"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: July 2012

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The Magic Word

I got one word for this game: Horseshit.

Nova was horseshit, the hitters, after the first inning when they got a couple of horseshit hits which led to what turned into some horseshit runs, were horseshit. Crowd was horseshit. Skreech and Snuffleupagus in the YES booth were horseshit. Hell, I was a steaming pile of horseshit watching at home and that’s before my cousin the Mets fan called and I was horseshit enough to complain to him.

The final was Baltimore 11, New York 5. I’d recap it for you but I’m too horseshit to do it much justice (not that it deserves any).

I’ll leave you with this from Kevin Kerrane’s wonderful Dollar Sign on the Muscle:

Any baseball talent, body, body-part, effort, action, player, team, city, or scouting assignment can be horseshit. The term covers everything but the world of words–the world of stories, explanations, and scouting reports–at which point bullshit takes over.

A real sentence spoken by a scout discussing a former colleague: “His written report was all bullshit, and that’s when I knew he was a horseshit guy.”

Bullshit can be a verb; horseshit can’t. (A sentence like “Don’t horseshit me would make no more sense to a scout than to a nonscout.) Novices sometimes elide the word into horshit, but the veterans get that first S down deep in the throat, with the tongue at the back of the palate, lots of air whistling past the lower teeth, and then they follow through for full emphasis. horsse-shit!

The word is popular throughout baseball–with players, managers, umpires, and executives.


Teams May Be Closer Than You Think

You won’t have Chad Qualls to kick around anymore. Yanks get a back-up third baseman. Looks like Joba will be activated tonight as well.

Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Russell Martin C
Ramiro Pena SS

Never mind the slump, never mind the damn losing: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Bravo_Zulu]

Beat of the Day

Now we’re up in the big leagues/ Getting our turn at bat.

Word to Sherm

Taster’s Cherce

Buttermilk French Toast from house to haus.


Didcha Hear?


The trade deadline comes today at 4 p.m. Over at SI.com, Cliff sets the stage.

Be sure to check in on Hardball Talk and MLB Trade Rumors for all the latest gossip and news.

[Photo Credit: Gruesome Twosome;  Challenger]

Morning Art

From our pal Craig Robinson, check this out:

Million Dollar Movie

Via Kottke–man, life is just better because of Kottke, ain’t it?–let’s revisit Fargo, shall we?

New York Minute

The Shades of Grey books made their way around my vicinity at work. A co-worker gave the first one to me, said The Wife might like it. What do I know? I took it home. And just like Mikey, she liked it, she liked it! (and in a roundabout way, so did I, Hell-to-the-Yes).

Now, I notice women reading these books on the subway all the time. I smile to myself and fight the urge to say, “Hey, my wife is reading that, too. She loves it. Let’s discuss.”

[Image Via This Isn’t Happiness]

Injury to Insult

Ah, man, this is getting to be all too familiar.

One run game, another fuggin loss.

I got back to the Bronx this afternoon after spending the last week with family. It was a week of missing out on Yankee baseball, save some highlights and bits and pieces of the games against the Red Sox last weekend.

So I unpacked and settled in for the game tonight, watched a couple of innings when a call from an old friend pulled me away from the action. The Yanks were down 3-2 when I left and losing 5-3 when I returned, just in time to see Ichiro hit his first home run in pinstripes.

The wife was happy. I took one look at the score–5-4 Yanks trailing–and my joy was tempered. Even more so when I saw the replay of Mark Teixeira diving after a base hit and falling hard on his glove hand. The play was bad enough for Tex to leave the game. Never a good sign and we’ll hold our collective breath for the details on his injury.

Robinson Cano picked the wrong time to go into a slump and not only did he have poor at bats tonight but he botched the tail end of two sure-fire double plays (fortunately, neither led to a run).

In the ninth, Nick Swisher led off with a double and was replaced by Ramiro Pena. Raul Ibanez, who homered in the fifth, followed and whiffed on a 2-2 change up in the dirt. Eric Chavez, who also homered earlier–a long, whiffle ball-wet-dream-of a homer–walked which brought Ichiro to the plate:

Fastball low for a ball. Sinker, soft ground ball to short. They go to second for the out, no chance to double up Ichi at first. So, first and third, two out and Russell Martin stepped in as a pinch-hitter:

Breaking ball, 81 mph, called strike. Fastball, 95 mph, low, 1-1. Another breaking ball, Martin took a late, feeble hack, swung right over it, 1-2. Fastball outside, Ichiro takes second. I’m sitting at home thinking there is no way Martin gets a hit. No way…And I was right as he swung over a sinker.

Orioles 5, Yankees 4.

The Yankees have lost eight times in their last eleven games. As we mentioned earlier, they’ve all been close games, these losses, but at some pernt that doesn’t mean Jack Boil Scratch. Their lead over Baltimore is down to six-and-a-half.

Fuggin’ Frustrating.

[Photo Credit: Bruce Stanfield; Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]

Get it in Gear

The Yanks have lost seven of their past ten games but they’ve been losing by this much. Interesting test for them this week as they host the Orioles (and then the Mariners over the weekend). It’s Freddy-Nova-Hughes against Baltimore.

Man, be nice to get a Score Truck sighting, huh?

Also hoping that Ichiro has a breakout game, too.

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

Never mind the bellyachin’: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Via: I Started History]

The Duke in His Domain


Here’s John Schulian, writing about Jim Murray in the Wall Street Journal.

Jim Murray made the sports page seem as if it should have a $10 cover and a two-drink minimum. In the last four decades of the 20th century, he wrote four, five, even six columns a week, delivering one-liners faster than a stand-up comic with his pants on fire. Casey Stengel’s rambling oratory reminded him of “the sound a porpoise makes underwater and an Abyssinian rug merchant.” Louisville, he wrote, smelled like “a wet bar rag.” One look at boxing’s baleful Sonny Liston and Murray told readers, “you only hope it doesn’t bite.” Even when he railed against the carnage at the Indianapolis 500, there was a laugh, however dark, in his outrage: “Gentlemen, start your coffins.”

He’d throw a change-up once in a while, something serious about racism or violence, and it was when deep pain entered his personal life that he wrote perhaps his best columns. Still, the Jim Murray I most loved to read was the one who wisecracked his way onto a stage made of newsprint. Sportswriters before him had dealt in humor—Damon Runyon, Red Smith, Ring Lardner and Ring’s boy John—but Murray played a different game entirely: Even when a joke tanked, you had to stick around because his next one would slay you.

You can order Ted Geltner’s new Murray biography, The Last King of the Sports Page, here. And if you’ve never read Rick Reilly’s 1986 bonus piece on Murray, check it out. 

Taster’s Cherce

My cousin makes a wonderful corn soup. I tried it for the first time over the weekend and it was a smash hit. So here’s a recipe that is a sure shot. It’s rich and silky without having cream or anything fattening. Plus, it’s not difficult to make. Alls it takes is a little patience to strain the soup at the end.

What’s in it:

8 ears of corn

1 yellow onion

3 stalks of celery

1 large carrot

Red Chili Flakes (optional)


Star Anise

Cinnamon Stick

First:  Make a corn stock out of the corn cobs (slice off the kernels off 8 corn cobs first and reserve them). Cover corn cobs in water by 2-3 inches. Add salt and pepper, a sachet with 2p star anise, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bring to boil and then reduce to simmer and cook (at a simmer) for 2 hours. Cook uncovered. When you are finished, remove cobs and discard the sachet.

Second:  In a separate pot, on medium to high heat, saute the onion, carrot and celery in a small amount of butter (1-2 tablespoons) or oil (also 1-2 table spoons…Olive oil is fine though you could use a neutral oil as well). Add some red chili flakes if you’d like but I’d be careful not to add too much. (If you like it spicy add more to your bowl when serving.) When the vegetables are semi-soft (maybe 5-8 minutes), add the kernels. Cook together until soft. I’d say about another 15 minutes, medium heat. You can add a little of the stock, 1/4 cup at a time, and cover the vegetables to speed up the cooking time.

Third:  Set the vegetables aside. When they stock is ready, combine the vegetables with the stock in a blender. You may want to wait until both cool down so you don’t burn yourself but that’s not necessary. Blend the vegetables and stock in batches until smooth, adding more stock if it is too thick.

Fourth:  When you have finished this step, strain the soup through a sieve or a mesh strainer. This will ensure the corn kernel husks aren’t in the final product. You don’t have to do this step, and it’s a pain in the ass, but I think it’s worth the effort. Makes a difference for sure.

Finally:  You may reheat the soup, serve it room temperature, or even cold. Add a pinch of finishing salt–preferably Maldon–and a drizzle of olive oil to each bowl once you’ve plated the soup. You can also add some torn basil leaves. Cilantro would work just fine, too.

The key to this soup is using fresh corn–pick it and make the soup the same day if you can–and straining the vegetables at the end.

You’ll knock ’em dead, Sweetie. Count on it.

[Photo Via Seasoned Fork]

Million Dollar Movie

Dumb fun from the Eighties. Movie is a quote-factory for nerds of a certain age (guilty).

Also loved the books when I was growing up.

Might be Chase’s best movie.

[Picture by Alex Kittle]

New York Minute

I’ve talked a lot about The Ginger Man, my old man’s bar of cherce when I was a kid. Well, one of the coolest things about that block, 64th Street just off of Broadway, was this:

I found this picture at The Time Machine, a cool, though defunct site by Neil J. Murphy. Worth poking around.

Thanks to the consistently stellar Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York for the tip.

Morning Art

Picture by Adrian Tomine via This Isn’t Happiness.

Beat of the Day

Monday Morning Soul. One time fuh yuh mindski.

[Collage by Javier Pinon over at Faith is Torment]

No Dice, Son (You Gotta Work Late)

There was a pitcher’s duel between Hiroki Kuroda and Felix Doubront on Sunday night baseball in the Bronx. Ryan Sweeney doubled home a pair of runs in the second inning. Otherwise, both starting pitchers piled up the outs and the score remained 2-0 Boston. The ground ball was Kuroda’s friend and he got four double plays to keep his team in the game.

In the seventh, Russell Martin got the Yankees on the board when he hit a lead off home run. Ichiro reached on an infield hit and though Jason Nix couldn’t push him into scoring position (fail, as he whiffed) but was the last batter Doubront would face. Matt Albers replaced him to pitch to Derek Jeter and after a throw to first Ichiro took off for second on the first pitch Albers threw. And he was safe by plenty.

Jeter slapped a sharp base hit to right field too hard to score Ichi. Runners on the corners and the lefty Andrew Miller replaced Albers and got Curtis Granderson to pop up to shallow left on one pitch. Fail and boy, this has been a rough couple of games for Granderson. Mark Teixeira  jumped at Miller’s first pitch too (fail) and grounded out weakly to second. Dustin Pedroia bobbled the ball for a moment but still made the play without incident.

Two pitches, two out: so much for patience.

Kuroda worked a one-two-three ninth, surviving a bullet line drive off Jacoby Ellsbury’s bat that landed safely in Teixeria’s glove for the third out.

Cano grounded out to third to start the bottom of the inning. It was a close play at first but the ump got the call right. Nick Swisher, two hits on the night, was next and got ahead 2-0 and then 3-1 but looked at a beautiful 3-2 curve ball right over the plate for strike three. Andruw Jones cranked a 2-2 fastball–don’t throw him a heater ,willya, hah?–into the left field corner for a double and the Yanks were still alive. That was it for Miller. Showtime for Alfredo Aceves. His first pitch to Martin was a fastball right down the cock. Martin drilled it into centerfield for a base hit, Jones scored, tie game.

Ichi took a curve for a strike. A wild pitch, Martin to second. His first big moment? Nah, not so fast. A line drive to Carl Crawford ended the inning.

The ninth. Soriano, and am I the only one worried? Well, the sombitch hit Crawford in the foot with the second pitch he threw. Dustin Pedroia flew out to center and then Adrian Gonzalez popped out to Jeter. The ball wasn’t far behind third base and Jeter, shifted close to second, had a long way to run to make the play. This after Crawford got caught leaning and narrowly avoided being picked off. Cody Ross, who never gets cheated on his swing, took a big hack, and a few more throws over to first by Soriano, Ross squibbed one off the end of his bat. It rolled down to Teixeira who fielded it and recorded the third out.

What, me worry?

Eric Chavez, pinch-hitting, led off the bottom of the inning, worked the count full and then swung under a high fastball. Jeter hit grounded out to Will Middlebrooks and Aceves stayed in to pitch to Granderson. Curtis was 0-8 lifetime against Aceves with five strikeouts. Make that 0-9 when Grandy got under a fastball and flew out to right.  The game headed to extra innings.

So David Robertson walked Salty to start the tenth and then Middlebrooks was hit on a failed bunt attempt. The umpire ruled that he didn’t attempt to get the bat out of the way. Bobby Valentine didn’t like the call and he was thrown out of the game. Josh Beckett bitched and bellowed from the dugout and he was run, too. Course Middlebrooks singled to left. First and second, no out. Sweeney couldn’t get a bunt down and hit into a 4-6 force. Too slow for a double play. Runners on the corners with one out.

You know I was praying for another double play. But with the speedy Pedro Ciriaco at the plate, man, that was a tall order. So the string bean bloops a single into short right field and the Sox were ahead. It was a good pitch by Robertson, a shitty hit by Ciriaco and I could hear ol’ John Sterling say, “You know, Suzyn, you can’t predict baseball.”

Naturally, Ellsbury hit into that tailor-made double play to end the inning.

Teixeira popped a ball into the right field seats and the fans did a terrible job letting Sweeney catch the ball. They would have had to jump to disrupt Sweeney from reaching into the stands and making the play, it would have been a tough play, but dammit, it could have been made.

Robbie Cano didn’t go up there looking to do anything but swing and swing he did at the first four pitches. The at bat ended in a little ground out to Pedroia. Swisher got plunked in the elbow with a breaking ball and Ramiro Pena replaced him as a pinch-runner. Ibanez for Jones. And it was a good at bat. Fastball after fastball and finally on the ninth pitch a breaking ball swung on and missed.

Final Score: Red Sox 3, Yanks 2.

A big game for the Sox who get back to .500. A vexing loss for the Yanks who’ve had a week to forget. Just ugly.

[Photo Credit: Past TenseJoram Roukes]

Swish Splash

It’s Raining. Again. Yanks-Sox. This could be a late night.

1. Jeter SS
2. Granderson CF
3. Tex 1B
4. Cano 2B
5. Swisher DH
6. Jones LF
7. Martin C
8. Ichiro RF
9. Nix 3B

Our boy Hiroki is on the hill.

Never mind the drip drops: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Baptiste Leonne]

On Tap

Sunday sports thread. The Olympics, trade rumors and more, as we wait for the Yanks and Sox to play again tonightski.

[Photo Credit: Steve Gengler via It’s a Long Season]

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