"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Older posts            Newer posts

Million Dollar Movie

Any goldbrickers out there? Got something for you.

White Heat, which to my mind is Cagney’s greatest gangster movie, is playing at the Museum of Modern Art this week, Wednesday through Friday at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Morning Art

“The Lacemaker,” Johannes Vermeer (1669-70)

New York Minute

As a kid, the scariest neighborhood I could think of outside of Harlem was Alphabet City. It was a world away from the Upper West Side, which had its tough blocks and dangerous stretches. I heard about Alphabet City in frightening terms, as in “You don’t want to go down there.” Then, when I was thirteen, I remember this movie poster:

I never saw the movie and it would be years until I went downtown to that neighborhood. By the time I got there it was called the East Village.

[Photo Credit: Ribonyc]

Whirlin’ Darvish

Over at River Ave Blues, Moshe Mandel thinks that despite the risks taking a risk on Yu Darvish is the right play for the Yanks.

[Photo Credit: Japanese Baseball Players]

Word Up

Happy Monday.

[Photo Credit: JF Souto]

Sunday Night Light

Welp, thats one holiday down. Bring on the Christmas carols and serious, Oscar-contending movies.

It’s a quiet night in the city. Dig the picture by most talented Joseph Holmes. We’ll see you in the a.m.

Sundazed Soul



Guess Who’s Back?

Winter just got better.

[Light painting by Natalie Jean, basketball player painting by Ernie Barnes]

Saturdazed Soul

A day late…

Observations From Cooperstown: Nix, Nunez, Garcia, and The Mystery Man

The Yankees’ decision to sign journeyman Jayson Nix to a make-good contract might end up as inconsequential, or it might be a harbinger of a larger transaction to come. A utility infielder who can play both the infield and the outfield, Nix looks like he’s part of the Triple-A backup plan, but I wonder if there is more at work here. There have been rumors that the Braves and Yankees are talking about a deal that would send Eduardo Nunez to Atlanta as part of a package for Jair Jurrjens. If the Yankees do trade Nunez, they will need a new utility infielder. Ramiro Pena is clearly not the answer, and the organization has shown no confidence in minor league veteran Jorge Vazquez.

What kind of a player is Nix? He had a miserable 2011, hitting so poorly and striking out so frequently for the Blue Jays that they released him in mid-season. But he does have some power–he hit 26 home runs combined for the White Sox and Indians over the 2009 and 2010 seasons–and can play third base, second base or shortstop, in addition to the outfield corners.

So should the Yankees trade Nunez? He has loads of natural talent, but is very raw, and must find a way to cut down on his throwing errors. He could be a very good utility infielder, ala Randy Velarde or Luis Sojo, but I don’t know if he has enough patience at the plate to be an everyday player. In the meantime, Jurrjens is a very effective right-handed pitcher who has been good in three of his four full seasons. He’s a strike thrower who won’t turn 26 until January, with the one concern being his ability to stay healthy. If the Braves would be willing to part with the native of Curacao in exchange for a package of Nunez, Brandon Laird, and a middling prospect, I’d have to give some serious thought to such a trade…

* * * *

The Yankees’ wise decision to re-sign Freddy “The Chief” Garcia should not be interpreted as a sign that they will not pursue additional starting pitching; rather it’s part of a plan to stockpile as much pitching depth as possible for a long season. The reliable Garcia is an insurance policy, a No. 5 starter under a worst-case scenario, and possibly a long reliever. The Yankees still plan to pursue pitching via both the trade and free agent routes. If they can add someone like Mark Buerhle (free agent) or John Danks (trade), the rotation will look like this:

1) CC Sabathia

2) Ivan Nova

3) Buerhle or Danks or someone else

4) Phil Hughes

5) A.J. Burnett

Under this scenario, Garcia would start the season out of the bullpen and would be available as a long man and spot starter. The Yankees could then give Hector Noesi some more time to develop as a fulltime starter at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. With Noesi, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos at Scranton, the Yankees would have exactly the kind of young pitching depth that Brian Cashman desires as mid-season insurance. But the plan depends on adding a starting pitcher of some pedigree, something that Cashman has not been able to do since signing Sabathia in 2009…

* * * *

Over at The Hardball Times, I’ve been writing a series of baseball card mysteries where I ask readers to assist me in identifying players on cards. One of the cards has proved particularly vexing: the 2001 Topps Golden Moments card featuring Bucky Dent’s historic home run against Mike Torrez. I’ve been able to identify most everyone on the card. There’s Dent himself (wearing No. 20), who’s being trailed by Chris Chambliss. The welcome wagon of congratulation includes Yankee trainer Gene Monahan, backup catcher Cliff Johnson and manager Bob Lemon (all in jackets). Behind Lemon is Jay Johnstone, the veteran backup outfielder. Behind Monahan is Willie Randolph, who was injured and unavailable to play in the tiebreaker game against the Red Sox.

That leaves one mystery man. Who is the player to the right of Randolph, the one right next to the gold Topps logo? Among our readers suggestions have been backup outfielder Gary Thomasson, first baseman/DH Jim Spencer, and backup catcher Mike Heath. Still others claim that this player has no number on the back of the uniform, which leaves open the possibility that it is not actually a player, or not a player who was eligible for that game against the Red Sox. Could it be a ballboy or a batboy?

Who in the world is it? At this point, I really have no idea. Perhaps someone at the Banter knows.

Bruce Markusen writes “Cooperstown Confidential” for The Hardball Times.

New York Minute

I’ve never gone to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade but I have an uncle who used to go every year. It was one of those things that he couldn’t imagine not doing and didn’t understand why everyone didn’t feel the same way he did.

The floats are cool, though, aren’t they?

Taster’s Cherce

You ate it, Ralph.

How bout you guys? Do any major damage yesterday? I did. Three pieces of pie, and cookies and…plop, plop, fizz, fizz.

Beat of the Day

Madlib+M.F. Doom=Madvillain.

Morning Art

Thor by Jack Kirby.

Via the great Tumblr site, Comic Book Artwork.

Space Ball

This is exactly what I would do if I was an astronaut.


[Photo via fffound.com]

The Return of Fab Five Freddy

Sources say

Boid is the Woid

Remember this? Thirty years ago…Thanks to our man Cliff for sending the link.

Happy Thanksgiving you guys!

p.s. Looks as if the Yanks want Fab Five Freddy back in 2012.

[Photo Credit: Vickisee]

Beat of the Day


Kick the Bobo.

[Photo Credit: Daniela Nobili]

The Dream Team

When I’m trying to get to sleep, I solve little puzzles to wind down my brain. Lately, I’ve been working on how the Yankees could acquire the best player at every position. Quickly, it becomes logistically impossible. There’s no way to pry Tulowitski or Longoria or Kemp or Braun away from their current teams.

However, changing the criteria slightly to acquiring the best available players at every position, things become doable. Absurdly expensive, but doable.

At first base, Albert Pujols, that’s easy. Keep the rest of the infield. Cano is the best second baseman for me over the last two years anyway, and close enough to the best overall that there’s no reason to upgrade. Jeter is required to maintain the idea that this is indeed the Yankees we’re talking about. And Arod, even that close to dreaming I can’t imagine some other team wanting to deal with him.

In the outfield, Granderson and Gardner might be the best outfielders available for their spots. For the other outfield spot, I’d gamble on the Cuban star, Yoenis Cespedes, though I guess Beltran is the best established player available. For DH, sign Prince Fielder. Note, every acquisition at this point is just a matter of money.

Now the hard part. Catcher. Perhaps this is the result of a midnight haze, but I think the Yankees could get Joe Mauer with Montero and others (Nova, Banuelos, etc). Mauer is now ridiculously expensive, has never been an Iron Horse, and has, for the first, time, turned in a stinker of a season. I think that the Twins could be persuaded that his contract is no longer in their best interests.

So that lineup is now something like Granderson, Mauer, Pujols, Fielder, Arod, Cano, Cespedes, Jeter, Gardner. Teixeira will DH against lefties and have to learn how to play 3B again to back up Arod. Russell Martin will be the back up catcher. Swisher is the fourth outfielder. To back up Jeter and Cano, and eventually replace Jeter, sign Jose Reyes.

The rotation is even easier. Sabathia is back. Send the rest of the Yankees staff to the pen (figure Nova is headed to Minnesota in the Mauer deal) and sign Wilson, Darvish, Buerhle and Oswalt, or the four best pitchers according to you.

We already have the best closer and possibly the best set-up man in Robertson. At times, Soriano is among the top relievers in the game. Add in Heath Bell, I guess, if he’s any good. I am always asleep before I get to the bullpen, so this is not as well considered. The demoted starters will pitch in where they can. Too bad Pabelbon signed elsewhere.

The 2012 Yankees would cost around, what, $350 million? Why not? It’s not my money so I won’t lose any sleep over it.

[Picture via Onion Sports Network]

Million Dollar Movie

A new Muppets movie is here. Here’s a scene from their original flick:

And dig this, too:

Older posts            Newer posts
feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver