Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
My Short Perfessor
2005-04-11 05:11
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It was a gorgeous spring weekend here in New York, and my girlfriend Emily and I watched portions of all three Yankee games. She is very happy that baseball is back in our lives. As the season moves along, I will occasionally quote my sweetheart, who couldn't have cared less about the game before we started going out three years ago. Now, all on her own, and without any coercion on my part, she's a bonafide fan. What I enjoy about following the game with her is watching what she reacts to, what is important to her. Often, the final score doesn't bother her one way or the other. The worst part of a Yankee loss is how it will bother me. She doesn't get emotionally involved when they don't win. So long as are trying the best that they can, she's satisfied. Her biggest pet peeve right now is when fans stick their hands out and attempt to snatch a double down the right or left field line. "They should be thrown out for ruining the play," she opines.

Em's favorite part of the game are the first couple of innings. She gets upset in the late innings because it means the game is almost over. I've never really understood this, because I'm generally impatient during the early innings. But she explained herself to me on Saturday afternoon. "The first four innings are great. They are like the feeling you get on Friday night. The week is over and you've got the entire weekend ahead of you. Then, like the fifth and sixth innings are like Saturday, and so that's still pretty good. But when the eigth inning comes around, it's like Sunday night, and it gets tense, cause you are thinking about the week coming up."

"What about when the game goes into extra innings?"

"That's like Sunday night when you've got a test the next that you didn't study for."

Emily is president, and perhaps the sole member, of the Tony Clark fan club. She told me that part of her is relieved that Clark is gone. Caring so much about how one player performs is too stressful, she says. So far, nobody has replaced him, although Ruben Sierra has been getting a lot of love. Emily tends to like slow-moving players: Posada, Matsui and Giambi rank among her favorites. But she absolutely can't resist an underdog (as you can imagine, her heart goes out to Bubba Crosby). But Sierra?

"Why do you like Ruben?" I asked her the other day.

"Because you rag on him so much."

It's true, Sierra is one of the guys I love to verbally abuse. I don't have anything against him personally, but his long, swining-from-the-heels hack is hard to resist chopping on. Also, it's the idea of Sierra--another aging veteran--that is worse than Ruben himself.

Emily had fallen asleep in the middle innings of Saturday's game. I woke her up with a yelp when Sierra's three-run dinger put the Yankees ahead. Groggily, Emily croaked, "I told you so. You've got to have faith. That hit makes up for the first three times."

Uh-huh. Right. What am I going to get out of arguing? The Yankees were winning and my girlfriend was happy. I hugged her and we laid around, the windows wide open, happy that baseball is back.

2005-04-11 07:36:22
1.   Hank
Alex -- tell Emily that I agree with her. I absolutely love the first few innings of a game, and her analogy to the weekend is excellent. To mind, though, there's nothing better than extra innings -- kinda like Memorial Day. If I'm ever watching an extra inning that doesn't involve the Yanks, I find myself rooting for it to continue. Baseball past the fifteenth inning is certainly a unique animal, what with most of the benches used up and a game the next day.
2005-04-11 08:19:36
2.   Patrick
I've grown to love Ruben.
2005-04-11 08:28:34
3.   Alex Belth
I kind of like him too. But I love dissing him. I usually call him "Fat Guy," or "Chubb Rock," or "Your boy," to Em.

I usually have at least one player that I ride a lot, whether I like him or not. Who do you like to get on?

2005-04-11 08:59:33
4.   jayd
Predictions For The Day
1) At the height of the award ceremonies, A-Rod bursts from the dugout and slaps Brando Arroyo's ring from his hands causing the youngster to burst into tears. Game start is delayed over an hour due to the ensuing confusion.
2) Alex goes on an offensive surge today, going yard not once but twice and leading the Yanks to a 12-1 victory.
2005-04-11 09:35:46
5.   Rob
i used to rag on Luis Sojo, calling him Luis So-slow... i used to tell my wife it was coming from a place of love.
2005-04-11 09:45:03
6.   JJay
Sierra's the guy I rag on a lot too although I can see Womack might get some attention from me in that department too.

I was saying to my friend that Torre should realize that Sierra has not right batting anywhere in the 1-8 spots right before he launched that pitch...oops. :)

2005-04-11 10:29:48
7.   Dave D
I get on Tanyon, even when he's pitching well. But he's growing on me, he gets animated when he gets out of a jam, he'll even throw in a fist pump. I think I have a soft spot for physically big pitchers, "Meat" is in that club now.
2005-04-11 11:40:32
8.   Rich Lederer
Good post, Alex. You've got yourself a good girlfriend, too.

I like to get on guys who don't hustle. Garrett Anderson drew my wrath a few years back.

2005-04-11 11:44:03
9.   Dan M
In my family, we inevitably rag on one Yankee that we dub "The Rally Killer." My dad coined the term "Tino the Rally Killer" a while ago, in light of his penchant for GIDPs. At some point during the last year or two, Bernie assumed the title. Now we have both!
2005-04-11 12:39:18
10.   Cliff Corcoran
I rag on Posada all the time, primarily for his defense, but I absolutely love the guy. And yes, I'm starting to get on Bernie about his defense and the GIDPs, but Bernie's an untouchable to my girlfriend, so I keep it to myself.

There are other guys I ride, but don't like, but those should be obvious.

2005-04-11 18:30:29
11.   Swydan
I'd love to know what you all thought of the cheers for Mo today. As Mr. Burns would say, I thought it was "Hi-larious!"
2005-04-11 19:04:19
12.   Howie
This is actually not Howie, but Howie's wife, Miriam. He sometimes reads me your blog and when he just read me this post I couldn't help but feel that Emily and I are some kind of baseball soul sisters. I also knew nothing of the game before I met Howie and I fell in love with it while I was falling in love with him (during the 2000 subway series). Now I feel like I have my own personal history with the game and it's so special to share that with him. I just had to chime in...especially because I am definitely member #2 of the Tony Clark fan club AND am somewhat obsessed with Bubba Crosby!
2005-04-11 21:15:21
13.   Patrick
Honestly, there isn't anyone really for me (on the Yankees). I love a bunch of the guys, like a few more well enough and don't know a few others enough.

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