"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Michael Kay, Ken Singleton, Eminem and Jay-Z Walk Into a Booth…

There was time to kill between doubleheader games yesterday, and half the Tigers’ roster – including the entire bullpen – killed it by giving themselves mohawks. A bored baseball clubhouse is a dangerous, dangerous place. We have only a small sample size to go on but, so far, advanced scientific analysis suggests the move may have backfired; in the nightcap, Phil “Phew” Hughes edged out Jeremy Bonderman in a tight duel, and a ninth-inning Yankee offensive renaissance gave New York a pleasant 8-0 win.

Hughes is probably due for a bad start one of these days – or at least a mediocre one – and for a little while I thought this might be it; he was getting good results, but laboring a bit, running up a high pitch count in the first few innings. Instead he got better as the game went on and ended up with another gem: 7 innings, 5 hits, no runs, 8 strikeouts, 1 measly little walk; he threw 71 of his 101 pitches for strikes. Phil Hughes is not messing around. Going by almost any statistical measurement (as well as by your lyin’ eyes) he’s been one of the best starters in either league this season – though of course he doesn’t have as many wins as MLB leader Tyler Clippard of the Nationals. You just can’t predict… oh, never mind.

Anyway, the Yankee hitters seemed to be nursing a hangover from their punchless day-game loss, but they did manage to eke out a couple of runs early on, which would have been enough by themselves – in the first inning, Alex Rodriguez singled in Brett Gardner, who was hitting second tonight (and ended up making that seem like a wise move with three hits, two runs scored, and RBI and the obligatory stolen base). And in the third, Bonderman walked Derek Jeter and lived to regret it when Jeter stole second and scored on a Mark Teixeira double.

But it wasn’t until the ninth that the Yankee batters really woke up, when old buddy Phil Coke stumbled and Alfredo Figaro couldn’t get the last two outs without considerable bloodshed. More than half an hour later, after a flurry of singles and walks, the game arrived at its misleading final destination of 8-0. It stayed that way in the bottom of the ninth, of course, because Mariano Rivera is back; and seeing him on the mound again (albeit in a very non-save situation) is deeply comforting in a primal sort of way. Mo’s in his bullpen, all’s right with the world, as the man said.


-Jay-Z and Eminem’s visit to the booth in the 4th inning (to promote their planned stadium concerts in Detroit and New York this fall) was one of the most gloriously awkward only-in-America culture clashes I’ve seen in some time. I hope one day we get to watch Dallas Braden chat with Yo-Yo Ma. Or perhaps we can arrange a coffee klatch between Carl Everett and Philip Glass.

-Years ago an Eephus Pitch commenter pointed out that Jeremy Bonderman bears a distinct resemblance to Alice the Goon from Popeye. One day I may be able to watch him pitch without thinking about that, but today is not that day.

-It wouldn’t be an official game unless a Yankee strained something, so Nick Swisher is now day-to-day with sore biceps.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span

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1 Alex Belth   ~  May 13, 2010 8:14 am

Dude, Em looked positively gaunt. That was a hilarious "big news" breaking story. Didn't know Em still made records...and yes, that's a diss.

Never before has Ken Singleton sounded more like Dr. Hibbert from The Simpsons.

2 Emma Span   ~  May 13, 2010 8:20 am

[1] HA! You're right, the vocal resemblance is getting dramatic.

3 RIYank   ~  May 13, 2010 8:46 am

Dallas: Yo, you double-stopped right smack over my glissando, dude. You don't do that, Ma. I have an issue with that. You have departed from the Unwritten Score. That is not how the instrument is played.

4 williamnyy23   ~  May 13, 2010 8:48 am

As someone who is not very familiar with either "artist" and really has no use for their music, I was unimpressed with Jay-Z’ humility (and his gentle speaking voice) and surprised by M&M’s (as I thought he was named until recently) lack of personality. Maybe he just didn’t want to be standing next Michael Kay or asked about doing poetry by Kenny Singleton?

5 bp1   ~  May 13, 2010 8:49 am

I swear to God that I thought Michael Kay was saying "M&M". There was something in how he said it.

Not that I don't know who Eminem is, I just wasn't watching so I didn't see him at all. I was listening to the broadcast and reading a book. I kept thinking that this M&M dude must be one of those kid acts they conjure up on Nick or Disney Channel. You know - manufactured pop music. It never dawned on me that it was "The" Eminem till I looked up and saw them in the booth. Dude is tiny.

Weird moment in Yankee TV.

Phil Franchise is dealing. A year in the pen did wonders for him in many ways.

6 Diane Firstman   ~  May 13, 2010 9:02 am

I wish Snoop Dogg was there ...

Sippin on Winn and Juice
Laid back .... with my mind on the line-up and the line-up on my mind

7 williamnyy23   ~  May 13, 2010 9:06 am

[4] That should have read "impressed by Jay-Z' humility"...oops.

8 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 13, 2010 9:07 am

I'm pretty sure it was ex-Brewers closer Derrick Turnbow who looked like Alice the Goon. Bonderman looks like Michael Caine.

[1] Alex, Eminem took many years off after Encore, went to drug rehab, then put out Relapse last year, which was f-ing terrible. He's already admitted as much and is putting out a quick follow-up to try to direct attention away from that awful "comeback" disc.

As for Dr. Hibbart: it's uncanny. I must imitate his chuckle five times a game listening to Singleton, who is still a personal favorite.

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 13, 2010 9:10 am

[5] Because I saw his name in print on MTV before I heard his name, I never made the Eminem/M&M connection until years later, but his stage name is from his actual initials: Marshall Mathers = M&M = Eminem. Pretty corny when you realize that.

10 Emma Span   ~  May 13, 2010 9:12 am

[8] Nope, it's totally Bonderman - it's all in the nose... Derrick Turnbow looks like a Fraggle.

11 rbj   ~  May 13, 2010 9:13 am

[3] LOL.

Raining in the area right now. Supposed to rain all day. How long will they wait until the game gets called.

12 Ben   ~  May 13, 2010 9:19 am

[10] Stop it! I just spit out my coffee.

13 ms october   ~  May 13, 2010 9:22 am

[4] jay can be humble when he feels like it. eminmen has long been a prickly ahole.

anyway how in the hell is there another outfield injury?
having to watch both thames and winn in the lineup at the same time is cruel and unusual.

14 NYYfan22   ~  May 13, 2010 9:23 am

hmmm... I missed the booth crew on the broadcast. Gotta find that online.

[0] no mention of the Joba "porpoise play" on Ajax's IF hit? That was funny/awesome/scary.

15 rbj   ~  May 13, 2010 9:26 am

[10] Fraggles Rock!

16 Alex Belth   ~  May 13, 2010 9:27 am

GREAT call on Turnbow.

17 RagingTartabull   ~  May 13, 2010 9:30 am

Em/Jay...the greatest concert of 1999 coming this September!!

18 Alex Belth   ~  May 13, 2010 9:35 am


19 Diane Firstman   ~  May 13, 2010 10:35 am

Em and Jay-Z also stopped in on the Detroit crew ... with similarly awkward results:


20 a.O   ~  May 13, 2010 11:07 am

Anyone still think Girardi and Eiland made the wrong choice in making Hughes the fifth starter?

21 cult of basebaal   ~  May 13, 2010 11:22 am

[20] Uh, who here was making that argument?

Anyways ... a lineup written in sand, let's see if it survives the rain ...

Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Juan Miranda 1B
Randy Winn LF
Greg Golson RF

22 seamus   ~  May 13, 2010 11:26 am

[21] there were def folks complaining that Hughes hadn't won that job.

23 seamus   ~  May 13, 2010 11:31 am

[22] probably be more clear to say "hadn't earned the job."

24 Diane Firstman   ~  May 13, 2010 11:49 am
25 The Hawk   ~  May 13, 2010 12:19 pm

[23] I do know I was annoyed they didn't slot Joba in there. I never didn't want Hughes to start though, and I've always been a "Joba in the pen - Hughes in the rotation" guy, but after all the contortions they went through with Joba it seemed perverse to keep him out of the rotation this year.

26 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 13, 2010 12:32 pm

[21] The fuck kind of lineup is that??

And is it raining in Detroit, then?

27 seamus   ~  May 13, 2010 1:13 pm

[25] yeah, there were some diverse takes on the situation including a lot of Joba v Hughes. Personally, I think they both belong where they are. I'm willin gto be proven wrong on Joba but the late innings role seems to suit him well.

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