Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2008-06-08 06:45
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to


After my visit to the Farmer's Market yesterday I just had to stop on 207 to get the best chicken I've been able to find uptown. Doesn't matter that they don't speak English in there. It ain't hard to say "Pollo." I didn't care that I had to wait 25 minutes at the lunch counter, with the homely but tough and unsmiling dark-skinned women just inches away, everyone sweating profusely. The chicken is worth the wait. Plus, I like the commotion, the smells, the language, the music, the heat and the sweat.

Speaking of mmm, mmm good, we've got a tasty pitching match-up today at the Stadium, as the talented Mr. Greinke goes against Joba Chamberlain. It's going to be nothing short of oppressive as far as the heat is concerned. Should be interesting to see if these two young pitchers can keep the ball from flying out of the yard.

Over at the Post, Mike Vaccaro writes about Joba and 'splains why, at last count, there are 43,792 compelling reasons why baseball is the greatest game. Which brings to mind a smug, but amusing piece that Tom Boswell wrote years ago, "99 Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football."

Here are just a couple:

9. Baseball has a bullpen coach blowing bubble gum with his cap turned around backward while leaning on a fungo bat; football has a defensive coordinator in a satin jacket with a headset and a clipboard.

25. More good baseball books appear in a single year than have been written about football in the past fifty years.

37. Baseball statistics open a world to us. Football statistics are virtually useless or, worse, misleading.

54. At a football game, you almost never leave saying, "I never saw a play like that before." At a baseball game, there's almost always some new wrinkle.

64. Baseball means Spring's Here. Football means Winter's Coming.

78. In baseball, fans catch foul balls. In football, they raise a net so you can't even catch an extra point.

82. Football coaches walk across the field after the game and pretend to congratulate the opposing coach. Baseball managers head right for the beer.

86. Baseball measures a gift for dailiness.

89. Football is played best full of adrenaline and anger. Moderation seldom finds a place. Almost every act of baseball is a blending of effort and control; too much of either is fatal.

92. Turning the car radio dial on a summer night.

Let's everyone try and stay cool today while the Yankee bats stay hot.

Comments (139)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-08 08:03:24
1.   Jeb
and on a premature note....let's hope the weather stays clear and dry for BamaYankee as he goes to his first game ever at the Stadium tomorrow.

Let's Go Yan-Kees!!!!

2008-06-08 08:19:53
2.   Dimelo
0 What spot is that on 207th? I find a number of places uptown that are pretty good.

If you like pork rinds and plantains, then I suggest you try the spot on the corner of Broadway and Academy, across the street from I.S 52. There's always a packed line and if you get some fresh pork rinds, with a cold Presidente, you'll taste some eats. Good spot to stop at before heading to the ballpark, too.

2008-06-08 08:31:44
3.   mehmattski
My top two reasons why baseball is better than football:

1. Baseball Statistics
2. Silly Baseball Statistics

Like, the Padres became the first baseball team ever to win four straight 2-1 games. How awesome is that?

2008-06-08 09:21:15
4.   3rd gen yankee fan
0 You've got a bad link for Mike Vaccaro. Please fix?
2008-06-08 09:30:05
5.   joe in boston
You know what I like about Baseball ? Those silly blooper video tapes. I know the purist probably scoffs at them ... but my kids love them and watching them with my kids is a blast.
2008-06-08 09:55:43
6.   mehmattski
I didn't get to see Joba's first start, so I'm pretty excited for today. Come on, five strong, big guy!
2008-06-08 10:12:11
7.   vockins
Any Yankee fans looking to get bummed out should check out Dayn Perry's last article on Baseball Prospectus. It's a bit of a downer.
2008-06-08 10:13:45
8.   rbj
Far too hot to be outside today, perfect excuse to stay inside and watch Joba.

Other things that're great about baseball:
Bucky Dent's homer (what other sport can have mediocre talent win games)

Perfect games. You don't get those in football, basketball, hockey, soccer or anywhere else.

2008-06-08 10:15:15
9.   Just fair
Easy-Gas! Atta boy, Joba.
2008-06-08 10:15:17
10.   mehmattski
Great first inning!
2008-06-08 10:15:39
11.   mehmattski
8 Bowling?
2008-06-08 10:16:39
12.   ny2ca2dc
Me like
2008-06-08 10:18:19
13.   mehmattski
My favorite moment of the first inning was the first-pitch curveball to Jose Guillen. That was cool!
2008-06-08 10:19:35
14.   rbj
11 True, hadn't thought of a 300 game.

Hey, who's this Chamberlain kid? Anyone heard anything about him?

2008-06-08 10:21:26
15.   mehmattski
Well there was no doubt about that one. Inside, belt-high, see ya!
2008-06-08 10:21:52
16.   Just fair
Nothing beats an upper deck shot. WOW his swing was pure beauty.
2008-06-08 10:22:15
17.   ny2ca2dc
Me like!
2008-06-08 10:24:31
18.   ny2ca2dc
Maybe we can say the offense is back
2008-06-08 10:27:18
19.   ny2ca2dc
A walk! If the walks start coming, then the O really is back
2008-06-08 10:27:42
20.   rbj
Kinda weird season so far: first time in how long the Yankees blow a game with 2 four run leads, and first time in how long the Yankees win a game with 2 four run deficits.
2008-06-08 10:29:36
21.   SF Yanks
Greinke already at 23 pitches.
2008-06-08 10:30:40
22.   cult of basebaal
20 i believe the YES men just said 1st time in 70 years
2008-06-08 10:31:24
23.   Just fair
Why I like baseball
Good ol' country hardball on a hot day. Nice catch by Gaithwright.
2008-06-08 10:32:21
24.   ny2ca2dc
Gathright has made a number of good catches. bastard
2008-06-08 10:32:35
25.   cult of basebaal
damn ... jorge gave that one a big ride ... hard to hit out the other to that part of the park
2008-06-08 10:33:30
26.   cult of basebaal
25 hmmm, that made no sense, should have been ... hard to hit it out the other way to that part of the park
2008-06-08 10:37:47
27.   mehmattski
Uh oh, it's Ross Gload, Yankee Killer™
2008-06-08 10:45:19
28.   mehmattski
Joba's still looking really good. Gordon is really the only one whose gotten good contact so far, and he's missing a ton of bats.
2008-06-08 10:47:57
29.   rbj
Gol dang Gaithwright!
2008-06-08 10:48:14
30.   mehmattski
The look on Cano's face after Gathright's catch was priceless.
2008-06-08 10:48:49
31.   ny2ca2dc
2008-06-08 10:49:07
32.   cult of basebaal
goddammit gathright!


2008-06-08 10:49:07
33.   vockins
Jeez, nice catch Joey.
2008-06-08 10:53:27
34.   ny2ca2dc
Joba's curve is working
2008-06-08 10:54:19
35.   mehmattski
Michael Kay, arguing against the early-game bunt? Has the whole world gone crazy?
2008-06-08 10:54:23
36.   Eirias
Michael Kay is right about smallball? The seven seals are opening.
2008-06-08 10:55:45
37.   mehmattski
35 36 Ok, he still uses "ironically" incorrectly though. It's not complete bizzaro world.
2008-06-08 11:00:38
38.   cult of basebaal
35 36 maybe coney is rubbing off on him ... speaking of which, i am really enjoying listening to cone, especially on pitching ... he just called the curve from joba on the 2-2 pitch and explained why it would be a good time to throw it
2008-06-08 11:01:54
39.   rbj
2008-06-08 11:02:09
40.   Just fair
38 I was just thinking that about Cone. He is pleasant to listen to. The hangin' slider. Blech.
2008-06-08 11:02:47
41.   mehmattski
That was not the best place for that slider.
2008-06-08 11:02:50
42.   RIYank
Goddam it. Left the slider up. Good at-bat by Guillen.
2008-06-08 11:03:41
43.   Just fair
Joba better get outta here quick so he can go four.
2008-06-08 11:04:15
44.   cult of basebaal
ugh. i like that joba's willing to throw breaking pitches in any count, but he's hanging a few today ... that 2-1 slider could have gone a long way as well
2008-06-08 11:04:34
45.   mehmattski
Joba sure is shaking off Posada a lot.
2008-06-08 11:06:00
46.   mehmattski
That fastball has lost a lot of velocity this innning.

One more inning, with a short leash. Progress, at least.

2008-06-08 11:06:27
47.   cult of basebaal
45 yeah, i'd noticed that ... he did that last start as well
2008-06-08 11:07:31
48.   RIYank
46 If he had made that mistake to someone other than Guillen, we'd be saying it was very good progress. Oh well.
2008-06-08 11:09:29
49.   mehmattski
47 Oh, hey, and another thing, Meat. You don't know shit, all right? If you wanna make it to the bigs, you'll listen to me. Annie only wants you so she can boss you around, got it? So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit. And don't hold the ball so hard, OK? It's an egg. Hold it like an egg.
2008-06-08 11:10:55
50.   ny2ca2dc
that's 3 great plays to rob Yanks
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-08 11:13:11
51.   Eirias
I am not an idiot. I perfectly understand the necessity of strict innings limits on young starters. I also recognize the critical place Joba had in any success we had last year. But seeing that it is 2008 now, I can ignore any past contributions. That said, I have to wonder if it would have been better for Joba to stay as a starter. Having to shift to a starter's mentality, where you have to hide strikeout pitches early, work short counts, and not throw full strength seems to be difficult (although this is only start #2). Joba's mystique, and his self-image it seems, has been built around the fist-pumping, fireballing, knee-buckling savior. That is absolutely not what a starter is. Almost always a SP has to be cool and collected. Joba seems to have lost that by being a reliever.
2008-06-08 11:14:53
52.   Bob Timmermann
Didn't Kay ask Cone if a line drive made his "heart beat?"

Isn't Cone's heart always beating?

2008-06-08 11:16:09
53.   mehmattski
52 Kay's response to that might be: "Ironically, my heart is also beating!"
2008-06-08 11:20:14
54.   Eirias
52 Not if he has an impeller heart pump... Oh, wait. He doesn't.
2008-06-08 11:20:59
55.   mehmattski
A nine pitch inning!
2008-06-08 11:21:14
56.   RIYank
That curve ball for a strike is encouraging. I mean, that one for example. He's been getting it over all day.
2008-06-08 11:22:40
57.   Mattpat11
2008-06-08 11:22:45
58.   RIYank
52 Yes, but there's always a line drive somewhere.
2008-06-08 11:24:38
59.   Just fair
David Cone should have spend his entire career in the bullpen. : )
2008-06-08 11:27:06
60.   cult of basebaal
gotta say, greinke's fun to watch pitch ... joba could take some notes here
2008-06-08 11:32:31
61.   Just fair
Joba's not going to fall to pieces if he exceeds his so-called alloted pitch count by a dozen or so. The karate chop punch out.
2008-06-08 11:36:02
62.   mehmattski
This has got to be the last batter for Joba.
2008-06-08 11:37:10
63.   RIYank
Oooh, the curve missed. Because he's tiring, or just bad luck that it happened now?
2008-06-08 11:37:30
64.   RIYank
I guess I should say, 'was tiring', not 'is tiring'.
2008-06-08 11:38:10
65.   mehmattski
You know how pitchers normally jump over the foul line, thinking that stepping on it is bad luck? Well, Joba dragged his foot over the line in disgust as he walked off the mound.
2008-06-08 11:39:06
66.   cult of basebaal
i think joba might have gotten his first win as a starter today ... if it weren't fer that meddlin' gathright
2008-06-08 11:39:20
67.   SF Yanks
65 He did that his last start too.
2008-06-08 11:39:57
68.   Mattpat11
2008-06-08 11:40:32
69.   mehmattski
Well, I think we can call that a success. Certainly, those 4.1 IP were more valuable to the Yankees in the big leagues than they would have been at SWB.
2008-06-08 11:42:13
70.   Mattpat11
2008-06-08 11:43:22
71.   RIYank
66 Or the high slider.
2008-06-08 11:46:57
72.   ny2ca2dc
2008-06-08 11:48:03
73.   cult of basebaal
giambi, el gato!
2008-06-08 11:48:22
74.   Just fair
I don't think I can stomach another loss a day after an exciting win.
So, Joba for @90 pitches Fri. at Houston.
2008-06-08 11:50:21
75.   rbj
Go Johnny go!
2008-06-08 11:50:21
76.   mehmattski
Aww, DeJesus broke his sunglasses with the unwise dive.
2008-06-08 11:50:23
77.   Just fair
It's gotta be the socks.
2008-06-08 11:50:29
78.   RIYank
Nice. Johnny = 4 x Robbie. (pitches/ab)
2008-06-08 11:53:18
79.   RIYank
Damn. Nice pitch -- low but too good to watch with two strikes.
2008-06-08 11:54:13
80.   RIYank
Attaboy, Bobby. Let's get Giese a win!
2008-06-08 11:56:26
81.   rbj
Jeebus, Gaithwright!
2008-06-08 11:58:19
82.   Just fair
Damn, Joey. Hope he's alright. Who was the CF a year or two ago who ran about 5 country miles catching balls all over the place in a series at the stadium?
2008-06-08 11:58:33
83.   ny2ca2dc
2008-06-08 11:59:01
84.   cult of basebaal
man, as much as i'd like to see anybody else in CF for the royals right now, i really hope gathright's not hurt
2008-06-08 11:59:45
85.   Mattpat11
84 ditto
2008-06-08 12:00:22
86.   Mattpat11
82 Rowand
2008-06-08 12:03:24
87.   Just fair
I like Cone because he always seems to be on the verge of saying something that might get him canned. A la getting jerked off n the bullpen.
2008-06-08 12:03:28
88.   cult of basebaal
beauty of a change from giese
2008-06-08 12:04:38
89.   ny2ca2dc
If Geise is really this good (decent), does Hawkins still have a slot? Have we found our long reliever?
2008-06-08 12:05:08
90.   cult of basebaal
87 on cue, cone starts talking about how he loves the NYC halloween day parade, cause it's a "freakshow"
2008-06-08 12:05:35
91.   cult of basebaal
for fuck's sake
2008-06-08 12:05:56
92.   Just fair
Yeah. Too funny.
2008-06-08 12:07:30
93.   ny2ca2dc
Second bad play for Po today (that passed ball leading to a run being the first)...
2008-06-08 12:10:39
94.   mehmattski
We should DFA Giambi. He's so useless!
2008-06-08 12:11:31
95.   ms october
gotta luv the big lug (copyright oyf)
2008-06-08 12:12:07
96.   cult of basebaal
93 that one could have been a physical mistake (cone was saying sometimes a catcher will block his own vision for a moment when going after high fastballs like that one) but this one was a lack of hustle ... jorge jogged after the ball
2008-06-08 12:12:36
97.   ny2ca2dc
Giambi is cooked. Stick a fork in him
2008-06-08 12:13:09
98.   OldYanksFan
95 ... Ditto
2008-06-08 12:13:31
99.   ny2ca2dc
96 Ya, but I felt he should've been up out of his crouch for the high heater, as he usually is. Po's still my fave, though.
2008-06-08 12:16:24
100.   rbj
Michael Kay interviews Snoop Dog?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-08 12:17:07
101.   Jeb
Now we get into their pen...yay.

I hope Zack Groenke's brother pitches as well as him even if he is from Auburn.

Don't we also have a Zack Kroenke? Could get confusing.

By the way, has anyone read the pro and anti sign Barry Bonds articles on "Fire Joe Morgan". It's funny stuff even if it's written by two Sawx fans.

2008-06-08 12:21:51
102.   ny2ca2dc
Boy was that a surprise
2008-06-08 12:32:00
103.   cult of basebaal
nice pitching by giese, it's fun to watch guys who have an idea what they're doing and the control to execute
2008-06-08 12:32:14
104.   ny2ca2dc
Geise is really making a case for himself.
2008-06-08 12:32:35
105.   mehmattski
So, Joba for the eighth, right?


2008-06-08 12:33:35
106.   Eirias
Small-ball? Ah, that the Michael Kay we know and love.
2008-06-08 12:33:56
107.   rbj
Germany 1, Poland 0 at halftime.
2008-06-08 12:33:56
108.   Just fair
How long before Kay starts saying Chambergiese?
2008-06-08 12:36:49
109.   cult of basebaal
wonder who we get in the 8th? veras was warming, wonder if that means the wacker has been bumped, or if that was just to shadow giese
2008-06-08 12:37:44
110.   ny2ca2dc
109 Ohlie has been good in 1-inning stints...
2008-06-08 12:41:00
111.   Eirias
107 I'm waiting for the England and Spain games; Gerrard and Torres all the way.
2008-06-08 12:42:37
112.   mehmattski
111 I thought England didn't qualify. Silly Croatians.
2008-06-08 12:42:42
113.   Just fair
Awful baserunning by A-Rod. Very Manny like. Nice hit, though.
2008-06-08 12:42:55
114.   Eirias
109 Giese hasn't given up a walk or a hit, with three strikeouts. Why would you take him out? It is not as if any of our other options are better than that.
2008-06-08 12:43:25
115.   rbj
111 I'm just wondering if the Poles are going to give a little more effort, considering who they're facing.

And Alex, always run hard from the get go.

2008-06-08 12:44:05
116.   Eirias
112 You would be correct.
2008-06-08 12:44:07
117.   ny2ca2dc
2008-06-08 12:44:41
118.   ny2ca2dc
uh boy, Cadillac-ing again.
2008-06-08 12:58:12
119.   Mattpat11
Has Farnsworth been snubbed?
2008-06-08 13:00:28
120.   mehmattski
2008-06-08 13:01:55
121.   Mattpat11
2008-06-08 13:02:17
122.   ny2ca2dc
So this is why they've been so intrigued by this guy. Not that I think he's 'turned a corner', but that was damn nice.
2008-06-08 13:04:12
123.   Jeb
meanwhile Boston up 2-1 in the 8th...ugh
2008-06-08 13:07:45
124.   ny2ca2dc
Diggin' the walks. If only Jeter would abide. (and, obviously, the C&C boys)
2008-06-08 13:11:02
125.   cult of basebaal
it's MO time
2008-06-08 13:11:07
126.   Jeb
does anyone know the scoop on ellsbury's wrist? How about Scott Shields's shoulder?
2008-06-08 13:12:54
127.   Mattpat11
So, where was Worthless in the 8th?
2008-06-08 13:14:00
128.   rbj
127 Hopefully valet parking in Soho.
2008-06-08 13:14:55
129.   Eirias
2008-06-08 13:15:13
130.   Jeb
does anyone know the scoop on ellsbury's wrist? How about Scott Shields's shoulder?
2008-06-08 13:17:07
131.   cult of basebaal
new motto for this year ... jorge plays today, we win today!
2008-06-08 13:17:43
132.   ny2ca2dc
131 ... das it!

Giese ought to stick around.

2008-06-08 13:17:59
133.   3rd gen yankee fan
we win we win
2008-06-08 13:18:16
134.   ms october
128 those cars won't be safe

130 don't know about shileds - but they are reorting in boston that ellsbury may play tuesday

2008-06-08 13:19:44
135.   Jeb
134 thanks Ms. October. I just wanted to know if his wrist had healed or if it was still limp.
2008-06-08 13:20:31
136.   rbj
Yes, nice win. Joba pitched better, Giese pitched well, Veras may turn into the 8th inning guy. And we got some offense.

Germans 2, Poles 0, about 12 minutes left.

2008-06-08 13:26:32
137.   Jeb
shoot...the saw won, still 6.5 back. we really need to win tomorrow and let me remind everyone that 1 BamaYank will be there for his first game ever at the Stadium. So, it's doubly important and will put us 2 over .500 heading to night-mare-ville California where I hope we can steal one.
2008-06-08 13:26:55
138.   Jeb
137 saw = sawx.
2008-06-08 13:40:09
139.   vockins
126 I think he's back full time on Tuesday, and he was a pinch runner last night.

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