Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Gangster Boogie
2007-10-02 09:56
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Is everyone sick of the Alex Rodriguez playoff storyline yet? I know many people are, but it'll be hard to avoid until Rodriguez has that one or two big offensive games for the Yanks. In the meantime, Pete Abe has some interesting audio from Rodriguez, and Howard Bryant has a nice, long piece on the potential King of New York. I like this quote from Kevin Millar:

"When is he just going to say, 'I'm the baddest [dude] out there?' " Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar says. " 'I hit .320 with 40 and 130 RBIs, every [stupid] year, and what about it?' What is anyone going to say to that? Nobody can challenge him in this game because nobody else is that good. He spent a lot of time trying to be liked. I just want him to say, 'Don't [mess] with me, because none of you [guys] can do what I do.' That's all he has to do, 'cause he's a straight-up gangster."

...All you heard was Papa don't hit me no more!

Comments (60)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-02 10:14:22
1.   kylepetterson
I was under the impression that he was just a regular gangsta, I had no idea that he was a straight-up gangster. Thats
2007-10-02 10:21:21
2.   Rob Middletown CT
Very funny stuff from the idiot hisself.
2007-10-02 10:25:09
3.   mehmattski
As I walk through the valley of the Canyon of Heroes
I take a look at my fans and realize they think I'm a zero
But I've been blastin homers so long that
Even Kevin Millar thinks that my mind is gone

But I ain't never crossed a reporter that didn't deserve it
He be took pictures at the strip club, you know that's unheard of
Fans- you better watch how you talking, and where you walking
Or you and your homies might just see me leavin

I really hit the round trippers, but still they boo me
As they hate I see myself leavin for Wrigley, fool
I'm the kinda A-Rod that little homies wanna be like
On my knees in the night
Sayin' prayers to the pinstripes

Been spending most our lives
Living in A-Rod's Gangsta Paradise

2007-10-02 10:30:25
4.   ChrisS
I'm certainly sick of it, but hey, whaddya gonna do. The media gets a story and they beat it to death.
2007-10-02 10:49:45
5.   Yankee Fan In Boston
3 pure genius.

i have a good feeling about rodriguez. this is his year.

i'm more concerned with our pitching. of course, that was what i was saying last october, too and it was our bats that came up empty.

man, thursday seems like it is months away right now. this is unbearable.

2007-10-02 10:55:37
6.   SF Yanks
5 Unbearable is an understatement. The wait is killing me.
2007-10-02 11:02:38
7.   Bama Yankee
3 Excellent. You da man, mehmattski.
2007-10-02 11:29:56
8.   Shaun P
4 They ('the media') do an even better job of reviving, and re-killing, dead horses than we did earlier in the year. =)

How do I know this? Coming Wednesday afternoon to ESPN - Outside the Lines will examine the pressure facing Alex Rodriguez in the 2007 playoffs. 3PM! Don't miss it!

Poor Bob Ley.

2007-10-02 11:43:59
9.   pistolpete
Maybe it's my slight lack of confidence, but I'm actually glad for the 3-day break until the madness begins.

Allows me to take a breather before I start screaming and yelling at the TV again on Thursday...

2007-10-02 11:45:03
10.   Yankee Fan In Boston
8 is that OTL thing a joke? the fact that it could conceivably be an actual topic for the show is ridiculous enough.
2007-10-02 11:55:51
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
8 10 wow. that is really the topic.

i really shouldn't be surprised.

2007-10-02 11:57:12
12.   Raf
Apparently, it seems that people have forgotten that he has hit in the playoffs in the past. In 2004 he had a pretty good ALDS vs the Twins, and like the rest of the team, was having a pretty good ALCS up until game 4.
2007-10-02 12:14:10
13.   JL25and3
You think one or two big offensive games will do it? Not if he has a lousy game 5...
2007-10-02 12:29:32
14.   ChrisS
Interesting numbers for the BUCs this year:

Jose Molina: 29 G / 66 AB / .318 BA / .333 OBP / .439 SLG and an OPS+ of 107
Wil Nieves: 26 G / 61 AB / .164 BA / .190 OBP / .230 SLG and an OPS+ of 13

Replacing Nieves horrid rates with Molina's decent ones netted the Yanks a whopping 3 additional runs and 1 additional RBI.

I guess I thought, depite being a small sample size, there would have been a bigger disparity in their counting stats.

Still, I'm happy with the trade.

2007-10-02 12:36:57
15.   ChrisS
And Leche, though just 22 years old, finished the season as the only Yankee regular with an OPS+ under 100 (93). But he also had 14(!) assists from CF.

For fun comparisons, GOB finished his first full season in the Bronx at 24 with a 98 OPS+.

2007-10-02 12:54:49
16.   Sliced Bread
Curb Your A-Rod Expectations...

I just hoping he gets a couple pitches he can put into play. I'll be surprised if Sabathia and Carmona show him anything hitable. He'll have to remain calm and focused so he can capitalize on their rare mistakes, and/or do the bulk of his wrecking against less talented relievers.

Because opponents will likely pitch around A-Rod, it's unreasonable to expect him to have more than a few hits per postseason series. Whether those few hits result in RBI or runs scored will determine how he is "judged." He doesn't have to have a monster series to impress me, that's for sure.

As I'm figuring his bat will mostly be contained, I'm hoping he can pull his weight just playing solid heads up ball in the field, and between the bases. Just hold down the fort at 3b, Alex, and nobody will get on you. Don't lose your head on the bases, and you're as good as gold.
Oh yeah, and just get a couple big hits. Don't even have to be home runs, chief. Walk's as good as a hit. Brill cream, baby. A little dab'll do ya.

2007-10-02 13:04:50
17.   bp1
How does a guy like Verducci collect a paycheck - and a hefty one I'm sure. Read this (from his ALDS preview on

"Yankee fans may be glad to have avoided the Angels in the first round, but the club knows the Indians present big-time problems because they can score in different ways from all spots in the lineup and setup relievers Rafael Perez and Rafael Betancourt are nasty."

The Yankees scored the most runs in the majors this year. They scored 76 more runs than the next closest team. They scored 157 more runs than the Indians - almost a full run per game - who were 8th in the majors. The Yankee runs didn't all come against the league scrubs - for every D-Rays game the Yankees had, the Tribe had the KC Royals and the White Sox.

So Verducci says the Indians will present a problem for the Yankees. Well - duh. They are a playoff caliber team with decent pitching. But to highlight the Indian's offense? Compared to the Yankees offense? I mean - c'mon. The Yankees 7th place hitter his .306 with 19 home runs. The Yankees also stole almost double the bases that Cleveland did. The Yankees had the highest batting average, the highest on base percentage, the most home runs, the highest slugging percentage, and were second only to the Angels in the AL for stolen bases. You wanna talk Cleveland offense? Gimme a break. From an offensive standpoint - it's not a fair comparison.

There is no doubt the Yankees can go out and lay an egg like they did last year, but these preview articles are nonsense. With Verducci, it's always the other team that is good and the Yankees that are bad. I mean - geez. For a guy who's always tossing off those fancy stats, he somehow ignores the numbers when it casts the Yankees in a positive light.

So please - Verducci - give it a rest. Cleveland is a good team - and any team can win this series - but don't say silly things like "they can score in different ways from all spots in the lineup". No lineup is deeper or better than the Yankee lineup, top to bottom.

As far as relievers - just two words are necessary - Joba and Rivera. 'Nuff said.

2007-10-02 13:25:25
18.   The Mick 536
Bryant article awesome. Nodded to every point. Missing were: the graphics of the swing and the arc of the balls over the fence (could see the ball into the upper deck a million times) with the Sterling cry of A-bomb from A-Rod; a defensive play either charging in and barehanding then throwing or going behind the bag and gunning; and a stolen base when it was needed to create a run.

Part about relationship with Leche and Robie very revealing, too.

Thannks for the jump.

2007-10-02 13:28:14
19.   Bob B
It's going to be hard to pitch around A-rod, especially if Damon, Jeter and Abreau get on base because of the protection Posada gives him. Jorge hit almost .340 with Power. A-rod will undoubtedly see his share of pitches. If he's really calmed down as he claims, he'll have a great Post-season. I doubt it can be as hot as some of the stretches he had this summer but his whole season was clutch. I can't imagine him having another bad post season.
As to Verducci, he's often an idiot.I see the Yankees and Redsox both win in 4 games. Bring on the ALCS.
2007-10-02 13:41:46
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 i think i mentioned this here before, but the day after the whole strippergate headlines broke, also directly after the "HA!" heard 'round the world, the yankees came to boston.

i was at fenway early, standing in the drizzle beside he field as people were shouting all sorts of vile things at the guy.

meanwhile, he was playing catch with robbie, standing beside melky, cracking the kid up. then he breaks into song. singing a song en espanol. he seemed oblivious to everything being directed his way.

then he goes 1 for 3, 2 runs scored, a BB a HBP. yankees win 9-5.

2007-10-02 14:11:28
21.   Mattpat11
Baseball's Used Car Salesman on Mike and the Mad Dog

"I'm taking a significant amount of Pride today. I don't usually allow myself that"

One of the most useless, incompetent, arrogant men to ever be involved in the sport said this and wasn't struck down on the spot.

2007-10-02 14:16:55
22.   pistolpete
21 Who's this?
2007-10-02 14:20:31
23.   ny2ca2dc
Can i get a show of hands for Millar for 1b next year? I think he'd be a reasonable part time 1b/bench bat (maybe platoon with Giambi, and have shelly platoon w/ abreu?), if the price is low. though he might be redundant with shelly. man, if only Matsui could be a decent 1Bman...
2007-10-02 14:21:38
24.   Mattpat11
22 I assumed "Used Car Sales Man" and "Useless, incompetent and Arrogant" ruled out anyone but Bud.
2007-10-02 14:27:13
25.   pistolpete
I thought maybe Minaya...
2007-10-02 14:29:17
26.   Bama Yankee
I was thinking either Steve Phillips, Hawk Harrelson or Tim McCarver...
2007-10-02 14:51:43
27.   Chyll Will
Kevin Federline?
2007-10-02 14:54:01
28.   weeping for brunnhilde
16 Agreed wholeheartedly, Sliced. He doesn't need to be a monster imo, just to have quality ab after quality ab after quality ab.

No flailing at sliders off the plate. No swinging from his heels with 2 strikes when a single up the middle would suffice.

That kind of thing is all I ask.

And of course, defense.

2007-10-02 14:57:09
29.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and I love the Millar stuff.


It's both hilarious and apt.

2007-10-02 15:44:25
30.   Mike T
Sportscenter just called Tim Wakefield a "Yankee killer" in their report explaining that Wakefield was left off the postseason roster vs the Angels.
2007-10-02 16:03:52
31.   yankz
27 Too busy with the kids.
2007-10-02 16:13:40
32.   Mike T
Question for the people on here who actually live in the NY area: do you guys pay extra for the YES Network as part of a premium sports package, or is it part of basic cable?
2007-10-02 16:14:46
33.   cult of basebaal
24 i always prefered Seligula or Der Kommisar

he's one of those few people i wouldn't piss on if they were on fire ...

2007-10-02 16:22:09
34.   weeping for brunnhilde
32 Extra. I pay something like sixty bucks a month for the privilege. I don't know if it's part of a "premium sports package," but I do know that what they call "basic cable" does not include YES.

It's so expensive, especially considering that the only reason I want cable in the first place is to watch the Yankees.

2007-10-02 16:48:54
35.   Mike T
34 Whoa, hold on. Maybe all of the extra cable channels you have, including the tier that includes the YES Network, costs you an extra $60/month, which makes sense. Hell, my cable/internet bill out here in Vegas, with all of the American channels (I don't get the Asian and Spanish language channels) and HD, is $171/month. I want to see if I can get Cox to start offering YES HD out here, and charge a little extra for it, like $2 or so a month. The Yankees represent very well out here, so Cox may just consider it. Maybe.
2007-10-02 16:49:38
36.   JL25and3
30 Wakefield's career stats against the Yankees: 9-16, 5.03.

Over the last 3 years: 2-8, 5.81.

2007-10-02 17:30:21
37.   yankster
0 love the millar quote - reminded me of something Sheff or Bonds might say - not exactly the public relations gold standard.

I got the Banter recommended Joba the Hutt T-shirt and wore it to the Saturday game against the Orioles. At least 30, seriously, 30 people stopped me to take pictures and talk.

That stadium is all Yankees all the time. In fact, I don't remember seeing that much Yankees memorabilia even at Yankee Stadium.

2007-10-02 18:11:33
38.   weeping for brunnhilde
36 It's true, but it's also true that he's dominated us too.

I wouldn't call him a Yankee killer, but I feel like we either shell him or he shuts us down. No middle ground.

All I know is I shudder to recall how off-balance he can keep us. It's one of the most maddening things I've ever seen.

Kind of like Jamie Moyer.

Remember Sori facing Wakefield?

ha ha ha haha ha ha ah!!!

2007-10-02 18:12:30
39.   weeping for brunnhilde
37 :)
2007-10-02 18:31:37
40.   JL25and3
38 Yeah, and I was at the 2003 playoff game where he beat Mussina - the Yankees couldn't touch him.

What you've described is a knuckleball pitcher - capable of being untouchable or of being battered mercilessly. But "Yankee killer" is just silly.

2007-10-02 19:23:55
41.   yankz
Pete has the ALDS umps. Isn't Bruce Froemming that douchebag?
2007-10-02 19:29:20
42.   mehmattski
I find myself wandering aimlessly around the internet, looking for baseball.
2007-10-02 19:29:47
43.   Orly Yarly NoWai
This stupid post-season schedule is pretty much hand-tailored to screw balanced teams with rotations that don't go great-great-suck-suck-suck. Woo.
2007-10-02 19:44:27
44.   Raf
43 But at least the start times are somewhat reasonable; we've got that going for us...
2007-10-02 19:59:40
45.   Knuckles
44 If by 'reasonable', you mean catered towards people with strict 9-5 day jobs.

If I leave my desk by 6:30, I consider it a good day, then I got a 45min bike ride home ahead of me. Thank God for DVR.

2007-10-02 20:24:42
46.   Raf
45 So instead of seeing the beginning of the game, we will be able to see the end. And working stiffs will be able to turn in at a reasonable hour.
2007-10-02 20:32:18
47.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 As Bowie Kuhn said, on the occasion of the Bay area earthquake--in what, 1988?--in one of the most astounding feats of understatement I've ever heard, "There will be no baseball tonight."

The Bay Bridge had collapsed and he's on the television reporting with great solemnity, "There will be no baseball tonight."

2007-10-02 20:35:40
48.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 And consider it practice for next month, because win, lose or draw, the day will come and all will be silence, ice, snow and darkness in the land.

O, woe betide us on that day.

What is it, five months to spring training?

2007-10-02 20:40:23
49.   Raf
48 The Caribbean and Asian leagues are going on after the MLB season ends...
2007-10-02 21:05:48
50.   weeping for brunnhilde
49 But not on television, or...?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-02 21:13:27
51.   florida yanks
But with #27 in the bag we could hibernate with a relaxed glow!
2007-10-02 21:46:53
52.   weeping for brunnhilde
51 What are you, trying to jinx us?
2007-10-02 21:49:02
53.   BklynBmr
42 To feed the jones, today I dusted off my VHS library and pulled out a '98 post season highlight tape I made. For some reason that year, I decided to record only the late innings of all PS games — yeah, we were that confident back then ;-)

In WS Game 3: Yanks trailing 3-2, top 8. Paulie works a walk. Trevor Hoffman comes in, walks Tino. Then Brosius hits the bomb to dead center. Steve Finley was in center. As he races back to the wall and realizes it's gone, you can clearly hear him yell "F*CK!". Obviously there was a mic in proximity, and everytime I replay that tape, I crack up.

Great memories and a pinstipe fix on a Yankee baseball-less day. Break out those Yankeeograhy's tomorrow, gang. I hope Joe has 'em playing in the clubhouse, too. Gets you pumped up!

2007-10-02 22:57:06
54.   rilkefan
Ok, given the post title and the audience's breadth of expertise, I'll ask this random question: ten or twelve years ago when I was living in France I heard a song on the radio with a chorus something like, "Just another dead homie". A stern, grim song, the sort likely to appeal to a heavy metal or Shostakovich fan who doesn't usually listen to rap. Probably American but it's been awhile. Anybody have any idea what it was?
2007-10-02 23:28:15
55.   thelarmis
41 yankz - but at least angel hernandez is not umpiring. that would be a nightmare. laz diaz can be a bit rough sometimes...
2007-10-02 23:30:21
56.   thelarmis
54 i haven't a clue as i despise rap as if the entire genre was cloaked in red sox garb. BUT, i am a big heavy metal and Shostakovich fan! : ) shostakovich is amazing!!! (sorry i can't help about the tune you're looking for...)
2007-10-03 04:02:27
57.   The Mick 536
Cub fans search for Bartman. Anyone know where Pavano is?
2007-10-03 04:36:32
58.   williamnyy23
32 34 In New York City, YES is on basic tier packages (cable and DirectTV). When YES was launched, the Yankees insisted upon this, which was the reason for the 1-year Cablevision holdout.
2007-10-03 05:47:33
59.   rbj
Random question while we are all awaiting for tomorrow evening:

What, exactly, is in those photos Isiah Thomas has of James Dolan?

2007-10-03 07:03:14
60.   weeping for brunnhilde
54 No idea, but like thelarmis, I love Shostakovich.

Even the mention of his name gets me jazzed up.


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