June 2010

Cano…Can Do… Cannot…Say What?!


On June 28th, 1907, the New York Highlanders’ catcher Branch Rickey crouched behind the plate and proceeded to get thirteen bases stolen on him by the last-place Washington Senators.   That’s not a typo, folks.  That’s the Branch Rickey and that would be thirteen freakin’ bases in one game.  Even my Great Grandmother swiped the dish from him that day.


I think…


Rickey, apparently the Todd Pratt of his day, would go on to become one of the premier Baseball administrators in the history of the game.  It only goes to show you that, you never have to give up on a dream.  Just adjust it.


In some cases, a lot. 



If I didn’t adjust a dream or two in my lifetime, I would still be trying to become a world-renown glockenspiel player.


FYI: There are no world-renown glockenspiel players.


(I’m sure that it’s only fair to tell you that Branch Rickey was pressed into service because the Highlanders’ starter had a bum shoulder.  Only Senators’ pitcher Tom Hughes and second baseman Nig Perrine miss out on the fun.  However, with a name like Nig Perrine, this was probably not the first fun he ever missed out on.)


Hey!  Speaking of the Highlanders…


Did you check out that incredible Yankees’ rally last night?  Four runs in the ninth and then the Cano blast in the 10th?  The last time the Yankees overcame a four-run deficit in the ninth inning or later was in 2007.  This “never say die” Yankees attitude and win is obviously attributed to the afterglow of my show last night.  Derek Jeter, you can thank me later.


No, I’m not drinking expired milk again…thank you.



Wait for it…



My Level D students performed last night at Second City and did an incredible job with an “against all odds” attitude.  I want to take credit for giving them an awe inspiring speech before hand as I had them take a knee and listen to a parable of the 1996 Yankees.  (After they laughed at me, the nervous tension was broken and they went out there to have an incredible show.)



You can thank my speech…or their talent. Either or.


FYI: One of my students last night informed me that she was born in 1990, making her six years old in 1996.  If you need me, I’ll be hitting myself in the face with a toaster oven.


On a personal note, happy birthday to one of the best Intern advisors ever – Tim Wiles of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (I was a Research Intern, class of 2002.)  Tim, you’re fabulous.  Tonight, I’m going to get Kangaroo Courted in your honor.

Mission Accomplished: Finishing “The Yankee Years”, Screwing Up an Audition and Scoring a Super Bowl


So, I finally finished The Yankee Years and I was pleasantly surprised.   It wasn’t at all what I expected.  After earlier chapters portraying Roger Clemens and Jason Giambi through Rose-colored glasses, I was ready for several hundred pages of sentimental clap-trap.   What I got was a thoughtful treatise on what brought the Yankees dynasty to an end, a Money Ball Part II per say.


Ok…so treatise might be too dramatic of a word.  It’s not Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”.


But come to think of it, it not very far off.


Speaking of drama, I had an audition this week for an MLB Master Card commercial.  If there was one audition I could ace, it would be that.  Right? Right?!


Not so fast…


The only requirement was to be a “Super Fan”.  A “Super Fan”?!  Trust me.  I got this.


Not so fast…


Sunburned middle-aged White Sox fans were more camera friendly than me?  Their flat Midwestern pronunciations of “Sox Park” were apparently sexier.  


And where the hell did the eight Yankee fans that screen tested before me come from?!  I was in the West Loop of Chicago for Christ Sakes!  It was only 10:30am.


It’s fine … Errggghh…


Speaking of being fine, let’s hear it for the Meadowlands being named the home of the 2014 Super Bowl.  Yeah!


I have actually wanted to talk about this for a while but I got a bit sidetracked over the last couple of weeks. 


I enjoy the detractors who felt that a cold weather climate stadium wasn’t appropriate to host the Super Bowl.    Waa?  What do you call the rest of the darn season?


FYI: Baseball has no problem pulling off their Fall Classic in the Bronx like… what? Every other year?  And what about teams like Colorado?  They get snow delays on Opening Day.  Stop being such pansies about it, NFL. 


On a side note, I get from a marketing standpoint why they are calling it the NY/NJ Super Bowl.  However, let’s give New Jersey a bit more credit.  It may not be as glamorous as New York, but where does America think the Meadowlands is located?  Be thankful for Northern New Jersey, because without it, you would be stuck in traffic on the Island every time you wanted to catch a flight and frankly…you could kiss IKEA good bye. 


And New Jersey, chin up!  You might be the ******* step-child of New York again, but who’s going to rake in that tax revenue?  Woot! Woot!

Picking Up the Pace of The Game

Major League Baseball has a great article online today about the growing length of the average Baseball game.  If you weren’t able to catch it, here it is (http://tinyurl.com/26e3bck). Don’t get me wrong. Nothing can compare to spending a day at the Ballpark.  Nonetheless, a trip to the Ballpark is beginning to swallow up more and more of that day.  An average game is running now just under three hours.  That’s almost a fifth of your day.  I contemplated bringing a change of clothes on my last trip to U.S. Cellular Field.   


Yankees vs. Red Sox games average about three and half hours.  Good job guys!  We’re number one! We’re number one!


I blame the need to advertise all those Yankeeographies.


So, Bud Selig put together a committee to figure out what’s going on.


I can tell you what’s going on…

If we’re watching three hours of great baseball, that’s one thing.  Watching three hours of a Batter stepping in and out of the box and a Pitcher dance around the mound after every curveball is a colossal waste of time.  Isn’t the whole idea to work quickly (at least from a Starting Pitcher’s point of view)? 


I’m down with the revival of the Running Game.  It keeps me engaged.  I’m also whole-heartedly against putting a clock on the game.  You wanna clock?  Go watch Football.  Nevertheless, these self-indulgent habits (some of which are totally for the television camera) have got to be curtailed in some way.  George Will discusses how these bad habits have trickled down to the Little League Level, so that’s where the education needs to begin.  Great, so this problem should be solved in about twenty years. 


Talk about efficiency.


Speaking of efficiency

Did anyone get a chance to see former Yankees Pitcher, Ted Lilly, last night lose a No Hitter in the Ninth? Lilly has truly flourished into a good dependable pitcher.  The Yankees sold him down the river without really giving him a chance to develop. 


At least we got a great pitcher in return.  Oh wait…   

As I attempt another Fred Lewis Joke…

About two weeks ago

I was working in the Box Office at one of Second City’s studio theatres.  It was a slow night, so I was doing the only thing a diligent employee would do.  I was listening to the Yankees game on MLB Radio and checking my Facebook page.  I write this freely knowing that my boss doesn’t read my blog.  I’ve decided to openly taunt him now.


On one of my many visits back to Facebook (aka the Social Media enslaver), a wall post popped up from my friend George.  You see, he was apparently watching the Yankees Game on YES.  This was an impressive fete within and of itself because he lives in Chicago. I figure he was visiting New York or watching the game on satellite.  Anywho, on one of the station breaks, he saw me on a YES Network commercial!  Apparently they used some of the shots off my page for the latest advertisement they’re running.  Am I getting paid?  No (but why would that be a shocker).  Is it awesome?  Absolutely, considering this all began as a revenge blog against a guy (and ex-Yankee fan) who had done me wrong.


Also about two weeks ago

Hideki Irabu resurfaced with a DUI.  Hideki Irabu, you are a glorified car crash (all puns intended).


Speaking of embarrassing Fat Toads

It’s hard to look back at that period in Yankee history, the end of a dynasty.  The mid-Aughts could best be described as a period of “delicate” personalities, personal trainers and a complete loss of the definition of teammate.   (Carl Pavano?  Anyone?)


For the kids who don’t remember, this was a time when the Yankees refused to catch on to the Sabermetrics movement.  They acted less like the tough jock on the block and more like your grandpa who still insisted that television was a passing fad.  


Looking back at last year’s championship team, it’s easy to see why they won. As opposed to those brittle out-of-date rosters of the mid-Aughts, most of these guys were quiet work horses.  No big boppers (except for the obvious).  No real baggage (except for the obvious). Girardi set up a team first clubhouse, not much different than Torre’s 1996 Yankees.


Speaking of looking back

I am missing my ten year college reunion this week.  Wow, has it been ten years?  Even worse, has it really been ten years since the Subway Series?  As lopsided and sloppy as that series was, and by god it was (I’m looking at you, Timo Perez), it was by far the most fun.  Any series that includes Turk Wendell smack talk and a flooded club house is begging to be the next installment in the “Major League” franchise. 


Where’s Cerrano when you need him?


Well, I can at least tell you where I was

I was stuck in Arkansas doing a show (and I use the word “stuck” because I refuse to believe that anyone voluntarily does anything in Arkansas) during the series. I distinctly remember a local sportscaster saying, “Well, it’s New York’s world.  We’re just playing in it.”  In a way, aint he right?


That was so douchey of me. : )



And to conclude in Douchey fashion…

The Yankees lost to the Jays today (3 to 2 in 14 innings).  It only goes to show, Fred Lewis is going to haunt me for the rest of the year because I didn’t draft him…or at least haunt me until he has to go back to work for tax season.


Fred Lewis joke! Wooo!