Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day All-Stars

Happy Earth Day. This is the 40th Anniversary of the occasion, first celebrated on April 22, 1970.

The Yankees are in the San Francisco Bay Area, the "greenest" metro area in the country. Today they will finish up a series with the Oakland Athletics, who not only were the 1st big-league team to regularly wear green as their uniforms' primary color (although they started it when they played in considerably more conservative Kansas City), but claim to be the most eco-friendly team in the majors. Hard to imagine that, considering how outdated the Oakland Coliseum is, but I hope they're trying as much as they say they are.

In honor of Earth Day, here are the All-Time Earth Day All-Stars.

Unfortunately, the team isn't all that strong. If it hadn't been for Khalil Greene, I would have had to put Pumpsie Green -- a Polo Grounds Met -- at shortstop.

1B Hank Greenberg
2B Dick Green
SS Khalil Greene
3B Jake Flowers
LF Mike Greenwell
CF Phil Plantier
RF Shawn Green
C Arlie Latham
P Tommy Greene
MGR Dallas Green

Greenberg was a Hall-of-Famer. Greenwell, Shawn Green and Khalil Greene were All-Stars. Dick Green was a good fielder. Plantier was a hot prospect who didn't pan out.

Tommy Greene, well, he did pitch a no-hitter for the Phillies. Dallas Green, although an even lesser pitcher for the Phils, managed them to a World Championship. Flowers is just kind of filling out the lineup.

And Latham? This late 19th Century star appears to have no connection to Earth Day. But I needed a catcher, he did frequently play the position early in his career (though he was mainly a 3rd baseman). But I included him mainly for his nickname: "The Freshest Man On Earth."


Javier Vazquez sure looked fresh on Monday night, getting his 1st win of the season after getting booed at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won, 7-3.

Phil Hughes looked even fresher last night, taking a no-hitter into the 8th, before John Sterling's constant use of the word "no-hitter" on the air jinxed him. The Yankees held on for a 3-1 win as Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera came to the rescue.

This was the 2nd near-no-hitter of the season for the Yankees, and it was only April 21. They say certain things come in threes, and they also say the 3rd time is the charm.

CC Sabathia nearly had a no-hitter against Tampa Bay 2 weeks ago, but manager Joe Girardi was willing to take him out even with the no-hitter still underway. Joe, as I said before, you can take your pitch count and...

Come to think of it, it was in Tropicana Field -- and I really don't like calling a dome a "field" the way they do, so sometimes I still use the old name of "ThunderDome" -- so that is a place "where the sun don't shine."

It is only a coincidence that the Rays and the A's -- who rhyme with each other -- are the 2 teams now most in need of new ballparks, now that the Florida Marlins are finally building one. Both had plans collapse as a result of the Bush Recession and local political boondoggles, and it remains to be seen if either the A's or the Rays -- despite both being competitive at the moment -- will remain in their metro areas for much longer.


Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 15, starting Friday night, May 7, at Fenway. A shade over 2 weeks.

Days until the 2010 World Cup begins: 49. Just 7 weeks.

Days until the World Cup Final: 80.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 135.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 141.

Days until the new Meadowlands Stadium (still unnamed) opens for football: 143.

Days until the Devils play another local rival (after their inevitable elimination by the Flyers tonight): 170 (estimate).

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 217.

Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 404 (estimate).

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 569.

Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 717 (estimated).

Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 837.

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