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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The Mo and Andy Show

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Apr 21, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Mariano Rivera came into the clubhouse tonight after locking down the save and tried to hand Andy Pettitte the ball as a souvenir of the record they tied tonight. Pettitte has won 57 games Rivera has saved, the same number Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley had.

“You know what? You keep that one,” Pettitte said. “Hopefully if we’re able to break this thing one day, you let me have the one we break it with.”

As records go, it’s a bit contrived. But what it does speak to is longevity of excellence. Rivera signed with the Yankees in 1990 out of a fishing village in Panama. They found Pettitte a year later at a junior college in Texas. Now here they are in 2009, combining to win a game.

Pettitte has 180 wins as a Yankee and Rivera has saved 57 of them.

“Those two guys have been staples here for a long time,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “They’ve been amazing with what they’ve been able to do and accomplish together. This is kind of special.”

I spent much of the winter on this blog saying the Yankees needed to sign Pettitte. Now he’s 2-0, 2.53 and has given them 21.1 innings in three starts. It was a smart move to keep him and it’ll only look better as the season moves on.

Pettitte didn’t have a good cut fastball tonight and allowed nine hits without a strikeout. But he walked off the mound leading 5-2. Very few teams — if any — have a No. 4 starter like that. With the issues Chien-Ming Wang is having, having Pettitte is huge for this team.

A few other observations from tonight …

• A.J. Burnett is an interesting cat. He downloaded the WordPower application to his iPhone and is learning words and phrases in Chinese so he can talk to Wang in is native tongue.

Before the game, A.J. was trying out his Chinese on Wang, making the pitcher (and the Taiwanese media) laugh. Trust me when I tell you, Wang needed to laugh. This last week has been trying for him.

Kind of shows you what a good teammate Burnett is, something the Yankees really didn’t know too much about before they signed him.

• All of the players got new, hard-sided wheeled luggage tonight. It’s to take on road trips. When you hear the players say that the Yankees are an organization that takes care of their players, this is the kind of thing they’re taking about.

• According to Will Carroll, no position player has ever needed a second Tommy John surgery. So can imagine how relieved Xavier Nady is.

• Every time Brian Cashman or Joe Girardi are asked a specific question about A-Rod’s timetable, they speak in careful generalities. What they’re doing is trying not to raise expectations. But it still sounds like he is well ahead of schedule.

Comments

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90 Responses to “The Mo and Andy Show”

  1. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Let’s hope they can break the record for their own against the Sox on Sunday.

  2. miggs April 22nd, 2009 at 12:04 am

    Great notes Pete.

    Any audio from the postgame?

  3. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 12:04 am

    AJ is the man

  4. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint. Calm down. April 22nd, 2009 at 12:04 am

    A.J. Burnett is an interesting cat. He downloaded the WordPower application to his iPhone and is learning words and phrases in Chinese so he can talk to Wang in is native tongue.

    Before the game, A.J. was trying out his Chinese on Wang, making the pitcher (and the Taiwanese media) laugh. Trust me when I tell you, Wang needed to laugh. This last week has been trying for him.

    ====================================

    Thumbs up. AJ is indeed a good teammate.

  5. Barry Lane April 22nd, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Peter:

    I am up here in Toronto and have seen Burnett a lot the past few years. He didn’t get the best press in this town, but I thought he was great. I predicted, on this blog mid-season 2008, that he was headed to New York. Both the player and the team are lucky.

    Barry Lane

  6. Jim April 22nd, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Pettitte has 180 wins as a Yankee and Rivera has saved 57 of them.

    I don’t mean to be a stickler, but that’s not accurate unless Pettite actually got the win every time Mo got the save. Just because the Yankees won doesn’t mean that Pettite himself got the win in each of those 57 games. Just a thought, you know, to be really honest here…

  7. m April 22nd, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Pete,

    Great stuff.

    Do the writers like AJ as much as we do? He seems so…genuine.

    Congrats to Mo and Pettitte. I don’t know what’s more amazing, the Mo is still around or Pettitte. I guess Pettitte.

    The front office is just underpromising, so they can overdeliver. Morneau’s going to start some rehab games this week, eyeing a return next week. Wouldn’t be surprised if their timetables are pretty close.

    Who’s on deck tomorrow? Would love to see a 3 game win streak, to go 3 games over.

  8. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 22nd, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I love hearing about how all of the new guys are such great teammates. I know a lot of people don’t believe in chemistry, but fwiw, I don’t discount it.

    ***

    I’m not sure any of you have necessarily missed me, but I finally got my thoughts on paper (err, blog) tonight about the whole weekend and the first time I’ve really ever dealt with the loss of the a close relative.

    It’s here if you’re interested.

    http://tinyurl.com/ddyull

  9. Giuseppe Franco April 22nd, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I don’t mean to be a stickler, but that’s not accurate unless Pettite actually got the win every time Mo got the save. Just because the Yankees won doesn’t mean that Pettite himself got the win in each of those 57 games. Just a thought, you know, to be really honest here…

    ——-

    Uh, that is accurate. Pettitte has 57 wins during his career that Mo has saved.

    No trickery or conspiracies here.

  10. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 12:13 am

    m,

    It’s Sabathia against lefty Brett Anderson (a young but promising lefty)

  11. pat April 22nd, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Eiland showing Wang some support during the game too.

    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/.....81713.jpg/

  12. m April 22nd, 2009 at 12:16 am

    BD,

    Thanks. Let’s hope that CC doesn’t bring his “A’s” game. He has not pitched well against them historically. Let’s hope he brings his “W” game.

  13. Buddy Biancalana April 22nd, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Very touching Rebecca, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  14. Andrea April 22nd, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Jim: It’s not that Mo has saved 57 of Pettitte’s starts. He has saved 57 of Pettitte’s wins. That’s the stat.

  15. BGNYY April 22nd, 2009 at 12:19 am

    CC will get in his groove tomorrow

  16. Joeshi! April 22nd, 2009 at 12:22 am

    to be honest, i didnt like the signing of AJ at first but its looking like a better signing every second

  17. PRAWN7 April 22nd, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Hey Pete

    What date do you truly believe AROD will be back? I am sick of looking at Ransom.

  18. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 22nd, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Buddy: thank you.

    Joeshi: I don’t think anyone was ever upset the Yankees signed Burnett; I think it was just the length of the contract that has some concerned, given his injury history.

    He’s been great so far. hope he can keep it up!

  19. Retire #6 April 22nd, 2009 at 12:26 am

    I live in Boston and will beat the Bernie Williams signing on Friday and the game Sunday night. Anybody else going?

  20. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 12:27 am

    m,

    I like Sabathia’s chances…. plenty of left handed hitters on Oakland.

    Giambi, Cust, Chavez, Sweeney, Buck

    The offense just needs to score 4-5 runs.

  21. miggs April 22nd, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Few thoughts on the game tonight:

    The crowd noise, at least where I was sitting, was not an issue. It was loud when the Yankees scored, it was loud on some 2 strike counts, and it was loud all 9th inning for Rivera.

    Notice how all the people fretting over the “bandbox” the Yankees built have fallen silent after witnessing a one-HR game. And let me tell you, there were balls that were CRUSHED that didn’t make it out, including one by Tex which died and ended up falling short of the warning track. Again, WAY too early to call it a band box.

    Some other positives included that brilliant catch by Gardner, heads up defensive play by Tex, multiple hit games for Jeter and Damon, and the revival of Godzilla. 2 hits and a walk for him, and a much better swing IMO. Production from Matsui is huge for this team.

    Another great start for Pettitte, Bruney throwing strikes, and Rivera being well, Rivera.

    Now they go for a sweep tomorrow with CC and a rested pen. I like our chances.

  22. Phil April 22nd, 2009 at 12:31 am

    I thought ARod was being a good teammate when he hired a trainer for Cano and Melky.

  23. Billy April 22nd, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Jim, not to be a stickler or anything, but learn how to read.

  24. Retire #6 April 22nd, 2009 at 12:34 am

    i am liking AJ more and more each day

  25. m April 22nd, 2009 at 12:35 am

    I beg to differ. There were a lot of people who didn’t want AJ. More than half. They cited his injury history, which is a legitimate concern.

    But imagine if we signed that other guy with “ace” stuff? There’d be a huge hole in the rotation because he has elbow issues.

  26. carl April 22nd, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Sheeeets!

  27. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 12:43 am

    “There were a lot of people who didn’t want AJ. More than half. They cited his injury history, which is a legitimate concern. ”

    ——–

    I agree with Rebecca. It wasn’t so much that people didn’t want AJ, it was that they were concerned about giving him 5 guaranteed years.

  28. Ed - Swisher is awesome!! April 22nd, 2009 at 12:43 am

    mel, Hughes would be pitching in the majors instead of the minors. :?

  29. swingsandmisses April 22nd, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Love the AJ iPhone app story. :D

    Andy’s win tonight moves him ahead of Curt Schilling in career wins. 8)

  30. LGV April 22nd, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Great post Pete. Nice observations.

  31. Al from BK April 22nd, 2009 at 12:45 am

    A-Rod will be back very soon I’m thinking May 4th.

  32. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 12:45 am

    miggs where were your seats?

    I was very last row little to the 3rd base side of the plate.
    I must say the crowd was differnet than The Stadium. And I really thought all that talk was BS. I also think there will be “normal” soon.

  33. Vince April 22nd, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Great story about AJ!

    And just curious on everyone’s opinions. The play Gardner made that catch on…it was very nice, but anyone else think he took a bad route on the ball? He twisted himself around and sort of had to dive backwards and to his left to make the play.

    Honestly, not very impressed on his ball tracking ability as of right now. I think it might be a problem in the future, if he continues to play that is.

  34. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 12:51 am

    “But imagine if we signed that other guy with “ace” stuff? There’d be a huge hole in the rotation because he has elbow issues.”

    ——–

    the select few people who wanted Sheets were assuming he would sign a 1yr deal for low $$. They were wrong so it was a moot point anyway.

  35. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 12:52 am

    More than half of what? Were you taking down names, m.? ;)

  36. m April 22nd, 2009 at 12:54 am

    The concern is still there about the 5th year. But this is the AJ we were hoping to get, so you had to give the 5th year. Otherwise he’d be with the Braves.

    Giving CC the 7th year wasn’t the best thing either. But another necessary evil.

    There were many posters who said they didn’t want AJ. Both before and after the deal.

    And then there were the clever ones who kept making DL jokes.

    Although, most of the reasonable posters were open-minded about the signing.

  37. V April 22nd, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I was in the Terrace Suite area (directly behind home plate – you get access to the Jim Beam suite – I ate the fish tacos (heh heh heh [/Butthead])).

    I was amazed at how many people came, sat in their seats for an inning, got up and left, and we never saw them again. A few were season ticket holders.

    At least 80% of the seats in our area were sat in at some point, but it was over half empty by the 4th inning. Nuts.

  38. V April 22nd, 2009 at 12:56 am

    And the park is absolutely beautiful. My #1 impression was how open and accessible it is. And everyone’s friendly!

  39. m April 22nd, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Nick,

    WHATEVER. I was right and they were wrong. 51% or 21%. It don’t matter.

  40. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Vince
    I saw it live -just got into the stadium- watching from concourse -the crack of the bat was LOUD.
    Gardner’s play was impressive but not pretty. Anytime you need to do that “twist” to catch the ball it is less than perfect. Does the melkman make that play? Maybe but he would have been playing way deeper.

  41. miggs April 22nd, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Uncle…

    Main Dugout Section 224 row 8.

    Purchased this morning for 30% of face value on stubhub. :)

  42. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story April 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Vince: Not really. I don’t care how Gardner catches the ball as long as he catches it.

  43. Buddy Biancalana April 22nd, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Uncle-

    The ball Giambi hit was a rope & twisted back. It wasn’t pretty but Gardner made a nice adjustment. The TV replays showed how good of a play it really was.

  44. jerome ave April 22nd, 2009 at 1:02 am

    cb,pat m,nick from sf, were pushing for the burnett signing.,maybe more but those boys are on the record..many more against..even the cc sabathia supporters were dropping off when he was slow to agree to terms…and just about everyone was not wanting texeria minus a few..so many know it alls….

  45. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:04 am

    m, WELL, I was just curious how you came about that # and what you considered to be countable opposition to AJ.

    Are you counting random dipstick posters who said “he’ll be another pavano, cashman u r stoopid”?

    Are you counting people who preferred CC to AJ when we/they had no idea that the Yanks would sign both?

    Is two weeks into a five year deal the best time to say who was right and who was wrong? ;)

  46. bodhisattva April 22nd, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Vince
    April 22nd, 2009 at 12:50 am
    Great story about AJ!
    And just curious on everyone’s opinions. The play Gardner made that catch on…it was very nice, but anyone else think he took a bad route on the ball? He twisted himself around and sort of had to dive backwards and to his left to make the play.
    Honestly, not very impressed on his ball tracking ability as of right now. I think it might be a problem in the future, if he continues to play that is.
    ======================

    Vince, on second glance, the “great” catch was the product of another not-so-great jump. But at least, this time, he caught the ball. Interesting that you noticed this. Like I said, he needs to learn the Mickey Rivers way – run to the toward the warning track and turn around. I’m not oozing with confidence, either.

    I don’t know if you’re a hockey fan, but it’s sort of like a goalie who flops and is out of position. The “great” saves he makes, the better standup angles player already has lined up and the puck just hits him. So nobody notices because the play never reaches a “crisis” point – the better positioning pre-empts it. But go fight City Hall. At least he came down with that one.

  47. G. Love April 22nd, 2009 at 1:06 am

    M,

    I’ll back you up 100% on AJ. People were losing their minds in here when AJ was signed. Losing their minds.

    This was when people were campaigning for Sheets like he was the far better sign. A guy who is physically unable to pitch.

    I don’t mind people getting on the AJ bandwagon. I think he’s an awesome pitcher/player and deserves the love he gets from the fans here.

    But there was not unanimous praise in this blog. It wasn’t even 75-25. It was more 60-40 pro AJ signing.

    There were a ton of people in here furious that we didn’t get Lowe instead since he was the “better sign”.

    As for tonight’s game that catch by Gardner was incredible and the play by Tex less flashy but equally important early on.

    Great game tonight. Win tomorrow and let’s go into Boston ready to battle.

  48. Summer April 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 am

    this was a nice post — insights from the clubhouse, funny anecdotes, and a mention of a-rod that wasn’t a lame joke, insult, or jab. posts like this are why i started reading this blog years ago, and I’d sure love to see more like it.

  49. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 am

    jerome ave: ahem, I trust m’s memory on this much more than yours. I was solid for CC and Pettitte the whole way through. Never doubted that CC would sign, never wavered. Do you have a clue what you’re talking about?

  50. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 am

    I thought the crowd was “different” or “weird”.
    first impressions:
    overall great
    good- very open and not crowded in the concourses
    less foodbeer lines \more choices
    great bathrooms
    not so good: scoreboards hard to read
    popcorn too salty
    museum needs work
    will be cold in October

  51. Al from BK April 22nd, 2009 at 1:09 am

    AJ if he stays healthy should win 15 games every year with ease.

  52. pat April 22nd, 2009 at 1:09 am

    I was “yes” on AJ all along. The players were begging for him and that was good enough for me.

  53. bodhisattva April 22nd, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Uncle,

    I’ve once sat in Delta during a night game, and found the glare off the screen really bothersome to my eyes. I was hoping they’d adjust the tint or something.

    How did it strike you? Tomorrow I won’t get to re-experience, as I’ll be there again in the day time.

  54. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Buddy
    I’ll take your word for it. But the one thing I do know is that it was a rope.

  55. Angel - A tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing April 22nd, 2009 at 1:13 am

    There is something so wrong sounding about the words “fish” and “taco” being used together, lol. I can’t picture it, much less imagine what it tastes like.

    Are they as good as Kim Jones said they were, V?

  56. Joeshi! April 22nd, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Rebecca-Optimist Prime…Staying to Write the Story
    April 22nd, 2009 at 12:25 am
    Joeshi: I don’t think anyone was ever upset the Yankees signed Burnett; I think it was just the length of the contract that has some concerned, given his injury history.
    He’s been great so far. hope he can keep it up!

    ———————————————–

    yea it was partially that and i was afraid he would be another pavano but it looks like that is not going to happen :D

    also, that was a very touching story. i remember when my grandfather died, baseball definitely helped me cope.

  57. bodhisattva April 22nd, 2009 at 1:15 am

    pat
    April 22nd, 2009 at 1:09 am
    I was “yes” on AJ all along. The players were begging for him and that was good enough for me.
    ============
    I was for AJ, but would have preferred a shorter length of deal. It could be that would have meant he’d have gone to Atlanta, but my concern is our young pitching. Don’t want the door barred.

  58. m April 22nd, 2009 at 1:15 am

    pat,

    Exactly.

    Nick,

    Do you include yourself in the dipstick crowd or the “Although, most of the reasonable posters were open-minded about the signing.” crowd? :P

  59. myrtlebeachfan April 22nd, 2009 at 1:16 am

    AJ is doing really well and has shown so far that he’s worth this year’s contract.

    But what happens when in AJ’s fourth year he needs TJ surgery? Or pulls a hamstring and just can’t come back quite right? Maybe an oblique?

    We can’t evaluate this signing until much later on. What we do know, though, is that we paid quite a lot for a mostly unproven (injuries, innings problems, and high ERA) pitcher. I think he’s in his prime and will continue to improve, but that 5th year for 15 or so million just might be the time that the Yanks regret it.

    Giambi was a great signing at the start, too. I hope AJ follows that pattern and then continues to be a great signing.

  60. pat April 22nd, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Seems logical for a guy with a Bruce Lee tattoo, Chinese symbols permanently inked on his body and a Buddha in his locker to learn Chinese.

  61. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Bodihisattva
    I hate the “new” type scoreboards. Glare and really hard to read from where I was- can’t win
    em all

  62. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:20 am

    m: I was happy with the signing once CC was on board. So none of the above?

    Then it was on to arguing about Andy for two months. ;)

  63. Sean April 22nd, 2009 at 1:20 am

    miggs… sorry, chief, but that ball by Tex was not “crushed”

  64. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Angel
    I don’t know how Yankee stadium fish tacos are. But ones in So cal and baja are sublime- simply awesome

  65. m April 22nd, 2009 at 1:24 am

    pat,

    I don’t know how to say this without insulting many of the fans here, but Chinese is not easy on the ears.

    Cacophony may be the best way to describe it.

  66. Angel - A tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing April 22nd, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Hmmm, guess I’ll have to brave it and try one then, Uncle Ellsworth.

  67. pat April 22nd, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I don’t get caught up in contracts, either length or amount. That’s Cashman’s job.

    I also wouldn’t hold places in a rotation years down the road for someone who might be good.

    AJ already had Tommy John surgery. Don’t ligaments come with at least a 10 year warranty or is that tendons? :wink:

  68. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:27 am

    m: I’m not picking on you, I swear, but I beg to differ; I think Mandarin, which is likely what AJ would be trying to learn to talk to Wang, isn’t cacaphonous at all.

    Cantonese, on the other hand, is just as you describe. Maybe you’re thinking of that?

  69. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Angel:fried fish in a soft tortilla topped with cabbage and different sauces.
    sure there are many variations

  70. stuart April 22nd, 2009 at 1:28 am

    the only issue with Aj is 5 yrs, it has been 2 weeks talk to me at the start of yr. 4.. He is very talented, how else can you walk 7 and have 3 wild pitches and only give up 3 runs???

    Tex is such an upgrade defensively it is sick, he will save 20 runs over mr. lateral movement the giambino…

    if the yanks stay remotely healthy they will win 95+…..

    Arod will be back in less then 2 weeks, you think that is an upgrade offensively at 3rd????

  71. m April 22nd, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Well, there was a subset of fans who didn’t want AJ because they thought it was an either/or situation with him and CC. :?

  72. jerome ave April 22nd, 2009 at 1:30 am

    nick from sf you were not a pro burnett person..hmmm..i was positive that you and those other guys were pro aj..i gave you to much credit. i do know that so many here were pissed that cc did not jump right away at the yankee offer and began to turn on him..and very few thought they would get tex either..are you a stoner sf nick

  73. pat April 22nd, 2009 at 1:30 am

    m

    I know exactly what you mean.

    One company I work with is based in Taiwan. The owners came to NY and I had them over for dinner. They speak english but sometimes speak Chinese to each other. One of my kids asked if they were angry. :smile:

  74. Bo knows April 22nd, 2009 at 1:31 am

    bodhisattva

    I’m still in the Grit camp but your quality posts are very convincing. I gave up as a Melky fan because of the ‘tude and the pudge last year but players can and have developed after getting whacked. Maybe Melky is one of those. You are right in the bad routes by Gardner but the kid seems to be playing scared and the bad misreads were during daytime. I do like the goalie comparison, exactly right. Always been a Tony Fernandez, Cano fan. Baseball is a subtle game, the easier it looks, the more talent.

  75. bodhisattva April 22nd, 2009 at 1:33 am

    pat
    April 22nd, 2009 at 1:25 am
    I don’t get caught up in contracts, either length or amount. That’s Cashman’s job.
    I also wouldn’t hold places in a rotation years down the road for someone who might be good.
    =====================================================
    I understand, on the other hand you don’t want to get locked up with a guy pushing 40 when you’ve got blue chippers knocking at the door.

    I think AJ’s stuff is just so otherworldly the Yanks figured they’d split the difference.

  76. m April 22nd, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Nick,

    I’m so ignorant, it’s all Chinese to me.

    But I’m thinking there’s a lot of Mandarin spoken here.

  77. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:35 am

    pat: they might have been speaking the Taiwanese dialect, similar to the Fujianese dialect, and not all that much like Mandarin. Or maybe your guests *were* angry at each other.

  78. m April 22nd, 2009 at 1:37 am

    pat,

    lol. I agree with Nick. You must’ve had the Taiwanese parliament in your living room.

  79. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:40 am

    jerome, perhaps you’re still celebrating the 4/20 holiday?

    No, I’m not a stoner. And I was pro-CC the whole time, and was never worried in the slightest that the negotiations were taking too long or that he’d accept a phantom west coast offer. I tried to counsel the panic-prone about it, but most of them were too far off the ledge to listen.

  80. bodhisattva April 22nd, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Bo knows
    April 22nd, 2009 at 1:31 am
    bodhisattva
    I’m still in the Grit camp but your quality posts are very convincing. I gave up as a Melky fan because of the ‘tude and the pudge last year but players can and have developed after getting whacked. Maybe Melky is one of those. You are right in the bad routes by Gardner but the kid seems to be playing scared and the bad misreads were during daytime. I do like the goalie comparison, exactly right. Always been a Tony Fernandez, Cano fan. Baseball is a subtle game, the easier it looks, the more talent.
    ====================
    Thanks for the kind words.

    I’ll say this for the play tonight, Gardner did make a great “recovery” catch. Though not ideal, I can live with that if he can consistently outrun his own mistakes. Lots of outfielders survive that way.

    Cano, I agree, has been woefully misunderstood. I don’t think he’s really understood any better now – it’s just that he’s back to hitting so people don’t fall into the usual traps when “evaluating” him.

    That’s really well said: that “baseball is a subtle game and that the easier it looks, the more talent.”

  81. pat April 22nd, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Nick

    LOL. It was a husband and wife so maybe.

    I think they speak Mandarin but they speak much louder than the inside voice we use in the house and the inflections sound kind of harsh and yet sing songy to end sentences at the same time. I’m used to it but my kids hear more Italian and Spanish so it was new to them.

  82. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:45 am

    m: it’s quite possible that you’re thinking of what you think you’re thinking of. I might be too influenced by the lilting Mandarin tones of Gong Li in “Raise the Red Lantern”…sigh. If you watch that, it sounds pretty different than your typical Cantonese Hong Kong movie. I’m not talking Wong Kar Wai films, of course.

  83. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 1:48 am

    pat: the way you describe it does sound like Mandarin, but who knows. I guess my heart it just too big to think negative thoughts about the Taiwanese. :)

  84. Boston Dave April 22nd, 2009 at 1:48 am

    I love how people are “taking credit” for saying they wanted the Yankees to sign AJ.

    First, there was some reasonable discussion as to whether he should get 5 years. Very few people, if any, doubted his ability. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    Second, he has thrown 3 games. It’s the typical rush to judgment that we’ve come to expect from fans. I certainly hope he dominates for 5 seasons but only a fool claims they were right about a 5yr commitment after 2 weeks.

    Let’s all agree to root for AJ to be as good as he can be and stop with the “I was the only one who wanted him!” garbage.

  85. Uncle Ellsworth April 22nd, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Qoute of the night “the frieze is shrouded in the gloaming”
    M. Kay.

  86. Ed - Swisher is awesome!! April 22nd, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Nick, pat, mel:

    Wang speaks Taiwanese, its like a 3rd dialect of the Chinese language. However I think Taiwanese is the same as Mandarian. I for one, speak Cantonese but hearing other dialects is just another language for me. If I’m surrounded with Mandarian speakers, I’m thinking what the heck did you just speak?

  87. Nick in SF April 22nd, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Ed: Wang is a native Taiwanese, but he speaks Mandarin as well. But they’re not the same. I had a co-teacher who spoke Mandarin but didn’t understand Taiwanese. She would yell “no Taiwanese!” at the kids. It was cute.

  88. Grace April 22nd, 2009 at 3:57 am

    As Taiwanese myself, maybe you should said as a nation, we are Taiwanese, but you can list people are native Taiwanese (like native Americans), Taiwanese, Haaka, and people from China after 1949…. Languages: native Taiwanese (orginally more 15 tribes, now 15 found, but not sure how many pass along until today), Taiwanese (a bit like Fujianese), haaka, and Mandarin.

    KMT came to Taiwan after lost the war with communist in Mainland China, came to Taiwan, force everyone speakes Mandarin at school, work, and made it official language in Taiwan, you only can speak your own tone at home in early days…

    Years goes by,now every kid in Taiwan have to learn his/her own tone plus Mandarin…

    Wang is a two toner, Taiwanese and Mandarin, for official interview he used Mandarin, off the screen, Taiwanese sometimes plus Mandarin…

  89. SherryChen April 22nd, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Grace

    As a Taiwanese too, you comment very well.

    ——————————————–
    Pete

    As a painfull Wang Fan/Yankees Fan in Taipei, Taiwan, I must up here, the first time, to say thank you very very much for your blogs.

  90. Christian Toto April 22nd, 2009 at 11:06 am

    MLB is full of athletes from other countries. It’s great … it adds excitement to the game. Frankly, I love watching the Japanese players play. They hustle … they know the fundamentals.

    So here’s my question. Why can’t more of them speak English by now? If I signed a contract to live in a foreign country for millions, and knew I’d be spending anywhere from 3-10 years in that country, I’d work my tail off to learn the language. It would make my life easier … but so many athletes seem to go through their MLB careers requiring interpreters … plus, ball players have several months off – time that could be used, in part, to bone up on a new language.

    Am I missing something?

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