Monday, August 30, 2010

Hot Child in the Citi

Let's be honest with ourselves. I enjoyed the Mets game, but I wasn't as into it as I could have been. Mets versus Astros was very "meh" to me when my Yankees were playing my White Sox. But, I love a ball game and I love going with a group to the ball game, so I had a stellar time, if only more for the company and the energy than the game at play.

Gussie, Howie, Pete and Lee and I took to the Bronx Flushing, Queens last Friday. They are a rowdy bunch that knows how to drink party and we watched the first five raptly, got some Shake Shack and then watched the Mets almost blow it in the 9th, but not quite. Good job!

Here are some hot pics (click any to enlarge):
This dog had a pipe in his mouth. Social commentary on David Wright or just a cute trick? The Golden Child has told me of a legend 50 lb cat named Pelofino who lives near Citi Field. I plan to get him a jersey like this and get him into the stadium.

A little high?
Boys. G'day, mates!
Girls. We kicked some nerds out of our seats when we first arrived. They obediently moved. Then we realized that they were not our seats. Oops. We stayed.

"Darryl! Darryl! Darryl!"

(Click below for more)

A Big Thank You for The Big Hurt

Frank Thomas, who spent most of his career on the White Sox, had his number retired in a ceremony before the v. Yankees series on August 29th.

I should have been there. Bleacher Creature Dave was there and said it was "awesome." Thanks, Dave.

This picture makes me want to cry too, Frankie (Image/PicApp)
Former Chicago White Sox first baseman and designated hitter Frank Thomas watches as his number is retired during a ceremony before the game against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on August 29, 2010.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

Frank Thomas was my childhood hero of the baseball diamond. My brother, my sister and I all idolized the best player on our not-so-great team. We watched him out-perform his teammates - and past White Sox, according to this Trib article - but didn't get to see him get a ring until the 2005 season.

Has anyone ever worn #35 better? I love you, Moose, but no (Image/PicApp)
Former Chicago White Sox first baseman and designated hitter Frank Thomas (R) waves to the crowd as he is honored by broadcaster Ken Harrelson (L) and owner Jerry Reinsdorf (C) as his number is retired during a ceremony before the game against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on August 29, 2010.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

A million congratulations to a player that will always have an incredibly dear place in my heart. Since I missed this ceremony, I promise to be in Cooperstown when you get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Deal?

Friday, August 27, 2010

To Wear My Hat...To Not Wear My Hat

Tonight, I'm going to Citi to see the Mets take on the Astros. Normally, I wear my Yankees hat to any sporting event, including those I attended at Shea and now Citi. But since the Yankees are in first (fine, TIED for first) and the Mets are below .500 in 4th place, it seems a little rude.

I will be cheering for the Mets but I'd like the fragile, orange-and-blue-wearing fans to think that I might be one of them too, and not a Yankees fan with a sympathetic heart.

I'm sure I will post pics on Twitter during the game, so check out @YourBballGirl for updates. I can't guarantee that I won't be talking more about what I am reading about Yankees at White Sox rather than the game in front of my face, but there should be some Mets game banter

There will be pics on the blog by the end of the weekend, so come back for those too.

Go New York Baseball Teams!.You can do it, A.J.!

Beating the Off-Day Blues*: I Will Always Love You, Johnny...

...Even if you had decided to put back on that uniform that goes with the hat with the ugly red bee on it. But you didn't, you pulled back on the waivers and you are staying in Detroit Rock City. Good for you.

My willingness to accept Johnny on any team is counter to a theory that Jerry Seinfeld introduced back when he was relevant in the day: Sports fans only cheer for the clothes that players wear.

On Monday, Tyler Kepner, whose job I covet, wrote a NYT article that revisited the 1995 episode in which Seinfeld joked in the opening monologue that fans root for the logo on the uniform, not the players, who can change teams so frequently. He continued:

“You know what I mean? You are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player, but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt — they hate him now. Boo! Different shirt! Boo!” 

B*ston fans may be the epitome of this concept (see the photo of Johnny in Kepner's article), but Yankees fans are not immune. Even the beloved Hideki Matsui has heard boos at Yankee Stadium after going to the Angels. Of course, he received a standing ovation at the home opener at Yankee Stadium this year, but he also received a standing ovation when he struck out swinging at the top of the first.

I never cared for Gary Sheffield when he was on the Yankees. Probably why I clapped when he struck out as a player on the Tigers of the Mets. However, once I form a bond with a player, which we all know I am capable of doing, I can't boo him or even hope he does poorly. Derek Jeter could leave to play on the Indians and then the Red Sox I would still clap for him. I care too much about the player and even if he is on a rival team, he is still the same player who worked hard for my team.

Unless they go to the Cubs. Then he is dead to me. But that is more disappointment that my boys deserve better than to play for the wrong Chicago team.

*Today isn't an off-day, but I had intended to post this yesterday, just didn't finish it in time. Enjoy it on an on-day, please.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday!

Happy birthday to Brett Brett, who was born 27 years ago today.

Cutest birthday boy EVER (Image/PicApp)
August 13, 2010: Left fielder Brett Gardner  of the New York Yankees before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ashley wants to go out tonight and celebrate. Who's down?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lunch Break: Later, Lou!

Lou Pinella coached his last major league games yesterday. Rather than retired at the end of the year, he is said to be retiring now to help care for his elderly mother. Lou had an impressive career and has the 14th most wins of any manager in MLB history. I feel bad that his last days were spent on the Cubs.

Lou waves bye bye. (Image/PicApp)
Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella tips his hat to the crowd before the game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago on August 22, 2010. Piniella announced Sunday that the game would be his last game as manager.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

Lou was a Yankee in the early 80s, so he was probably used to disappointment, but wouldn't it have been nice (for him) if the Cubs had won yesterday?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All The Pics That Are Fit To Print

This is how the game experience and the rest of the night went down. Well, at least how you are going to see it. My Mom does read this thing from time to time.

Dave, Rachel, Ashley, Christina and I attended the game. We were met later by Liz, who was supposed to come but was thwarted in her efforts to reach the Bronx on time.

                          Pre game, obligatory outfit photo
Davey at his first Yankees game
I know what you have come to expect from me, my dear readers
For Christina - shakin' it like a Polaroid picture

In our seats: Davey, Rachel the Golden Child and you all know Ashley
Click to view more pics!

I Couldn't Get Him the Win

Wow. AJ got no support last night. He also couldn't get out of his head after he gave up 3 runs at the top of the 1st. It would have been nice if his teammates had given him some run support.

Throwing his first pitch, which was a ball

I was the only one within my ear shot that was supporting him through his start. I heard a lot of "Take him out!!!" and "AJ you're a bum" (bum wasn't always the word but you can get the idea). The jeers drowned out my "C'mon AJ!" cheers but I like to think I was drunk enough loud enough for him to hear me.
Allan James had an ugly night. It sucks, but he will do better; he is AJ, after all. I hope to see him pitch at least one more time at home before the post season but my schedule is making it tricky to get to another game before the final home stand.

Working through the game. The tats are working too.
His last pitch

After the game, I got a moment alone with him. Well, his picture.

My substitute for the real thing
The night was actually amazing. Ashley, Christina, Rachel, David and I had a ridiculous amount of fun, despite the abysmal game playing. And really, the loss gave us a reason to continue our night into the morning and we were lucky enough to get some Liz time post-game, since she wasn't able to make it. Those pictures are coming up next!

Friday, August 20, 2010

For the Love of My Boys

One of the best things about being a female baseball fan, and really, a female fan of any sport played by young, fit men, is that there is a lot of eye candy to appreciate. And, if you are Ash and I, catcall while attending their sporting events.

In my case, and with many of the baseball chicks I know, we love the game and we love the men who play the game (that sounds familiar...) but sometimes, it may come off that the hotness of the players is all we care about.

I was watching MLB Network with Dave the Bleacher Creature recently, and a recap of the Cardinals game came on. The show ran down the best players of the game and failed to mention, or even show, Matt Holliday.

"They talked about Pujols, Molina, Miles but no Matt," I pouted.

"Matt?" Dave asked.


"He's over-rated," Dave informed me.

"I don't care if he went 0-5. There should always be mentions and visuals of Matt Holliday."


"Because he's hot!"

"Um, ok," Dave laighed at me. "That's a great argument."

"I think it is and I'm sure I could find others to agree with me."

"Not anyone who actually cares about the game."

Ouch. I care about the game; The Cardinals are my NL team. I also care about seeing Holliday's cute smile and arms. I'm willing to bet I'm not the only woman who feels that way.

Every day on Twitter, I read interesting, live commentary on games, critiques of the strategies of various teams, general support for the game and sexually-charged analysis of the players in their uniforms from female baseball fans. It is a sort of bonding thing for us girls, who often have one big crush and several auxiliary crushes on players (I have several big crushes, obvi). Men either chose to ignore it, or there is a lot of eye rolling at the computer screen and possible unfollowing.

Yesterday, I had a nice baseball chat with a colleague, Aaron, a fellow freelancer, after his hometown Padres beat my most-loathed home state Cubs.

"How are they doing?" I asked him.

"They just won."

"Nice. The Yankees won too."

"The Padres beat the Cubs."

"Even better. The Cubs should always lose." I can be a little cruel, but c'mon. It's the Cubs.

And then later:

"A lot of people lost faith in the Padres," Aaron said.

"Oh yeah? Did you?" I asked.

"No, but so many people wrote them off."

"Well, I generally don't worry about the National League teams, but I don't think the Padres will go all the way. I think it will be the Cardinals or the Phillies in the World Series."

"Really, you think the Cardinals can get past the Reds?" he asked.

"I do. I have faith in my Cardinals."

"Are a lot of people in Illinois Cardinals fans?"

"No, but I hate the Cubs and the Cardinals are the natural enemy of the Cubs so I want them to do well."


"Also, there are a couple of players on the Cardinals I have crushes on, so I want to see them more."

All I got after that was a disappointed head shake, followed by a turn-and-walk away. I probably deserved it. I do actually think the Cardinals are going to pick it up, pass the Reds or at least grab the Wild Card and make it to the Series. I don't have that much faith in the Phillies to pass the Braves or hold onto the Wild Card lead but I also don't cheer for the boys of Philadelphia.

Tonight, I'm going to the game with four other women (including the blog-and-Twitter-famous Ashley) and a gay man. While I am sure that the game will be watched and appreciated, I am also sure that there will be objectification of the players. The only thing I am more sure of is that $9 beer will be consumed.

And even though Ashley and I will be singing "Happy Birthday" to Brett Brett from our seats in 424, I'm going to try to be a bit more reserved with my other declarations of love. Because even though the crush will still be there, I would prefer for people to think I am a baseball fan first, not a fan of cute boys who hit balls. I am Your Baseball Girl, after all, not Letters to Penthouse.

Plus, A.J. will be getting the most of my attention...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Am I Uninspired...

Or are they uninspiring?

Regardless, I owe you my words. I just don't have them. So, how about some pictures?

Here's a picture of Brett Brett (Image/PicApp)

New York Yankees runner Brett Gardner slides into second base with a double as the throw bounces off the glove of Detroit Tigers third baseman Jhonny Peralta (27) in the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

And some CC, courtesy of a photog I worked with in a past life, Ray Stubblebine (Image/PicApp)

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the Detroit Tigers in the second inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I promise to get my words together soon. I actually have quite a few things I have been working on that are not just ready. I missed the game tonight for some much need catch-up time with Frenchie. But I will be back to business as usual soon.

And don't worry, Golden Child, I have much to say abut K-Rod.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Dreams Are Made Of...

Between ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN 2 Mike & Mike and ESPNews, I basically watched the Cardinals and Reds fight on loop this morning at the gym. It certainly made the hour fly by!

You can watch it here. Let me know if you can find my Matt. I looked and looked for a Holliday jersey to no avail.

Jason Larue, post-stitches after taking a kick to the face. So badass. New crush? (Image/PicApp)

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue watches his team's play from the dugout against the Cincinnati Reds in their National League Major League Baseball game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 11, 2010. LaRue received five stitches in his upper lip after being kicked in the face during a first inning fight between the Cardinals and the Reds the night before.    REUTERS/John Sommers II  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

But Let's Not Forget Jeter...

Whom on Sunday night, passed the Babe on MLB's all-time hit list

And looks so freakin' cute, kicking up dirt on 2nd...

And while batting...

Sunday in the Stadium with Ash

No offense to anyone else I have been to baseball games with - Adrian, my ex, my other ex, well, you know who you are - but I think the game on Sunday was the most fun I have had at Yankee Stadium this season. It could have been the excitement of the versus B*ston series, it could have been the proximity to Brett Brett but all I know is that Ashley and I (and Lisa, our new favorite Bud Light vendor) had a very, very good night.

In honor of our mutual crush, all of the following photos are of Brett Brett, whom we hope heard us calling his name at the top of the 7th.
Ash, Brett & Bud Light (in a hurty cup, don't get these)
Not dirty at the top of the 2nd

Lunch Break: The Least Chivalrous Man in Texas?

I'm just saying, sweetie, that I would have caught that ball before it dropped. Yeah, I'm talking to you girl, not your boyfriend.

(Via Jezebel)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quick Game Report: Teix's HR Massacre

Due to my passive luddite attitude towards technology, I generally refuse to read the manuals that come with my electronics. Oftentimes, this means that I unearth key features of tech items like cell phones, computers and cameras months after I originally start using them.

One of those discoveries was made last night, about four months after the purchase of my Nikon CoolPix L100, as I learned the proper way to use my continuous sports shutter function, which comes with a bonus added zoom.

Watch the action of Marky Mark's solo shot HR unfold through the magic of my lense:
(click any photo to enlarge)

See ya!

More pics from last night's game later today tomorrow (I'm tired).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stand By Your Man UPDATED

After an unsuccessful attempt to attend yesterday's game, I am Bronx-bound this evening, with my friend/partner in crime, Ashley, to attend the 8 pm game. Tickets on Stub Hub were reasonable, for a v. B*ston series, and I'm wondering if it is more about the late start on a Sunday or the fact that A.J. is pitching.

Many of the fans I talk to, either friends or Tweeps or both, have little faith in A.J before every start. His record is even at 9-9, with a loss from his last start when the Blue Jays were in the Bronx. But before that, he got a win in Cleveland following the win-at-home, that I was present for, on July 23.

New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pitch in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on August 2, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

To say he is unpredictable may over-simplify the situation, especially knowing his penchant for violence against inanimate objects, but if he wins tonight, I might just appoint myself his "Bronx Good Luck Charm," and need to attend every A.J. start through October.

UPDATE - A.J. has been pulled from tonight's game with back spasms. I swear, I'm not responsible for them. Moseley is starting tonight and Hughes is starting tomorrow. So A.J., if you're reading this and get bored watching the game from the dugout, Ash and I will be in 330 and ready to party.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So...We Can Talk About Something Else Now, Right?

Congrats on getting 600, Alex. I wish I had been watching...

Shaun Marcum's MLB career, summed up in one pitch (Image/PicApp)
New York Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez hits his 600th career home run off Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Shaun Marcum in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 4, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I'm excited for him but more excited for me, because I won't have to hear Michael Kay discuss how many ABs it has taken him or how many fans are snapping pictures or blah blah blah.

If you are working or were home but decided to watch Days of Our Lives instead of the game, you can watch the video of #600 here. My favorite part is all the hugging.

Now, let's all focus on getting back into first place in the AL East, shall we?

Monday, August 2, 2010

"The Best Player On The Team...Is A Girl"

Gawker TV has a video about Chelsea Baker, a thirteen year old from Florida who is the best player on her Little League team and possibly in the entire system.

One of her male teammates says that he didn't know "a girl could play [so well]" and Chelsea herself says that she is teased, laughed at and under-estimated by her peers but mostly by the parents of her fellow players. Chelsea has a good attitude about it, though:

Chelsea wants to play baseball, not softball. She has a perfect 65-mph knuckleball, which only took her two years to learn to control. Even her male catchers say it is flawless and hard to catch.

Chelsea's father seems to be her biggest advocate and her mother is more concerned with the fact that her daughter didn't want to compete in beauty pageants. Chelsea gets most of her support from men, including her first pitching coach, former Yankee (among other teams), the gone-but-never-forgotten, Joe Niekrow, who used to make Chelsea give him a kiss on the cheek before he would give her the ball to start the game.

She says she wants to prove the people who say she can't play that they are wrong because it will change the world. This makes me happier than anything else I have heard in a long time. I have previously written about my six year old niece's own ball-player aspirations and right now she is just doing it for fun. To think that a girl only seven years her senior could be making it possible for her to gain some respect in the game brings tears to my eyes.

Saturday night, Dave the Bleacher Creature and I had a talk about women in baseball. I said I am ready to see a woman in the MLB. He thinks it is more likely that another women's baseball league comes about. Really, either would make me happy, but my scenario is preferable. Will it be Chelsea? Will it be Eri? Will it be my niece? I'd take any and all of them in an MLB uniform, especially Pinstripes.

I couldn't help but think of a season nine episode of South Park when I watched this clip. It was an exhaggerated portrayal of the boys and how much they hated the boring game of baseball, but in this culture of youth soccer and Friday Night Lights, can't we embrace the love of playing the game from any child, regardless of gender?

And yes, you know me well. Here is a clip from that South Park ep: