Friday, October 30, 2009


Yesterday, I asked some friends how they felt about tonight's game. Here are their answers in chronological order. Yankee believers are coded in blue; Phillie dreamers in red:

"I think the score will be 5-4, with the Yankees losing in middle relief. My foolproof lock prediction. though, is that if the temp drops below 50 degrees, A-Rod's lips will be a really gross purple color by the 6th inning." -N.O., Red Sox fan, baseball oracle [correctly predicted CC would lose Game 1 and that Pedro would give up three runs over six innings in Game 2.]

"I think the score will be Phils 2, Yanks 10 with Ryan Howard HBP (to the face) in the 2nd and out for the rest of the World Series. Teixeira solo HR in the 4th inning and maybe 5 RBIs for Jeter." -J.W., Yankees fan, baseball blogger

"My prediction is that Yanks win with a walk off winning double in the 9th, winning 4-3. Posada will hit the walk off double, A-Rod strikes out four times and Howard hits a homer in the 7th to tie the game 3-3." -R.M., Mets fan, fantasy football adviser

"Tomorrow's game will be uneventful and rather boring." -J.C., Dodgers fan, big hater

"Let's go Eagles! Hometown pride!! Cole Hamels is like a rich man's James van der Beek. And God loves Dawson's Creek." -P.L., Mike Schmidt fan, internet user

"Yankees will win 5-1 and Johnny Damon will hit a home run." -P.S., Yankees fan, future doctor

"I predict that for Halloween Cole Hamels will be Cole-Hamels-the-2008-World-
Series-MVP, and act accordingly. With superpowers:

'I could get some kind of vampire superpowers, you never know,' Phillies Game 3 starter Cole Hamels said Friday'
'Coke said he made a vow: 'I'm not going to be that guy who jumps out of his hedges and scares the crap out of some unsuspecting little kid. Because I remember what that was like, man. I wouldn't want to make a little kid cry like that. I bawled my eyes out. It messed me up good.'' (via )'
-M.S., Mets fan, fantasy baseball commissioner

"I'm sorry, but I'm too excited about the MASHUP* of my two biggest interests right now, Glee and baseball, to predict the outcome of the game. The Glee cast will be performing the national anthem tomorrow! I am going to a party dressed as Rachel Berry, but most people will probably just think I'm a Japanese schoolgirl.

I will say the the philosophy of physics professor/baseball fanatic in my graduate program is leaning towards the Yankees but with 'more than a little guilt about this.' However, today I saw one of his longtime grad students wearing a Phillies hat in his office. He (professor, not student) wrote to me: 'More than anything else about the World Series, though, I hope I live long enough to see the games on TV without having Tim McCarver among the broadcasters. He just annoys me.' None of this is helpful at all, but I thought I'd share it anyway." -K.H., White Sox/Tigers fan, fantasy baseball champion

*"A mashup is when you take two songs and mash them together to make an even richer explosion of musical expression." --Mr. Schuester.

"The Yanks can't play Matsui in the outfield, but they'll try to because he had a home run the other night.

Playing real baseball and not American League ball will overwhelm Joe G. for at least one night when someone explains to him that he cant make his five million pitching changes and pinch running moves without making double switches or having pitchers hit.

He'll either do something like sub out Melky or Posada or wind up with Brett Gardner pitching an inning. So Molina or Jerry Hairston will wind up hitting in a critical spot and Joba will get stuck pitching to Ryan Howard, who will hit a ball 100 miles back to NYC.

In the Yankees last gasp, Jeter, getting excited about National Leage ball and moving runners over will try to bunt again, because he failed so badly the other night, and in turn take the bat out of the Yanks best hitter's hands. This will put runners in scoring position for A rod who will strike out or pop up.

In the post game Cole Hamels will say, without irony that he loves Philadelphia. He will one day sign with the Yankees." -M.B.W., Giants fan, ghostwriter

"I agree with Phil, the Eagles will win. And if I can hear Tim McCarver yelp as Jeter bunts with two strikes again the whole world series will have been worth it." -S.W., White Sox fan, baseball blogger?

"5-2 Phillies. Hamel pitches beautifully and Pettitte, with no drugs in his system, is more than hittable!" -H.D., Red Sox fan, Yankee hater

* * * *

This is what ESPN SportsNation thought as of 8pm last night:

Why is Alaska 85% certain that Cole Hamels is going to win tomorrow?

As for the paid experts, here are some World Series predictions that ESPN's baseball analysts made before Game 1. And here's a screen shot of what some ESPN baseball analysts look like:

If you don't want to read all of the predictions, let me tell you that 22 of the 24 analysts went with the Yanks in 5-7 games, with Karabell and Pedro Gomez both picking the Phillies in 6 games. Karabell, shut it. Pedro Gomez, I don't know who you are, but you shut it, too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

World Series Game 2

Time and destiny have been out of sync this week. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys were supposed to perform yesterday, but then it rained. The Yankees were supposed to win yesterday, but then Cliff Lee pitched nine almost-shut-out innings. Did you know that he took TWO different trains to the game yesterday? Now that we're tied at one game apiece, it's okay for me to say this: I sort of love Cliff Lee. HE TOOK THE SUBWAY TO THE WORLD SERIES. And no one recognized him. Amazing.

Anyway, the thing about baseball is that yesterday is just yesterday and today can always be your day.

Here are some funny screen-shots of DJ and Mo watching "Empire State of Mind:"

Jeter's game face; Mariano Rivera awakened to the joys of non-Christan rap

And here's a photo of the Yankees celebrating their win:

Johnny Damon can't figure out why he's not high-fiving A-Rod. Well, Johnny, it's because A-Rod hasn't gotten a hit yet this series. I've come mostly around on A-Rod this month, but it's undeniable that that man has mental problems. Teixeira, on the other hand....

Hey there buddy, you hit a home run! Everything's going to be juuuussst fiiiine. Here's the box score:
World Series Game 2: The Empire Strike Back
Yankees 3, Phillies 1
Series tied 1-1
W:Burnett (1-0)
L: Martinez (0-1)
S: Rivera (1)
HR: NYY Teixeira (1), Matsui (1)

Jeter made a bad bunt late in the game, but he also turned this AWESOME double play:

AND he won the Roberto Clemente award for being the most outstanding human being in baseball. Just another day in the life of Derek Jeter.

I have enough joy in my heart to show the Phillies a bit more love on this blog. Here's Pedro Martinez as he exits in the seventh inning.

I've seen plenty of photos of guys giving it up for God after home runs and well-earned base hits, but it's unusually awesome to see a losing starting pitcher doing it after getting pulled from his game. Did you watch his press conference yesterday? New York, Jay-Z and Jeter be damned, Pedro Martinez just doesn't care what you think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Postseason Banter

I miss this sight.

A couple of nights ago, in bed and on my iPhone, I watched a condensed Marlins game from May or June, in which Dan Uggla hit his 100th home run. I realized late in the season that the Florida announcers say of him every time he goes long, "And his name is DAN UGGLA!" One announcer starts the sentence and the other joins to say the name. I kind of fell in love with this tomfoolery*. It's reminiscent of Hawk's White Sox home run cheers, except Steve Stone doesn't join him for the "yes! yes! yes!" part like Darrin Jackson used to. Anyway, my point is that I miss the days where I had a choice of which crappy teams to fall asleep to in condensed game format.

I was hoping for a Freeway Series where LA would be the focus of the World Series. Initially, exhausted from fantasy drama, I wasn't interested in the postseason teams. But then I decided I had the most interest in the Angels because of Nick Adenhart. Alas, the World Series will be divided along the east coast, and as of now, I can only really root for individual players: Jenni's Cano, former White Sox Swisher, Japanese Matsui, CC "He's 300 pounds, he can pitch all day!"** Sabathia, and J-Rolls only because I saw adorable childhood photos in those "Beyond Baseball" commercials. But then it looks like I'm basically rooting for the Yankees, which I guess in a sense I am since I want to see many of them do well. But I also don't feel like I'm genuinely rooting for the entire team, either, which would be unfair--to the Yankees, real Yankees fans, my preferred teams, and so on. I think at this point I'm just thankful that baseball is still going on, even if it means setting Glee aside for two weeks.

Though, I will say in defense of the Yankees that accusations of them having "bought" the World Series are trite. The Yankees are the Kraft of baseball; I thought this was an obvious axiom in sports and it's so obnoxious that it comes up again and again, whether the Yankees win or lose. But along with those who are tired of seeing the Yankees succeed over the course of baseball history (or many of the same teams reappearing in postseasons as of late), I will say that I can't wait until some buster team blows up in the second half of a future season and surprise us all by taking the World Series. Pirates, Reds, Marlins anyone?

GO BASEBALL! And Jenni's awesome postseason journalism!

*"Right before Uggla's first season with Florida in 2006, the Marlins had a dinner/banquet function to introduce the players for the upcoming season (and to raise money). Upon introducing Uggla, the speaker mispronounced his name. Immediately, Dan's brother stood up from the back and shouted 'His name is Dan UGGLA!'" (sufficient source)
**Writing this phrase out doesn't do it justice. Please ask me in person to impersonate a man named Amit claiming, in a heated argument with Joe, that CC Sabathia is a better pitcher than Tim Lincecum and I will gladly comply.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Empire State of Mind

Let's hear it for New York, NEW YORK, NEW YORRRRRRRRRRK!!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Championship Series Days 7 & 8: It's Only Half Bad, Los Angeles

NLCS MVP and nice guy, Ryan Howard

NLCS Game 4: Phillies Go the Distance
Phillies 10, Dodgers 4
Philadelphia wins series in 4
W: Durbin (1-0)
L: Padilla (0-1)
HR: LAD Ethier (1), Loney (2), Hudson (1)
PHI: Werth x 2 (3), Feliz (1), Victorino (1)

I was out last night with no cellphone reception at Sam (not Weber) and Jamie's super great CMJ showcase, so beyond the basic fact that the Dodgers are now done for the year, I really have no idea what happened in this game. The gallery is full of obnoxious photos of Jayson Werth (smoking cigars, taking champagne showers, hitting TWO HOME RUNS), which I refuse to post here. After our tumultuous Fantasy Baseball relationship, I am so sick of Jayson Werth and his streaky production and his horrible facial hair. This guy has been my life's main antagonist since some time this summer and the thought of having to see him play in the World Series makes me pray even harder for a Yankee sweep.

Here's a photo of Casey Blake and Clayton Kershaw looking bummed. They were on my Fantasy team, too, but in a non-emotionally abusive way.

See you next season, friends. Now about that other L.A. team....

While watching tonight's Yankees-Angels game, I did an informal text survey (of Kei and Sam [Weber]) to see if Lackey v. Burnett was the ugliest starting pitcher match up of the post-season, so far. Both of them said "maybe." I'd have to go back and review all of the past games to be certain, but it's kind of hard to argue against:

Sam did an about face on Lackey's doughy visage, which he had previously called "likable," and proclaimed A.J. Burnett better looking. This was doubly surprising, given Sam's earlier distaste for Burnett and his ostrich hair, but we're all allowed to change our minds. As Kei noted, A.J. doesn't look nearly as much like a strung-out meth fiend with his hat off.

ALCS Game 4: Yanks Leave the Door Open
Angels 7, Yankees 6
Yanks lead series 3-2
W: Jepsen (1-0)
L: Hughes (0-1)
S: Fuentes (1)

Some things I've noticed from watching this series on FOX:

1. Joe Girardi does not emote. Possibly evil.
2. Scott Boras is always on the phone. Definitely evil.
3. John Lackey sounds like an inarticulate muppet.
4. There is a new kind of CIALIS for daily use, as opposed to the regular 36-hour kind.
5. Torii Hunter is super funny.
6. Jeter has a cold.
7. The Black Jack taco is not something I want to eat.
8. Toyota is the official car of BOTH the Giants and the Jets...further to that, Eli Manning is way more charming than Mark Sanchez.
9. Ozzie Guillen is going to do commentary on the World Series.

This game was nuts. I don't want to recap it because I still can't wrap my head around the fact that we lost. Here's some photos.

A-Rod and Teix: Just Another Night of the Weird Twins Acting Weird

I told you Melky got evil. Smiling Cano less bratty than Tuesday.


I'm actually not that upset about this series coming back to the Bronx. New York always feels better when the Yankees are in town. Jeter makes the sun shine brighter. It's going to be a long winter once he goes back down to Florida.

Game 6 will be on Saturday night. Go Yankees!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Championship Series Day 6: Thanks, A-Rod!

The Yankees were pretty great tonight and A-Rod was amazing, going 3-4 with a home run, two RBIs, three runs, and a stolen base. With his October bat finally on fire, he's been looking more ghoulish than goofy these days. There's something almost three-dimensional about the above photo (taken from the happily revived and thriving Yahoo! Sports MLB photo gallery) and I don't doubt that tonight I'll have nightmares about A-Rod stepping out of my computer screen and murdering me in my sleep. That's okay. As long as he keeps us marching down the road to World Domination, I won't complain.

Yankees 10, Angels 1
Yanks lead series 3-1
W: Sabathia (2-0)
L: Kazmir (0-1)
HR: NYY Rodruiguez (3), Damon (2); LAA: Morales (1)

It's rude to make fun of the Angels, but their home run fireworks waterslide is lame. Not only does it smoke up the TV cameras, but it also makes the stadium look like baseball Disney Sea. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE DISNEY SEA...but as far as stadiums go, I much prefer the glorious mausoleum look (Yankee Stadium!). I maybe even prefer the cheesy suburban mall look (Citi Field). Besides, you shouldn't have to shoot explosives into the air to celebrate something as commonplace as a home run.

(I do, however, support Cleveland's practice of shooting off fireworks in between innings to keep birds off the field. GO AWAY! NO BIRDS IN BASEBALL!)

C.C. Sabathia was unbelievable on just three days of rest. Halfway through the game, Fox put up a hideous Sabathia caricature, which was accompanied by three "personality" tidbits. The first two were about football and the third said, "He used to have an imaginary friend named Danny." They should have also said, "He has a beautiful speaking voice," because during his post-game interview I kept thinking about how blissful it would be to fall asleep to an audiobook of him reading Moby Dick. Why Moby Dick? I dunno. Maybe because C.C. weighs 290 lbs, but maybe just because that book is a major snooze.

Moving on.

Watching this game also taught me that Melky Cabrera has transformed from a lovable chipmunk to a hate-eyed demon and that Robbie Cano is becoming an awful brat. Granted, even creaky-kneed Posada should have been able to score from second on the double that Robbie hit to deep center in the fifth, but look at him just not giving a shit after not getting tagged out at third base later that inning. Dude, you were out. You didn't even TRY to step on the base. Stop looking so smugly disinterested and GROW UP.

Oh, Figgins looks mad! Robbie, I love you forever, but your attitude is embarrassing.

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when the Dodgers attempt to stay alive. Should be a good one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE RALLY MONKEY!? Jeter does. Torii does. Now, I do, too:

Angels 5, Yankees 4
Yanks lead series 2-1
W: Santana (1-1)
L: Aceves (0-1)
HR: NYY Jeter (2), Rodruiguez (2), Damon (1), Posada (1)
LAA: Kendrick (1), Guerrero (1)

Phillies 5, Dodgers 4
Phils lead series 3-1
W: Lidge (1-0)
L: Broxton (0-1)
HR: LAD Kemp (1); PHI Howard (2)


The Dodgers are in the hole 3-1, but hey, Casey Blake hit a single! Will someone in L.A. please abduct the Rally Monkey and FedEx him to Dodger Stadium?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Champsionship Series: Days 3 & 4

I watched about half of Saturday's Yankees-Angels match-up before going to see Nomar-Garciaparra-double/musician Josh Kolenik and Small Black play at Death By Audio. Thankfully, I was able to stay emotionally and informationally invested in the game, due to real-time updates from Paul's brother's TiVo, Twitter and's "At Bat 2009" iPhone application. Yes, I am currently that annoying person that needs to check sports scores constantly regardless of the social appropriateness of that action. Sorry guys, but Saturday was a nail-biter.

Yankees 4, Angels 3
Yanks lead series 2-0
W: Robertson (1-0)
L: Santana (0-1)
HR: NYY Jeter (1), Rodruiguez (1)

Top: Aybar argues; Melky safe at second
Middle: A-Rod and Mo collide
Bottom: Mark Teixiera [insert your favorite ass joke here]

From the New York Times:
Hairston entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Freddy Guzman, facing Ervin Santana. After Brett Gardner’s sacrifice, the Angels walked Robinson Cano intentionally, bringing Melky Cabrera to the plate.
Cabrera bounced a ball to the left of Izturis, the second baseman. Trying for the inning-ending double play, he whirled and whipped an off-balance throw to second, nowhere near shortstop Erick Aybar. It skipped on the dirt toward third base, where Chone Figgins dropped it. Hairston, who had stopped running, raced home and slid for the winning run.

Jerry Hairston Jr. ends the game

It's a bit lazy to just cut and paste that end-of-game recap, I know, but it's more coherent than the stream of texts and tweets through which I experienced those last innings. Do you want to read this:

Text: 2 to 2 in the ninth
Text: Nooooooooooooooooooooo
Text: Still tied. Yankees up in tenth.
Text: Oh ononononononononono
Text: Oh, it's true
Text: Nooooooooo

And this:

"Music from Yankee Stadium...Pearl Jam's "Alive" into MJax's "Bille Jean." I think A-Rod is bobbing his head as he fields grounders at 3B" from web (via @JackCurry1)

"Jeeeeeeter!" from Twitterrific (via @jennicatherine)

"A-Rod again - what an October. Solo HR off 2009 MLB saves leader Brian Fuentes. #Yankees 3 #Angels 3 bottom 11th" from web (via @mlb)

"Gaudin's the only relief pitcher left. Even @nickswisher is out of the game. from web" (via @TylerKepner)


Phillies lead series 2-1
W: Lee (1-0)
L: Kuroda (0-1)
HR: PHI Werth (1), Victorino (1)

CLIFF LEE WAS AMAZING! I wish he still pitched for the Indians.
This game was annoying. Shane Victorino's in-game microphone was annoying. Shane Victorino's unnecessary three-run homer in the 8th inning was annoying. Phillies fans are annoying and rude and strange. See?

Top: Ugh. Middle: Ugh. Bottom: Cool!
I watched this game with Dodgers fan John, who was also pretty angry at the Phillie's shut-out smack-down. He was, however, super into the home plate umpire's outfit. And Casey Blake's beard. BUT WHO ISN'T.

Ugh. I can't think about this game anymore. Let's just cross our fingers and hope that all goes well for the Yanks and Dodgers today.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Championship Series Day 2: Mistakes We Knew We Were Making

Believe it or not, those are all examples of C.C. Sabathia's celebratory stance.  Our cheerful ace deserved these self-felicitations, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run in 8 innings while striking out 7 in the Yankees 4-1 victory over the error-ridden Angels.  The boys from Anaheim went from California cool to New York cold, failing to catch pop-flies and overrunning ground balls. 

Top: Good ole Vlad gives us a grin and a crazed look;
Bottom: Jeter in Darth Vader-esque death gloves, photos via @MLB.

Yankees 4, Angels 1
Yanks lead series 1-0
W: Sabathia (1-0)
L: Lackey (0-1)
S: Rivera (1)

It was so cold and windy that a few would-be homers failed to leave the park.  Two of those belonged to Robbie Cano, who spent the game hiding behind a ski mask.

Raging A-Rod, on the other hand, was wearing short sleeves.  Here he is out at home after blatantly misreading or maybe just missing the third base coach's hand signals. Wow. If I were Angels catcher Jeff Mathis and I saw A-Rod barreling down the third base line at me for no reason, I'd be f'ing terrified.

Top: Execution by A-Rod; Bottom: "Oh what, no, seriously?!"

The best parts of that bottom photo are the three Yankee mouths.  You can practically hear what each player is thinking.  A-Rod: Oh what, no seriously? Posada: Idiot.  Damon: Huh, where am I?

It's okay Johnny, you got home safely.

Across the country in sunny Los Angeles, an eighth inning error by Chase Utley helped the Dodgers top the Phillies 2-1.

Chutley walking on

NLCS Game 2: Dodgers Win!!!!
Dodgers 2, Phillies 1
Series tied 1-1
W: Kuo (1-0)
L: Park (0-1)
S: Mt. Broxxxxxxton (1)
HR: PHI Howard (1)

 Important Notice: Chan Ho Park is an Asian dude with a BEARD!

This game wasn't as exciting as one might think, given that Ethier walked in the go-ahead run with bases loaded in the 8th.  Or maybe I'm just saying that because I was on the subway when the Dodgers won.  Whatever.  A few people have pointed out that, as a Yankees fan, I should be hoping for the Phillies to take this series and logically, I can see their point.  But 1) you can't root against your heart and 2) THE YANKEES CAN BEAT ANY TEAM.