"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: r.a. dickey

Just One Drink And I’ll Fall Down Drunk

Chris Jones on J.P. Arencibia catching R.A. Dickey without wearing a cup.

[Photo Credit: Washington Post]

Float On

The Angels stacked? How ’bout them Blue Jays, who are close to finalizing a trade for the likable R.A. Dickey.

[Photo Via: Left Field Cards]

A Real Mensch


Wayne Coffey has a nice piece in the Daily News today about R.A. Dickey and my friend, the late Mike Gitelson. Mike died earlier this year from myeloid leukemia.

It is a touching story. Mike, who we called “Getty,” was my best friend in middle school. We collected comics, records, and pined for someone to take us to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the 8th Street Playhouse. Getty did not care about sports. At all.

My mother once took a group of us to Yankee Stadium for my birthday to see the Angels because Reggie Jackson was my favorite player. We sat in the bleachers. Mike made a placard at home and brought it with him. It read: Reggie Sucks. During batting practice, Reggie shagged flies near us and Getty waved the placard and yelled at him. At one point, Reggie turned in our direction, grabbed his crotch and spit on the ground. Getty whooped and laughed, his mission accomplished.

He was a political kid. Both of Getty’s parents were social workers and so he came by his left-leaning attitudes naturally. (I remember him railing about something once when we were in high school. We were  in the car with his father, who was a funny guy, and his dad said, “Michael, you are the only socialist I know with a bank card.”) By the time we were upperclassmen in high school, Mike had gone through the Clash and the Sex Pistols and was listening to the Dead Kennedys and Jello Biafra. He was the only guy we knew who was into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone and Bad Brains.

His senior quote came from a Chili Peppers song: Don’t be a slave/No one can tell you/You’ve got to be afraid.

Getty was an angry kid (then again, so was I). He couldn’t wait to get to college. We had a falling out by then and I didn’t talk to him again for more than twenty years. But because we still had some of the same interests, I ran into him periodically: at a rest stop in New Jersey in 1994 or ’95 on the way home from a Mumia Abu Jamal demonstration in Philadelphia; at Fat Beats, a hip hop record store in the village; in ’96, on the night the Yankees won the Whirled Serious, at a De La Soul/Fishbone concert at Roseland; on the subway platform of the Carroll Street station in Brooklyn. I approached him at the rest stop after the Mumia Abu Jamal rally and startled him. It was clear that he didn’t want to reconnect so the other times I saw him–“Getty Sightings”–I left him alone.

I was surprised, then, when he reached out to me about five or six years ago. We exchanged e-mails and whatever hard feelings that might have existed were gone. We didn’t see each other but touched base every now and then. Mike had become a baseball fan through his wife who was–and is–nuts for the Mets. I thought that was amusing coming from a guy who loved to ridicule overpaid, conceited jocks.

Mike suffered with Crohn’s and he died too young. Go figure that baseball would provide distraction and comfort for him. His encounter with R.A. Dickey was moving. You know, when we were kids, Getty laughed in the movie theater at the end of Terms of Endearment when everyone else sobbed. During The Breakfast Club when the kids bared their souls and the theater was quiet, Getty cackled.  He was allergic to sentiment. But after R.A. Dickey called him on the phone, Mike cried. And I think he’d very much appreciate Coffey’s article.

Yet another reason to pull for Mr. Dickey who sounds like some kind of mensch.

[Photo Credit: Matt Cerrone]

Cause I’m Not New To This (I’m True to This)

R.A. Dickey’s scoreless streak ended in the third inning tonight when Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly score the first run of the game. Nick Swisher followed with a three-run home run and with C.C. Sabathia on the mound, things looked good for the Yanks.

Nobody, however, had the good sense to alert Robinson Cano that there was a ball game going on. He botched a throw from Chris Stewart that led to a run and Cadillaced a routine ground ball into an error with one out in the sixth. The Yanks were ahead 5-2 but by the time the Mets were retired, Sabathia was on the bench and the score was tied.

Cano knew better than to smile.

If you are looking for a cheesy redemption story, Cano was happy to oblige. He hit a long solo home run against Miguel Bautista to lead off the eighth inning. It proved to be the difference.

David Robertson worked around a two out base runner–and a balk–in the eighth, and Raphael Soriano did the same in the ninth (his strike out against David Wright to start the inning was a tense, exciting confrontation).

By that point, the rain poured on the field. The Yankees appeared to have the game in hand, then to blow it, but Cano–who was partially responsible for squandering the lead–came through with the biggest hit of the night.

Final Score: Yanks 6, Mets 5.

Yanks take the season series, 5-1.

[Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images]

RISP Averse

The Mets hospital ward team came into Yankee Stadium Friday night missing starting third baseman David Wright, center fielder Angel Pagan, first baseman Ike Davis and staff ace Johan Santana. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the anticipated heart of the lineup (Beltran, Wright and Jason Bay) have been active at the same time for a total of 27 games. Their starting infield tonight: Daniel Murphy (1B), Ruben Tejada (2B), Jose Reyes (SS) and Justin Turner (3B). Not quite the ’77 Dodgers. Despite this, and a 5-13 start to the season, new manager Terry Collins had them at 21-22, five games behind the first place Phillies.

R.A. Dickey, the Mets knuckleballing starter, had been cuffed around for most of the early season (1-5, 5.08 ERA).  The Yanks countered with Freddy Garcia, who was probably salivating over the depleted opposition, given the way the Red Sox treated him in his last start (5 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 HR, 5 ER).

Unfortunately for Garcia, Dickey had an ally on this night, namely the Yankees continued inability to get a clutch hit.  Going into the evening, the Bombers were 9th in the AL in batting average with 2 out and runners in scoring position (.219).  The worst offender, Nick Swisher, finally got his first hit in 20 tries Thursday night in Baltimore.  He couldn’t offer a repeat performance.

Alex Rodriguez doubled to right-center to start the bottom of the 2nd.  Robbie Cano struck out and Russell Martin grounded out.  Jorge Posada worked a walk and Swisher was plunked on the knee by a 68-mph flutterball to load the bases.  Alas, Brett Gardner hit a two hopper to Turner for a force at third to end the threat.

Mark Teixeira cracked his 11th homer of 2011 with two out in the third for the game’s first run . . . a wall-scraper that landed in the first row of the right field seats just over Beltran’s outstretched glove.  The Mets got the run back in the fourth on a two-out double by DH Fernando Martinez and a double down the right field line by Turner (one of his three hits on the night).

The Yanks had chances to retake the lead over the next two innings.  Swisher came up with two outs and Martin on second in the fourth and struck out.   Gardner and Derek Jeter reached safely to start the fifth, but Curtis Granderson flew to right, Teixeira was caught looking and Rodriguez grounded to short.

The Mets reclaimed the lead in their half of the sixth on a leadoff homer by Daniel Murphy inside the right field foul pole.  Garcia subsequently walked Beltran and two outs later Turner dunked a ground rule double in front of a diving Swisher (fortunate for the Yanks as Beltran would have scored had the ball stayed in play).  Garcia wiggled out of trouble by getting Josh Thole to bounce out to Teixeira.   Dickey survived another runner in scoring position jam in the bottom of the inning, as Russell Martin’s one-out double went for naught with strikeouts of Posada and Swisher.  And that was the last threat (and baserunner) the Yanks would muster, as three Met relievers combined to strike out five of the last nine Yankee batters.

In all, the Yanks went 1-10 with runners in scoring position, and wasted a good bounceback effort by Garcia (with solid relief from David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain, each of whom allowed one single and struck out two in their respective inning of work).

Final: Mets 2, Yanks 1.

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