I was on recently with Lori Rubinson of WFAN and she asked me to give my mid-season grade for the Yankees season. I hate grading professional athletes and here is why. Usually the teacher is superior to the student and the teacher is the one who hands out the grades. I know this is how reporters and talk show hosts gauge a team at certain points of the season, but I feel uncomfortable “grading” professional athletes.
Well I did it, because I was asked to do so, and I gave the Yankees an overall B+. This is an entire grade higher than Ralphie received in A Christmas Story for his theme on wanting a Red Ryder BB gun. Lori disagreed with my assessment after I was off the air, which is fine, but I don’t like not being able to defend my grade.
So here we go, your honors, ladies and gentleman of the jury, honored guests, here is my defense of the B+.
Think about this, the Yankees are 14 games over .500, they are just three games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. They lead the Wild Card by two-and-a-half games over the Rangers. I know they have gone into spells where the pitching and hitting both go into the tank, but guess what, that’s baseball. It’s a long season. I think its 162 games the last time I checked. Baseball is cyclical. If you have ever played the game you would understand that sometimes the ball looks like a pebble and your trying to hit it with a toothpick, and sometimes it looks like a beach ball and you have that big fat red whiffleball bat. Pitchers make mistakes too and professional hitters take advantage of mistakes
Bottom line — the Yankees are 14 games over .500, leading the Wild Card, and just three games back in the division. Last year at this time — they were six games over .500 and trailing the Wild Card by five games. Which team would you rather have?
Neither, I know, because every year Yankees fans want a first-place team, 25 games over .500 and bludgeoning the Red Sox every time they play them. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s unrealistic though. The Red Sox have caught up and have a great team and a great system. Deal with it. It’s a reality.
I was watching the Sunday Conversation with Lou Piniella and he said something about Chicago that rings true with New York. He said if the Cubs win three in a row they’re going to the World Series, if they lose three in a row they’re a last-place team. Well, the same thing could be said about the Yankees. About a week-and-a-half ago, people were calling for Joe Girardi’s head. Then the Yankees won nine of their next 11 and the chirping stopped. I’m down in South Carolina on vacation and I can’t hear the callers today, but I could only imagine what they are saying after getting swept by the Angels. JJD and BJD much? (JJD — Janet Jackson Disease or “What have you done for me lately disease.” BJD — Billy Joel Disease or “I go to extremes disease.”)
Look at a schedule…please. There are 73 games left, 73. That’s almost an entire NBA or NHL season. What? I’m gonna worry? GLASS HALF FULL PEOPLE. I said this last year and I’ll say it again. If you don’t like rooting for a team that consistently runs out players that are fit to win championships ever season, there’s always Pittsburgh, Kansas City, or Washington. Pledge your allegiance to teams and owners who put money into a new yacht instead of putting money into their team.
Now, I couldn’t possibly give the Bombers an “A,” after getting swept away by the Red Sox in the first half, but to be in the position they are in right now at the break is “B” material to me. Could they have been better? Absolutely! Big picture, people. There are 73 games left — 14 games over .500 — leading the Wild Card — in striking distance of the Red Sox.
If I can’t calm you down with my glass half-full optimism, seek professional help.
By the way if you think this team doesn’t drive me crazy sometimes you are 100 percent wrong. They do. I’ve been around them though. They expect to win every time they take the field, but even THEY know that isn’t possible.
7:26 – Rise and Shine
7:27 – Into el bano to do the shaving ritual – first the face – then the head
7:35 – Brush the choppers and swish around some mouthwash
7:37 – Get dressed – Flash Gordon t-shirt (the cheesy 80’s movie) Yankees pullover – jeans
7:47 – Glass of OJ in the kitchen
7:57 – In the car leaving house – pouring rain – top stays up for obvious reasons
8:12 – Stop at Dunkin Donuts to purchase Box O’ Joe and a dozen donuts for Mike Francesa and his crew – they have a remote at the Hard Rock Yankee Stadium. The line was out the door, but “Wrapped Around Your Finger” was playing by the Police (favorite group of all time). I was fine.
8:20 – Arrive at work and immediately begin preparing the YES Network Sports Sprint, which airs right before Francesa at 1p.m.
8:36 – Take a break from the Sprint so I can re-trace my steps for the morning and I write down everything I did to this point so it is fresh for the blog.
8:37 – Received the ratings e-mail – checked to see how BP did last night – I’m pleased.
8:38 – Back to Sprint preparations which consist of printing out the stories that I will cover in my update today: the Yankees, the Blue Jays and the Padres
8:40 – Wrote my Sprint lead – based on the home run happy Yankee Stadium
8:46 – As I continue the Sprint preps, thunderstorms are rolling in off the Long Island Sound and the thunder is shaking the building – nothing like a good strong thunderstorm!
9:01 – Finished with the office portion of writing the Sprint – I write my highlights to the scripts I get from our feed service – Sports News Satellite
9:02 – Cup of coffee number one – and breakfast – two Special K cereal bars
9:03 – Head upstairs to edit the highlights for the Sprint
9:29 – Done editing the highlights
9:33 – Apparently it’s a four-minute walk from the third floor – down the stairs and back to my office on the first floor
9:40 – I didn’t get a Yankees script in my e-mail – so I had to cut those highlights and then write them down in my office after editing. Now the Sprint is completed – just have to wait for the Francesa crew to get here to tape – probably around 11:00.
9:42 – Starting to get Flash Forward rundown ready – I am taping it with John Flaherty as we do every week for YESNetwork.com – Flash will call in around 11:15.
9:42 – Second cup of coffee – 9:42 was a busy minute.
9:45 – Researching graphics for Flash Forward – Wang at Fenway in his career – 3-3, 5.11 ERA..
9:55 – Researching Mets vs. Yankees since interleague started – Yankees are 39-27 vs. Mets.
10:15 – Research and graphics are done – printing out Flash Forward rundowns.
10:18 – Take a break to input the first part of my day into the blog for your enjoyment.
10:38 – Done with the blog writing – now it’s time to suit up and head upstairs to tape – be back later.
10:46 – Got dressed for the Sprint and Flash Forward in what I like to call my mullet outfit – business up top – party on the bottom
10:50 – Went upstairs to tape the Sprint and Flash
11:11 – Started taping the Sprint and finished at 11:15
11:17 – Still waiting for Flash to call – he accidentally deleted my text with the number – I left my cell in my office – Neal Baker – Producer of the Francesa show went to my office to get my phone – I texted the number to Flash again
11:18 – Flash called in and we started – to find out what we talked about you’ll have to wait and see when it shows up on YESnetwork.com later
11:26 – Flash Forward ends – I wrote an intro for the Francesa Show – they are live at the Hard Rock Cafe at Yankee Stadium
11:30 – Handed off my microphone and IFB to Joe Parrino in the audio room
11:31 – Grabbed the tape with me and Flash on it and headed downstairs
11:35 – Back in my office typing up the blog – going to hand off the tape to get fed – then change into the gym clothes – then its off to NYSC for a little shoulder work out
11:58 – Dropped tape off to get fed – and gave Kevin Sullivan our internet guru the rundown for Flash Forward
11:59 – Glasses off – contacts in
12:02 – Left for the gym
12:10 – Arrived at gym – got situated and hopped on the elliptical
12:40 – 30 minutes on the elliptical – 2.66 miles and made some room for lunch with the calories burned
12:41 – Shoulder work out begins – 12 sets – four exercises – light weight – lots of reps
1:09 – Left the gym
1:20 – Back at work – picked up my free lunch – THANKS YES! When the Francesa show is on a remote we get catered lunch – work perk – holla – anyway I chose Chicken Remo from Remo’s in downtown Stamford – it’s a melange of arugula (its a ve-ge-ta-ble – My Blue Heaven reference) tomatoes and their house dressing over some breaded chicken – make me chicken any way and I am eating it
1:30 – Eating lunch and listening to Mike Francesa in the background in my office – lunch is good
1:51 – Reminder – game is on MY9 tonight – but we are doing BP/Pre/Post on YES
2:05 – Mike Francesa is interviewing John Flaherty – Flash very busy today – don’t forget Flash Forward will be up later on YESnetwork.com – so I am chilling in my office watching this interview – getting ready for BP going over the scripts and graphics – When Goldy (Steve Goldberg) produces he likes to write the show – so he does – when anyone else produces BP (there are three other producers – I write the show – I prefer to write – but Steve likes it too and we have the same style).
2:30 – Flash interview with Francesa ended – they go to break – and this is how I know I am getting older – Lee Majors is on a commercial promoting a “bionic” hearing aid – oh Six Million Dollar Man – where is Oscar Goldman and the technology when you need them
2:43 – In a bit of a holding pattern in my office – going over my scripts again – David Cone is in the house!
3:05 – Finished going over scripts – called home to check in on my girls – they are good
3:15 – Goldy tells me we are taping a weather segment with Jim Kosek from accuweather.com at 5:00
3:30 – Goldy stopped in again – and told me that we will probably – most likely have BP in the show now – we were not optomistic for the cages to come out in Boston with the weather – but as it stands – the cage is out in Boston as you can kind of clearly see from me taking a picture of Fenway from our live truck up in Boston
3:46 – Sitting in the office – its quiet – all I can hear is Pre-game producer and Old Bridge, NJ native Bill Boland calling for Steve Goldberg – I’m from South River, NJ which is right next to Old Bridge – Boles as we call him and I are from similar backgrounds – he went to Trenton State College – I went to Rowan – good guy
3:53 – Updated my Twitter page – Like the little back and forth I have going with Chris Carlin of SNY – doing Ron Burgundy lines back and forth – you can’t beat that
4:00 – Lineups are in:
4:08 – Time to man up and put my makeup on – first the foundation – and then some powder to make me look like I have a little bit of color – damn my Irish blood
4:09 – Before Makeup
4:27 – After Makeup
4:38 – Okay fun seekers – its off to the studio where I will take some more pictures for you and report back after BP is over and I wrap up my day – until then!
5:15 – Taped weather segment with Jim Kosek of Accuweather.com he was great!
5:30 – Taped Coney’s segment and he was awesome as always!
5:45-6:00 – Talked to the crew about sports talk radio and how I need a show
6:37 – Show is over! About to take my makeup off and call it a night! Try to get a good night sleep and do it all over again tomorrow! Wouldn’t trade this for anything!
Thanks for stopping by today and checking out my day as it unfolded – Here are a couple pictures of the BP set – have a great night everyone! Go Yanks!