Tagged: baseball

I think I’m Gonna Vomit…

This is just a quickie, so that people can stop asking me about this. If you have a comment on my official, earlier blog of the day, please leave it there. If you have anything to say about David Ortiz’s steroid test, please leave it here. Okay, now with that settled, allow me to begin by stating

CAN EVERYBODY PLEASE SHUT UP ABOUT DAVID ORTIZ? I DON’T CARE. I DON’T. CARE.

The sheer ignorance of the people that say “Ohhhh steroids, they sicken me, they disgust me, I’m losing faith in baseball” astounds me. People, please. Where there is sport, there are cheaters. Where there is competition, there is cheaters. Two months from now, when school has started already and now homework is given out regularly and tests come weekly, people are going to cheat on their tests; in fact, you might be one of them. Does that sicken you? Are you now losing faith in the school system? Are you now going to take your child out of school because you don’t want him to be enriched in the cheating culture?

And there’s a simple answer to those three questions: no.

Cheating and unfairness are simply a part of life and people are going to find ways to stay ahead of the pack and creatively cheat. Is it good? No. But it’s going to happen regardless, so you might as well accept it while it still happens. Willie Mays cheated. Mike Schmidt cheated. Hank Aaron cheated. Mickey Mantle cheated. Ty Cobb cheated. Babe Ruth cheated. Gaylord Perry? Cheater. Anyone who ever used a spitball cheated. But, in this decade, whenever the magic word steroid pops up, it sickens you. It disgusts you. It drives you day and night. Get. Over. It. It’s as simple as that. Drink a warm cup of delicious coffee. Go out and play catch with a family member. Play video games. Treat yourself to a nice meal.

And shut up.

-EJ

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An Interesting Question…

I’ve always wondered this about people. I’ve asked my brother, my dad. It’s a really interesting, fun question in my opinion. What is this question? Here, I’ll ask you: what song would you want to be your entrance music if you were a hitter? I know, I didn’t word that perfectly.

A lot of active major league baseball players have entrance music. Alex Rodriguez uses “This Is Why I’m Hot” by Mims when he steps to the plate. Evan Longoria comes into the opening strings of a fantastic song, “Down and Out” by Tantric. Carlos Beltran enters to “El Esta Aqui” by David Y. Abraham. You get the picture.

As for me, the songs vary. They vary from the hot and heavy guitar riffs of Becoming the Bull by Atreyu (don’t mind the video) and Scream by Avenged Sevenfold to the funky, catchy hip hop songs that aren’t cruddy like most of today’s music, like Check the Rhime by A Tribe Called Quest or High Road by Fort Minor (do not mind the video or the song at the beginning, song starts with piano loop).

A Tribe Called Quest

So, reader, what would your entrance music be as a hitter? Or even as a closer? That counts even our female readers– looking at you, Julia– because they like music too. It’s something that I really want to know, so I’d appreciate finding out. This is one of the ways where two of the most beautiful things in life– baseball and music– are combined, and that’s why I’m so fascinated by it. Also, it’s awesome to get the crowd pumped up with a really energetic song.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Too Soon: The Stories of Fallen Active MLB Players Pt. 1

Baseball is such a fun and joyous sport. It’s rich history and all the great moments created by it can help a fan escape from the troubles of everyday life. The game seems so wonderful and innocent. However, this innocence can sometimes be perverted. Baseball players almost seem immortal throughout their entire careers; nobody ever sees them dying. Nobody ever can predict when somebody will go. And sometimes, a player will retire prior to retiring, completely unexpectedly and tragically. These are the stories of those players.

Lyman Bostock

Not enough baseball fans know the tale of Lyman Bostock, and it definitely should be shared more often. Lyman Wesley Bostock, Jr. was born on November 22nd, 1950. A left handed hitting outfielder from Birmingham, Alabama, Bostock was a very talented player, who had good speed, was a solid defensive outfielder, and could swing the bat as good as the rest of ’em. In his first full season, in 1976, a 25-year old Bostock hit .323 for the Minnesota Twins in 474 at bats, as well as hitting for the cycle on July 24, 1976. His batting average that year was fourth in the league. In 1977, Lyman topped that by hitting .336 for the Twins, with a 144 OPS+, had 90 RBI, 14 homers, and only struck out 59 times in 593 at bats. Bostock had the 2nd best average in the league, behind only Rod Carew. He finished 27th in the Most Valuable Player voting.

Bostock signed with the California Angels in 78, and that year, after struggling with the bat early in the season, ended up leading the Angels in batting average with a .296 clip, and although it was his least impressive full season, he still finished 23rd in the MVP voting.

In 1978, Bostock would not be alive to put up any numbers.

On September 23rd, 1978, in Gary, Indiana, Bostock fell victim to a bullet that wasn’t supposed to hit him. Let Wikipedia tell you the story.

“With a week remaining in the season, he went 2 for 4 with a walk in a Saturday afternoon game against the White Sox in Chicago, to raise his average to .296. Following the game, as he regularly did when in Chicago, Bostock visited his uncle, Thomas Turner, in nearby Gary, Indiana. After eating a meal with a group of relatives at Turner’s home, Bostock and his uncle went to visit Joan Hawkins, a woman whom Bostock had tutored as a teenager, but had not seen for several years. After the visit, Turner agreed to give Hawkins and her sister, Barbara Smith, a ride to their cousin’s house. Smith had been living with Hawkins while estranged from her husband, Leonard Smith. Unbeknownst to the group, Leonard Smith was outside Hawkins’s home in his car and observed the group’s departure in Turner’s car.

As Turner’s vehicle was stopped at a traffic signal at the intersection of 5th and Jackson streets, Smith’s car pulled up alongside them. Smith leaned out of his vehicle and fired one blast of a .410 caliber shotgun into the back seat of Turner’s car, where his wife and Bostock were seated. Smith did not know Bostock, but Smith later claimed that his wife was frequently unfaithful to him, and that based upon his observance of Bostock getting into the car with Barbara Smith, he concluded that the two were having an affair. In fact, Bostock had only met the woman twenty minutes previously, when he and his uncle arrived at Hawkins’s home.

Leonard Smith said that his lethal wrath was intended for his estranged wife. However, Bostock was seated between Barbara Smith and the position from which Leonard Smith was firing. The blast missed the woman and instead struck Bostock in the right temple. He died two hours later at a Gary hospital.”

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Baseball is back.

ZOMG! THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU!!!

Ahem.

Excuse me…

I have missed a ton since my last blog, I’m aware of that. I’ve just been very busy with a lot of stuffs. I’m’still here, I assure you, so do not worry!

There have been signings; Ken Griffey Jr is back with the M’s, Joe Crede is now with his former cross town rivals, etc. But that’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is simply the fact that baseball has returned to me! It’s returned! It was gone for so long, but now it has come back to me! Can you believe it?

Yankees are 2-0 in the spring, we’ve hit 4 home runs in 2 games, and it’s really looking nice thus far. I only got to watch the last two half innings of the Yankees-Rays game, but it’s just great that they’re going to show it later. I’m so excited, I really am. This is fantastic.

I’m also very hungry. I should probably do something about that…

Anyways, that’s about it. I’m also announcing that I am hosting the spring training Yankees-Twins game on Saturday that YES will be broadcasting, I believe. So be sure to stop by and check that out.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Another blowout, a classic comeback, the importance of .500, and hot streak analysis!

Welcome to today’s enormous and jampacked edition of The Squad! Today I’ll be discussing the last two games, the importance of the 25-25 .500 record to the Yanks, and I’ll just break down the recent hot streak for the Bronx Bombers. Once again, welcome to The Squad.

Saturday’s Beatdown

For the second game in a row, the Yankees bombed the Mariners’ pitching. The Yanks struck first, scoring 4 runs in the 2nd inning off of Silva. The four-run rally was fueled by Jason Giambi’s 3-run blast into left-center. Although the M’s scored 4 more the next half-inning off our Moose, we came back with a run of our own in the bottom of the 3rd, and… we would never look back from there. Michael Kay had another “See Ya!” oppurtunity as Bobby Abreu had a 2-run homer to left field, and we once again had a blowout against the struggling Seattle Mariners, 12-6.

Today’s Comeback

Today, Sunday the 25th, was not a laugher like the previous two. Chien-Ming Wang pitched on an extra day’s rest and did not have his good sinking fastball, surrendering 5 earned runs in 6.1 innings. Jose Vidro had a big 2-run single for Seattle in the top of the 7th, and at the time it seemed like that was it for the Pinstripers. But that was not the case. Bottom of the 8th, we score 4 runs off JJ Putz, the Mariners closer, fueled by Matsui’s infield single/throwing error by Putz. Jose Molina had an RBI double to give us the lead, Mariano came in the 9th, and it was all over. Raul Ibanez chased one up and in and just like that, it was over. We finally got a comeback victory in late innings.

The Importance of .500 for the New York Yankees

Well, .500 doesn’t seem all that good. All it means is you’re a mediocre team, right? Not exactly.

The Yankees were 20-25 before this recent 5-game winning streak and if you can add, that means, yes, we are 25-25, and we are .500. This is important; the Yankees were slumping badly. The baseball world had seen us in a pretty negative light, thinking this was going to be our bad season. But this 5-game winning streak has turned some heads. All of a sudden, we’ve become a decent team, and us Yankee fans know this squad has the potential to be way more than decent. With the Mets slumping notably and facing all sorts of controversy and injury problems, we’ve all of a sudden become the team to watch in New York. I might be overthinking this part a bit, but still.

Another thing: this is a huge morale booster for the club. We were, of course, undergoing well-documented struggles. With Alex back and the lefties swinging the bat well, everybody is smiling, from the fans, to the players, to the front office. If you feel optimistic and positive, it’s like almost everything goes your way. If these Yanks can avoid further injuries, when Posada comes back, this is going to be an incredibly formidable team. This is a team that has a good chance of making it to the playoffs. The Indians, the Mariners and the Tigers, who were widespread thought of as contenders in their respective leagues, have struggled and underachieved these first few months. If the Bombers can continue their hot streak, they’ll have the consideration for the playoffs.

The Hot Streak

Speaking of that hot streak for the Yanks, what’s helping us win games? Well, it’s pretty simple.

First off, we spoke about the attitude. If the Yankees win, let’s say, 2 wins in a row, the momentum starts to build. The optimism starts to grow. And all that positive attitude, as I said earlier, helps get wins because everything starts to go your way. If you’ve ever watched The Secret, you know what I’m talking ’bout.

Now, let’s talk more baseball. As the YES Network broke down in the preview just before the game, Michael Kay and Ken Singleton discussed how the lefty hitters are really starting to swing the stick well. Most of this is because of A-Rod’s return; not only does it bring a more positive attitude, it also separates the left-handed hitters in the lineup, and now we have an imposing hitter so the hitters around him get better pitches to hit. Our offense has been redhot as of late.

Finally, the bullpen’s been better. Particularly Edwar Ramirez. The stick and his changeup have been solid. He has yet to give up an earned run this season, and he got the win today, pitching 1 2/3. Mo’s always been solid, Veras has been pretty good, Joba’s been great in his stints(of curse he’s becoming a starter), and Hawkins hasn’t been all bad of late. People said our bullpen was going to stink, and save some times, it hasn’t been all bad.

Final Thoughts

Keep cheering, Yankee fans! Things have been looking up as of late. Pray that the offense can continue and that the pitching will be solid.

But most importantly, pray Jeter starts to hit more.

Sincerely, huge Yanks fan,

-EJ/Kid From New York