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SHADOW GAMES: Nobody Ever Asks Me, But…

Posted By Todd Drew On December 21, 2008 @ 8:45 pm In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled

Blogs are poor excuses for street corners.

I’m always being reminded of that in my neighborhood.

“Baseball blogging doesn’t take any courage,” my friend Javier was telling the guys gathered outside the bodega near the corner of Gerard Avenue and East 157th Street. “Ballplayers have the courage to put it on the line every day in front of a million people. If you don’t have the guts to toss your opinions around on the street and risk getting a fist in the face then you shouldn’t write them on a blog.”

“Agreed,” I said.

“I wasn’t asking some sissy blogger,” Javier snapped.

Nobody ever asks me, but…

I love grown men who spit sunflower seeds, chew bubblegum and answer to: Jete, Mo, A-Rod, Josey, Domo, Mattie, Melk, CC, A.J., Swish, Brew, X-Man and The Wanger.

If Joba Chamberlain was a banker, they would call him Justin Chamberlain instead of Joba the Hutt.

I know most people doubt Orlando Hernandez these days. He is old and hasn’t been healthy enough to pitch in a long time. But I still believe El Duque can do anything.

The best part of the World Baseball Classic is getting to see the Cubans play.

It seems like there are more Americans backing out of the World Baseball Classic every day. The players’ concerns need to be addressed if this tournament is ever going to be what it should be.

Jason Whitlock of The Kansas City Star is one of the best sports columnists in the country. I just wish he covered more baseball.

Joe Posnanski covers a lot of baseball for The Kansas City Star. He also does fine work for Sports Illustrated and on his blog.

The Kansas City Star deserves the best writers since that’s where Ernest Hemingway got his start.

There used to be a great sportswriter in New York named Mike Lupica. Whatever happened to that guy?

Josh Hamilton made year-end lists in GQ and Esquire. He also has a new book out called “Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back.” He had a fabulous season and deserves everything that comes his way.

Milton Bradley had a pretty good season, too.

According to some baseball writers, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro may be locked out of the Hall of Fame just like Mark McGwire.

Will there be any reason to still call it the Hall of Fame if all that talent joins Pete Rose on the outside looking in?

I say the Yankees are the team to beat.

The Crown Diner on East 161st Street has the best chocolate donuts in the world.

Two of my favorite places to watch baseball are Falcon Park in Auburn and Dunn Field in Elmira. And I will always love the long-gone MacArthur Stadium in Syracuse and the soon-to-be-gone Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. But the best place to see a ballgame is wherever you’re watching one that day.

I think Mark Teixeira is a great talent, but Manny Ramirez has ripped my heart out so many times that I wouldn’t mind having him on my side for a change. Part of it is that he grew up just across the Harlem River in Washington Heights and the rest of it is the big bat he swings. I’ll carry any baggage as long as he carries that lumber.

Tony Pena will bring a lot more to this team as the bench coach. And I’m not just saying that because I like the Tony Pena codfish-salad special at El Nuevo Caridad in Washington Heights.

My best friend Michael Allen recently gave me a copy of “Nobody Asked Me, But… The World of Jimmy Cannon.” I’ve never owned the book, but have checked it out of the library about a million times. That gift will save me a pile of money in late fees.

Blogs will always be poor excuses for street corners, but I told Javier that it would be warmer in front of my computer than on the corner of Gerard Avenue and East 157th Street.

“You online guys are real sissies,” Javier said. “But since no one punched your lights out I guess it’s okay to blog it.”

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