Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Moose is Loose
2008-08-08 08:09
by Alex Belth



When it comes to individual achievements, there is nothing that would make me happier than to see Mike Mussina win twenty games this season.  I don't think his Hall of Fame candidacy should rest on whether he wins twenty or not, though I'm sure some of the voters would disagree.  But regardless of how things pan out--and knowing Mussina's luck, he'll end up with eighteen or nineteen wins--it's been a remarkable comeback season for Moose.  So writes Craig Brown over at The Hardball Times.

Comments (52)
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2008-08-08 08:20:42
1.   koolman2

You posted a notice about Phil Simkins and the Daily News.

The story was about how the Yankees in the championship season of 96 used a body cooling invention of his and never got credit for it.

He finally asked for compensation, but the Yankees turned a deaf ear on him which has kept him in a homeless situation ever since and deprived the firefighters, police, soldiers, elderly, and everybody from having his revolutionary body cooling device that could have saved thousands of lives from heat stroke and allowed us to win the war in Iraq, years ago.

It's a great story and a sad one for the Yankees, which might explain why they stopped winning championships so suddenly and were humiliated by Boston.

It just might be the curse of the Kool Rope coming back to haunt them.

The reason I know the story is because I am Phil Simkins!!!

And for those who want to know the entire story follow along:

I had been in touch with the trainer for the Yankees, Gene Monahan, in 1995, about the cooling units and had made him several units of the necklace version which he kept in the training room locker.

He had even put me in touch with the Valvoline Nascar racing team and Mark Martin their driver to see if they could test the units while driving in a race.

I sent down 2 heavy duty Kool Ropes to Mark and he tried them out while practicing in his race car.

He got back to me and said that they worked great and if I could get the electronic freezer pack finished, he would definitely use them at races.

During the 95 season, the weather during the Yankee games never got too hot so the ropes were never used, but in 96 I developed the yellow Kool Rope for use by firefighters, policeman, construction workers, that i sent you the sample of.

I called Gene Monahan during the season and asked him if he would show the new unit to Dwight Gooden to see if he would endorse them and also that they were not for athletic use.

I dropped off to Yankee stadium, 2 units in late July and called Gene back on August 20 to see what Dwight had said.

Gene told me that he wanted to wait till after the season ended before doing any endorsement deals and then as I was hanging up the phone he said, "Oh by the way, Phil, some of the players have been using it in batting practice!!!"

I said to myself, Wow, now I am a part of Yankee history!!!"

Gene asked me to give him a call back in two weeks when they returned from California and he would discuss it further with me.

But, the team was doing so well at that time, I decided not to call until after the season was over, so not to take attention away from them winning.

I told the firefighters up at the 77th about the Yankees using the units and said that if we could be patient and wait until the season was over, if they won the Series, than what better publicity to get them into production than to have helped keep the team cool.

Well, as the story goes, they won an exciting Series with everything falling into place and I knew that my moment would soon come.

I waited until after the parades and festivities were over before I sent a letter to Mr. Steinbrenner.

He had known about the team use of the ropes right after Gene told me because I called his office and told his secretary, Lisa,about it and then sent her a unit to give to Mr. Steinbrenner, which she kept in the office refrigerator.

I waited for a reply and got none.

I then sent another and the same thing happened.

I did not know what was going on because I was not asking for money, just acknowledgement of my contribution.

It was a day or two after Christmas when I walked into a copy store on west 52nd street to fax another letter to Steinbrenner, when I saw on the wall all of these Christmas cards that were signed by Yankee players.

I asked the owner, Marthe, how she came by these and she said that her husband worked for the Yankees in the PR Dept.

So, I told her the story and asked her if she would give Gene a call to see what happened.

She spoke with him by phone and told me that he said that the team had used the Kool Ropes for a week in batting practice and then found them to be cumbersome and for me not to write to Steinbrenner anymore.

Well, I was crushed to say the least and didn't know why they would want to keep it a secret since they obviously had a positive effect on the performance of the team and by publicizing their use, it would have enabled me to get them into production for everyone, including the fans who came out to see games on really hot days.

So, for years after never knowing what happened and still trying to get the units into production someone told me that they probably didn't want it to be known that they used the ropes because it might have been considered an unfair advantage.

Gene Monahan knows the truth and the fact that they used the ropes for a week where they were playing in a heat wave in Texas and Kansas City and that they had to win at least one game at Texas or they would have known that they never could beat them at home which would have been a psychological disadvantage come the playoffs.

They won the third and last game they played in Texas and you had to know they were desperate after losing the first 2 to try anything to win. It was a close 6-5 win but keeping cool in that heat surely gave them the feeling of being able to overcome any obstacles and feeling as if they were Supermen.

They went on to Kansas City where they won 2 out of 4 and won on the hottest and most oppressive days. They also won in Texas on the hottest day. Then they left for cooler locations where they did not need the units.








The 1996 World Series win marked the birth of the modern day Yankee dynasty, where they went on to win 3 more championships and made the playoffs each year, since.

It is a dark secret, kept by the Yankees for twelve years, that have prevented the world from having their cooling units and, certainly, changing the course of history!!!

If you guys want to get rid of a curse that might be keeping the Yankees in real hot water, and you can't blame me because I'm still stuck in homelessness, post this and give Lonn Trost a call who on 2 occasions called me a liar and the other asked what I wanted, because he knew it was true, before slamming the phone in my ear and then stand outside the player's entrance before a home game, usually he arrives about 2:00, and shout out to Gene Monahan, "Is it true that the team used Phil Simkins's Kool Rope in batting practice during the 96 season to keep cool in a heat wave in Texas and Kansas City??? "And why did you stiff him for the past 12 years and not allowed us to get our ropes???"

Monahan is the "keeper of the secret" guys so you have to get in his face and stay there until he fesses up, and then I can get you your ropes and the curse will be lifted.

But, you would think I would be still mad and hate the yankees??? Sure, to some extent, I'm human, but I will root for them and stand up for them by fighting a devious plot to put a curse on Yankee fans by putting up a monument to the Red Sox by a closet Sox fan who was the architect behind renovating the old Verizon buiding on 42nd street and sixth.

Dan Shannon, the architect, and Yankee hater, had the color of the building made in, brace yourself, "Fenway Green!!!"

That's right. Check it out. It's the exact color and shade of the notorious fenway Park and the Green Monster!!!

And you know how I found out his plot???

I matched the color on Google images and then went to his site where he had his projects listed and I knew that if he did any work in Boston then he certainly would know what that color was.

What I found at the bottom of the page when everything else was done in NYC and I was ready to admit he might be clean as a whistle was this entry:

0 ST. JAMES, Boston, MA, (1991)
Senior designer for 600,000 sq.ft. office building in
Boston Back Bay for Macomber Development.

BOSTON CROSSING, Boston, MA, (1989 to 1990)
Senior designer for the master plan and architectural
design for 3 million sq.ft. mixed-use project in
downtown Boston for Campeau Development.

So, as Columbo would break out a cigar when he cracked the case, I said to myself, "I got this guy!!!"

Check out the Green Shadow Post article and see what I said.

If I truly hated them would I try to save the team from a curse worst then what the Sox endured.

This one is right in your own backyard sitting right in your face.

Blackstone Group owns the building, so you got to call them, but don't do anything stupid, OK guys.

We'll get the color changed!!! and you guys help me with the Kool Rope. This has been a bitch of a ride but' things happen for a reason and I have some other monumental things to come out.

Take care guys!!!

Phil, Koolman2, Simkins

2008-08-08 08:26:18
2.   Rob Middletown CT
2008-08-08 08:29:07
3.   bp1
Yeah - there are plenty of intriguing story lines this year in addition to the Yankees playoff quest.

Will Moose reach 20 games? Man, I really hope so.

Is Phil Hughes gonna come back and flash some brilliance?

Are these the last games in the career or Andy Pettitte?

Is Ian Kennedy going to make the best of his second chance?

Will Joba come back?

I gotta admit - I'm even a little curious about this Pavano guy. Is he going to try to get a few innings in MLB this year to seed some off season interest?

Is Mo going to be perfect in save opportunities?

How much life is there left in Giambi?

Melky seems to be at a crossroads. Which way is that going to go?

Is Jeter going to surpass the league record for GIDP (kidding)?

God, I love baseball.

2008-08-08 08:39:20
4.   Chyll Will
Hey OYF, I think Koolmans's giving you a run for your money concerning the Longest Comments On Earth title. I'm keeping that one before it goes all 134 on us... >;)
2008-08-08 08:40:54
5.   tommyl
Ken, paging Ken. Please eliminate comment 1 here. Its a pretty weird rant and superlong.
2008-08-08 08:42:48
6.   pistolpete
1 Wow.
2008-08-08 08:46:19
7.   standuptriple
I'm waiting for the "conspiricy book" that Amazon and Barnes & Noble etc don't want us to read guy to make an appearance. Has he been around lately?
2008-08-08 08:49:57
8.   mehmattski
I think koolman needs to get together with whoever used to post about the UN, and some book about some strange conspiracy, a couple years ago. I only remember it vaguely... what was it again?
2008-08-08 08:52:42
9.   kylepetterson
Seriously, though, I have one of those Kool Rope necklaces. While I don't play sports, I am, at times, a thirsty dude. When I wear it, I can just take soda off the shelf and drink it. By the time it hits my belly: Cold and refreshing! Way to go!
2008-08-08 08:57:56
10.   Chyll Will
8 Catch and release, catch and release; that's all we ever do around here, isn't it?
2008-08-08 08:59:27
11.   kylepetterson
Moose has what, 9 or 10 starts left this year? Not to get ahead of myself, but how great would it be to have a Cy Young winner who is 39 and has an 86mph fastball?
2008-08-08 09:00:11
12.   Gagne55
I find it interesting that the Yankees going 3-4 while using koolropes is an indication that it made them play better.
2008-08-08 09:01:13
13.   tommyl
12 Especially when all they need is that other K: Kaballah!
2008-08-08 09:04:49
14.   mehmattski
On topic, this Yahoo interview reveals that Mussina does not throw a knuckle curve anymore:

h/t: RAB.

2008-08-08 09:23:06
15.   Schteeve
Now where did I leave my tin foil hat? Also, I think if Moose wins 20 he wins the Cy. Even though I don't know that he'll deserve it, it will be more of a Lifetime Achievement Award.
2008-08-08 09:31:45
16.   OldYanksFan
4 Yeah... but my stuff is true. And jam packed with Yankee emotion!
2008-08-08 09:33:37
17.   Chyll Will
16 Yum!
2008-08-08 09:35:20
18.   OldYanksFan
It's West coast baseball this weekend. Is everyone gonna take some naps? This especially applies to you, William, as I don't want you... well... ya know... cranky.
2008-08-08 09:36:11
19.   Schteeve
Let's hope Kennedy has his shit together tonight.
2008-08-08 09:39:03
20.   OldYanksFan
17 I have more respect for the Banterers then to brag about my invention... the Kool Kup. But you've noticed these guys don't scratch a hell of a lot anymore, right? And check out Jeter's dating record before he started wearing the 'KK' in 1998. Just sayin'.
2008-08-08 09:49:44
21.   Schteeve
20 F'n hilarious.
2008-08-08 09:50:52
22.   Schteeve
Oh by the way, I have tickets to see the Red Sox play the White Sox tonight, I will commit acts of fan interference willy nilly if need be to ensure a Boston loss.
2008-08-08 09:51:34
23.   Chyll Will
20 I too don't like to toot my own horn, but "beep beep!" >;)
2008-08-08 09:58:06
24.   Chyll Will
22 Idea: Hold up a sign that says, "Manny forgot his BBQ grill in the back of his '64 Chevy that's booted on Beacon Street, can someone get it please? "
2008-08-08 10:01:51
25.   ms october
22 have fun - and just take a kool rope and get someone to take away the kool kups - that should do the trick
2008-08-08 10:21:02
26.   JL25and3
3 You forgot the most important and intriguing story lines:

Will the Yankees finally give proper credit for their dynasty to the Kool Rope and its inventor?

Will they be further cursed by a bad paint job on a building in downtown Manhattan?

2008-08-08 10:32:07
27.   Shaun P
26 And, if some of us living in the Boston area paint something "Yankee Blue", will that offset the bad paint job curse?

Or curse the Red Sox for the next 86 years?

Tune in tomorrow to find out!

(In all seriousness, I was told on the Fenway Park Tour that Fenway Green is a color not available to the public, only the Sox can get it.)

2008-08-08 10:34:28
28.   Chyll Will
27 Is that the only serious disease they are exclusively subject to?
2008-08-08 10:43:18
29.   OldYanksFan
Hold up a sign the says:
Los Angeles Manny: 1.745 OPS
2008-08-08 10:54:54
30.   Schteeve
29 I'm actually sitting on the LF line. I'm gonna hold up a sign that says "Where's Manny?"
2008-08-08 11:00:59
31.   tommyl
31 Its been nice knowing you
2008-08-08 11:06:32
32.   OldYanksFan
25 I have something for you too. The patiented 'Kool Kups'. You wear it, but we guys... err... benefit from it.
2008-08-08 11:25:40
33.   nick
20 originally he was gonnna call it the Kool Krotch Kup™ but the guys in marketing nixed that idea...
2008-08-08 11:28:10
34.   Raf
5 Dunno about you, but I find post 1 to be awesome on all kinds of levels. I hope it isn't deleted. It's just so... random
2008-08-08 11:30:15
35.   Raf
33 Well played, sir
2008-08-08 11:30:26
36.   Just fair
1 Rope a dope. Right up to your face and dissed you. Waxin' and mikin, all y'all square heads.....
2008-08-08 11:32:13
37.   OldYanksFan
Actually, I was grossly overstocked on my 'Kool Kups', so I cut them in half and created..... the 'Yontefdik Yarmulke' (with chinstraps).
2008-08-08 11:35:43
38.   OldYanksFan
1) Do we get Tex?
1A) If not, do we take Jasons option ($17m)?
2) Do we sign CC?
3) Do we sign an impact OFer? And who?

Has anyone heard anything about Sanchez? I thought the Yanks thought that he was Mo's replacement.

2008-08-08 11:37:17
39.   JohnnyC
Knowing ESPN, it wouldn't surprise me if we saw this cockamamie delusion turned into a television movie premiere event, introduced no doubt by Big Papi.
2008-08-08 11:44:00
40.   JohnnyC
38 1)not with Posada's status uncertain
1a)no, we'll re-sign him for a lesser one year deal with a club option
3)no, we trade for Adam Dunn

Sanchez had a setback recently and will be shut down a couple of weeks before pitching again. He'll probably get innings in the instructional league or Arizona.

2008-08-08 11:46:18
41.   Shaun P
38 Last I heard about Humberto, I think from Chad Jennings' SWB Yanks blog, was that he "felt something" in his arm, and so was going back on the DL to continue rehab. Otherwise his 30-day rehab period was up and he'd have to be added back to the 40-man roster.

As Jennings said, the Yanks wouldn't be the first team to have done something like this.

I also think they were having him start, as that's what he did when he pitched for Detroit.

2008-08-08 12:49:36
42.   cult of basebaal
40 dunn is a free agent at the end of the year, but i don't think the yankees are going to be interested in dropping coin on him, we've already got more OF/1B/DH types than we've got room for.

i don't think we sign CC, i think he's going to get more years than the yankees will want to give him and i'm not sure where we put him in the rotation next year.

i think moose and pettite (if healthy) will be resigned, which pretty much fills the rotation with wang, joba and hughes.

i'd like to see if the yankees could get david dejesus to stopgap in CF for next year (then slide to LF after damon leaves and jackson is up) based around a package of IPK and other (real) prospects. of course, that sorta depends on IPK redeeming himself with this 2nd chance he's about to get ...

2008-08-08 13:00:57
43.   thelarmis
14 thanks for posting the moose interview link, matt. moose rocks!
2008-08-08 13:02:11
44.   RIYank
42 I think you could be right about C. C. -- if Andy is clearly interested in another year, the team might well go that route instead of committing $200,000,000.

But I don't agree that the Yankees will have too many OF/1B/DH types. They might well prefer Dunn to Giambi or Abreu.

2008-08-08 13:02:51
45.   Shaun P
42 Ah, but next year Giambi and Abreu (and Sexson) will be gone, freeing up some of those 1B/DH/LF spots. And I'm not going to count on Matsui and Damon both being healthy all year, at their ages.

I wouldn't want Dunn at 1B when Wang is on the mound, but otherwise, that's a very nice bat. Besides, at least right now, it seems that he could be "cheap" - that is, less expensive than some of the other options out there.

I'd prefer the Yanks try to sign Tex to a 4-5 year deal for a boatload of cash, but if that doesn't work, I'd say Dunn ought to be option #2. If he wasn't 3 years older than Dunn, I'd say #2 should be Pat Burrell, but I'm wary of going-to-be-32-year-old hitters.

2008-08-08 13:21:07
46.   cult of basebaal
45 DH is going to have plenty of occupants next year, even if giambi goes and we sign tex. i don't want dunn anywhere near LF and it's no given he's any good at 1st.

1st choice is to throw a boatload of cash at tex for a 5 year deal, overpay for shorter length of contract to limit the risk of catching his downslope.

that leaves damon and matsui to split time between DH and LF, which should be fine. Posada will also spend time at DH, even if he's back to being our #1 catcher.

now, if tex says no, that changes things a bit, but in that case, i'd rather see if giambi would re-up on a short deal rather than sign dunn.

i just don't see him in the yankees' plans ...

2008-08-08 13:28:10
47.   RIYank
i'd rather see if giambi would re-up on a short deal rather than sign dunn.

Why? They're similar players, but Dunn is nine years younger. Why would you rather have Giambi?

2008-08-08 13:36:03
48.   cult of basebaal
47 because i think we could get giambi on a 1+1 vesting/option deal. i kinda doubt dunn's gonna want that or be reduced to accepting it.
2008-08-08 14:14:40
49.   JohnnyC
Here's the balance sheet on Dunn:

Four straight seasons at 40 home runs and at least 90 RBI, should make five this season.

One hundred fourteen walks per 162 games and 181 strikeouts.

A lifetime on base percentage of .381.

A range factor in left field substantially above the league average.

Twenty-seven years old, and no noticeable decline in stats.

Relatively healthy throughout his career.

What's not to like?

2008-08-08 14:24:00
50.   JL25and3
34 I agree. I love having that post.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-08 15:18:48
51.   Schteeve
31 The game is in Chicago, I'll be a hero!
2008-08-08 15:38:56
52.   cult of basebaal
49 dunn's defense seems to wander from year to year based on what kind of shape he's in, sometimes (like this year) it's mediocre, sometimes it's awful. and that's in the smaller GAB, covering LF in yankee stadium is going to be a bit more challenging and probably puts him over at first (where we have no idea how he'll play and where montero will need to fit, eventually) or at DH, where we've already got a line of the aged forming.

i suppose if we could get him on a short (2-3) year contract, he might be worth a shot, but i think he's going to get more than that ...

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