Archive for Derek Jeter

American Pride , Revenge and Baseball!!

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, History, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, NY Times, NYC, Politics, YouTube Classics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by mattyfresh697400

Long Live The World Trade

Where were you at 10:30pm on Sunday May 1, 2011??

I suspect that as time marches on most people will remember where they were when they heard the incredible news that the worlds most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden was dead!

Have Fun In Hell

Now without question you can ask anyone and I mean literally anyone where they were the morning of Tuesday September 11th 2001 and each person knows exactly where they were and what they were doing, and if you are talking to New Yorkers as I so often have, every person has a unique and fascinating story about that morning and the hours that followed. I myself was living on Christopher Street, barely a mile away from the World Trade Center. I unfortunately had a front row seat to the devastation as I watched both Towers fall with my very own eyes from the roof of my building. I along with 15 very scared neighbors watched for hours as the black smoke billowed against the crystal blue sky and eventually  the black smoke got thicker and thicker and then the towers fell.


One of my first thoughts that morning as I made my way up to the roof was ” I wonder if the Yankee game will be cancelled tonight” of course I had zero indication this was a terrorist attack and no sense whatsoever at the magnitude of what I was witnessing, but something told me it was serious but really I was clueless , as we all were at first.

Well not only was the Yankee game not going to be played that night but in truth the entire world stopped that day and we were changed as a country forever!!

The days and weeks that followed were incredibly challenging for all Americans but for New Yorkers it was a whole other level. Within hours of the towers falling pictures of missing loved ones covered light posts and street signs, make shift memorials were everywhere, candle light vigils were a common occurrence for weeks. I recall the incredible somber mood during the Jewish High Holidays where at my synagogue there was not a dry eye in the house.

But America and our citizens are defined by their courage and resilience in the face of unfathomable challenges, and in the days that followed the attacks there was a patriotic unity that I had certainly never seen or felt in my lifetime and nothing the country had experienced since perhaps when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.


So of course on the night of September 11th there was no Yankee game and in fact there were no Major League  Baseball games whatsoever for 8 days. What did Baseball really mean at a time of such unparalleled tragedy?

But 8 days later baseball did return and the national anthem that is played at the start of every game took on a new and profound meaning.  On September 25th Baseball finally returned to New York and the Police Officers that patrol the stadium were finally being treated as the heroes they were, American flags were visible everywhere at the Stadium.

God Bless America

And as the month of September marched on and the baseball season slowly crept towards the post season, The defending World Series Champion New York Yankees were giving their fans and more importantly their wounded city, something to cheer about. If only for a few hours every night, the Yankees gave hope and distraction to 8 million grieving neighbors. And as the Yankees always do, they just kept winning and winning and before anyone knew it, it was mid October and the Yankees were on their way to the World Series, playing not just for their fans but for all New Yorkers (yes even you Met fans out there)

Now New York and the Yankees in particular often take plenty of flack from every other city out there (most likely because we are bigger and better) but that is a whole other post entirely. But for 10 days at the end of October and the start of November, the Yankees were truly Americas team!

The first two games of the 2001 World Series were in Arizona, (Arizona won both) so Game three was the first in New York and once again the eyes of the entire world were on New York. I have an uncanny ability to remember baseball games but the real historic highlight of this game came before the first batter even stepped in the box.  On this night, The President of the United States would be throwing out the first pitch, this moment encapsulated all the things that make this country what it is in one symbolic moment; Strength, Pride, Resilience and Hope. George W. Bush might have a had a very tumultuous presidency but in October of 2001 , he was our leader and the entire country was unified in our support of him, nowhere was that more evident than in Yankee Stadium on that legendary evening.


As the President marched out to the mound , chest out, shoulders back, head held high ,  55,000 screaming fans began to chant “USA, USA, USA” !!! I have never and will never see or feel anything like that again, but through our National Pastime, Baseball… it was clear that America can never be held down!

The next three nights the Yankee magic continued, Derek Jeter became Mr. November and Scott Brosius and Tino Martinez achieved the impossible (2 run HRs with two outs down by 2 on back to back nights) Now the Yankees might not have won the 2001 World Series but they did captivate a nation and helped lift up a city that desperately needed some Yankee Magic and the boys certainly delivered.


Fast Forward almost 10 years to this past Sunday night, when I saw the breaking news alert on CNN I could not believe my eyes! We actually got him! President Barack Obama authorized what seems to be one of the riskiest covert missions in our countries history and Osama Bin Laden was finally dead, pierced by the bullet of a brave American soldier. Just as it should be . America Never forgets!!

Monday morning I ran out to buy the paper because I wanted to save what in many ways is the bookend to the greatest tragedy in American History. The evil face of Osama Bin Laden covered the front page with the bold text reading : “WE GOT HIM”

I turned the paper over and was surprised that there was not another image of Bin Laden where the sports section would normally be, but instead of Osama there was an image from the Mets vs. Phillies game from Sunday night. As it turns out the Mets and Phillies were tied at 1-1 and the game went into extra innings and late into Sunday night and as thes rest of the country was glued to their TV sets trying to digest the incredible news, the fans at the Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philly were getting text message and facebook updates from friends and family. And then just like in 2001 the entire stadium erupted in chants of “USA, USA, USA”

Once again Baseball somehow has weaved itself into the fabric of American History!!

Justice

and on this night there were no Philly Fans and there were no Mets Fans…There were just Americans.

Justice is Served!!!

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“King Of New York”

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop History, Music, New York City, New York Yankees, Rappers with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

Addictions.  At one time or another in life we all have them (some more than others) So in the spirit of being honest and  getting past the first step of denial and admitting powerlessness , I am here to admit that I am powerless over the gravitational pull of the internet,  yes I have become an internet Addict.

Some people smoke rock, some like to twist one up,  some heads even shoot up…But Me……Me…. I  just constantly scour the internet for shit I think is cool.  I log onto my mac book and proceed to open up like 13 tabs and bang bang boogie let the games begin.

So if you have made is this far you must be wondering what the hell my internet habit has to do with the title of this post. “King Of New York”

So here it is..I was doing my daily “let me see what new sneakers and t-shirts and music” is brand spanking new and get my shopping list organized for the weekend.  After uncovering some new joints from GAME and Drake , stopped by one of my all time favorite hip-hop sites HipHopDX. They recently started selling Hip-Hop related tees and what not and like that something caught my eye.  Now I just don’t scour the internet because I am addicted to buying needless consumer goods, but as someone who likes to write, the internet is my go to source for inspiration (Yeah I agree I might want to get out the house one of these days , but whatever..)

So I see a T-shirt and boom, inspiration. My first thought was to just do the usual on my blog, post a photo of the shirts, say some witty shit and call it a wrap.  But the true inspiration set in…..in the image of that T-shirt was a debate, a debate I have had time and time again with fellow music enthusiasts, proud new yorkers, sports fans etc…

“Who Is The King Of New York?”

Well lets start with the shirt that caused this little spark plug-in my mind.

King Jay?

For starters let’s get this out-of-the-way, I think the shirt is dope. Yankee Blue, Interlocking NY Yankee logo, I was sold before my brain could even register what it meant.

Jay Z The King

But of course the meaning is obvious, Jay Z is the clear “KING OF NEW YORK”  that what this shirt is saying. Besides being arguably the most successful rapper of all time , his last opus basically sealed the deal. “EMPIRE STATE OF MIND” was a runaway # 1 smash single. Like Sinatra and “New York, New York” but for 09.

“I’m the new Sinatra,
And since I made it here,
I can make it anywhere”

And as it seems with all things related to Jay Z, the marketing and timing gods were on his side. As the song was peaking at radio and booming from sound systems across the 5 boroughs, the Yankees were crushing the competition on their way to their 27th World Title, and guess what, Jay Z even performed his ode to NYC and himself at Game 2 of The World Series.  So In November of 2009 , Jay was certainly the King.

“Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game,
Sh-t I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can”

Bold words….but the last line says it all…

“Statue of Liberty, long live the World trade,
Long live the king yo”

I love Jay Z, I think he is an incredible talent, rapper, businessman, etc. But I always had a theory and this is where the crux of the debate for me begins…. If Biggies life was not cut so tragically short, would Jay Z be where he is today?

Biggie ...."Long Live The World Trade"

When Biggie was taken from us, he was the biggest rapper on the planet, only two short weeks from the release of his 2nd album, a double CD ironically titled “Life After Death” . The album is one of the greatest of all time and went on to sell many millions. The year was 1997.

But as soon as BIG was gone there was an empty throne , and despite the ups and downs of  Hip-Hop over the years, New York pretty much is always home to the KING, even if the rest of New York born hip-hop is a stale as the wonder bread in my fridge. So in 1998 Jay Z puts out his second album , drops  a monster anthem titled “Hard Knock Life” and the rest as they say is History.

"Hard Knock Life"

But If BIG was still around would Jay be able to grow into what he has become, is New York big enough for two Kings? I always wonder what would have happened.

No doubt Jay would always have been huge and would drop hit after hit after hit like Jeter, but would he have been able to comfortably call himself  “THE KING OF NEW YORK”

Now of course when it comes to sports the YANKEES are the real Kings of New York (But I am beyond biased) and  that’s a little different since baseball is a true team sport, but what happens to Jay Z if The Knicks sign KING JAMES?

"King James"

Sorry Jigga but if Lebron comes to the garden…all bets are off!!

All this from a damn T-shirt…..

BIG aka FRANK WHITE YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THE KING!!!

The good friends at Hip-Hop DX have some pretty cool tees worth taking a look at it.

Yanks Core 4 On The Cover of Sports Illustrated

Posted in Baseball, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, Print Media with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

Is it me or am I simply just ahead of the curve, perhaps I am clairvoyant , or perhaps my obsession with the New York Yankees is so deep that my ability to see into the future only applies to the Bronx Bombers. Well last week I posted that the Yankees “CORE 4” all deserve to be in enshrined in THE HALL OF FAME in Cooperstown , NY.

Now  its looks like the good folks at Sports Illustrated have taken a cue from Matthews World and put the “CORE 4” on the next cover!!

World Series Rings, The White House..now the cover of SI!!

Who deserves it more than they do. The Yanks are in Baltimore these next few days , after their small pit stop at the White House yesterday. Hopefully they can tackle the birds with a sweep.  Not a bad week for these guys!

The President Greets the Yanks…Obama gives Props where Props are Due!!!

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, Politics, YouTube Classics with tags , , , , , , , on April 26, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

The Pres and the Skipper

I love America and I love being an American. I am blown away by the achievments of these great men. How a group of rebels could create a country and a system of government that more than two hundred years later still embodies the hopes and dreams of all people from all over the world, that is pretty incredible.

But what is more incredible is too see the leader of the free world honor the GREATEST BASEBALL FRANCHISE ever. It is just like the big cherry on top of all our American freedom.

When you see Joe Girardi standing behind the Presidential Podium, with the Presidential seal in full view,  addressing a room full of reporters in the White House and President Obama standing not behind his presidential podium but rather next to the podium,  so HE could be addressed by the Yankee skipper…you know its a damn good day!!!

Obama and Girardi…27 Titles Deep!!

Obama said it has often been painful to watch Mariano Rivera and the Yankees win titles.

“For a White Sox fan like me, its painful to watch Mariano’s cutter. … Although, I do remember 2005, so don’t get too comfortable,” said Obama, referring to the White Sox’s World Series title five years ago.

Obama added that “nothing beats that Yankee tradition” as the large crowd gathered in the room applauded.

Obama gives Jeter a shout out!

During the event, Obama praised Jeter, saying the shortstop “epitomizes the best of the Yankees tradition.”

President Obama greeted the World Champs this afternoon with some pretty funny soundbites, I cant imagine what it feels like to be Derek  or Mariano and getting great shout outs from the Prez…that is just so damn cool.

Full Video Forth Coming.

Oh Captain My Captain!

Posted in Baseball, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees with tags , , , on February 24, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

The Captain

The Captain Speaks.

Derek Jeter will go down as perhaps the greatest Yankee of all time, if not the greatest then certainly in the top 5. When you are talking about names like Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle , DiMaggio and Berra, that is really no joke.

When it is all said and done Jeter will be remembered for all the championships, the acrobatic throws to first, Mr. November,  the flip play and of course flinging his body into the crowd to catch an impossible foul ball in an early July game against Boston.

But what Jeter should be remembered for is for literally being the COOLEST character to ever put on the pinstripes. Derek Jeter has lived under a constant microscope of fame since he first stepped into the house that Ruth built in 1995. New York City is the media capitol of the world, and as much as we like to shower our heroes with praise, we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop and knock our stars down a few notches. With Derek Jeter that is impossible and today , his incredible character and savvy were on full display.

In the last year of his 10 year deal with the Yankees, Jeter had the good sense to realize that the media will be asking him daily about his impending free agency and the Yankee policy of not negotiating with players until the end of the season.  So what does the captain of cool do? He holds a press conference to basically say that today and only today will he discuss his contract with the media. Jeter is a winner and he wants to win probably more than anyone in pro sports , he also knows that as the leader of the this franchise he can not allow himself to become the story and a distraction for the team. So he nips it in the bud and says all the right things.  Pay attention Tiger! You have nothing on Derek Jeter!!!!

I think this quote from todays press conference says it all.

“This is the only organization I’ve ever wanted to play for,” Jeter said. “That’s still true today. I was a Yankees fan growing up, and this is where I want to be. I’ve never envisioned myself playing anywhere else, and hopefully I don’t have to.”

I am not sure too many pro athletes could pull this off and have the media obey their wishes, but Derek Jeter has that type of respect. He has certainly earned it.

Check out the press conference.