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Wait—It’s Baseball Season, Right?

Goddamn, talk about remiss. They’re still playing baseball and I can’t even bother to put up a new post. Sorry about that for those of you who still come by. That’s my bad. But the lack of posts here is an indication of just how little I’ve been paying attention.

But I understand games are happening. I even check the box scores to prove it. And I saw the Yanks were playing poorly for a few weeks and seem to have regained their footing.

What am I missing? Anything you guys enjoying in particular?

Baseball, Sometimes

Winds light to variable.

Picture by Bags.

Is This Thing On?

I’ve been a bad host. Remiss. Haven’t hardly left the light on.

Well, here’s a new thread because they are still playing baseball. I have to admit, I have not been watching much. Haven’t seen anything in at least a week. But in my heart, I’m always root-root-rootin’ for the Bombers.

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

You Don’t Say?

The Yankees might have a shameful history of racism but turns out I was presumptuous in calling them horseshit for inviting President Trump to throw out the first pitch at a game in August. Turns out, according to this New York Times report, that Trump made it up. The Yanks weren’t in on it at all. A sliver of inconsequential good news in this otherwise cockamamie time.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Hello, I Must Be Going

So, you say there’s gonna be professional sports during a pandemic, eh?

Picture by Bags

Game Two

More baseball.

Have at it.

Picture by Bags

 

Lump Lump

On a day when former Yankee Mariano Rivera visited the White House and it was reported that President Trump has been invited to throw out the first pitch at a Yankee game in August—both horseshit moves that are unsurprising yet repellent—the Yankees beat the Nationals in a ran-shortened season opener in Washington. The Final was 4-1. Giancarlo Stanton hit a very long home run.

Both teams took a knee before the game to honor Black Lives Matter proving that even in the ultra conservative world of baseball—and specifically the Yankee organization—all is not lost.

Ready … Set … Sprint!

Baseball in the time of COVID. Go figure.

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

 

Mind the Gap

Texted with a friend last night who has been watching some of the televised pre-season action and reports that he likes the game without fans. I have not watched a lick of anything yet. Still seems crazy that they are going to go through with this but there you have it. MLB baseball is upon us.

Picture by Bags

Play … Ball?

They actually gonna go through with this cockamamie season?

Picture by Bags

The Sun RZAs in the East

© Bronx Terminal Market 2020; Universal Hip Hop Museum {R}Evolution of Hip Hop; VIP Party 2019

So this happened:

Fellow Banterite Mr. OK Jazz Tokyo beckoned to Fearless Leader and me for a contribution to a podcast he was working on with some good ol’ NYC-style Hip-Hop, and of course my big mouth said if you gave me a minute and a theme, I could come up with an hour’s worth of tracks; or something like that. Jazz took me up on that and so I dove into my reserves and off the top of my head (as is the wont of anyone who was or is “about that life”) and with a little editing, I created a playlist that lightly (hah!) spans the Golden Era and into the present of that beloved genre of street flavor… and boy, is it salty!

Representing the Jeep-banging Boom-Bap of the five boroughs from back in the day to the still-glowing embers of the underground are 19 tracks featuring legends mainstream and not, including a couple of less-heralded veterans whom are well worth researching if you wonder where all the good Hip-Hop has gone (please don’t answer that, we have already know).

After that, Jazz asked me to tell you all, which admittedly I was hesitant to do at first; not because of the largely NSFW (and I sincerely stress that if you’re unfamiliar with how Hip-Hop generally works) content, but because I’m actually rather modest about showcasing my own creations on a site that’s not actually my own, but then Mr. Belth called porkscrubs (or something of the sort) on that and encouraged me to share. And really, this is a group effort; I made the selections and Jazz and company put them together in a podcast, so who am I to not appreciate that and share it with the rest of the family?

So it is with great pleasure, and with the blessings of Fearless Leader, that we present to you all the way from NY to Tokyo and back, the K.O.L. Radio New York City Hip Hop Mix (by yours truly!) And remember; whether you like Hip Hop or not, the spirit of the streets has begun to be heard again in the darkness of the hour, and we’re here to help >;)

Don’t Make Me Laugh

I don’t know about you guys but I just don’t see a season happening this year. And if it does, I am not sure how much of it I can stand—no fans in the ballparks, constant worry that the players will expose themselves to the novel coronavirus. Things have been so strange this year, why not just pack it in and hope to start fresh in the spring.

Much as I love watching baseball I can’t say I miss it. Things are just too weird to allow myself the escape of watching a ballgame. But that’s just me.

Hope you all are hanging in and doing as well as can be expected during this cockamamie moment in history.

[Picture by Bags]

Creepin’ (Score Bard Remix)

Credit: https://ya-webdesign.com/imgdownload.html

With major apologies to Stevie Wonder, all the former denizens of Baseball Toaster and basically everyone on Planet Earth dealing firsthand with our pandemic, I nevertheless bring you a throwback to lighter times…

(Ahem…)
 —-
I can hear you sayin’
you’ll stay six feet away and
When will it be
That we can creep…
Back to our teams
 —-
On the beach we’re sittin’
Observing social distancin’
When will it be
We get to creep…
Back to our teams
 —-
Watch our teams…
—-
When I’m sleep at night beybey
I contemplate some herd immunity
When you sleep at night beybey…
I wonder do I creep into your dreams
Or could it be I sleep alone cuz of quarantine…
 —-
Opening’s complicated,
Uh, uh, uh, ah-choo!!!
How players are compensated,
As you can see,
Still too soon to creep…
Back to our teams
 —-
Watch our teams…

Take Me Out

Ed Alstrom, Ladies and Gents. Tune in to to Ed on Facebook each day at noon. He is the gift that keeps giving.

 

 

Fools Rush-nah fergeddit (:p)

Photo Credit:Steve Delabar on Twitter; @BlueJaysAggr @SteveDelabar_50

Although one would hope that the likelihood of what Yanks’ official team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmed says in a post on Medium.com regarding the risks of starting up the season too soon is about the same as the likelihood of a real-life scenario pertaining to the (ahem) film referenced in the title… aaaaand now I’m stuck, because I just can’t understand or accept why that film was even made. But Dr. Ahmed has some thoughts that might stick you just as easily and unpleasantly.

Dr. James Andrews, another noted physician who has performed numerous Tommy John surgeries for MLB pitchers, has also spoken numerous times about the uptick in these type of injuries in recent years, and both have warned of the potential of an epidemic going forward, though here Dr. Ahmed posits on how the Covid-19 pandemic could hasten such an epidemic.

To me; someone who has also often pondered to anyone and no one about the fast-rising volume of injuries and surgeries, this is definitely worth considering before we beg for baseball (or any sport for that matter) to return to whatever normal ends up being. Yeah, life without sports can be a living hell if you’re used to watching it year-round. But Tommy John surgery is by no means cute, and neither is the prospect of a preposterous number of pitchers succumbing to it while trying to entertain the restless masses sooner than they should have.

Teefusses…

“That’s what gives him such heart to fight; Leon says, ‘I ain’t got nuttin’ to lose: I ain’t got no money… I ain’t got no teefus… and I definitely ain’t got no driver’s license!’ ” – Richard Pryor, from the skit “Leon Spinks” from Wanted: Richard Pryor Live in Concert, 1978

That line to me is only important because the decision announced by Rob Manfred and MLB regarding their Red Sox investigation immediately made me think of that; it says a whole lot that in comparison to what MLB announced today (in the vacuum of no-season), Leon Spinks might have had a lot more of what Manfred apparently lacks.

Of course, there are a host of other considerations about the season that would seemingly take precedent above and beyond what the Red Sox’ punishment should or shouldn’t be after a non-transparent investigation into the possibility that they continued the trend that Houston started with tech-cheating (and having one common denominator in the process). After all, there are contracts and disciplines and decisions to consider and decide what is valid and for how long; points of reference which could instigate major disputes and conflicts even before the fact that they’ll eventually need a new CBA…

But no, let’s do the easy stuff first and make the Red Sox besorry fuh awwwll the wrong dey dunnn” … This is becoming a habit with him, isn’t it?  But at this point, I wonder who even cares; maybe that was the point all along.

Happy Trails, Hank

Pic Credit: Posted By: Annah Nafula July 6, 2017 Capital FM Uganda

Hank Steinbrenner, eldest of the late George Steinbrenner’s children and co-owner/general partner of the New York Yankees has died at the age of 63 (from a non-Covid 19 related illness).

Not only is this surprising, but it’s an even sadder oddity and reminder that we are living a moment in world history; in our own lifetimes, that we have to distinguish a well-known and older individual’s death from the thousands of deaths we are experiencing on a daily basis due to an insidious virus that has caused a global pandemic.  From reports that have come about at this writing, Hank had been sick for quite some time; it was the catalyst for him to step down as managing partner of the team he inherited from his father and pass the reigns to his once-reticent brother Hal.

As much as I hate to speculate, but it may have been this act alone that began the subtle rehab of his public image to the point that Yankee fans no longer saw his as a long-term threat to the organization’s prosperity, but more as a die-hard Yankee fan who happened to be co-Chairman and son of a legendary owner who did much the same thing in his latter years to recoup the grace of his involvement in all matters involving the Yankees.  Fair or not, Hank did things that angered the populace to the point that stepping away from the active and visible role of managing partner was in itself a blessing to everyone involved.

But I am not here to bury the man.  I never met him in person, so I don’t know what kind of guy he was.  I imagine in the days to come we will hear anecdotes about things he did under the radar that will form a more substantial view of him as a human being and a person with an important role in the organization; even if it was not direct or worthy of publication at the time, and maybe I’ll feel better or worse for what I write.  Hank seemed to us fans like a version of his father; loud and boisterous, reckless in terms of decisions involving the direction of the team.  In fact, his most noteworthy contribution to the Yankee Universe (a phrase he used in a distinct rant against the “Red Sox Nation”) was his involvement with the A-Rod contract negotiations after the latter opted out during the 2007 World Series from his former, ludicrous contract that the Texas Rangers had gifted him some years earlier.

After all was said and done, Hank, as the de-facto figurehead of the organization management in lieu of his father, supported and glorified Rodriguez with a 10-year, $275 million dollar contract (subsc req’d). No need to rehash what came of that, but it fairly or unfairly earmarked Hank’s place in Yankee history as one of the controversial decision-makers in their storied history (if not the worst), and that’s saying a lot.  Never mind that it was not solely his decision in the entire process (and that it was then-wife Cynthia who convinced A-Rod to go back to the Yanks), it was a move his father would have made in the blink of an eye, and cemented the image of Hank as a repeat offender to all anti-Steinbrenner campers (and in effect shielding Cashman, younger brother Hal , president Randy Levine and company from the main torrent of flak).

Yet outside of that, strictly in a baseball-sense Hank was if nothing else entertaining or at the very least a distraction from mediocrity in his boisterousness; a quality if you will that even the most begrudging curmudgeon of Yanks fans had to appreciate as he, often without forethought or by cynical design, gave voice to the core essence of Yankee fandom.  His criticism of the Red Sox resulted in owner John Henry extending him “citizenship” as a member of “Red Sox Nation”, including lifetime privileges and perks deserving of any VIP such as Green Monster seats and an autographed hat by David Ortiz (“…”).

Hank also scattered his buckshot around the league, feuding with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Dodgers,, the National League and MLB in general; once moved to write an article for the Sporting News after the Yanks were eliminated in 2008 from playoff contention for the first time in 25 years.  Hank had buckshot for everyone who was not a Yankee, much like a Hatfield would for a McCoy, and who’s to say that such rabidness wasn’t the least bit of good at a time when fortune seemed to be stagnant, if not trending downward for the Yanks and their fans.

In fact, it can be said without irony that Hank in a way kickstarted some of the self-analysis that MLB is publicly experiencing now, what with his  lashing out against divisional formats and not having a designated hitter in both leagues (as a result of the once-dominant Chien-Ming Wang injuring himself running full-tilt on the base paths during an interleague game and never fully recovering from it).  And for what it’s worth, Hank did differ from his father in one critical thing: he loathed the idea of selling off blue-chip prospects for the sake of a quick fix.  Having directly witnessed the consequences of such decisions, he was smart enough to realize that selling the organization’s future short guaranteed nothing in the present and potentially more disaster in the future (not that it completely makes up for the one decision that did end up complicating the organization’s future). His and Hal’s support of that principle has led to the Baby Bombers Renaissance, which Hank personally loved and can rightfully receive a certain amount of credit for.

All-in-all, it is fair to criticize the man we don’t know personally; who was the face of the franchise for some glorious and inglorious moments, who seemingly made strong efforts to impersonate his demanding, complicated and legendary father, who made at least one critically fateful decision that altered the direction of the storied franchise that can be analyzed for decades, whose unbridled passion for the team he co-owned and co-chaired led him to defend that team as though he were its sworn protector and whose candor seemingly hoisted his own pertard… but in doing so, remember that he not once disgraced the franchise with scandal brought about by some personal or moral failing that would belie or deflate his outspokenness as we have seen many times with many in his position.

For all the public slather about him over the years, I don’t have any reason to hate the man.  I never knew him personally, so I cannot say whether or not he was a good man.  What I do know is from where I stand, it seemed like a good idea for him to step down and pass the reigns to his little brother.  Now that we have a better notion of why, it’s all the more sympathetic. Strictly from a baseball sense, I think that’s fair.

All Things Must Pass

There is no baseball but that is the least of our troubles these days.

As we wait out this public health crisis, sending hugs and love to you and yours.

AB

If You Build It …

Man, you hold your breath each day and hope that another Yankee doesn’t get hurt. The big boppers, Stanton and Judge, muscular and impressive as they are, certainly aren’t durable.

We’re in March now, exhibition games are being played, and we’re gearing up for the start of the season. With the world gone topsy turvy—with no end in sight to the craziness in this election year—there is something comforting about the inevitability of Opening Day and the long season.

Picture by Bags

The Big Ouch

Luis, TJ surgery. Oy and veh.

And yet … you could feel this one coming.

Picture by Bags

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