May 2009

Sunday Sunshine

Or this could be called Shortest Blob Ever…unfortunately, been busy with other stuff around here today…no man in the hat today for a 2nd straight game, but you can bet I’ll be looking for him in the series finale Monday night!

Meanwhile, Tex is absolutely raking…34 RBI now for the month of May…just for fun, projects out to 204 RBI over a 6-month season…unrealistic, but it shows just how prolific his turnaround has been.

Wherever you are, I hope you have sunshine like they have in Cleveland, and like were are enjoying in the Tri-State area….it’s awesome…SOAK IT IN !!!!!  See you on the postgame.

Saturday Night’s Alright for Sightin’

Man In the Hats?  Anyone seen the man in the hats yet?  I’m on the lookout…seems at first glance, when Grady Sizemore was batting, that there’s somebody else sitting in his seats… but I’m keeping a watchful eye on that camera shot…There is was!  Choo at the plate, but no man of multiple hats.  Just a less older guy in a navy sweater vest…not the same dude.

Good to read that pinkyswore is on the Yankees On Deck train!

And as for yankeexx, no need to send any MacNut candy yet, thanks, but when I add it to the rotation, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, given the TYPE of candy you are suggesting, I’m going to assume you are feelin’ a little island fever in Hawaii….I can’t tell you how many times I’ve enjoyed a very early morning cup o’ joe sitting on the beach, reading the paper and basking in the shadow of Diamondhead while the sun comes up.  One of my favorite places to visit!
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karinct, nyyanks2548 & fran0322…3 Blobbers I know of who will join me tonight in keeping a sharp eye out during the Yankees-Indians game for the older gentlemen with the strange hat- changing fetish…I mentioned it in last night’s Blob…Lefthanded batter, 3rd base camera angle getting a close-up…and behind the hitter…an older man who switches hats every inning or so.  At first, I thought maybe it like a stealth endorsement thing…like he’d flip on a John Deere hat for one inning, then maybe a Quicksilver or Ed Hardy hat the next (just kidding!)…but last night, when I saw him with a blank, flourescent orange hat, I realized he must just do it for kicks, or so someone at home (maybe his kids or grandkids?) can see him.

We shall all keep an eagle eye out for him and Blob accordingly…

Y On Deck…Y Not?!  Meantime, Blobber karinct wondered aloud last night whether it’s weird that she likes to watch Yankees On Deck…nyyanks2548 reinforced her enjoyment of the show… and my advice to both is…DRINK…IT…IN…!!!  It’s not weird to like Yankees On Deck!  I mean, the How Well Do You Know Your Teammate segments with Mo and Jorge are great…and, let’s be honest…with regard to the most recent episode…how many times do we get to see David Cone laugh in slow motion in an almost maniacal fashion?!  That’s must see TV, in my opinion.

Fran the Foodie  Also, a few nights ago when Coney was in the studio, fran0322 wanted to know if we had Chinese food and M&M’s…David and I freelanced that night, went to a diner nearby for takeout, where he ordered some kind of bass sandwich and I got a huge bacon cheeseburger with fries.  As for Coney and the candy, he has a few…but he’s a far cry from inhaling a bowl of M&M’s like another analyst who recently visited and shall go unnamed (but who’s initials are JF and used to be a catcher).

Bon appetit and enjoy the game!

Rain…Good For Grass, Not for Baseball

11:10pm  I don’t know if it’s being in the TV biz or what, but sometimes I just notice weird little stuff about things I see or heart on TV that I’m not sure other people see or hear…but here’s one for ya…

Has anyone noticed during tonight’s telecast, when they take a shot of a lefthanded batter from the 3rd base dugout angle, the older gentleman in the tan coat who constantly is changing his ballcap?  In about the 6th inning, it was fluorescent orange with no logo…then, top of the 7th, it changed to an Indians cap, bright yellow with a red bill, I think, and pinstripes…I remember this guy from, I think it was last year, as well…and seeing the bright caps re-ignited my memory of him…Does he do it for attention?  Or so his family or grandkids can always see him on TV?

Now I’m sitting here waiting for the bottom of the 8th, to see if he’s changed his cap again… Have I become obsessed?  I don’t think so, but I’d love to know what his story is…I can’t imagine, for example, my dad doing anything like that…he wouldn’t even want to waste the time changing his cap…or he’d just say “Why the heck would I want to do something like that?!”…Standby…commercial over…Dang!  DeRosa’s righthanded…And so are the next 3 batters in their lineup!  Well, you can bet I’m gonna be keeping an eye out for that guy over the next 3 games…you do the same and let me know what you think the guy’s deal is…
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The fine print of The Blob is “musings from the set”…well, no truer words could be written.  I’m actually sitting on the set right now, waiting out this rain delay in Cleveland…at least the grass is getting watered, though I’m sure it didn’t need it…rain delays for us in the studio are probably just as brutal as rain delays for you watching…except, if you wanna just bail and go get something to eat or drink or, even if you wanna just go bounce around on a pogo stick for 5 straight hours, you can do it.  Ironically, I was going to do exactly that a few minutes ago, but then I found out we had another update to do!  So we sit and wait, hoping to hear some news, hoping that the horrible looking rain cell that we see on our radar is indeed going to sweep across the ballpark and not just sit on top of it.

But don’t get me wrong…I’m not complaining…it’s just that sit and wait thing.  You know what I’m talking about…If you’re at home, hopefully you haven’t changed the channel but, if you have, you keep flipping back to YES, checking the latest…see if the game’s on…nope, not yet.  So you have that extra bag of chips you said you weren’t going to…or that extra piece of chocolate cake like I did…not good.  It’s sitting in my stomach right now like a rock…a rock that rumbles.

OK, so guess what?  We’re just a few minutes away from playing baseball in Cleveland!  If you read this quickly, you got the news before anybody else!  What you’ll hear me say just a few minutes from now on-air is “Enjoy the game with us here on YES”…and then Michael and Flash do their thing…so, uh, enjoy the game with us here….on…ah, you get the idea!

Yogi and a Groovy … Day

I’ve been lucky enough in my career to do a lot of cool things, but spending time with Yogi Berra is at the top of the list.  I got to know Yogi well during our tapings of Yogi and a Movie, which ran a few seasons on YES … OK, so some of the movies weren’t the greatest, but the time spent with Yogi was, and still is.

IMG_0832.JPGThat’s because I spent this morning at his museum in Montclair, N.J., taping an interview about D-Day that will air on the pregame June 6th as we commemorate the 65th anniversary of that pivotal date in history (a whole lot more with Yogi will also be available on the website).

As many of you probably know, Yogi, then better known as Lawrence Berra, Seaman Second Class, was a 19-year-old kid in the Navy who volunteered to be part of a secret program that involved LCSS boats, Landing Craft Support Small, or as Yogi and his crew mates called it, “Landing Craft Suicide Squad.” They were on a 36-foot boat loaded with machine guns and rocket launchers, and it was their job to sit 300 yards off the coast of Normandy’s beaches and provide cover fire for the troops who went ashore.

If you’ve read accounts of it in the past, Yogi sand it looked like it was the 4th of July, with all the bombs, rockets and machine gun fire blazing and lighting up the early morning skies. He had many more recollections which will be part of the D-Day feature we’re doing on him.

But what strikes me about Yogi and many others who fought in World War II, is not that they sensed they were heroes or doing something beyond their call of duty, but that they BELIEVED IT WAS THEIR DUTY to enlist, to serve their country…they were, in their minds, just doing their jobs the way they were supposed to….to the best of their ability…as hard- working Americans…so incredibly humble.

What’s remarkable to me is…that generation, which served so greatly, so often applied that same attitude towards their jobs when they came home. I use Yogi as an example of that…a hard worker, putting the team before onesself…Basically saying, it’s not about my individual success, but the success of the team…(Wow, how times have changed in that way in certain individuals, right?)…that attitude wound up earning Yogi many individual accolades, but the 10 World Series TEAM Championships is what he enjoys talking about. That and all his former teammates and their good times together.

I once asked him if he had a sense of why people all love him so much, about why he’s considered such an icon and a legend…and in typical Yogi fashion, he just kind of shook his head and said something like, “I don’t know. People just like me, I guess.” I believe with regard to his incredible baseball career, like his service in World War II, he just felt like he was a guy taking his lunch bucket to work and doing his job the way he was supposed to. It didn’t matter that it was playing pro ball for the legendary New York Yankees.

Now, did it MATTER to him that it was the Yankees? Absolutely! But he was, and is, in essence, a kid from the Hill in St.Louis working hard at his job to put food on the table for his family…he would have been great at anything he did in life, I’m sure (and he said if he wasn’t playing ball, he might be a shoemaker back home)…but, fortunately, all of us, young and old, got to see Yogi be great as a Yankee, and help take the team to unprecedented heights.

Not bad for a shoemaker.

Coney…Hard at Work

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A picture right out of the gate on The Blob!  This is David Cone in studio, either A) preparing to be interviewed for an upcoming special feature on the 10th anniversary of his perfect game, or B) just sitting down in preparation to try out his new nightclub act on everyone here at YES.

If you said A…ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!…you are absolutely correct!  But we can always hope for B somewhere down the road.  All I can report is that, if you caught the Yanks-Twins telecast on YES Monday, Coney had one of THE classic lines ever.  Ken Singleton mentioned that he was up at 5:30am to catch the train to NYC for that night’s game.  Coney asked Kenny if he saw the sunrise.  Kenny said Yes.  To which Coney replied, “Me, too.  I was just getting in from a night out with Boomer.”  That’s great TV!

To expand on Kim Jones’ live chat that we gorged on PF Chang’s here in studio, she is correct…and sounds like jealous, as well…haha.  David had the ginger chicken with broccoli…wasn’t overly thrilled.  I had steamed veggie dumplings and kung pao chicken… give me anything that will cause my makeup to run, and I’m in, Baby!

Oh PS…to theduchess…your message has been received and transmitted.

Perspective, Thanks to Polly

I hope you got the chance to learn a little bit about Polly Tompkins today during either Kim’s pregame report or during the game…she’s the first-grade teacher from Candor, NY, who was the honorary bat girl for tonight’s game.  Polly thought she had beaten breast cancer two years ago, but it’s back…stage 4…which as many of you know is not good.  One of her fellow teachers, Kate Handy, wrote an essay about Polly and submitted it as part of a contest sponsored by MLB, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Louisville Slugger, offering a chance for a woman with a connection to breast cancer to be honorary bat girl for a home game.

Kate made a point of getting the Candor community involved…spread the word through Facebook…and Polly got enough votes to win the honor.  So tonight, she’s on the field pregame, hanging out with all the Yankees, SO thrilled to meet Derek Jeter…and, by the way, had the guts to ask him for his phone number…and telling Kim Jones that, through her illness, she’s seen how family and friends are so important to her, and how she’s been able to be a role model to others.

I like to share stories like this from time to time as a friendly reminder, similar to a Blob I posted a while back, that family, friends, relationships, lifting people up…that’s the important stuff in life.  All of us who are baseball fans should live, breath, smell, feel and enjoy the game with a passion…but we should not let it tear us up inside.  I am constantly amazed when I listen to sports radio and read posts on the internet about fans criticizing and agonizing over the smallest things…Polly’s story, just like the great Bobby Murcer’s story, should always remind us about the truly important elements to life…and that we should enjoy every second that we have on this Earth.

I Created a Monster!

Let me share with you a text exchange I had with John Flaherty today…I jokingly asked him if, in the wake of his M&M binge while in studio last week, he had dropped the poundage he felt he’d gained…His reply?  Well, let’s just say there were a couple unpleasantries about me having candy in my office and his lack of willpower.  Apparently, the candy has had quite a reverse effect on Flash’s workout efforts and, while I don’t think he’s sitting at home eating buckets of fried chicken, mashed taters and whole pies for dessert, I do believe that I created a monster…Final texts?  I asked him whether he was only able to wear elastic-waist pants because they were the only thing that would fit him now, and he replied that he had to go because the TV show The Biggest Loser was calling!  Who knew Flash was a comedy writer?!  He and I are going to have to collaborate on a sitcom.
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The Video Wall  A commenter on the Blob asked whether the wall of video monitors in the YES studio control room was actually one huge screen with many monitors or a bunch of different monitors…
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Here’s the answer, straight from Studio Director Michael Cooney (please note I capitalized his title for full dramatic effect)…it’s actually 3 gigantic projection screens linked together…He watches the bank of monitors in the middle, the technical director watches the ones on the right, and the producer, Billy Boles, watches reruns of Lost on his laptop…???  Wait a second!  Just kidding…he watches the bank on the left.  But Cooney says that they can all be reprogrammed to act like one gigantic monitor, or be split like they are into as many as 45 or so smaller monitors with different feeds coming in…In a future Blob, I will do an in-depth interview with Cooney and find out exactly why his is set up the way it is and what he’s looking at…same with Muggsy, our technical director.  That is, IF Cooney signs all the correct rightsholder and waiver forms…I don’t need him coming after me with some frivolous “intellectual property” nonsense!  Because, let’s be honest, The Blob is about as far away from that as possible!

Perfecto

OK, so the weather in the Bronx isn’t perfect baseball weather, but maybe A.J. Burnett can channel his inner Boomer and get back on the winning track…doesn’t have to be perfect, just the A.J. of his first couple starts.

wells_blob_051709.jpgBy the way, I hope you got the chance to see our feature on the 11th anniversary of David Wells’ perfect game on the Tri-State Ford Pregame.  Big kudos to segment producer EJ Gentile and editor Joe Calo for putting it together…and web wunderkind Joe Auriemma for doing the interview of Boomer…great stuff that really captured the build-up of what turned out to be one of the great moments in modern Yankees history. And I’d forgotten that David Cone actually spoke to Wells late in the game (albeit briefly)…that took some guts!  That must have been a heckuva celebration that night with Coney and Boomer…as David said on the BP show…it was, what he and Wells remembered about it!

Out to Lunch  Once again, pregame producer Bill Boland comes up with a big hit in the clutch.  Between the 2nd and 3rd segments of the pregame today, I asked him what he was doing for lunch…usually, several people in the control room order out…Bill mentioned they were making a special trip to Panera, and the order was yet to be made…I heard him say the words “Sierra Turkey”, and I was in…I don’t even quite know what it is, but I get the feeling it’s gonna be just what the doctor ordered…I’ll let ya know…

DELIGHTFUL!  That’s me summing up in one word the deliciousness that is the Panera Sierra Turkey sandwich…But to get a bit more in-depth, here’s what Boles added when we were talking about it…”the chipotle mayo makes it great…maybe the onions add a bit to it…or the Asiago cheese bread…all of it together, really.”  The combination danced across my palate, almost whispering in a friendly tone…”Bite me”.  No wait, that’s not right.  Let’s just say Boles and I both enjoyed the Sierra Turkey quite a bit.

All Quiet on the Studio Front

It really is a quiet night tonight…maybe because it’s the end of a
series…a Thursday…an increasingly gray and dreary evening…who
knows?  I taped a couple segments for our pregame shows tonight and
Saturday with Forbes National Editor Michael Ozanian, my co-host on
Forbes SportsMoney…It’s amazing how much the dynamic of pro team
ownership has changed with the recession…folks with tons of dough
used to snap up teams just for the ego and cache of it… now, they
really have to look at it very differently…can it be profitable
instead of just a shiny toy that loses money…you’ll a bit more on
that as it relates to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday’s pregame show.

Johnny On The Spot  Since Johnny’s rakin’ right now (and because
it’s a quiet night), I want to share a story about him from spring
training a couple years ago, to illustrate what a great guy he is…A
buddy of mine, Tim, lives in Orlando, and his 2 girls attend the same
high school as Johnny did, Dr. Phillips.  Tim was with me when we
walked up to Johnny and I said, “Hey Johnny, I’ve got a Dr. Phillips
guy here that wants to meet you.”  He and Tim carried on a conversation
for about 10 minutes about how they love the school, the Orlando area,
etc…just 2 regular guys chatting…no pretense at all.  At the end of
the conversation, Johnny says, “Well, I’ve got to go, but Tim, please
tell your daughters that I said Hello and to have a great school
year.”  Now, Johnny’s certainly never met Tim’s girls, but he was
thoughtful enough to extend his greetings and wishes for success that
year.  It’s a small thing but I think it says so much about how down to
Earth and thoughtful Johnny is.  He exemplifies that to a much greater
extent in his work with the Wounded Warrior Project.

And Because It’s a Quiet Night…  How about another couple pictures
from behind the scenes?  These are shots I took a few nights ago from
the control room…how’d you like to have all those TV monitors to look
at?!  Either awesome or dizzying!
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Is that HGTV calling?

Hello again…after a few days off…fresh on the heels of my TechnoWizardry this past Saturday in uploading studio pics to the Blob, I spent Sunday and Monday making some home improvements at Casa Blob…specifically, upgrading the master bath.  On Sunday, it was painting, removing old medicine cabinets, installing larger mirrors, then new towel holders.  On Monday, Bob the Plumber showed up (yeah, THIS Bob) and installed new faucets.

I mention this because it’s proof that ANYBODY can do it…see, my brother Tom got all the “do it yourself, home improvement, build a world class entertainment center out of popsicle sticks and glue” genes…I got the “My, you can almost color within the lines, but not really” genes.  Anyway, I think now I’m ready for my own home improvement show…I’ll start a project and then, if I can’t finish it or figure out what to do next, I’ll just call my bro and have him do it.  Then, I’ll be a “project manager”…”Odd Job, Call Bob”…or Blob.  I’ll walk around wearing jeans, a checked flannel shirt and a ridiculously overloaded tool belt, like I LOOK like I know what I’m doing…and I’ll have crazy ideas for homeowners, like instead of putting in a new kitchen faucet, I’ll tell them to install a garden hose, “bringing outdoor chic inside”!…Or tell them to spray paint an entire room, including all its contents, black…”Timeless, elegant, classic”.  Geez, I gotta lay off the latenight DIY-type shows.  Where’s a good episode of Charles in Charge or Facts of Life when you need one?

Alright, enough of that…I’m gonna go take some more pics during the 4th inning cutin and post them to the Blob…as I write this, Tex just ripped his 2nd hit of the night…keep hammerin’, Big Fella.

ChocoUpdate
  I should mention that, also during the past couple days, I re-stocked the chocolate for my office…added a new wrinkle to the Hershey’s Miniatures…they make the same ones (Krackel, Mr. Goodbar) in dark chocolate now…so those found their way into a bowl…also, the mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups go in the blink of an eye…and the white chocolate have become more of a fan favorite than the regular.  Did I Blob about that before?  Not sure, he says, in a chocolate-induced haze…

Pics as Promised  OK, here ya go…first picture is me watching the bottom of the 4th, waiting to do the Dunkin’ Donuts update between the 4th & 5th innings…I have a great seat… in front of a 12-foot video wall.

2nd Blob 001.jpgI took this next picture right after I got done doing the update…Web Wunderkind Joe Auriemma (seated on left) and writer/web sensation Glenn Giangrande (standing on right) prepare to tape Pinstripe Weekly, their exclusive web segment on yesnetwork.com.  In the middle is Jimmy on audio, either hooking up Glenn’s mike and earpiece, or about to wrap an audio cable around Glenn’s neck.  Given the fact that I just saw Glenn in the hallway, I guess Jimmy didn’t do it…but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t thinking it.  Huh?  Wait, not with Glenn…GG’s good people.

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Oh, and I should add, great suggestion by nyyanks2548 re: adding peanut butter Hershey’s kisses…great taste, BUT…and it’s a big but..(please tell me you got that?)…I am quite sure that I would have several thousand little bits of foil scattered all over the floor in my office.  That takes it off the list o’ possible goodies.

Questions of the Night  Answers to a few of your questions…I am not lonely, even if I look like it, because I have Chris, Paul, George, Terry and Quags with me in the studio.  I will introduce you to them in upcoming Blobs…either Chris or Paul, and occasionally Terry, operate the manual scoreboard…and now that I know the “umpires” behind the plate in Toronto have been other places, they just seem like attention seekers, no?  I mean, if they’ve already been on SportsCenter, can you imagine how rabid they are for more attention?  Why, it’s like giving a kid all the candy in my office!!!…Or how about the people in stadiums who always know when the camera comes on (like on a closeup of a batter and they’re behind them in the stands) and they’re on their cellphones and stand up, waving like idiots?!  I hope no Blobbers do that…if you do, sorry if I just dogged you, but that’s kinda lame, isn’t it?  Just one man’s opinion…