Who's Your Daddy?

Quite a couple of statements by Pedro Martinez. Nothing too in depth here just thought you'd get a chuckle at an over the hill jheri curler.

3 L's on that jersey and the 4th L for that horrible suit in the post game press conference. That will lose the series for ya.

World Series 2009

For those that know me and even those that don't. This next week and a half is going to be one of the most stressfull/joyful weeks in recent years. My beloved Yankees are back in the World Series for a record setting 40th time and looking to capture their 27th championship.

I am by no means a front runner, I've been a baseball fan for as I can remember, playing little league as a 7 year old and idolizing Don Mattingly and the New York Yankees. In fact me and my buddy Keith often play a game where we spend 10 minutes rattling off obscure Yankees of the late 80's and early 90's. (Andy Stankiewicz, Mell Hall, Eric Plunk, Greg Cadaret, Scott Sanderson, Roberto Kelly, Matt Nokes etc.)

I have experienced the full gamut of emotions during my 20 years as a fan from heartbreak (2001 WS, 2004 ALCS, 1994 Strike, Don Mattingly's retirement are some that come to mind) to absolute joy. (See 1996 playoffs, 1998 season, 1999 WS, 2003 ALCS). This season has an extra layer of meaning. It's the first season in the new house, we finally beat our playoffs nemesis in the Angels, we are arguably the best team in baseball for the first time in a few years and it's going against the 2008 World Series Champs.

My disgust for Philly is almost as much as my hatred for Boston and the vast majority of fans that live in those cesspools. Going to school at the University of Delaware I was exposed to wayy too many Philadelphia sports fans, the reputation they have earned for some of the worst fans in all of sports is being kind. I actually think Boston fans are more informed sports fans in general.

Some of my best friends are Philly fans, but the gloves will come off for this match up and I've already heard my fair share of Philly chatter. They are not fans of the game of baseball but are more about getting as drunk as possible and rooting for whatever team is doing well at that time. I still hear those horrible echoes of E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES chants wherever and opportunity presented itself.

Not to mention I made a nice little bet with my buddy Drew who happens to be a big Philly fan. Last year he proposed a bet to me that the Yankees wouldn't win the WS in the next 5 years and if they did he'd pay me $500, and if they didn't win I'd pay him. I liked my odds when I made the bet, but with the acquisition of CC, Tex and Burnett, I like my position even more.

This is for ultimate bragging rights for years to come. Philly has a very formidable ball club and this will be a great series! My guess is Yankees in 6.


I'll see you at the Canyon of Heroes in 2 weeks

The Elephant in the room

The Yankees lost a heart breaker last night in Los Angeles. Burnett gave up 4 runs in the first and there was a lot of trepidation with the crowd I was watching with that we'd have to dip into the bullpen early and claw our way back for a win.

I think I would've been happier if we lost 4-0 instead of scoring 6 runs in the 7th to take a 6-4 lead only to give up that lead in the bottom half of the inning. The turning point in this game was Phil Franchise's performance. He had Vlad at a 1-2 count with 2 outs. On the previous pitch he made him look silly on a nasty curve ball in the dirt. With the reputation Vlad has for being a free swinger, why not throw the same pitch and see if he'll chase. Instead Hughes shook of Jorge and went for a fast ball up and in. He missed his spot and left a fastball in the heart of the plate and Vlad got his game tying RBI. Fast forward to the top of 9th. We load the bases all with 2 outs and Swish works the count full. As a kid you dream for this situation, unfortunately Swish popped out on a fastball right down the middle.

I caught the game at my buddy Adam's where he has a ridiculously awesome private deck where the game was broadcast with a HD projector on the wall. It's probably 8ft by 10 ft. The best part about this screen is the ability to throw beer cans at the screen when you're frustrated. Needless to say there were plenty of beer cans both full and empty being tossed at the screen from the 7th inning on.

This game 6 is a must win for the Yanks. By pitching CC in game 7 it will ultimately screw up the rotation for the pending WS games. Obviously we need CC to pitch game 7 if that situation presents itself. I just hope the big game pitcher we all know and love, Andy Pettitte, shows up.

Now to the elephant in the room, there will be endless talk about 2004 especially if we lose game 6. The Yankees had 2 games slip out of their hands when they had the chance to bury their opponent. This is not a situation any Yankees fan wants to be in. So in short, lets hope the Yankees drop a crooked number on Saunders early and Pettitte cruises for 7 strong innings.

I love October baseball, especially when the Yankees are involved. I'm not sure if I can take much more of this drama though.



This upcoming November will be called Movember for all intensive purposes. For all of those not familiar with Movember it is a month dedicated to Men's health. More specifically prostate health. Men should grow out their mustaches for the entire month and be proud of their facial hair!

I participated in Movember last year as a team leader and raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. Also as a team leader I was sent 2 electric shavers, mustache stickers, rubber wrist bands and some other schwag.

I thought I would include my  "Greatest Hits Album" below.


(My Personal Favorite)

(Not grown during Movember but it was still pretty awesome)

So hopefully we have more converts this year and here's to a successful Movember in 09'. There is a Gala to cap off the end of the month and it's really for a good cause! I'm certainly at a crossroads here, I should stay clean shaven for interviews but this is for a good cause... Maybe my post yesterday about doing everything the opposite  from what I'm used to should apply here.


MLB Umpires

I watch a ton of ESPN and of course they have the tendency to blow sports stories out of proportion. They bring in all sorts of experts to debate and profess their point of view to the point of insanity. I read God Save the Fan by the former editor of Deadspin, Will Leitch. The book was basically a 300 page blog but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One chapter in particular places Leitch in a self made situation where he forces himself to watch 24 straight hours of ESPN broadcasts. This includes ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN2 etc. By the end of the 24 hours he was just about delirious. I enjoy the highlights and all but everything else I could certainly do without.

This rant was necessary because ESPN of course had major coverage of the MLB umpires mistakes this postseason. They even had a top 10 umpire mistakes of the 2009 playoffs!. Yesterday was pretty bad with 3 missed calls in the game. Thankfully these calls didn't really have an effect on the outcome of the game and Tim Mcclellan clearly screwed up.

All of the ESPN analysts are calling for instant replay. I however don't believe that instant replay is needed in baseball. MLB employs 6 umpires during the playoffs to make their lives easier and one blip on the radar in 2009 has everyone up in arms. Yes it seems that the Yankees have gotten more than their fair share of calls but that's the breaks.

In the one game playoff, Brandon Inge was hit on his uniform with the bases loaded, this would've given the Tigers the go ahead run and changed the landscape of the game. Instead he was not given the HBP and we subsequently made an out. The Twins won the game and made it into the playoffs. Fast forward to game two of the ALDS and Joe Mauer hit a ball that was called foul. By all accounts the ball was clearly fair and should have been a double. Mauer wound up reaching first on a single and the Twins loaded the bases only to squander the opportunity and lose the game in the bottom half. Ron Gardenhire spoke to the press afterwards and said that's the breaks. Sometimes the calls go your way (like the one game playoff) and sometimes they don't.

Baseball is America's pastime, it took long enough for MLB to use instant replay on HR calls. I don't think it belongs in the postseason. A sport proud of it's tradition and slow to change thinking should not jump ship because of one poor postseason by the umpires.

Jets Fins MNF recap

A lot of hype went into this Monday Night Matchup and of course the ESPN machine leading the hype. Can rookie QB Mark Sanchez lead the Jets past Miami? That's all I heard on the commercials for MNF.  Nothing was said about Chad Henne and his 2nd start of his career. He did come out of Michigan as a 4 year starter but I guess that's no big deal. Lets hype up a 2 year starter at USC.

So when it came down to the battle of the QB's it looks like my man the other Chad is someone worth hyping. He had an incredible 4th quarter and ultimately led a 5 minute game winning drive with 3 unbelievable 3rd down conversions. The first was a bullet pass to Anthony Fasano while being draped by a defender. This set up the next play which was play action pass where Ted Ginn burnt Pro Bowler Darelle Revis, and beat triple coverage for a well placed pass and a TD.  

The second was probably the most impressive, with an all out blitz coming at him on 3rd and 10, he had the wherewithal to float a pass over Greg Camarillos shoulder while being blanketed by coverage. The Jets had been successful all game in these 3rd and long situations with sending the kitchen sink so it was even more impressive that Henne made that pass. The final conversion was a designed roll out and he threw and absolute strike where only Camarillo could catch it again. This set the Fins up in a goal line situation and we had the opportunity to tie it or win it.

In that final quarter, Henne completed 9 of 11 passes for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns against one of the top 5 defenses in the NFL.  His fourth quarter QB rating of 152.1 is very impressive and definitely a building block for this kid's future as an NFL QB. 

Miami's running game was also on point,  We ran for 151 yards with 2 TD's. The two back system of Ronnie and Rickey works great as both backs looked fresh in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. They combined for 32 carries and that's how you win ball games. Run the ball effectively and use the pass when the defense is on their heels.

This game showed that the Wildcat is not a gimmick, we've been running this offense for a year now. We are averaging something along the lines of 6 yds per play while running the wildcat. We tore the Jets defense up and Dan Henning gave Rex Ryan a good ole punch in the nuts by calling the game winning TD with a Wildcat play. A lot of the Jets defensive players are not giving the Dolphins the credit due for the victory. We'll see what happens Nov. 1.

Finally, the Dolphins really would have clubbed the Jets if it weren't for two bad pass interference calls and two Gimmick Fake Punts. You could tell the Jets had their backs against the wall when they called two fake punts. 

The first bad call was a throw where there was definitely contact but the ball was thrown so high that there was no way the WR could have caught the ball. The second was an absolute disgrace, with 1 on 1 coverage in the 4th Q, Will Allen was beat by Braylon Edwards and got an inside position on the football. There was the usual contact that happens on every pass. Edwards just let the ball go through his hands and the referee could only infer that since he dropped the ball it was pass interference. Honestly it was a horrible call and potentially a game changing play. We were fortunate that skill prevailed and brought home a big victory and are now 1 game out of the AFC East.

Finally, the Dolphins are 3-0 in the orange jerseys. Let's save the next time for the Super Bowl!

Photos courtesy of (Robert Duyos, Sun Sentinel / October 12, 2009)

Fins Jets MNF

This speaks for itself, doesn't Suprise me. Lets go Fins!

Next Step: ALCS

In case you haven't noticed, a good portion, if not all of the posts in the month of October will be about my beloved Yankees.

The Yankees continued their dominance of the Minnesota Twins with a 3-0 series sweep. That's a record of 10-0 this season against the Twins in 2009, I wish we could play them 162 games a season with numbers like this. We also have dominated the Twins in each of our last 4 playoff matchups. When the Twins beat the Tigers there was that feeling in my gut that we had the Twins number but they were playing sooo well that it made me nervous.

We didn't annhilate the Twins but we capitalized on their mistakes and we were lucky enough to ride the bat of Alex Rodriguez to a series sweep. Another big game out of Arod, Pavano and Pettitte were exchanging blows and really dominating the opposing hitters. Pavano gave up a game tying home run once again to Arod and then Jorge followed up with a solo shot to take a 2-1 lead.

We would hold on to the lead for the rest of the game but not without some tension of course. Jeter made a game saving/changing play in the bottom of the 8th to get a ball hit up the middle and saw Punto round 3rd too far and threw immediately to Jorge. Jorge fired it to 3rd to nail Punto and instead of runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, it was runner on 1st with 2 outs.

We tacked on some insurance runs in the 9th and the next thing you know it was ball game over, ALDS over, Yankeees Win, Theee Yankees Win!.

In case you missed the Red Sox/Angels game, Papelsuck blew the game for the Sox with two outs in the ninth with a two run lead. He quickly got two outs and then gave up a line drive up the middle to Aybar. Figgins then walked to place runners at 1st and 2nd. Abreu came up and lined a double off the monster, scoring Aybar. Hunter was intentionally walked to set up a force at any bag and then Vlad the Impaler lined a 2 RBI single up the middle to take the lead.

Next up probably the only team in the playoffs I don't want to see. The Angels have had our number for as long as Torre was managing the team. We finally took a series from the Angels in Anaheim for the first time in like 5 years this season, so hopefully we can take that momentum and roll with it. This series is not going to be easy by any means. The Angels are a very scary ballclub and do everything right. They have a balanced lineup 1-9 and will no doubt try and rattle our pitching staff on the base paths. Here's to an exciting ALCS and the 2009 playoffs that will enshrine Arod forever in Yankees lore.

I really don't like the fact that game 1 of the ALCS is going to be Friday night. I understand Fox paid a lot of money to broadcast these games and they want prime time days/hours. Giving both teams 4 days off will hurt the teams more than it helps in my opinion and 2 days off is reasonable. Ha it also doesn't help that I am going to Vermont for the weekend, I'm just hoping I'll be able to get watch the Yanks!

The Ghosts Have Moved

For all of you reading this, get ready for a long one because I'm still riding a huge wave of emotion of last nights instant classic.

Along with 50,000+ other people I was lucky enough to witness all 11 innings of game 2 of the ALDS between the Yanks and Twins. I was somewhat skeptical what the feeling would be like in the new digs but I was thoroughly impressed. Nothing can compare to playoff games in the the old house that Ruth Built, but it for all it's worth the only word that I can think of is Electric.

I was laying on my couch nursing a hangover from all you can eat sushi/saki when my phone rang around 11am. It was my dad, and I've received enough of these phone calls in the past to expect playoff tickets. (Lofty expectations I know, I've been very fortunate/lucky). Lo and behold tickets were bestowed upon him last minute and I quickly found myself mentally preparing for my 16th playoff game, and the first one in the new house.

Just to highlight some of the big games I've attended.

1995 game 2 of the ALDS: Jim Leyritz 15th inning HR off Tim Belcher and Donnie Baseball's first and last postseason HR. Not a bad game for an 11 yr old to attend to get a real taste of playoff baseball. (I will never forgive Jack McDowell for blowing game 5).

1996 ALDS game 1: Jeffrey Maier made this game famous, and I was sitting right above him in the Loge. This was the start of good teams getting lucky.

1999 World Series Game 4: SWEEP! We swept 4 straight from the Braves to win our 25th World Series and River Ave ran wild with celebrations.

2001 ALDS Game 5: This was one of the loudest occasions I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Derek Jeter fell into the stands in the top of the 8th making a great catch and securing a 2 run lead while Oakland was threatening. The stadium was literally shaking and that's what I really miss. Chants for Paul Oneill bellowed through the stadium as everyone knew he was hanging up the spikes at the end of the season.

And of course 2009 ALDS Game 2: A well fought battle with Nick Blackburn keeping the Yankees offense off balance for 5 innings and AJ Burnett generally matching him all in all. For all of the Alex Rodriguez detractors and the media attention he has receieved since coming to NY about not being clutch. He finally got that 800lb gorilla off his back with 2 game tying hits. In the 6th inning the crowd could smell blood, Posada led off the inning in a pinch hit role driving the ball to the warning track for the first out. Derek Jeter smoked a liner into right center for a ground rule double. Damon went on to walk and at this point there wasn't a person in the stadium not making noise. Tex had a good at bat and lined a ball foul down the right field line, missing a 3 run HR by 5 feet. He then made a weak fly ball out to make it 2 outs. A-rod stepped up in a huge position, at this point Blackburn was owning us and we had him on the ropes for the first time. Arod came thru in the clutch lining a single into LF and tying the game 1-1.

Fastforward to the ninth inning, the battery of Hughes/Mariano gave up 2 runs and the Twins sent Nathan to the bump for the Save. Over the Past 5 years the two best closers in baseball have been Nathan and Mariano. I still had a good feeling with Tex, Arod and Matsui due up. The only thing that could have made it better would've been a Jeter, Tex, Arod situation but that's neither here nor there.

I sent my buddy Craig a text going into the bottom of the ninth saying its not if we win, but when. Tex lined a single to start off the inning and also picking up his first postseason hit as a Yankee. By doing so Nathan opened the door for the crowd to get in the game. The stadium was deafening, and this is why you play 162 games to secure home field advantage. You want last licks, by all accounts the Yankees have been the best team in baseball in this position with a MLB leading 15 walk off wins this season.

Arod worked Nathan to a 3-1 count laying off a couple of breaking balls and knew he had a pitch to hit in this position. Nathan grooved a fastball right down the middle and Arod didn't miss, in fact as soon as he hit it everyone in the stadium knew. I was jumping around, hugging people I didn't know and throwing out high fives. I could've sworn I lost my voice a few times in the night starting in the 6th inning and peaking in the 9th. A buddy said to me afterwards, you sacrificed your voice to the baseball gods for a win. If that's the case I'd be mute to see the Yanks win every year. Arod took a much welcomed curtain call and just when you thought the crowd couldn't get louder it went to 11.

10th inning Jorge gets a base hit and Girardi smartly pinch runs with Gardner. Brett the Jet picked a good spot to run, a 2-0 count on Derek Jeter and the heart of the order in the hole. He then got in Nathans head forcing a horrible attempt at a pick off move at second, sending the ball into center. Brett stumbled and hesitated but decided to make that move for 3rd. A good throw would've gotten him but we got lucky. Jeter is then smartly intentionally walked and Nathan is pulled begrudgingly. With the infield in Damon had a 3-0 count and Mijares worked it to a 3-2 count. Damon hit a liner and Gardner took off on contact, unfortunately it was hit right at Cabrera and they were able to get out of a huge jam. At this point I was notably nervous and disappointed, Mauer, Kubel and Cuddyer were due up and our bullpen was thin to say the least.

Marte is a bum and wound up getting extremely lucky on an umpires mistake of calling Joe Mauer's apparent ground rule double, a foul ball. Mauer still raked a single in the at bat but who's to say what the inning would've looked like with Mauer standing on 2nd instead of 1st. Kubel lined a single following this and Marte was booed off the field as Girardi came to take the ball.

In comes the young hard throwing righty, David Robertson. He then gives up a hard single to CF, keeping Mauer at 3rd base because there were no outs and Gardner closed on the ball very quickly. What can only be seen as the Ghosts of Yankee Stadium helping us to victory, the Yankees are forced to play the infield in and Delmon Young smoked a liner right at Tex, 1 out. Carlos Gomez then swings at the first pitch and taps a grounder right at Tex and he makes the play at the plate for the 2nd out. Brendan Harris flied out to center and you could feel the momentum switch and a collective sigh of relief gasped out of the stadium.

Tex came up to the right side of the plate for the first time in the series and pulverized a pitch just over the wall. BALL GAME OVER, THE YANKEES WIN, THEEEEE YANKEEES WIN!

The Twins had a runner on base in every inning and a total of 21 base runners. They are the only team to do so and score 3 runs in baseball history. This is a huge momentum swing for the Yanks, a 2-0 lead going into Minnesota is obviously much different than a 1-1 series. I'd love to squash the Twins with Pavano on the mound.

If you've made it this far I thank you, I'd love to hear some of your favorite Yankee playoff moments!


October has to be one of my favorites month's of the year. First and foremost it's associated with playoff baseball and for the past 15 years I've been lucky enough to see the Yankees reach the playoffs (with the exception of last year). I've got quite the good feeling about the Yankees this season and I'm rooting for the Tigers to beat the Twins in the one game playoff. I'd rather play a team that's stumbling it's way into the playoffs than a team that's won something like 16 of it's last 20 games.

Football season is also in full swing by now. Unfortunately for me it seems as though the Dolphins are out of the playoffs already but they can affect the AFC east race with 2 big games against the jets in the next 3 weeks.

Fall weather is yet another reason why I love October, it's not freezing temps and snow like you find in December. There are those 70 degree days mixed in with 50 degree days and I can deal with that just about any day of the year. Being born and raised in Poughkeepsie, I was also lucky enough to see the fall foliage in all of it's glory. There's a certain smell to fall that's very comforting.

The past few years I've been taking an October golf trip to my families apartment in North Miami Beach. Unfortunately I'm not sure if that's going to happen this year. There is a slight chance that I make it down but the lack of funds and no job doesn't make it seem like the best decision.

Lastly, Oktoberfest, which actually takes place in September in Germany. Any excuse to drink litres of beer and eat Bratwurst, sign me up!

I know it's a little bit of a stretch, but any time I can throw a Supertroopers reference in I'll take it and run with it. Note: The reference was to a liter of beer instead of liter cola for all of those that are behind the curve, or god forbid haven't seen Supertroopers.

Fantasy Baseball Dominance

Now that the baseball's regular season has come to a close I can recap my Fantasy Baseball Season...

BobLobLaw's Law Blog (83 pts) and I Gambled and Lost (82 pts) both brought home the bacon, and by bacon I mean championships. My margin of victory over the 2nd place team in both leagues was 13 points, I maintained a position in 1st or 2nd for over 90% of the season. I'd say and it really was no contest. For my efforts I won a nice sum of $550 dollars, with a total investment of $100. Both leagues are 5x5 roto leagues and 10 team mixed leagues. By far my strongest asset was pitching. I dominated all pitching categories and it ultimately led to my win this year.

Last year in the same leagues I finished tied for first and 2nd place. Some may attribute my surge in dominance this year to the lack of unemployment. I will agree I've had more time to dole over potential waiver wire pickup's and craft potential trades. For the most part however I spent the same amount of time on Fantasy as I did last year.

This was also my first year attempting to play h2h and I performed honorably, The Golden Jew (aka Sam Rothstein from Casino) fell in the finals on the last day by a score of 6-4. It would've been a tie if I had started Joe Saunders like I thought I had, so all in all a tremendously successful season.

I'm not a big fan of h2h in baseball format as the beauty of Fantasy Baseball is the ability to project stats over the course of a season with a high degree of accuracy and by making it a weekly crap shoot it diminishes the skill level associated with the format.

H2H makes sense in fantasy football as it's hard enough to project stats for any one player in a 16 game season with so many prevalent injuries. Fantasy football is perfect for the novice fantasy players as it allows someone to check in once a week and still field a competitive team as long as they have a kernel of football knowledge.

I'm looking for big money leagues for next year if anyone is interested (~ $250-$500 a team). For the year of 2009 I followed the Yankees to the best record in the league. Hopefully I can ride this momentum into gainful employment. ( I know they are unrelated, but hey one can hope)

Here's to a successful post season to my beloved Yankees and a trip down the Canyon of Heroes.