"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Daily Archives: May 19, 2008

You Could Look it Up

For those of you who live in the tri-state area, consider these upcoming dates at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center:

Bobby Murcer: Thursday, May 29th. 7:00-9:00 pm.

Graig Nettles, Ron Guidry and Don Mattingly: Sunday, June 8th. 3:00-5:00 pm.

Yogi himself: Thursday, June 12th. 6:00-8:00 pm.

Brother, Can You Spare Twenty Grand?

Here’s another reason to be sore today if you are a Yankee fan. Um, the prices next year at the new Stadium…well, check this out from Soxfan over at YFSF. It ain’t pretty.

Very Serious (Like a Peek Frean)

Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Boy with Baseball on the Brain:

Put me in coach…  

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The Good Doctor

I was upset to read the news about Doc Ellis over the weekend. Ellis is critically ill. He was a lively character as a player and a good, hard-ass pitcher. After battling addiction for years, he’s spent most of his post-baseball career as a counselor. I can only hope he receives the treatment he needs before it is too late.

In the meantime, here is a great story of just how tough he was in his prime. The following excerpt is from “In the Country of Baseball,” written by Donald Hall.

In spring training 1974, Dock Ellis, felt that his Pirates had begun to loss some aggressiveness.

“You are scared of Cincinnati. That’s what I told my teammates. Every time we play Cincinnati, the hitters are on their ass.”

In 1970, ’71, and ’72, he says, the rest of the league was afraid of the Pirates. “They say, ‘Here come the big bad Pirates. They’re going to kick our ass!’ Like they give up. That’s what our team was starting to do. Cincinatti will bullshit with us and kick our ass and laugh at us. They’re the only team that talk about us like a dog. Whenever we play that team, everybody socializes with them.” In the past the roles had been revered. “When they ran over to us, we knew they were afraid of us. When I saw our team doing it, right then I say, ‘We gunna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers.’”

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Getting Over It

"Come to bed, honey."

My wife’s voice was weak.  She was almost asleep.  I turned the TV off, picked up my cat and went to the bedroom.  I let out a big sigh and Em told me that she was sorry that the Yankees are causing me so much agita.  "Try and let it go, babe, it’s going to do you no good to stay upset about something you’ve got no control over.  You need your energy for the week." 

I’ve heard that line before and know it to be true.  This time, I didn’t fight it for too long and soon enough I was asleep.  It is more than slightly ridiculous to get furious over a ball club, right?

It was sunny and crisp this morning on my way to work.  I read the morning papers on the subway.  Johnny Damon said the game was "embarrassing."  I shoved the papers into my napsack and put on my headphones.  A young Spanish girl, all of six years old was sitting across from me, next to her mother.  The girls’ feet were three or four inches off the ground.  She wore pink sneakers, a power blue sweat suit and had a barette in her hair.  An i pod nano was in her little palm, little white plug headphones in her ears.  She had the most serious expression on her face and she mouthed the words to whatever she was listening to, nodding her head in an exaggerated motion.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Not only because she was so intent, so committed to her schtick but because she reminded me of how preposterous I must look at times, snapping my neck to the beat, wearing my super-sized dorky headphones.  

Yeah, the Yankees are awful right now.  Let them be embarrassed by how poorly they are playing.  We don’t need to be embarrassed about anything.  Hey, we weren’t embarrassed to root for them when they were winning.  Doesn’t mean we have to be happy about what’s going on, but in the end, their performance doesn’t have much to do with us at all, does it?

    

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver