Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yanks Win a Close One
2006-04-28 05:06
by Alex Belth

Shawn Chacon and Mark Hendrickson, last night's two junk ball starters, were both effective with plenty of the soft stuff. Joey Gathright made a sterling play in the bottom of the first inning to snatch a home run away from Gary Sheffield. However, an error later in the game by Tampa Bay's third baseman Russell Branyan paved the way for the slumping Hideki Matsui, who came through with the winning hit for the Bombers--a seeing-eye single that was reminiscent of Luis Sojo's ground ball in Game 5 of the 2000 World Serious. After a horribly frustrating night for the New Yorkers, the home team prevailed, 4-2. Derek Jeter had three hits himself and is now batting over .400. The bullpen performed well and this was just the kind of win the Yankees needed, wouldn't you say?

Comments (60)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-28 05:43:12
1.   bp1
Yep. Just what the doctor ordered. It had the making for another frustrating night through the first few innings. The D-Rays. Man.


2006-04-28 05:55:12
2.   Rob Gee
Great, slow, slower, slowest piece by Schwartz on Maddux this morning:

In brief: Maddux is a surgeon. He tries not to have patterns by making every pitch look the same coming from his hands. Amazing stuff!

2006-04-28 05:56:24
3.   Rob Gee
Sorry see Alex's first link!
2006-04-28 06:19:48
4.   Rob Gee
I'll shut up after this, I promise -

"You change speeds by accident, and everyone thinks you're doing it on purpose."

Reminds me of a certain story floating around about our own Moose.

Wouldn't that be something - the crafty veterans dominating again on both side of the league?

Great stuff!

2006-04-28 06:32:10
5.   Upperdeck
Great to see the bullpen come in and do the job. I can't remember many wins like this last year when the non Mariano relievers came in to close it out. If Dotel comes back we should have some stress free late innings.
2006-04-28 06:36:43
6.   Levy2020
5 The bullpen already seems pretty sick, and they're still going to have to make room for Dotel, Small, and Pavano. Maybe this is non-controversial, but I imagine the losers should be Wright, Sturtze, and Villone. Can Matt Smith pitch long relief?
2006-04-28 06:55:22
7.   Sliced Bread
Lord Farnswacker rules. I'm already lovin' that junkyard dog.
2006-04-28 07:03:17
8.   Rob Gee
Okay, I had my fingers crossed..

6 Much to my surprise, Villone (Myers too) has been pretty solid (2 R in 7.2 - .214 BAA - .100 BAA against leftys, 1 H in 10 AB's). I think he stays for the time being.

But the bullpen is definitely a strength right now. Plus, we have a nice crop of guys in the minors (Smith will go down, Bean, Beam, Cox) should any of the current crop fail to produce. Maybe the excess is what we'll spin into some sort of bench help? I don't see how.

2006-04-28 07:04:24
9.   Paul in Boston
Ok gang, food review of ballpark food in NYC by someone I know well:

Good thing she was eating (and not watching) that night at the Stadium!

2006-04-28 07:47:05
10.   vockins
re: food

Paul, your friend was very forgiving. Let's be frank, the food at Yankee Stadium is horrible. (Yes, that pun was intentional) Bazzini peanuts are the only thing worth a damn, and at stadium prices, I'll just bring my own.

2006-04-28 07:52:57
11.   Cliff Corcoran
Funny. I'll admit to having only been to Shea twice, but I found the food there to be almost inedible. Then again, most of what is described in the article I don't remember seeing in the upper deck consession stands.

As for the ballpark in the Bronx, I swear by the Italian sausages (hot or sweet with peppers and onions), but you have to get them grilled (like they are in the bleachers), not heated on those awful hot dog rollers. I almost hesitate to say that though, as the line keeps getting longer and the prices keep going up.

2006-04-28 07:59:27
12.   Levy2020
9 For whatever reason, I find the hot dogs in the bleachers make sick, but when I'm in Tier Reserve there is no problem. It could just be me, but I'd like to get that warning out. . . .
2006-04-28 08:02:13
13.   Sliced Bread
10 11 Good call on the snausages, Cliff. That's my poison right there, and the peanuts, too, vockins -- washed down with those $2 dollar an ounce Becks beers.

Haven't been to Shea in over a decade, but as I recall the Harry M. Stevens knishes were excellent.

2006-04-28 08:23:38
14.   Dan M
The author has clearly never been to a ballpark outside the city limits. I find Shea's food to be slightly better than at YS, merely because there's greater access to grilled sausages (i.e., they're throughout the stadium, not in one, isolated place), but that's not saying much. Go to any other stadium, and the food will blow you away. Heck, even Fenway has upgraded their food over the last few years.

Right now I'm slobbering over the memory of Gates BBQ at Kaufman. Mmmmm.

2006-04-28 08:35:33
15.   Jen
The sausages are a must. They have nachos in the bleachers now too, but I have yet dared to try them.

Just a heads up on the peanuts, a deli around the corner from the Stadium (on 161st, a couple stores down from the side entrance to Billy's Sports Bar) sells the same nuts for a lot less.

They make decent subs too. We routinely get a whole sub, chips, and a few drinks for about $12 (and they even give you a clear plastic bag so you won't have any hassles getting into the Stadium.)

2006-04-28 08:39:55
16.   Cliff Corcoran
15 The nachos taste like salted cardboard covered in melted plastic.

Jen, I caught the stuff on your blog about them retreating from the plastic bottle ban, are they still allowing folks to bring in food? I've only been to one game thus far this year, but will be there again on Sunday.

2006-04-28 09:03:10
17.   Shaun P
Maybe this is sacreligious for a Yankees fan, but I don't care - I love those damn Fenway Franks. You can buy them in stores, and every once in a while I do. That is a hotdog, folks.

The food variety and quality have definitely gone up at Fenway 14 - but so have the prices. I imagine food at the new Stadium will be the same way - lots of choices all costing lots of coin.

2006-04-28 09:07:43
18.   Zack
I've been bringing my own food to the games for awhile now, and stick mostly to the beers, sodas, and peanut variety, all of which still winds up costing me all my money...

If you go out to San Diego you can get fish tacos at Petco, now there is a great stadium food!

2006-04-28 09:13:07
19.   jedi
In college, I worked in the concessions at Shea Stadium. Since, I thought it was the worst working conditions in all my life, I'll be happy to share this info with you all.

Pretzels - they are basically heated with a sterno in a glass case. They come premade cold and hard out of a cardboard box with plastic packaging. We just take them out of the box and heat them up for you 10 minutes before the game with a little sterno magic. How do we get them nice and soft? Add a glass water in the back of the magical glass box and wala!

Hot Dogs - Those rollers they are cooked on are never cleaned. We just scratch off the burn stuff at the end of the games. Heck. we leave them on sometimes. We get rotated every game to a different stand every new game so who cares. It's what food service people like to call, "Next Day People's Problem"

FYI: we get rotated to a different stand every new game, because 1 out of 5 customers is a season ticket holder and 1 out of 5 times will have a problem with your service and 1 out of 5 times will look for you the next day to punch you in the face. TRUTH!

Nachos - think Pathmark No Frills section Tortilla Chips. Enough said. As for the cheese. I don't know where that came from. I just remember when the cheese was out, we ask the "cheese guy" to refill it.

Don't worry about it, though. Hey, that never stop me from eating that stuff and look how healthy I turned out! I was a starving college student and a free hotdog and pretzel for my break I was not about to pass up. Yummmmy!

I have to say, if you don't want upset stomach, the safest stuff you can buy at the ballpark is anything prepackaged or bottled. I never worked the italian sausage bit, since I didn't excel long enough at my time in the food industry, so I can't comment on that. But, it looked pretty safe. My only dream however out of that lousy job, was to work the stands and throw peanut bags at people. Alas, that never came to fruition. I admired those guy's skill...

BTW: The biggest money grabber was working the beer stands. By the 8th inning people didn't even bother with grabbing their change. Unintentional "keep the change" tips left and right. It sure hell beat the "keep the quarter" bit when someone bought a $4.75 hotdog at the regular stands. heh

2006-04-28 09:16:40
20.   wsporter
I've never been to a ballgame in Milwaukee, Chicago or Cleveland so I'm limited but by far the best MLB food I've ever had has got to be in Baltimore. At old Memorial the red-hots were just that and at The Yard just about everything is great. It's the only thing Angelos has gotten right. Of course you have to re-mortgage the house to take the family. The worst food I ever had was at Anaheim; that food made the dogs at Shea seem almost hairless. Speaking of Yankee I can smell those sausage and peppers cooking in the bleachers right now. Think I'll go get lunch.
2006-04-28 09:23:48
21.   standuptriple
18 Zack, you cannot do yourself the disservice of eating fish tacos at Petco. Do yourself a favor and go to Nick's (a few blocks away) and get the Mahi-mahi. You can thank me later. I did like the BBQ pork sandwich though.
I've yet to have the Cha-cha bowl in SF, but I hear it's great. The Gordon Biersch garlic fries used to rock, but now they're either burnt, soggy, cold or over-garlic-ed to compensate.
Don't eat food at OAK. Nachos were budget. BYO. Funny thing though, they have a grill in LF. It's a private group area. Saw some Tiger (not sure who) trade a ball for a sandwich during BP last week. As he scarfed it down I wondered what a coach would say if he saw (it was cleverly hidden and consumed quickly in the glove).
2006-04-28 09:25:16
22.   Upperdeck
Late last year they opened a small Arthur Avenue deli inside the stadium. I've only had the sandwiches, but so far everything seems good except of course the $10 price tag. (I think it's near gate 4, they share space with the Red Hook Beer vendor--another hidden gem.)
2006-04-28 09:26:28
23.   standuptriple
Whoops, I mean Fred's, not Nick's.
2006-04-28 09:27:54
24.   Cliff Corcoran
17 One of my best ballpark food experiences was downing some NE clam chowdah on a cold September night at Fenway as Moose was working on his near perfect game. Of course, at the same game I had a Fenway Frank roll out of its bun and had to buy another--one for the price of two at ballpark prices, ouch.

My favorite dogs remain Nathans. Bit longer than the bun, get all shrivelly and crisp. Awesome. I just finished off a pack at home (grill 'em to death and they're just incredible) and I don't think I'll ever buy another brand of dog.

2006-04-28 09:31:53
25.   Cliff Corcoran
20 My experience has been that Milwaukee is solid to good (though I'd have to go back to get a good sample), Wrigley has nothing other than the standard fair, which is fine, but nothing memorable, and the line for Boog's BBQ in Baltimore is so long you're forced to eat elsewhere. I enjoyed my garlic fries in SF (though they were a bit garlicy after a point). As for fish tacos, that just never sounded appetizing.
2006-04-28 09:36:28
26.   jedi
Going to petco next month. can't wait for those fish tacos!
2006-04-28 09:46:38
27.   fgasparini
RUN--DO NOT WALK--to U.S. Fried Chicken on Gerard and 161st. Really yummy, the best I've ever had. Nicely spicy, crispy but not too bready, and cheap.

It's run by some guys who I think are Afghans and fought the Soviets--they used to have pictures of themselves with AKs and artillery, before You Know What. I just love that Afghans come to America to sell southern-fried chicken to Latinos in the Bronx. And me.

11 Cliff, never had the sausages grilled but I think they changed the brand at the stadium about 5 years ago--I never liked them much after the switch. Maybe the grilling would help.

24 I live in LA now and your Dodger Dog is not a bad frank, but nothing comes close to Nathan's, which thank God I can buy here. Maybe I'll BBQ this weekend...

2006-04-28 09:48:13
28.   wsporter
25 The trick to Boogs is to get there early or get lucky and attend a pre-gamer that they're catering. It's good stuff and worth the wait at least once. It's the crab cakes that make the difference in Charm City though; that and one of those obnoxious micro-brews.

I'm disappointed about Milwaukee, all that crap about the sausages and pirogues and its all nothing. Miller tastes like water anyway so I guess I can save myself the trip.

Why fish tacos?

2006-04-28 09:57:55
29.   YankeeInMichigan
Do they serve sausages in Milwaukee, or do they just knock them over with their bats?

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

2006-04-28 10:01:19
30.   fgasparini
28 Well you may ask, "Why fish tacos?" I've never had one with grilled fish because it seemed unappetizing, and with fried fish I'd rather have stright up fish and chips (or a real taco). I'm afraid it's a California Cuisine oddity.
2006-04-28 10:05:33
31.   Shawn Clap
My buddy and I wound up visiting Denver the first year Coors Field was built. We bought a pair of upper-deck tickets, I had heard they have a micro-brewery right in the stadium. After only two beers we were completely sh*t-faced. "Wow, this is strongest beer ever," we thought.

Turns out we just weren't use to drinking at Rocky Mountain altitudes.

The only ballparks I've been to with a reasonable vegan/vegetarian alternative is Safeco and Skydome. I thought baseball was supposed to be a thinking man's game, what gives?

2006-04-28 10:06:50
32.   jedi
30 like pineapples on pizza
2006-04-28 10:13:10
33.   Rob Gee
31 In Pittsburgh at PNC (site of this year's all-star game - check it on Fox!) it's gotta be Primanti Bros sandwiches (but better outside at the real locations) - piled high with meat, fries, and slaw.
2006-04-28 10:13:47
34.   Kevin
Alex -- just listened to the podcast of your interview with Bill Littlefield for "Only a Game." One of my favorite NPR shows with one of my favorite bloggers. Congrats, man!
2006-04-28 10:14:48
35.   Knuckles
The spicy sausage (inside) and a pretzel from outside is the way to go at the Stadium.

Anyone been to RFK yet? The worst stadium food I have ever had in my life- the hot dogs make you feel sick within 10 minutes of eating one.

My favorite thing about Camden Yards (beside the fact that it's 2/3 Yanks fans when the Bombers are in town) is the $1 bag of peanuts you can grab right outside the stadium gates.

And then there's the Somerset Patriots (Independent League in Central Jersey)...$30 would buy 2 tickets, 2 beers, 2 dogs and maybe a Cracker Jack or a pretzel many a weeknight for my dad and myself a few years back.

2006-04-28 10:18:27
36.   wsporter
RFK gets a pass in my mind because NOBODY is really in charge there. Crist the food isn't cooked half the time, you have to beg for mustard and the parking attendants shake you down to let you out of certain gates. Its a mess.

29 I think they knock them over then they eat them. At least that's how they do it on Russ Meyer night.

2006-04-28 10:23:44
37.   Shaun P
36 MFD - completely off topic, but I just heard about this in an e-mail and had to share:

35 I always found that minor league ballpark food was not only excellent, but always inexpensive. The farther from the majors the league, the better the grub.

2006-04-28 10:24:22
38.   Dan M
I went to RFK last season and was amazed that there were no places where you could buy a beer AND a hot dog. You had to wait on different lines.

If memory serves, the dogs at new Comiskey were pretty excellent.

2006-04-28 10:30:42
39.   Knuckles
I don't think you can give the Nats a pass because no one's in charge of the food. It's just another screwing over by MLB of a new fanbase that they really need to straighten out. At this point I don't think they give a sh1t, they just want to unload the damn thing, and tough noogs to the fans who want to eat non-rancid food for the few years before the gov't sponsored stadium opens, and they can justify charging you triple because it doesn't send you straight to the pooper.

And if anyone believes Dupuy saying they'll announce a new owner soon, with Nats games still unavailale to Comcast (read: mainly upper class suburban folks) customers, then I have a 300 foot marble obelisk to sell you.

2006-04-28 10:31:27
40.   Rob Gee
Alex -

Really nice article article over at SI too. I'm one the few fans pissed about the loss of the Stadium. I agree with Durkheim who said we create sacred spaces and this soil is a cathedral to the sport.

Too bad it's being lost with nary a fight (even the mainstream sportwriters like shiny new cars) and with the locals getting screwed in the process (they only ones who did openly fight). How 5 million in stadium rent becomes $800,000 in slush money is beyond me - f'in politicians.

2006-04-28 10:33:21
41.   tommyl
Decent food at Philly's new park. What's there is fine, but nothing really stands out and prices are kinda high.
2006-04-28 10:37:29
42.   Rob Gee
37 The best part of that pic is the hippie taking a spliff hit in the background.
2006-04-28 10:42:23
43.   wsporter
37 MFD, thanks. Well, I guess he's not the first guy to find himself in trouble for doing something stupid at a D. Phi party; although I guess his something stupid was actually showing up. I knew tossing all the frats off campus was a bad idea; now look at the type of riffraff showing up at those parties. It's bad, very, very bad.

39 I guess I should have said "What do you expect". Your comments are exactly on point, the whole thing is an embarrassment. MLB needs to figure out which group they're going to skin and get on with it. All these "we're going to make an announcement this week" promises wore thin last year. I'm glad it's here and it's great to have an alternative to little Petey Angelos but they need to get off the f'n pot already.

2006-04-28 10:48:39
44.   standuptriple
35, 37 Excellent point. The Sacramento Rivercats have some fine food choices and you get to see some of the best AAA ball in the country.
2006-04-28 11:03:54
45.   Schteeve
By far the best ballpark food I've ever had was at Busch. Except for when i am lucky enough to go to the luxury boxes in Comiskey, nothing beats the dessert cart!
2006-04-28 11:06:26
46.   Sliced Bread
If the Nationals became the Hebrew Nationals they'd have the best dogs in the league in my opinion -- and if the grilled Hebrew Nats came with a spicy kosher dill, well, the fishy taco guys would be out of business.
2006-04-28 11:08:00
47.   Sliced Bread
45 Yeah, I've heard that dessert cart at Comisky is ridiculously well-stocked.
2006-04-28 11:23:12
48.   Jen
16 Yes Cliff, you can pretty much bring in any food you want. Which is nice, 'cause I know there are some parks that don't let you bring anything in from the outside.
2006-04-28 11:38:11
49.   rbs10025
37 "The farther from the majors the league, the better the grub. "

That explains the very fine micro-brews I had at a rookie league game in Idaho Falls a few years ago.

Oh, and our seats literally on top of the visitors' dugout roof cost less than the price of a beer at the Stadium. My brother spent the entire game telling me to be careful about where I threw my peanut shells.

2006-04-28 12:08:49
50.   Cliff Corcoran
33 I'll second Primanti Bros. I've not been to the ballpark, but I've been to Primanti Bros. That and a great record store (whose name and location escaped me because I was lead there by a friend of a friend during the 24 hours I spent in Pittsburgh two years ago) along with a desire to see a game at PNC might actually get me back to the Steel City one day.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-28 12:17:37
51.   Marcus
30 and 32 I just gotta chime in and say that fish tacos are a Baja California (Mexico) "oddity", if you want to call it that. I've been told the best ones are from the street vendors in Baja who get their fish straight off the boat. You gotta try them before you cast them off. I can't speak for the Petco version, but the fried kind with that special sauce, mmmmm hmmmm, delicious.

And pineapples on pizza are a Hawaiian thing.

2006-04-28 12:26:01
52.   fgasparini
51 I thought I'd heard they were an Alta California invention, but I stand corrected. Still don't like 'em.

47 and 45 There's a dessert cart at Angels Stadium, or whatever they call it. Not free, but there's like cakes under glass and, I don't know, sacher torte?

I feel this is wrong.

2006-04-28 12:28:21
53.   fgasparini
40 This must be the first time someone has referenced Emile Durkheim in these boards, right?
2006-04-28 12:32:02
54.   wsporter
51 Marcus quite frankly, when employed together, the words "San Diego" 18 and "Special Sauce" scare the hell out of me. I'll pass just this once.
2006-04-28 13:29:23
55.   jedi
51 Pizzas with Pineapple and Canadian bacon as toppings are called "Hawaiian Pizzas" but are not from the island of Hawaii. They are popular in the Western United States, like California. California Pizza Kitchen (FROM CALIFORNIA) likes to beat the dog with their crazy style of pizzas. So ironically, pineapples on pizzas is not a "Hawaiian thing" as many people believe, but rather a "Californian thang." heh Just like Hawaiian Punch. Just because it says Hawaii, it's not from Hawaii, brah!

Sorry, but I had to say something, Marcus. I'm orginally from Hawaii.

2006-04-28 13:42:44
56.   uburoisc
Marcus is right; the best fish tacos in the world are from Ensenada street vendors; the stand I frequent has baby shark fried to delicious little crispy filets and then topped with white cabbage, creme fresh, and lots of hot sauce varieties. Unbelievable! The fish tacos at Petco are pedestrian, but not bad.
2006-04-28 13:44:02
57.   rbs10025
55 I'm not from Hawaii. In fact, I'm from Idaho, and I can vouch for Canadian bacon and pineapple pizzas being popular in the West. I can't speak for whether are so today, but they were definitely popular 20-25 years ago in southern Idaho. And we didn't call them Hawaiian pizza either.
2006-04-28 13:59:13
58.   Shaun P
55 57 'Hawaiian' pizza is widely available at the local pizza places here in Massachusetts, so I presume its popular out here. Some of the best ones use ham instead of Canadian bacon. One place uses prosciutto, which is to die for.
2006-04-28 14:29:08
59.   Marcus
55 I stand corrected! I fell for the (mis)label.

So, how 'bout them Yankees? Are they playing today or something?

2006-04-28 14:52:34
60.   vockins
Cliff, I willing to bet that record store is Jerry's Records in Squirrel Hill. I consider that place to be the gateway to the midwestern record store belt. Good stuff. I got a nice mono Buddy Holly compliation there and a couple of Funkadelic records with all the insert goodies still intact. Apparently the place is for sale.

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