Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
The 'Stache Rides Again
2008-07-02 21:18
by Emma Span


So you know how we were all wondering where the Yankees’ offense was? Well… this is so embarrassing… it turns out it was just buried in my sofa cushions this whole time! I found it yesterday afternoon, when I was looking for my keys.

Yes, it took a few days longer than they might have hoped, but the Yankees snapped out of their funk in a big way Wednesday night – and overcame a predictably lousy start by Sidney Ponson – with an 18-7 blowout of the Texas Rangers. That’s the most runs New York has scored all season, and every starter had at least one hit, but the key contributor, once again, was Jason Giambi and his Porn 'Stache of Doom. It was 3-1 Rangers in the third inning when the Big G put the Yanks ahead with an upper tank grand slam; he came through again in the seventh with a two-run double that put the Yankees up 8-7 after Ponson, left in too long, ran out of luck and coughed up a 6-3 lead.

That seventh inning was decisive, a nine-run explosion made possible by Texas’s poor bullpen and exacerbated by Ron Washington’s curious management choices. While Edwar Ramirez had taken over for Ponson and pitched two shutdown innings, the unfortunate Warner Madrigal (not a typo) made his first-ever appearance for the Rangers in this tense one-run game and left, many batters later, with an ERA of 162.00.

Meanwhile, watching Ponson start a game, even when things are going relatively well, is like taking a time machine back to 1906 San Francisco and strolling around. You just can’t enjoy yourself because you know disaster is right around the corner. In fact, what I like about Ponson – perhaps the only thing I like about Ponson – is that he makes me look good; I can predict with absolute confidence that he will pitch poorly for the Yankees and in the long run I really don’t have to worry about him proving me wrong.

To be fair, the Scourge of the Aruban Judiciary did get through five innings with his team up 6-3, thanks to some extremely lucky and well-timed double plays, and Girardi may have been pushing his luck asking for more. “It’s always frustrating,” said Ponson of his performance and out-of-whack mechanics after the game. As much as I hated this move for the Yanks and have zero faith in Ponson’s ability to either pitch well or avoid arrest for any extended period of time, I couldn’t help noticing, as he stood at the center of a media swarm in front of his locker, that he has these strangely big, wet, soulful eyes that sort of remind me of my Labrador’s. I've been wondering how he kept convincing teams to hire him, and now I think I've got my answer.

Anyway, why dwell on the negative when there are 18 runs, 16 hits and 7 walks to discuss? Everyone contributed, including rookie Brett Gardner, who got his first major league hit and RBI, and subsequently showed off his seriously impressive speed on the bases. Johnny Damon had three hits, and Cano continued to fog up the mirror with two of his own. And Alex Rodriguez ignored the increasingly batshit insane rumors about his personal life to score four runs and hit his 535th career home run, putting him just one behind Mickey Mantle on the all-time list -- at age 32. Wow.

Here's hoping he can keep his focus throughout the impending tabloid hysteria; the headline writers at the Post and Daily News are really going to earn their paychecks this week.

2008-07-03 05:31:21
1.   dianagramr
More batshit insane rumors .... A-Rod and his wife have split.

2008-07-03 05:55:07
2.   Sliced Bread
while we're making shit up... how about Yogi and Liza? Sources reveal he knows most, if not all of the words to "New York, New York," and he's said to be quite fond of her version. Rag-logic (SHOCK AND DELIGHT!) dictates he's apparently screwing her, or not. Let the recriminations begin... we gots papers to sell!
2008-07-03 06:01:53
3.   Alex Belth
Alls I know is last year, when A Rod was on the front page of the tabloids for stepping out with that stripper, he was a terror on the field. So long as he keeps playing like an MVP, let the rumors fly.
2008-07-03 06:11:03
4.   Simone
I watched the Rays/Red Sox game last night. It was an exciting game as the Rays rallied. The Rays are doing their part to hold back the Red Sox, now the Yankees have to do theirs and string together some wins.

Lenny Kravitz? If true, Cynthia Rodriguez for the win! She is a lucky woman. He is sexy as hell.

2008-07-03 06:12:52
5.   Simone
I have got to ask. Is it possible that Hank's outbursts actually work? Nah. Coincidence.
2008-07-03 06:17:00
6.   Sliced Bread
4 even if true, Cynthia Rodriguez is not one of Lenny's "Greatest Hits"
She's maybe a deep cut on the box set.
He must be in a slump.
2008-07-03 06:20:09
7.   Sliced Bread
If the Stadium DJ reads the papers, and has a sense of humor, tonight A-Rod will step to the plate to "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
2008-07-03 06:31:14
8.   joe in boston
Best line ever:

Meanwhile, watching Ponson start a game, even when things are going relatively well, is like taking a time machine back to 1906 San Francisco and strolling around.

2008-07-03 06:52:17
9.   JL25and3
6 Seriously. Cynthia Rodriguez is a good-looking woman, but compared with the young Lisa Bonet?

Oh, and I thought everyone knew about Yogi and Liza. Old news.

2008-07-03 07:00:50
10.   Felix Heredia

2008-07-03 07:14:22
11.   Sliced Bread
9 Lisa Bonet, fo' reals. Adrianna Lima, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman... choose yer stat, Lenny looks to be slumping.

Speaking of stats, I was listening to "The Lumpy & Chuckles Show on the New York Yankees Radio Network" last night, and I'm pretty sure Sterling, in one of his scoffing rants against statistics, defined RISP as a runner on third, but not second base. Gotta love the guy.

I also love how Suzyn growls when she gets excited. Anybody catch her in the throes of passion after the Giambi salami?

2008-07-03 07:22:16
12.   dianagramr

excuse me .... I need to cleanse myself after reading "Suzyn", "passion" and "Giambi salami" in the same sentence!

2008-07-03 07:23:15
13.   dianagramr
argh .... 10 should of course be 11

(insert 'Spinal Tap' joke here)

2008-07-03 07:33:30
14.   rbj
Um, sleeping with Madonna is not having an affair. It's merely a duty all us men have to perform. I think I'm scheduled in for sometime in the spring of 2010. Just have to get my shots first.
2008-07-03 07:49:39
15.   YankeeInMichigan
Back to baseball.

With an off-day on Monday, the Yanks can skip Ponson's turn in the rotation. They can then decide on a 5th-man for Saturday's game in Toronto. Ponson? Giess? Kennedy? Karstens? McCutchen? (Any of them should be able to shut down the Jays.)

2008-07-03 08:05:42
16.   OldYanksFan
I have GREAT News! Acorcing to PeteAbe:
"Sidney Ponson gave up seven runs, Joe Girardi says his spot in the rotation is safe."
Unflappable Joe
2008-07-03 08:10:16
17.   YankeeInMichigan
16 From what we have seen lately, a vote of confidence for a pitcher from Girardi means about as much a vote of confidence for a manager from George Steinbrenner.

Chad Jennings reports that Ian Kennedy will be pitching today for SWB. He'll probably pitch for them again on Tuesday, so he seems to be out of the running for the Sat. July 12 start in Toronto. Three strong starts for Scranton will probably put him back in the Yankee rotation after the break.

2008-07-03 08:20:54
18.   bp1
11 14 Guys - please! I'm at work. A guy alone in an office, laughing out loud, draws funny looks from people walking by.

I'm on record as enjoying Sterling and Waldman. Yes - they have an over-the-top schtick - but to me it's fun - like radio baseball is supposed to be. But we can all agree to disagree. I heard the Sterling grand salami call this morning, but they did not play Suzyn's reaction. I sorta envision her leaning back in her chair and fanning her face with her scorecard, her cheeks flushed and her hair a little rumpled. That Giambino does that to ladies.

And 14 , all I gotta say is "ewwww".

2008-07-03 08:33:19
19.   Emma Span
Actually, I've gotta say I'm disappointed in the tabs this morning. "Split!" and "Yer Out!," that's all they've got? Weak.

16 Don't worry. Even if Girardi won't take him out of the rotation, he'll probably be arrested for something or other within a few weeks.

2008-07-03 08:34:58
20.   dianagramr

Maybe he'll hit on Cynthia ....

2008-07-03 08:35:33
21.   bp1
Oh - and Emma - your title should join some of the other all time banter classics. And ... well ... I'll just leave it at that. This is a family show, after all. Gotta keep it "G". Or at least "PG".

Mood is always better in the banter after a game like that, as if the offensive explosion eased everyone's tension. Not gonna tie that thought into the 'stache ride thing. Nope. Not gonna. Just leave it alone.

(backing away from the keyboard)

2008-07-03 08:40:43
22.   a O
See, the problem is that you don't need 18 runs to win that game. (You don't need 18 runs to win any game if you have decent pitching, but that's a whole other conversation.)

You don't need 2 runs then 18 runs. You need 5 or 6 runs every night.

Scoring 18 runs in one day against the Rangers doesn't mean the offense is back. It means the Yanks were trying not to get swept and the Rangers pitchers were on the mound.

The Yankees offense will be back when they start hitting in the clutch and delivering EVERY day.

2008-07-03 08:41:37
23.   OldYanksFan
OK... I am now officially putting a 'kick-me' sign on.
Seattle is done. Paying Ichiro is a pure loss for them.
I want him. I think he could be had in a Abreu-like salary dump. He is signed for another 4 years at $17m.
Considering his age, he is probably overpaid, but the one thing the Yankees can afford (especially next year) is money.
While he is known for his speed and being an excellent leadoff guy, I am attracted to his defense and throwing arm. I think he would pop a dozen HRs or so playing in YS.

Yes... getting him goes against the grain of 'younger', but Ichiro is a very young 34. Have you seen him run? He is still greased lightning.

Our entire outfield is gone after next year. We MIGHT be able to count on AJax, we certainly can't count on Tabata. Melky/Brett will make a nice #4, but with Giambi gone and Jetes and Po in decline (by 2010 certainly), I think we need better starting OF production then Melky/Brett can provide.

Even an older Ichiro is Melky on steroids. Better glove, better arm, faster, smarter, and a better bat.

There are many OFers who have been productive at age 38. I believe Ichiro will be another. Dunn is certainly a better bat, but I am tired of big bat/no glove/no run guys. It's time we had a stud defensive guy in the OF.

Again, this is a MONEY ONLY transaction.
I think Ichiro is dying in Seattle. I personally believe he would be energized in NY. Last year, he posted: .351 .396 .431 .827 with 37 SB (82%).
A very smart Melky on steroids. Think about it.

2008-07-03 08:52:11
24.   JL25and3
Warner Madrigal is an awesome name. Unfortunately, he now has a career ERA+ of 3.
2008-07-03 10:01:18
25.   cult of basebaal
23 no. chance.

ichiro in seattle isn't about baseball, it's about money and exposure.

the japanese ownership insisted on extending jojima for 3 years, even though the front office didn't want to because half of the pitching staff wasn't talking to him. there's just no chance they'd agree to trade him.

2008-07-03 10:03:32
26.   horace-clarke-era
Warner Madrigal hangs out at Rick's Café American in Casablanca, right? Sings the Marseillais in that scene? LOVE the name. Makes up, almost, for Shake Yabuta being sent down.

22 Agreed, alas, that 18 runs, mostly vs the Wandering Medieval Troubadour on the mound, is not a revived offense. Steady production against so-so pitchers is. A Halladay or Cliff Lee (this year) WILL shut people down. No one on Texas should.

I'm agin the Ichiro Approach, OYF, though I find him easily one of the 3-4 most enjoyable players in the game to watch. (Discussion topic: who are other favourites for people ... I have Vlad, A Rod, Bloody Ortiz at bat, for example - all for different reasons - it isn't just excellence, it is some sense of style or elan).

A 'young' 34, turning 35 end of this year ... that means 4 years 35-38. That means he gets old just as Jeter and Po do while earning a lunatic sum that reduces likelihood of signing younger studs. I've thought about it, love him, wouldn't take that contract on. Wouldn't be UPSET if they did, mind you. (Moi, ambivalent? Pshaw!)

Let me join the Emma's Line Line Up ... the earthquake image is wonderful. I think Emma is also the source of Porn 'Stache of Doom (even before he dyed it!) which is too, too perfect. We don't deserve you.

2008-07-03 10:18:01
27.   horace-clarke-era
Pete Abe:

This is like some science fiction movie when the hero wakes up in the future and looks at the newspaper. "Tampa Bay is in first place? What happened? You damn dirty apes!"
Everybody around baseball figures the Rays will crack under the pressure of playing games that count for the first time. Two things: They may be too young to realize that. The owner also has a few billion. If they want to make a trade, they can make a trade.

Another great image! What's in the water today? I have to say (at risk of being flayed here) that I am perversely enjoying the Rays' excellence. It really does come under 'good for the game' even though I'd be hard-pressed to name a Ray I find genuinely appealing. (Crawford is superlative, I agree.) I think Pete's half-right about their being too young ... it DOES catch up, there IS a 'rule' that you need to be in a race once or twice before you can handle it. But they do have tons of money and are rumored, among others, to be mulling CC. They add an ace (another ace, as Kazmir IS one) or deepen the bullpen, and they get tougher, fast.

2008-07-03 10:21:43
28.   dianagramr

Can we be happy for one-time catching prospect Dioner Navarro?

2008-07-03 13:24:15
29.   a O
Ichiro would be an upgrade, even over the next four years, but Seattle will definitely never trade him. Ichiro leaving for another team would literally be the beginning of the end of baseball in Seattle. Trust me on that.

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