Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Simple Pleasures are the Best
2008-06-19 07:01
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to


Giorgio Morandi is one of my favorite painters.  He was a little old Italian guy who almost excusively painted still life pictures.  They are humble and deeply satisfying--he's a painter's painter.  Even though the subject matter is traditional, his pictures tackle space, form and composition just like the great modern abstract painters.

The reason I mention him, is because looking at his drawings and paintings is a simple but cherished pleasure for me.  And last night was filled with simple pleasures. It started when I arrived home with a dozen white roses for my wife.  I got caught in the rain and was soaking wet but didn't mind a bit.  When the rain stopped, we saw a rainbow outside of our apartment window in the Bronx.  Later, a full yellow moon beamed high in the black night.  The weather was crisp and unseasonably cool, almost too good to be true.  

At the Stadium, there was Robinson Cano, who is really starting to swing the bat well, and Joe Girardi seeking out Melky Cabrera on the bench after Melky lined-out in the second inning, then offering him words of encouragement.  Later, Melky made a head-first slide into second that looked more like a belly flop into a swimming pool.  It was a potentially reckless play but one that gave his teammates a good laugh. 

There was the joy of watching one of the all-time greats in fine form.  Alex Rodriguez stole a base, made a wonderful throw to end the fourth inning and crushed a solo home run off of Jake Peavy.   David Cone, who just keeps getting better, looser, funnier, John Flaherty and Michael Kay provided entertaining and informative commentary throughout.  At one point, Kay mentioned that the demonstrative Peavy does not curse and he asked Cone if he ever had any teammates that did not swear.  "None that I trusted," said Cone.

There was pleasure to be found in the Yankees not folding, even after Edwar Ramirez gave up two solo homers and Kyle Farnsworth gave up one of his own.  What makes a fan feel better than insurance runs?  Uh, Johnny Damon's doing pretty well these days, ain't he?  And there was Mo, of course, getting a brother-to-brother double play to end the game.  Finally, there was the pleasure of watching the game on-line with the Banterites, who are not only insightful but funny.  Diana had the best line of the night, even though she invoked one of those dreadful 80s pop songs that stick in your head for days:

We can score when we want to
We can kick your team's behind
Cause your team can't score and if they can't score
Well they're no threat to mine


2008-06-19 07:05:24
1.   monkeypants
0 "Finally, there was the pleasure of watching the game on-line with the Banterites, who are not insightful but funny."

Say, wait a minute...

; )

2008-06-19 07:16:00
2.   mehmattski
Cone's best comment came before the game started. The YES cameras had a shot of the ball on the rubber, and it had some paint on it. Rasner discovered it and tossed the ball in to get a new ball. Then something like this exchange occured:

Cone: Noooooo! You don't turn that ball in! You find a way to use it!
Kay: What ever do you mean, David?
Cone: Well you know we had a pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre, who was known for his nasty splitter, and he knew how to get the best out of a ball, to alter it... um, so the movement was nasty
Kay: Haha! [continues on with the preview]

A few seconds later you can hear Cone say "What? What did I say?" in the background.

2008-06-19 07:20:12
3.   Alex Belth
"only" insightful. Doh! Did I mention that the Banterites are damn good proof readers too? Thanks.
2008-06-19 07:22:16
4.   Cliff Corcoran
1 pretty sure Al meant "not only insightful . . ."

2 Cone's said something like that several times before during games, talking about how he never scuffed a ball, but he knew how to use one that had become scuffed should the umpire fail to toss it out before it got back to him.

0 Melky's slide was straight out of the Pete Rose stylebook. A big, head-first, Superman-hands, belly flop. Somewhere Ray Fosse flinched.

2008-06-19 07:25:25
5.   Ace Rothstein
I randomnly was joking about this old commercial with a friend of mine.

"Hey Coney, why don't chu have a dance?"

2008-06-19 07:26:51
6.   mehmattski
5 That is in my top five favorite commercials of all time. I still laugh hysterically when I see Cone doing his windup in the bathroom. Brilliant!
2008-06-19 07:34:17
7.   dianagramr

Thanks for the hat tip, Alex.

I'm available for bar mitzvahs, weddings and more routine writing assignments.

Diane the song parodist/cunning linguist

2008-06-19 07:38:02
8.   mehmattski
Also on the topic of commercials, can anyone find that Speed Stick commercial with A-Rod... the one where the reporter asks "Only one Homer tonight, Alex?" and Alex responds "Tough town!" In a world where all these classic commercials are on youtube, I think that one should be somewhere around!
2008-06-19 07:38:35
9.   mehmattski
7 You may be a cunning linguist, but I am a master debater.
2008-06-19 07:40:54
10.   Alex Belth
9, stop it man, yer killin me!
2008-06-19 07:41:00
11.   dianagramr

John McCain will be needing your services soon. :-)

2008-06-19 09:32:31
12.   JL25and3
4 If only that had been a simple head-first dive! But it was a lot worse than that:

It was at that precise moment that I realized that (a) All-Star Games are completely stupid and pointless, and (b) Pete Rose is a detestable dickhead.

2008-06-19 09:39:50
13.   monkeypants
13 But now they count! Isn't that great?!?
2008-06-19 09:40:12
14.   monkeypants
13 Goddam me. That was for 12 .

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