Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Would You Believe?
2005-10-21 05:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

...That the Yankees have contacted Larry Bowa about coming on to coach third base? Well, believe it. According to reports, the thinking is for Bowa to coach third, Lee Mazz to be Torre's bench coach, and Luis Sojo to move over to first, leaving Roy White out of a job. Ron Guidry is also being seriously considered to replace Mel Stottlemyre. Guidry was one of my favorite players when I was growing up and he's always seemed like an professional, competent guy. What qualifications he has for becoming a professional pitching coach, I wouldn't know. Hmmm.

Comments (102)
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2005-10-21 06:27:31
1.   Murray
Louisiana Lightning must have learned something from sitting next to Art Fowler, Billy Martin's Sancho Panza. Fowler's pitchers always threw strikes.
2005-10-21 06:27:57
2.   Ben
Sounds to me like a demotion for Luis.
2005-10-21 06:38:05
3.   Dimelo
Definitely a demotion for Sojo. He made questionable moves at 3rd, many times I thought he was ill-prepared when facing his opponent. He either underestimated their arms or lack thereof. I like Sojo and I think his value is in his communication and respect with the Latin players, but that shouldn't be his job. I don't think having Bowa as the 3rd base coach is the right move, it'll be interesting to see how he reacts (if hired) when Sheffield runs past a stop sign and gets thrown out at home. Lastly, I thought it was interesting the Daily News referred to him as "one of the best 3rd base coaches in the game". I don't remember those words being used with anyone in baseball. Coaching 3rd is such a thankless job, if a runner is safe at home a 3rd base coach is never noticed.
2005-10-21 06:42:44
4.   jedi
Maybe Louis Sojo can be one of the best 1st base coaches in the game. heh

What happened to Kerrigan being the front runner?

2005-10-21 06:47:51
5.   Murray
Before Sojo, Yankees fans complained about Wave 'Em In Willie Randolph. Red Sox fans complained about Wendell Kim and Dale Sveum. Do fans of any team think their team's third base coach does a great job?
2005-10-21 07:03:11
6.   Knuckles
What next?
Bobby Knight as the motivational coach?
Victor Conte as head trainer?
Fred Smoot as recreation coordinator?
2005-10-21 07:05:53
7.   Dimelo
It seems like today is some national holiday in Boston, the day they finally beat the New York Yankees - a year ago today. Which makes me wonder, I wonder how many holidays the New York Yankees would have for every time they spanked the Sawx?

For any fan base, it's great to finally beat your arch nemesis but there comes a time where you have to move on and look ahead. It's a great part of your history, but they (the Sawx), more than any other team seems to live off of their 2004 championship accomplishments, more than any other team I can remember. The Angels won in 2002 and I didn't see the plethora of championship or regular season videos, as I have seen with the Sawx. The raping of their fan base, with official Red Sox Nation cards, etc, etc. At least act like you've been there before, now I get it….that's the problem…they haven't been there enough or before in most of their lifetime. I saw a shirt two weeks ago in Boston, championships this century 1 for Boston and 0 for the Yankees. I swear, has there ever been a fan base that feels more inadequate about their insecurities than the Sawx. After they won, I wanted to be happy for them but they are so fucken annoying. Some of them have the audacity to still refer to themselves as "Defending Champions", they still don't realize that after their team is out of the playoffs they no longer become defending champions. I guess I'm just venting because I still have bad memories from last year and the Yankees being eliminated so early this year has pissed me off even more, but it still makes me wonder……when will they let go of their fanaticism for the Yankees? It's funny, the hatred for the Sawx was buried for me for quite some time. It wasn't until Pedro, then Carl Everett and then Manny came to Boston that it just exploded into what it is today. I still remember being a kid and seeing Righetti pitch his no hitter in that awful July 4th heat, as a kid I really hated them then too, and then all that hatred got lulled to sleep for quite some time. Red Sox fans remind me of that ex-girlfriend who will continually try and play the victim role, no matter how many years/months have passed by she's still the victim. Grow up, get over it, and get on with your f'en life.

2005-10-21 07:06:45
8.   Dimelo
Fred Smoot would be a great event planner.
2005-10-21 07:18:19
9.   Shaun P
Larry Bowa!? Ugh. Let's hope that one doesn't come to pass. I always thought Rock Raines would make a great third base coach, but he's employed elsewhere, sadly.

If I were a conspiracy theorist - I'm not - I'd say Bowa is the Tampa politburo's suggestion. Why? They'd want him to take over for Torre if things get bad - the old replace a laid-back manager with a fiery yeller theory.

2005-10-21 07:32:17
10.   ric
"I swear, has there ever been a fan base that feels more inadequate about their insecurities than the Sawx."

Hey, Sigmund Freud, cool it with the psychoanalysis! seriously, another broad Van Goghian sweep of that paintbrush that occasionally plasters the canvas. give red sox fans a break- its hasnt been a year. its the first championship of my grandfathers lifetime! dont confuse cheap ownership or other companies ploys of exploitation with the fans. WS championship is a $$$ maker. and for every lame t-shirt you'll see in beantown, thers a "whos your daddy" or "1918" tee strolling through times square.

2005-10-21 07:36:19
11.   sabernar
I also read somewhere that Larry Bowa was/is one of the best 3rd base coaches. Just as long as he's kept on a short leash and his anger is kept in check.

Mattingly, Guidry...when are they going to hire Mike Pagliarulo?!?!

2005-10-21 07:41:20
12.   Alex Belth
Pags! I always liked that guy? Remember when the Yanks folded at the end of 87 (or was it 85) and Billy the Kid had Pags go up and bat right-handed?

Heck, bring back Dan Pasqua!

Luis might be getting demoted, but what about the ultimate cool professional Yankee, Roy White? Haven't heard or read one thing about him since he's been back as a coach, have you?

2005-10-21 07:45:05
13.   Nick from Washington Heights
Wayne Tolleson could do wonders with the middle infielders!

Any reason why Cecilio Guante's name hasn't come up for the pitching coach position?

2005-10-21 07:49:56
14.   sabernar
Cecilio GUAN-te!!! I loved saying that guys name.
2005-10-21 07:55:41
15.   Shaun P
How about Rick Rhoden as hitting coach so Donnie can become bench coach? For a pitcher, Rhoden sure could hit! (I seem to recall a game in '88 where Rhoden ended up DH'ing in a strange turn of events - I think he even drove in a run.)

I'd recommend Don Slaught as catching coach, but I believe Leyland already hired him to work as a Tigers coach.

2005-10-21 07:57:31
16.   Zack
Does the first base coach actually do anything? I am not sure how you could get fired from a job that seems to mostly consist of idle chit-chat and holding batting gloves. I know they relay info about leads and stealing, but come on! I always though Roy White seemed just fine.

Too bad hes already taken, but I would say bring back Alvaro!

I don't really see how Bowa would fit into Torre's clubhouse/style. All of his coaches have always been the laid back, barely awake type, so maybe in his old age Bowa changed?

As for pitching coach, I kind of hope for Neil Allen, who maybe can persuade Joe to use some Rooks...

2005-10-21 08:14:38
17.   Ken Arneson
> Do fans of any team think their team's third base coach does a great job?

A's fans do. Ron Washington is about as good as they come. Knows the runners, knows the fielders, knows the game context, and nearly always makes the right decision.

There's a lot of talk of him becoming a manager, and it's almost a shame, because he's so damn good at coaching third base.

Yankee fans probably only know him for sending Jeremy Giambi home, but that was a bad result, not a bad decision.

2005-10-21 08:16:00
18.   jedi
from ric:
"Hey, Sigmund Freud, cool it with the psychoanalysis! seriously, another broad Van Goghian sweep of that paintbrush that occasionally plasters the canvas. give red sox fans a break- its hasnt been a year. its the first championship of my grandfathers lifetime! dont confuse cheap ownership or other companies ploys of exploitation with the fans. WS championship is a $$$ maker. and for every lame t-shirt you'll see in beantown, thers a "whos your daddy" or "1918" tee strolling through times square."

Hey ric, just passed Times Square. There are no "whos your daddy" or "1918" tees strolling around. Want to pull anything else out of your ass?

2005-10-21 08:25:41
19.   Dan M
Jedi, ric has a point even if his examples are a year off. How many "26 to 6" shirts did we see this year, or "You weren't cursed, you just sucked for 86 years"? And for every annoying book for their WS win that's been published in the last year, we had a Torre, O'Neill or Zimmer memoir during our run.
2005-10-21 08:43:34
20.   Murray
Thanks, Ken. My question wasn't intended to be rhetorical. I think that a lot of fans only notice the third base coach when he screws up.

Among A's fans, how much credit/discredit does Washington (who came out looking great in "Moneyball") deserve for the baserunning mishaps in the Boston/Oakland series in 2003?

2005-10-21 09:13:11
21.   KJC
"Among A's fans, how much credit/discredit does Washington deserve for the baserunning mishaps in the Boston/Oakland series in 2003? "

I'm not an A's fan, but I don't think you can blame Washington for Byrnes not touching home plate or Tejada for stopping halfway home. Both of those guys should've been safe -- both outs were runner errors.

2005-10-21 09:14:15
22.   murphy
yaaaay 12!!!! alex is my new best friend.

listen: for some reason, dan pasqua was my favourite player as a kid. when i was 11 yrs old i didn't really understand plate discipline, i only saw his power numbers and thought, "if only they'd give em a REAL chance". i was so upset when he got traded to the white sox. i even tried rooting for the white sox and got a white sox hat when he played there. not surprising, seeing as i was the only 6th grader in NJ with a columbus clippers hat (a tribute to my hero pasqua who was continually being demoted to AAA).

when i finally had some money (read: credit card) in my pocket in college, i decided to get an official yanks jersey and i got a "pasqua" road jersey. it just so happened pasqua wore #21, so while we were playing a pickup softball game (me in my shiny new jersey - the shirt not the state silly), one of the guys on my team shouted, "c'mon paulie!!", as i came up to bat. luckily a good friend (who is the world's biggest mark grace fan) was on hand to correct him. "no, it's a dan pasqua jersey", he said as i lined out to the shortstop.

2005-10-21 09:39:14
23.   Ben
when me and our venerable host were kids playing wiffle ball, it was always the Yanks versus the Mets, and occasionally the Angels thrown in there because of Reggie. Well when Alex was the Angels I was the Yanks cause I loved batting like Mattingly and Pasqua. Of course you had to bat like each hitter, and Mattingly was all turned in with his right foot at the time, quick hands, and Pasqua, at least for us had a great open stance to yank the deep bomb into old farmer MacGregor's Vegetable patch. Ah yout, so wasted on de young...
2005-10-21 10:00:41
24.   Nick from Washington Heights
Ben, great post. My older brother and I used to play Yanks vs. Mets whiffle/tennis ball subway series classics. Since he was older, he got what he wanted. So, I was the hated Mets and he the Yanks. He was a switch hitter and expertly mimicked the likes of Mattingly, Winfield, Pags and Rickey. What was odder is that the quality of his at bats directly correlated with the player. As Winfield he would hit monster shots, occasionally throwing his bat for greater verisimilitude. Mattingly, he would rope line drive doubles. As Willie, he'd ground balls to the right. He'd throw in the occasionally lead-off home run by Rickey. I was stuck with players who I had a grudging respect for because, after all, this was when the Mets were better than the Yanks. I loved hitting like Strawberry, even though I am a righty, and more often than not, I'd strike out with his lazy looping swing. Dystra, I was a spitting machine. Ah, the memories. It's only in retrospect that I realize it was a good thing he beat me every world series. The Yankees being the Yankees and the Mets being the Mets. It was the only reasonable conclusion, after all.
2005-10-21 10:15:30
25.   Bob B
Even lacking experience as a pitching coach, Guidry would be an interesting choice. He was my favorite Yankee and I've told people for years that the season he had in '78 was arguably the greatest season a pitcher ever had-certainly no Yankee pitcher had a better season ever. He threw strike after strike...worked quickly and always seemed like he knew what he wanted to do. And boy could he bring it............
I think Sojo is kept for no other reason than he needs to work with Cano. Larry Bowa? He fights with his players and talks about them behind their backs, doesn't he? Oh, maybe that was Bobby Valentine...........
2005-10-21 10:21:57
26.   Ben
Nick, i was a Met fan back then, inherited from my father, so i enjoyed being the Mets. We were both switch hitters, in wiffle ball anyway, but natural lefties and we always seemed to do better as the lefties. I hated batting like Carter, wide stance, very awkward. Hernandez was my best stance, closed front leg and bat out, hands, hands, hands. I always struck out as Straw. Don baylor was fun when I was the Angels.

We also had to mimick the pitchers, and while I did a good Ron darling, and McDowell underhand screwball, Alex was dynamite as Guidry. I still don't understand how he threw a wiffle ball so fast. Picture me, red faced, hoping he throws one high cause a walk is my only shot until Hernandez gets up.

Now when I go to visit my wife's family on the island, her young nephews are doing the same thing. Andrew does a great Jeter, and a Piazza that will send you to the morgue laughing.

You can see the same thing up at Inwood Hill park where they play hardball. All these guys bat like Manny or soriano. The beat goes on...

2005-10-21 10:57:33
27.   Alex Belth
Benny B. Great trip down memory lane there. Yeah, we also used to put black electical tape on half of the ball so we could throw it harder without losing some of the good whiffle. When Reggie was traded to the Angels I just had to follow them too. Brain Downing was the most fun stance I remember immitating on that team. Every once in a while we'd play as the Cubs too because we'd catch them on WGN, though neither Ben or I had much juice for them.

I remember being a stickler (i.e. asshole) about getting the batting stances down correctly, like you could get docked for style. You couldn't, but I'd sure yell a lot about it. Loved hitting as Straw and Hernandez too. Hated a non-descript scrub like Raffael Santana. On the Yankees, I love hitting like Pasqua, Mattingly (tinkering around, doing the pigeon toe thing) and Pags. All the lefties.

I'm a natural right-handed swinger and batted righy during regular baseball games, know about mechanics and everything righty, but always had more pop as a lefty. (When Ben and I played stickball over the last ten years, his lefty swing was refined to a simple John Olerud style while I was still swinging from my ass like Todd Hundley.)

Winfield was a lot of fun to immitate because of the windmill swing, and his habit of turning the bat upside down to knock the dirt out of his cleets before each pitch. Rickey Henderson was a ball too, though sometimes that crouch would end up hurting my legs. But actually, my stance throughout high school was modeled after Rickey and Dewey Evans more than anyone else. Even did the stupid front leg lift and everything.

2005-10-21 11:01:13
28.   Shawn Clap
Re: Guidry

As much as I'd like to see Guidry back in pinstripes, (he'd probably still fit into his old uniform) it's most likely due to nostalgia.

Seems to me, (with the notable exception of Yankee legends Mattingly, Mel & Randolph) that most of Torre's coaching picks have been former players he's managed (Mazzilli, Chambliss, Cardenal, Neil Allen, Sojo, Girardi). Maybe there's more control and less mutiny this way.

That's why I think there should be a push for Lee Smith as pitching coach. Unlike Guidry, he has coaching experience (in the SF organization).

Plus when Big Fat Lee Smith tells you to do something, it's probably in your best interest to do what you're told.

Like if he tells Tanyon Sturtze: "Throw strike one, muthafuka" Tanyon might be less likely to fool around out there.

Does anyone remember if there was bad-blood from Seinbrenner after Lee Smith's short stint in the Bronx?

2005-10-21 11:10:35
29.   jedi
I caught a glimpse of a 10 and under little league game and some kid was immitating the stance of Craig Counsel...eeee gags!

When it came to the top of the inning. I caught the same kid pitching on the mound and immitating Corey Bradford, submarining it wildly everywhere...good god!

talk about mimicing the wrong pros. Thats like saying I want to be a good actor, so I am going to immitate Harold the Duck.

I said to my wife after I saw him pitching,
"What are we gonna see come the bottom of the inning? Is he going to run the bases like jorgie?" heh

2005-10-21 11:13:02
30.   Cliff Corcoran
I'm loving this thread. I didn't get much whiffle in as a kid, but my friends and I did mimic stances. Winfield was my favorite player and that tapping the dirt out of his cleats with the handle of the bat was one of my favorite moves. That and his slow, extra low practice swings.

I was just talking to Steve Goldman the other day about how he taught his five year old daughter some swing fundementals the other day and she started ripping the ball. He said the thing she struggled with most, because when you're learning you have to thing about like ten things at once and you ultimately forget something, was keeping her back elbow up. I remember learning that from watching Rickey, who always kept that back side elevated.

Now that I play softball regularly, I still imitate some stances if I'm trying to fix my swing. I remember a few years back I would get all coiled up like Soriano and just try to kill the pitch. But since we play slow pitch I'm alway trying to find new ways to keep my hands and arms from getting stiff or fatiguing waiting for the pitch. I've used the Rod Carew/Tony Fernandez loose hands approach, and even tried some version of the Craig Counsell over head wiggle (I know, I hate that too, but it was helpful for a while). Fun stuff.

Of course the greatest stance to immitate was Julio Franco's two fingers off the knob, knock kneed and the bat way over his head and pointed back at the pitcher. Between the stance and his attempt to play into his 50s, if he does the latter, I don't see how you can keep him out of the Hall (I'm mostly kidding).

2005-10-21 11:13:41
31.   jedi
ooops. thats Howard
2005-10-21 11:16:38
32.   Nick from Washington Heights
The truth was I always hung one when he was Randolph because Willie was my favorite player. I couldn't bear watching him get out. My favorite Met pitcher to imitate was Sid Fatso Hernandez because of his side-arm delivery.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, in rare instances of magnanimity, he'd let me trade Wally Backman for Willie. Randolph on the Mets?! How prescient.

2005-10-21 11:26:22
33.   jedi
My best friend was a huge mets fan. That's how my life as a yanks fan started. Because he use to immitate Keith Hernandez stance to a perfection (even with that stupid wiggle) I felt I needed to give the Yanks the same justice. I studied the tv everytime they played. My studying paid off because whenever I was Don Baylor, I always took the hit with the whiffle ball and just trotted to first like nothing happened. I would always shag every fly bag with a snap catch like ricky henderson and then pat my glove on my thigh (even though the ball was cleary not in my glove but catapulted underneath a chevy nova). Or, after every out play at first, I would flick the ball like Mattingly to my team mates looking like my elbow is silly puddy. But, through all my researching and precise skill of immitating their persona, I could never immitate Bobby Meachem's mannerisms. That's why he goes down in my book, as the myth, the man, the legend out of all 1980s yankee shortstops.

Where is he now, Bobby?

2005-10-21 11:33:04
34.   Shawn Clap
The only way I had a chance against Keith Ottendonker's wicked Screwball was to "do the Rod Carew".

It also helped me protect the lawn chair against his mint Riser.

2005-10-21 11:34:18
35.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Since a bunch of folks here started out with the 77-78 Yanks, I wonder how many of you read the biographies/autobiographies of all the players that were published then.

Guidry's was one of my favorites.

Best part was Guidry's post-start meal. Anyone remember it?

He always went to Mickey D's and got something like 4 big macs, two lg fries, and a lg coke. The guy weighed what, a buck fitty soaking wet and somehow he scarfed that down every fifth day!

2005-10-21 11:35:22
36.   Nick from Washington Heights
The elusive Bobby Meacham. Some call him the Giant Squid of baseball.
2005-10-21 11:59:59
37.   Dimelo
As a kid playing baseball in the 80's at Inwood park, my favorite stance was always Strawberry's and Mattingly's. Every one of my friends wanted to pitch like Righetti or Gooden and hit like Mattingly or Strawberry. Other than all the "red tops" (crack viles) on the ground, the 80's were a great time in NYC.

It would be tough to not discuss Mattingly and Strawberry and baseball at Inwood Park in the 80's w/o also discussing my fascination with members of Jets and Giants, too. Ken O'Brien, Al Toon and Wesley Walker will always have a lasting impression on me. Especially that overtime game vs. Miami in 86. The 86 Giants were great because I loved Burt, LT, Simms, Joe Morris and Harry Carson. Hard to forget McConkey and Bavarro. I still remember my first radio sports call moment, it was that Dolphins - Jets game and I forgot the announcers names but it went something to the effect of "O'Brien to Walker, TOUCHDOWN!!!! The Jets WIN!!!!" I was only 10 but NY sports was starting to become part of my blood and I would love to listen to my mother talk about her favorite baseball player, Juan Marichal.

2005-10-21 12:00:23
38.   BklynBomber
#29 Craig Counsel. Just hearing his name recalls a great line (written by either Ray Ratto or Scott Ostler), something to the effect of:

"Craig Counsel at the plate against Hideo Nomo looks like a stork mating ritual."

Ahhh, stickball and whiffle ball, those were the days... The Mick was my inspiration for learning to switch-hit. On the mound, Jim Bouton's windup was my model. Remember seeing him throw so hard once, his cap came flying off, so I used to wear mine loosly enough so it would fall off after every pitch. Pensy Pinkie's were the ball of choice... there's probably a few hundred of 'em still floating around the sewers of Kings Highway.

We'd have Yanks vs Mets, too, and Mutt fans got pretty lippy in '69, but it was hard not to like that team. For that summer and fall, they owned New York City.

2005-10-21 12:13:27
39.   Alex Belth
I resorted to the Carew, bat straight back routine in high school because I was so skinny that I didn't have the power and speed to get the bat through the strike zone quickly enough when I held the bat upright.

Oh and Dude, I've STILL got my Wesley Walker jersey, dog. Although the best piece of sports gear is Daryl Dawkins Nets jersey from the early 80s that a high school friend gave to me about 10 years ago. My fat ass can't fit into now, but I can't part with it: it's such a classic.

2005-10-21 12:25:51
40.   Ben
There are a lot of classic jerseys, had a Jets 24, Freeman McNeil home jersey. But I must hold that my favorite player jersey-tee of all time is one I still wear, paint speckles and all: NY #51 Williams.
2005-10-21 12:28:21
41.   Shaun P
Julio Franco's stance! My brother had it down pat perfectly when we played wiffle ball in our backyard as kids. Though my brother is a lefty, he always hit righty - said it felt more comfortable.

I tried the Franco stance but could rarely get the bat to point just right like my brother could. I liked Randolph's stance as he was my favorite player.

I don't recall imitating pitchers much when we were kids, but when we were teenagers my brother liked to imitate Jimmy Key (a fellow lefty) and, ironically, Moose (because of his knuckle-curve).

Man, what good memories to relive on a cold and boring Friday at work - thanks guys!

2005-10-21 12:29:40
42.   Dimelo
Wow...a Wesley Walker jersey. I still have all my football and baseball cards in a special box from 85 and 86. I don't know what it is about those two years that I just loved about NY sports. It was great to watch and listen to Scooter (especially those damn money store commercials) and after Met games, I would love to watch Kiner's corner. Those were the days, no cable, just an antenna and television and I had all the entertainment I'll ever need. Even the fire hydrants didn't have those special locks that you had to pry open so you can get in the ghetto backyard swimming pool. Holy shit, I feel old all of a sudden…...
2005-10-21 12:39:28
43.   Alex Belth
Dimelo, if you remember where you were when you first heard Slick Rick or Biz or EPMD or BDP or De La Soul (let alone "Buffalo Gals" or "White Lines" or "Sucka Mc's") then guess what: you are old, man.
2005-10-21 12:41:49
44.   Dimelo
I still remember we'd play stickball against this wall on Nagle avenue, the wall went past this one building (about 15 feet or so) giving us a place where we can draw a rectangular box to represent the strike zone. Anyhow, I still remember we'd be hidden from pedestrians that were walking towards our "baseball diamond" and approaching the backside of our wall, never seeing the batter in the batter's box. This one lady was walking with one of those carts full of grocery bags from Pathmark, my friend on his backswing hits this lady perfectly on the mouth. Knocking her down and busting up her mouth pretty bad, though no teeth were missing. It was a pretty bad scene, but after that the superintendent of the building would always chase us out anytime we tried to play stickball on that wall. I'm still amazed whenever I'm in my old neighborhood visiting my mom at how no one walks around with a baseball glove or a stickball bat, the super of these buildings have it easy now.
2005-10-21 12:44:13
45.   Dimelo
I have the Slick Rick Tune, Children's Story, as my ring-tone. I guess I am old.
2005-10-21 12:47:41
46.   Dimelo
BDP Alex!!! Wow that shit brings back some serious memories. Where have all the good times gone?
2005-10-21 12:48:25
47.   Nick from Washington Heights
Dimelo, are you an Inwood Little League alum too?
2005-10-21 12:54:55
48.   Dimelo
Didn't Batman and Robin come on at the only available Fox station at the time at 5 p.m. I still remember GI Joe at 4:30......damn this is starting to feel like that scene in the Twilight Zone when all the old folks at the geriatric home start playing kick the can. I should get back to work, I have this spec I have to get done but I have no desire to do any fucken work today.

Yeah, Nick. A good friend of mine coaches there now too. He coaches the Tread Bike Shop team.

2005-10-21 13:05:08
49.   unpopster
Alex and Dimelo,

Judging by the trip down memory lane that you're all embarking on, I figure that you're both about my age so I'm going to chime in:

Slick Rick - introduced to me in camp, and I thought that Mona Lisa was exclusively a Slick Rick song character for many years following until I heard about "that painting" hanging in the Louvre

BDP -- KRS-One was the bomb at the time. "By All Means Necessary" was my personal soundtrack for a full year. Shit, that record was great! "So, you're a philosopher? Yes, I think very deeply..."

Biz was great too, but I always preferred his cousin, Big Daddy Kane. "The Symphony I" is a fuckin masterpiece!

And, of course, there was De La Soul. Hmm, that must have been my freshman or sophomore year in Midwood High School. Prince Paul did things that were never before attempted in hip hop.

Anyone care for the Jungle Bros.? Um, how about Special Ed?

But, how many of you spent your Saturday nights listening to the Red Alert Show?

2005-10-21 13:22:56
50.   Nick from Washington Heights
The first rap single I heard was Follow The Leader by Erik B and Rakim. Talk about starting at the top. I was in 3rd grade and my older brother and his friends were playing it on his record player in our room.

""The Symphony I" is a fuckin masterpiece!"

"Slick Rick - introduced to me in camp, and I thought that Mona Lisa was exclusively a Slick Rick song character for many years following until I heard about "that painting" hanging in the Louvre"

Now that's comedy.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-10-21 13:35:17
51.   Nick from Washington Heights
The Futility Infielder is a must-read for anyone interested in the Mel Stottlemeyer debate.
2005-10-21 13:36:36
52.   Dimelo
Alex, you went to Midwood. I went to Kennedy high school and that's where they played the PSAL football championships. One year Midwood was under construction and they had the game at Wien Stadium - Columbia University's field.

I loved the Jungle Brothers, wasn't their first hit House Music in 87? Special Ed was great, "My name is special ed and I'm super duper star, every other day I got a brand new car, I got twenty that's plenty and I still want more". I still think Erick B and Rakim's Paid In Full is the best rap album. BDP's criminal minded is great, so is Kane's. But something about Rakim's style that I always loved.

2005-10-21 13:38:03
53.   Dimelo
Now I remember when I went to Midwood, it was to play a JV football game. Midwood field was always the cream of the crop. I think Susan Wagner's football field was really nice too.
2005-10-21 14:07:19
54.   Dimelo
Sorry unpopster, I confused you for Alex and Alex I confused you for unpopster. My bad....Unpopster, the Midwood stuff was meant for you.
2005-10-21 16:16:19
55.   strangeluck
I'm surprised no one else has said it, but it would be a real shame to see Roy White be let go. He's a classy guy who was probably the most underrated player to ever wear pinstripes, and has done fine job doing whatever it is that a first base coach does. Firing a guy like that so you can keep someone like Luis Sojo, who obviously hasn't done well at third base, and who has a fraction of the experience White has, and so you can take on a guy like Larry Bowa, a, lets face it, prick who's probably more trouble than he's worth, is a sad thing indeed.
2005-10-21 16:40:30
56.   pwicked
I'm with strangeluck. I had Roy Hilton Whites baseball card as a kid. Sojo is/was clueless as a base coach. I'm sure he'll take a couple $100K to mentor/bond with the Latin players however, Roy should stay. Looks like its down to Mazilli versus Bowa for bench coach. Hmmm... whats the rush...
2005-10-21 17:43:55
57.   JeremyM
Speaking of old hip-hop, has anyone else picked up the new Run-DMC reissues? There's some classic stuff on those and the tracks sound great, and we finally get to hear the original version of "Slow and Low" that was later covered by the Beastie Boys. Speaking of, why has Licensed to Ill sold about 10 million copies, whereas Run's entire catalog has only sould about 5 million? Well, we know why to a large degree, but still. Anyway, they're good buys.
2005-10-21 17:43:57
58.   singledd
I remember when Roy White came up, as a 2nd baseman (along with Horace Clarke). He turned into one of the most dependable, solid, unassuming guys to ever put on the Yankee uniform.

A superstar, or even a star, he wasn't. But he was a clutch guy who was always dangerous at the plate. He also set a record for outfield defense (consectutive games without an error?).

Anyway, I hate to see him go. He is Yankee through and through, and there should be a place for him in the organization.

15 Seasons, 1803 hits, .271 .360 .404
Back in the 70's, these were decent numbers.
15 years in a Yankee uniform. Played 162 games twice. Never played for another team.

2005-10-21 18:01:59
59.   Rich Lederer
What a fun thread. Whether it was wiffle ball, using a ping pong ball or a 76 Union orange styrofoam ball, or even an imaginary ball, I used to imitate the Dodgers of the 1960s and their opponents in the backyard. I had to learn to switch hit in a hurry if I wanted to pretend to be Maury Wills, Jim Gilliam, Jim Lefebvre, or Wes Parker. I could also stick my left elbow directly back when imitating Willie Davis and could even pull off a drag bunt (Three Dog was the best at doing that).

Good times. Good memories.

2005-10-22 02:33:48
60.   stephen1wt
Great stuff.Anybody remember how Mickey Rivers used to flip his bat?He would walk to the plate flipping it and would do it between pitches.Born in 71 and Randolph was my favorite but I practiced flipping my wiffle ball bat for hours.Like Rivers I would swing at anything close.Used to drive my older brother crazy.We used to put electrical tape on my fence to outline strike zone and no matter how far outside my brother threw it I was hacking.Drove him nuts he could not get one past his 6 year younger brother.He recently passed but as adults we could stil recall specific ab's where I was Willie or Reggie and he was Splitorrf or Mark Littel(for some reason he was anti Yankee).I was only 5 or 6 but we would argue Munson or Bench for hours.In hindsisght he was probably right about that one.Frequent reader but don't post alot.Just wanted to say thanks for trip down memory lane.It was all so simple then........Season ticket holder been to alot of "BIG" games since late 80's.Friend and I went back and forth in LOUDEST we ever heard stadium.Have my opinion always wanted to know what you guys thought.Keep up the good work.
2005-10-22 10:15:48
61.   unpopster
BTW, Fat Boy Wells has requested a trade out of Boston to a West Coast team, citing the lack of privacy in the city of Boston as a major reason why he wants out.

Hey Red Sox fans, we told you so!

2005-10-22 10:35:19
62.   singledd
call me crazy....
I think we already have 8 of 9 position players, and Bubba is OK as a 4th outfielder.

I don't think the personel needs that much of a shakeup. I don't think shaking up the personel helps the moral of the guys who stay, or the team chemistry (or 'unity').
I really think Jetes is tired on our revolving door policy.

Everyone laments the good young talent we have traded for old hags. Why then, are so many suggesting trading Cano? Geez... I know the guy has some issues, but can we give him another year or 2 before we banish him?

I don't think we need for the first 2 months of every season to be a time when we paly shitty bacause players need to 'start to gell with one-another'.

Remember those 5 years we kept basically the same basic guys on the field even though there may have been better players to be had?

I say:
Get a CF'er who is good on the bases and has excellent 'D'. We can absorb a .250 hitter. We can upgrade in a year or 2 if a good opportunity comes up, and we cn look at some of our kids at the same time. Good 'D' in CF is worth a lot.

Obviously, concentrate on the pen. Aside from Mariano, the whole think could turn over.

And here's the crazy part.
I think Piazza would love to DH 5 days and catch 2. This brings us a great bat, and gives Posada plenty of off-time without sacrificing offense. Who was our DH this year? Bernie? Sierra?

While Piazza won't be cheap, I think the Yanks have the advantage oner other teams. He could stay in NY and have a great shot at the PS.

Will someone will pay 10 mil for Piazza? I think not. What might he settle for to stay in NY and DH for 2 years (and pad his all-time numbers).

I hate the idea of getting an old-guy, but I think Piazza would do great for us, and help us spell Jorge at the same time.

Matthew LeCroy may also be available.

I REALLY want to see Piazza DH in Fenway. What fun that might be!

2005-10-22 10:36:28
63.   ChuckM
Umps for the Series got announced with Joe West AND Angel Hernandez on the crew, if that ain't a recipe for disaster, I don't know what is...
2005-10-22 11:15:14
64.   BklynBomber
Re: Umps

Here's baseball writer John Shea (SF Chronicle) today:

// No sign of controversial postseason umpires Doug Eddings or Phil Cuzzi in the Series. Joe West heads a crew that also includes Derryl Cousins, Angel Hernandez, Jeff Nelson, Jerry Layne and Gary Cederstrom... //

Huh? Guess Shea (who's usually a solid read) didn't watch the ALDS, aka Joe West vs The Yankees.

2005-10-22 12:05:35
65.   Alvaro Espinoza
West and Hernandez have miserable strike zones. MLB umpiring continues to recede :(

As for Larry Bowa, one word: "Groan"

2005-10-22 12:37:23
66.   randym77
Came across this article in the business section of CNN:

It's about sports announcers.


Imagine a world without sportscasters, where fans tuning to games on television get only the sounds from the stadium or arena and little else. No chatter. No promos for other programming on the network.

You don't have to go too far to imagine such a world. Just a little north to Canada.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. recently locked out its unionized staff, including the announcers who provided play-by-play and color commentary on Canadian Football League games.

The reaction of fans? A big jump in ratings, with one game posting the best viewership of any regular season CFL game there in eight years.


That web site sure is getting a lot of ink these days...

2005-10-22 13:21:02
67.   brockdc
I love listening to a good announcer's call of the game. For me, it's largely nostalgic, evoking memories of the Game of the Week on NBC with Scully and Garagiolla and PIX broadcasts with Scooter and White (and Messer, Seaver, et. al).

Problem is, most announcers today are hugely obnoxious. This is not a revelation - just ask anyone on this blog who has the MLB package. It's purely excruciating to be saddled with Hawk Harrelson's uninterrupted inanity for three hours.

There are too few announcers today who just let the game flow, without feeling the need to fill every second with idle bullshit banter. And too few like Jim Kaat, who actually give meaningful analysis.

2005-10-22 13:50:25
68.   Max
Great thread re batting stances and old school hip hop. My guys were Kool Moe Dee and the Jungle Brothers, and of course Rakim, P.E. and De La Soul (saw one of their first concerts after 3 feet High and Rising came out, and did it suck)...but I can remember back to purchasing Treacherous Three 12 inches when I would visit N.Y.
2005-10-22 14:28:35
69.   BklynBomber
On the media rant tip, this from today:

// What A Wonderful World
The World Series has a brand-new look this year. With the White Sox and Astros taking center stage tonight (8:03 ET) and no Yankees or Red Sox in sight, is the World a better place? You bet it is, says Jayson Stark. //

Fuck ESPN. These whores milked the rivalry dry and where mainly responsible for its over-exposure, with the mostly mindless pack of sports media hacks following suite. Even Yankees and Sox fans were burned out. Now it's a "better world" without 'em? Thanks, ESPN. Now GFY.

There. I feel better now...

2005-10-22 15:56:15
70.   brockdc

Was that the same "tour" with Leaders of the New School? If so, then, yeah, it did suck.

2005-10-22 16:59:09
71.   Max
brockdc, I thought Leaders broke out slightly later than De La Soul, so the concerts you're talking about would have happened in late 90/early 91? I think I saw de la Soul earlier than that.

I actually saw them open for (don't laugh) the Fine Young Cannibals in 90, and they were these kids who had never been out of a studio, and suddenly had to make all their studio samples and aural jokes and rhymes work in front of a crowd. The sound of the samples and music was like something out of a Fisher-Price CloseN Play, and the vocals were horribly anemic and had no flow. The crowd was polite and generally tolerant, but by the end of the set, the guys on stage were getting booed.

2005-10-22 17:34:44
72.   randym77
Announcers don't bother me too much, except when they start talking to hear their own voices. The constant promos for TV shows and movies (this means you, Fox) are getting more and more annoying, though. And interviewing people in the booth or the stands during the game really drives me nuts.

The Rocket and Contreras have each given up a homer. And it's only the 2nd inning.

2005-10-22 17:56:52
73.   Dimelo
Why do people want to make our 2nd catcher our DH? Managers hate putting their backup catcher into a game if it's not to take the place of the starting catcher. Having Piazza on the team will not mean Torre, or any other manager at that, will use them as the DH.

On announcers, I agree some are annoying but the likes of Hawk Harrelson and Fran Healy just makes me appreciate Kaat, Jerry Remy, Scooter, Rex Hudler, Scully, Kiner, and a slew of others. There are still more good annoucers than bad, the problem is we have to deal with the national annoucers in the big games and they are God-awful. No longer do Scully, Garagiola, Costas and Michaels do national baseball telecasts.

2005-10-22 18:10:43
74.   BklynBomber
After 2 1/2 innings: Over 50 pitches for Rocket, 3 runs, one HR allowed; Contreras not sharp, 3 runs, one HR so far... yep, these are our boys.
2005-10-22 18:11:13
75.   randym77
The Rocket only lasted two innings. o_O
2005-10-22 18:15:05
76.   BklynBomber
Rocket out with a hammy? Wow, between this and his last start, I think we're seeing the old adage of the boxer getting old before our eyes...
2005-10-22 18:28:45
77.   brockdc

Yep, it was '90 because I was a junior in high school. I saw De La with Leaders of the New and the dude who had that song "Peachfuzz." It was pure wrong. Tons of screaming, bad jokes, and lots of profanity added to apparently spice up their lyrics(?)

I was really partial to that whole organic (for lack of a better word) movement back then that included De La, Tribe, The Jungle Brothers, and BDP.

2005-10-22 18:30:47
78.   randym77
// yep, these are our boys. //

LOL! I was thinking the same thing.

2005-10-22 18:33:06
79.   BklynBomber
Re: announcers, I always remembered hearing how during Super Bowl broadcasts, Michaels, Madden, et al, were instructed to stay away from the X's and O's and tailor the commentary to the casual or non-hardcore football — which made sense given the tremendous spike in viewership versus a regular season game. I can't ever remember bitching about Super Bowl broadcasters.

In baseball, with all the available ex-pros, personalities well versed in the game, great writers, etc., — are Buck, McCarver, Morgan, Berman and crew the best a network can do?

I'd be up for giving Kruk and Reynolds a shot at it at this point...

Case in point: As I type this, Buck conducting an interview as the go-ahead home run is hit, missing the call completely...

2005-10-22 18:33:46
80.   randym77
They just freakin' did it again. Interviewing a @&#$ coach while on the field, someone's hitting a home run. Grrr.
2005-10-22 18:33:57
81.   Dimelo
Wow..I just came across this Guillen quote. I hope the White Sox fucken lose now more than ever:
"You cannot buy a World Series ring on the streets. Ask Alex Rodriguez, he's got millions of dollars and no rings. That's why I say, 'God bless Derek Jeter. He's got a lot of money and a lot of rings.'"
--White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (Los Angeles Times)
2005-10-22 19:02:28
82.   singledd
"The Futility Infielder is a must-read for anyone interested in the Mel Stottlemeyer debate.". Thanks Nick, a great read. While Stott is no 'Mazzone', he had certainly been railroaded (A-Rod-roaded?) a bit too much.

Wow... how about what our starters cost us this year! Ouch!! I like that our guys get long contracts because it means they will be around a while. I get attached to these guys. But long contracts usually means a salary escalates as a players skills decline. I guess this is the cost of holding onto players.

It's sad really. The days of a player starting and ending his career wih one team are over. In a few years, Jetes will probably be 10+ million more then his VORP, but do you want to see him in another uniform?

I think the players union has hurt the game a lot.

2005-10-22 19:12:35
83.   Dimelo
The players union is doing what any union is suppose to do. It is making sure that the employees they represent are getting well compensated and treated fairly based on the amount of money they help generate. Its primary objective is not to make sure the game of baseball and its owners best interest are protected, but to protect the best interest of the baseball players they represent.
2005-10-22 19:13:47
84.   randym77
What the heck did Ozzie mean by that? "God bless Derek Jeter"? "God already blessed Derek Jeter" is more like it.

I've got mixed feelings about free agency and all that. I miss the days when players stayed with their teams, and the fans really got to know them. OTOH, slavery and indentiture were outlawed long ago.

Free agency and salary caps have been somewhat successful in the NFL when it comes to achieving parity. Any given Sunday, and all that. And I suppose it has made the sport more interesting for those in smaller markets, like Green Bay/Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, that don't have a chance in a cap-free sport like baseball. But I do think we've lost something, with players playing musical chairs every year. You can't even remember who's playing where any more. For awhile, a lot of people thought it was impossible to have a "dynasty" in football in more, due to free agency and the cap. The Patriots have sort of disproved that. But the way they do it is brutal. No one is indispensible, everyone's an interchangeable part, and if you ask for more money, you're gone.

2005-10-22 19:54:24
85.   BklynBomber
How about Ozzie's bullpen signal for 'the wide, tall guy'? That was classic. His A-Rod comment aside, how can you not love this guy? This series is over ;-)
2005-10-22 19:58:23
86.   BklynBomber
Jenks = 1977 Goose

Pure gas. You know what's comin', but you can't touch it.

2005-10-22 20:20:53
87.   randym77
Do they have a wide, short guy?
2005-10-22 20:49:32
88.   Jen
Dimelo, re: backup catcher as DH, that's why, as singledd (and Shaun) had mentioned before, you pickup someone like LeCroy. He's another backup catcher/1B (the "break glass in case of emergency" kind) and he can pinch hit or DH. As opposed to a guy like Flaherty who takes up bench space because his only asset is behind the plate. Aside from CF, the position players are pretty much set. But the bench really needs to be addressed. It's been a problem for the past couple of years. I think the best way to go about it is to get guys that can fill-in on the field if needed but can also be relied on to pinch hit.
2005-10-23 09:06:22
89.   ChuckM
But that's where Don Fehr and the players union have gone off the reservation. They stopped looking out for the majority of their players a long time ago. Instead, they turned into a union that favors a few select players getting huge contracts over the well being of the union as a whole. Which is why they had to give concessions in things like the drug policy, etc. The rank and file is sick of it...
2005-10-23 13:08:30
90.   randym77
Heh. If it weren't the union, A-Rod would be a Red Sox. He'd have less money, but he'd have his ring.

I really wonder if player salaries are sustainable. It's not the George Steinbrenners who are paying those salaries. It's not the George Bodenheimers, either. It's not even the fans. A lot of the cost is being subsidized by subscribers who don't even like sports.

As cable prices rise, there's a growing movement that's calling for "a la carte" pricing for cable channels. People don't want to pay for channels they never watch.

ESPN is the most expensive channel. They will cost an estimated $3.50 a subscriber next year. And only 18% of cable subscribers watch ESPN. If we sports fans actually have to pay for it without that subsidy, it'll be $14 a month, just for ESPN.

2005-10-23 14:24:15
91.   susan mullen
It's not even the fans who are paying the sal-
aries? Where do you get that information? Of
course, many non-fans are paying the highway
robbery charged by the cable companies, but that would be news if most of the money going
to baseball is from non-fans. However, keep up
the good work on nailing Espn, the symbol for
what broadcasting has become today: a sleezy,
dusty outpost for often uneducated, uncouth,
ill-mannered, lacking in character or conscience, totally lacking in accountability
(try to find anyone there who cares about all
the errors and omissions), bunch of self-
absorbed, vacant failures.
2005-10-23 14:53:48
92.   randym77
Something like 60% of ESPN's revenue comes from subscriber fees, and 80% of those subscribers never actually watch ESPN. They're forced to take ESPN as part of a cable "package."

Sports is often a money-loser for "mainstream" networks like ABC. So more and more sports is moving to cable channels like ESPN, where they have two sources of revenue: subscriber fees and ads.

It just seems to me that there's a lot less willingness to subsidize sports these days. The Jets didn't get their stadium. A couple of studies came out that proved the usual argument - that sports teams and stadiums provide an economic benefit to the whole community that outweighs the cost - isn't true.

Most of the sports fans I know are clamoring for "a la carte" cable pricing. I don't think they realize that sports fans will be hurt most by that.

2005-10-23 16:47:00
93.   Harley
Jenks reminds me of the kid who comes in to face Redford at the end of The Natural. Big, scary, and very very fast.

Not much movement, tho'. And he's not pitching to spots, he's just throwing.

Which why I'd dearly love to see him pitch to Sheffield.

2005-10-23 18:07:50
94.   tz1
doesn't jenks have a pretty nasty curveball though too? and i'm sure that fastball rises..
2005-10-23 20:25:27
95.   Dimelo
Fuck Jenks!!!! I'm so glad I don't have to hear about another Ozzuie Guillen move.
2005-10-23 20:29:59
96.   Dimelo
Well, he didn't put Pods to pinch hit so it wasn't a Guillen move.
2005-10-23 20:35:14
97.   BklynBomber
What a game! The ex-Yankee factor is maddening, but I totally forgot about Jose V. Good for him, but still hoping the Pale Hose end this in four because we have work to do (re-sign Cash, MatsZilla, get BJ Ryan, etc.) and I don't want any more distractions...
2005-10-23 20:48:08
98.   randym77
Poor Andy. His last three games, he's pitched okay, but they still lost.
2005-10-23 20:49:32
99.   Start Spreading the News
Brad Ligde, meet Byung-Hyun Kim. Kim, say hi to Lidge.

I am so annoyed. I was rooting for Pettitte in this game too.

2005-10-23 20:54:32
100.   BklynBomber
One more thing — this ChiSox team is a pretty likeable one. Aside from the fact that I'm pulling for El Duque and Contreras over The Rocket and Andy solely because of the way their respective careers in The Bronx ended, the Sox roster is full of talent, hustle and smart players.

Dimelo — stop reading here ;-)

Two quick Ozzie quotes in today's SF Chron:

// As New York scribes interviewed White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, a candidate for the Yankees' gig, manager Ozzie Guillen walked by and screamed, "Dave Righetti got the New York job, and you're (screwed). Now you have to beg me to come back here." //

// Guillen talked again about retiring if the White Sox win the Series, but he has second thoughts because, "I don't know if I can handle my family for the rest of my life without baseball. I'm already tired of seeing them after we had three days off. It's not fun." //

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-10-23 22:05:33
101.   weeping for brunnhilde
singledd, #82--This term "A-Rod-roaded?" has to be the most sublime coinage I have ever heard. It's got a great beat poetry thing going on and it's just so apt.

And it's a strange sort of onomonopoea because the term sounds as absurd as the practice is.

PLEASE be sure use the term again until it sticks.

Sheer brilliance. Hats off.

2005-10-24 19:14:51
102.   singledd
Thanks Weeping... appreciate your appreciation.

Bonds and Williams are greats who were "A-Rod-roaded" for being surly (sp?) and selfish. ARod however, is hassled for making too much money and being too good... too 'perfect'... too much a nice guy concerned about how he comes off.

He's a sensitive guy. I like him. But women must hate him. Good looking, great athlete, rich, nice.... ugh!

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