Tagged: Alex Rodriguez

Manny Ramirez has a job and I dont…

On a day, in which I spent 80% of it looking for a job (the other 20% if you’re wondering, was going back and forth between the YES Network and a marathon of The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo), I salute a man who has nabbed himself gainful employment in these lousy economic times.  That’s right. I’m talking about Manny Ramirez.

 

Settle down Chi-town…

 

Nothing says “bad behavior gets rewarded” like Manny Ramirez getting a job.  Sure, he’s a nine-time Silver Slugger and one of 25 people to have hit over 500 career home runs. His 21 career grand slams are tied with Alex Rodriguez for most by any active player, and the second-most all-time, behind Lou Gehrig. His 28 career postseason home runs are also the most by any player in MLB history. Ramirez is a 12-time All-Star.  There, I said it.  Twelve time All-Star.  Nonetheless, let’s keep probing into these sexy, hall of fame numbers.

 

·         Who can forget Ramirez was allegedly among a group of 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during 2003 survey testing. That’s a proud moment.  Where will they put that on his plaque in Cooperstown?

·         And who can forget 2009? Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Performance Enhancing Drug policy for taking human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).  If you’re wondering, that’s a women’s fertility drug typically used by steroid users to restart their body’s natural testosterone production as they come off a steroid cycle.  I wonder if Manny and I were ovulating at the same time.

·         Finally, dearest White Sox, you don’t have the division in the bag.  You need all hands on deck, so I ask you this – how many times has Manny done time on the DL this season?  One?  Nope!  Two? Keep going! 

 

Oh, and how can I forget?! Nothing brings calm and serenity to the Chicago White Sox (who frankly, as of recent, have been making the Hatfields & McCoys look like Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity) like “Manny Being Manny”. 

 

Nevertheless, the petulant child of the MLB has a job and I just applied to Target, hoping to get an interview for a cart handler. Welcome to the Windy City, Manny.  Meet Ozzie.   This isn’t Joe Torre and this sure aint SoCal.

 

(Yankee fans, take a deep sigh of relief.  We dodged a bullet on this one.)  

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Thoughts on A-Rod and the Future

After 46 painful at bats, it finally happened. A-Rod hit his 600th homerun.  Can we now get back to the business of Baseball please?

 

I would love to give this story an altruistic Cal Ripken Jr. spin.  I want to talk about how A-Rod shows us that if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.  I would love for this entry to be a salute to a strong work ethic and being a good role model.  However, this isn’t Don Mattingly.

 

Still, the comportment of Alex Rodriguez yesterday was of that of a gentleman.  The jury is still out on his legacy, but I wonder when we look back on Alex Rodriguez in future years, will it will be a story of redemption?   I wonder.

 

Speaking of hope for the future…

 

My cousin Denise is getting hitched tomorrow.  So in honor of great romances, I give you one of the greatest love stories in Baseball.  I am talking about Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe of course. 

 

According to her autobiography, Marilyn Monroe had no interest in meeting DiMaggio.  She thought he was a dumb mook and she was after all the most desirable woman on the planet.  Well, she finally gave him the time of day and a whirlwind romance began, culminating at the San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954 with their elopement.

 

Unfortunately, Monroe was a star on the rise and DiMaggio was a traditional Italian American man.  Not many men, especially in the 1950s, could tolerate have their wives standing on a street grate, exposing their panties for the world to see.  Monroe would file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty a mere 274 days after their wedding.

 

Although Monroe’s love life is well-documented to say the least, DiMaggio never publicly confirmed involvement with another woman again.  On February 10, 1961, DiMaggio would re-enter Monroe’s life a final time, right as her marriage to Arthur Miller fell apart. He secured her release from Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. According to Maury Allen, DiMaggio was troubled at how Monroe had fallen in with people (he felt were) detrimental to her well-being.  He quit his job on August 1, 1962 in order to ask her to remarry him, but she was found dead four days later.

 

Devastated, DiMaggio claimed her body and arranged her funeral, barring Monroe’s Hollywood cronies. For the next twenty years, he had a half-dozen red roses delivered 3 times a week to her grave. Unlike other the hanger-ons in Monroe’s life, Joe DiMaggio never spoke about Monroe publicly. He never married again.

 

Can’t get any more romantic than that, can ya?  Congratulations Denise and best wishes for a most romantic future.

 

Somewhere Jesus is getting a haircut as we speak…

Nick Swisher, Dude!  Seriously?  Four home runs were the best you could do in the Home Run Derby?  This man can hit one in the clutch in the bat of an eye (like last Friday night), but the second I have five bucks on him in the pool, he make me look like a turkey.  Next time we hang, he totally owes me a Subway Footlong.

 

And then I woke up…

 

Speaking of finally waking up, the National League won the All-Star Game?!  What the heck was that?  There was no reason for the AL to lose that game.  How do you leave Big Papi out there to run in the 9th inning with the game on the line and A-Rod available?  That’s like making the fat kid anchor your eighth grade relay team.  It’s just mean.

 

Speaking of stuff that shouldn’t happen…

 

I’m not going to lie, I had no problem hearing Bob Shepherd announce Derek Jeter’s name as he came up to bat for the past three years.  Nonetheless, am I the only one who felt super creeped out when it happened in Anaheim?  It was out of place for me.  For my Chicago friends… well, they were flat out grossed out.  Is it time to retire this tradition?  Has it become poor form?

 

Speaking of poor form…

 

It just seems unfair for the Yankees to be hit with the loss of The Boss so quickly after Bob Shepherd.  Like him or not, George Steinbrenner brought Baseball kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  If it wasn’t for him, Major League Baseball would…well, it would just be Hockey.

 

When George Steinbrenner passed on, there were a lot of Seinfeld salutes that went up on You Tube, Facebook and such.  However, I’m a big fan of “The Bronx is Burning” (the book as well as the movie).   This is how I choose to remember the insanity…

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnC_fbR7C1I&feature=related

 

Speaking of the insanity…

 

Yogi Berra missed “Old Timers’ Day” after taking a nasty fall.  He’s already out of the hospital and doing better.  I am personally not surprised.  I used to work in the Front Office of the New Jersey Jackals, an independent minor league baseball team.  If you don’t know much about the Jackals (I don’t understand why you wouldn’t.  We voted Pete Rose JUNIOR to our All-Time team!)…

 

Note my sarcasm….

 

They play at the beautiful Yogi Berra Stadium, located right next to the Yogi Berra Museum on the Montclair State University campus.  With a stadium bearing his name, Mr. Berra attended games often.  He specifically loved to brave all types of weather and fish through hundreds of people to personally tell me that the bathrooms weren’t cleaned to his standards.  Don’t get me wrong.  He was right most of the time.

 

I do draw a line the day he made us repaint mid-game.

 

So, let me tell you. Yogi Berra might be getting up there in years.   But if he could scout me out of a sea of fans and employees to tell me to personally change the toilet paper rolls, a little fall is the least of his concerns.

 

Get well Yogi.  You’re the best.  Kinda nuts, but the best.

Happy All-Star Break Folks!

 

Did you watch the All-Star Futures game yesterday?  The U.S. walloped the World, 9 to 1, nabbing its first win since 2006.  I always love this game, because such incredible players have passed through its rosters – A. Rod and Barry Zito  come to mind when naming a few.  So, what can we attribute last night’s trouncing and the end of a four year drought to?  Easy! The United States dominance in everything it sets out to do. USA! USA! USA!

 

Or maybe it was that Mets prospect that the World wouldn’t get off the mound toward the end of the game, but who’s keeping score?

 

Looking forward to the Home Run Derby, I’m declaring this to be the most intriguing cast of characters in years.  Five newbies are stepping to the plate as well as no previous winners or holdovers from last year.  The odds-on- favorite is Miguel Cabrera, but I’m putting my money on Swish.  He’s just crazy enough to pull out a David Wright-like performance from a couple of years back…and he has great hair.

 

I’ll lob a ball down the middle to him any day.  Hi-o!  (Wait a minute, there was nothing innuendo about that statement.  I’ll keep quiet now.)

 

On a sad note, long-time Yankees Public Address Announcer Bob Sheppard passed away yesterday.  He was 99 years old and the sole reason why I wanted to study at NYU.  (I was wait-listed, thank you very much.) 

 

Sheppard began his tenure on April 17, 1951.  Do you know what he saw his first day of work?  How about the Opening Day of Joe DiMaggio’s final season and Mickey Mantle’s Major League debut? Not bad for a day at the office. 

 

Sheppard worked approximately 4,500 baseball games with the Yankees.  That includes an incredible 121 consecutive postseason contests (1951-2006).  And if you’re keeping score, that includes 62 games in 22 World Series alone.

 

Sheppard will live on every time Derek Jeter steps to the plate in Pinstripes.  Since Sheppard’s retirement in 2007, Jeter requested that a recording of Sheppard saying his name be played as he comes to the plate.  And frankly…who can ever forget his presence in *61?

 

I would like to think if there is a heaven, I really hope that St. Peter or whoever does meet you at the gates sounds a bit more like Bob Sheppard.

 

Enjoy my predicted AL-thrashing of the NL tomorrow.  I’ll be at the bar watching the game.  Don’t forget to say hi!

 

 

Memorial Day-Taking a moment to reflect on those who made the greatest sacrifice…that and to reflect on why Major League Baseball makes teams wear such ugly  hats?

On a raining Memorial Day in Chicago with the Lame-O Cubs in Pittsburgh and the White Sox off, I reminisce about attending ballgames at old Yankees Stadium.  The bright sunshine enveloping you, the feeling like time stood still (in a good way, not in a “too many trips to the mound” way)… the memories are distinct and indescribable.  They’re also the antithesis of dreary Chicago Baseball (weather and otherwise). There was nothing like walking through the dark tunnel that opened up to the field, seeing that amazing bright green grass.  The electricity was visceral.   

 

I can’t remember being at the Stadium on a Memorial Day.  Nonetheless, I spent my fair share of Independence Days in the Boogie Down.  My favorite would easily be July 4th, 2002.  A road trip from Cooperstown found me and a bunch of fellow interns from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the Bleachers.  I’ll never forget Beth (from Tennessee) being memorized by the name chant at the top of the first. 

 

                Are you sayin’ that we get to chant their names until the players are forced to wave at us?

                – Yeah, aint it great?

 

I can’t remember who won that day, not because I’m ending this story on a soft “Wonder Years” moment. I actually got amazing cranky, because they took Mike Mussina out for Mike Stanton.  I was looking at a five hour drive ahead of me and I’m staying for Mike Stanton? 

 

Happy Memorial Day!

It’s that time of year where we take a moment to reflect on those who made the greatest sacrifice for our country…that and to reflect on why Major League Baseball makes teams where such ugly hats this day.  Seriously, can’t we just pop an American Flag on the side and call it a day?  The white hat with the red bill jars me.  Yuck.

 

And if your Barbeque hasn’t been rained out, like mine…

Raise a beer to Indians Pitcher David Huff.  If anything, you can say he had a rough week and deserves a cold one himself.  And raise a burger (or a veggie burger if you’re absolutely no fun) to Alex Rodriguez for showing that even the slickest ballplayers can have a heart.

Memorial Day-Taking a moment to reflect on those who made the greatest sacrifice…that and to reflect on why Major League Baseball makes teams wear such ugly hats

On a raining Memorial Day in Chicago with the Lame-O Cubs in Pittsburgh and the White Sox off, I reminisce about attending ballgames at old Yankees Stadium.  The bright sunshine enveloping you, the feeling like time stood still (in a good way, not in a “too many trips to the mound” way)… the memories are distinct and indescribable.  They’re also the antithesis of dreary Chicago Baseball (weather and otherwise). There was nothing like walking through the dark tunnel that opened up to the field, seeing that amazing bright green grass.  The electricity was visceral.   

 

I can’t remember being at the Stadium on a Memorial Day.  Nonetheless, I spent my fair share of Independence Days in the Boogie Down.  My favorite would easily be July 4th, 2002.  A road trip from Cooperstown found me and a bunch of fellow interns from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the Bleachers.  I’ll never forget Beth (from Tennessee) being memorized by the name chant at the top of the first. 

 

                Are you sayin’ that we get to chant their names until the players are forced to wave at us?

                – Yeah, aint it great?

 

I can’t remember who won that day, not because I’m ending this story on a soft “Wonder Years” moment. I actually got amazing cranky, because they took Mike Mussina out for Mike Stanton.  I was looking at a five hour drive ahead of me and I’m staying for Mike Stanton? 

 

Happy Memorial Day!

It’s that time of year where we take a moment to reflect on those who made the greatest sacrifice for our country…that and to reflect on why Major League Baseball makes teams where such ugly hats this day.  Seriously, can’t we just pop an American Flag on the side and call it a day?  The white hat with the red bill jars me.  Yuck.

 

And if your Barbeque hasn’t been rained out, like mine…

Raise a beer to Indians Pitcher David Huff.  If anything, you can say he had a rough week and deserves a cold one himself.  And raise a burger (or a veggie burger if you’re absolutely no fun) to Alex Rodriguez for showing that even the slickest ballplayers can have a heart.