Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Missed it by That Much
2008-09-06 05:46
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Two outs, top of the eighth. Brandon Morrow, the Mariner's young right hander, was throwing a no-hitter against the Yanks. Hideki Matsui was on first, having drawn a walk, the third of the night against Morrow, who simply overwhelmed the Yankee offense with a live fastball and a tough breaking ball. Joe Girardi sent up Wilson Betemit, who hasn't been seen much in recent weeks, and Betemit quickly fell behind in the count. But then he ripped a line drive to right field for a double and the no-hitter vanished. Matsui scored and suddenly the Yanks were in the game, trailing just 3-1. In the ninth, Derek Jeter led off with a single against J.J. Putz, pronounced "Puts."* Bobby Abreu had a nice at-bat, working the count full, and then hit the ball hard to left center field. But the ball was tracked down and caught for the first out. Alex Rodriguez swung at the first pitch and hit a hard ground ball up the middle that was snagged and he was thrown out at first. Finally, Jason Giambi popped a ball close to the stands around third base, which Adrian Beltre snagged for the final out.

The Mariners did not get their no-hitter. But they did get the win, 3-1. Andy Pettitte pitched a nice game. Morrow was a whole lot better.

* In New York, if you spell your name P-U-T-Z, and pronounce it Puts you are a bigger Putz than your name suggests. Actually, I've heard Putz is a really good guy. Still, I'm sayin...

2008-09-06 06:08:21
1.   Elliot

Peter Schmuck (great, great guy, really helpful despite what his last name suggests) tried coaxing a cutesy name-based story out of JJ Putz, and the dude actually comes off a lot like what his name implies.

However, all reports that I've seen say that Kevin Mench truly lives up to his name.

2008-09-06 06:23:57
2.   Sliced Bread
Zipped through the game on the DVR this AM, which is how I'll watch the next couple late games. Sheesh, Morrow was great.
Girardi's anti-concession speeches are getting funnier (as in not funny) by the day.
"Obviously, the hill gets a little steeper now." I don't know what I'd say if I was in Girardi's shoes, but really, Sisyphus, a little steeper? Try vertical, and that rock ain't getting any lighter from here.
2008-09-06 06:53:16
3.   Sliced Bread
Was just offered a share of two season tickets for next year - field level, probably not far down the line from 1b (the principle ticket-holder is currently in from 1b beneath the overhang). I passed because a.) I can't afford to go to that many games, b.) I don't think the 2009 Yanks will be the wisest investment, not in this economy, and c.) I suspect finding buyers (not just takers) for the seats could become a full-time job by midseason.

Obviously, as a Yanks fan, I wish I could swing it without thinking about the money, but part of me also doesn't want to "buy into" the new place. That's how turned off I am about it.

It's a weird feeling because I've jumped on these opportunities in the past (being younger, with far less responsibility than I have now) - but this time I passed without giving it more than a minute of consideration. Still, I hated saying no.
These sure ain't the best of times, and not just Yankee-wise.

2008-09-06 06:57:54
4.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hey, anyone catch this?,105854

The ump, batter, pitcher, and evidently both teams lost track of the count and a batter struck out on a 4-2 pitch.

2008-09-06 07:10:03
5.   RZG
I went to sleep in the 4th (oh those West Coast night games) ane at that time Pettitte was giving up lots of hits. I was surprised when I woke up to find he didn't give up any runs after that, I figured it was just another in the line of bad starts he's had.
2008-09-06 07:10:34
6.   JL25and3
0 Then there was Rusty Kuntz, which seems like something you really wouldn't want to encounter - except he insisted that it was pronounced "Koontz." Yeah, right.
2008-09-06 07:37:15
7.   jkay
3 Plenty of good seats in the upper deck where you can enjoy the games without the financial headaches. It is nice to sit downstairs but not worth the money IMO.

I plan to be a lifetime member of the cheap seats!

2008-09-06 07:41:19
8.   Cliff Corcoran
To the best of my knowledge, Putz isn't Jewish, but I stumbled upon this recently in Charles Panati's "Browser's Book of Beginnings" and this discussion brought it to mind:

"Earlier Jewish surnames arose during the Middle Ages, when German kings and dukes forced Jews to adopt Germanic names and to play highly for them. Silverberg ("mountain of silver"), and Morgenstern ("star of the morning") were among the most costly names; Fischer ("fisherman"), Kaufmann ("merchant"), and Schneider ("taylor") were moderately priced. Since the practice was a system of taxation to fatten royal purses, authorities penalized Jewish peasants who could not afford a fancy name: they were forced to purchase inexpensive names that were blatant insults, such as Schmutz ("dirt") and Eselkopf ("ass head")--names that have since been dropped from use but still appear in old Gernam records."

Elsewhere in the book, Panati mentions that Yiddish is strongly rooted in medieval German.

Here's the catch: in modern German "putz" means "clean" and "schmuck" means "smart" (at least according to the on-line translator I just punched them into).

2008-09-06 08:16:29
9.   Sliced Bread
7 yeah, the cheap seats will surely be in greater demand next year, and until the economy improves, and the Yanks rebuild.

But let's face it, no matter where you sit, and even for free, it's hard to watch Johnny Damon throw. And if Melky hits anything like we last saw, I wouldn't pay Scranton prices to watch him.

Of course we still have Mo, Joba, the third baseman, and a few others who are worth opening the wallet for. Not the best of times, but not the worst either.

2008-09-06 08:22:59
10.   Marek
8 Putzen means "to clean," but Schmuck usually means jewelry. Schmuck as "smart" is an outdated usage, and is "smart" in the sense of nicely dressed, not in the sense of possessing intellect.

This is so much more fun than this Yankees season.

Yiddish is pretty close to German, at least when spoken.

2008-09-06 08:33:22
11.   Cliff Corcoran
10 I was reading a post on Roger Ebert's blog recently in which he was talking about doing shot-by-shot breakdowns of films with a participatory audience in a theater or lecture hall or performance hall. He said the great thing about that (and about internet readers/commenters) is that no matter what topic you turn to, someone in the audience will have that particular area of expertise. I see the same thing here in the Banter comments. Thanks for the clarification, Marek.
2008-09-06 10:12:51
12.   jkay
9 I have a half season plan in the upper reserve behind the plate. I expect I will get pushed out a bit from the folks fleeing the overpriced offerings downstairs. All I have to say is welcome to where the real fans sit!!
2008-09-06 10:16:47
13.   Cliff Corcoran
12 I'm very much concerned that fans with good cheap seat like you and me (RF bleachers) are going to get pushed more than "a bit" by the higher-level season-ticket holders who have been forced up and out. I'm expecting a domino effect that could push folks who are unwilling to upgrade out of the Stadium entirely.
2008-09-06 11:20:51
14.   Sliced Bread
12 you currenly have what I consider the best seats in the house for the money.
As to your assertion "where the real fans sit," who's to say where that is? I've sat around knowledgable fans, and dimwits all over the park.
2008-09-06 11:28:20
15.   Sliced Bread
13 I think "primo" ticket-holders will do what they can to maintain their field level views. I imagine many of them are selling shares to meet the new cost, and they'll just go to fewer games. I don't think the domino effect you're anticipating will push too many fans out of the bleachers and nosebleeds.
2008-09-06 12:23:02
16.   OldYanksFan
Well, just using this here Internets thing, I found:

1. Slang A fool; an idiot.
2. Vulgar Slang A penis.
1. fool; jerk.
2. Vulgar. penis.
1. the penis
2. a person regarded as stupid, simple, foolish, etc.
3. Slang to waste time; putter (around)

I did find this German definition of Putz (as mentioned above):
Nativity scenes are popular at Christmas, and the "putz" is the Pennsylvania Dutch interpretation of the crèche. The word "putz" is from the German "putzen" for "to decorate, especially to adorn a church."

So... is it possible that the Yiddish meaning is a derogatory insult to the idea of "to decorate, especially to adorn a church"?

1. (pejorative), an insulting term for a stupid person or dimwitted fool or an unwanted guest
1. Schmuck, a Yiddish word, has a range of meaning depending on context. In its most innocuous use, a schmuck is a person who does a stupid thing, in which case "dumb schmuck" is the appropriate expression.

A schmuck's behavior ranges from pesky and inconsiderate, to obnoxious and manipulative. A schmuck's personality type ranges from jerk to bastard.
1. Etymology: Yiddish shmok, literally, penis
2. slang : jerk

I did find a reference to meaning 'Jewelry' in German, although in America, unless you are amongst Germans, I think most Americans learned of the Yiddish meanings.

Actually, both words (as seen) can be somewhat interchangable, although from my experience, Schmuch is a little more caustic while putz is a little more harmless... meaning it's worst to be called a Schmuch then a Putz.

And Cliff... If you are smart and clean and your friends say: "What a schmuck and a putz"... well... I can only hope they are German.

I found this on the origins of Yiddish:
"Yiddish... a largely Germanic grammar and vocabulary is mixed with Hebrew and Aramaic, and sprinkled with words from Slavic and ancient Romance languages. The question they hope to answer is whether Yiddish began in Western Europe and spread eastward, as the common wisdom holds -- or whether, as an increasing number of scholars now believe, its origins lie farther east. One linguist has recently argued that Yiddish began as a Slavic language that was "relexified," with most of its vocabulary replaced with German words. "

2008-09-06 12:24:52
17.   OldYanksFan
And what the hell.... a 10 PM (7 PM coastal)game on a Saturday? Don't we take our kids to games on weekend days? When did so many of these games become night games?
2008-09-06 12:30:23
18.   jkay
14 I doubt many real fans will be sitting in the new $1000 and up luxury seats and I will never find out. The chances of me sitting down there is nil.

What I meant was in the spirit of the bleacher chant "box seats suck"!

13 We will get our new locations soon enough. I do not expect to keep my exact location but I doubt any of us is getting completely squeezed out.

2008-09-06 12:34:04
19.   OldYanksFan
Oh... a bit off today's topic, but current for this year:

ARod's RISP is at: .856 (not that horrible)
Giambi's RISP is at: .695 (pretty bad)
With all this talk about ARod, I though his numbers were a lot worse. Jason, however, has hurt us.

It's surprising as Giambi's AVERAGE OPS from 2007-2007 (3 years) was .932. His average RISP for that same time was 1.027 (+.095). In his horrible 2004 year where his OPS was .721, his RISP was .862 (+.141). In 2003, .939 OPS and 1.008 RISP (+.069).

So Jason has always been VERY clutch. I think it has nothing to do with age, as he carries a near .875 OPS. This was just an unusual year for him.

(I guess in terms of RISP, ARod has been a putz and Giambi a schmuck?)

2008-09-06 12:36:30
20.   Shaun P
17 When the FOX Saturday blackout knocked out everything played before 7 PM?

2 Funny, I had a similar thought, but mine involved the Black Knight from Monty Python's Holy Grail, not Sisyphus; close enough for now.

Someone tell Joe G. we're down to the last leg and he might as well admit it.

2008-09-06 12:41:48
21.   JL25and3
17 , 20 Fox didn't black out everything before 7. But a 1 PM game in Seattle would conflict directly with the 4 PM Fox game on the east coast.
2008-09-06 12:53:48
22.   OldYanksFan
by the by, I don't know things work in NY with the Yankees, but I have a friend (Sox fan) who has 2 season seats at Fenway. Here's how he works.

He keeps 25-30 of the best games (lots of Yankees games) for himself. He takes a half dozen premium games and EBays them (or some other vehicle) for a high profit. The rest he sells to friends at face value, and not-so-good-friends at a modest markup.

So basically, he gets his pick of the best 25-30 games, and gets them significantly cheaper then face value. This works well for $50 seats.

Have season ticket holders at the Stadium been doing the same thing?

The best seats at the new Stadium are all season or half season buys. I imagine a lot of corporate participation. But will individuals be able to sell 'extra' tickets at $1000? Will these corporate seats be empty for 1/2 the games?

My guess is the first year they will sell pretty well. But if the Yanks miss the PS in 2009, I wonder how 2010 tickets will sell. I mean, even for the rich, $5000 for you and a friend to go to ONE game is pretty steep. You can do a week in Bermuda for the same money.

I know NY finances are way above my simple country mind, but I just can't help but wonder if these ticket prices will hold. I don't believe they will.

2008-09-06 13:01:48
23.   Mattpat11
Could tonight be the Swan Song for Fudgie the Whale?
2008-09-06 13:24:36
24.   JL25and3
23 That's Sir Fudgie the Whale to you.
2008-09-06 13:40:54
25.   Sliced Bread
20 It's only a flesh wound! We're invincible!

18 I was kinda just bustin' yer chops re: "the real fans thing." There are definitely tons of disinterested and clueless fans sitting closest to the action (and by "action" I mean Kim Jones), and yeah, perhaps even more than you'll encounter in the cheaper seats.
I'm very fortunate in that I have a few friends(also bonafide Yanks fans), and a brother-in-law who have access to corporate seats, and they've treated me to several games a year.
In fact, in what was likely my final visit to the current Stadium (unless one of the aforementioned friends/relative comes through again) I sat in a part of the Stadium I've never been before -- a luxury box. I have to admit it was very cool being ushered into a spot in the VIP and players lot (in my '94 4Runner), taking an elevator up to the suites, checking out the exclusive Yankees club (saw Steve Schirripa of The Sopranos, Joe Piscopo, and Brian Cashman walking in - not together before the game) We had TVs at the seats, and were even provided fishing nets to scoop foul balls off the netted cage behind the plate. The works. Our suite was stocked with bags of popcorn, and cracker jack. Heck, here I was looking down at Jack Nicholson behind home plate, while I'm up above (from what was probably even a superior view) munching sliced steak, shrimp cocktail, making my own hot dogs, and poppin' cans of Heineken out of the fridge. The fridge! The seats were cushioned, the floor carpeted, and I didn't pay a dollar for anything that evening. It was very weird, and a lotta fun. The strangest thing? Watching all the disinterested corporate-types in my box, still in their business suits clicking and clacking away on their blackberries, talking shop - ignoring the Yanks and Red Sox engaged in a 4-2 battle going into the 8th. The Yanks bullpen got destroyed that inning, and we watched the field level crowd run for the exits. But yeah, they ran for the exits in the upper deck too, and the bleachers. Knowing it was probably my final frame in the old Stadium, and still astounded by the view and comforts, I stayed until the bitter-end, but I almost always do anyway. One of the adjacent suites was empty and dark for the 9th.
It was a strange way to view the Stadium for the last time, but somewhat fitting, too. This is how the games were meant to be viewed by the catered-to class across the street at the new place.

2008-09-06 13:47:04
26.   JL25and3
I went to Shea a couple of weeks ago and took a "virtual tour" of the new Bloodsucking Corporation Field. It finally sank in on me that it's only going to seat 43,000. That's ridiculously small. My sense from what the tour guide said was that they just couldn't be bothered to spend the money for 7000 more cheap seats.

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