Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (Here I is)
2006-03-02 05:41
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I've begun to see that the pleasure men take in being with each other -- playing cards together, being in a bar together -- isn't actively anti-female. It isn't against women; it just has nothing to do with them. It seems to come from some point in their lives before they were aware that there were women. They have so much fun together. I really have become much more sympathetic to men because of my job.

Jane Gross, on her experiences as woman sportswriter, to Roger Angell, 1979

I just love this quote--I've used it several times now--because it keeps me in touch what I find so appealing about watching baseball: the companionship, the intimacy, the natural displays of affection that ballplayers share. These days we are reminded at every turn of the distance between us and big league athletes, but we can still observe how these guys pal around, in an unaffected, generous way. Manny Ramirez's infectious warmth spread to the entire Red Sox club a few years ago as teammates would openly hug after they hit a home run. But I remember watching Kevin Brown massage Jon Lieber's shoulder in the dugout as they watched a game--and Brown was supposed to be the biggest ogre going.

Just this morning the Daily News ran a photo of Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter, the two greatest Yankee everyday players of the Joe Torre years. Jeter is seated in the dugout leaning over, blowing some dirt off of his glove. Williams stands above Jeter, his left hand cupped in the middle of the Captain's head. In his right hand is a cup of water which is about to pour over Jeter. His left hand is placed so as to prevent any water from running down the front of Jeter's face, and Williams has a look of concentration on his face. It is a common enough sight, but noteable because of Jeter's casual, almost unaware posture, and the great care Williams seems to be taking; they are completely comfortable with each other. Love that kind of stuff.

2006-03-02 06:42:48
1.   singledd
Off the Topic:
"A-Rod says WBC injury 'inevitable'"
While I know Steinbrenner can't force guys NOT to play, I surprised there wasn't an 'off-the-books' request/quasi-demand not to play. We simply don't have the bench to replace any of our starters.

The WBC is a good concept, but he timing is terrible!

2006-03-02 06:52:48
2.   Felix Heredia
For those who missed it, here's the greatest display of baseball affection:

2006-03-02 07:06:13
3.   Dimelo
Why am I so willing to do things with the 'boys' and so reluctant to go see a movie, Broadway play, etc, etc, with HER? I remember I went to see the Broadway play 'Rent' with my girlfriend at the time, it was on the same night that the Yanks came back and scored 13 runs vs. TB in the 8th inning. I was kept busy with my cell phone and checking the score on my phone via the net. I was not into that stupid play at all. I actually thought it was pretty stupid and had no understanding about what the hype was all about. Would I rather see ARod, Sheffield and Matsui take a pitcher deep or see a bunch of dudes in leotards dancing and prancing around on stage? I don't know....that seems like a no-brainer to me…..unless I missed a 'meeting' when I was growing up but being a dude did not mean seeing 'Rent' on a night when the Yanks would score 13 runs in one inning. Come to think of it, seeing 'Rent' was never even in the syllabus. When 'Rent' was finally over, it was great when I got in my car in time to listen to Sterling go through each of his calls and I loved the sound of hearing him almost have a heart attack when Bernie Williams tripled. I remember going and having a nice steak after the post-game and getting some good loving afterwards, my world seemed like it was back to normal again. Other than that brief moment when I entered another world that I never knew existed and never wanted to go to in the first place, it turned out to be a pretty nice night -- except for the Rent part.

The other funny thing is that during the season if I'm not watching the game with my friends they are usually blowing up my cell phone. Which is great because it prevents me from getting into one of those heart-to-heart conversations and from answering the usual question (seems to happen every 4 weeks in my estimation), 'in 10 years do you still see yourself paying so much attention to the Yankees? Where do you see us in 10 years?'. Ughhh!!!!! Can't wait till opening day so that I can escape into my little world for 3 hours at a time again…..

2006-03-02 07:16:03
4.   Dimelo
singledd - as far as the WBC is concerned, let's not have negative thoughts about someone getting injured. Let alone one of ours. I hope it turns out to be a good thing and no one gets injured. The constant reminder of injuries now almost does seem 'inevitable'. If a guy decides to only go 1/2 speed and someone else is going full speed then I can see someone getting injured. It may be an exhibition game, but there will be players that will play to win and when you mix the loafers with someone who doesn't loaf then someone will get hurt.
2006-03-02 07:22:57
5.   singledd
Dimelo.... I'm just the messenger. In terms of "Where do you see us in 10 years?"... just tell her your dream is to one day, propose to the woman you love on the Big Scoreboard in Yankee Stadium. Take it from Alex, it's good when she's also a Yankee fan!
2006-03-02 07:24:27
6.   Cliff Corcoran
Wasn't the hugging thing David Ortiz's doing?
2006-03-02 07:37:09
7.   Dimelo
I think Cliff is right. I don't remember seeing Carl Everett and Manny hugging, or Manny and Jose AwfulMan. I think it did start with Ortiz and/or Millar.
2006-03-02 07:38:49
8.   Sliced Bread
The brotherly bond between Bernie and Jeter is interesting because it includes sibling rivalry - not for the affection of the team's father figure, Joe Torre, but the competitive rivalry typical between brothers.

Buster Olney offers revealing insights to the Bernie-Jeter relationship in his Bronx Banter interview with Alex (Sept. '04 -see interview link on right - it's about a third of the way into the interview).

Dimelo, be sure to include your demand/request for Yankee-time in your future pre-marital negotiations - but be prepared to make 'Rent'esque concessions.

Snow's falling in NY/NJ - first pitch of Spring Training less than 3 hours away!

2006-03-02 07:40:25
9.   singledd
For the real Sabermetric lowdown on the AL, please see:
2006-03-02 07:51:07
10.   wsporter
Alex, that lead "here I is" is one of the great Little Rascal or Andy Griffith references. Alfalfa's Juliet speaking "Homio oh Homio where for arte thou Homio" and Buck- Wheat's timeless response "Here I is" (could it have been Pete?) Cracked me up when I was 8 years old and it still crack me up now when I think about it. Andy Griffith worked that into his routine and then into the TV show in a really funny way.

Mixing Coen Brothers and Our Gang may be a dangerous venture and I know this was way off topic but thanks for that.

2006-03-02 07:55:34
11.   Mike from Hoboken
So how does this fit into today's thesis?
2006-03-02 08:10:30
12.   Jeteupthemiddle
I was at that Yankee Devil Rays game where they came back in the 8th inning by scoring 13 runs.

And over my winter break I saw RENT on Broadway.

I would not trade either experience for anything. And both experiences were more than the event I went to see, but with the people I shared it with.

2006-03-02 08:20:05
13.   Shaun P
Funny pic links aside (has anyone not seen the one Bat-Girl got from deadspin?), does anyone have a link to the Daily News photo that got all this going?

Dimelo, if she really loves you and she knows how much you love the Yanks, she'll always be willing to make room for them. And if she's isn't much of a fan, a good sign is that she starts to become one. This has been my experience at least.

That said, watching a game with the boys (including my dad and my bro) is a much different experience from watching the game with my wife. Both are fun, just in different ways.

2006-03-02 08:27:30
14.   Alex Belth
You know, you guys may be right, it may have been Ortiz's doing--or at least his influence, cause I don't recall any bear hugs with Jurassic Carl either.

And, of course the title reference is to the "Oh Homio" Romeo and Julliett "Little Rascals" feature. Good call.

2006-03-02 08:33:51
15.   Jen

Type Jeter in the search field and it should be one of the first pics.

2006-03-02 11:34:06
16.   Shaun P
Thanks, Jen!

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