Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Ten Days
2007-02-04 21:08
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Football is my second favorite sport after baseball, and the stretch between the Super Bowl and Opening Day has always felt like a long, dreary, entertainment-free wasteland to me. I can't force myself to care about college sports, so March Madness leaves me flat (even though I finished second in the only NCAA bracket pool I ever entered), and the selection of movies this time of year is the absolute pits, especially once the Oscars pass and the re-released contenders looking to build buzz disappear from the theaters. Of course, some of that has changed since I started blogging, as the need to cover spring training involves me in those games even though precious few of them are aired even on the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, which tends to stick to the Yankees' home games, and none of them count. Of course, the day we all look forward to all winter is Pitchers and Catchers, which is just ten days away, but really that's a whole lot of nothing. There are no games to watch until March arrives and all the reports prior to then are all the same sort of empty optimism that occurs every year. Heck, we've already heard that from Crash Pavano. (Incidentally, Pavano is technically not on the 60-day DL, but he'll be listed that way on the sidebar until he throws in his second spring training game. In the words of our president, "Fool me once, shame on . . . shame on you . . . you fool me . . . you can't get fooled again.")

Between then and now, all that's left is Bernie Williams' decision on the Yankees' offer of a minor league contract and non-roster invite to spring training. The latest is that he's leaning toward accepting with the idea that he'd retire if he doesn't make the team. That sounds reasonable enough, though I worry that would leave the final decision in Joe Torre's hands, and I can just see Joe finding a way to squeeze Bernie onto the roster should he have a few good spring at-bats. In other roster news, Matt DeSalvo, who was designated for assignment to make room for Miguel Cairo on the 40-man roster, cleared waivers and has accepted a non-roster invite of his own.

In the meantime, here's a fluff piece on Joe Girardi, who will rejoin the YES team this year as well as co-host a show called "Behind the Plate" with John Flaherty, and some fluff on former Mets prospect and new Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan. Lastly, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith coaching in the Super Bowl prompts a less than encouraging look at baseball's hiring practices.

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-05 04:12:21
1.   The Mick 536
"Managing agin will happen when it happens." Casey said that didn't he?

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's havin' them dreams.
Everybody sees hisself walkin' around with no one else.
Half the people can be part right all of the time, an'
Some of the people can be all right part of the time,
But all the people can't be all right all of the time.
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours."
I said that.

Bob Dylan-Freewheeling

2007-02-05 04:22:19
2.   mikeplugh
...and my lengthy conversation with Will Carroll over at Matsuzaka Watch. Plug. Plug.

Plus, my Baseball Prospectus Radio interview with Will is going to be on their site around Tuesday, I believe. I spoke with Will about Japanese Baseball, so go over to BP, click "Radio" on their menu bar and keep looking for the listing for my piece.

Phew. Plugging is hard work....

2007-02-05 04:39:53
3.   unmoderated
Don't you mean Plughing? :)
2007-02-05 04:56:29
4.   Sliced Bread
NY Daily News has a piece on the third baseman's children's book.

He's doing a couple of booksignings tomorrow, and also entering the snakepit of daytime TV talkshows.

Here's hoping the vicious audiences at Regis and Martha Stewart don't boo him.

2007-02-05 05:25:49
5.   rbj
It about sums up my feelings too, Cliff. I'm not a basketball fan, and hockey is best enjoyed live. These are the darkest days.
2007-02-05 05:56:43
6.   Sliced Bread
My fan love for Mattingly aside, I hope Girardi is the next Yankees manager.

For now, I'm looking forward to his insights in the booth, and the show with Flash sounds like it will be worth catching (pun not intended).

2007-02-05 07:55:25
7.   markp
and I drove downto 42nd street
in my Cadillac
good car to drive
after a war

Early Dylan is just plain fun

I agree about the GoB decision being left up to Joe. Sounds like a bad idea to me.

2007-02-05 08:00:33
8.   Yankee Fan in Chicago

Ah, but the English Premiership is just hotting up, as the Brits say, now.

Hopefully ManU will have the title sewn up by the beginnning of the baseball season, so I can begin concentrating on the Yanks then. C'mon you Red Devils.

2007-02-05 09:20:17
9.   Zack
The only thing that gets me through this stretch, at least now, is that its glorious for the moment here in San Diego. Granted, its been a whacky winter, so who knows...

On another topic, did anyone else catch, amid all the G-bomb dropping that is the typical post-superbowl speeches, Dungy saying that this game was extra special not just because it was two African-American coaches, but two christian coaches? That got me thinking, are there actually any non-christian coaches, especially in football?

2007-02-05 09:34:03
10.   Shawn Clap
9 Yeah, it turns out that not only is Tony Dungy the first African-American coach to win the Super Bowl, he's also the fist gay-bashing psychotic African-American coach to win the Super Bowl.

Takes a lot of nerve to tell people how they should raise thier families, but I guess when you've been as sucessful as Tony Dungy at raising a family... ooooh.... wait a second...

2007-02-05 10:15:21
11.   dianagramr
10 I haven't heard Dungy bashing gays per se, but his appearance at this event DOES irk me.

What he does in his spare time is his business and his right, but using the image of Dungy in his "work clothes" and mentioning the team's name (heh ... note the misplaced apostrophe) would seem to be a no-no. I'm not sure the Colts organization wants to be associated with this (or any quasi-political/religious organization).

You don't think Dungy's suicide son was gay .... do you?


2007-02-05 10:26:47
12.   RIYank
9 Marv Levy, for sure. Hm. Marty Schottenheimer?
2007-02-05 10:56:50
13.   Jeteupthemiddle
I believe that not only was DeSalvo cleared for waivers and going to Spring Training, but he has been assigned to AAA.

Which means he is either going to be a reliever, or Clippard or Olehndorf is going to remain in AA for part of the year.

Unless, of course, they decide to option DeSalvo to AA at the end of Spring Training instead.

2007-02-05 11:08:21
14.   JL25and3
I'm not even a football fan, so I look at it differently. I don't care about the Super Bowl itself, don't even watch it, but I'm always glad when it comes around: once it's over, it means baseball's coming up soon.

"Behind the Plate" will frame the ball better than any show in the history of television.

2007-02-05 11:12:22
15.   jayd
10 11 Oh my God, guys: He's speaking in front of a "religious" group. Hope they're not Catholic. There's a bunch of anti-gay bigots if I ever saw one.

Hope your team posts go well on other sites....

Hey Mehmattstuski, where are you when we need you? Or do your panties only bunch up when you think they're Republicans? He he he...;-)

Is there going to be an mlb package on cable this year or has it all gone over to satellite?

2007-02-05 11:29:57
16.   RIYank
Mehmattstuski [sic] thinks panties are Republicans?
2007-02-05 11:43:19
17.   Bama Yankee
Politics, religion and football (some people down here in Alabama think they are all the same thing) are some pretty sensitive topics to being bringing up on a baseball site, don't you think?
2007-02-05 11:45:11
18.   Bama Yankee
15 & 16 Mehmattstuski... Didn't he pitch in the WBC?
2007-02-05 11:49:02
19.   Knuckles
So...ten days to go, huh?

I see no shortage of ways to fill my time, despite this being the 'dead period' for sports...
-NCAA hoops conference play- I'll watch any and all Big East games. Big Texas vs A&M tilt tonight, Acie Law v. Kevin Durant, who is an absolute manchildbeast.
-'24' hopefully rounding into midseason form after last week's stinker.
-Friday Night Lights
-The Office
-books, and lots of them. I've got a long list in front of me and will be starting Collapse by Jared Diamond this week (he's the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel which was very well written
-dust off the ol' Xbox and play some hockey, creating al alternate universe in which the Devils are not only good, but also not-boring!
-just finished building a new mtn bike, which will see a lot of time on weekends, and maybe even a commute or two to the office, just to see how much slower it is than my roadie.
-one more room in my house to repaint and we'll finally be rid of the awful color scheme left behind by the previous owner. though I guarantee once we do this, we'll inevitably begin house hunting again.

In less than 4 weeks, I will be in sunny Tampa for a couple of games. Let's hope Pavano is still in one piece by then.

2007-02-05 11:51:06
20.   Shaun P
16 You know, ever since my daughter was born, I have a decidedly different response to that kind of question than I did before. My now response is no response. ;)

I've always used the time between the end of the Giants' season and the real start of baseball games to catch up on Syracuse basketball. Most years that has kept me busy until at least the middle of Spring Training games; other years . . . I think this is going to be one of those 'other' years.

March 1st can't get here fast enough!

2007-02-05 11:52:59
21.   Shaun P
18 I think he was on the Dutch squad. Or are you talking about the guy on Japan's team, 'Bama?
2007-02-05 12:41:27
22.   bobtaco
19 Knuckles, that Collapse is a good book. I saw Diamond speak here in Berkeley last year, he is a very sharp guy. The only thing is he repeats himself a lot, so sometimes you find yourself reading similar points.

I also especially enjoyed the chapter on Easter Island. I actually visited there at the end of October 2004, incredible place, everyone should go.

I had a feeling that the Yankees were not going to win when I scheduled the trip, and I wanted to be as far away as possible. Collapse indeed.

2007-02-05 12:45:06
23.   ny2ca2dc
As a diversion I tried watching some of the Carib Series, MASN is carrying some games. I watched the first couple innnings of Mexico v Venezuela, and my god was it ugly. Mexican pitcher didn't even get out of the first inning, Venezuela ended up getting like 7 runs in the first... and not just that, the play was just really, really sloppy, lazy fielding, etc. I think my experience was tainted by seeing so much of the bad Mexican pitching and fielding - the Venezulan pitcher struck out the side in the second at least... Maybe I'll try another game later...
2007-02-05 12:45:23
24.   Bama Yankee
21 Let's see, if I can find him on the "internets"
Looking for Mehmattstuski
He's not the Boston pitcher.
He's not the Yankee left fielder.
He's not the former Penn State running back who was stopped cold during a famous goal line stand by the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 1979 Sugar Bowl.

On a sad note, there actually was a Matthew Stuski who passed away suddenly while he was a freshman at Temple back in 2003.

2007-02-05 12:53:00
25.   nemecizer
19 Johnnie Walker...
2007-02-05 13:13:02
26.   williamnyy23
11 I expected that Dungy would take on increased criticism because of the public expression of his Christian faith, but it has started earlier than I expected. I don't know who Steph Mineart is, but I don't think I am ready to make him an authority on what constitutes a "hate group". Dungy is a man of Christian beliefs and has the right to support causes that promote them. Of course, the same people who claim he is anti-gay are just as likely to be anti-Christian (perhaps the most accepted form of bigotry). For that reason, it would be wise to think carefully before leveling accusations.
2007-02-05 13:20:38
27.   bobtaco
26 "anti-Christian (perhaps the most accepted form of bigotry)"

whoa buddy.

2007-02-05 13:25:44
28.   tommyl
26 Dungy is the keynote speaker for a group that has allied itself with Focus on the Family to fight against laws promoting things such as allowing for certain crimes to be designated hate crimes and allowing gay marriage. I'm sorry, but that's bigotry. You can dress it up anyway you like, but that's what it is. Its very possible to be Christian and not condemn other people or try to limit their rights. Similar arguments were made not so long ago about integration.
2007-02-05 13:28:34
29.   tommyl
26 Also, I'm sorry, anti-Christian bigotry? Last I checked the majority of the nation, and the government was Christian. I don't recall anyone getting upset when an elected official wanted to swear in on a bible, but that seems to occur people want to swear in on something else (like the Koran). It must be really tough having all those minorities without power making you feel bad.
2007-02-05 13:35:38
30.   Jim Dean
What the hell happened here today?

Can we get back to something more pressing? Why does Cashman refuse to see the need for a BUC, UIF, and 1B?

2007-02-05 13:36:42
31.   kylepetterson
29 So, let me get this straight. It's only bad if the group you're bashing is a minority? That makes sense.
2007-02-05 13:38:39
32.   New Amsterdam Yankees
People obviously have strong opinions about this (I have them myself), but it's probably best to put this discussion to bed.

I don't mean to be the hall monitor; it just always bums me out to learn that people with whom I enjoy talking baseball have political beliefs that I totally disagree with. The other way I can just assume we only disagree about Cashman's offseason moves.

Keeping the discourse to baseball--or pleasant, non-political, topics--has lots of benefits.

2007-02-05 13:40:58
33.   RIYank
I can't stand the fact that perfectly reasonable people, with all the right political beliefs, disagree with me about LOOGYs.
2007-02-05 13:41:00
34.   New Amsterdam Yankees
30 Beat me to it Jim. Agree completely. And it was obviously you I was referencing with respect to Cash's plans . . .
2007-02-05 13:42:36
35.   tommyl
31 That is not what I meant, but confusing someone's legitimate critique against an anti-gay group as being anti-Christian is not fair. Many times these are lumped into what people call "anti-Christian" bigotry, when no one is bashing on Christians as a group per se. This for example, occurs with these idiotic war on Christmas stories every year. Its more a media drum up than anything else. If Tony Dungy or anyone else is Christian and proud of it, good for them. But if he or anyone else dresses up bigotry in the clothes of religion, than I'm going to get upset. I'm of a minority (in the religious sense) and been called a few nasty things before, and one of my best friends is gay and been called a lot worse. I'm sorry, but I won't stand for it.
2007-02-05 13:43:39
36.   tommyl
32 You are right, and I'll stop. I apologize for getting heated up, but it touched a bit of a nerve per se.
2007-02-05 13:57:03
37.   standuptriple
30 Did you see this Jim Dean?

Not a whole lot out there.

2007-02-05 14:03:00
38.   Bama Yankee
Cliff, thanks for the link to the Dave Magadan article. Not only is he a former Mets prospect and new Red Sox hitting coach, but he is also a former University of Alabama All-American and Golden Spikes Award winner. He still holds several Bama records (Andy Phillips has several as well) including his .525 battting average in 1983 that helped take the Tide all the way to the finals of the CWS. Of course they lost to Texas (lead by Roger Clemens & Calvin Schiraldi).
2007-02-05 14:04:30
39.   New Amsterdam Yankees
37 With the passage of time, losing Dioner Navarro in the first RJ trade looks worse and worse. Same age, and, according to that Hardball Times article, in the same group as the much coverted (by some around these parts) Miguel Montero. With higher potential than George Kottaras, for whatever that's worth.
2007-02-05 14:07:33
40.   dianagramr

I apologize for any part I may have played in this ....

Here ... let's come up with the "all-religion all-stars"

C: Jerry Moses
1B: Mark Grace, Jim Gentile
2B: Johnny Temple
SS: Cristian Guzman, Angel Berroa
OF: Ryan Church, Jose Cardenal, Jesus Alou, Henry Aaron, Enos Slaughter, Babe Ruth
P: Preacher Roe, Matt Cain, Mike Maroth, Noah Lowry

(we need a third baseman)

2007-02-05 14:12:57
41.   RIYank
40 Tony Batista?
2007-02-05 14:13:52
42.   C2Coke
4 The neighbors near Barns & Nobles on 5th Avenue will be calling the police for all the noises.
2007-02-05 14:18:25
43.   RIYank
40 Ron Santo, Joe Crede, Edwin Encarnacion?
2007-02-05 14:26:48
44.   Chyll Will
40 Prime Minister Pete Nice?
2007-02-05 14:27:54
45.   Bama Yankee
40 Alex Rodriguez?
"Victory with A Rod" (I like the sound of that)


Revelation 12:5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.

Exodus 4:2 So the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
He said, "A rod."

2007-02-05 14:31:52
46.   Mike T
8 The Premiership has been great this year. Arsenal have been doing their best Jekyll and Hyde impression, beating Manchester United twice, and dropping matches to teams like Sheffield United. It's better to see competition at the top of the table. The Gunners have one match each left against Liverpool and Chelsea, although managing only a draw against Middlesbrough this past weekend probably did in any chance they may have had of catching the Red Devils.
2007-02-05 14:32:04
47.   Chyll Will
45 I was gonna say that >;)
2007-02-05 14:37:25
48.   Chyll Will
46 Where you chuckling when you wrote "Sheffield United"? Isn't that like the "Mystique of Me" all over again?

BTW, I wouldn't be surprised if ol' Mysty showed up to volunteer for 3B on dianagramr's list right about now...

2007-02-05 14:46:44
49.   Chyll Will
45 Sorry Bama, Exodus in my childhood usually meant "Go to your room..." often followed later by a spanking, a one-on-one discussion about why I received a spanking and proper documentation of infraction and punishment. An excerpt from Mom's log book would read thus:

Exodus 4:2 So I said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
He said, "nuthin'"

2007-02-05 14:48:12
50.   Chyll Will
(cricket, cricket...)
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-05 15:12:33
51.   Bama Yankee
50 We've had posts today about basketball, football, soccer and hockey... but you just had to go and bring up cricket.
2007-02-05 15:17:43
52.   nemecizer
51 I posted about scotch, so that also includes other sports like caber tossing, rugby, golf, and bar fights.
2007-02-05 15:27:52
53.   Bama Yankee
52 Good point. What's next croquet, bocce and yard darts? There's nothing like watching drunk rednecks playing yard darts on a Sunday afternoon...
2007-02-05 15:31:06
54.   Chyll Will
51 Wouldn't have happened if this place didn't almost become a God complex...
2007-02-05 15:31:39
55.   standuptriple
What's your beef with bocce?
2007-02-05 15:38:41
56.   Chyll Will
53 Sir, are you insinuating that Mr. Grossman and Mr. Manning were drunk?
2007-02-05 15:40:29
57.   Bama Yankee
55 No beef. Actually, I have never played (bocce is not a popular activity in rural Alabama, we only had the yard darts when I was a kid). Actually, I saw a few people playing bocce last summer while I was on vacation and it looked like fun. I plan to buy a set soon. No kidding... and BTW, if I offended any redneck yard dart enthusiasts that might be reading then I apologize.
2007-02-05 15:44:30
58.   Chyll Will
55 They call him Bruce.
2007-02-05 15:47:05
59.   thelarmis
someone mention skee ball and i'm in!

24 bama, you had to go ahead and mention my nittany lions?! ; )

2007-02-05 15:50:18
60.   Bama Yankee
56 LOL. Sometimes it sure looked like it.

I can see it now. ESPN2 presents: Celebrity Yard Darts. Watch Peyton Manning take on Rex Grossman in a rematch of Super Bowl XLI. The undercard matches include:
Karim Garcia vs. Pedro Martinez
Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell
Jim Dean vs. Brian Cashman
Lefty Bernie Williams vs. Righty Bernie Williams
Note: The Carl Pavano match has been cancelled due to liability reasons.

2007-02-05 15:56:35
61.   Bama Yankee
59 Sorry about that. We used to have a pretty good rivalry with you guys. I have pictures of the '79 Goal Line Stand and the '89 Blocked FG hanging on my wall. However, I also remember you guys whipping us a few times over the years. One was at our homecoming game in 1990 (why did we ever schedule Penn State for homecoming?).
2007-02-05 16:01:20
62.   thelarmis
61 doh! sorry 'bout HC 1990. don't hold that one against me - i started in '91. i go back every summer for reunions, much fun. state college got a minor league team this past year - Spikes - and i went to a game at the brand new stadium. it was fantastic! it was a Cardinals affiliate for the inaugural season, but is now part of the Pirates.

i used to play in tuscaloosa quite regularly. (birmingham, too) good thai food across from the varsity. i don't care much for college football, or any other sport besides MLB, but i always have Penn State Pride! : )

2007-02-05 16:04:25
63.   Chyll Will
Bama, you just saved Banter from an interesting rant. I was wondering when anyone would react to SOMEthing I said today. I thought the 3rd Bass reference would get Alex or Cliff to chime in, but whoosh! No one... (sniff)

Anyway, Lefty and Righty Bernie would be the match of the day. However, if Torre has his way, we might end up paying good money to see that again, so lock down your TV rights quick!

2007-02-05 16:09:18
64.   Peter
23 I'm really late to this, but I've been watching some of the Carribean World Series as well. The D.R. - Venezuela game on Friday was really sloppy as well. I turned it on in the 16th inning, tied at 2. Venezuela took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 18th. In the bottom of the 18th, the leadoff hitter hits a weak groundball back to the pitcher, who proceeds to throw the ball nowhere near 1B. Nobody out, man on 2nd. Then the catcher threw the ball into CF, advancing the runner to 3rd. He'll soon tie the game. The Dominicans go on to load up the bases and with only one out, get a game winning sac fly. I can't remember how many pitchers both teams burned through that night (first game of the Series), but it was a lot.
2007-02-05 16:13:53
65.   Chyll Will
64 Two questions:

1.) What were they drinking?
2.) How much does shipping cost?

2007-02-05 16:39:53
66.   Chyll Will
So... what's for dinner, then?
2007-02-05 17:38:09
67.   Chyll Will
Oo-kay then. Just wait til Mike Plugh gets here. (Plughing, heh-heh) slow day, shrug it off and start tomorrow. It's safe to post again, see ya later!
2007-02-05 18:09:04
68.   rbj
Sorry Chyll Will, I've been away from the computer most of the day. Man, it is freakin' cold here in Toledo. We've basically run out of degrees. It was so cold, that when I put the dog out this morning, he came right back in with me. Wound up doing his business inside. On the fairly new carpet -- not even on the old dirty rug.
2007-02-05 19:13:28
69.   dianagramr

Would that make us the "Plugh Man Group"?

(insert groan here)

2007-02-05 20:07:47
70.   OldYanksFan
Diamondbacks hire Stottlemyre to work with pitchers
2007-02-05 20:09:00
71.   Chyll Will
69 So be it:

"So swing 'cause this pitcher is pitching
In sense JD Dove is now saying...
All sing along to his favorite song
While the pocket transistors are playing...
But least but not last I'm frightened
For the words that I reply hold doom...
Life of the check can be stopped by accident
When you're tripping the wire of the Plugh Tune..."

(with apologies to Trugoy the Dove)

2007-02-05 20:50:19
72.   Mike T
48 I was laughing in the days leading up to that match, with visions of 5-0 blowouts dancing in my head. Now, though, the name Sheffield United instills anger more than anything else, as well as embarrassment that the great and powerful Arsenal would drop a game to a team that is one spot outside of the relegation end of the league table. Unfortunately, the Gunners have already played Sheffield twice, so I have no rematch to look forward to. The other match was a 1-1 draw, which is also an irritant, but not so much as the loss of course.
2007-02-06 13:19:07
73.   Yankee Fan In Boston
the boston globe's website is touting a story with the title "to the man cave!"

hopefully it is stocked with calamine lotion.

2007-02-06 13:29:10
74.   Yankee Fan In Boston
according to

"Notes: Jeter took batting practice with C Jorge Posada and INF Miguel Cairo. ... Japanese LHP Kei Igawa had a long toss session during his first early workout at the Yankees' spring training complex."

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