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Apparently—I Love NY!

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Having just realized I rarely say anything about the sports media people I like, I hope to remedy that a bit here. One reason I neg out a lot is, the guys who provoke me seem do it when I’m nearest to a keyboard. The other is I’m bitter. Here are thumbnail mentions of a few who just happen to be from the NYC metro area. How’d that happen!

Michael Kay, who began his pro career as a sportswriter, currently straddles two media giants. One owns the New York Yankees, the other takes cheap shots. Long before the NYY launched the YES Network (Yankees Entertainment & Sports), Kay made the move from print to the broadcast booth, paired with legendary egoist John Sterling. I thought Kay was great—at a time when the beloved pair of Phil Rizzuto & Bill White (my former neighbor) were ending their run, Kay was a breath of fresh & knowledgeable air. Yankee brass agreed. Now he anchors the YES play by play team & does a daily afternoon drive radio show for ESPN’s New York affiliate. AND I like him a lot. Joe Torre, on the other hand, may not. That’s another story.

Howard Megdal is a regular & integral contributor to a podcast—The New York Baseball Digest (hosted by Mike Silva). He’s also an author The Baseball Talmud— a non-fiction work which chronicles the history of professional Jewish baseball players. However, his main gig is covering NYC baseball for a newspaper The New York Observer. Though an ardent Mets fan, his sharp wit & ability to extemporaneously turn a phrase on mic, make him a rare exception in the sports media—intelligent beyond the sports arena. I used to be pretty good at this: I’d place his IQ at 130, if not slightly higher. He’s one of the few I can actually listen to criticize the Yankees, typically because he’s right. His Achilles’ heel is WFAN megastar Mike Francesa—don’t get him started. . ..

The next man I have come to praise (and not bury) is another sportswriter & blogger Pete Abraham. His LoHud.com Yankees blog has so many hits each day, I can rarely leave a comment due to my slow dial up—because there are frequently too many other comments, often well over 300-400, sometimes many more! Pete is the Yankees beat writer for The Journal News & also makes many radio appearances, providing his insight to Yankee baseball. Even when he’s on a break, he often files a post, because he loves baseball. Sadly, the immense popularity of his blog doesn’t exclude him from the current economic downward trend in newspapers, and he’s actually on an unpaid furlough for a week! Sigh. BTW Pete was at the game anyway last night as a fan. Here’s hoping it all turns around for everybody. Except for Boston — I ain’t smoking any of Mary Lou’s bud.

Not in any way would I minimize the work, talent & efforts of the next two. I place them in tandem because Sweeny Murti & Ed Coleman cover the Yankees & Mets respectively, for WFAN AM New York, the King of sports talk radio. They are both routinely on air around the clock, doing phone reporting i.e. Sweeny was on today at 4:25 AM. Are the Yanks on the West Coast? did a game run extraordinarily late or something extremely awful happen? Nope—though Joba Chamberlain did take a batted ball off a kneecap (he’s OK—hmmmm). Sweeny is also very bright (Penn State grad). Mercifully(?) the Mets were on a travel day to Feng Shui Park for the weekend ugh, unless you like hubris with your chowdah. So, Eddie had a respite from the Mets woes.

See, I can say nice stuff. Especially when it’s true. Yankees v. Phillies this weekend, should be balls flying out of new Yankee Stadium. While I am naturally rooting for the Yanks to win more than they lose, I have a soft spot for the Phils from my 20 years of living & working in Bucks County PA.

Oh yeah — Lets GO METS!


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The Santanic Verses*

January 15, 2008 2 comments

Johan Santana is still a Minnesota Twin. If he were a biological twin, it might help matters. Or just double the dubious pleasure and pain, surrounding the question of what team he’ll be pitching for in the 2008 MLB season. Not to mention all the words employed to discuss it ad nauseum. It should be pointed out Jose Canseco has a twin. So, as always the caveat: results may vary. . ..

Oh, which handsome suitor will attract the fair Minnesota GM Bill Smith ( is that his real name or is he hoping to maintain anonymity, if it goes bad?) and win his handshake on a blockbuster deal? Will it be the New York Yankees? Hmmm every other day they are like Al Pacino in Godfather lll—they try to get out. But they get pulled back in. The Yankees seem more like Silvio Dante’s ( The Sopranos ) impression of Al; funny and scary at the same time.

What about the Redolent Sox of Boston? I sure hope not. Though at this point, frankly Scarlet Ho-s, I don’t give a darn. The move would out those loads as the real once and future Evil Empire. It would also make it even sweeter to beat them down again; Mr. Santana’s stats at Fenway are improving, though historically, not all that awesome. Damn, I might’ve just messed with Karma. Oofah.

OR, now coming out of left field, landing on 3rd, the New York Mets. If any organization knows Yankee Envy, other than the Bostons, it’s the NYY crosstown cousins. BTW has anyone ever told the Mets ownership, that when they chose Dodger Blue & the orange to honor the late lamented NY Giants, for their team colors, neither of those teams wore pinstripes ( Mets have a pinstriped uni )? that team was/is the Yankees. They’re the team who stayed in New York City. Based on recent performance, if the Yankees had moved to California, they’d be about 11 pennants lighter, because they cannot win for losing out there!

Anyhow, the Mets really need Santana, especially after their unprecedented meltdown last season. They may yet get him too. But the Twins are reluctant to make a deal which would make them look weak to their fans. They have the right to ask for a lot, but they are dragging their heels like a guy who has to go to a chick flick.With his wife and mother in law. AND he pathetically keeps trying to get his wife to sweeten the deal— you know how. You also know how it ends. So, in hopes of ending this stale stalemate, I propose the following solution:

The NYY, BRS & Mets make a joint offer. They each give the Twins 4 guaranteed-can’t miss young players( that’s a joke son ) w/less than 2 seasons of MLB service, making them very attractive to Twins owner, Ebeneezer Pohlad ( 12 players for 1 ). Then, the 3 teams can share the use of Santana. Naturally he can’t pitch v. himself, so they’ll need an arcane, rotating formula, which Boston’s Bill ‘ sabermetrician ‘ James can develop, in the same unbiased way ( coughing fit ) George Mitchell did his steroid investigation.

The Twins will of course need 3-6 more months to consider if the offer is a good one, or until their brains thaw. It’s awfully cold in Minnesota, this time of year. . ..

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* US Copyright law does not allow copyright for titles. However, if I see any hacks copping this one, as they did with Santana Clause, I’ll come back and name names. So note the date January 15, 2008. Caveata ides illegitimi!

©2008 Jukeofurl Productions

Santana Clause is Coming to. . .?

November 30, 2007 1 comment

This is my favorite time of the baseball year. Yeah, that’s right, the Major Leagues are not currently playing games. Not on the field anyway. Next week MLB holds what they call the Winter Meetings. It’s like a Shriner’s Convention with player swapping. It’s in Nashville too! two of my three favorite things in the same place. Excellent. Too bad none of my baseball songs ever got a record. . ..

The rise of the Player’s Association & free agency with it’s tangled web of contractual traps, i.e. stratospheric salaries, media shares, player agents, no trade clauses, limited trade clauses, player options & buyouts etc. etc., have removed most of the fan fun. Making trades ain’t just a handshake anymore. Though, since the explosion of 24/7 sportstalk, internet reporting and yes, Bill Conlin: bloggers, the rumor mill is grinding harder than ever. The grist is finer having been gone over a million times. The facts, not so fine. Anyone can start a rumor now. I could, but as usual, that’s not why I’m here today.

Due to a billionaire owner’s Scrooge-like penny pinching, a much coveted pitcher Johan Santana ( Minnesota Twins LHP, 2 Cy Young awards ) may or may not be trade bait, before he can opt for free agency after the 2008 season. Though that depends on the offers. Blah blah blah. Because any such trade would involve the other team sending back young, but proven players and a substantial amount of money, not too many teams are up for it. Let’s forget the maybe teams and focus on two well known rivals. Yes sports fans, you guessed it or were exposed for a nanosecond to some form of media in the last 10 days, so you knew. It’s the Yankees & that Boston bunch.

Frankly, let’s forget about the Yankees. If they get Santana, great. Maybe. Their luck with bringing in big time arms from other teams either via trade or free agency, is very, not good, verging on spooky bad. So, pardon me if I don’t get all ecstatic thinking about Johan Santana in the ace role ( rhymes with ____ ) I come here not to praise Soxus, but to bury them. As for the Minn. Twins, they are acting like a 15 year old girl with two popular boys fighting over her. They should be grounded with all Great Mall of the America’s privileges revoked until after graduation.

The definition of psychological projection is: the unconscious transfer of one’s own desires or emotions to another. Several years ago, Boston CEO Larry Lucchino referred to his down south Bronx nemesis in such a way as to portray the bled Sawx as the team led by Luke Skywalker. But as their recent record indicates, the Bostons are anything but lambs to the Yankee lions. The Red Sox won a World Series in 2004 and when the 2006 season started only 7 players from that roster remained! and one of them was traded tout de suite.* Even less were left when they popped the tediously cliched champagne for this past 2007 WS victory.

When Lucchino, much more Darth Vaderesque than George Steinbrenner at this point, puked the Evil Empire yack all over the NYY, he was obviously projecting. Just last year he outbid the Yankees for Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, and it wasn’t for just dangling a sushi franchise and a traveling personal masseuse, though the latter was part of the deal. If the Red Sox organization manages to acquire Santana without giving up even one of their acclaimed untouchable, admittedly terrific young players and/or pitchers, they will have dropped the veil for even the blindest to see them for what they really are. The Twins should include a lifetime supply of Beano for the Boston front office, Santana can hand deliver it the day he puts a Sox uni shirt on over his suit for the big press conference. Talk about lame sport’s practices, that’s as dumb as they come. AND quite the sporty look too; just don’t get why that hasn’t caught on amongst the hoi polloi.

They call the big goofy left wall in Fenway Park–The Green Monster. But it’s the green-eyed monster that resides all curled up & hissing in Boston ( thank you Kevin Cronin ). Caveat emptor, Caesar Lauritius il Bocco Grasso, caveato esay! Gautama Buddha aside, our country’s poster boy for Karma, Earl Hickey can tell you, you better watch out. You just might get what you deserve. Sure, in between you might win a World Series or 2, but the next time you call people names, everybody will know why. . ..

* close enough, damn if I’m going to be more than 86% accurate about the Bled Sox