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Absolute Sadness

feie

At 2:00 p.m. yesterday, David Price was at Tropicana Field throwing. I saw footage of it last night and wondered if he was out there out of routine or to say farewell to the only professional team he’s ever played for. According to Marc Topkin:

Price has been pitching for weeks knowing a trade was possible. But he had hoped, even Thursday, when he went to play golf and swung by the Trop for a workout, that it wasn’t going to happen.

“It’s tough to put into words,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “There’s absolute sadness. This is where I’ve been the last seven years. I love the guys, I love being here. It’s different.”

I also saw a clip of Austin Jackson being called off the field in the middle of an inning, hugging teammates in the dugout. Four-and-a-half years with the Tigers and goodbye. Then I saw this article linked over at Hardball Talk.

Yeah, I know this is just business–it’s Chinatown, Jake–but I couldn’t help but feel for the sense of loss these men–and their former teammates, not to mention fans–were experiencing.

Must feel unreal.

[Photo Credit: Yash Dravid via It's a Long Season]

All In

Lester and Gomes to the A’s for Cespedes. Billy Beane going all in. Sounds like a good deal for the Sox, too.

Wow.

Flat

paris, texas

Brett “The Constant” Gardner hit a long home run to lead off the game last night and a few innings later Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo home run. That brought the  Yanks to within a run of the Rangers, who scored 3 times in the first inning against our man Hiroki. But the Yankees didn’t get a man on base after the 3rd inning and even with Kuroda pitching 7 durable innings, that’s just no way to win a ball game, now is it?

Final Score: Rangers 3, Yanks 2.

Former President George W. Bush was on hand before the game as part of the Rangers’ farewell ceremony for Derek Jeter. Watching the former President standing next to Jeter was amusing. Jeter looked completely at ease. Not presidential, exactly, but a Duke in his domain for sure.

Free Delivery

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The Yanks received mercy from the Rangers and the Gods yesterday. Let’s hope they leave Texas tonight with a nice, professional series win. And who is more of a pro than our man Hiroki?

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Zoilo Almonte RF
Brendan Ryan 2B

Never mind the deadline:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Let’s Make a Dope Deal

Arizona Diamondbacks v Boston Red Sox

Trade, anyone?

Latest has Lester going to the O’s. Dag!

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Million Dollar Movie

cathymoriarty

From our pals at the ever-great site, Cinephilia and Beyond, comes Michael Chapman talking about the use of slow motion in Raging Bull:

We were pretty precise about what we wanted and we had all sorts of rules, you know, the actual boxing would all be at 24 frames, but other times it could be other… when it wasn’t just the boxing, or there’s some famous shots where it’s in 24 frames, and then you go to 48 frames while Jake walks away in the neutral corner and he’s breathing, and he comes back to 24 frames when he’s going to fight again, but it’s all in one shot, and we did… that was okay, because he wasn’t actually boxing when he went to 48 frames, and we did it with a… really just by hand, and now you can coordinate that and punch it in, but in those days you did it by listening to the sound of the camera changes — speed changing and then opening and closing the diaphragm in… in relation to the change of the speed. But guys just did it by hand; we did it two or three times and it worked out. If you don’t do it right, of course, it… you know, it gets all buggered up. We did it I think every time and it worked out all right, and then occasionally when he’s in the corner, and they’re pouring water over him, we would go to a really 96 or 120 frames and… and really be outrageous, but when they were boxing we made sure they were always 24, except I think like all rules we broke them a little bit in the end, but, anyway, we had very elaborate rules and very elaborate methodology that we worked on all the way through the movie.

Seems Like Old Times

windows

Damn those Yankees for spoiling what I thought to be a perfectly good headline: The Constant Gardner. Ol’ Brett is fire right now so I wanted to pay tribute to that. But then the game got in the way, an old-fashioned, tedious, and seemingly endless American League slugfest, that came down to the final pitch. Well, Gardner figured into that, too, when he caught Adrian Beltre’s fly ball to end the game.

I don’t know about you, but from where I was sitting, I thought the ball was going over the fence for a game-winning home run.

The Yanks had a big fat lead but the Rangers scored 7 runs in the last 3 innings and made us more than somewhat uncomfortable. J.P. Arencibia, a reincarnation of Pete Incaviglia, turned around a 97 mph fastball–above the waist!–from Dellin Betances for a grand slam in the 7th. Thank goodness for Mark Teixeira’s 2-run home run in the 8th because the Rangers made things sweaty in their final turn at bat. They scored twice and had the bases loaded again, David Robertson on the ropes. Course the count went full against Beltre before he flew out to Gardner to end the game.

For those of us who watched the whole thing, we earned that one, eh?

Hey, the win is the thing.

Final Score: Yanks 12, Rangers 11. 

[Photo Via: Toilet Wolf]

Try Again

eggy2

Go git ‘em, fellers.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Brendan Ryan 2B

Never mind last night:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: William Eggleston]

Taster’s Cherce

banh-mi-fries-7

Wait–what?

Beat of the Day

beachball

Twister Sister.

[Photo Credit: Brigitte Sire via MPD]

Afternoon Art

eggy

The Egg Man. 

New York Minute

worldtrade

Emily and I were at the Yankee game last on Friday night. On the subway ride up to the Stadium we saw a middle-aged man wearing a Lawrie jersey. Brett Lawrie,  who looks more like a jacked-up MMA fighter than a ballplayer.  I couldn’t resist, so I went up to the guy and said, “Why Lawrie?”

He said, “He’s Canadian.”

Cool. Made sense to me. We saw a lot of Lawrie jerseys that night. After the game we rode on the subway for a few stops with a Canadian couple. They were charming. Em and I were reminded of all the things we haven’t done in our city, like visit Ellis Island. I’ve been to top of the Empire State Building but not in 30 years. Haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty since I was a kid either.

Still so much to see here, right?

[Photo Via: SimplyMyView Photography]

The One with the Sideburns

The Yankees swept through Texas on the way to World Championships in 1998 and 1999. When they faced off in the Division Series, each squad featured a team OPS of over .819. They were two of the better hitting teams in a juiced-up era.

In last night’s game, each lineup featured exactly one player who can top the team OPS of 15 years ago – Beltre for the Rangers and, here we have to cheat a little bit, Cervelli in a limited roll for the Yanks. If we don’t get to cheat, then the Yanks top starter was Brett Gardner, though his .789 OPS is well short of what the 1999 Yanks could do.

No player is better-suited to thrive in today’s game than Brett Gardner. A glove-first speedster who could get on base a little but couldn’t hit it out of the infield, he’d never have made it on the field in the late 90s. The Yanks weren’t sure how to account for stellar defense and weren’t too sure how much it was worth to them anyway. In recent years, even powerless, Gardner became one of the Yankees’ better players. In 2014, reaching a dozen homers while the calendar still says July, he’s added enough power to his game to be a star and the Yankees MVP. And a rarity – a very good contract.

The Yankees were very fortunate to have him last night, as he got them on the scoreboard and gave them a real chance to win with two solo homers. He now has four career homers off Yu Darvish which strikes me as near-impossible. But David Phelps couldn’t retire J.P. Arencibia when it mattered most and lost the game 4-2. J.P. Arencibia is hitting .153 and getting on base at a .198 clip. He’s indistinguishable from a statue except the statue would probably take more walks. Phelps allowed all four runs on two-out hits in the fifth.

The Yankees threatened a couple of times and really handled Darvish as well as you can possibly expect them to, but they could never get the meaningful hit with men on base. When Darvish attacked McCann with a 91 MPH heat-seeker aimed at his back leg in the seventh, it was like watching Mariano’s cutter gone feral. McCann struck out of course, but the pitch just kept boring in past the point of recognition and carved out a unique-looking trajectory.

***

 

250px-Carl_Yastrzemski

The last batter of the game was Derek Jeter and he stung a one-hopper to short but Andrus handled it easily. That put an end to one of Jeter’s best games of the year. Three hits and a walk. One of them a double!

The third hit, a perfectly executed hit-and-run before the McCann whiff in the seventh, was his 3420th and sent Jeter past Carl Yastrzemski into seventh place by his lonesome on the all-time hit list (according to Elias and MLB.com). Honus Wagner is up next, 10 hits away, and that’s as far as Jeter can get this year. He’d need another 94 hits in the Yankees remaining 57 games to catch Tris Speaker for the fifth spot.

I watched each of Jeter’s at bats with an enthusiasm I have not been able to muster since Masahiro Tanaka got hurt. I wish there were a few more doubles sprinkled into Jeter’s season, but otherwise, he’s had a very enjoyable year and I look forward to the last two months. I would not be surprised at all if his batting average keeps creeping up towards .300, like in 2008 when the Yanks season was crap and the stadium was closing and he rallied the fans around his pursuit of the previously obscure Stadium hit record.

 

Image from simpsonswiki.com

 

G’on, Git

boomz

In order to avoid a 3-game losing streak, the Yanks will have to beat the Rangers on a night when Yu Darvish starts. They escaped trouble with Darvish last week thanks to a rainstorm. They’ll need old fashioned things–like hits and runs to best him tonight.

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Brian McCann 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zoilo Almonte LF

Never mind the two-step:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Via: r2-d2]

Taster’s Cherce

smitten

Smitten.

Million Dollar Movie

oldtowne

In the winter of 1997 I was in L.A. on a job. I invited a woman to see a Buster Keaton movie at a place called Old Town Music Hall. She stood me up, but I went anyway and had one of the greatest nights of my life. I recently visited L.A. and went back to see another Buster movie at the Music Hall. Good to know such a place exists, you know?

So I was thrilled to see this movie posted over at This Must Be The Place (via Kottke).

[Photo Credit: Ambitus Orchestra]

Once More Around the Park

angellss

Head on over to the Stacks and check out my tribute to Roger Angell.

[Photo Credit: John Weiss]

Steady, Steady…

losers

The Yanks lost a close one yesterday, 5-4, which makes two close ones in a row to the Jays. Still, they were 8-3 on the home stand and something else happened to–the Yanks showed some character. I like this team. They aren’t the greatest, they’ve got flaws (boy, they could use a second baseman), they can be sloppy at times, but they have some toughness, too.

 

Onward

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So the Jays finally beat the Yanks at the Stadium. Fine, now that we’ve got that out of the way:

Gardner LF

Jeter SS

Ellsbury CF

Beltran DH

McCann 1B

Headley 3B

Cervelli C

Wheeler RF

Ryan 2B

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Steam Heat

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Warm n muggy in the Bronx.

Ball should flying around today. Chris Capuano makes his Yankee debut:

Gardner LF

Jeter SS

Ellsbury CF

Beltran DH

McCann 1B

Headley 3B

Suzuki RF

Roberts 2B

Cervelli C

Never mind the humidity:

Let’s Go Yank-ees

[Picture by Bags]

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