"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Hey Love

The Wife an I celebrated our anniversary this weekend so I was away from a computer for the past day. We did watch a bunch of the game yesterday–as well as most of the exciting (and exasperating) Bulls-Nets game.

You know, what? The Wife is the love of my life. We had a great time.

Here’s a Yankee thought: C.C. Sabathia’s got a ton of heart, man. Maybe there’s a better word for it, maybe “heart” is a cliche, but he’s had a couple of starts this year where he hasn’t had his best stuff but he’s still given the team length. Hasn’t complained about it, just gone out there and emptied the tank for his team. Yesterday, he went eight innings and got the win. He’s the man.

Today, we missed the game entirely but caught the highlights and hot damn–a four-game sweep of those upstart Jays? Sheeeeeit. Not bad for a bunch of broken-down, overpaid chumps, huh? Just enough hitting–how sweet is it when you win a game with just four hits? And a nice job by the pitching staff capped off by another tidy outing for The Great Mariano.

Final Score: Yanks 3, Jays 2.

A fine weekend, indeed.

“Talkin’ Bout Hey Love”-De La Soul

[Photo Via (the ever great) This Isn’t Happiness]

Sundazed

Morning Music and Game Thread (Baseball and Hoops).

“Sunny Afternoon”–The Kinks

Never mind the UV Rays:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: MPD]

Wha’ Happened?

I missed the game. Do tell. What happened?

 

On the Mend

Yanks-Jays, again.

CC’s on the hill.

Never mind the late afternoon shadows:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Bags]

Saturdazed Soul

“Ralph’s New Blues”–Modern Jazz Quartet

[Photo Via: Goldeau]

Breaks of the Game

Well, it didn’t start well. In fact, it was an upsetting evening for the Yankees. In the first inning, Francisco Cervelli–the Wife’s favorite player on the team–was hit in the right hand by a foul tip. He left the game and when the news arrived it wasn’t good–broken hand, and for the Wife, a broken heart. They say he’ll have surgery and be out for at least six weeks. And he was playing so well.

“It’s just not fair,” said the Wife.

Drag.

Then in the third inning, Ivan Nova walked off the mound and out of the game; he’ll have an MRI on his elbow to see what’s wrong.

The good news is that David Phelps, that most trustworthy of utility pitchers, was terrific. Struck out a ton of guys and only allowed one run–a long home run to Edwin Encarnacion, who has developed a right douche bucket home run trot.

The other Toronto Tough Guy, Jose Bautista hit the holy hell out of fastball by David Robertson in the eighth but a solo shot by Brett Gardner in the bottom of the inning earlier gave the Yanks a welcome two-run cushion.

There was a little drama for Mariano in the 9th. He got the first two men out and then you have to credit to Brett Lowrie–who looks like an MMA fighter–who’d been caught looking twice this season by Rivera’s outside cutter for a third strike. This time, down two strikes, he got the same pitch and slapped it into right field for a single. Another cheap single followed by an infield hit loaded the bases for Cody Rasmus, Bautista on deck. And Mo fell behind 2-0. But he evened out the count…

…the crowd took pictures, stood and cheered…

 …and the pulse quickened…

…then Mo struck Rasmus out to end it.

More injuries for the Yanks, but in the short term it was comforting that they at least got the win.

Final Score: Yanks 6, Jays 4.

As a side note, YES showed a cool shot of Mo holding court before the game with a group of Blue Jays. How many times do you see a scene like this?

Yeah, he’s a special one.

Push it Along

Tonight gives Nova and who knows what to expect from him? Josh Johnson will be replaced by Aaron Laffey for the Jays.

1. Gardner CF
2. Nix 3B
3. Cano 2B
4. Wells LF
5. Cervelli C
6. Suzuki RF
7. Nunez SS
8. Overbay 1B
9. Francisco DH

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

[Photo Via: Hengki Koentjoro]

Legend

Rest in Peace, George Jones. A true Legend.

Beat of the Day

Oh, hear the word of the Lord! [Photo Credit: Mario Testino]

BGS: Randall’s Serious

Here is third of four Dexter columns on the Cobb-Holmes fight (you can find the first two: here and here). This story is reprinted with the author’s permission.

“Randall’s Serious”

By Pete Dexter

Friday, November 26, 1982

HOUSTON – Howard Cosell came through the hotel lobby yesterday morning, complaining about being away from his family at Thanksgiving. Randall Cobb’s fight with Larry Holmes for the heavyweight championship of the world was clearly an inconvenience.

The news of Howard’s inconvenience was relayed to Randall through one of the national reporters also here to cover the fight. “Howard’s upset to be away from his family,” one of them said.

Randall looked up from under the hood of his boxing robe and nodded. “I know,” he said,” I got a thank-you note from his wife this morning. ”

That night, one of those reporters came to me in the hotel bar and asked when Randall was going to get serious. “He’s funny,” the reporter said,” everybody loves him, but when does he get ready? That’s Larry Holmes he’s got to fight, and Larry’s serious…”

Randall is serious.

He is as solid as I’ve ever seen him before a fight. There are no questions left in him, about himself or Holmes, and a kind of peace has set in that lets him smile at the distractions.

And the distractions aren’t just the prospects of fighting Larry Holmes. As Randall has become more valuable, more and more people have become interested in guiding his career.

As far as I know, there are two basic factions trying to eliminate each other from his affections, and factions within the factions trying to eliminate each other too. There are rumors of bugged rooms and spies and thieves.

The thieves, of course, are not rumors, they are facts.

There is serious trouble with the contract, which promoter Don King has amended because Randall showed up in Houston a week late – not for the fight, for publicity. King, of course, has been concerned enough about publicity to spend, oh, $20 on promotion, and allow the month of November to start without having set a final date for the fight.

His amendment is going to cost Randall several hundred thousand dollars.

Then there are reporters and television interviews and hundreds of people who want to touch Randall, or tell him something, or take pictures of their 3- year-old sons sitting on his lap. Everybody wants something.

And Randall sits alone and holds babies and signs autographs – and no matter how many times the people around him say, “We’re ready,” or ” We’re going to kill Holmes,” Randall is still going to step into the ring by himself – and he handles it.

Yes, he is serious.

And watching it happen, it occurs to me that I want something, too. I keep going back to the mornings at Mickey Rosati’s gym. Two or three mornings a week, Randall and I and Arthur Bourgeau used to meet there, and Randall would work three or four rounds with Arthur and then three or four rounds with me.

Work may be a little strong. He’d play with both of us, keeping enough pressure on to make it serious. In the end, I’d be too tired to take my own gloves off.

He’d wait until I felt better, and then we’d go over to the little coffee shop at 18th and McKean and read the newspapers or talk with Mickey, and for an hour or two nobody wanted anything from us. For an hour or two, it was peaceful.

And after that, everything else seemed easier. It was like a fresh start.

And sitting here on a rainy Thanksgiving Day in a hotel across the street from the Astrodome, I could use a fresh start. It’s all slow- motion now.

The old men and the sparring partners are always in the lobby, waiting forever. The line of people following Randall into the weigh-in seems longer than it was when he came in for interviews yesterday afternoon, more reporters come in by the hour. And across the street, the Astrodome is as gray as the sky, and it seems to hover there, always on the edge of your vision, like the fight itself.

And I wish that somehow we could go to Mickey Rosati’s gym tomorrow morning, and afterwards to the coffee shop, and sit there for an hour or two reading the papers, and have nobody wanting anything from any of us again.

And maybe then I could tell him what I have on my mind, that it doesn’t matter what happens against Larry Holmes, that the people who care for him don’t depend on him or what he does for who they are.

He already knows that, of course, but I wish I could say it anyway – not blurt it out, but just sit around until it came out – and let him know once, before it all changes, how happy it made me, the way it was.

[Photo Credit: Marco Rubio Jr.]

Morning Art

“Waterloo, 2013″ By Joe Martz

New York Minute

Nick Gerber has a great tumblr site stuffed with beautiful pictures of our city. Bookmark it.

Stiff Upper Lip

One trip through the Blue Jays’ order and Hiroki Kuroda did not look long for this April Night. The first eleven batters racked up six hits, all bullets. Kuroda rolled a double play and stranded some runners, or else Toronto’s two homers would have accounted for more than the three runs they got. The Jays could be forgiven if they thought they were going to romp.

But Kuroda worked through his early-bird specials and began serving up the good stuff by striking out Jose Bautista to end the second. That began a string of 13 of 14 Jays who wouldn’t reach base – the only runner safe on Lyle Overbay’s error in the 4th. It was a resilient performance and the Yankees didn’t waste it.

Robinson Cano again tested the breadth of his back and found it stout enough to carry the team to victory with a three-run shot in the third. Francisco Cervelli and Vernon Wells bookended Cano with solo blasts and the scoring held at 5-3 for a satisfying Yankee win.

Cano’s homer came on a 3-1 “fastball” from Mark Buehrle. Buehrle seemed to hit his spot on the inside corner, but he had two problems – he threw it 86 MPH and he threw it to Robinson Cano. Cano’s so quick on the inside pitch that he can get the barrel to a much faster pitch in the same location. Say what you will about his hitting approach, he doesn’t often get jammed.

Flip to the ninth inning and consider what Mariano Rivera, pitching as well at 43 years old, I’m pretty confident, as any pitcher in Major League history, did to Colby Rasmus with pitches is the same vicinity. Obviously, the cutting action of Rivera’s pitch separates it from Buehrle’s, but even more telling than the pitch action and velocity is the swing path.

As Rasmus whiffed at two of Rivera’s insidious cutters and scragged a bat on a true devil, I drifted off imagining a match-up between Cano and Mo. I think Mariano would be able to use Robbie’s aggressiveness and get him to chase high pitches. But I bet Cano would fair better against the inside/outside cutter gambit than almost any other left-handed batter.

I snapped out of it just in time to witness a true “Mo-Classic” (I woke up realizing that this should be a “Mo-fecta”) – three up, three down; strike out swinging, broken bat, strike out looking. I wonder how many times he’s done that in his career?

 

Photo by Kathy Willens via AP/ESPN

Blue Redux

Our man Hiroki’s on the hill as the Yanks begin a four-game series against the Jays at the Stadium.

1. Gardner CF
2. Francisco DH
3. Cano 2B
4. Wells LF
5. Cervelli C
6. Suzuki RF
7. Nunez SS
8. Overbay 1B
9. Nix 3B

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

[Photo Credit: Alfredo Piola via MPD]

New York Minute

Gothamist salutes the Woolworth Building.

Beat of the Day

The B Side.

Back to the Lab

Ah One Two, ah One Two.

Morning Art

“Shakespeare at Dusk” by Edward Hopper (1935)

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