-06-01 08:00:21
6.   NetShrine
Al - Happy Birthday!
37? You really only 9 years younger than me? Either you look really young or I look really old!
2008-06-01 08:05:20
7.   OldYanksFan
2 "There's a lot of anger and anxiety management issues at work here"
--------------------------------------------
Glad you had the courage to speak up about this. It would be cool, IMHO, to have a thread to discuss this. Participating here in the last 2 years has been a very different experience then in the previous 2 years.

I will tell you that a lot, A LOT, of really good posters that had a regular presence here are no longer. I can't guarantee what their reasons for disappearing were, but I think most people come here for enjoyment, not a proctology exam. I believe the negative tone has chased some nice people away. Some have even announced "I'm fed up, goodbye", so it ain't my imagination.

2008-06-01 08:07:19
8.   JL25and3
2 People may criticize how the "closer" is used, but I don't think the criticism is aimed at Girardi. I think it's general frustration with the silly way that bullpen roles have become rigidly defined, such that you often don't have your best pitchers in the most important spots.

There isn't a manager around who would handle it any differently, though, and while you'd like the manager to be willing to break with common wisdom once in a while, you can't expect him to turn it upside-down in one fell swoop.

2008-06-01 08:15:39
9.   Jeb
7 Quite frankly, it is challenging to come here and talk baseball and have someone call you or your idea "dumb" for a post that they don't agree with, or calling you a misogynist homophobe for making a joke that's neither misogynistic nor homophobic. I certainly accept my own share of negativity, but I feel pretty strongly that I've gotten a lot more than I've ever given. I've also come close to dropping the rope a few times, but I've held on.

What I like about the Banter is that there are knowlegeable fans on here, and the censorship of ideas is really kept to a minimum. I think Ken, Alex and Cliff get lots of credit for that.

And one thing that I'll mention that often gets lost in the shuffle. We are ALL Yankees fans. So, we are all united on at least one front. We all love our team, we're passionate and we want the team to win.

Separating negativity from pessimism though -- I don't really have a problem with people second-guessing managerial decisions. If someone thinks that Girardi made the wrong call for this arm or that late-inning defensive replacement then I want to read that.

2008-06-01 08:15:39
10.   Jeb
7 Quite frankly, it is challenging to come here and talk baseball and have someone call you or your idea "dumb" for a post that they don't agree with, or calling you a misogynist homophobe for making a joke that's neither misogynistic nor homophobic. I certainly accept my own share of negativity, but I feel pretty strongly that I've gotten a lot more than I've ever given. I've also come close to dropping the rope a few times, but I've held on.

What I like about the Banter is that there are knowlegeable fans on here, and the censorship of ideas is really kept to a minimum. I think Ken, Alex and Cliff get lots of credit for that.

And one thing that I'll mention that often gets lost in the shuffle. We are ALL Yankees fans. So, we are all united on at least one front. We all love our team, we're passionate and we want the team to win.

Separating negativity from pessimism though -- I don't really have a problem with people second-guessing managerial decisions. If someone thinks that Girardi made the wrong call for this arm or that late-inning defensive replacement then I want to read that.

2008-06-01 08:16:34
11.   Jeb
sorry for the dp.
2008-06-01 08:40:25
12.   JL25and3
2 , 7 I don't think it's nearly as bad as you make it out to be.

Yes, there's negativity, and sometimes I find the overreaction to every pitch, every play, to be wearying. But though I am sometimes frustrated by the arguments, I find the posters consistently intelligent, civil and respectful. Not much more than a year ago, I was the one who announced "I'm fed up, goodbye," because of a poster whom I found not only stubborn and domineering but insulting as well. I don't really find that there's any of that around here anymore.

2008-06-01 08:41:12
13.   Repoz
Happy Birchbeer, Alex!

And after coming off our Shea outing...stop plainin' bout the weather!

2008-06-01 08:44:02
14.   Dimelo
2 I definitely agree. I think people take this all too seriously. I love the Yanks, I live and breathe and the Yanks, and I toke to my Yanks. But for me it represents a peaceful relaxing time and if it's a good game, win or lose, I still feel I won.

I can't stand sloppy play or guys taking plays off, that annoys me. I like to see guys trying, even in losing.

However, when you read the comments during the game here it never seems to translate 100% to what I'm seeing on my flat screen. It's like if things don't go great for every hitter, pitcher and fielder on the Yanks then it's all doom-and-gloom.

Hence why I don't go to some other Yankee blogs any longer, it's so filled with negativity that I question why these people even watch the games.

Fact of the matter is that I love the Yanks, I love their rich history, I love the banter with friends of mine who root for the Sux or Mutts, but it all boils down to one thing - it's just entertainment. It's great to be part of a community like Boogie-Down Banter, but like in all communities (virtual or real) we don't all get along and we have varying opinions. I just try not to socialize to much with the doom-and-gloom crowd and find myself enjoying conversations with people that provide constructive criticism but aren't filled with rage and hate.

Beautiful day today here in NY, great day to go mtn. biking and catch the score of the game after it's over. I'm hoping for positive results. Let's go Yanks!!!!

2008-06-01 08:53:38
15.   Dimelo
12 I think it gets pretty bad. The comments aren't as bad as LoHud, but they aren't all that great either. We all get frustrated, but when put it all into perspective....it's just a freaggin baseball game. I love talking about what may be wrong with the Yanks, I'm passionate, but if I have to start getting all nutty about the Yanks then I think the game is taking more out of me than the joy it's suppose to give me.

Nevertheless, it is extremely hard to quantify what that delicate balance should be: Nuttiness ratio to Fun. If all you read in the comments is people being frustrated, then it might just be they feel at ease here too.

I'm not preaching from my soapbox, but I certainly feel I learned a lot from having Torre here. I always loved how calm he was and I always knew things would get better. I actually learned through him, though I never met him, how to watch a game and not get too crazy.

I'm a huge Giant and Knick fan, too, and I always believed in Eli and felt he would turn it around. My brother and friends didn't stop with the insults being directed to Eli, but what I liked about him is that he never changed his style. It reminded me of Mr. Torre, never change who you really are just to please a bunch of people. In contrast to that Zeek never changed his style either, but Zeek was arrogant and entitled. Like the world owed him something and I didn't like that.

2008-06-01 09:26:12
16.   cult of basebaal
in happy news, petey reports that scott patterson has gotten the call up from scranton ... welcome to the bigs, rook!
2008-06-01 09:41:04
17.   Jeb
16 interesting choice. Any word on Jason Lane?
2008-06-01 09:57:35
18.   ny2ca2dc
9 I'm not going to get in to it with you, but for the record, objecting to your distasteful-at-best 'nickname' of a Yankee (or any other person, for that matter), is not censoring ideas. So enough with the righteous indignation. Schoolyard teasing of the players is exactly the kind of thing that contributes to a negative, immature atmosphere.

Other than that, nice to have ya around, and cheers.

2008-06-01 10:02:23
19.   horace-clarke-era
Dudes, thanks for reinforcement and easing my worries I was being negative about negativity!

I want to be clear though ... I do not see this as defining the Banter and I don't mind a scrap or disagreement or two (or three) as those who will remember me going at it with my man william over Roger can confirm. I was mainly talking (or typing) about the game threads, actually. The from-the-hip woe and anger that seems to define them. I have not (am not) bailing on banter, obviously, I was just noting I now skip those threads, catch up in the morning by skimming bits of them selectively. The general tone and discussion here is fun and civilized, and seems aware that - as a few above have said - this is just a game, and a sports team we all like/love. The in-game posts seem to get caught up in a no-pause-button savage-the-players thing that makes them sometimes unpleasant. That's about all I was saying.

2008-06-01 10:02:47
20.   ny2ca2dc
16 RLYW says Ensberg's been DFA'd
2008-06-01 10:08:52
21.   Chyll Will
17 No word from the usual suspects, so I'm about to assume he's still on the roster. If we don't get word from Pete or Chad by mid-Monday, it's a lock he stayed.
2008-06-01 10:24:22
22.   Jeb
20 good news. 21 I'd still just go with Giambi and Betemit at first (against certin lefties and also to back up third, short and second) and move Duncan out too.

I am interested in seeing Patterson pitch.

2008-06-01 10:26:03
23.   Chyll Will
19 No worries. I don't take the shoot-from-the-hip comments seriously as they are often natural reactions to various plays, good or bad. I do have a problem with overanalyzing a player based on a short sample, or haranguing each other with dead-horse issues, but it's easier for me to just go about my business than to chide UNLESS there's egregiously outrageous sniping going on.

The kinda stuff that happened in last night's thread came close to intervention, but as expected it petered out and everyone was cool with each other again and kept bantering.

Let's also not forget that while we tend to do a good job of staying within the rules of conduct, we are guests and as such can expect to be escorted out by Ken Arneson if HE deems us unworthy. It's a plus that it hasn't happened in a good while, and I don't expect it to happen among our present group >B)

2008-06-01 10:27:13
24.   Chyll Will
22 My guess is Duncan goes down when Jorge comes back.
2008-06-01 10:42:26
25.   Jeb
24 good point as I heard they'll keep Moeller around for a bit this time.
2008-06-01 10:54:43
26.   horace-clarke-era
25 WHY would they keep three catchers? I can't see it. Only possible reason would be if Jorge can't catch, in which case we have troubles because we are NOT short of DH or 1st base candidates.
2008-06-01 11:10:57
27.   Chyll Will
27 It was said yesterday (by Flaherty I think) that they want to make sure Jorge is 100% again; they don't want to be caught short like the last time they sent down Moeller and then Jorge went on the DL, not to mention Ensberg was the emergency backup, now DFA'd...
2008-06-01 11:11:33
28.   Chyll Will
27 oops, 26
2008-06-01 11:15:26
29.   Jeb
Fellas - there's a new game thread up. won't you join us? :O)
2008-06-01 11:23:56
30.   ny2ca2dc
Molina might have some competition!
2008-06-01 11:29:41
31.   DarrenF
Sincere wishes for a happy birthday.

Remember when you first realized the Playboy Playmates were younger than you?

Then, baseball players were younger than you?

Then, baseball coaches were younger than you?

Pretty soon, the President of the USA will be younger than you.

But it's nothing to fret about ... getting older beats the alternative.

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