The New York Yankees lead the Minnesota Twins 2-0 in the American League Division Series. Game 3 is Monday night from Minny. It’s the best three out of five.
Joe Lee seen doing cartwheels on the corner of 13th street and 8th avenue.
The Yankees blasted the Mets last night 11-2.
The Bronx Bombers now trail the first place Blue Jays by 2 1/2 games.
Beginning tonight North of the border the Jays and Yankees will play three straight nights.
ESPN will have two of the games televised.
Matt Harvey was amazing last night on the hill for the Mets fanning seven over five innings. Harvey allowed one hit. Matter of fact, Tom Seaver would be proud of this. Only four of the 18 Yankees he faced managed to hit the ball out of the infield.
But then guess what?
Harvey was taken out of the game.
That 180 innings thing.
Whatever happened to the days when the relief pitcher would go from the bullpen to the mound riding shotgun in the bullpen buggy? And who had that gig driving the pitchers in?
As soon as Harvey was removed by Mets manager Terry Collins, the Yankees took advantage of two Mets errors to erupt for five runs in the sixth inning against reliever Hansel Robles, who also allowed a two-run double to Carlos Beltran and a three-run homer to Dustin Ackley.
Let the pigeons loose.
It’s time to party.
“[Harvey] was rolling pretty good,” Ackley said. “We couldn’t really string anything together and yeah, when he did come out, we got some guys on base. We knew that was a good chance to really make something happen.”
Yankees skipper Joe Girardi was ejected in the second inning for arguing with the third base umpire who in my eyes, started it by screaming into the Mets dugout.
ESPN was all over it.
“More than anything, I want to be out there,” Harvey said. “The way things were going, tight game, the last thing I want to do is come out. I’m kind of kicking myself for having some long innings and getting the pitch count up.”
Yankees take the subway series.
Pack up the car. For the Yankees it’s on to Toronto for a huge showdown with the Jays.
The Mets had their National League East lead cut to six games over the Nationals, who defeated Miami on Sunday and will come to Citi Field in less than two weeks for the season’s final three games.
Saw Carmine this morning sipping a light and sweet coffee from Pynn’s deli on the avenue. He was ticked.
Have to give a shout-out to my childhood friend Jimmy Rail.
Jimmy passed away on June 20, 2009.
He would have been 50 years old today.
We grew up together playing every sport imaginable. (We even made up a few games.)
Jimmy was from 13th street and was a Los Angeles Rams fan.
He wasn’t a happy camper when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Rams in Super Bowl XIV, 31-19.
His wonderful sister Susan was one of the best athletes the neighborhood produced.
With the Yankees kicking ass these days I will never forget when Jimmy, me and Joe Lee would go to Yankee Stadium. We would arrive three hours before the game and try to shag home runs hit during batting practice.
We’d bring our gloves and soon as we caught the first one, we’d have a catch in the runway.
RIP Jimmy, we miss you.
Derek Jeter’s fabulous baseball career with the New York Yankees is winding down.
The Kalamazoo Kid will be hanging up his cleats at the end of this week.
Nineteen years in the big leagues with the same club.
Think about that for a minute.
I know there are a few New York Mets fans who read the blog so I figure they have stopped reading this entry by now. (I wonder what Carmine would think of Derek Jeter?)
The Baltimore Orioles are in town for a four game series. Thursday will be Jeter’s final appearance at the stadium. The Bronx Bombers then head to Boston to end the season with a weekend visit with the Red Sox. Some people are wondering if Jeter will play against the Red Sox or will his appearance at Yankee stadium vs the Orioles on Thursday be his last?
“His last at-bat should be at Yankee stadium,” someone said to me.
Sorry, butI don’t agree with that at all.
If Jeter decides to play in Boston, look for the Red Sox to show their appreciation. The city of Boston knows winners, and Jeter is a winner.
In an outstanding New York Magazine article Jeter’s former manager Joe Torre had this to say about him: “Even though it was his first year in the big leagues, Derek was a finished product as a person. Very mature, responsible.”
Torre credits Jeter’s parents for a psychological grounding that sounds simple, but isn’t. “He felt comfortable in his own skin. Other players need to be validated. Derek doesn’t need the attention.”
Jeter’s parents did a wonderful job raising their son. Saw a sign at the Yankee game on Sunday, “MRS. JETER, YOU DID THE BEST JOB!”
You don’t have to be a Yankees fan to respect Jeter and his accomplishments. I understand some people are tired of the farewell tour but he will be missed.
I am going to treasure these last few games. So much that I ordered MLB premium so I don’t miss his last few at-bats.
Jeter did it the right way both on and off the field.
He has never been involved with steroids or crime. Has never been involved in a domestic abuse situation. His mom and dad taught him how to respect people.
The way Jeter plays the game every day should be an example to all youth athletes. On ground balls, the guy still sprints down the first base line. I mention that only because there are major league baseball players who jog.
He not only hustles, but he plays hard and is a great teammate.
Currently I work with high school basketball players. I am always looking for examples of athletes who do it the right way, it’s important. It’s important for kids growing up in today’s society to see someone who worked hard like Jeter, who stayed out of trouble and who persevered.
I’m going to miss #2 playing shortstop in the Bronx.
July 25. Two guys hanging out on the corner of Windsor Place and Ninth Avenue. It’s a little after eight in the morning.
Rob: Who ya like tonight?
Rob: You think they can beat Toronto?
Billy: Yeah man, the Bombers are on a roll.
Rob: Wait a minute, they just beat Texas three out of four but the Rangers suck.
Rob opens up his daily news and checks the line for tonight’s games.
Billy: Yeah, yeah, I know but a win is win. They are making moves too so watch out for them.
Rob: I need a winner real bad tonight Billy. I’m in the hole for two-hundred dollars. I can’t pick a winner for my life.
Billy: You still gambling? When you gonna give that shit up? I gave you the Yankees the past two nights. Didn’t you listen?
Rob: Yo fuck you Billy. I tried to get it in but I got stuck over in the city.
Billy: See there you go again. Why’s everything gotta be fuck you Billy?
Rob: Yeah well why do you always gotta break my balls about bettin’? It’s my life man.
Billy: Because I care about you man. You’re losing your mind with some of these bets. You bet every night. Shit you bet on teams you know nothing about!
Rob: Look bro, I enjoy it, alright.
Billy: Yeah but Rob, your family is suffering. My wife was talkin’ to your wife and you guys are two months behind with the rent.
Rob: SHE TOLD YOUR WIFE WHAT?
Billy: Take it easy man, they’re good friends. They’ve been friends since their Holy Name days.
Rob: Yeah I know Billy, I know how close they are. They’re on the fuckin’ phone every night with each other too. They live three blocks apart. My telephone bill is sky high.
Billy: You are out of work. Your son starts Bishop Ford in September and your younger daughter is starting Holy Name.
Rob: Yeah I know. The Hall is packed too. There’s nothing going up. I’m thinking of going with some guys out to Michigan. They are putting up three buildings over thirty stories high.
Billy: Man you ain’t leaving Brooklyn. I’ll tell you what, back to school shit is going to cost you a fortune. Supplies, clothes, fuck that shit gets expensive.
Rob: Yeah I know, you sound like my mother now.
Billy: Well let me ask you; do you listen to your mother?
Rob looks away, takes a sip from his coffee cup and stares out onto the avenue.
Billy: Here’s some more advice Rob, start listening to your mom. I don’t care if you listen to me but think about your family bro. They need you and depend on you.
Rob looks at Billy. He’s not happy.
Rob: You know what, fuck you Billy.
Rob rolls up his newspaper, stuffs it in his back pocket and walks across the avenue towards Farrell’s.
Bishop Ford High School, Bud Harrelson, Cincinnati Reds, Fred Norman, Holy Name, Joe Morgan, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Pete Rose, Prospect Park West, Ray Fosse, Rusty Staub, Schoolyard, Shea Stadium, Sparky Anderson
They were into the second month of school at Holy Name, their eighth and final year at the Catholic school located at 241 Prospect Park West.
Their main hangout was the boys schoolyard on Howard Place; it was where they met every day after school. They walked from tenth avenue and Sherman Street. They walked from seventeenth street and as far away as thirteenth street eighth avenue. Some lived in apartment buildings, some owned their own homes. On Saturday mornings they were up before nine, making sure to get there early to get in the first game of taps. On Sunday’s they had to wait until the last mass of the morning was over before they could enter what some called “paved paradise.”
The boys schoolyard was the one place they felt safe. It was the place they could do what they wanted without getting yelled at (or hit) by parents, teachers and their older brothers. It was here where no one told them what to do. It was where their friendships began and later nurtured.
They argued with each other over who was the better guard Clyde or the Big O?
Who was a better pitcher Tom Seaver or Don Sutton?
They argued over who was better, the Giants or Jets; Yankees or Mets? And they even argued over who would win, the New York Nets or the New York Knicks?
At thirteen, they started talking about the pretty girls in school and which teachers they liked and which they hated.
Didn’t matter the sport; basketball, baseball, or football. There was plenty of action at the pro levels to keep the teenagers busy expressing their views. Their discussions and arguments went on all year. There was no off-season from debate. They studied the sports sections in the New York Post and the Daily News just like the nuns and brothers had them read the new testament in school. No one read the New York Times.
During the summer months when school was out they leaned against the chain-linked fence that surrounded the yard and drank ice teas from Henry’s Deli up on the avenue. In the winter they shovelled snow off the court and bitched about how they wished they had their own gym at Holy Name.
On a brisk afternoon in early October the conversation was baseball.
“Did you see Pete Rose kick Buddy Harrelson’s ass yesterday?” Jimmy asked the group of boys hanging out in between their three-on-three basketball game.
“Yeah, I saw it, it was bull-shit if your ask me,” Michael added.
The Cincinnati Reds were playing the New York Mets in the 1973 National League championship series. The Reds finished the regular season 99-63 in the West beating out the LA Dodgers by three and a half games. The Big Red Machine were looking to make it back-to-back appearances in the World Series. Last year the Oakland A’s had defeated the Reds four games to three. Cincy was led by Rose, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, and Joe Morgan. The Mets finished 82-69 nudging out the Cards and Pirates for the East title. Yogi Berra was their lovable skipper and the Metropolitans were led by a strong pitching staff along with sluggers Rusty Staub, John Milner and Wayne Garrett.
With the series tied at one game apiece (the teams split at Riverfront) all hell broke loose. In the top of the fifth inning at Shea Stadium, with the Mets leading 9-2 the fight took place at second base with Rose trying to break up a double play. Mets starting pitcher Jerry Koosman was on the mound and with one out gave up a single to Rose. The Reds second baseman Joe Morgan stepped to the plate and hit a sharp grounder to first base where John Milner fielded it, fired to Harrelson and back to Milner for the 3-6-3 double play ending the inning. The crowd went bananas.
The Mets shortstop took exception to Rose coming in hard at him and the two went at it.
“Harrelson’s a midget, Rose is a bully,” Peter said.
“Rose is a punk,” Michael asserted.
It was just three years ago in the 1970 all-star game, Rose knocked Ray Fosse over at home plate to score the winning run for the National League in the 12th inning.
“Rose plays the game hard,” Jimmy proclaimed. “You see what he did to Fosse in the all-star game.”
“Yeah, yeah, we saw it. It was bullshit. Rose could have ended Fosse’s career,” Michael responded.
Jimmy was a Reds fan. He was from Cincinnati; his family had moved to Brooklyn a couple of years ago after Jimmy’s father got a teaching job up at Bishop Ford High School.
“Fuck your Reds Jimmy, the Mets are going to take this series, just you watch,” Peter declared.
The Mets won game three behind Rusty Staub’s two home runs and now led the series 2-1 with game four scheduled that night at Shea.
“Think I’m gonna head out to Shea to check out game four tonight and give that chump Rose a piece of my mind for picking on Buddy,” JC announced.
“A piece of your mind? That’s a good one JC. Rose would hop over the fence and kick your ass,” Jimmy said.
“Hey Jimmy, maybe you and your dad should go to the game and sit out in the left-field seats with the Mets fans, did you see those guys yesterday after the fight?” Billy added.
Jimmy didn’t respond. He knew there was no way him and his father would sit out there in the middle of the raucous Mets fans. They had plans of getting some pizza from Joe’s on Prospect Avenue and watching the game on channel nine.
After the fight Mets fans went crazy in the stands and started throwing beer cans at Rose who was playing left field. Reds manager Sparky Anderson pulled his team off the field.
Together, Berra, Willie Mays and Staub walked out to left field to try to calm the fans down. Someone even tossed a whiskey bottle at Rose.
“Yeah right, Fred Norman is on the mound tonight, the Mets are going to drill him,” Peter said.
Jimmy kept on shooting at the netless rim, ignoring Peter.
Fred Norman, the Reds scheduled pitcher was 12-6 on the year so the Reds faithful had a lot of confidence in their 30 year-old left-hander.
“I think the Reds will win tonight, and even up the series,” Pattie snickered.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP, ASSHOLE! YOU’RE A YANKEES FAN AND YOUR TEAM SUCKS!” screamed Peter.
Again, all the boys laughed.
The Yankees finished the season 80-82 good for fourth place in the AL East.
One thing was certain, the boys would be home later tonight in front of their TV’s watching game four and back in the yard tomorrow talking about the game.
Baseball is here.
The Mets swept the Yankees this past week.
While speaking with a friend recently, I was reminded of a current major league baseball player from around the way. (OK, so he’s not from ninth avenue but he grew up on 11th street and 8th avenue. Close enough, right?) Charlie Cummings was probably the one guy from the neighborhood who came close to playing in the major leagues. I do know he was in the New York Mets farm system and made it to Tidewater.
Adam Ottavino, a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies is 27 years old and attended Berkley-Carroll School.
Click here to read a story from the The Daily News from back in 2010.
“I’ve played in Marine Park, the Parade Grounds, over in Bensonhurst – literally every field,” he said. “Now I get tons of text messages from people saying, ‘Way to represent Brooklyn.'”
Adam played in the Parade Grounds like many others in the past. The Parade Grounds have had a lot of good ballplayers through the years. I recall playing down there as a member of Holy Name’s baseball team. What I recall most was that we always walked down to the games.
The Yankees lost today to the Detroit Tigers. Their season is over.
The Tigers swept New York 4-0 in the ALCS.
The Yankees hitting was “out to lunch.”
My baseball season is over too.
It’s time to focus on basketball; HS, college and pro.
Mother Nature said, “No Ball Playing” last night in Detroit.
Make-up game is set for 4:00 this afternoon. Weather permitting of course.
I recall as a kid playing baseball in the lot. We often times would keep playing when it started to rain and the ball would get soggy. Puddles around every base so you would have to jump over the puddle!
Hopefully the Yankees can get one today!