Nine Innings with YanksGoYard
1. If George Steinbrenner were still alive, he would be handing out pink slips like Principal Vernon handed out Saturday detentions in “The Breakfast Club”. Girardi is 0-8 against the Red Sox this year and his Yankees have dropped five of the last six to sub-.500 NL teams, and no one is calling for his head? How times have changed.
2. A-Rod has similarly lucked out this season. With all of the crap A-Rod shoveled on himself in the offseason (divorce, steroids, weird press conferences about steroids, 11th hour hip surgery), I was prepared for a backlash of epic proportions in 2009. Yankee fans already have a love/hate relationship with Alex. Personally I want to like him, but he makes it so damn hard. I settle for rooting for him. Luckily for Rodriguez, Manny got caught using and the steroids spotlight left New York and shone on L.A. Plus, A-Rod’s hip injury actually gives him an excuse for poor play. No one is claiming A-Rod is batting .207 because he’s off the juice, like they are with David Ortiz. Even Yankee Stadium crowds have been relatively kind. Enjoy the mulligan, A-Rod.
3. Jim Brown, you need to be quiet. Here’s your quote on Tiger Woods: “This cat is a mamajama; he is a killer. He’ll run over you, he’ll kick your ass. But as an individual for social change or any of that kind of sh*t, terrible. Terrible.” First of all, excellent use of mamajama. Secondly, just because Tiger Woods isn’t walking into Compton with you to settle a feud between Crips and Bloods doesn’t mean he isn’t involved in giving back. Actually, Tiger may do more for kids than any other athlete today. Just because he isn’t standing on a mountaintop pushing for fair elections in Iran doesn’t mean he isn’t doing his part, Jim. Thirdly, and most importantly, you cannot legislate charity. You can’t make Tiger a civil rights activist. You can’t force him to convene a world summit between religious leaders. Tiger has the right to live his life, make truckloads of cash, and better society in his own way.
4. The Yankees now have a losing record on the road. This isn’t a terrible thing, since out of the four AL playoff teams last year only the Angels had a winning road record. Still, it’s not a great sign.
5. Speaking of Tiger, I just want to ask one question: how good is this guy? Since he returned from knee surgery in February he’s played in seven stroke play events. Of those seven, he has two victories and hasn’t finished outside the top ten. That’s ridiculous. Most PGA Tour players would consider seven top tens and two victories a great season. For Tiger, it’s a failure. The scary thing is that Tiger hasn’t played well in any of his tournaments. He’s always missing one aspect of his game, whether it’s his driving accuracy, iron play, putting, whatever. Despite all his struggles, he’s still 2nd on the Tour money list even though he’s played in fewer tournaments than anyone in the top 50. Perhaps his most amazing record, other than his 14 majors, is out of 230 career starts Tiger has only missed five cuts. That’s consistency.
6. Moving sucks. I’m moving this weekend and I hate it. I hate packing. I hate organizing everything. I hate boxes, beds, shelves, books, silverware, picture frames, moving trucks, third floor walkups, narrow twisting staircases, bulky winter clothes, and packing tape.
7. The Yankee bats have gone quiet with runners in scoring position. I won’t bore you with statistics (left 11 men on base last night), but suffice it to say that they aren’t getting the job done with men on. Why, you ask? It might have something to do with opposing pitchers, I say. That’s the most obvious thing ever, you moron, you say. Not so fast, I say. The Yankees are notoriously bad against pitchers they’ve never faced. New York has faced seven pitchers in a row they had never encountered before. The Yanks are 2-5 against those pitchers, averaging two and a half runs per game. Is this due to bad scouting? Poor preparation by the hitters? Is it the batting coach, Kevin Long? Is it just a fluke that the Yankees have assembled a team that can’t hit newbies? The only good thing about this sad statistic is that the pitchers they will face in the playoffs will most likely be guys they saw in the regular season. Until the World Series. Assuming the Yankees make the playoffs at all.
8. New York is now tied with Toronto for the Wild Card, five games back of the Red Sox. The Yanks have a half game lead over Texas and Los Angeles, who are both tied for the AL West lead. Tampa is only two games behind the Yanks. We’re now 70 games into the season and the Yankees are already five games behind the division leader, with two other AL East teams within two games. Not a great place to be two weeks before the halfway point.
9. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” opens today. I will not be dropping $12 to see it. Have you read the reviews? I’ve never seen such a visceral reaction to a movie. People don’t just hate this film, they are angry at it for sucking so much. Here are some examples (currently 20% on rottentomatoes.com):
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a bewildering, noisy, sloppy, cynical piece of work, a movie that sneers at the audience for 147 minutes and expects us to lap it up as entertainment — and be grateful. – Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice
This is the single worst film to be released thus far in the summer of 2009 and that’s a whole helluva pile of bad to overcome in achieving that title. – Erik Childress, eFilmCritic.com
This celluloid abortion should be buried in a vault and shown to film students as an example of big Hollywood at its worst. – Julian Roman, MovieWeb
Critics blithely refer to movies as ‘painful’ all the time, but this is the real deal. –Eugene Novikov, AMCtv.com
I swear to you that I have never had a film experience that felt longer than the whopping 149 minutes of Revenge of the Fallen, every single one of which I wish I had spent doing something else. – Brian Tallerico, Movie Retriever
A great grinding garbage disposal of a movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen isn’t so much a narrative film as a cacophonous series of explosions intermittently interrupted by needless dialogue. –Tom Long, Detroit News
If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Follow me on Twitter and learn what’s on my mind grapes.