Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankee Panky #47: Tell Us Something We Don't Know
2008-04-07 09:29
by Will Weiss

The first week of the baseball season presented a range of stories that provide no information out of the ordinary. Below are one man's observations of what can be taken from the general coverage:

• In this, the last year of the current incarnation of Yankee Stadium, we should be nostalgic at every turn, and re-live every great moment in the Stadium's history. Every living Yankee, past and present, will be asked how he feels about the new stadium, and what he will remember most about the old one.

• Joe Girardi has a tough task in front of him as new manager.

• With so much uncertainty on the Yankees' roster, with the greatest mix of youth and veterans since 1995, the odds of them missing the playoffs altogether are about the same as winning the World Series.

• Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens aren't great friends anymore.

• Based on the season previews of all the major local and national outlets, while the Yankees are still a focal point of many discussions, the Mets are not to be taken lightly. And did you know Johan Santana pitches for them now? This is a big deal, supposedly, because he was not a Met last year, they choked in September, and the fragile Pedro Martinez is in the last year of his contract. Everywhere you look, if there's a Met poster or picture, Santana's face is on it.

• Best wishes to Bobby Murcer, whose ongoing battle with cancer kept him off the air on Opening Day. It was a goal of his to be ready to work by March 31, but that didn't happen. Murcer was always accommodating, classy and gracious, not only in his TV work, but in his collaborations with us on I would not be surprised to see him in the booth by the All-Star break.

• I don't mean to sound like our good friend Phil Mushnick, but I don't understand why on Opening Day, there is a predisposition to make such a big deal out of firsts. Of course everything that occurs is the first whatever of the year. Do we need to be beaten over the head with it? They won the game, and that was important. YES did a good job of highlighting the fact that the Yankees have set a new MLB record with 11 straight wins in home openers.

• Speaking of home-opening victories, you'd never know unless you watched the game or went online for a summary immediately thereafter that they did win. Why? Because Wednesday morning, the back pages glowered over Alex Rodriguez's salary, specifically the report that he makes more than the entire Florida Marlins team. I thought A-Rod handled himself well in what must have been a tricky subject to have to comment on.

• Is it me, or during YES's Yankees Post Game Show, when there's a wide two-shot of Bob Lorenz and David Cone, if you look quickly it's very difficult to tell them apart. They have the same hairline. It's uncanny.

• Bronx Banter gets a mention in Kat O'Brien's story on Yankee fans' blog sites. Don't know if our fearless leaders Alex Belth and Cliff Corcoran were solicited for a quote, but it would have been nice to see something there as a differentiator between NoMaas, RiverAveBlues, WasWatching and Replacement Level. We're a pretty tight fraternity and we all read each other. Maybe I'm biased, but I think and Alex and Cliff would have had plenty to add.

BACKPAGE WATCH: Yankees and Mets even with leads after one week. We'll see how long that lasts.

Until next week …

2008-04-07 09:31:31
1.   Alex Belth
Hey, I've enjoyed Kat's work over the course of the past season but no, I wasn't contacted for her piece. Don't know if Cliff was either.
2008-04-07 10:03:17
2.   Cliff Corcoran
No, I wasn't contacted for the piece. I'm certainly pleased that she wrote it and that she mentioned the site, and I concur with Alex that Kat is doing good work, but it's a shame she didn't reach out to us. We would have been happy to speak with her, and we've both been doing this longer than anyone else mentioned in the piece (assuming RLYW now means SG and not Larry M., who started the site several months before I started the old BRB).
2008-04-07 10:18:54
3.   Sliced Bread
Lorenz & Cone, Belth & Corcoran: some hairlines just work well together.
2008-04-07 11:24:37
4.   mehmattski
I also tired quickly of the weird records kept about the first game of the season. Is it really relevant that Player X has a hit in 35 straight season openers? Or that Pitcher Y has walked at least three hitters in season openers in even numbered seasons? Alex Rios' hitting streak against the Yankees is at least kind of interesting, but still rather quirky.

Also, I've mentioned it before but if anyone finds themselves cornered by someone freaking out about Phil Hughes' velocity, refer them to the following link:

Click on the "Archive" tab to see pitch-by-pitch results. Clearly, Gameday wasn't reporting entirely correctly (it was after all a Spring Training game). But the fastballs thrown by Hughes that were recorded were either 93 or 94 mph. It was 84˚F in Miami that day. It was 46˚F in the Bronx on April 3, with a 12 mph wind. I think Hughes will be just fine...

2008-04-07 11:42:56
5.   Orly Yarly NoWai
4 If a single player had a hit in 35 straight season openers, I'd consider that highly relevant. Who the heck is this guy? Julio Franco?
2008-04-07 11:49:13
6.   pistolpete
0 Does anyone else who watches the games on a HD set think Cone looks a bit ghoulish?

I think whomever does his makeup has a vampire fetish or something...

2008-04-07 11:50:53
7.   SG in ATL
1 2 Yeah, we didn't get asked for a quote by Kat either. I agree it would have been nice to have added something there, from both the Banter and RLYW.
2008-04-07 12:00:53
8.   Bama Yankee
5 LOL. Well played...
2008-04-07 12:14:36
9.   Shaun P
8 Hey Bama, good luck tonight - hope Memphis wins and you get your name on The Griddle's sidebar!
2008-04-07 12:55:34
10.   Bama Yankee
9 Thanks, Shaun. I came in second in that contest last year, maybe I'll win it this time. Although I'm not sure I will have much love from some of the Griddle faithful if my name makes it onto their sidebar. Check out the following Griddle posts from the other day (I really liked post 103, most people here should find the irony in it):

101. Indiana Jon
Looks like it comes down to Ham Fighter Nation against Bama Yankee.

103. Indiana Jon
Who is Bama Yankee?

104. Bob Timmermann
Bama Yankee is a regular on Bronx Banter.

105. Indiana Jon
104 Then I'm for Kansas.

2008-04-07 13:29:07
11.   Chyll Will
10 Finish him!
2008-04-07 13:31:36
12.   Shaun P
10 #103 is hilarious! Too bad it didn't end up being post #134. That would have been too coincidental.

I'm too young to have any dislike of the Dodgers, based either on the Brooklyn days or the late 70s/early 80s. Dodger-dislike was never transferred to me; I guess there are still plenty of Dodger fans who don't like the Yanks though.

2008-04-07 13:36:38
13.   Shaun P
12 BTW - I'm guessing that Indiana Jon is a Dodgers fan. Most of the Griddle's regular commenters seem to be.

Yep - he is:

2008-04-07 13:52:35
14.   JL25and3
12 Believe it or not, I might dislike the Dodgers more than the Red Sox. I can't stand the Sox fans or Larry Lucchino, but - until recently, anyway - I didn't dislike their players that much. But those 70s Dodgers teams were really hateable.

I like that Indiana Jon calls them the Ham Fighters. I don't care if it's wrong, it's just too good a name to ignore.

2008-04-07 13:53:01
15.   Chyll Will
12 Why?? Honestly, I never understood that. You're in LA, what could you possibly be hating the Yanks for if you haven't met them since the eighties? Is it the transplanted-NYers thing? East Coast vs. West Coast? Does Charlie Steiner have anything to do with it?
2008-04-07 13:54:57
16.   Chyll Will
14 Okay, could you explain the hate? I was aware of them at the time, but not the animosity. What gives?

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