World Series Congrats!

I am a Yankees fan.  I keep hearing these odd voices.  Huh, anyway. Aren’t we told that all Yankees fans are bandwagoners. I am a Yankees fan.   I mean, the “real Yankees fans” are rude, boorish, and thick-headed, right?  Not like the Phillies fans, the Red Sawx fans, the Mets fans… now they are good fans right?  Besides, who would admit to being a Yankees fan right now?  With the World Series right around the corner, the “Phightin’ Phils” are the sports world’s darlings  right?  The Bombers stand no chance, it will be a sweep.  I heard this in the barber shop yesterday so it has to be true!  Still, there is that nagging voice in the back of my head…….I am a Yankees fan.

                What’s the use of showing up for the games anyway if the Phils are so dominant?  Ryan Howard is going to hit 27 home runs in the sweep and Cliff Lee will throw a perfect game.  What? Not likely?  But this is what Phils fans expect.  They are going to walk all over the Yanks.   I am a Yankees fan.  Someone help me get that voice out of my head. I know we are going to lose, you all don’t have to keep reminding me.  J.A. Haap is the second coming, Pedro is god on earth, and let’s not get started on Brad Lidge, the greatest closer of all…….Mariano?  Oh, and there is J-Roll, the best shortstop in the game right? Derek Jeter…Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap…  The only man in baseball good enough to have a shortened name.  ARod, clap, clap, Arod, clap, clap..  These voices again, I don’t know….

            Anyway, I just wanted to use this time to congratulate the Phils on winning the Series today, before it ever begins, you know, because we don’t stand a chance.  I am a Yankees fan.  Sarcasm? NO. I was the first one to count the Bombers out when they lost game five against the Angels and I always am the first to criticize everything they do, so of course I’m serious.  But still, the voices! I am a Yankees fan!… So, congrats Phils on your……….Third?…….World Series title?  Third?  As of today, the Marlins have two and they have only been in the league since 1993.  You’re going after a ………third?  The Yankees had a third title before WWII. And they weren’t even around in 1893, the dawn of the Phils. Wait a minute…..I am a Yankees fan… That voice is mine.  It’s like coming out of a dream.. or a nightmare.  A nightmare for the Phillies. 

                        Come on in to the greatest city in the world boys, bring J-roll and Victorino, Pedro and Un be LEE vable,  Lidge and Utley.  We’re waiting.  You’re not playing a second class AAA team from Tampa this time, now you are playing with the big boys.  Come on in, do you see that strange look on Pedro’s face?  He’s been here before, he knows what Five O’clock Thunder means.  Hey, Hammels, while you’re here, take a look around your future home.  Oh, and Ryan Howard, that spot on the bench where Matsui is now, that will be reserved for you. 

                        One question, Phillies fans…How does it feel to know that you will soon lose a World Series and eventually two of your best players to the same team?  Feels great to me but then again………..I am a Yankees fan.phillies_ts_1101740--480x180.jpg

 

A Wake Up Call To FIFA

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the CONCACAF final at Giant’s Stadium and even though my beloved USA didn’t win, it was definitely fun and a real look for me into the devotion of Mexican fans. So it was with great anticipation that I tuned in yesterday to MUN2 to watch the “rematch”. My level of elation hit astronomical numbers when Charlie Davies fired one past Ochoa, only the fourth ever against a Mexican National team. Moments later, the equalizer took me down a peg. It was the second half, however where my faith in soccer to police itself was shaken.

I’m sure Roberto Moreno did his job to the best of his ability, but that ability was clearly hampered by fear of the crowd. Landon Donavon needs a police shield to take a corner? Bocanegra is basically assaulted with not so much as a warning? What was in essence a great match will forever be marred by the lack of consistency in the officiating

Now I know the thought-sour grapes from an American who can’t take his teams loss. Not at all. A very good Equidorian friend of mine with no vested interest in the game other than to see good football played, was shaking his head at the descrepancies. I was furious at the MNT for their play untill he pointed out some of the more glaring problems with the officiating. Once I discovered the match time had been changed, things kind of fell into place for me. I’m not saying FIFA is pulling anything, no that is now my intent. And it is not just in Mexico, many “friendlies” every year are marred by these same occurences. This should be the time where FIFA officials re-examine the way these matches are run. Just some ideas.

1.FIFA officials on site must have the right to have individual fans or sections of fans from the stadiums if their conduct is dangerous to players. This is not the standard singing and ebulliant behavior, but rather trowing bottles, batteries, etc. on the pitch.

2.FIFA sanctioned matches should be reviewed while in progress by a game-runner, similar to the NHL. No, I don’t want to see this extended to in league matches, but WC qualifying cannot be subject to such outside interference.

I am among the billions who love soccer and will always be, and I know the US is not quite ready to compete on the world stage-soon though, I am not calling foul, I just want FIFA to wake up to the fact that we do take the game seriously, and we demand the same treatment the rest of the soccer playing world gets.

Quick Ramblings

-Just a quick happy birthday to Chien Ming Wang. Many returns.

-Season opener less than a week away, Spring really is here.

-Just two weeks untill my first game at the new stadium. Must say anticipation mixed with apprehension.

-SOMEONE will pick Sheffield up, no worries, the Iron Chef will get 500. Maybe in a Red Sox uni.

I’m Just Asking

I have a few questions about the New Yankee Stadium that I would like to have answered. Nothing Earth shattering or profound, just a few queries that I, as a fan would like to have clarified.

1. Will I have that same sense of numbness and disbelief the first time I enter the new Stadium that I did when I first walked through the tunnel to the field level at 161st and River?

2. Will my son look at a picture of the new park and recognize it as fast and with as much excitement as before?

3. As everyone wants to know, will The Babe, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Munson, and the other ghosts come to play in their new home?

4. Will we, as fans, stand outside waiting to get in and look across the street and long for the Old Girl?

5. Will the new Stadium itself question whether or not it can ever match up?

6. Will it be in my generation, or my son’s or his son’s, that one can touch the walls walking through the concourse and feel the history?

7. Will I still pay eight bucks for a beer?

8. Will I ever get over it and accept that we have moved on?

9. If, say, Melky Cabrerra, hits the first homer in the Stadium (and I love Melky) will it mean as much as the Babe going yard the first time in ’23?

10. Will she be home to another 26 titles?

A Boone to the Game

I think I was aware of Aaron Boone from the
time he reached the Major leagues, I remember hearing his
name and the repetitive exhortaion of being a third
generation MLB player alongside his brother Brett.
Unfortunately, I really only became aware of the player and
person that he was during the 2003 season. I follwed his rise
to All-stardom with the Reds that season and then stood
amazed as he was traded to my beloved Bombers to shore up the
hot corner and the bench. I remember the contributions he
made on a team that has so many minor parts making the
machine work. Then came THE moment, you know, the one Boone
himself knows he’ll always be remembered for. Do you think
Wakefield wants that one back? I heard the stories about the
good guy he was and even remeber Brett boone calling a couple
of his brothers’ ABs and the generally good feeling Brett
said anyone around Aaron would invariably get. The game needs
more like that, serious competitors who also bring a love of
the game. I also remember being furious with Boone. If he
hadn’t hurt his leg playing basketball, I would not be
saddled with ARod. At least Boone had the guts to admit his
transgression right away and not try to blame anyone else
(listening ARod?) If Aaron Boone has taken his last swings in
the Bigs, and who can blame him for putting his health first,
then I for one will happily remember him as a good big league
player with one of the greatest moments in the history of
sports’ greatest franchise. Good luck and Godspeed, Aaron
Boone.

Pedroia as MVP-My Take

Dustin Pedroia was named AL MVP this morning and I have to admit it came as a total surprise to me. Not that Pedroia is not deserving, I just simply did not see that one coming. Kevin Youklis: sure, Justin Morneau:, o.k. even K-Rod. Yes K-Rod. Saving 62 of 100 wins does mean something. Pedroia,  though, that came out of proverbial left field for me. This is not to disparage Dustin at all (my pinstripe blood is boiling right now), but maybe I should say this: evertime I see Pedroia, he seems to kill the Yankees. I know it’s not statisticly true but it feels like he hits1.000 in the Bronx.

What bothers me is that in the time between 1995 with Mo Vaughn and 2008 look at the Boston players who could have won the MVP and didn’t. Pedro in 1998, Nomar in 1997, Lowell in 2006, Papi in 2005, Youklis in 2008. I’m just saying that Pedroia is not even the first pick for MVP on his own team in my mind. Maybe I’m wrong, it’s just my take. Oh well, more reason for me to study the enemy a bit more next season.

The Difference is Championships

As a transplanted Yankees fan from Jersey now living in Pa, I have for years been inundated with claims of “the Yanks may have 26 titles, but Ryan Howard hit X number of Home Runs, Jimmy Rollins scored X number of runs…etc.” Now, I hear “when is the last time the Yanks won anything?” What scares me is that some people actually don’t know the answer. Then they always follow with “what kind of fan boos ARod?” The answer? Yankees fans.

The great difference between Yankees fans and any other fans is that we take absolute pride in the 26 championships. Above all. Yes, we have had Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Mantle, Jackson, Munson, Mattingly, Jeter, and this is a veritable who’s who of baseball history. But the pertinent point is that every one with the exception of Donnie Baseball is in posession of at least one ring. They are winners.

Now, I will not take anything away from the other MLB clubs in this respect: MLB players are the best in the world. The third ranked catcher on the Royals is still a thousand times the player any of us are. And they get to live in world we only dream of. The Red Sox do have history. So do the Cardinals, Dodgers, Phillies, and on down the line. We live vicariously through our pinstriped heroes. We feel the highs and lows and celebrate the titles along with them.

I admire all baseball fans, this being the greatest sport in the world. We should be united as a fan of the “only true game”. Don’t hate Yankees fans for success (Red Sox fans it is understood the rivalry is natural, you need not respond). But the difference is Championships.