The Agony of Defeat…

It was all looking good until Yankees first baseman Juan Miranda botched a potential double-play throw in the second inning, which subsequently allowed six unearned runs to score. 

At the time, the Yankees-Red Sox game was tied at 1-1 due to a home run by Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell earlier in the inning. 

Ask me how much I wish Mark Teixeira had been in the line-up last night. 

Nevertheless, a bet is a bet and Julia of Julia’s Rants was the victor!  So, here is the first part of a four-part series about Boston Red Sox players (past and present).

THE GREAT TED WILLIAMS

Ted Williams was a great baseball player.

The End.

Whew!  That was easy.  Just three more of these and I’ll be finished!  Life is good…

You mean that’s not quite good enough?  Bummer.  Well, here goes…

Before I get started, I need to check on my lunch…

Crow and Mushroom Stew

3 crows
1 Tbsp lard/shortening
1 pint stock or gravy
2 Tbsp cream
1/2 cup mushrooms
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper

Clean and cut crows into small portions and let them cook a short time in the lard/shortening in a saucepan, being careful not to brown them.  Next, add to the contents of the pan, the stock or gravy, and salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.  Simmer 1 hour, or until tender, add mushrooms, simmer 10 minutes more and then stir in cream.  Arrange the mushrooms around the crows on a hot platter.

Yum, I can’t wait…

Okay, before I get started, who should I write about?  Let me see.  I could write about George Herman Ruth.  He was a Red Sox once, right?  He contributed significantly to the Red Sox World Championships of 1916 and 1918.  

 

Oh, there was something about Harry Frazee financing the play ‘No, No Nanette’ in 1923 and he needed some cash, so I guess that won’t work.

Hmmm…

I could write about David Wells or perhaps David Cone…

J.P. Moczulski/Reuters

Charles Krupa/AP

I know a thing or two about those guys…

Somehow, I don’t think Julia is going to let me get away that easy.

In the spirit of fair play, since this blog is temporarily on loan to the Red Sox Nation, I think I will go with Carl Yastrzemski for the first blog… 

 

THE PERFECT PLAYER

In 1967, Carl Yastrzemski won the American League MVP in a near unanimous vote (missing by a single vote).  He won the Triple Crown (.326, 44, 121).  He also led the AL in runs, 112; hits, 189; total bases, 360; runs produced, 189; OBP, .421; and SA, .622.

1967 was a remarkable year for Yaz but where did he come from?

Carl Michael Yastrzemski was born in Southhamption, Long Island on August 22, 1939.  He grew up in Bridgehampton, Long Island, as the son of a potato farmer.  After high school, Yaz went to Notre Dame on a baseball and basketball scholarship, but was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1958 during his first year of college.

At age 21, he joined the Red Sox in 1961.  He inherited left field, a spot that had been occupied by the legendary Ted Williams for the previous two decades. 

AP 

Yaz hit for average almost from the start, winning the 1963 batting title with .321 average.  He also led the AL with doubles and walks that year.  The power was slower to develop.  For his first six years, his season high for home runs was 20 in 1965.  Surely, the shadow of Williams and the surrounding cast of losing players had an impact on Yaz, but the tide was about to turn.

After a losing season in 1966, Dick Williams was hired as the Red Sox manager.  The experts expected another losing season in Boston.  In fact, the Las Vegas oddsmakers had the Red Sox at 100-1. 

With Yaz leading the way, the Red Sox were entrenched in perhaps the wildest pennant race in AL history.  Four teams (including Minnesota, Detroit, and Chicago) battled it out throughout the summer, separated by only a few games.

Game after game, Yaz consistently came up with the key hit or catch, or baserunning play, to help Boston win.  He was on fire during the stretch run, and batted .523 over the final 12 games of the season.  In the season’s final two games against Minnesota, with the Red Sox trailing the Twins by one game, Yaz went 7-for-8 with 5 runs batted in as the Red Sox won both games to win the pennant in the season known as the “Impossible Dream”.

The Red Sox subsequently lost the World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals.  But 1967 will always be known as “The Year of the Yaz”.

During his 23-year career, Yaz finished with:

·         7 Gold Gloves

·         3,419 hits

·         1,844 RBI

·         452 Home Runs

·         3,308 Games Played

Yaz was the first Boston player I was aware of growing up.  He wore a Red Sox uniform for his entire major league career, and his number, 8, was retired upon his selection for the Hall of Fame.  I didn’t see the early years, but from my perspective, Yaz played the game the right way and he set a standard that is difficult for many to achieve (not just the game of baseball, but the game of life as well). 

 “And if I have my choice between a pennant and a triple crown, I’ll take the pennant every time.”

– Carl Yastrzemski

 

 

YANKEES MEMBERSHIP

 

I received this notice regarding my Yankees Fan Membership from the She-Fan, Jane Heller, this morning…

 

 

 

 

Maybe she’ll renew my membership next month if I can defeat Julia in the April 24th to 26th series between the Yankees and Red Sox…

 

;( 

 

I wonder if lunch is ready…

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

Scott – I kid you not – Yaz was my absolute favorite player when I was growing up! (I’ve even blogged about his grandson who has a chance of being drafted!) You could not have picked a better player for your first post! I hope that Jane and the other Yankees fans soon take you back into their fold – and enjoy your lunch. Keep the recipe though – you might need it again in April! ;-) Have a great day! And it was a lot of fun during the game last night! Look forward to the next round!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Very nicely done, the writing, not the cooking!!!!
Ellen. RedSox Nation member/Brownie Points Blogger

How did the crow taste? Nice post. Only three left now! :)
Canuck

Hi Julia,
I am glad that my first selection was the right one. Now, I have to decide who’ll be next…

Thanks Ellen! I’m sure you enjoyed last night’s game! LOL!

Hi Canuck,
The Crow was very tasty…in fact, I am looking forward to sharing some with Julia in late April! ;) Thanks for the comments.

Scott

Scott, I would never take away your membership! Once a YF, always a YF. I think you wrote a great post, showing respect and humility, and your crow-eating manners were impeccable. (No crumbs or talking with your mouth full.) Just try not to screw up the next bet. :)

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Oh man, I loved the Ted Williams one! That was hilarious, but yes, not enough. Great dedication of your “favorite” player. Enjoy the soup!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Scott – your first one WAS the right one! And you cook? Hmmm..might have to challenge you to a cook-off! I KNOW I’d win that one! ;-) lol! And maybe you need to save some of the crow for yourself in April! My guys would not let me down for my birthda

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

And if I could spell I would have written “birthday” :-)

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Scott,Well, even though you must feel awful about losing, at least you are very gracious about it. That was a great post about Yaz, though I liked the one about Ted Williams even more ;) Maybe you should write about Doug Mientkiewicz next. He wasn’t a Red Sox for very long, but he was pretty important in 2004 as I recall.
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

Hi, Scott …

Excellent first dedication in honor of Carl Yastrzemski !!!
You showed the true class of a great Yankees fan, with full respect for a great Red Sox player !!!
.
“Congratulations” to Julia, and all in Red Sox Nation, on a well earned victory in yesterday’s Yankees/Red Sox game !!!
.
Spring Training: Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 …
.
Now, let’s all get ready for the upcoming new baseball season, and, more importantly, all the games between the Yankees and Red Sox in 2009 !!!
.
Take care, Scott !!!
“Go Yankees” !!!
.
– Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”
http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Hi Jane,

Thanks! I promise not to let you down next…I hope! ;)

Hi Kaybee,

Thanks for the comments! The soup was very tasty! :)

Hi Julia,

Don’t worry…I just figured that’s the way people talk in Boston! ;)

Hi Erin,

I am still laughing about your Minnesota “Mild” stance! That is a great one!

Hi Jimmy,

I am afraid that true class of a Yankees fan is reserved exclusively for you. Thanks for the kind words, but we’ll do better next time!

Scott

Scott,Well, when your team musters a pathetic 16 shots on goal against the worst team in the Western Conference, ‘Mild’ is the most appropriate name for them.
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

Scott,
Juan Miranda didn’t look very good at all! And I laughed when you were doing your Ted Williams dedication: “Ted Williams was a great ballplayer.” LOL.

Loved the dedication to Yaz though, great job!
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

PS: I actually rooted for Jeter last night!

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