"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: June 2017

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Not Ready For Prime Time

Coke Cases Bags

That was the verdict when the Yanks and Astros met earlier this season in the Bronx. Now, they play a weekend series down in Houston.

Never mind the heartache:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

A Day to Remember, A Moment to Forget


Imagine for just a minute that you’re Dustin Fowler. As the 2017 season unfolds, you watch as one of your former minor league teammates becomes the biggest star in baseball, and as spring ripens into summer, one prospect after another climbs through the ranks and debuts in New York. Undaunted, you continue to grind at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, putting together a season that turns heads and has many observers wondering when you might join the rest of the Baby Bombers at the major league level.

In late June your hard work pays off. On Wednesday night your manager pulls you aside and tells you that tomorrow will be your day. Instead of riding the team bus to Thursday night’s game in Syracuse, you’ll be hopping a plane to Chicago and the major leagues. To make the day even more special, you get word on Thursday afternoon that you’ve been named an International League All-Star. For a moment you wonder about the league All Star Game, but it only takes seconds before you realize that you’d trade twenty minor league all star games for just one game in the show.

Your parents can’t make it to Chicago for the game, but when you arrive at the stadium and see your road jersey hanging in a locker marked “Fowler,” your parents are the only thing you can think of. Just as it still is for millions of kids across America, your baseball journey began with your parents. Games of catch with your father in the waning twilight after work, countless rides to practice and games, rolls of quarters and trips to the batting cages, and on and on and on. Because they were there then, you are here now.

It doesn’t take long for the media to find you during warm ups, and you answer different versions of the same question with different versions of the same answer. “It’s hard to put into words how excited I am,” you explain, “but it’s great to be here. It’s what I’ve worked for my whole life, and I’m just excited to get my career started.”

Before you know it the game arrives. A two hour and fifty minute rain delay does nothing to dampen your spirits, and when you sprint onto the field to take your position in right field before the bottom of the first inning, you float. After two quick outs Jose Abreu flicks a fly ball in your direction down the right field line. You take off after the ball in a flash, just as you’ve tracked thousands upon thousands of fly balls. There’s no thought, only reaction laced with twenty-two-year-old adrenaline, and before you know it the stands are rushing towards you far faster than they should. The ball you’ve been chasing curls harmlessly into the seats just as your body slams into the restraining wall. You’ll shake it off like you’ve shaken off so many bumps and bruises, but then your right foot hits the ground and you collapse in a heap.

Before you realize what’s happening, you’re surrounded by teammates and coaches and trainers. Steve Donohue crouches down and examines your knee while Joe Girardi buries his face in his hands, wiping tears from a face that’s seen fifty years of baseball. Veterans and rookies who had celebrated your arrival only hours before, form a circle of sorrow around you. Their words are positive and encouraging, but you see something different in their eyes. When they look at you they see Moonlight Graham, a player who came and went on this very day in 1905.

And then you’re on a cart driving out of the stadium with your knee in a splint and your heart in your mouth, the day your whole life has been pointing towards suddenly crashing down around you.

The game, of course, continues without you. Your team had taken advantage of an error to grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the White Sox jump back with two runs in the second, a rally made possible when your replacement, Rob Refsnyder, simply drops a fly ball. Your Yankees never lead after that, and nothing much of interest happens the rest of the away aside from a spotless performance from the much maligned bullpen (3.1 innings pitched, one hit, zero runs, zero walks, five strikeouts), and the curious case of Aaron Judge.

You know Judge well and nothing he’s doing surprises you, but as you listen to the end of the game while being prepped for surgery on your torn patella tendon, two things strike you as odd. First, with two outs in the seventh and the bases empty, Judge draws an intentional walk, making him only the third player this season to get a free pass with no one on board. That’s certainly strange, but in the ninth inning something happens that doesn’t fit the game you’ve grown up with.

After getting the first two outs of the inning, White Sox closer David Robertson gives up a clean single to Brett Gardner, setting up a showdown with Judge, and this is where things stop making sense. Even though the speedy Gardner carries the tying run in his pocket, the White Sox choose not to hold him on. Even though the speedy Gardner carries the tying run in his pocket and isn’t being held on by the White Sox, the Yankees choose not to have him steal second. The White Sox want Girardi to send Gardner, which would open up first base and allow them to walk Judge, but Girardi doesn’t take the bait. Judge eventually strikes out to end the game, but it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.

The final score of the game is White Sox 4, Yankees 3, and the Yankees have fallen out of first place, but as the anesthesia creeps into your lungs and begins to fog your mind, your last conscious thought is for yourself. Again you see Abreu’s fly ball slicing off his bat, but this time it stays in play, this time you easily gather it in, this time you trot down the line towards the dugout, your adrenaline rising as each step brings you closer to your first major league at bat.

It Might Blow Up But it Won’t Go Pop

Ballongs Bags Color

As if we need another reason to love Aaron Judge, there’s this.

Couple of rookies got their first big league hits last night—Miguel Andujar went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI in his first game!—as the Yanks blitzed the White Sox, 12-3.

Going for the series win tonight. Be a shame not to get it.

Never mind the Bromo:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

At Least Nobody Got Hurt

Otto Bags

Except some feelings. (Okay, Matt Holliday was placed on the DL but we already knew he was sick.)

Yanks come back late, then Betances blows the game, Yanks lose, everyone is sad, though some are also angry.

Maybe tonight won’t suck.

Never mind the disabled list:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Do Not Cross

police barricade bags

Our Yanks beat the White Sox on Monday night but it wasn’t easy as the bullpen decided to make things nervous late. But they didn’t totally shit the bed and the Yanks got a much-needed win, 6-5.

Starlin Castro heads to the DL because, why not? All the cool kids are doing it these days.

The only good news is that another bright young prospect—this time, Tyler Wade—gets called up.

Never mind the M*A*S*H unit:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags


Chi-Town It Is

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Yanks are in Chicago for four games against the White Sox.

Never mind all this sucking:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture via Eater.


Get it Together

cityscape buildings bags

Phone is ringing, oh my God:

The Yanks just can’t get it together. They got pounded 8-1 on Saturday and then Big Mike got his tits lit but good yesterday and the Rangers had a quick 7-0 lead. Yanks fought all the way back to make it 7-6 but more sloppy base running helped do them in.

7-6 was the final. Oh, and count Aaron Hicks among the walking wounded. He will be on the shelf for a month.

Some Old Timer’s Day.


Picture by Bags

The Little Third Baseman That Could

red woman bags walking

Ronald Torreyes is not just a cute mascot who is hosted on Didi Gregorius’s shoulders every time A-Aron Judge homers. Last night, he made a trio of terrific plays in the field and then came through with a looping base hit in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Yanks a much-needed, 2-1 win.

Masahiro Tanaka was excellent, he looked like his old self, and matching him was Yu Darvish.

Alas, Chris Carter—who made a few nice scoops at first last night—has gone the way of Garrett Jones and any number of other sluggers picked up on the cheap in the hopes that they would catch fire. Carter never did with the Yanks and he was DFA’d after the game. Seems like a good dude. And while this is likely a wise move by the team, and I won’t miss watching Carter’s at bats, I always feel badly when things don’t work out. Then again, he is making $3.5 million this year so I am not too broken up about it.

And Tyler Austin gets called up so be nice to see him again.

It is muggier than muggy today. Afternoon game at the Stadium.

Never mind the stupidity:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Someday a Real Rain Will Come

awesome water tower bags

Man, the Yanks kicked the ball around like a bunch of bumbling dillweeds the other night, Severino was Bump, Dellin Betances got lit up and the Yanks lost the game and the series.

Final Score: Angels 10, Yanks 5.

Hot and muggy in New York with thunderstorms on the forecast for this evening. They should get it in but it might be a long night.

The Rangers are in town.

Never mind the gloom:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Yes, Please

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Hey, a win. We remember those.

8-4, Yanks. Not pretty, but comedy never is.

Tonight, they go for the series win.

Never mind the heat:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Is it Safe to Look, Yet?

interior cab bags

Yanks came home and got pounded by the Angels as their slump continues.

Big Mike was deliberate to the point of being insufferable and also not that good. But it was the bullpen again that shit the bed.

Final Score: Angels 8, Yanks 3.

More tonight. After an afternoon shower it is hot and humid.

Something’s gotta give.

Never mind the bitchin’ and moaning’:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Looking Ahead

Bags Uptown Gal

That really was the road trip from Hell, wasn’t it? And now Gleyber Torres is gone for the year with TJ surgery?


Yanks back at it against the Angels tonight at the Stadium. Let’s hope being home sets the guys back on the good foot. Can’t get any worse? Wait—we know the answer to that.

Ah, never mind the Nay-Saying:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

The Hits Keep Coming

bags bug pyramid

Count Yankee uber-prospect Gleyber Torres among the walking wounded as he hyperextended his left elbow sliding into home plate yesterday.

Oy and Veh. And by the way the Yanks lost again yesterday, this time 5-2, with our man Masahiro looking less than impressive still.

Last Sunday night after completing a 3-game clubbing of the Orioles the trip out West found the team in good spirits. Now, they are a loss away from making the nightmare complete and the return trip a bummer. Here’s hoping they leave Oakland with a “W” then get back for some home-cooking.

Never mind the blues, baby:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

No, I’m Not Alright, Spider

bags typewriter

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

Yanks bullpen blew a game late on the West Coast and the Yankees lost.


This is beginning to get irritating.

It’s our man Masahiro—and hold your breath—this afternoon in Oakland.

Never mind the losing streak:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

No, I Thought You Said That You Were Alright Spider


Right. So last night the Yanks lost again in extra innings. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks left the game with injuries which leaves us with a funky lineup tonight:

LF Rob Refsnyder
RF Aaron Judge
DH Matt Holliday
2B Starlin Castro
1B Chris Carter
3B Chase Headley
C Austin Romine
SS Ronald Torreyes
CF Mason Williams
RHP Luis Severino

Never mind the self-pity:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!


For You Blue

bags trumpet bags

Always the same when the Yanks are out in Anaheim. Bad things happen. The blew two games that were winnable. Duh-Rag.

Now for 4 in Oakland. Let’s hope things turn back our way.

They sure don’t for my boy, Greg Bird. Oy and Veh.

Never mind the late nights:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Aie, Aie


Oh, man. Well, you knew something had to give. Unfortunately, it was C.C.’s hamstring, which chased him from the game early and will likely put him on the D.L. In the meantime, Tyler Clippard gave up a late lead for the second-straight night and the Yanks fell in extra innings to the Angels, 3-2.

Quelle dommage.

Munch a Buncha

In n Out Burger

The Big Fella is on the bump for our boys tonight.

Let’s hope he keeps on keepin’ on.

Never mind the bandwagon:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Come and Get It (While the Gettin’ is Good)

Baseball Field in LA

If you stayed up late to watch the game last night sleep came easily after Aaron Judge’s 2-run homer in the 8th put the Yanks ahead for good.

I think I can safely speak for most Yankee fans when I say—Pinch me.

Final: Yanks 5, Angels 3.

Tanaka was not great but he was better. Thank you, kindly, my dude.

A Way Out West

L.A. Sunset

Masahiro Tanaka looks to get himself straight tonight in Anaheim. Yanks are on the west coast all week—3 in Orange County, followed by a 4-game series in Oakland.

Never mind the In-and-Out Burgers!

Let’s Go Yank-ees!


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