Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Ice Cold
2007-04-08 17:21
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It was freaking cold in the Bronx on Sunday. The box score says it was 41 degrees, but it was overcast with a 20-mile-per-hour wind and snow flurries filled Yankee Stadium off and on throughout the game. Undeterred, Becky and I had the perfect plan.

A hearty meal at the Court Deli:

And lots and lots of layers:

To be perfectly honest, our plan worked about as well as the Yankees', which was based around getting a solid outing from Darrell Rasner. Rasner looked sharp in the first, and the Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter singled, Bobby Abreu plated Melky with a sac fly and Alex Rodriguez launched his first pitch to the Armitron sign in right field to give him two home runs and six RBIs on his last two swings.

Already freezing, Becky turned to me and said, "So that's it, right? They won and we can go home?" If only.

Seven pitches into the top of the second, Rasner had given two of those runs back on a Jay Gibbons single and a rocket Kevin Millar homer to left. As it turns out, Rasner was developing a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand and was having trouble finishing his pitches. Meanwhile, Erik Bedard settled down and retired the next nine Yankees in order with the help of a great diving catch by Nick Markakis in right on a sinking liner by Jason Giambi.

The half inning before Markakis's catch, Rasner coughed up the lead on a one-out Millar double, a walk to Corey Patterson, and a three-run home run to the short porch in right by Paul Bako. Yes, you read that right, a walk to Corey Patterson and a three-run homer by Paul Bako. Ouch.

Between the score and the weather the stadium was oddly silent save for the sound of the whipping wind. I actually heard a couple of the home plate umpires' strike calls from the right field bleachers, and the fans' taunts were clearly audible from all corners. The most entertaining was by far the simples. While playing the field, Most of the Orioles were keeping their throwing hands warm by stuffing them into their back pockets where they had stored some hand warmers. Some of the fans in the right field box seats kept yelling at Markakis "Hand in my pocket!" "Got my hand in my po-cket!"



In the fifth inning, the frame after the Bako homer, Rasner started off by allowing a single and a stolen base to Markakis, getting Tejada to fly out, and walking Aubrey Huff. That was enough for Joe Torre, who turned to his bullpen once again, calling on Sean Henn. Sticking to the script, the pen turned in 4 2/3 hitless innings, the highlight being Andy Pettitte using his throw day to lighten the load by pitching around a walk in the sixth.


The pen did manage to surrender a unearned run in the seventh after Robinson Cano lost a wind-blown pop up off the bat Miguel Tejada in the grey sky--shades of Alex Rodriguez's opening day gaffe, and perhaps a foreshadow of their imminent trip to the Metrodome. Tejada moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sac fly to center.

Bedard left the game after throwing 99 pitches over seven innings, striking out five and walking none. With Jamie Walker on in relief the Yankees mounted a rally. The cold had kept Johnny Damon's tender calves on the bench to start the game, but when Joe Torre sent Jorge Posada to the plate to pinch-hit for eight-place hitter and emergency left fielder Miguel Cairo with a man on second and two outs in the seventh, Damon went out to center field to replace ninth-place starting catcher Wil Nieves (pushing Melky to left). Damon had been left in the on-deck circle in the seventh and when he finally got to the plate to lead off the eighth, he battled Walker for ten pitches, fouling off six straight pitches before lacing a stand-up triple to center. Two pitches later, Damon scored on a groundout by Cabrera to pull the Yankees within two at 6-4.

After Jeter flew out for the second out, Bobby Abreu singled to bring Alex Rodriguez to the plate as the tying run. Sam Perlozzo then countered with righty submariner Chad Bradford. Rodriguez and Bradford battled over seven pitches while the winds picked up, creating a blinding flurry of snow flakes and hot dog wrappers.


Rodriguez worked a walk. Perlozzo then turned to lefty John Parrish, who proceeded to walk Jason Giambi on another seven pitches to load the bases for Josh Phelps. Phelps ran the count to 2-2 before flying out to center to end the threat.

Chris Ray pitched around a two-out Damon single in the ninth to nail down the 6-4 Orioles victory.

The Yankees now head out to the climate controlled Metrodome for three games with the Twins followed by three games in Oakland. That means they shouldn't have to worry about seeing something like this again this season:


Hopefully that means they'll have fewer muscle pulls to worry about as well. One could easily argue that the cold weather in the Bronx was to blame for the injuries to Damon and Matsui.

Speaking of Matsui, he's officially been placed on the 15-day DL, in part to keep him from trying to come back too soon and thus risking a longer layoff. Kevin Thompson will replace him on the roster, while Damon should return to his rightful place in center, pushing Melky to his old haunt in left for the next couple of weeks. (Don't ask about Bernie, he's busy.)

Finally, here's a progress report on the new stadium.


Here's the view from Opening Day.

2007-04-08 19:06:31
1.   vockins
I'm a little disappointed no one started singing "Just Got Paid" to Markakis. Maybe they could have got in his head a little.

Sick riff on that tune. Somebody should go to bat to that. I nominate Giambi or Phelps. Maybe Damon.

2007-04-08 19:17:03
2.   OldYanksFan
To add to an already bad day, Schrill is pitching a beauty in Texas... where yesterday, snow was predicted.

I'm not panicking, but certainly disappointed. This team has the same persona as last year's team. Vicious animals one moment, old and stale the next.

But how about ARod, huh.
When he's hot, it's purely a thing of beauty.

2007-04-08 19:48:56
3.   doppelganger
A couple of clues the Yanks were in trouble
"left fielder Miguel Cairo" and "starting catcher Wil Nieves"
2007-04-08 20:07:49
4.   Max Nomad
The Sawks have had nearly as much trouble as the Yanks. Before tonight, Schilling was terrible (against the Royals, no less), Beckett was lucky (4 BB and more balls than strikes), and while Dice-K was good (again, against the Royals) and Wakefield was a hard loser (he's inconsistent anyway), Tavarez was awful, and the Boston 'pen has been piss poor (i.e. Romero and Pineiro). They also have had some trouble hitting. I'll wait till the 2nd or 3rd week of April before I pass judgement on the Yanks, since everyone is ignoring Boston. And by then, Wang is back.

Plus, we have A-Rod. It's great, I actually can't wait for him to get up every time because I'm almost sure he'll get it done. He just looks so GOOD out there...

2007-04-08 20:21:49
5.   C2Coke
Wow, the construction is moving fast especially in this cold.

Excellent recap with photos. It's awesome. Thanks for suffering the cold for us so that we get to these beautiful scenes through your eyes.

I am more than willing to give the Yankees SPs benefit of the doubt that they aren't pitching well due to the weather. I mean, if we can't help shivering while walking in this cold, how can we expect them to pitch well? (Yes, I am aware pitchers from other teams don't seem to have the same problem...)

However, even with Wang back (by all means, no need to rush him back to this cold), he is just one more person. So what now? Clemens in May? Truth be told, I feel confident that the SP will be fine, I can almost see it now that the next round through the rotation...they all gonna be great. It's the extra workload for the relievers early in the season...We have all witnessed what they are capable of, but man, those were a lot of innings they had to eat many games are left??

sorry...rant off//
I blame the cold!

2007-04-08 20:22:59
6.   Count Zero
Let's hope the next turn through the rotation looks better than the first turn. Until we see some games in better playing conditions, I'm going to hold on to the idea that wintry conditions have been making it very difficult to get a good grip on the ball...

The odds against Hughes making his first start in pinstripes prior to it being legal for him to have a beer took a nosedive this week.

2007-04-08 20:27:01
7.   Bluebleeder87
I just had a stroke watching that food. J/K
2007-04-08 20:41:12
8.   joejoejoe
Is the Court Deli the one diagonally up and across the street from McDonalds?
2007-04-08 21:30:43
9.   Cliff Corcoran
8 It's two blocks up 161st from the Stadium on the corner of Walton Ave.
2007-04-08 23:11:00
10.   3rd gen yankee fan
Chin up lads! We're facing Ponson on Monday night!
2007-04-09 00:34:27
11.   BklynBmr
10 Why am I envisioning Sir Sid handing the ball to Gardenhire in the bottom of the 7th with a 3-hitter after EyeChart singles with 2 out and nobody on, and the Yanks down 8-1?
2007-04-09 01:32:07
12.   seamus
7 i think when cliff says, "hearty", he ain't exactly suggesting it was good for the heart.
2007-04-09 04:30:54
13.   The Mick 536
Love the pics and the story.

Went to the game Saturday. Bought ticket on the Web from official spot--$60 plus handling for a field level box--15 D23 as far back as seats could go. So cold, I shivered through 7 innings. Bought a hat--$35--yearbook--$25--2 postcards--$5-- and a bottle of water--$4.50. Parking--$14.

Wore a heavy duty fleece, mid weight thermal, and wool socks. Not enough. Wind blew threw the stands. Ears and face numb.

Didn't drink a beer, soda, or eat a dog. Had trouble in the bathroom pulling zipper up and down. No hands or feeling in fingers.

NO smoking anymore. NO swearing. Agent of Yanks in seat in front of me. People getting up to go to the bathroom, buy one beer to a customer, and care for baby (couple had infant who cried the entire game).

Couldn't keep score. Unable to hold a pencil. Couldn't take pictures. Overhang obscured 1/3 of frame.

Couldn't sit past the end of seventh. Missed Giambi's and A-Rod's homers.

Not sure I go to a game again. Cannot afford it financially or physically. Not comfortable. Not fun.

2007-04-09 04:31:39
14.   The Mick 536
Almost forgot. Walked to the monuments. At least a 20 minute wait, in the cold.
2007-04-09 05:06:56
15.   rbj
In 1998 the Yankees started 2-3
In 1998 the Yankees started 2-3
In 1998 the Yankees started 2-3

(I'm just going to keep repeating that to myself.)

2007-04-09 05:08:17
16.   OldYanksFan
13 Sounds like a day at the Park. Up here in RSN, a trip to Fenway means 20-25$ with a 1/2 mile walk just to park. Tickets seem to be sold old before they go 'officially' on sale. I did get a pair of OK seats for $150 last year.

Let's see... a guy used to wait on line, buy extra tickets, stand outside the stadium, scalp them, and make $20 a ticket. That was highly illegal. Very, very bad. Now, professional organized scalpers buy all the seats online (bastards don't have to even wait in the cold), before they are available to the general public, and mark up tickets by $40 to $500 dollars. Who's idea was that? Who's the genius? Where can we go to personally thank him? Opening day tickets to Fenway (online, ala scalpers) started at like $200 each.

People say that player salaries have nothing to do with the HUGH cost of taking in a ballgame. $250 for me and my daughter to go to a game. And the Yankees are building more luxury suites. America's pastime is now a once-a-year special occasion for many of us.

I hate to see the game go corporate. Thank God for big screen, Hi-Def TV (which I can't afford yet either). With big screen TV and other cool technologies, I wonder if they will change the way games are prduced for TV. Multiply camera angles to choose from? GPS trackers on the balls and a camera to follow? Can I turn on Catcher-Cam whenever I like?

Fewer and fewer people will go to Live games, but watching on TV could be much better (climate controlled living rooms and free parking to start with). Maybe multiple mute buttons, specifically 'McCarver Mute' and 'Morgan Mute'? Maybe a better array of commentators, who can do the game from their homes (Mr. Kaat... are you available?)

There is even a newer super-duper Hi-Def thats truly amazing. Hopefully it will cost less then a Toyota soon.

Now all we really need is the Bronx Banter Video Conference Game Chatroom. See you guys there.

2007-04-09 05:11:06
17.   OldYanksFan
Just saw that tonight's game is on ESPN up here at 7PM. That means the last 3 innings are on at the same time as '24'.


2007-04-09 05:19:57
18.   Sliced Bread
You could order pastrami on rye w/ mustard, pickle, slaw, chicken noodle matzo ball zoup, Dr. Brown's Black Cherry, French toast, side of bacon -- OR you could simply say "Boomer diet platter, hold the Fluffernutter."

Great stuff, Cliff, and thanks for the bonus Bernie jam.

2007-04-09 05:42:34
19.   yankz
17 OH NO!!!! As Our Hero would say, DAMMIT!

Game during commercials, which there are plenty of.

2007-04-09 06:11:43
20.   rbj
17 Nope. But then I have to work 7 pm - 10 pm tonight. :-(((
2007-04-09 06:43:46
21.   Knuckles
Pavano vs. Pontoon...?
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that there'll still be a solid 1.5+ innings of baseball left when '24' finishes tonight.
2007-04-09 06:48:58
22.   OldYanksFan
20 Not to worry. When watching MLB.TV at work, just click the 'In-screen 24' button.

When I fled Loooong Island in 1973 for the wilds of New Hampshire, I couldn't leave fast enough. I do love it up here, and I have my 20 acres. But with this site, not being part of the local Yankee community has me very homesick. And now Cliff rubs my nose in it by putting up pictures of the 'Boomer' plate. Oy!

They have pastrami up here, but they don't really 'get' pastrami up here. I would show you some pics, but then Cliff would have to post a warning label on the site.

Dr. Brown's Black Cherry... ahhhhhh... it's amazing the little things you miss. True story. We had a Dr. Brown up here in the local college town. You went to Dr. Brown complainling about 'tension and anxiety' and you left with a script for 25 Quaaludes. EVERYBODY's doctor was Dr. Brown. When he finally got busted, an entire town went through withdrawal at the same time.

French Toast? Anybody ever go to the Squire Restaurant/Deli in Great Neck? They started with a full load of white bread, then cut slices about 2" thick, cut off the crust, cut the 'slices' in half to make triangle wedges, and then DEEP Fried them. Crisply and sweet on the outside, golden yellow as soft as a cloud on the inside. I haven't ordered French Toast in a restaureant since '73.

And Matzo Ball Soup (sigh). God, I miss my mother (sniffle). But I gotta ask. Chicken NOODLE? Is this a Yuppie thing? Would Mom have approved? Aren't noodles for Koogle?

Matzo Ball Soup (sigh). Its amazing the little things you miss. Thank God from Cable TV and Bronx Banter.

(I won't even tell you about Pizza up here).

2007-04-09 06:54:07
23.   Alex Belth
Dag, Cliff, those eats look awesome...
2007-04-09 07:01:10
24.   williamnyy23
All off season, all of the concerns centered around Arod. The idea that one of the most consistent producers in the game would be a focus of concern is somewhat amusing, but that irony was made all the more apparent by the opening week. Outside of the bullpen and Arod (who have been excellent), not one other Yankee has even been solid (awful is a better description). From the starters to the captain to the walking wounded in the OF, everyone played poorly. Even Cano and Posada, who both hit well, played embarrassingly poor defense. Hopefully, the cold is more the culprit than a lack of early season focus. Still, it's worth noting that if not for Arod, the Yankees would probably be 0-5.
2007-04-09 07:06:10
25.   jkay
Dr. Browns rocks.
2007-04-09 07:07:08
26.   williamnyy23
8 The Court Street Deli is excellent (and remodeled this season). I was at the game Friday, but (because it was Good Friday) had to use all of my strength to not stop in for a philly cheesesteak or pastrami on rye. I have no idea why anyone would plunk down $6.00 bucks for a hot dog when the Court Street deli is so near by.
2007-04-09 07:09:11
27.   JL25and3
12 Maybe not good for the heart, but it's wonderful for the soul.

Except for that black cherry soda. When it comes to pastrami, I'm a Cel-Ray man.

2007-04-09 07:43:54
28.   OldYanksFan
Santana and Pettitte tomorrow? Welcome to NY, Andy.

This may just be a perception, but there seems to be a pattern to our offense. Sometimes we come hard out of the gate and score a bunch early. Sometimes we don't. But it seems to me, whatever the score, we always look flatter in the middle innings... as if we feel there is 'still time' and don't play with urgency. And then in the 8th and 9th, it seems we always put together some kind of rally. Not always enough to win, but we rarely go down without a fight.

It's almost like an NBA game. It's like our bats are 'saving themselves' for the end game.

Anybody else feel that way?

2007-04-09 08:11:17
29.   C2Coke
If anyone ever goes to Montreal, there is a smoke meat called Schwartz's. You wouldn't want to miss it! Even if you go to Montreal just for the meat, it would be worth it.
2007-04-09 08:20:43
30.   C2Coke
29 smoke meat "place"...there is no such meat named Schwartz's...
2007-04-09 08:26:40
31.   williamnyy23
28 I think that's the case with most offensives. Basically, if a starter isn't going to pitch well, you will score off him early. If he does pitch well, that means he is strong in the middle innings. In today's game, however, that also means he gives way to a mediocre bullpen in the late innings.
2007-04-09 08:53:11
32.   yankz
Santana pitched last night...
2007-04-09 09:28:24
33.   Zack
Tonight's game is ESPN, so I get to watch it, question is, will it be worth watching?

Slightly off topic rant alert:
I love post-first week of baseball articles that simultaneously tell you that the first week means nothing and that clearly such and such a team or player is either "back" or "in trouble" based on their first week. Take Heymen's article on (not to pick on an employer Alex) He's sold on Dice-K, tells us that he agrees with some unnamed Yankee that Igawa "sucks" and goes into all sorts of other reactions that "prove" or "show" things based on week 1 (Oliver Perez is somehow alreayd back to his 2004 form?).

I know its just writers trying to do their job or whatever, but at least try to maintain some consistancy or rationalism...ugh...

2007-04-09 10:00:07
34.   Max Nomad
I'm with Zack. And SI is really good ar stirring shit anyway. Their 'truth and rumors' section is ridiculous. Heyman, Donovan, and omg Verducci are good reporters, but they're too imflammatory for my taste.
2007-04-09 10:47:45
35.   AbbyNormal821
Dude, I could hardly get through reading what you wrote because of the delicious picture of that, pastrami was it?, THAT looked damned good (and rock on with that bowl of chicken soup on a cold day. Throw a couple of my momma's matzoh balls in there and it's party on a plate! And yeah, the Dr. Brown's black cherry soda??? you're my hero! That is by far and away one of my favorite meals...EVER! (throw some 'slaw' on the sandwich for good measure next time!)

Uh....oh yeah - the game sucked yesterday, 'cept for A-Rod, in my opinion.

...I'm hungry now! ;-)

2007-04-09 11:11:36
36.   JL25and3
33 Good call on that ridiculous article. Oliver Perez is cured! A 32 (not 30) year-old journeyman with a few whiffs of major-league coffee, elevated to the closer role - brilliance!

How come he slams all sorts of players for doing so badly - in a week - but when Ortiz strikes out 3 times, it's because the pitcher is so good?

If I understand Heyman correctly, he's saying that Manny Acta is 20 times worse than people thought Joe Girardi was, even though it turned out that he wasn't.

And finally, check out the first sentence in his Kazmir item. How does an experienced professional writer manage to produce a sentence that bad?

2007-04-09 11:24:57
37.   bbfan1
"maximumnomad:The Sawks have had nearly as much trouble as the Yanks."

ny: 5.40
boston: 3.53

It's too early to get nervous about yankee pitching, but witih almost a 2 run difference the stats don't support your comments at all.

2007-04-09 11:45:06
38.   Peter
37 The Yanks' pitching and defense will come around, but the offense is scoring twice as many runs as Boston.

Yankees: 6.60 runs/game
Red Sox: 3.16 runs/game

2007-04-09 12:03:51
39.   Zack
Alex, just red your article at, and noticed that already two out of the three comments are direct attacks (one including a personal attack), both of which don't really know what they are talking about. Its something I've noticed reading the comments of the bigger sites, like espn, si, even Peter A.'s blog, that people tend to go right to personal attacks or arguments just to make an argument. In an case, FWIW, I thought it was well done...
2007-04-09 12:44:34
40.   C2Coke
39 Precisely why we treasure the Banter so much, and Baseballtoaster for that matter. Not only we have guardians here like Ken, the regular posters are obviously well-mannered true baseball lovers who don't believe in attacks. Disagreements are what make discussions and even debates from, there is no need to get personal. I never understood why some people feel using impolite words or tones is the way to get different ideas acrossed?

All in all, I feel very lucky to have found the Banter few years back.

2007-04-09 12:45:46
41.   C2Coke
40 Sigh..."from" was meant to be "fun"...debates fun...
2007-04-09 12:53:05
42.   brockdc
39 Which is why I like it here (and WasWatching). Knowledgeable fans, positive energy
2007-04-09 13:03:50
43.   claybeez
17 Easy choice for me since I think this season's been a huge disappointment. Not the first disappointing season - the Mexican one was a disaster - but, the most poorly written and acted.

And, to be honest DVR makes the choice easier. Hate paying the cable company more mullah, but DVR is legit.

2007-04-09 13:05:41
44.   claybeez
39 Yeah, Pete's really getting it over there. It's a shame. I hope it doesn't sour him on blogging the Yanks. He's an essential component of my Yankee daily reading.
2007-04-09 13:17:09
45.   rbj
Dunno if it's gotten mentioned yet, but has anyone else noticed ESPN using the "Hip, Hip, Jorge" line?
Bronx Banter had it a year ago (don't recall who started it.)
Score another one for the Banter.
2007-04-09 13:28:50
46.   Jim Dean
Don't know how many times they've faced each other but this video suggests Ichiro has hit .235 against DM lifetime.

And as he says Japan is going to explode on on Wed. Then the next big event is against Godziller. His first day off the DL is the last game at Fenway?

Go baseball!

2007-04-09 14:20:58
47.   Bob B
Since it's better to talk food than Yankee's so far (How can we be 2-3 at home against Tampa Bay and Baltimore?) I can outdo the French Toast from Old Yanks Fan: Fred's Place in Sausalito not only deep fried their French toast but used ice cream in the batter. Oh my God was it great!( I had Season Giants tickets behind home plate at Candlestick. Can't believe I gave those up even 3000 miles away, can you imagine how much I could be scalping them every year now?) Anyway Let's get some healthy pitching against the Twins before I start having serious anxiety and resort to multiple xanax.
2007-04-09 15:10:29
48.   C2Coke
46 And I think both Japan and Taiwan cannot wait for a Matsuzaka-Wang match up. You know... just too see whose national treasure's better...

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