Results tagged ‘ Lou Gehrig ’

A Rainout Would Have Been Nice…


It was just a bad day all the way around…


Bad Day.JPG


The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 8-4, to end their seven game winning streak.  The loss also prevented the Yankees from closing the gap on the Boston Red Sox and they fell to three games behind the AL East Leaders.




You knew it was going to be one of those days when Mark Teixeira couldn’t snare Ichiro Suzuki’s lead-off hit which bounced off Tex’s glove for a double.  In the 6th, Ryan Langerhans led off with a hard grounder that Tex attempted to make a play on but missed, giving the newest Mariner a double.  But the official error that ended Teixeira’s 107-game errorless streak didn’t occur until the 9th inning.  He threw wide to pitcher Alfredo Aceves, who was covering first, and it allowed Ichiro to reach base safely.  He would later score on Russell Branyan’s 451-foot home run to dead center.   Texeira’s last error occurred August 19, 2008 while he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels.  He has also gone 65 at-bat’s without a home run…


Bad Day 2.JPG


CC Sabathia was throwing in the mid-90’s, but he could not keep his fastball or his change-up down.  With the pitches staying in the zone, CC gave up 10 hits and 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.


William Perlman/The Star Ledger


Manager Joe Girardi said after the game, “We had been playing so well and CC was throwing well so I felt good about our chances. He showed he was human”.  The only problem is the Yankees don’t pay CC to be human.  Anything less than complete domination is unacceptable.  Okay, I am just kidding, but you’d expect more than a win-loss record of 7-5 for $161 million.


CCs Contract.JPG  


The Yankees had their opportunities, but the clutch hits never came.  In the 9th, it appeared the Yankees were getting something going when the first two batters, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, both singled.  But fly outs by Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera, and a swinging strikeout by pinch hitter Jorge Posada ended the game.


Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger


It does not get any easier for the Yankees as they open the four-game holiday weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays.  A.J. Burnett will face his former teammates in tonight’s opening game.  I’ve never heard of the Blue Jays starter, Brian Tallet, but it seems that’s never a good thing…


Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer


Meanwhile, the Mariners travel north to Boston to face the Red Sox.  Felix Hernandez, who I am glad the Yankees missed, will open their series against 10-game winner Tim Wakefield.  If anything came out of the Mariners’ win on Thursday, I hope they can use the momentum to carry them to victory over the Red Sox.  I’ll borrow these words that Julia used all week,  Go Seattle!”


Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP


Speaking of Julia, she mentioned on her Julia’s Rants blog that it has been 70 years since Lou Gehrig gave his immortal farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.  She also has some good words to say about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease as it is more commonly referred to.





ESPN Outside The Lines has a great piece on their site about final letters written by Lou Gehrig.  The letters are primarily between Gehrig and a doctor in Minnesota, Dr. Paul O’Leary, who helped first diagnose Gehrig’s illness.  The letters cover the final two years of Gehrig’s life.  You can feel Gehrig’s hopes rise and fade through the letters, and I was surprised at how Dr. O’Leary and Eleanor Gehrig withheld the severity of the illness from him.  The letters are definitely an interesting read.  Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of Lou’s farewell speech.  Lou is my favorite all-time baseball player, and it will be a day to remember how truly special he was…not just as a ballplayer but as a man.


Posted on YouTube by InitialBlackNotice


In other news, the Yankees signed 16-year old catching prospect Gary Sanchez from the Dominican Republic for a signing bonus of nearly $3 million.  One Latin American scout said, “He’s a big kid, with a big arm”.  Sanchez is 6’2″, 210 lbs.  The Yankees would seem to be set at catcher for years to come when Jorge Posada decides to call it a career.  Their best catching prospect is 19-year old Jesus Montero, but there’s been some talk he may physically outgrow the position.  Montero, 6’4″ and 225 lbs, was recently promoted to the Trenton Thunder (AA).  The other key catching prospect in the organization is Austin Romine.  Of course, Francisco Cervelli is probably wondering, ‘What about me?’  Cervelli will most likely head back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre for further development once Jose Molina completes his injury rehabilitation in the next week.

The Yankees also signed two other Dominican players, shortstop Damian Arredondo and right hander Christopher Cabrera.



Yet another all-Williams final at Wimbledon?  I was really pulling for Dinara Safina, who was ranked #1.  But she was a complete no-show, and Venus looked like she was practicing with a high schooler.  Nevertheless, for the final, I’ll go with Serena…



Let me close with a video of what Julia must have been like as a baby.  In fact, I am sure of it…


Posted on YouTube by dmccomp

A Tip of the Hat to Julia’s Rants…

Julia (of Julia’s Rants) has successfully completed her required three pro-Yankee blogs.  I’ll add that she did a tremendous job with her “hat trick”!


First, she led off with the Iron Man himself…



Then, she knocked in Bobby Ray Murcer…


 Rich Pilling, MLB Photos via Getty Images


Finally, she slammed one out of the park with DJ…



Three outstanding blogs!  Julia’s debt is paid in full…well, at least, until we meet again in late April!


I do want to compliment Julia on her selections.  It is easy to write about past Yankees, such as Gehrig or Murcer.  But it takes courage for a Red Sox fan to write about Derek Jeter.  She could have taken the easy road and wrote about a “safe” Yankee like Jose Molina, Xavier Nady or coach Tony Pena.  She could have written about A-Rod for that matter, since there’s nothing she could say that would be more polarizing than what has already been said about him in the press.  She also could have written about Johnny Damon, a player with obvious ties to Red Sox history.  But she chose to write about one of the most despised Yankees in Boston, and I am very appreciative.  I find Dustin Pedroia to be somewhat similar to DJ.  Outwardly, it is easy to say that Dustin is your least favorite player, a lousy ballplayer, etc., but meanwhile, under your breath, what you’re really saying is ‘Man, this Pedroia kid really has some incredible skills!  Too bad he’s not on my team!’.  I hope the Boston fans can recognize that Derek plays the game the way it should be played, and he is always respectful of his teammates and opponents.  Excellent job, Julia!


By the way, it was fun being “teammates’ for a few days…



But now, we can resume our normal relationship…



Good times!


JULY 21, 1980


On this date, the Yankees lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-4.  Tom Underwood was the losing pitcher, and the Yankees lineup looked like this:


2B Willie Randolph

LF Lou Piniella

1B Bob Watson

RF Reggie Jackson

DH Eric Soderholm

3B Graig Nettles

C Rick Cerone

CF Ruppert Jones

SS Bucky Dent


The opposing lineup included the likes of Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Stormin’ Gorman Thomas, Ben Oglivie, Sixto Lezcano, Don Money, Charlie Moore, and Jim Gantner.  The winning pitcher was Mike Caldwell. 


Nothing special about this day, right?  Wrong.  On July 21, 1980, in Vallejo, CA, Carsten Charles Sabathia was born. 


C.C. Sabathia



The man destined to open the Yankees 2009 season in Baltimore on Monday, April 6th, and to throw the first official regular season pitch in the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday, April 16th (against his former team, the Cleveland Indians). 




CC will always be remembered in Yankees history as the guy who opened the new Stadium.


An interior view of the new Yankee Stadium, shot with a fisheye.

Audrey C. Tiernan, Newsday


So, on a day that resulted in another “L” in the loss column, did the Yankees really lose?  No, I’d say they won that day…


I wonder if CC could help open this for me…




Have a great weekend!



What’s Julia Going To Write About Next?…

Julia (of Julia’s Rants) scored with her first pro-Yankees blog following the Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Boston Red Sox last night.  She wrote about my personal all-time hero, Lou Gehrig.  But then again, I’ve certainly given her enough hints about that.  Let’s see if she can come up with some unexpected names for the final two pro-Yankees blogs. 


I’ve mentioned the names of Catfish Hunter, Thurman Munson and Billy Martin in the past, so she’ll have to dig deeper than that.  Babe Ruth is too obvious, and Donnie Baseball was a contemporary favorite so he’s out (plus, he’s temporarily a Dodger anyway).  I’ll think she’ll probably just crack open The Yankee Years and write about Joe Torre…


No pressure, Julia!  Surprise me!





Today was a sad day with the departure of two individuals with ties to the Yankees.


Arthur Richman, a senior adviser to George Steinbrenner, died during his sleep in New York City at age 83.  Richman, a former sportswriter and Mets executive, is credited with contacting Joe Torre in 1995 about the Yankees managerial post that had been vacated by Buck Showalter.  Recent books aside, I’d say that was a very good hire….


Former catcher Johnny Blanchard passed away of a heart attack in Wayzata, MN at age 76.  Blanchard played with the Yankees from 1959 to 1965, and was nicknamed “Super Sub”.  He had his finest year in 1961, when he was one of six Yankees who hit at least 20 home runs.  The others were Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, Moose Skowron, Elston Howard and Yogi Berra.  He also achieved an incredible feat that year, hitting home runs in four consecutive at-bats spanning three games from July 21st to July 26th.  He just missed a fifth consecutive home run, when the ball was caught against the right field fence.



Johnny holds the Major League record with 10 World Series pinch-hit at-bats (he appeared in a total of 5 World Series). 


I came across this story of when Johnny was traded to Kansas City in 1965.  He was sitting in the Yankees clubhouse, sobbing.  Mickey Mantle sat down next to him and tried to cheer him up.


“Don’t take it so hard, John” Mickey said.  “Just think, in Kansas City, you’re going to get a chance to play.”


“Hell, I can’t play, Mick” Johnny replied.  “That’s why I’m crying!”


Johnny had been looking forward to making the trip to New York to see the new Stadium.


Both men will be missed.




The San Jose Sharks (48-14-10, 106 pts) are in Chicago tonight to play the Blackhawks.  Jeremy Roenick, who began his career in Chicago 20 years ago, will be a game-time decision but is expected to play in what could be his final game in Chicago.


Jose Lepe/San Jose Mercury News 


JR, who has missed 39 games due to two shoulder injuries, is both mentally and physically ready to play.  He says that Joe Thornton has been kidding him that he can’t call this a year due to the time lost, so he has another year in the tank. 


My appreciation of JR developed when I lived in Phoenix and he played for the Phoenix Coyotes.  I have always admired his grit and determination, and would like to see him win the Stanley Cup as he moves into the twilight of his career.


Doug Pensinger/SI



I was forwarded this joke today, and although I don’t normally like to “forward” jokes, this was too cute to pass up…

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off he asked what she’d like to have for her birthday.


‘I’d like to be six again’, she replied, still looking in the mirror.


On the morning of her birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster, everything there was.


Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.


He then took her to a McDonald’s where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.


Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M’s. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, ‘Well, Dear, what was it like being six again?’


Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. ‘I meant my dress size, you retard!’


The moral of the story: Even when a man is listening, he is gonna’ get it wrong.




You have to check out Canuck’s (The Watercooler) blog entitled ‘For My Dad’.  It is very touching, and of course, Canuck has such a great way with words.  Maybe I’m a sap for father stories.  I tried to get my dad to play baseball with me when I was little but he never felt well enough and passed away when I was 10.  Needless to say, Canuck really hit my heart with an article about her dad… 


Why Did You Become A Fan of…

The question has been asked on multiple blogs, but it is always very relevant and quite interesting…

Why did you become a fan of your favorite baseball team?

Often, it’s simply geography or a family’s passion that is passed from generation to generation.  But other times, there are deeper, individual reasons for why we follow certain teams. 

I have always been quick to say that I became a Yankees fan on December 31, 1974.  That’s the day Oakland A’s free-agent pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter signed a 5-year, $3.75 million contract with the Yankees.


Walter Iooss Jr/SI

The early 70’s were a great time to be an A’s fan, and I was on the bandwagon like all my friends.  But I was starting to get older and had gained a better awareness and understanding of baseball.  After some careful thought, I decided to follow Hunter to New York in terms of my loyalty and support.  I was immediately captivated by the personalities on the Yankees roster, and Billy Martin was quickly my all-time favorite manager.  Thurman Munson became my idol, and I can still remember the magic and excitement when Chris Chambliss hit the game winning home run in the 1976 ALCS against the Kansas City Royals (I remember watching his foot placement in the batter’s box and feeling that something huge was about to happen).


New York Daily News

I remember my mom was getting tired of me telling her that Reggie Jackson had hit another home run in the 1977 World Series, and sadly, I remember exactly where I was on August 2, 1979.


Yet, when I think about why I was attracted to the Yankees, it really happened much earlier.  When I was about 7 or 8, I read a book about Lou Gehrig. 

At the time, I was just starting to become aware of Major League baseball.  I was drawn to the history and aura of the game.  I “discovered” pro football first, but baseball quickly passed football as my true love.  Today, Lou Gehrig is my personal all-time hero, and hence, the source of the name for my blog.

“I’m not a headline guy.  I know that as long as I was following Babe Ruth to the plate I could have stood on my head and no one would have known the difference.”

–Lou Gehrig

There are multiple meanings in this quote for me personally.  Not only does it pay homage to the great class and character of Lou Gehrig, but it also recognizes that I am among greatness at MLBlogs with so many outstanding writers.

I have always been drawn to the history of the Yankees, so I think the book about Gehrig set the stage for my conversion from an A’s fan to a Yankees fan a few years later. 

A very moving article to read is the “This Morning with Shirley Povich” column that appeared in the Washington Post on July 5, 1939.  The Washington Senators played a double-header against the Yankees on July 4th, and Gehrig gave his immortal farewell speech between games.

Yankees manager Joe McCarthy made the following statement at the mike that day while openly crying:  “Lou, what else can I say except that it was a sad day in the life of everybody who knew you when you came to my hotel room that day in Detroit and told me you were quitting as a ball player because you felt yourself a hindrance to the team. My God, man, you were never that.”

I think that quote alone can sum up why I feel that Lou Gehrig was such a special person…

The Senators won the first game, 3-2, but the Yankees came back to win the second game, 11-1, after Gehrig’s farewell.

This is an excellent tribute to Lou… 


Who would have known it would set me on a collision course against Julia of Julia’s Rants? ;) 

Huh? Pavano said what?…

Carl Pavano said what? 

“When you’re down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you’re down.  I’ve had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years.”

If Carl had to pick himself up quite a few times, who’s fault was it that he was down to begin with?  Was it the Yankees fault that the guy had no heart and was susceptible to constant injuries?  What a jerk!  Did this guy really win 18 games for the Marlins a few years back?  Good luck in Cleveland…



 The new Yankee Stadium is definitely coming together:




Man, I am going to hate John Smoltz’s rational, sane, professional interview responses now more than ever!  Seriously, I am worried about the good job that Theo is doing toward building the 2009 Red Sox.  He has rebounded very nicely since the Teixeira saga.  I saw that they have their eye on Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero.  Assuming that Jesus Montero stays at catcher (there’s been talk of him moving to first base for physical reasons, but I think that won’t happen now that Teixeira is locked in at first), the Yankees and Red Sox could have catchers with the same last name once Jesus makes it to the bigs in the not-so-distant future. 

Mark Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli as your back up outfielders…that’s just sick!  And I mean that with the highest respect from a bitter rival.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are talking about trading Xavier Nady to put .220 hitter Nick Swisher in right, and they still haven’t figured out center field.  Johnny Damon is the only certainty in the Yankee outfield…

I read a blog today that the Yankees should try to sign Arizona’s RP Juan Cruz for the bullpen and I completely agree. They’d only have to surrender a 4th round pick since picks 1-3 are headed to the Angels, Brewers and Blue Jays for the earlier FA signings.  The guy has huge upside, and is only 30 years old.  He is #19 on ESPN’s Keith Law’s list of top free agents:



Juan Cruz

POSITION: Relief pitcher
2008 TEAM: Arizona Diamondbacks
STATUS: Free agent

57 51.2 4-0 2.61 0 31 71

Cruz has an electric arm, but struggles with command and control have held him back in the past and limited his value to Arizona in 2008, although he showed some improvement after missing time with an oblique strain in July.

Cruz throws a 94-97 mph four-seamer with late life, and it plays up because his arm is so quick, meaning that the ball gets in on hitters quickly. He pairs it with a sharp slider, very hard and 80-84 against right-handed batters but a little slower when he’s trying to use it against left-handed hitters. It’s power stuff that misses bats, which plays in any park in either league, and he has a good chance to develop into a closer for a team looking to create one rather than give big money to K-Rod.


I changed the name of this blog from Fiddler on the Roof to I’m Not A Headline Guy to give it a little more originality.  But, of course, it is not original at all.  My idol is Lou Gehrig, and the name of the blog is a tribute to him.  It is a quote that Lou once made.  Lou, I didn’t live in your era, but you were a headline guy, and a class act…

Goodnight all!  For the record, baseball fans rock! 🙂