July 30, 2008

One Pint of Blood is a Small Price to Pay

So I was at Shea today to donate blood in exchange for Mets tickets. And, okay, doing this two years in a row makes it harder and harder to successfully sell the idea that I'm in it for the interesting material, as opposed to because I'm so cheap and broke I'll literally sell my own blood for baseball tickets. Plus, afterwards I stood up too fast and got kind of dizzy, so I had to stay at a table in the Diamond Club for seemingly an eternity drinking apple juice like a complete wuss before I could stagger back onto the 7 train. But it was all worth it, because:


On the way in, I passed Fred Wilpon, though he was already past me before I could gather my wits to ask him a hard-hitting question about the trade deadline. Or even a soft-hitting question about the Burger Shack opening at CitiField next year. Anyway, the New York Blood Center organizers asked him if he wasn't donating -- and by the way, those guys are fucking relentless, with endless streams of emails and letters and calls; never, ever owe money to an NYBC employee -- and Wilpon told them he had to keep his head clear for the big meeting he was heading to. Which sort of piqued my interest... but, ultimately, not nearly as much as seeing Mr. Met did. So, sorry guys: I have no scoop for you, because I was distracted by a huge felt anthropomorphic baseball, and by apple juice.

Couple of recent Bronx Banter posts you may have missed, by the way, here and here; the first is a Walter O'Malley rant and the second talks about the Yankees' Farnsworth-Pudge Rodriguez trade, for those of you who might be interested.

Baseball Player Name of the Week

Courtesy of astute reader Perpetual Memory Loss, I give you:

Phillies pitching prospect Antonio Bastardo.

You might laugh, but it actually sounds pretty badass. I'd imagine that last name would have to make you tough, in a Boy Named Sue kind of way.

July 22, 2008

Spanning the Spans

I've got a soft spot for the Twins, and have for years; they're probably my favorite non-NY team. For one thing, the immortal Bat-Girl made them seem incredibly endearing. Besides that, as I've mentioned many times, I like Ron Gardenhire (a wise and twinkly-eyed baseball gnome), I loved watching Torii Hunter and Johan Santana, and Pat Neshak, and now I like Boof Bonser -- yes, just for the name, but what a name -- and Joe Mauer and, even though he is currently one of the worst-hitting starting outfielders in Major League Baseball, speedy bat-sniffing Carlos Gomez*. But right now I'm especially loving them, because they've got:

1. Longtime Eephus Pitch favorite Denard "No Relation" Span, who with every fleet-footed triple increases the odds that significant numbers of people will one day be walking around in "Span" t-shirts and Jerseys, and improves the reputation of a surname I've spent much of my life sullying. He's kicking ass right now if I do say so myself, albeit in a very non-power-y kind of way.

2. Craig Breslow, who was one year ahead of me at college, and by all accounts as well as my own very brief experience with him, is one very nice biochem major. His appearance against the Yankees tonight was... ah... well, hey, he did set a record. Let's just leave it at that. But he's having a really good year overall and hopefully I'll get to see him pitch again this series.

Anyway, the Yankees are back in the playoff race with a vengeance, but I'm still skeptical. Don't get me wrong -- this is a bit of a rebuilding year and if they can just keep things interesting into September, I won't complain. (Much). But it's hard to imagine that after playing mediocre baseball for nearly half the season, the Yankees will play significantly better after losing Chien-Ming Wang and Jorge Posada for the season. I mean, it's not as if they have top-notch studs on the bench, like Fernando Tatis and Argenis Reyes, ready to step into the void.

Wait... what?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present your first place New York Mets (and their Reyeses, or Reyesi). If I were Willie Randolph I would probably just unplug the TV, cancel my newspaper subscription, and take up either Zen meditation or heavy drinking.


Last but not least, congratulations to my friend Dan, one of the best Mets fans I know -- not because of first place, but because he got married yesterday, in an incredibly beautiful ceremony in Connecticut. (And I say that as someone who doesn't generally go sappy during weddings... seriously, it was beautiful).

And? He didn't check the score even once.

July 11, 2008

Baseball Player Name of the Week (Bonus Edition)

Via Rob Neyer's ESPN blog, I give you:

Independant League manager Kash Beauchamp.

Yes. But wait, it gets better... because Kash Beauchamp manages a team called the Wichita Wingnuts.

He also appears to be something of a wingnut himself, but that's neither here nor there.

Previous Names of the Week

July 09, 2008

Baseball Player Name of the Week

Having just watched the Yanks-Rays series, I have no choice but to select:

Reid Brignac.

(Runner up: Gary Glover. It's an aptonym!)

"Reid Brignac" sounds like a fine liqueur but is, instead, a rookie shortstop from St. Amant, Louisiana. He really and truly looks 14 years old, but the Rays are claiming he's 22.