Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yankee Talking Talking Yankee Talk

(SCSD now has multiple daily posts. Don't miss the others below.)

While Duke was busy winning a national title, the powers-that-be couldn't stand to give the team the limelight for even a minute, so they pulled the classless move of starting the baseball season a day before the championship. TYPICAL.

Anyway, the 2010 Yankee campaign started with a three-game set at Fenway, and MLB featured the first game as the Sunday night season kick-off. I'm sure the rivalry helped them nab some nice national ratings, and on paper leading with two heavyweights was probably a good idea. As a Yankee fan, though, I don't like it.

Don't get me wrong; Yanks-Sox is always exciting. But I like to build up to that excitement. Opening day is great enough on its own without having to ratchet up the intensity by casting us into the lion's den. Last year, starting in Baltimore was perfect. We got to re-acquaint ourselves with old faces, meet new ones, and gradually settle into the year. The atmosphere was festive without being overhwelming. And when we lost, no big deal. It was Baltimore. It's a long season.

It can never be like that with Boston. On Sunday night, the game got close (surprise surprise), and all the sudden IT'S STRESS TIME! It was like sitting by yourself thinking "you know what, it might be fun to try boxing some day," and then a trainer and a cut man and an agent break down your door and whisk you off to a boxing ring, where in the opposite corner an angry muscled dude is chewing his mouth guard and staring at you like you kicked his pit bull.



I think Red Sox fans would agree. Give us a few weeks, please. That being said, we won the series two games to one, withstanding some strong pitching by the Sawx along the way. Here were the great moments:

*CC didn't look terrible. After a rough spring training and a history of slow starts, I thought his outing on Sunday was fairly strong. He faded in the sixth, but what can you expect. At least his stuff was there. The fat man always abides.

*When Jorge hit the Pesky Pole in the second to give us an early lead, my girlfriend was already asleep. Up until last year, she'd never been a sports fan, but she caught on fast with the Yankees. She came to like baseball so much that she actually teared up when I played a mean joke in January and told her that Mark Teixeira (her favorite) had been traded. So I decided to give her an early season test. "Hip Hip" I yelled. She sat up straight, bleary-eyed and dazed. "Jorge," she mumbled. Then she collapsed on the couch and went back to sleep. The next morning, she didn't remember.

Success! If I can condition her so thoroughly in less than a year, imagine what I can do to children.

*The long-awaited John Sterling home run call for Curtis Granderson is official. When Grandy went deep on Sunday, the Yankee radio man yelled out "Oh Curtis, you're something sort of grandish!" Apparently this is a reference to a song from a musical called "Finian's Rainbow" that debuted in 1947. Fair enough. He want back to that line last night, and then tacked on a more recent musical reference: "Grandy Man...the Grandy Man can!" A lot of people around the internet seem to hate this, but I think it's kinda hysterical. As a favor to Sterling's genius, I'll even write a couple verses for him:

Who can take a fastball?
Drill it to the seats?
Crush a hanging curve
and a hundred other feats?

The Grandy Man!
The Grandy Man Can!
The Grandy Man Can when the fella on the mound
throws with his right hand.

Who can make a change-up
go soaring through the sky?
Hit a slider so far
that it makes the pitcher cry?

The Grandy Man!
The Grandy Man Can!
Unless the other team brings a lefty in the game
and then he kinda stinks.

*Andy and AJ get good marks too, Andy in particular. He kept the Sox at bay while Lackey got strict with the Yanks, and gave the offense a shot to even things up against the Boston pen. AJ was AJ- the nastiest curve in the game, moments of brilliance, and then a lot of walks and poor pitch selection. 12-14 wins and an awesome performance in 1 out of every 2 playoff games, anyone?

*I fucking love having Nick Johnson and Nick Swisher on the same team. It makes it virtually impossible for an opposing pitcher to make it through five innings without throwing 100 pitches. Johnson is quite the anomaly. Last year, his OBP was the second highest in baseball at .426. This year, he's alerady rocking a .400 OBP, and he's yet to manage a single hit. These two guys have never seen an early strike they liked. That has to be annoying. I bet when they go to restaurants together, they just study the menu until the waitress gets frustrated and gives them a free meal.

*Victory over Crapelspoon! Y'all know me, and you know I'm typically not a hater. But Papelbon is the worst. I would hate him if he was a Yankee, I promise. He's dumb, obnoxious, and arrogant at the same time. A failure for him is a win for good people everywhere. Every time Papelbon blows a save or takes a loss, something fortunate happens in a really hardscrabble place. Like North Korea, for instance. The rice crop doubled after Granderson's home run. It's a cosmic karma thing. Trust me on that one.

More later.

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