From Ear to Ear

I just can’t stop grinning.

When Bob Marley sang the simple instructions, “Smile, you’re in Jamaica,” he sure understated himself.

I used my income tax refund check to go to Jamaica to watch my brother get married and serve him as his best man. I saw my family increase in size and spent eight days in a tropical paradise filled with sun, swimming, sailing, sand, and the surf.

It was a much needed break too. The semester ended the day before departure and my beloved Yankees were in the dumps. Yankee fans across Twitter and the MLBlogosphere were gaining that hard crust of cynicism; some even began to give up. But I held on to hope. I had to. Baseball is summer and to me, the Yankees are baseball.

How thankful was I, however, that the Steinbrenner blackout could not reach me for a few days. When the Yanks played on ESPN, the game was there. I watched. I cheered. I kept smiling.

Day after day I read the headlines and results. The distantly familiar vocabulary of “back-to-back” and “win-streak” began to creep into the Yankeeology lexicon. The expansive depression of the Nick Swisher homerless-at-home debacle ended. Mark Teixiera got his groove back. CC started to pitch — exceptionally well. Joba made it through an inning without giving up a run. Andy went deep. Francisco Cervelli walked into the hearts of New York fans.

We have things to talk about other than fist pumps. We have more to smile at and cheer for on the nightly Twittercasts than the imposter Michael Kay account’s improper, but ridiculously hysterical, comments. We have baseball. We have whip cream pies and the Tex-Rod connection. We have kangaroo courts and bench depth.

And the smiles haven’t stopped.

So yes, Mister Marley. I will smile. But not just because I was in Jamaica, but because my beloved Yankees are back to business.

This truly was, the best vacation ever.


Quick Notes …

I’ve been away for a while. School has been horrendous this semester and priorities are priorities. I will make a more regular return after I get back from Jamaica later this month.

Until then, I have much to say, but I’ll keep things brief for now:

1. A-Rod returns tomorrow; let’s hope it brings big changes for the overall performance of this team. This may finally be A-Rod’s chance to step up into a leadership role.

2. Jeter’s deterioration is being noted; I hope to never see him in another uniform, but he may want to consider some other fielding options. Cashman and co need to start shopping for an understudy.

3. We always do better with a healthy Jorge; come back soon.

4. What happened to our stellar pitching? C’mon guys, you can’t blame Girardi for this mess. Wang is not Joe’s fault. CC’s underperforming is not Joe’s fault. AJ and Pettitte are doing decent, but nowhere near what we need them to be doing.

5. Joba is doing precisely what he was projected to do, but c’mon, why pull him after 12 consecutive Ks? That was dumb.

6. Bullpen — WAKE UP! PLEASE! You are better than this.

7. Swisher is in a slump, but then again, who isn’t? He’s still the best offseason acquisition we’ve gotten so far. Make sure you go to and put him in the ASG lineup.

8. We’re only a fraction of the way through the season, there is plenty of time to turn this around and be the Yankees team of old. We need the boys to get pumped, this has to be just as depressing to them as it is to us (aside from the whole them getting millions and us paying to watch them play thing). Maybe someone needs to charge the mound and pop Beckett in the piehole — or kick Jerry Meals in the taint for being a horrible ump.

9. Manny is being Manny. I feel bad for Dodger fans. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, the same way I did for Alex. Unfortunately, Alex didn’t come up hot for a current drug test, it was a past one that was questionably brought out by his hack-journalist stalker, S-Rob. 

10. Make sure to add me on TWITTER. There is a group of Yankee fans/bloggers who frequently share our thoughts on Yankee games through the process. Sometimes we get live reviews, sometimes TV reviews, others watch on MLB’s gameday. Join the fun!

The Dumb and the Restless

arod-4.jpgAfter taking a day off from making headlines, ALEX RODRIGUEZ has finally done something smart. Opting to undergo a minor surgery now, with a promise for a more invasive surgery after the season, Rodriguez is expected to miss only six to nine weeks.

Not only was choosing to have the surgery done now, earlier on in the season, a smart move, Rodriguez also did not publicly comment on the surgery. Dr. Marc Phillipon, the hip specialist responsible for fast-tracking the procedure, did all the talking in an article written beat reporter Bryan Hoch.

“The goal here is to allow Alex to rehab rapidly in a safe manner,”
Philippon said. “The approach we’re using is much safer than letting
Alex play the way he is now.”

Rodriguez is expected to spend the first few week in Vail, Colo. to
undergo rehabilitation that is a “hybrid” experiment.

“Because of all the tests, findings, analysis and function of Alex, I
feel it’s in his best interest to have his labrum repaired, remove part
of his impingement at the same time and, therefore, stabilize his
labrum,” Philippon said. “[The procedure will] remove a little bit of
the impingement, and by doing this, we will contain the cyst. The goal
here is to stabilize Alex’s labrum, remove a little bit of the
impingement and allow him to have more freedom of movement in his hip.”

Philippon has performed similar procedures on and treated such
sports stars as golfer Greg Norman and figure skater Tara Lipinski.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said, during a press conference call, that Philippon’s expertise gave Rodriguez comfort “that
this was not only a legitimate option, but the best one.”


With Rodriguez out of action for only a brief period of time, expect to see more of CODY RANSOM, the man chosen to fill Rodriguez’s big, expensive, shoes. Ransom, 33, is a journeyman infielder who has been hitting exceptionally well as a Yankee between his time spent as a back up last year and his Spring Training showing.

Ransom hit .302 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 33 games for the
Yankees last season as a utility man, including three starts at third
base. He has logged just 183 big league at-bats with three organizations.

In 20 at bats of spring training baseball, Ransom is currently batting .300 with six hits, five runs, and a stolen base. Teammate Johnny Damon has been a vocal supporter of Ransom, even claiming him to be the “best athlete on the team.”

In other news, MANNY RAMIREZ has written a book.



Seriously now ….


He’s a great athlete hitter and all, but I didn’t even know he could read, let along write.

At first I thought it was a hoax. Then I thought maybe it was a Manny themed coloring book.

But this is a real-deal, I-wanna-be-a-bitter-clown-like-Joe-Torre expose’ of his former team.

In a report by associate reporter Alden Gonzalez, excerpts from “Becoming Manny” have been released to the press.

In typical fashion, Manny, with the help of a few journalists, chronicle Manny’s Beantown adventures and his eventual forray into Dodgertown USA, and his eventual settling into Mannywood.

One note I really found thought provoking is how Manny claimed to have lost his best buddy Pedro Martinez, who is currently auditioning for a Major League role with an outstanding performance in the World Baseball Classic.

Perhaps we could see Manny and Pedro reunite … under Joe Torre.

I’m sure Torre could lead another all star team to the playoffs and find a way to blow it for them, too.

What a bunch of clowns.


PHOTOS CREDITS: – Getty/Uncredited – AP/Uncredited – Christa Koch (alterations by me)

It must be a circus…

… cause there sure are a lot of clowns running around LA.




Not THAT kind of clown …. THESE clowns…

In one of only a few of my off season predictions to come to fruition, Manny Ramirez has re-signed with the LA Dodgers, as reported by Ken Gurnick and Barry M. Bloom of

Honestly, who didn’t see this one coming?

I am glad to see this for a few reasons.

#1 – I love Manny in another division, all the way on the other side of the country. He is officially out of our short-cropped Yankee hair. His bat seems to work magic no matter which team he ends up on. He is such a nuisance.

#2 – A-Rod isn’t in the news today. His words aren’t being scrutinized. He isn’t hanging out with any unsavory characters. He’s not caught up in the middle of some new controversy involving drugs, celebrities, aliens, talking goats, or Narnia. He’s just chilling out in Colorado trying to figure out if he wants to miss the beginning of the season or the middle of the season. For now at least. Hey, maybe we can start saying, “It’s just Alex being Alex…”

#3 – The Manny-to-the-Yankees debate is officially dead. I was really getting tired of reading comments about Manny being needed in New York. He’s not needed here. He wouldn’t work here. Manny is dead to the AL East. We are free to move on to more legitimate discussions — which would be anything not related to Barry, Manny, or Alex.

This was the only thing that made sense for Manny. San Francisco didn’t have the wallet with enough girth for Manny. Nor did it have a big enough spotlight. The Giants already bought their gimmick when they spent $8M for one year of The Big Unit and his 300th career win.

Dodgers Chairman Frank McCourt and GM Ned Colleti made the wisest move possible by brining back the power hitting left fielder. Manny puts money into the club’s pockets from merchandise sales, ticket sales, and general fan interest.

As the old addage goes, there’s no such thing as bad press (but tell that to A-Rod). Manny will get the Dodgers on the front page with his antics and his hitting ability.

Apparently, Manny managed to tweak the ire of several former fans from Beantown with his attitude and comments during the ensuing press conference.

According to’s Ken Gurnick, Manny dropped a heavy-handed slap to the face of his former team in response to a question about his potential dissapointment for not being given as large of a contract as his clown-of-an-agent, Scott Boras, was boasting.

“I won. I got out of [Boston],”
he said. “I already make my money [$162
million in career earnings]. I’m in a great place, where I want to
play. I am happy, my teammates love me, the fans love me. Sometimes
it’s better to have a two-year deal in a place you’re happy than an
eight-year deal in a place you suffer.”

While collecting paychecks for goofing off may seem to be suffering to Manny, most Americans will be lax to agree. Manny lives a dream, and now he can continue to live in the lala of LA with other big mouthed buffoons in Hollywood.

Manny is precisely where he belongs.

WEB SOURCES: – – – –

PHOTO CREDITS: – Free Clipart – AP/Gus Ruelas – AP/Uncredited

This NEVER gets old …

I saw this as a kid. I rewatch it quite often. I had a much longer post written that was lost when my PC overheated and shut down. Moral of the story?

I wish I was a mac.

Copyright © 1944, Abbott and Costello. Footage from The Naughty Ninties, 1945.

Filling in an unexpected hole? Maybe? Maybe not?

arod-1.jpgThis guy just cannot seem to find himself off of the headlines. If he’s not causing controversy over past actions, he’s having his words dissected by a blood thirsty media.

For a guy who takes everything said about him so personally, I would suppose Alex Rodriguez would have wanted to disappear for a few weeks until the media feeding frenzy moves on to some other victim.

But I doubt he’d want it to have happened this way.

After reporting a stiffness in his right hip, Rodriguez has found himself in a dangerous, potentially life threatening situation involving a, thankfully, benign cyst.

However, after consulting with specialist Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., Rodriguez had the cyst aspirated on Thursday.

While having the cyst examined, it was revealed that Rodriguez was also suffering from a torn labrum.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, “The socket of your hip joint (acetabulum) is lined by cartilage
called your labrum. This cartilage provides stability and cushioning
for your hip joint, allowing the ball of your thighbone (femur) to move
smoothly and painlessly in the socket.

“A tear in your labrum, known as a hip labral tear or acetabular
labral tear, can result from injury, repetitive movements that cause
wear-and-tear on your hip joint, or degeneration, such as from

arod-2.jpgFor an active ballplayer, this looks to be a routinely plausible in jury. The Mayo Clinic also says, “When treatment for a hip labral tear is necessary, it may consist of
physical therapy, medications or a combination. Less frequently,
surgery is necessary to treat a hip labral tear.”

If Rodriguez needs the surgery, it would have to be a pretty serious tear.

He has subsequently been yanked from the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic, which should further to raise the ire of his former Dominican fans who felt snubbed when Rodriguez opted to play for the United States in the ’06 Classic.

arod-3.jpgThis injury, though, raises an important question.

Should Rodriguez choose to undergo the surgery, who will the Yankees use in his stead? Obviously there is no player who could completely fill the void that would be created by the absence of the former 3-time MVP.

This brings me to a bit of a hypothetical situation.

Let’s play a game I like to call EXTREME GEE EMM.

It works like this: I feed you a few hypothetical guidelines. You make the moves necessary to build the best team. You post your thoughts in a response. We bicker about it. We hope it never happens.

If Rodriguez requires surgery and opted to undergo the procedure now, he would, hypothetically, be ready for a return near the time of the all star break. In the meantime, there would be a vacancy at third base.

Since we are playing with hypothetical situations, let’s also suppose that trading for an outside player is not an option. This is a big hypothetical, because this is rarely ever the case. But if we want to play EXTREME GEE EMM, we have to be able to play with the highest stakes possible.

So if the Yankees have to replace possibly the best baseball player in history (that should churn some fires in of itself!) with a prospect or current position player already in the organization.

Do you move Xavier Nady to third and put Swisher in right field?

Do you put your chips on a daredevil stunt of putting a natural outfielder like Shelly Duncan in the corner?

Do you move Tiexeira from first to third and pull Swisher to the front?

Do you put your hope in former rookie of the year, Angel Berroa?

Do you give the reigns to, as Johnny Damon claims, the “best athlete on the team” in Cody Ransom?

Do you try shifting Juan Miranda across the field?

Do you bypass juggling players and just slot Nick Swisher in the corner and hope for the best?

What would YOU do? How would YOU solve this puzzle?

Web Credits:
Mayo Clinic – – – –

Bomber’s Beat –
Bomber’s Beat –

AP News –

Photo Credits: – AP Photo/Uncredited – AP Photo/Uncredited – AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Dedication Entry

Thank you everyone for the gift of landing me on the top 50 fan blogs at … NUMBER ELEVEN? I was totally not expecting that, especially in light of my complete lack of Spring Training game coverage. You guys are all the best. I’ve been receiving quite a bit of interesting feedback on my other most recent entry “It Just Feels Dirty…” and I must say that your comments have made me laugh, made me guffaw, and even made me think.

I’ll get into the non-baseball adventures soon, if you so wish, but for now allow me to introduce to you my dedication for number 11:

gardner-1.jpgBRETT GARDNER

Who? Brett Gardner. Remember that name. Fans of non-Yankee AL teams are going to start to spit at the sound of his name soon.

If you would have asked me who I thought would be the starting center fielder for the Yanks in 2009, I would have confidently told you Melky Cabrera. His canon arm is a huge defensive plus and I had hoped that his off-season work with Kevin Long and winterball in the Dominican would have risen him to the form I was accustomed to seeing of the Melk-Man.

However, when Melky was sent down to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, New York fans were treated to an extended look at Brett Gardner. Who couldn’t crack a smile as Gardner quickly made himself a baserunning threat. Let’s face it, New York hasn’t had a speed freak like Gardner in a looooooooong time.

gardner-2.jpgThe September call-up wasn’t our first look at Brett Gardner. When Johnny Damon fell to an injury for a brief period at the end of June, Gardner filled his spot in left field.

Through his pair of big league stays, Gardner was still able to generate enough waves in minor league play. On February 28, Gardner was named Kevin Lawn Player of the Year by the yankees organization.

Though not even in his first full rookie season, Gardner has already been written into the history books. On September 21, 2008, Gardner scored the final run of Major League Baseball in Yankee Stadium history as a pinch runner for Jason Giambi, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Cano in the seventh inning of an eventual 7-3 win for the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles.

gardner-3.jpgGardner appeared in 94 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
in 2008, batting .296 (101-for-341) with 12 doubles, 11 triples, three
home runs, 32 RBI and 37 stolen bases. He led all Yankees minor
leaguers in stolen bases and tied for fourth in batting average.

In two stints with the Yankees in 2008, Gardner combined to bat
.228 (29-for-117) with five doubles, two triples, 16 RBI and 13 stolen
bases in 42 games (17 starts).

He became just the third Yankee since
1938 to steal five bases within his first nine Major League games,
joining Mickey Rivers and Bobby Abreu (credit: Elias).

“That’s just my game, that’s just my job,” Gardner said. “If I didn’t
do that, I wouldn’t be here right now. I wouldn’t be in Minor League
camp either. I’d have a desk job somewhere. That’s the main part of my
game and that’s why I am where I am.” 

gardner-4.jpgFollowing the
season, he was named to Baseball America’s Triple-A All-Star team and
was tabbed by the publication as having the International League’s
“Best Strikezone Judgment” as well as being the IL’s “Best Baserunner.”

“This dude comes running around first base like a bolt of lightning,
and it’s like, ‘Wow,'” said teammate Nick Swisher. “This dude is

“That is his game, and I love that,” Swisher said. “I try to push him
every day. He’s that scrappy guy — one of those guys that if he gets
on the basepaths, he’s going to kill you. I love the way he plays. He
grinds out every at-bat, he grinds out every day.”

Gardner continues to pester his opponents in an impressive spring training campaign makred with a .417 AVG and a .500 OBP. In only 5 games, Gardner has collected 2 steals and has hustled out several extra bases thanks to his speed — a commodity the Yankees desperately need after losing Bobby Abreu to free-agency.

“He leads off the game and gets on base, and he already puts the
pitcher in defensive mode,” said pitcher Ian Kennedy, who played with
Gardner at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“You have to think about him always at first base. He’s going to steal
— it doesn’t matter what pitch. He’s one of those guys that’s a pest.
You love to have him on your team, because he’s always going to make
things happen.”

“Obviously, I know what’s at stake,” Gardner said. “I’m just coming out
here to work hard and try to get better every day, and have some good
quality at-bats and prove to them that I’m ready to compete at this

“I feel like my strengths are my defense and baserunning, and being able to get on base and make things happen.”

Gardner’s speed has not gone unnoticed, either.

“That’s fun to watch, any time you have that type of speed. I mean, we
have a guy in [Brett] Gardner that’ll be fun. That’s probably the most
you can have, watching those guys run,”
said teammate Alex Rodriguez.

“He’s an exciting player. He creates havoc,” said Yankees skipper, Joe Girardi. “He can be a pest, and we like that.”

All quotes are from interviews or press conferences by beat report Bryan Hoch and

You can read Bryan’s blog over at