Bronx, N.Y., August 30, 2002 — Well, they’re playing baseball, though the way the Yanks ended up being threatened at 8-6 after leading this one 8-0 had some Yankee fans wondering if that was such a good thing. Apparently shellshocked, the fan celebrations seem subdued, and some fans are reacting as if there was a work stoppage. That is understandable with all the debate over months and months while this thing dragged on, and with the negative way the players were portrayed by the owners and in the media. But few seem to be reveling in the undeniable: We are now guaranteed to enjoy at least 13 consecutive years of major league baseball uninterrupted by a labor-related stoppage. In a sport whose glorious history is cited as often for the fans’ enjoyment as winning seasons for their favorite teams, how many of us realize that that is a claim that most of our fathers can’t make? Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 28, 2002 — Who could have scripted this one any better? OK. Perhaps a “cleaner” win would have had the Yanks scratching a run in the first on Robin’s hard single, rather than the two-base Hillenbrand error, Jeter bunt base hit and Giambi double-play grounder. Perhaps Mike’s outing could be considered even more dominating if the Red Sox had come out like the team that blew the world away in May, rather than the Keystone Kops who booted three balls in the first two innings. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 27, 2002 — It was the fourth or fifth, a good two innings before they picked up on it on CBS television. If Sue and I have a running battle, it is TV volume. A little too much rock ‘n’ roll in my past I guess, but I don’t hear quite the way I used to. But the roar of the Red Sox crowd in the early innings during Fossum’s strike out attack was a little hard to take, and we were taking turns lowering the volume. But not for long. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 26, 2002 — Some days, we go out and play and, win or lose, nothing special really happens. Sometimes the hits seem pedestrian, the defense routine, the game log run-of-the-mill. We score, they score, hopefully more of the former. So I try a look around the league, even into the unthinkable (what’s happening in other mass-market spectator sports), or what’s happening around the world. And then This Day in History usually comes through with an obscure fact or two that can be twisted into making a salient point about what happened in the game. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 25, 2002 — Andy Pettitte has surrendered six runs in two games in a row now (though only five were earned today). But even though he gave up a booming upper-deck three-run homer to Garrett Anderson five days ago in an ugly five-run inning, and was only scratched for a run here today, little bit here, little bit there, I think the starts were similar. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 24, 2002 —
- I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
But not true, I tell you. Debating with my better half whether or not to even attend last night’s game, she saw rain coming, and I saw fair skies. And hours later, I was shaking my head as I stood alone in the upper deck, looking up at a partly cloudy but decidedly nonthreatening sky. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 23, 2002 — Mrs. Carmela Soprano, who goes by the name of Edie Falco when she is not playing someone having a love/hate relationship with the idea of being a mafia wife, is currently appearing on Broadway in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” a superbly written story of two people (and coworkers) struggling to connect on the night of their first date. At one point during their evening they call a radio station that invites listener requests, and ask the deejay to play “the most beautiful piece of music ever written.” Claude DeBussy would be 140 years old on August 22, so alas, we can’t ask him if he is flattered that the disk spinner chooses his Clair de Lune to play. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 21, 2002 — Citizens in my newly adopted home of Rye, New York, are celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of favorite son — and poet of the silly — Ogden Nash, Monday. Several of Ogden’s witty and whimsical poems are being immortalized by being printed in minuscule type on a U.S. postage stamp this month, and it is good that he is finally receiving some long overdue credit. But I have a bone to pick with the sentiments (or the facts, actually) behind one of his most famous works, though sadly one many are unaware originated from Mr. Nash’s pen: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Clever? Yes. Funny? Sure. But candy isn’t dandy. Yankee fans know. Andy is dandy. Continue reading
Montclair, N.J., August 19, 2002 — “No truly great man ever thought himself so.” Apparently for no particular reason, a Web site I visit that is devoted to historical events of the day chose that saying by the English Essayist William Hazlitt (1778-1830) for their quote of the day for August 18. It may have been happenstance that led to its timing on that site, but those words carry a very pertinent lesson for this Yankee fan, as became clear after a long, hot and bittersweet day in Montclair, New Jersey. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., August 15, 2002 — Kansas City, 5-4, going to the ninth. Ho-hum. Don’t get me wrong. I was not simply bored. I was upset too. I really wanted this sweep of the Royals. True, we only took two out of three from them in the Stadium last week (and barely escaped with a .500 homestand). But we finish this road trip with a swing through Seattle. I know that we have had some success over the last few years with the Mariners, and that we have enjoyed playing in Safeco more than we ever did in the Kingdome. Our path to the World Series for two seasons running has taken us through Oakland and Seattle, and we have traversed it well. But you do not have to have been a Yankee fan too long to know that the west coast can be a House of Horrors for us. Continue reading