Friday, July 30, 2010

The "Situation" Around the Yankees

Since last I mentioned how the Yankees were actually doing -- instead of talking about The Other Team and doing my all-time regional-native team projects for all 30 MLB teams -- they beat the Cleveland Indians 8-0 and 11-4, to complete a 3-out-of-4 series at Jacobs, I mean Progressive Field.

A.J. Burnett is back on track, and last night Dustin Moseley, filling in for the injured Andy Pettitte, was superb for 6 innings. As the author of the blog Respect Jeter's Gangster points out, it's not the quality of Moseley's opponent (the Indians, not that long ago just 1 win from a Pennant), but the quality of Moseley's control. If he can reach the strike zone like that against a bad team, then chances are he can do it against a good team, unless that good team gets into his head. He has earned the right to try to show that this as-yet-hypothetical good team will not do so.

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Joe Girardi brought Chan Ho Park in to pitch the 8th and 9th innings. As John Sterling has pointed out too many times (not his fault, it's Park's), Park is usually fine in his first inning of work, but in his second, forgive me for using a technical term here, but "Hoo boy."

Last night was no exception: Park actually got a 1-2-3 8th, and got the first 2 in the 9th, and the Yanks led 11-1. Final score, 11-4, due to Park allowing walks, then hits, then runs. Apparently, we can't trust him with anything more than an 8-run lead.

Again: Chan Ho has got to go.

It could be worse. Fans of the English soccer corporation Manchester United sing about their Korean star Park Ji-Sung...

Park, Park, wherever you may be
you eat dogs in your home country!
It could be worse, you could be Scouse
eating rats in your council house!

Note that ManUre fans hate Liverpool, and people from the Liverpool area are called Scouse or Scousers, and a council house is the U.K. equivalent of a public-housing project, although it isn't necessarily an urban high-rise, it can be a little house.

Note also that ManUre fans are bastards. And the Liverpool fans have their own song, about one of their own and Manchester natives, or Mancunians, or Mancs:

Dirt Kuyt, wherever you may be
you smoke pot in your home country!
It could be worse, you could be a Manc
waking up your sister for a wank!

They're mean in England.

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It was mentioned in today's Newark Star-Ledger that A-Rod is 9-for-30 since his last homer. That's a batting average of an even .300. As I said, I'd love to be in that kind of "slump." The man is helping us win games, so who cares how he does it?

Joe Maddon, manager of the 2nd-place Tampa Bay Rays, says the reason there's not as much interest in A-Rod's coming 600th career homer because of the steroid question.

Hey, Joe, I got a question. Well, two. First: Are you sure nobody on your 2008 Pennant winners was using? And second: How come your team, which has been in 1st or 2nd place the whole season, and just 2 years ago won a Pennant, is averaging just 21,878 fans in home attendance this season? That's 24th out of 30 in the majors, 10th out of 14 in the American League, and 4th out of 5 in the AL East?

At least they're 1st out of 2 in the State of Florida: The Marlins, playing out the string at whatever the Dolphins' stadium is being called this year, with a new ballpark looking like it will be ready for the 2012 season, are averaging just 17,605, 29th out of 30.

Dead last? The Indians, who got pretty good crowds this week with the Yankees in town, but that's partly due to the fact that Clevelanders have hated the Yankees since the 1920s (the Indians finished 2nd to the Yanks for 3 Pennants in that decade), and partly due to the fact that a lot of Yankee Fans made the 500-mile roadtrip.

Still, the Indians, who famously sold the Jake out 455 straight times (and even retired that number for their fans, even though no baseball personality has ever worn a uniform with a 3-digit number), are averaging 17,499. I know we're still in the hangover from the George W. Bush Recession, and Ohio was hit really hard by the idiot's economic policies, but, still...

Leading the majors in average home attendance? The Yankees, with 46,067. I suspect that number would be a bit higher if they were still playing in the 57,545-seat original Yankee Stadium, instead of the 50,086-seat new Stadium. Leading the National League? The Phillies, selling out Citizens Bank Park with 45,019 every night. The Mets? Averaging 33,705 at 41,800-seat Citi Field, 12th overall, 8th in the NL -- behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who aren't doing so hot this season and weren't drawing so well even when they nearly made the Playoffs in 2007 and did so in '08.

Tony Paige said on WFAN that whoever the Yanks play in the postseason should just shelve their starters and start all brand-new rookies. That would violate roster-eligibility rules. I wonder, would Allan H. Selig Jr. look the other way?

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On Subway Squawkers, Lisa Swan was upset that last night's Yanks-Indians game ran long, and she couldn't watch the season premiere of Jersey Shore. And she hasn't run the tape back yet (or the DVR), so she doesn't want anyone to give her spoilers!

Here's a spoiler for Jersey Shore: It stinks as much as Chan Ho Park's pitching. But at least they've got better hair than the Seattle-era Randy Johnson.

What's the difference between Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino? 599 homers, and A-Rod doesn't wear his World Series ring on his pinky.

I don't need to watch Jersey Shore. I've seen it live, many times over the last 30-odd years. Unlike most of the castmembers, I'm actually from New Jersey, and I don't need to go to the Shore to see Snookis (or is that "Snookies"?) and Situations.

Do you remember what Times Square was like before Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the Walt Disney Corporation cleaned it up, and made it a place for a suburban family, instead of for the Bonanno family or the Manson family? Well, imagine that on a beach-town boardwalk, with souvenir stands replacing the X-rated movie houses, and you've got Seaside Heights -- it even has a big video board in the middle, just like Times Square. If you can get through the winos, that is.

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I think A-Rod is going to hit his 600th homer tonight in St. Petersburg. It's just a feeling. So I'm taking it off the countdown.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 7, starting a week from tonight, at Yankee Stadium II.

Days until the new English Premier League season starts: 15. 2 weeks. Arsenal's lid-lifter is the next day, Sunday, August 15, against Liverpool at Anfield.

Days until the first football game at the new Meadowlands Stadium (still unnamed): 16, the Giants against the Jets in a preseason exhibition (with the Jets as the "home team"), Monday, August 16, 8:00 PM on ESPN.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 34. 5 weeks.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 43. 6 weeks.

Days until the first regular-season Giants game at the new Meadowlands Stadium: 44.

Days until the first regular-season Jets game at the new Meadowlands Stadium: 45.

Days until the Devils play hockey again: 70, on Friday, October 8, at home at the Prudential Center in Newark, against the Dallas Stars. 10 weeks.

Days until Rutgers and Army play the first college football game at the new Meadowlands Stadium: 78. 11 weeks.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: 86, on Sunday, October 24, at Madison Square Garden against The Scum. 12 weeks. Then the Rags come to the Prudential on Friday, November 5. The first game of the season against the Islanders is on Friday, November 26, the day after Thanksgiving, at the Nassau Coliseum, followed the next day by the first game of the season against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers, at The Rock.

Days until the next North London Derby: 114, Sunday, November 21, at New Highbury.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 118. Under 4 months.

Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 294 (estimated). Under 10 months.

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 470. 15 1/2 months.

Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 625 (estimated). 20 1/2 months.

Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 728. Now under 2 years.

Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 811 (estimated). 26 1/2 months.

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 1,074 (estimated). Now under 3 years.

Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 1,283. 3 1/2 years.

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,737 (estimated). 57 months.

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,761 (estimated). 58 months, so, less than 5 years.

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