Showing posts from August, 2009

Why the Heck Did Swisher Bunt?

Down 10-5 heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees mounted a terrific comeback that cut the Texas lead to one run, with runners on 1st and 2nd base, no one out and Nick Swisher coming to bat. And while he's hit better on the road this year, no one saw this clunker of a decision coming: He bunted -- popping up the ball, costing an out and killing the momentum that might have led to a Yankee victory (Melky Cabrera then lined out into a game-ending double play). Rarely does a bubble burst THAT quickly. A few other observations from my third game at "the new Stadium." It's not only home to the game's most expensive seats, but the game's biggest popcorn bucket. Below, your view from Section 125, 27 rows behind 3rd base.

Philadelphia Power Source

Ryan Howard was the batting star today as the Phillies wrapped up their four-game visit to New York. The big man blasted first and third inning homers to drive in the Phils' first five runs in a 6-2 victory over the Mets. This was his first inning blast, which landed in the left field seats. Nothing like a happy group of teammates waiting for you at home plate. Howard cashed in on another chance off the Mets' Bobby Parnell in the 3rd inning. I actually missed where this ball landed -- it was one tier of seats higher, in the lower rows of the "Pepsi Porch." On the mound, pitcher Cliff Lee continued his torrid streak, allowing just a pair of unearned runs in earning his 5th consecutive victory since being traded from the Indians to the Phillies in July.

Mets Remember Their Miracle Year

In a very classy pre-game ceremony, the Mets honored the 40th anniversary of their 1969 World Series champions. (Above) Radio play-by-play voice Howie Rose emceed the Citi Field event standing alongside the Championship trophy. Take note of the pennant and year trimmed into the turf. (Below) The beloved manager who shephereded this upstart club, the late Gil Hodges. Nolan Ryan made his first appearance at a Mets-related event since being traded to the Angels in the early '70s. He was welcomed to New York, in whose uniform he saw his only World Series action. (Above) The top of the Mets pitching rotation in 1969 -- Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. Seaver delivered the speech on behalf of his teammates. A nice touch (possibly borrowed from the Dodgers 2008 home opener) -- three iconic pitchers from the '69 Mets -- Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman -- throwing the trio of ceremonial first pitches. (Below) They were caught by 1969 Mets coach Yogi Berra, starting catcher Je

The Yankees' Ace

Some shots of the Yankees' top free agent acquisition last winter. Number 52 in your scorecard, the big lefthander C.C. Sabathia. Thanks to the high-tech videoboard, fans arriving early get a good look at his pre-game warmup. 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez patrols the field behind him.

One Step Shy of the Bronx

Friday night's destination -- Scranton, Pennsylvania, home of the Yankees' International League affiliate. Triple-A baseball, the last stop before the majors. (Above) Reminding the fans, and I presume the players as well, over 40 onetime Scranton Yankees have seen action with the parent club. (Below)Cut into a mountain valley, PNC Park has one of the nicest backdrops of any ballpark -- major or minor-league. 2007 Yankee fan favorite Shelley Duncan is spending this summer in Scranton. (Above and below) Highly-rated Yankee center field prospect Austin Jackson. (Above) One of the phuture Phillies, outfielder Michael Taylor. (Below) From along the wall between the Scranton dugout and the foul screen, I really like this shot of catcher Chris Stewart batting against the IronPigs' Gustavo Chacin. While the major league Yankees don't employ a mascot, this farm club does. I rode up to Scranton with WFAN's Talking Baseball host Ed Randall, who conducted a pre-game o

Guest Photo-blogger from Milwaukee

Good friend Ken Levine -- whose terrific blog covering the wacky and wonderous worlds of entertainment, politics, sports and life in the '60s is -- traveled with the Dodgers on a recent road trip. He can best explain why the team bounced from San Diego to New York and then Milwaukee. Happily, he was happy to share some glimpses of the engineer marvel that is Milwaukee's Miller Park. Weather-resistant, but not bunker-like as were the now decommissioned Astrodome or demolished Kingdome, the summer game still shines with the season. And with the roof open, you still have the feel of a ballpark, not a multipurpose stadium. Retired numbers saluting Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. Nightfall in city that Miller, Schlitz and Pabst once all called home.