Baseball And Birthdays
What a fabulous day! It is The United States of America’s independence day, a wonderful holiday meant to be spent with family and friends, celebrating our wonderful country and being grateful for everything we have. My wife has been preparing ribs for the past two days, and in a matter of hours we will be grilling them, eating Mom’s macaroni salad and washing it all down with an ice cold beer. We can also start looking forward to the MLB All Star Game, with the selections being announced today, and hopefully I will also be celebrating a win for the Yankees. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect day, I don’t know what is!
Today is also George Steinbrenner’s Birthday. I am not sure my own words can adequately describe what Mr. Steinbrenner means to the Yankees and to baseball, so I will let the pros handle it. Here are links to a couple of great articles about the Boss on his 80th:
Also celebrating a Yankee birthday today is the voice of the Yankees on WCBS John Sterling. I know there a lot of people, both Yankees fans and not, who find Mr. Sterling a little over the top at times, with his home run calls, somewhat silly nicknames, and “ball game over!” call, but I am a huge fan of his. His voice is the narrative of summer for me, and he paints vivid pictures of the game with interesting stories and trivia to accompany it. I can’t imagine a summer with out his voice echoing through our house. Happy 62nd John!
A couple of notes:
- After only scoring one run in 11 innings on Friday, New York scored 11 runs in one inning yesterday, on their way to dismantling Ricky Romero and the Blue Jays. It took Toronto 37 minutes to get three outs, and the Bombers scored the most runs in an inning since putting up 13 in one frame against the Rays on June 21, 2005.
- Brett Gardner hit his first career grand slam in the big inning, and according to him it was his first lifetime grand slam as well. “I don’t think I’ve ever hit a grand slam before — Little League, high school, college,” Gardner said. “I haven’t hit too many homers in my life, so it was a good moment, obviously.”
- With the All Star Game selections coming out today, I thought I would share the Yankees I voted for. Although I try to be mostly impartial in my voting, I do vote for any Yankees who I feel have contributed above and beyond to the team, or have exceeded expectations. The two obvious votes were for Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano, who will more than likely be named All Stars today. The not so obvious votes were for Brett Gardner, who I feel has firmly planted himself in New York’s lineup after struggling last year, and Francisco Cervelli who filled in admirably for Jorge Posada when he was hurt (and is also a lot of fun to watch catch!). I also voted for Nick Swisher who is having a great season, hitting .287 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI, and has an outside chance of being named a stating outfielder. As far as pitchers are concerned, if Andy Pettitte isn’t named an All Star it will be a travesty. He is probably having the best year of his career, which is amazing considering he is 38 years old. He is 10-2 on the year, and his 2.82 ERA is bested only by the 2.39 he put up in 2005.
- Although not baseball related there is another birthday I wanted to acknowledge. My niece Kylie Kadel turns 18 today. Happy Birthday Kylie!