Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-05-15 07:50
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to


The Angels handed the Yanks their ass on a platter once again at the Stadium last night. The Bombers have now lost three-straight, and now lead the Sox, who defeated Texas 7-1, by one game. Boomer Wells wasn't terrible, but he lost his first game of the year. Scott Spezio went 4-4, and wishes he could play against the Yankess all the time. (The most interesting play of the night came when Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter almost cut down Spezio at the plate as he tagged from third on a fly ball---Buster Olney has a great recap of the play in the Times.)

Point blank, the Yankee offense is slumping. Giambi still can't see; Lil' Sori---whose father passed away yesterday, isn't hitting jack-boil-scratch, and Bernie has cooled down as well (Bernie kills me, when he slumps he turns into a poor man's Rod Carew). Of course, the biggest concern in the BX, is the Yankees sorry excuse for a bullpen. Filip Bondy reports:

The Yanks lost again, however, and their bullpen has a gaping hole. There is nothing sexy about middle relief. Juan Acevedo isn't comfortable in the role of baton passer. Acevedo gave up a grand slam to Spiezio on Tuesday, another scream for attention. Torre says there is something wrong with Acevedo's mechanics, but the manager probably suspects it is more than that. Ever since the temporary closer has been asked to be a permanent middle man, he hasn't approached the game the same way.

"They have to feel important," Torre was saying yesterday, about the delicate egos of long relievers. "You always shower alone. You don't start and you don't finish."

From a temperamental point of view, Osuna is much better suited to this sort of existence than Acevedo. His ego fits more easily into the corner of the clubhouse, and in the bullpen.

Olney hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

The Yankees need somebody to give the starters a breather, as they wait for their second wind to kick in.

I watched the game with Emily at her place upstate last night, and was smoldering from the 7th inning on (I couldn't even enjoy watchin Benji Molina truckulate his fat ass around the bases, scoring from first on a double in the 8th inning). The worst part of it is that I didn't want to cause a ruckus and yell and curse. Now I got indigestion, but what are you going to do? I'm going to my first Yankee game of the season tonight, so let's hope they can avoid getting swept. Aaron Sele is pitching for the Angels, and if that dipshit shuts the Bombers down, then I'm going on strike.

Today's papers are filled with tributes to former Knick (and former Chicago White Sox), Dave DeBusschere, who died of a heart attack yesterday. I best remember DeBusschere almost jumping out of his skin when the Knicks won the Patrick Ewing sweepstakes in 1985, but he was considered to be the heart and soul of the great Knick teams of the late '60s and early '70s.

On the train ride into the city this morning, I was standing next to two Wall Street suits: a wily veteran, and an eager youngster. The older guy was your classic Goomba, talking shit the whole way, as his young friend listened intently. The Goomba had a thick New York accent, slicked-back hair, and leathery skin. He was all of a piece--straight out of one of Eric Bogosian's monologues.

"Hey, I remember when the subway was 35 cents, my friend. Can you imagine that? Those were the good ol' days."

I decided to bring up DeBusschere. The conversation didn't last too long. My man had to get back to his riff.

He continued: "You wouldn't believe this, but I saw Mickey Mantle play. I don't look old, but it's true. I'm 42, but I don't look it."

"How do you do it?"

"I drink. I fucking drink, man. Lemme tell you something, I work with all these guys who are work-out freaks. Health nuts. Guys in their twenties. They're sick four, five times a year. Me? I'm in the bar five, six nights a week, I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, and I feel great. Hey: I had three grandparents that lived past 90. When my grandfather finally went, he was 99. Guy says to me, 'What was the cause of death?' I say, 'He was fucking 99, what do you mean 'cause'?" Hey, I haven't spent one cent in a bar or restaurant in New York since Mayor Bloomberg passed that no-smoking law. I'm not kidding. Screw that. And I'll tell you something else: I haven't gone to a movie theater since they banned smoking there either. Hey, I'm single, I feel great, I'm going to drink and I'm going to smoke as long as I like. Right?"

Hey, whatever gets you through the night, brother.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.