Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Homina, Homina, Homina
2006-08-10 05:53
by Alex Belth

I missed the entire game last night as I was fortunate enough to be out at Shea to witness Mike Piazza's big two-dinger performance against the Mets. Wow, what a nail-biter in Chi-town, though, as the Yanks held-on to beat the White Sox, 7-6. Randy Johnson pitched well, Kyle Farnsworth did not, and Mariano Rivera bounced back to earn the save. Johnny Damon was pulled from the game with what is being called a tweak of in his groin, while Bobby Abreu led the offense, hitting his first home run as a Yankee. The Bombers added another game to their lead in the AL East as Jonathan Paplebon improbably blew a one-run lead to the Royals in the bottom of the ninth. New York's lead is now three games.

Comments (89)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-10 06:02:48
1.   Alex Belth
Jason Giambi missed the game last night but will hopefully play today. Bubba Crosby cleared waivers and appears to be staying with the Yanks. If Damon is seriously slowed here, Bubba could be back with the club shortly...or perhaps Aaron Guiel. Not to play center, just to have as an extra outfielder. Carl Pavano also pitched a simulated game yesterday and is headed for a minor league start.
2006-08-10 06:13:23
2.   Mystique of Me
Apparently Joe still hasn't picked up on the fact that Farnsworth is terrible without a day's rest.
2006-08-10 06:20:59
3.   mehmattski
I had a few beers in me when it happened, so I don't remember the given rationale... but why in the world did Torre give up his DH spot to put an inferior defender in center for the eighth and ninth innings? Was there something physically wrong with Craig Wilson? I don't want to go ape crap on Torre for this move without hearing if there was a reason for this. It almost directly cost the Yankees the game in the ninth (I shouted at the TV through my buzz: "wtf is bernie doing in center?!?"). And it could have indirectly cost the game if the ChiSox tied the game and we had to eventually use a pitcher in Wilson's spot. I am really confused. Help?
2006-08-10 06:22:43
4.   unpopster
Alex, you were at the Mets game too?

It was my first game at Shea since maybe the early 90's, I can't remember when. But I went and really enjoyed watching the Shea faithful give Piazza the respect that he's due -- and then watch him blast two HR's off of our old friend Pedro.

After the game I got in my car to the voices of Sterling and Susan talking non-stop about Ranyd's "no-hitter". Sheesh, as soon as I heard that I knew that my ride home would require a little antacid.

As Sterling kept harping on the "no hitter", he repeatedly mentioned that he didn't believe in curses, almost preempting the uproar that he'd most probably receive when Randy would finally give up a hit. Curiiously though, after Randy did indeed give up his first hit, Sterling didn't mention the near no hitter ever again. I almost wanted him to deliver a mea culpa -- but I guess I'm just asking too much from him, aren't I?

2006-08-10 06:27:50
5.   jkay
Yanks win, A-Rod is safe for another day.
2006-08-10 06:28:48
6.   vockins
I'd like to thank randym77 for the great animated .gif of Mo making Pierzynski look like a moron. Great stuff.

The Bernie in CF move was baffling.

2006-08-10 06:49:13
7.   Alex Belth
Yeah, it was one of the best nights I ever had at Shea. Absolutely perfect, perfect weather for a game. Great night. A virtual Love In. I've always liked Piazza so it was just really cool.
2006-08-10 06:54:20
8.   randym77
6 You're welcome. :)

I don't get Bernie in CF, either. Does Torre really think that's a defensive upgrade? Is Abreu that bad in CF? What would it take for Joe to try Melky in CF - Bernie being abducted by aliens?

2006-08-10 07:02:44
9.   mehmattski
The Star-Ledger is reporting/surmising that Bernie will start in center tonight if Damon can't go, and that Bernie started last night because he was 4-for-11 against Garland.

I really hate saying bad things about Bernie, he means so much to me and the memories of the 1995-2003 teams. But I can't support him playing over more able players in the field and at the plate. Was anyone here alive in 1965? What were people saying about Mickey Mantle at the end? If there was a Bronx Banter then, would he and Ralph Houk been as hung out to dry as Torre and Williams are today?

2006-08-10 07:04:23
10.   Dimelo
Many of you know I'm a huge Torre supporter, but what an awful job by him last night when he took out Wilson and decided to put Bernie in CF and let the pitcher bat. What an awful mistake on his part.

I saw this morning that the Sawx lost. My favorite thing to do when the Sawx lose is to visit numerous Sawx blogs and see Yankee fans infiltrating and giving them hell. Reading the comments are great. It is kind of sadistic on my part, but it makes me feel better about myself so it's alright with me. We get it here too, we get a few Sawx fans getting on here to give us crap. Still, I like being on the other end of the equation....

I'm sorry but I couldn't help myself yesterday (in the game thread) when I mentioned that RJ had a no-hitter. You were all so funny trying to figure out clever ways not to act like Michael Kay. What's the difference in knowing a pitcher is pitching a no-hitter and verbalizing your thoughts to a group that all knows the same thing? Is it that we don't like to point out the obvious? How about when a player needs just a single to hit for the cycle? We have no problem verbalizing that….though I think Kay is a d*ck, what are the rules? People were giving Kay crap but Sterling is always doing that on the radio, I don't see people calling in or writing and being pissed about that. I know much of what Kay was criticized for was because of his Holocaust and the slavery comments, but are we losing our mentals with this entire thing? Or is it just for fun…I'd like to think it's the latter.

Good win by the Yanks….MOOSE!!!! Damn….Damon can't play so he won't be able to hit a grand slam off his old friend.

2006-08-10 07:05:42
11.   bp1
8 "Bernie being abducted by aliens?" Ha! That's funny.

You know - I wonder if Bernie and Johnny play "long toss" together during warmup. You gotta figure they can chat in a comfortable speaking voice while launching rainbows back and forth all 40 feet apart.

Ah well. I shouldn't get on those guys. They're giving it all they got. It ain't Johnny's fault that he can't reach the pitcher's mount from short center field, and it ain't Bernie's fault that his shoulders checked out a few years ago.

Joe must have reached the "in case of emergency - break glass" point last night. Do the Yankees really have no above average outfield defender on the bench anymore?


2006-08-10 07:10:32
12.   Simone
The game last night was nail biter. It amazes me how games can turn so quickly.

So no other team wanted Bubba? That is not a surprise. I'm not thrilled that he is back.

2006-08-10 07:10:44
13.   randym77
IMO, the Yankees no longer have even an average outfield defender on the bench any more.

Joe did say it would probably be Bernie in CF tonight, unless Damon has a spectacular recovery.

2006-08-10 07:17:00
14.   Ron Burgundy
Why won't Joe just play MELKY in CF when Damon is out?!

Joseph Torre, is an IDIOT!

2006-08-10 07:18:21
15.   DarrenF
10 Damon got hurt, so who is the fifth outfielder who Torre could have used in lieu of Bernie? I guess Miguel Cairo could have moved to LF? Or just Wilson to LF and Cairo to 1b?
2006-08-10 07:18:44
16.   JohnnyC
"It ain't Johnny's fault that he can't reach the pitcher's mount from short center field" Wow, that gives me a tingly sense of nostalgia for the good old days of baseball, before modern contrivances like automobiles and airplanes: when pitchers rode in to the rescue from the bullpen to save the day...on a horse.
2006-08-10 07:19:35
17.   bp1
14 Joe's not an idiot - but Cashman did pull the Tony Womack move last year for a reason. The reason was that Bernie is not a major league caliber outfielder anymore. Sad to say it - I love Bernie just like the rest of the guys and get all misty every time he comes up with a big hit - but the guy is a total butcher in the field now. Don't embarrass him anymore. He's worse than Ruben, I think. Yikes.
2006-08-10 07:19:45
18.   Shaun P
13 I hope to God that Bernie retires after this season. I love the guy, but having him around is too tempting for Torre, and we all know Joe can't resist.

I caught Piazza's first home run on the radio. I thought this would be his last year, but the way he's going, I bet he comes back for another. As great as he would have looked in pinstripes, I don't think he wanted to put up with the NY media anymore - and who can blame him.

2006-08-10 07:20:30
19.   mehmattski
I know its not an off day, but tommykl gave me the idea that we should imagine what Banterers would say in seasons past. Also, because this comparison has suddenly fascinated me:

Bernie Williams 2004 (35): .262/.360/.435
Mickey Mantle 1967 (35): .242/.391/.434

Of course, this was Mantle's first season at first base, and was also the season that the league ERA was like 3.30 or something. Adjusted for season, Bernie was 26 Runs Above Replacement, Mantle was 60 RAR. Adjusted for all time, that's 32 and 57, respectively. My point is that by 1967, Mantle's stats had deteriorated considerably, and yet he was still run out to the plate on a daily basis. Mantle was playing for a team that would not make the playoffs for another decade, and was a holdout from championship teams past. Was he booed or cheered? How did the media treat him? Should Ralph Houk played the younger (26) Joe Pepitone more?

2006-08-10 07:23:53
20.   randym77
15 Cairo's on the DL, so Joe couldn't use him for anything.

He had Abreu in CF for awhile, with Wilson in RF and Andy at 1B. I'd have stuck with that rather than putting Bernie in CF and losing the DH.

2006-08-10 07:25:20
21.   rsmith51
I was at the game last night. It went from a possible no-hitter/laugher to a nail-biter. I thought a normal center fielder(Damon, Bubba) would have caught Iguchi's single in the ninth. I already witnessed one of Mo's blown saves/losses when I saw the Yanks play the Twins in Minnesota last year.
2006-08-10 07:26:59
22.   bp1
16 Not sure I follow you there.

Johnny is what Johnny is. That he has a bad arm for an outfielder (for anyone!) is no secret, and it was no secret prior to him signing last winter. He makes up for it in other ways, thank God, and it's silly to expect something from him that he can't deliver. He's done more this year than I ever expected him to, so I am slowing warming to the guy being on the Yankees.

Johnny and Bernie can't throw. Johnny at least can run and catch fly balls.

2006-08-10 07:27:22
23.   DarrenF
20 Ha! Thanks. I knew something was missing from my calculus.

My mind was racing through the ever-changing 25-man roster. Thompson, Reese, Guiel, Crosby, Vander Wal, Tarasco, Ledee ... who's on the team today?

2006-08-10 07:34:01
24.   randym77
I like Damon quite a bit. I wasn't thrilled when the Yanks signed him, but he's been great for the team, and not as disruptive as I feared he might be. Just rebellious enough to shake up the Yanks in the right way.

But he's old and broken down, and clearly, we need a backup CFer who is not Bernie Williams. We've got a wealth of backup first basemen and corner outfielders, but no decent backup CFer...when that's the position where we're most likely to need a regular backup.

2006-08-10 07:35:26
25.   mehmattski
23 Don't forget Clay Bellinger, Karim Garcia, Gerald Williams, Marcus Thames, Juan Rivera, Curtis Pride, David Delluci, Kenny Lofton and Reuben Sierra. And that's just since 2001.
2006-08-10 07:35:47
26.   Chyll Will
I know someone asked yesterday, Sterling's call on Abreu's shot was "El Comotuse!"; I know only a little about Spanish folklore, and as far as I know it's not a real word in spanish, so either I heard it wrong or he mispronounced it badly (which, if you ever heard him say Alex "Rod-riggiss", you would most likely agree the latter was the case.)
No one won that office pool.
2006-08-10 07:39:16
27.   Shaun P
19 Pepitone's OBP in '67 was only .301, and his SLG was .377, which are awful for a 1B. BP's translated stats say Pepitone hit .277/.328/.449 when you take the offensive environment into account - that sub-.800 OPS is unacceptable for a 1B. Mantle, meanwhile, hit a translated .277/.421/.536 - so I'd say it wasn't that his skills declined as much as the environment was tilted so much towards pitching.

The real difference between Mantle in '67 and Bernie in '04/now is the glovework. 1B isn't that demanding a position. CF is, and Bernie clearly isn't suited to play CF anymore (unless Wang is pitching).

That was a great post, mehmattski.

2006-08-10 07:39:22
28.   BayRidger
* Francona was quoted as saying Abreu was capable of being the "best player in baseball for a month"; perhaps that's what we're seeing.

* Moose and R.J. are two pitchers who could use some extra rest for the postseason. I know it's early to be talking about this, but, if the Yanks open up a big lead in the standings, perhaps Pavano could make some starts to ease the workload on those two?

2006-08-10 07:39:57
29.   randym77
25 You left out my personal favorites, Matt Lawton and Tony Womack. ;-)

26 That's his nickname. Or close. He's "El Comedulce," the candy-eater. Because he loves sweets.

2006-08-10 07:40:07
30.   JohnnyC
"Should Ralph Houk played the younger (26) Joe Pepitone more?" He did. Pepitone played CF that year.
2006-08-10 07:44:16
31.   JohnnyC
22 It's mound not mount. You know, like the famous Northwest Moundies. Just having a little fun with you.
2006-08-10 07:46:09
32.   singledd
"Was anyone here alive in 1965? What were people saying about Mickey Mantle at the end? "

Hate to admit I was. If you were, you know Mic was not a beloved player... Mic was a God. At the end, he was revered like no player ever was. Mic was moved to first base... I think after '65 (but I'm not sure). He was obviously not a good 1st baseman... but it didn't matter.

I can remember terribly boring games in the late 60's.... we had a terrible team. Mic was often out due to career long injury. However, there was usually that one moment that made the game worth watching... when Mic pinch hit. The simply act of him poking his head out of the dugout and walking to the on-deck circle with a bat, got ovations that many players won't see in their lifetimes.

Mickey was loved in an irrational way. We all sensed he was a tragic figure... robbed of his true potential by an early injury. Here's a man injured his 1st year... who drank heavily almost daily... who (I'm guessing) never worked out... who lived hard everyday, as both his father and grandfather died in their late 40's and Mic was sure he would too. A man who did absolutely everything to sabotage his career, and still ended up one of the 10 greatest players to ever play the game.

By 1965, he was wrapped like a mummy in ace bandages from his ankles to lower chest. Even his HR trots looked painful... Mic struggling just to round the bases.

Have you (guys) ever seen a pic of Mic's shot that cleared the facade in RF but hit a light stanchion? To talk of today's monster HRs comparec to that shot is silly. Next time you are at the stadium, look at home plate, then look where Mics shot hit. Look back to homeplate and again where Mic's shot hit. Then ask yourself... is it POSSIBLE for a human being to hit a baseball that far? The answer would certainly seem like a No.

The ball was estimated to go 640'.... but there are some who think the ball was STILL traveling upward when it hit... and that 640' was an under-estimate.

Think about announcers who literally swoon when a ball is (rarely) hit 500'. Now think 640'.....

While I have only been to the stadium 5 or so times, I was at the game in '67 when Mic hit #500. That was almost 40 years ago, but I remember some of things Mic did like they happened yesterday.... like the error he got when he threw a ball from realtively deep CF OVER the catchers head.... or Rizzuto's calling the famous drag bunt.

Bernie is loved in NY. Jetes in loved in NY. But I don't know if we will ever see again what fans felt about Mickey Mantle.

2006-08-10 07:46:20
33.   bp1
24 It has been surprisingly difficult to dislike Johnny Damon in pinstripes. I absolutely hated the signing, but who can argue with his on-field performance and his clubhouse influence? He's been good for the Yankees. Maybe I'll even go so far as to say very good.

And better - maybe even much better - than Crisp, heh heh heh.

Go Moose!

2006-08-10 07:47:40
34.   mehmattski
30 Hmm, good point. I was trying to parallel the angle of playing the younger players over Bernie. But it does not appear that there was much choice at first base for the Yanks. Pepitone was just as bad a hitter as Mantle in 66-68. There wasn't a young "slugger" at the position until the immortal Ron Blomberg, who was 18 in 1967.
2006-08-10 07:48:20
35.   Chyll Will
29 Thanks, I knew I heard it wrong. Sterling, for all his elegant eloquation, makes me cringe sometimes when he wraps his big fat mouth around words that require flavor.

Like my niece says, "I can roll the "r" for you if you like..."

2006-08-10 07:49:20
36.   bp1
31 Doh!! Teaches me for unchecking the "edit post before submitting" thingie. Fingers too fast, brain too slow, suffering from two nights of staying up to late to watch ballgames and getting up too early to go to work.

Mounds. Chocolate covered coconut. Mmmm .... (insert Homer drooling noises)

2006-08-10 07:54:58
37.   mehmattski
32 Thanks a ton, singledd... as an Internet Gen Yankee Fan (TM) I really can only go on the perspective provided by fans like you and various books. I was 10 years old in 1994 when Mantle died, and yet I cried all the same. The stats really don't tell any stories at all.

Interestng point about Mantle pinch hitting- there is an electric feel at the Stadium today when Bernie comes to bat in a clutch situation, but I'm sure its nothing like watching Mantle. The criticism of Bernie is justified based on the statistics and trying to put the best possible team out there. Through all that critique, that sometimes borders on bashing, I hope that he is remembered at least half as fondly as Mantle is.

2006-08-10 07:56:35
38.   bp1
32 Great post. I should do more reading on Mickey Mantle. Anyone have suggestions?
2006-08-10 07:59:54
39.   randym77
33 He won me over early, when he ran hard on an easy popup. It was inexplicably dropped, and he ended up on 2B when most players would be on 1B, if that. And, it was the 8th inning with the Yanks up by ten runs. Talk about hustle!

And according to Michael Kay, when Damon arrives at Yankee Stadium, he always greets all the vendors by name.

2006-08-10 08:00:16
40.   JohnnyC
32 And yet Mickey was often booed unmercifully until 1961 when fans chose to root for him rather than Maris to break Ruth's record. From 1961 until the end of his career, Mantle was worshipped as a god...ask Bob Costas or Mike Francesa how they feel about Mickey and they are literally brought to tears.
2006-08-10 08:02:27
41.   bp1
37 I think Bernie will be remembered as an important and beloved Yankee forever. There should never be another #51 for the Yankees.

Part of me is anxious to see him, and Tino, and Paulie, and some of the others in their first Old Timer's Game. I hope they can do it all together for the first time. What a thrill that will be someday. I want to go to that one.

Of course Jeter will probably still be playing in the regular game that follows, and probably still dating Maxim models, and still being quizzed about A-Rod on a daily basis.


2006-08-10 08:02:59
42.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Was at the game. Couple of thoughts.

(1) As soon as I saw Farnsworth warming up with a 7-2 lead, after he'd pitched the day before, I had murderous thoughts about Mr. Torre. I'm still pissed that I had to deal with that 9th inning, surrounded by insane Sox fans b/c of that idiocy. The stadium radar btw had el Fanswacker's fastball topping out at 94, which is about where RJ's was. Not good enough for him. And I could see those sliders hanging up there from the upperdeck.

(2) Craig Wilson looked way overmatched at the plate. Like 10 year old in the batting cage with the pitching machine turned up as far as it can go bad. That first pitch weak grounder to 3rd with Cano on 3rd and 1 out in the 2nd was pathetic. So we now have 2 guys on the roster (Bernie of course is the other--- and he also looked overmatched, tho at least he managed a Womackian slap hit the opposite way) who cannot hit righties. Based on last night, and based on Phillips ineffectiveness I'd say promote Carlos Pena, who's been mashing, and have him platoon with Wilson at 1st. Neither can field the position, but at least they'd hit well in a platoon situation.

(3) Man, Robbie Cano is a player. Privilege to watch him last night.

2006-08-10 08:07:19
43.   Bama Yankee
25 "Who is Karim Garcia?" ;-)
2006-08-10 08:11:18
44.   Shaun P
Off topic, but - you know how we've sometimes discussed how A-Rod is not hitting to all fields like he did last year? Here's an interesting analysis that compares A-Rod's swing between '06 and '05:

I don't know enough about hitting mechanics to comment on how valid this is, but it looks good to me! Anyone have Donnie Baseball's e-mail address?

2006-08-10 08:12:28
45.   JL25and3
I was around in the mid-60's, and there was really no comparison between Mantle then and Bernie now. Mantle couldn't run anymore, but damn, he could still hit - his OPS+ for 1965-1968 were 137, 169,148 and 141

Mickey may have been booed when he was younger, but during those last years he was much beloved. The team was falling apart right before everyone's eyes, and people clung to Mantle as the last remaining hero. Even his decline was spun as heroic, a valiant struggle with his ravaged knees; we didn't know about the alcoholic who had abused his body so badly.

And even in his decline, he was still one of the best players on a miserable team. Remember, those 1967 Yankees hit .224/.294/.317 as a team...Oh man, those were tough years.

Bernie was never as good as Mantle was, which is no knock on Bernie. He hasn't been one of the team's better offensive players for four years. And there's a big difference between an aging hero on a contender and the same aging hero on a rotten team. A better comp for Mantle might be Mattingly ca. 1991-1992

2006-08-10 08:19:22
46.   mehmattski
43 Sounds like the response to a Jeopardy question... in hell.
2006-08-10 08:22:18
47.   cliffy6745
Hey Everyone,

Just heard about the blog and signed up. Huge Yanks fan! Been to a few games this year one in the Bronx and one here in Philly where I live now. Going to see the Yanks-Sox series in September.

Just want to say one thing about last night. Being forced to watch the game on I had to put up with the White Sox analysts. They schill for the White Sox more than any announcer I have ever heard. They were always refering to the White Sox as "we" and when Dye was up said "lets go JD! Keep this inning rolling" I felt like I was listening to two guys sit on their couch with a 12 pack.

Anyways, just wanted to say hi and introduce myself.

2006-08-10 08:23:05
48.   tommyl
19 Thanks for the nod Matt. I'd say the situation in '67 was slightly different. First off, that was a bad team. They were out of the playoff hunt quite early so trotting out Mick cost them some wins, but its not like they finished 2 games back. Also, he was playing 1B. I don't mind Bernie occasionally spot starting at DH against lefties, but to start him in CF, even for one game is criminal. You are almost guaranteed to give the ChiSox an extra out or two this evening and possibly an extra base hit. That could mean the ballgame.

Melky should start in CF, and Bernie can start in left. If Melky completely butchers it after 3 innings, switch them. Its not that hard.

2006-08-10 08:25:06
49.   tommyl
47 Just wait till you hear the Minnesota announcers. I think they tried to start the wave one time.
2006-08-10 08:27:32
50.   Javi Javi
43 He does bullpen security for us
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-10 08:30:00
51.   bp1
48 Amen. No Bernie in Center Field. I cannot see how Mekly could possibly be worse.

47 Welcome. It's an eclectic and respectful group here. Some stat heads, some comics (Sliced Bread), some more elloquent (Alex) than others (me). It's fun.

2006-08-10 08:31:25
52.   bp1
50 Nice, heh heh heh ...
2006-08-10 08:31:56
53.   tommyl
44 Great article Shaun! That's a really amazing analysis, because at first glance the swings look identical, but then you look more closely and see the difference. I had noticed a dropoff in A-Rod's opposite field power this year and this analysis seems to explain it. How do we get this information to him?!
2006-08-10 08:34:09
54.   weeping for brunnhilde
I hate to be negative, but I have to say, I think Piazza's horribly low-class and I have no respect for him. Yes, he's a great player, of course, but I'll never forgive him for that emergency press conference he called to dispel the foul rumors concerning his sexuality.

It's as if, in the days of segregation, a star player had been accused of having black blood and he'd called a conference to deny the vicious rumors rather than doing the courageous thing, which would be to say, "Maybe I do, maybe I don't. It's not germane to anything and shame on you all for your racism. That's all I have to say about the matter."

2006-08-10 08:35:46
55.   randym77
44 Fascinating stuff. Thanks for the link.
2006-08-10 08:37:55
56.   Bama Yankee
47 Welcome cliffy6745,
Here's a few things to help you get started around here:
1. to reference a post put the number in brackets [ # ]
2. we all love the Yanks in here (except for a few Red Sox trolls that stop by) but we tend to climb out on the ledge when things are going bad, it relieves our frustration (like therapy)
3. we despise almost all announcers (including our own sometimes) but especially Hawk Harrelson, Tim McCarver, Joe Morgan, Rick Sutcliffe and pretty much anyone that works for ESPN

Again, glad to have you aboard enjoy the ride...

2006-08-10 08:40:13
57.   Bama Yankee
50 Good one, Javi...
2006-08-10 08:41:02
58.   Dimelo
Does anyone know if there's a website that tells you the number of hits a pitcher gives up at certain points in the pitch count? I've noticed that Mariano has been giving up a lot of 0 - 2 hits - basically when he's ahead in the count. I don't remember Mariano doing this much before, but I'm starting to see a trend and would like to look at his numbers for this year and compare them to what he's done for his entire career.
2006-08-10 08:43:46
59.   weeping for brunnhilde
32 Thanks, singledd. Lyrical stuff.

I grew up with Mattingly. He's my Mantle. I love Jeter, of course, but Mattingly was the real thing.

It's true that I was an impressionable kid, of course, but it's also true that Mattingly had something of the supernatural about him.

2006-08-10 08:44:11
60.   Bama Yankee
47 Also for those who have not seen the Heave the Hawk website, check it out. It's pretty funny (unless you're a fan of the guy, but there can't be many of those can there?):
2006-08-10 08:44:28
61.   dwight45
32 45 Thanks mehmattski for helping me conjure up memories of the great Mick. Like singledd I was in the stands on Mother's Day 1967 when he hit his 500th against the hated Orioles. It was the second MLB game I attended.

Mick could still turn on the afterburners when needed. I saw him in person leg out a double against the Senators on 4th of July '68 at RFK. He was really something to see rounding first.

Another great memory is attending Mickey Mantle Day in 1969 after he retired. He was driven around the warning track and waved to the SRO crowd as he encircled the Stadium. Chills time.

At every subsequent Old Timers Day, it was always something to hear who would get the most applause from the Stadium crowd -- Mickey or the great Joe D (who always had the requirement that he be introduced last).

2006-08-10 08:46:20
62.   Shaun P
58 Try this out, D:

To get to the years before 2001, just change the year in the address bar of your browser to that year you want.

2006-08-10 08:46:21
63.   pistolpete
47 Oh, I see you've heard 'The Hawk'. Sorry about that.

32 So Mattingly doesn't compare at all?

2006-08-10 08:48:50
64.   weeping for brunnhilde
56 Speaking of announcers, I was just thinking last night how much I love the team of Kay, Paulie and Leiter.

Paul and Leiter add so much fucking depth, really enabling us to see the game from a player's perspective. It's really cool to have such entry into their imaginations, especially Leiter's.

And Kay seems to be learning how to learn. He seems to have a bit more humility these days, probably due to all of O'Neill's ribbing.

And I think they're learning to like each other up there.

The chemistry's getting better and I can't gush effusively enough about what Leiter, especially, brings.

And across town, I love to listen to Cohen and Hernandez. They're a truly great team.

Hernandez once likened a scribbled in scorecard to an acid trip.

How cool is that?

Plus, I like his general attitude, he respects the game with a passion, which leads him to rebuke players whose actions suggest they don't.

2006-08-10 08:50:47
65.   Count Zero
32 I was in the ballpark when he hit that HR off the light stanchion -- although I was too young to clearly remember it. My dad talked about it till the day he died.

38 It's not the best book about Mickey, but I still love "The Education of a Baseball Player" which he co-wrote with someone back in like 1967. None of the negative stuff...just fond memories of the game and his childhood. The first sports book I ever read.

As has already been pointed out -- you cannot compare Bernie to Mickey. Mickey was almost mythical in stature. The power, the speed -- no one had that much talent. A-Rod keeps going for another 7-8 years, breaks Aaron's mark and gets 3,500 hits -- he might get close to Mickey status.

2006-08-10 08:55:17
66.   tommyl
60 Don't forget my personal favorite:

Today's entry is particularly good. At one point during Joe's internet "chat" someone asked who he'd rather have pitch a Game 7, Koufax, Gibson or Clemens. Joe replies that he'd have to pick Koufax or Gibson since he's never seen Clemens pitch one. The good people at the site then point out that Joe, true baseball man and professional ESPN analyst has skipped watching:

1) Game 7 of the 2001 World Series (the World Fucking Series)
2) Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS (possibly the most anticipated pitching match-up of all time, Pedro v. Clemens)
3) Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS (last game of a fantastic series)
4) Game 7 of the 1986 ALCS

I guess Joe was busy assessing Coco Crisp's intangibles those days.

2006-08-10 08:59:35
67.   Dimelo
62 Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, Shaun P.
2006-08-10 09:05:57
68.   pistolpete
66 Yes but was he actually calling any of those?

The more likely scenario has Morgan in front of his TV with an old Betamax tape of the 1975 All-Star Game, a box of tissues close by.

2006-08-10 09:06:17
69.   Schteeve
1) Is there an actual medical condition called a "tweak." Let's hope Johnny Handsome isn't gone too long. Groin injuries suck.

2) Robinson Cano is a bad-ass. He has that same fearless swagger in the batters box that Jeter has. Neither of those guys look like they can even imagine the pitcher getting them out. I love it. And the hustle on that double to left was awesome.

3) Props to Randy who always takes a beating around here when he flops. He pitched a strong game last night and we needed him to.

4) I can't really believe we are 3 games up.

5) I live in Chicago and am friends with a lot of Sox fans. And as irritating as Hawk is, we've turned his strikeout call "He Gone!" into a catch all phrase that comes in handy when someone passes out drunk, or slips and falls, or gets shot down by a girl. It's loads of fun.

2006-08-10 09:10:41
70.   tommyl
68 You don't think he's upgraded to the DVD with director's commentary?

Seriously, how does this man keep his job?

2006-08-10 09:11:13
71.   pistolpete
69 Speaking of 'he gone', someone made a joke about hearing a 'glug glug glug' noise in the background of the White Sox both after the game had ended -

On XM this morning they played a clip of Chip Carey after a call in which the Braves were taking a beating: (paraphrasing) "Well that's Ball 4 and the bases are loaded....(pause of about 4 seconds)..and I wish I was too."

Classic stuff.

2006-08-10 09:12:25
72.   pistolpete
70 Nah, knowing Morgan, his home theater setup is much of a relic as he is.
2006-08-10 09:14:35
73.   JL25and3
65 I think the first sports book I read was "The Quality of Courage," also written under the name of Mickey Mantle. I doubt he wrote a single word of it...

Another note on Mantle: I wasn't old enough to remember him when he was young. But my father used to tell me about him before the injuries, when he had massive power and blinding speed. My dad would get this dreamy, faraway look when he talked about the young Mick, said he was the best he ever saw - and my dad went back to Ruth and Gehrig (he was at Lou Gehrig Day).

2006-08-10 09:14:53
74.   randym77
Great stuff about Mantle. I had no idea.

I was inspired to look up that famous homerun at HitTrackerOnline (a site run by a geeky engineer whose hobby is calculating the "true" distances of major league home runs).

He thinks the "true" distance of that Mantle hit was 519 ft. That must have been something to see.

2006-08-10 09:26:15
75.   Dimelo
Wow...that link about ARod's swing is great. What a great read that is....great job by the author of that piece.
2006-08-10 09:28:22
76.   tocho
69 the "he gone" is sooo bad, stupid and corky that its funny
2006-08-10 09:29:02
77.   3rd gen yankee fan
32 Great story, singledd, and thanks for the perspective. I was born in '66...

Guys I'm sure that Bernie would be flattered we are even discussing him in the same sentence with Mantle.

2006-08-10 09:30:31
78.   Schteeve
76 Yeah and it's really easy to turn it around on Sox fans. On Tuesday night when Posada kept gunning down would be base stealers, I kept shouting "He Gone!" My friends weren't too happy with me.
2006-08-10 09:35:39
79.   vockins
58 I have always thought that perhaps the Yanks should play the outfield very shallow when Mo pitches. There's no statisical basis for what I am typing right now, but it always seems to me that the most common "hit" Mo gives up is the broken bat flare.

Eh, I can think of just as many arguments against that plan as I can for it.

2006-08-10 09:43:39
80.   bp1
77 That is one of the things that makes Bernie so beloved.
2006-08-10 09:47:30
81.   weeping for brunnhilde
75 Ah, Dimelo, I was just inquiring into Arod's swing the other day--where's that link?
2006-08-10 09:50:49
82.   jalexei
"there is an electric feel at the Stadium today when Bernie comes to bat in a clutch situation"

That's the anticipation (and I say this as someone with two Yankee jerseys emblazoned with the 'ole #51) as to whether he'll merely strike out, end the inning with a double play, or perhaps, just possibly, start that triple play you'll tell your kids you were (sadly) there to see...

2006-08-10 09:51:44
83.   weeping for brunnhilde
Never mind, found it.


2006-08-10 10:13:29
84.   Dimelo
81 Give thanks to Shaun P (44)for providing the link.
2006-08-10 10:24:27
85.   AbbyNormal821
84 Just read that A-Rod swing analysis whilst sitting at work enjoying my turkey sandwich. Fascinating stuff there! I love his swing when he's smacking 'em out of the parks! Thanks for that link!
2006-08-10 10:44:46
86.   SF Yanks
44 84 I gotta say, I love that first video of A-Rods swing (the one with the big leg kick with Texas). It looks so smooth and powerful. Why can't he swing like that anymore?

No wonder baseball players are so good. If I had half the world analyzing my golf swing like that, I'd be able to beat Tiger. I know, they were good before all that... just playin'.

Does anyone know of any RedSux blogs? I'm curious to see what people say on them.

2006-08-10 11:02:18
87.   JL25and3
86 Scroll up and look to the right. There's a list of Boston blogs. I particularly like the gleefully profane "Soxaholix."
2006-08-10 11:06:25
88.   SF Yanks
87 I didn't notice those before. Thanks.
2006-08-10 14:14:15
89.   claybeez
44 Thanks for the link. Baseball Analysts is a site I like ot visit daily. So, the question has been posed as to how to get this analysis to Alex. What I'm also wondering is just exactly how would he go about making the necessary adjustments to re-create his previous swing. Anyone care to elucidate us on how this is done?

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