Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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2008-06-14 18:50
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Watching the Yankees play in Houston seems unreal like something out of a video game.  The late afternoon light floods the place in odd, broken-patterns, and the Yankees' dark helmets and black socks have never looked as menacing or sharp.  They actually look like Bronx Bombers.  It was especially noticable on HD TV.  Rodriguez and Giambi scoring on Jose Molina's clutch RBI single, the sun shining off their helmets.  The YES replay used the angle behind the batter's box that looks up the third base line. It was really brilliant.  Giambi's Porn Stach of Doom has never looked nastier--he's reaching Nick Nolte territory. 

And Alex Rodriguez has looked absolutely terrifying.  It's scary to think what he'd do if Houston was his home park. In his first at bat tonight, he sliced a fly ball over the fence in right, and he didn't even really get all of it.  Hunter Pence narrowed his sights on the ball as it approached the wall in right and he timed his leap expertly.  But an Astros fan wearing a red shirt went for the ball too, his glove knocked into Pence's mitt and Rodriguez had himself a dinger.  It looked like a weak pop fly but he's so strong he was able to muscle it out.  Scary.

The home run put the Yankees on the board after Mike Mussina gave up a three-run bomb to Carlos Lee in the bottom of the first.  But Mussina didn't fold and he didn't allow another run, going six, and pitching long enough to leave with a 5-3 lead.  Ross Ohlendorf (1 run), Kyle Farnsworth, and Edwar Ramirez finished it off and Mariano was able to take the night off.  Johnny Damon had three hits and is batting .324, Melky had a couple of hits too, and Robbie Cano and Wilson Betemit each had pinch-hit RBIs.  Let's hope this is the start of something for Cano. 

Final Score: 8-4.     

The win puts the Yankees at 36-33, the first time they have been three games over .500 all season.  It was career victory #260 for Mussina, his 10th of the year.  Unless he completely melts down over his next couple of starts, he should be headed to the All-Star Game.  How unlikely is that?  Good for Mussina.  He's earned it.  260 is an awful lot of wins.  He's won ten or more games for seventeen straight years

Yeah, You Get Props Over Here.       


2008-06-14 19:45:49
1.   tommyl
I'm still at the gate! Flight now delayed another hour, except the crew has to check they won't go over their daily limit. Its awesome. Anyone want to come hang out with me?
2008-06-14 19:47:54
2.   Eric Stephen
Alex, is that what you made for dinner? The ribs look delicious!
2008-06-14 19:50:30
3.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
OK I'll tell you what guys. If he gets to 12 wins before the all star break I'll stop insisting we trade him now.

I still think he'll revert to below league average in an ugly way.

But I'm still thrilled that he keeps proving me wrong.

2008-06-14 20:23:59
4.   Alex Belth
No, I wish I made those ribs though! I sure am a sucker for baby backs. But I did make something delicious for dinner anyhow. I've experimented some with guanciale, a fattier and often more flavorful version of pancetta or bacon. I've tried it in an Amatriciana sauce but find the guanciale to be overpowering and prefer pancetta. But my aunt told me that she just dices the guanciale and cooks them in olive oil until they are crispy and just serves that over pasta. Which is what I did tonight, using the squiggly fusilli as my pasta. Man, it was ridiculously tasty. Simple but that guanciale has some complex, savory flavor that is perfect just by itself.
2008-06-14 20:24:24
5.   mehmattski
Our old friend Ty Clippard is dueling Erik Bedard as we speak...
2008-06-14 20:26:56
6.   mehmattski
Also: Tune in to the 2008 All-Star game in historic Yankee stadium. Witness the classic pitching matchup of...

...Cliff Lee!


...Edinson Volquez!

Just bizare...

2008-06-14 20:44:42
7.   pistolpete
One of my favorite Public Enemy tracks, btw. Why is 'Black Planet' still not on iTunes?
2008-06-14 21:29:59
8.   tommyl
Flight delayed 2 more hours! I highly recommend Delta to anyone for their next trip, assuming you love airport waiting areas.
2008-06-14 23:10:41
9.   Chyll Will
7 That and Bobby Womack's "If You Think You're Lonely Now"... >:' And whassup, we can't get original Teddy Pendergrass (post-HM&TBN) ???
2008-06-15 04:56:33
10.   Raf
Yeah, You Get Props Over Here.

Word? A Beatnuts reference? :)

2008-06-15 05:02:09
11.   Raf
Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers out there
2008-06-15 05:34:22
12.   OldYanksFan
Just a few random thoughts waiting for today's game:
... Toronto is in last place with a .500 record. Man, this is going to be a very tough division.

... The LA Angels have the 3rd best record in MLB, 41/28, even though they have given up 1 more run then they have scored. Cleveland's RS/RA is 313/295, yet they are 5 games under .500.

... MLB is considering some Instant Replay THIS YEAR, although in an attempt not to undermine the Umps, they are screwing it up. Jeez, even when they get it right they get it wrong.

... Does anyone wonder how much PEDs really helped Giambi, or if they hurt him? When healthy, he still looks like a 40 HR guy (at 37!). I wonder if he just stayed in shape and didn't do PEDS where he would be at.

... Power numbers are down in general, but this:
seems very unlikely.

... I can finally look at the standings page, something that has been painful all year. The Yanks are in 3rd place in both Div/WC, 4.5 behind TB for the WC. Who would have thunkit.

2008-06-15 06:25:54
13.   pistolpete
12 Didja also notice the Yanks are the only ones in their division not under .500 on the road?

What a strange year...

2008-06-15 06:26:13
14.   Alex Belth
You BET it was a Beatnuts reference. Crud as f*, but the beats on that self-titled album are still thumping.
2008-06-15 07:10:15
15.   horace-clarke-era
OYF, fun random jots. Agreed entirely that the AL East is seriously challenging this year. A reason it might be hard for anyone to put together a major streak in summer, but also why 5-6 games out in mid-June is so far from being 'out of it' it seems ludicrous how many people were dumping so violently on the team, or even talking about dump trades! In fact, it IS ludicrous.

The Angels are even odder than that ... runs scored last 3+ weeks is something like 3.25 a game, but they are 14-8 or so in that time. There's starting pitching for you. Does mean they are poised to fall back if the bats don't wake up as it is hard to pitch with so little margin for error (Koufax and Drysdale memories, cued!)

I'm ambivalent about the hr replay stuff ... not sure why it is SO wrong to bring it in midseason, and especially if the use is narrowly targeted, focused. (Pun intended.) What is the argument for waiting till April? Nor do I buy the 'slippery slope, will ruin the game' thing (though I understand it). The game seems more damaged by obviously, game-changing errors on fair-foul, homer-double by a running ump (who hasn't got his own steady focus as a result). I suppose (just thought of this) they could make it a playoffs-only thing, like adding two umps, since the games 'matter' more. But tell that to a team that misses by a game!

Not sure, OYF, what part of the linked piece you find unlikely? That Cano will start hitting part, or ...? I do suspect that some people's off-years are linked to going clean, and especially of amphetamines ... those stories of Red Bull arriving in clubhouse by the conveyor belt. The article speculates that would apply more to later in the year, hot summer, long season - and it might. But I doubt those using greenies to stay sharp just STARTED doing so in July. If it is your regimen, going off it will blunt you for a bit. And the off-steroids thing, it may well be that it takes a year or two to get back to 'normal' and Giambi might reflect that.

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