Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dirt in the Skirt!: Lamenting the lack of women in the game

I have been sick with a nasty stomach bug for the past two days. The fact that my apartment is a brick oven and my room is the only one with AC has pretty much confined me to my bed, where I have been drinking Diet Sprite, sleeping a lot and watching old movies on my only VCR (It was about time for a re-watch of Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead).
Dorothy "Dottie" Schroeder(Image/AAGBPL.org)
Right now, I am enjoying, and basically reciting along with, A League of Their Own, which is not only my favorite baseball movie but really the only major film about women in professional baseball. How amazing would it have been to really see women playing professional baseball in the  40s and 50s? And how amazing would it be to see it now? Yes, there is a woman playing pro ball in the U.S, but are we ever going to see a league of teams made up entirely of women again?

And if we do, are they going to play in short skirts and v-neck jerseys just to give the game some sex appeal? I fully admit (and blog) that MLB players are hotties but efforts are not made to sexualize them with spandex-style pants and sleeveless jerseys? None of these Jeter calendars are meant to be sexy but couldn't but Danica Patrick and three female tennis stars are in this calendar which had significantly less wardrobe needs. Even in the 40s, women played in above-the-knee skirts, and I cringe when I think of the possibility of a professional, female baseball player dressed like a professional female WWE wrestler or in a "Lovely Ladies of Baseball" calendar.

Could a professional women's baseball league even make it again? The WNBA, launched in 1996, has had less success than most other professional U.S. sports leagues, and WNBA teams draw an average of 8,000 fans per game, which is less than half of what the A's saw at home games in 2009. While some cite the slow, steady growth of the WNBA as a positive omen for the future of the league, the fact remains that attendance is down since the naissance of the league and the players are working too hard for too little money. Will a female baseball league be met with the same reception?

Now that I have nieces, all I want is for them to have the opportunities that I didn't have. My six-year-old niece just wrapped her first season on her Pee Wee softball league and I was lucky enough to catch two games last week. In her first game, I arrived to see her squatting behind the plate at the bottom of the 1st, catching the strikes and covering home plate when a double was hit. For a very small six-year-old, she totally rocked it.

Doing the memory of Gehrig proud in #4
At her first at bat, she hit an RBI single and I couldn't have been prouder. After the inning ended, I congratulated her and pointed out that not even Derek Jeter, her favorite player, gets an RBI every game. She beamed and then ran off to pet a dog, which was what I expect any kid to do.

And even though she also dances, loves art and wants to start cheerleading in the fall, I hope that the love of playing the game sticks with her through her schooling. I know I have already wished that she will one day have Kim Jones' job, but my overall wish (other than her supreme happiness in everything she does) is for her to play in a major league uniform, and maybe have Kim Jones interview her before her first big league start.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thirty Six Years Ago, On This Hallowed Day...

Happy birthday, Cap'n!

ESPN has a nice, brief history of Jeter's career here. One of the greatest things about Jeter is his utter professionalism both on and off the field. While other players slam their bats down and argue with umps, Jeter is a sportsman who never loses his cool.

Jeter blows birthday kisses (Image/Keith Alison)

My older sister hates him, for reasons I can only attribute to jealousy. Every time she calls him an a*hole, I ask for proof, which she can never produce. Then I show her his charity work, examples of his guidance of other players and then throw his stats in for good measure. Her usual response is not fit to print on this blog.

On the other hand, my six year old niece, who has become quite the softball player, thinks Derek Jeter hung the moon. And really, isn't the admiration of a child more important than the disdain of a 30 year old woman?

Hope it is a great one, Jetes!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beating the Off-Day Blues: Relive an On-Day

I missed the last series, and most of the @ Mets series because I was playing with my nieces in Illinois. From what I read, most of the games were rather unspectacular (as unspectacular as any Yankees game can be, I suppose) except for the 6-5 win last night against the D'backs.

While I was checking the ABs on my Evo, it was very late, after midnight CST, and I dozed off after the top of the 9th. A little later, I awoke, hit refresh and saw that the Yanks had won 6-5. Huzzah! It wasn't until I was at my hometown airport a few hours later that I saw on Sportscenter that Mo had played cat-and-mouse with Arizona (and the heart rates of Yankee fans) and come out on top.

Mo has got a present for you, Arizona (Image/PicApp)
New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

One of my Tweeps, @NYYSOPHIE46 Tweeted a link to watch highlights from Mo's game, including his AB at the top of the 10th. Check it out, if you missed it, or if you saw it live, but prefer it over the end of the Cubs game. Other highlights from the game may be viewed here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Well, at least they have a sense of humor about it...

Is anyone going to the Mets game tomorrow? If so, do you want to gift your promo item over to your favorite blogger (Yes, that would be me)?

For the game vs the Tigers tomorrow, the Mets organization will be handing out 20,000 foam fingers to promote David Wright's All-Star Break dreams. I would have gone with extra padded over-sized short bus-style helmets but when you can use Lady Gaga's fame to your advantage...

The Mets are #1 with a bullet in Lady Gaga's book (Image/PicApp)
Lady Gaga puts up her middle finger while the New York Mets play San Diego Padres at Citi Field in New York City on June 10, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

GagaGagagaangj5rtv 3tolmgv4 6piws

Gaga is allegedly a Yankees fan, not a Mets fan. Maybe she can swing by our stadium, do something ridiculous and pointless, and then the Yanks can step up their promo items? Because none of us needs another Subway-branded calendar.

On a related note, Alejandro has been my obsession for about a month. For all her lameness, she does make some fun music. Maybe we can implement some kind of heard-but-not-seen policy going forward?

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Not-Quite-an-All-Star Break: I'm On Vacay

Sorry to be late with the news, but I am on vacation right now. Visiting my family and meeting my new niece, who is two and a half weeks old but is already an obvious Yankees fan. My two and a half year old niece now clearly says "Go Yankees" instead of the cute, but incorrect, "Go Bankees!" and my six year old niece has become quite the softball player.

I'll do two weeks worth of links next Sunday and be back with more bloggy goodness later in the week when I return from the land of White Sox and Cubs. Until then, enjoy the triple hotness below:

I miss you most of all, Brett Brett (Image/PicApp)
New York Yankees batter Brett Gardner follows through as he hits a two-run triple against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I still can't decide where to get my A.J. tattoo... (Image/PicApp)

New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pitch to the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 16, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Butt pats all around, boys (Image/PicApp)

New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira reacts as he is congratulated at home plate by runner Derek Jeter (L) after he hit a grand-slam home run against the New York Mets in the third inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 20, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

And one more A.J. for good measure and another W tonight...


New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett bites his finger as he leaves the game with the Tampa Bay Rays in the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, May 19, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Pettitte

Happy 38th Birthday, Andy! You were my first Yankees crush and as much of a hottie now as you were when I attended my first Yankees game in 1999. There's just something about your pre-pitch stare....Sigh...Wait, what were we talking about?

See you tonight, baby?

A man like no other (Image/PicApp)
REFILE - CORRECTING SPELLING OF PETTITTE New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto, June 5, 2010. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

No, He Doesn't Need Another DVD: YBG's Dad's Day Gift Guide

If you are lucky enough to know a great Dad who is also a baseball fan, I hope that you are getting him something awesome for Father's Day on Sunday. If you are thinking, Oh, crap! Father's Day is on Sunday! then take a gander at my suggestions below, sure to hit a (heh) homerun with your sports lovin' Pop!

The Clicker
Beer? Check

Baseball game in HD on a sweet flat screen? Check

Bottle opener? D'oh!

Guaranteed in the 25 seconds it takes to go into the kitchen and find a bottle opener, your dear old Dad's favorite player will hit a grandslam, breaking some team, nay, league record, and he will miss seeing it live.

If only he had a Clicker! Now you can prevent such horrors from happening. $25, myclicker.com

Ball Player's Best Big Ceramic Baseball Bowl
Now that Dad has his beer open, you aren't going to leave him without a little nosh, are you?

This gift basket from 1-800-FLOWERS includes classic ball park treats in a pretty cool reusable bowl. Don't you just want to eat an overly large serving of cereal out of it?

You should probably have ordered this like, yesterday, but you love your Dad so why not pay for over night shipping? 

Or it could make a great All Star Game gift. Yes, let's start giving each other All Star Break gifts. I would like this and these.

The cool kids at 18F have promised us a coupon code, so I will update when I have that. 

Aroma Home Tiger Screen Wipe
Admit it. The Tigers Fan Dad in your life may be a tough guy, but really, he is a big softee. Kinda like David Wells or this cute tiger from Aroma Home. This isn't just a cuddly pal, it is also a super effective screen wipe for an iPad, laptop, or other LCD screen.

You know he has greasy finger prints all over his iPhone from constantly checking MLB scores in staff meetings, so give him something that gives him no excuse to be a slob. Plus it smells like lemon!

$10, aromahome.com

Connect Four Yankees and Red Sox edition
Rivalry is one of the best things about the game. The peeps over at Hasbro Games (based in Red Sox territory) developed a Yankees vs. Red Sox Connect Four game that will make any game-loving father smile.

It is Father's Day, so be nice and let him play as the Yankees. You will get your turn.

I wish this came in White Sox vs. Cubs so I could get it for my brother. Eh, he might get it anyway, since his daughters are all Yankees fans.

$13.39, Hasbro Games, available on Amazon

New York Times Baseball Yearbook
These are pretty cool, unless the Dad you are buying for is a fan of a sucky team (I would not have gotten this for my Cubs fan Grandpa because I would have felt mean).

Pick your team from 22 NL and AL teams, and get a bound, personalized book of the team's best headlines from the New York Times.

Page length varies. Anyone wanna guess which (27-time World Championship) team has the longest book? $75, AnyDate.com 

Anything from Steiner Sports
Steiner has the stuff that your Dad sees at his best friend's house and wants to steal, like the autographed Yogi Berra picture to the left.

Something that Dad's favorite player has touched is on here, and available for you to buy for him in exchange for his undying love (just kidding, you already have that, but don't you want to show up your younger brother who is just buying him a tie?). Prices range from You-Will-Only-Have-To-Eat-Ramen-For-A-Week to Honey-Can-We-Look-Into-That-2nd-Mortgage? SteinerSports.com

If you would rather make something than buy something, may I suggest trying a hand at my baseball cookies? Get a big, round cookie cutter and use it to shape stiff sugar cookie dough - I won't give you my recipe but I will give you a tip: Cornstarch on the counter rather than flour when you are cutting will help the cookies maintain their shape. Bake 'em up!

Make some buttercream frosting, using a lot of butter, a lot of powdered sugar, a little milk and some vanilla (again, not giving you my recipe, but there are plenty online) and frost the cooled cookies white.

After the frosting has had some time to set, give it two red stitch lines with a red gel cake decorating pen.

Yummy, if I do say so myself. Just make sure Dad gets at least one.

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beating the Off-Day Blues: Why Is a Baguette Like a Baseball Bat?

Recently, I had a BBQ that was attended by a lucky few, including a friend of Frenchie's, another French girl named Yvette*. She had the chance to watch an inning of the Yankees/Indians game with me before the party started.

Sitting next to me on my couch, Yvette examined the game in silence for a few minutes, gave me a sideways look when I became vocally displeased after a Yankees' strikeout and finally asked:

"What game is this?"

"The Yankees are playing the Indians. It's the third game in a series of four."

"I see," she said as she looked back at the TV. After a moment. "Where are they playing?"

"At Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Have you been to a Red Sox game?" I asked because she lives in B*ston.

"Oh. No."

After another moment staring at the TV she said "is he supposed to hit the ball that he throws before he catches it?" Her finger pointed to each of the "hes" she named.

"Essentially, that is the point, yes. The pitcher throws the ball and the batter tries to hit it. The catcher catches it if the batter doesn't hit it. The batter can choose not to swing at a pitch that he thinks is not a strike." I hoped I was not being more confusing.

"What is a strike?"

"A strike is a pitch that the batter doesn't swing at, that is in a certain area over the plate. The plate is the white thing in front of his feet. A strike can also be given when the batter hits the ball in the wrong direction, which is called a foul."

Teix got a hit. Runners advanced. I cheered.

"What happened?"

"Teix got a hit and went to first base, on the right." I looked at her to see if she was following. "The runner on second, which is in the middle, moved to third, on the left. You have four bases to touch in order to score a run. The fourth is called 'home' where the batter starts."


We sat in silence until the inning ends. A commercial came on. It was either for Men's Wearhouse or a truck, I'm sure.

"I don't know anything about soccer. Do you watch a lot of football?" I asked her, hoping I hadn't added to her bewilderment by switching from U.S. to rest-of-the-world name for the sport.

"No. Not really. But the World Cup is coming soon!"

"Is France good this year?" I already knew the answer to this (no), because of Frenchie, but I wanted to spark a discussion.

"I don't know," she laughed.

The game resumed. Indians at bat.

"Now the other team, the Indians, is trying to hit the ball. The Indians are from Cleveland."

I looked at her. She stared, brows knitted, at the TV.

"Cleveland is in Ohio," I continued. "Have you been there?"

"No, I have only been to New York and B*ston, where I live."

She cursed in my home but I let it slide. Our conversation switched to her work in B*ston and after the Indians go down in order, I got up to go to the kitchen to start making hamburger patties.

"Do you want to change the channel?" I asked, offering her the remote.

"Yes, I think I will watch something else," she said as she accepted the remote quickly. She looked back at the TV before she changed it. The game had just resumed, Yankees at bat. I turned to leave.

"I do like their costumes," Yvette said as she changed the channel to Food Network. "Ooh! They are making crêpes!"

It would seem that thin pancakes stuffed with Nutella and jam are more her speed than baseball. How French.

*Not her real name, but my name from French class in 7th grade.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

You Were Always On My Mind: Links from this week

Have you been feeling neglected by me? I'm sorry, sweetheart. Come sit over here and let me rub your shoulders as you read my links from the week.
It went that way - Robby hit his 100th home run today (Image/PicApp)REFILE - CORRECTING TYPO IN FIRST NAME OF PLAYER  New York Yankees batter Robinson Cano celebrates in the dugout after he hit his 100th career home run against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York June 13, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I had quite a week, from prepping for a major event for one of my clients (it was on Thursday and seemed to go well), to spending all day Friday soaking up the sun in Coney Island (my burn is slowly changing over to a tan thankyouverymuch), to trying to attend multiple World Cup parties on Saturday. I watched some ball and read about it but I'm sorry that you had nothing to read from me!

The Yanks did well and I am most happy about the Houston sweep and the fact that we are sitting in first place with a .635 average, even if it is a shared standing (For now. Watch out, Phillies!).

Links below. Enjoy!

  • We've got no place for you, buddy: USAT 
  • The likelihood of this story makes me wonder: The Onion 
  • Danielle Lawrie seems awesome and I soooooo wish there were an amazing MLB career in her future: Seattle Times 
  • Related: Jezebel celebrated the NCAA Women's College World Series with pics all week: Jezebel 
  • Welcome back and AMAZING job today, Brett Brett. And a kiss for your thumb: RotoWorld
  • Following up on a link from last week, John Lovitz made good with the Dodgers: USAT
  • THIS guy again: USAT (I swear, it's not all I read!)
  • Hey, now! White Sox fans are resilient. And well, Cubs fans brought it upon themselves: Chi Sun-Times
  • C.C. eats Orioles like you for breakfast: NYT
  • Ping!: The Onion

I Love My First Place Yankees

While I have been neglecting writing and baseball (a bit this week) my Yanks have not been neglecting their quest to regain dominance in the East.

With a double play in the 9th the ended the game versus the Marlins (hehe, can't even beat the Marlins...) the Tampa Bay boys and the Yankees are now tied for first. Now let's just sweep the Phillies and leave those silly Rays in the dust.

"Do you know that we are about to be in first?!?" (Image/PicApp)
New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira (R) speaks with home plate umpire Ted Barrett and Yankees manager Joe Girardi (C) tries to intervene after Barrett ruled he was not hit by a pitch from Houston Astros starting pitcher Brian Moehler in the first inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 13, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Where's My Corvette? Links from this week

Shaking the hand that bit you. (Image/PicApp)
June 3, 2010: Detroit Tigers' Armando Galarraga (58) takes part in the lineup exchange with umpire Jim Joyce who's bad call cost him a prefect game the day before todays MLB baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

You are a class act, Armando Galarraga. Twice this week, I have been disgusted by ball players throwing tantrums at the plate and arguing over calls. That is what I would expect to see from a five year old, denied a Hershey bar at the supermarket, not what I want to see from a grown man who makes more money 99.999% of the world's population for playing a game.

I tip my Yankees cap to you, dear pitcher, for keeping it together during the game and in your subsequent barrage of interviews that made you a water cooler topic this past week.

That said, I'm glad the call wasn't overturned. It would have opened up a whole world of b.s., making it possible to dispute even the tiniest uncertainty. Sort of in the vein of the appeals process of the U.S. Justice System. And we all know how efficiently that works.

Pitching an almost perfect game is like being on The Price Is Right, it seems (Image/PicApp)
June 3, 2010: Detroit Tigers' Armando Galarraga (58) receives a new Corvette from Chevrolet for his near prefect game and sportsmanship before the MLB baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

One final shout out to Chevrolet for their inspired PR move of giving Galarraga a new Corvette. As a PR girl, I appreciate a simple yet highly-strategic play that garners big attention for minimal effort. Reminds me of my days at HPR.

Two weeks worth of links below.
  • The White Sox have some interesting walk-up songs: Chicago Mag
  • Why do I feel like this is all A-Rod's fault?: NYT
  • "See the grass, Cowgirls? Don't eat it." Does Jon Lovitz think his turn in ALOTO exempts him from paying for baseball tickets?: Radar Online
  • Phillies phans: The classiness never ends: USAT
  • You are not Andy Pettitte: The Onion
  • Tap the Rockies: USAT
  • I'd rather Andy save his arm for the important stuff  than play this glorified ego-fest: NYT Bats
  • I need a haircut too: YankeesPR TwitPic
  • Brett Brett: The hotness and a wonderful person. This article made me tear up. Thanks for the link @YankeesInk: YES
  • You mean he wasn't already retired?: USAT
  • Of course my dear Jezzies had something to say about homosexuality in softball: Jezebel

Saturday, June 5, 2010

You've Got the Cutest Lil Baby Face: Baseball Card Nostalgia

Last Saturday, after a nice brunch at a local diner, Blake and I found ourselves on a mission to get me a new dresser. While we didn't find a suitable one, we did find bags and bags of baseball cards at a local thrift shop.

Most of the cards were from the '80s and '90s and it was a trip back to our childhoods as we dug deeper and deeper into each plastic Key Food bag.

The lady who runs the store into the ground wouldn't let us buy any cards at first because she hadn't priced them. We found a few gems that probably have no value other than sentimental for us, including an Al Leiter Rookie card - worth a whopping $2 on eBay!
Joey Girardi, his 2nd year on the Cubbies (Image/Topps)
Hard to see him in the uniform of never-will-be champions.

That's Mr. Leiter to you. (Image/Topps)
Once a Good Guy, always a Good Guy (Image/Topps)
The crazy is in the eye, even in '91

Before they were 'roid heads (Images/Topps)
McGwire had a nice tush before he got into the juice.

A 1987 Bill Buckner card? Yes, please. (Image/Topps)
Would only be better if there were a ball rolling between his legs

Both of our childhood favorite players: Thomas for me, Ryan for Blake. (images/Topps)
Both cards worth about 25 cents.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Almost Perfect But Not Quite

Ouch. Detroit's Armando Galarraga was one out from a perfect game when a bad ump's call cost him his place in baseball, nah, world history.

First base ump, Jim Joyce, called Indians' (Boo!) Jason Donald safe at first and replay of the play later showed that Donald was out by about 500 miles. Joyce sucked it up and apologized:

"I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay."

Apologies don't make Hall of Famers, Joyce-y.

He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillah (Image/Picapp)