Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Hi Mom
2008-08-17 09:10
by Alex Belth

"Mothers are beautiful, they really are." --Bill Cosby.

My mom took me to a bunch of games when I was a kid--mostly for birthday parties. I don't remember much about them, though one year Mike Gittleson stepped on a pack of mustard outside the Stadium and it splattered on my mom's leg. She didn't skip a beat and rubbed her leg against Mike's removing the mustard from her and putting it on him.

Years later, I was working on my first cutting room job when my mom called in the middle of the day. "I've got two tickets for tonight's game, do you want them?" It was the first round of the 1995 playoffs, the first post-season game the Yankees were in since 1981. Ma lives and works in Westchester and she offered to drive to Manhattan and drop off the tickets. I said, "Ma, why don't we just meet by the bat and go to the game together?"

So we did, and it was a memorable game of course, one the greatest experiences I've ever had watching the Yanks.

Cliff took his mom with him to the game today to celebrate her birthday. He's only only a good son, but she's a great Ma too. Here's hoping they have a grand time and get to see Moose win his sixteenth game of the year. The Yankee offense has been so bad of late you gotta figure they are gunna unleash soon. C'mon you dummies, do it for Moose and do it for Cliff and his Ma.

Let's Go Yan-Kees!

Comments (108)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-17 09:33:23
1.   Sliced Bread
and what a day it is. One of the nicest of the year. Cliff and his mom are witnessing a win today.

Funny about the mustard packet, Alex. I must've been about 10 years old, when the same thing happened to me at Shea. I was with my dad, and my bro. Big dude in a tank top stomps his mustard to amuse his troops, and sullies my fine Puma Clydes. I felt so sorry for myself I almost cried, but they cleaned up nice.

2008-08-17 09:59:31
2.   ny2ca2dc
Also funny how east coast kids always call their mothers "Ma", and west coast kids say "Mom".

On another note, what's up with Gerrit Cole? (sorry if this is already a dead horse and I just haven't been paying close enough attention while out of town) Not signing him would tend to make this year even more of a disaster (or some other word that is less strong than disaster, but still pretty bad).

2008-08-17 10:05:57
3.   3rd gen yankee fan
Who we gonna hop it up against besides Brian Bannister. This guy is literally giving wins to opposing teams. I pray our offense doesn't embarrass us today.
2008-08-17 10:06:08
4.   rbj
Here's one East Coaster who always calls mom "mom" and dad "dad". Now down South they use ma'am and sir.

Win for Cliff's mom!

2008-08-17 10:17:30
5.   Mattpat11
This is going poorly.
2008-08-17 10:18:24
6.   randym77
2 Cole is apparently going to UCLA. It wasn't the money, it wasn't Boras. The family just wants their boy to go to college.

Personally, I think that's nuts. You can always go to college later. A shot at the big leagues and the money that goes with it may not be available later.

2008-08-17 10:24:02
7.   rbj
This is sort of like the reverse of the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object:

The sucky offense vs. the sucky pitcher.

2008-08-17 10:32:00
8.   rbj
Hey, wait, is that one of them thar big hits with runners in scoring position? I thought they were extinct.
2008-08-17 10:33:16
9.   randym77
3-3 and it's only the first inning. I guess this isn't going to be a pitchers' duel.
2008-08-17 10:34:39
10.   Eirias
6 This is absurd. Him not going to college may not be the most sound option, financially-speaking, but he isn't going there to pump up his value. Saying he is nuts because he wants to study is going along with all that is wrong in baseball, that men are payed absurd amounts of money to play a children's game. He is saying that an education is more important than money. This is a good thing for everyone but the Yankees.
2008-08-17 10:40:01
11.   randym77
10 I'm all for education, and I don't think he's going to college to pump up his value.

I just think he's making the wrong decision.

College will always be there. Heck, he could probably have gotten the Yankees to pay his tuition (as Yonder Alonso got the Reds to do).

When you have a talent like he has, should use it.

I think this might end up being something he regrets all his life, if the opportunity is no longer there after college.

2008-08-17 10:42:27
12.   Eirias
That was impressive.
2008-08-17 10:42:48
13.   cult of basebaal


2008-08-17 10:43:54
14.   rbj
Don't college pitchers tend to do better than HS pitchers in their pro career? I seem to recall that's the conventional wisdom, but don't know if there's an actual study.

And it appears that bad hitting beats bad pitching.

2008-08-17 10:48:06
15.   cult of basebaal
ummm ... moose?

how about some outs.

2008-08-17 10:52:09
16.   randym77
I hope Cliff's mom likes offense.
2008-08-17 10:52:42
17.   Eirias
Roger Clemens preferred a "grinding" win to domination? It explains so much.
2008-08-17 10:54:39
18.   randym77
2008-08-17 10:55:47
19.   cult of basebaal
thank you, moose!
2008-08-17 11:01:14
20.   Just fair
Hey, I just flipped on the boobtube. I thought there was a game today. My Yes is showing a Yankees classic. The hometowners have a 6 spot next to their name. And now Jeter's on 3rd. May as well watch, I think I missed this game the 1st time around. : )
2008-08-17 11:06:34
21.   rbj
16 I like offense. Especially Giambi grand salamis.
2008-08-17 11:06:42
22.   Eirias
Why do players have to perform well in their contract year? It makes it so difficult.
2008-08-17 11:08:03
23.   JL25and3
2 I've lived my whole life on the east coast. I've never once called my mother "Ma," always "Mom."
2008-08-17 11:10:16
24.   Travis08
Bannister's line: 1+ IP, 10 H, 10+ ER, 3 BB, 0 K. Ouch.
2008-08-17 11:12:09
25.   3rd gen yankee fan
Think we can still blow this game?
2008-08-17 11:12:42
26.   JL25and3
I wish Michael Kay wouldn't always use "reticent" when he means "reluctant." That bugs me even more than "ironically."
2008-08-17 11:12:52
27.   Eirias
23 Ditto. Nor have I ever heard my friends call their mother "Ma."
2008-08-17 11:14:40
28.   dianagramr
Meanwhile, Toronto hung a 6-spot on Beckett in the 1st inning.
2008-08-17 11:16:31
29.   rbj
Robbie, Robbie, Robbie. Perhaps you should spend some time in AAA too?
2008-08-17 11:16:34
30.   randym77
Robby caught thinking about Doritos again.
2008-08-17 11:19:03
31.   3rd gen yankee fan
30 Well hell, this game's over right? He'd look like a stats-padder if he thought about the game now. ;-)
2008-08-17 11:20:47
32.   3rd gen yankee fan
All right it's a beautiful day here kids, I'm outta here. Go Yanks.
2008-08-17 11:22:10
33.   cult of basebaal
giambi ... EL GATO!!!
2008-08-17 11:32:24
34.   OldYanksFan
Good Day. Boston losing 7-0. Oops a la Bobby Abooboo. DP. Things looking good anyway. Oh shit. More teasin'.
2008-08-17 11:34:20
35.   rbj
More stat padding by A-Rod, getting a bloop single RBI. Nothing to do with KC remembering that they stink on ice.
2008-08-17 11:40:55
36.   randym77
Okay, I used to really like Al Leiter, because he didn't talk unless he had something to say.

I think Kay's a bad influence on him. Lately they've been blathering on about nonsense.

Al, stick to game, pleeeeease.

2008-08-17 11:42:21
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
So I've been barbecuing and entertaining, so I'm just tuning in.

Imagine my surprise...

2008-08-17 11:43:09
38.   Jeb
23 27 I agree. I grew up on the east coast and NEVER called my Mom anything other than Mom-- Same thing in the South. In fact I don't think I've ever heading anyone call their Mom, "Ma"

26 I also hate it when Kay refers to "Zaftig" pitches

2008-08-17 11:43:24
39.   weeping for brunnhilde
36 Still, though, I think Leiter's pretty fabulous.

And I actually enjoy the silliness that goes on between them. I find it endearing.

Within limits, of course.

2008-08-17 11:43:58
40.   cult of basebaal
the MOOSE is LOOSE!!!
2008-08-17 11:52:03
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
Damn, anyone watching YES?

I missed the beginning of the conversation, but it sounded like Kay was just arguing that the time of the game shouldn't be an issue, that it's not like we're in a dental chair, we're at the ballpark, so what's the rush?

But Kay's the same guy who used to divide all games into "manageable" and "unmanageable" based on a three-hour threshold.

Has he changed his opinion or did I misunderstand his point just there?

2008-08-17 11:53:19
42.   weeping for brunnhilde
26 Agreed, ironically.
2008-08-17 11:55:50
43.   mehmattski
41 Kay basically just said "Meh" to your point. :-)
2008-08-17 11:56:30
44.   thelarmis
i actually have an affectionate sobriquet i call my mom, based off 'mommy' but with a twist on the enunciation. other than that, i call her "Ma" a whole lot! i've been in the south 12 years now and i still call my mom, "Ma"...

it's funny, i didn't think alex's mention of this would spark comments, but i thought it was so cool that he referred to mom as "Ma" in his post. i dunno, made me feel at home.

meanwhile, my "Ma" left me a v-mail this morning, i need to call her back. todays offense has me in a good mood, so that's nice! : )

2008-08-17 11:56:41
45.   cult of basebaal
man, this game turned boring ...
2008-08-17 11:57:33
46.   weeping for brunnhilde
Ah, I got it now.

They were discussing OYF's instant replay.

2008-08-17 11:58:08
47.   weeping for brunnhilde
43 Indeed! :)
2008-08-17 11:59:17
48.   Jeb
44 where are "ya" at?
2008-08-17 12:01:16
49.   cult of basebaal
wow ... slappy's pulled the ball hard 3 times in a row this game
2008-08-17 12:03:34
50.   thelarmis
48 hotlanta. i used to play birmingham all the time, not so much anymore. i did a coupla recording sessions there this year, but that's it. you're in b'ham, right?!

my Ma's from brooklyn, i'm from queens. my whole fam is still in NY, either near JFK or LaGuardia...

45 this game is awesome, cult! : p

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-17 12:04:56
51.   thelarmis
jete's seems to be getting a lot of infield singles, but he's obviously lost a step (or three) on the basepaths. i don't get to actually watch many games - what are these dribblers like?
2008-08-17 12:04:56
52.   Jeb
50 yep, right in town. Where did ya play in Birmingham?
2008-08-17 12:10:43
53.   Jeb
50 yep right here in town. where did you play at? 22nd street Jazz cafe? The Nick? The Music Hall (I forget what it's called now)?
2008-08-17 12:10:48
54.   OldYanksFan
46 Well, I won't say me and Al Gore invented instant replay, but.... ya know...
2008-08-17 12:13:01
55.   Jeb
54 Actually he didn't claim to "invent" the internetS either. He said that he helped "create" them.
2008-08-17 12:18:13
56.   cult of basebaal
man, i love MOOSE's 2 seamer
2008-08-17 12:18:42
57.   OldYanksFan
Maybe 5 or 6. Ump wants to fo home.
2008-08-17 12:21:33
58.   thelarmis
53 i used to play Zydeco's all the time in '96/'97. don't think i played the Nick, maybe once. it's gone now, right? i did play the 5-Points Music Theater (or whatever it was called). there was a good thai/chinese restaurant right there - big store-front glass window right on the main street. i also played the Sloss Furnaces festival a coupla times.
2008-08-17 12:22:43
59.   thelarmis
moose at 97 pitches thru 6. i say with this lead, definitely go to the 'pen. what will joey joe joe jr. (hat tip to cult!) do?
2008-08-17 12:22:57
60.   weeping for brunnhilde
51 I only saw the last one, which was perfectly spotted down the third base line.

Didn't require speed.

2008-08-17 12:24:32
61.   thelarmis
60 thanks, weeping!
2008-08-17 12:28:15
62.   monkeypants
51 [60} He's been hitting tons of ground balls this season, hence the endless GIDP. Sooner or later a couple of them find no man's land.
2008-08-17 12:29:21
63.   thelarmis
billy traber sighting. britton's up, right? can't keep track anymore w/ that guy! if so, hope we see him for an inning coming up...
2008-08-17 12:29:55
64.   thelarmis
62 good point!
2008-08-17 12:31:08
65.   thelarmis
i checked the sidebar. yeah, britton's here. hope we see him. hey, cult - make a wish! ; )
2008-08-17 12:34:03
66.   thelarmis
7 pitches for traber. perhaps send him out for the 8th, britton for the 9th...
2008-08-17 12:34:19
67.   Just fair
The big G has been pretty Jazzy around 1st base today. His gs wasn't too shabby either.
2008-08-17 12:34:24
68.   thelarmis
holy crickets! : ~
2008-08-17 12:40:05
69.   OldYanksFan
Can someone tell me.... is the post Game Joe Girardi show on the Net? I don't get YES TV.
2008-08-17 12:41:10
70.   mehmattski
62 That's actually a misconception.

If you look at the number of ground balls per balls hit (so, ABs minus Ks), Jeter has hit it on the ground 58.8% of the time this season.

If this rate holds, it would actually be fourth in his career, behind 1997 (59.9%), 2006 (59.9%) and 2005 (59.4%). His career rate is 53.4% but he has been above that each season since 2004.

Of course, as weeping points out everytime I post these numbers, we don't know how well those ground balls were hit. But, Jeter is not hitting the ball on the ground more than usual this season.

2008-08-17 12:41:31
71.   monkeypants
66 Pitch him for all three innings and save Britton for tomorrow?
2008-08-17 12:43:16
72.   Just fair
Bring on Burnett and Halladay, oh boy.
Awesome, Cody. : )
2008-08-17 12:43:33
73.   weeping for brunnhilde
Yo, Emma!!!

Your boy!

Wow, that was a quick, quick swing.

Nice job, kid.

2008-08-17 12:43:55
74.   OldYanksFan
Is Ransom filling space? Or does he have some potential to be a MLB player?
2008-08-17 12:44:15
75.   thelarmis
2008-08-17 12:44:31
76.   OldYanksFan
Thank you.
2008-08-17 12:45:21
77.   mehmattski
73 74 That kid is 32 years old. He has a career minor league OPS of .748, but has been north of .820 each of the last three AAA years. He had 22 homers for SWB this season.
2008-08-17 12:45:56
78.   thelarmis
71 sure, sounds good. but, i think i better check with mehmattski first! ; )
2008-08-17 12:46:26
79.   monkeypants
70 "If you look at the number of ground balls per balls hit (so, ABs minus Ks)..."

I'll have to think about your point more, but I think that the condition you establish (in the quote above) pretty much undermines your point. The fact is that he IS striking out less, and his overall ground ball rate is high. So he appears to be replacing K's with ground balls, which includes presumably many more weakly hit grounders.

And so my original point stands: more balls in play, especially on the ground (including weak grounders), will yield a few more infield hits.

2008-08-17 12:47:34
80.   OldYanksFan
77 For an INFer, those are decent numbers, no?
2008-08-17 12:47:40
81.   Shaun P
74 Well he's 32 and has hit .236/.331/.364 across parts of 6 seasons . . . so he's filler.

But still - welcome to the Yanks, Ransom!

JL, I hope you enjoyed yesterday's game after all. I went to friends' wedding reception (they got married down in the islands last month), and when I arrived, I turned the car and the radio off with the game in the top of the 8th. Imagine my surprise when I get in the car 2 hours later and the game is still on!

2008-08-17 12:49:41
82.   Just fair
Did Kay really just say "offensive orgy?" Is David Cone speaking in his earphone or something?
2008-08-17 12:52:19
83.   thelarmis
nady at first. i wonder if that has any implications for '09...
2008-08-17 12:54:02
84.   thelarmis
2 bases on the wild pitch? was dude running?
2008-08-17 12:54:31
85.   mehmattski
79 My spreadsheet says that there is a weak negative correlation (r = -0.25) between Jeter's strikeout rate (K/AB) and his groundball rate (GB/AB). His flyball rate also goes up when his strikeouts are down (r = -0.20), while his linedrive percentage is largely unaffected by his strikeout rate (r = 0.02).

So it looks as though, when strikeouts are down for Jeter, he's equally likely to turn those extra balls in play into flyballs as grounders.

I will accept that more balls in play likely lead to more hits of any type, infield or otherwise.

2008-08-17 12:55:43
86.   OldYanksFan
Is Ransom a better fielder then Betemit (which wouldn't be hard)? Might Betemit be on the trade block?
2008-08-17 12:57:13
87.   OldYanksFan
If Mats is back at DH, I guess JD will need to play CF most of the time.
2008-08-17 12:58:13
88.   OldYanksFan
87 That's assuming we are still in the hunt.
2008-08-17 12:58:26
89.   thelarmis
2 innings, 23 pitches for traber. nice job, other than the wild pitch. let's see britton for the 9th.

moose will tie bob feller w/ 266 wins, with a victory today. i don't know that it'll happen, but i'd love to see moose join the exclusive 300 wins/3,000 strikeout club...

2008-08-17 13:03:22
90.   OldYanksFan
Chauncey is hitting the ball hard today.
2008-08-17 13:05:26
91.   rbj
See how nice it is Yankees when you score lots of runs? Please do it more often.
2008-08-17 13:05:59
92.   monkeypants
85 Ack...your spreadsheet is faster than mine! Here is what I came up with for the all the seasons since 2004:

year games pa gb gb/pa gb/g
2004 154 721 260 0.361 1.688
2005 159 752 319 0.424 2.006
2006 154 715 312 0.436 2.026
2007 156 714 303 0.424 1.942
2008 115 519 235 0.453 2.043

So, Jeter's GB rate per PA is very high. His GB/Game rate is also the highest since 2004, but that only amounts to an extra GB every 20 games or so, more or less depending on the season being compared.

Ultimately you are more righter than I thought at first.

2008-08-17 13:09:00
93.   OldYanksFan
Hope Britton didn't unpack...
2008-08-17 13:09:26
94.   pistolpete
Hence why Britton has a permanent seat on the 'Scranton Speedy Express'.
2008-08-17 13:13:40
95.   mehmattski
92 Yeah his GB rate is up from last season, but so is his flyball rate (51% in 08, 47% in 07). But his LD% is down, and that's probably all you need to know about Jeter's subpar season.

Anyway, great spreadsheets think alike :-)

2008-08-17 13:14:44
96.   rbj

Chocolate frosty milkshakes all around!

2008-08-17 13:17:02
97.   OldYanksFan
Man, Moose could easily, easily have 18 or 19 Wins by now.
2008-08-17 13:20:40
98.   OldYanksFan
Pitching today for Pittsburg: Karstens AND T.J. Beam... with a guest appearance by Craig Hansen. Boston down by TEN after 7 innings.
2008-08-17 13:22:10
99.   flycaster
One of the threads that runs constantly through this blog is how stupid Cash and Girardi are for not getting Chris Britton into this bullpen. Well, I just got to watch Britton in action, and I'm reminded of the old coach's bromide, "If you start listening to the guys in the seats, it won't be long before you're sitting with 'em."
2008-08-17 13:29:04
100.   JL25and3
90 I thought he just liked to watch?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-17 13:30:13
101.   thelarmis
97 i'm still miffed about that game against shitsburgh that got rained out. we had a 3-0 lead early, iirc, and then the game was wiped. we lost the rematch. it was a getaway day and moose mused that it should've been a day game. he was right...

meanwhile, my "Ma" just called. i told her about today's thread. and, yeah, i answered the phone, "hi, ma"...

2008-08-17 14:47:16
102.   Schteeve
I'm from Brooklyn, (Adrock is from Manhattan incidentally) but I only ever call my ma "ma." Anything else sounds weird to me.
2008-08-17 15:58:17
103.   Alison
102 Shteeve...I'm from Long Island originally...and my Ma has always been Ma... :)
2008-08-17 16:25:00
104.   3rd gen yankee fan
I've called my Mom both Ma and Mom. Is that because I'm from Joisey?

My dad called his mom Mom.

My mom called her mom both Ma and Mom.

2008-08-17 16:30:43
105.   rbj
104 What exit? I'm originally from Joisey too. Always "mom". But mom called her dad "pop"
2008-08-17 17:29:24
106.   Shaun P
I'm from central NY (upstate to you NYC-ers) and I've called my mother both "Mom" and "Ma".

Both of my paternal grandparents were from large Italian families, and I do not remember any of my dad's cousins calling their mothers anything other than "Ma". Ditto my dad. So I always thought it was an Italian thing, as opposed to a regional thing.

2008-08-17 22:16:19
107.   3rd gen yankee fan
105 58. And that wouldn't be 58 off the turnpike!

It's always bugged me that this question has become part of Jersey's culture, as if everything that matters relates to the turnpike!

2008-08-17 23:00:13
108.   thelarmis
105 this thread may be done, but just in case...

my brother and i mostly call my dad, "Pop"

my great grandma on my mom's side, whom i never met, was called "Ma" by everyone - her kids, grandkids, great grandchildren, etc.

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