Archive for New York Yankees

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!!!

AROD # 600 and The Hall Of Fame Debate.

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, History, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, NYC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

AROD # 600!!

I have a new love in my life and her name is TWITTER.  Fine ,  I might very well be a little late to the tweet party , but that is all good! At some point this summer I figured out the amazing beauty of twitter and I dove in headfirst. But rather than detail the workings of the super-social network that is twitter, I would prefer to talk about Baseball , and the milestone that occurred when Alex Rodriquez of my beloved New York Yankees finally clubbed career home run # 600.

In typical Arod fashion he hit # 600 during a day game (of which I could not attend) , He hit it in the first inning when there were zero dramatic implications (although the 2 run shot did turn out to be all the Yankees needed for the W) and in very typical Arod fashion, it took him a while to hit it. He might be one of the greatest to ever play the game but  the dude is just not great with milestones.

The Real HR King

But as sure as the sun rises each day Arod was going to blast # 600 and he did! And just as soon as the ball landed in monument park , the great sports debate of our time jumped right back to the front page of every paper, the top of every blog and of course to the greatest sounding board of all…TWITTER.

Baseball is all about history and stats, plain and simple. The game is defined by its history and the numbers that make up that history. Any real baseball fan is at heart a statistics person, perhaps not in the sense that you like to sit around and bang out ill computations like Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting” , but you know the single season HR record , you know that Rickey Henderson is the all time stolen base king and you know the mother of all statistics….you know who the all time Baseball Home Run King is….or do you?

# 600 for Arod has quickly resurrected the Steroid era debate or what is now cutely known as the PED debate (Performance Enhancing Drugs). Do those admitted and or accused ROID users belong in the Hall Of Fame, Do the Home Runs actually count, should all the numbers be tossed?

Alex Rodriquez is only the 7th player in Baseball history to knock 600 career bombs, the club he joins is beyond exclusive and some members beyond reproach. The Babe , Hank Aaron , Willie Mays and even Ken Griffey JR. are all safely and cleanly in the record books..no asterisk required, they are all in the Hall of Fame (with the exception of Jr. , and he is a first ballot shoe in with out question. Its the other two members who make things interesting.

Always a KING!!!!

Sammy Sosa, who along with Mark McGwire captivated the nation in 1998 with the great single season home run chase as they both smashed the record of Roger Maris (61 dingers) Sosa has 610 career home runs and before the PED debate would have been a no brainer for the HOF. In fact pre -2003 when the house of cards started to unfold, the rule of thumb was, if you hit 500 career home runs you basically get into the Hall Of Fame automatically.

Thats about right!

Well when it became terribly obvious that Barry Bonds was a freak of nature whose cap size grew like 10 sizes in two seasons and at the age of 38 started banging out 50 plus homers a year and then in 2002 broke the already obscene single season record of 70 held by McGwire , the jig was up. Major League Baseball could no longer look the other way and before you knew it  a slew of incredible home run hitters and perhaps the games greatest pitcher were lying before congress and labeled , well , cheaters.

Back to yesterday , again Arod goes yard and Twitter is burning up.  “Does Arod belong in the HOF?”  “Bonds and Clemens will never get in” “Sosa and McGwire stand no shot ever” “Rafael Palmeiro is a doucher” (Agreed..what up coop)

The Future King?

So just being at Cooperstown two weeks ago , and  having a pretty solid handle on what it means to be in Cooperstown from a fans perspective.. I chimed in on twitter…. “If The Hall is willing to recognize Bonds  statistically as the all time HR King and displays his record breaking home run ball as well, why should he not get his plaque too” ( I want to note that I despise Barry Bonds , but he was going to the Hall prior to his cheating so… go fish)

Well this turned out to be a great question ,  because before I knew what was happening I was being retweeted by espn bloggers and well-known sports columnists and I am thinking , damn this twitter thing is pretty freakin cool.

And for the next few hours, the debate raged and I came to a few conclusions.

1. There is a consensus that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are dirt bags and are never getting into the Hall of Fame.

2. The Jury is still out on Arod as far as the public is concerned although my money is on him getting into the Hall because time is on his side.

3. and finally….That twitter might be the single greatest blow to worker productivity modern man has ever seen.

Congrats AROD…looking forward to # 700 and eventually # 763 and looking forward to continuing the great STEROID debate….on TWITTER of course!

Nike Air Max Trainer x New York Yankees!

Posted in Baseball, Design, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, Nike, Sneakers with tags , , , , on June 21, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

I love it when a plan comes together, and no I am not referring to the A-TEAM movie (which I am hoping to see soon) But when I logged onto SoleCollector as I do everyday, my Jaw dropped when I saw this new trainer from the good folks at Nike , fully branded with the  most famous logo in sports..The Interlocking NY. So yes once again my worlds collide with the greatest team in the World doing a collabo with the greatest sneaker brand in the universe.

But its the little details on this shoe that make it so hot and a must have for any Yankee fanatics like myself. The highlight of the shoe for me personally are the intricate details 0n the inner tongue of each foot. The left inner tongue lists the years of all 27 World Championships, the right has a quote near and dear to the heart of any true Yankee fan…the famous words of Joe DiMaggio “I WANT TO THANK THE GOOD LORD FOR MAKING ME A YANKEE”…..

Of course the rub here is that these apparently are not available to the general public, but I have my top notch sneaker guru (shout out to LESTER @ WEST NYC) on the case.

So Dope I almost wanna cry.

Full Description and pictures courtesy of Sole Collector

Last year, Nike produced an Air Trainer 1 for the New York Yankees. That love was extended when they also produced a special PE pair for Yankees hurler Chien Ming Wang. Seven months after the Bronx Bombers won their 27th World Series championship, we get our eyes on an Air Max Trainer 1+ that was exclusively produced for the team.

The shoes feature a grey base with 3M reflective paneling on the heel and forefoot. Navy blue accents are seen on the inner liner, Flywire panels, inner liner, and 360 Air unit. Several instances of Yankees branding make this shoe unique. On the lateral heel, a circular Yankees logo patch is embroidered on the 3M panel. New York is stitched on the back heels of the shoes. The front of the tongue badges display classic Yankee print and a custom “27″ logo. The inner tongue badge of the left shoe lists the Yankee championship years, while the right reads a quote from the great Joe DiMaggio. Team logo can also be seen on the footbed. This pair is said to have been made exclusively for the Yankees, with no plans to release them to the general public.

Grand Slam Weekend!!

Posted in Baseball, History, New York Yankees with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

Grand Weekend!

This past weekend I made a feeble attempt to celebrate my birthday, only to realize that as you get older your best bet in celebrating your birthday is staying home alone and watching sports or a classic episode of Seinfeld. I will not get into the details of my horrible birthday weekend so as not to embarrass my two best friends , lets just say my crew was in poor form and leave it at that.

But rather than wallow in my own personal post birthday misery, I choose to focus on the positive and the positive this weekend came in the form of Jorge Posada and The New York Yankees.

First things first, the Yankees are in first place for the first time since April 21, granted they have taken full advantage of a soft patch in the schedule that will end tomorrow as interleague plays brings the defending National League champions the Philadelphia Phillies to the Bronx. This series is followed by part two of the Subway Series where the seemingly hot METS should be brought back down to earth by the bombers.

Speaking of bombs, it seems that the stories of the demise of Jorge Posada have been greatly exaggerated!

Saturday Jorge came up with the bases juiced, fresh of the DL, the Yanks would have been happy with a base on balls or simple bloop single. But Jorge is on a mission to say to the Yankee Universe that he is healthy!  Playing as the DH on Saturdays game Jorge blasted a monster GRANNY that made that stadium erupt!

For just coming of the DL, this blast alone would have made everyone in the Yankee world breathe easy that our aging catcher had not lost a step in his time off.

How do you top a day with a Grand Slam, well in baseball you can’t top a Granny, but you sure can repeat it and that is exactly what Jorge did on Sunday. Skipper Joe Girardi rewarded Jorge on Sunday by finally playing him at catcher and Posada repayed the favor by hitting his second Grand Slam in as many days.

Once again a bit of history was being made in the boogie down!

Bill Dickey

The last time a Yankee player hit Grand Slams in back to back games was 73 years ago and only the fourth time in the history of the franchise. Another wonderful Yankee catcher Bill Dickey accomplished the feat in 1937, prior to that , the Sultan of Swat Babe Ruth did it in both 1927 and 1929. Now both those legends have their numbers retired in monument park and I assume one day Hip-Hip Jorge will get the same treatment and maybe, just maybe ,  a nice plaque in Cooperstown.

The Babe

Jorge..I am glad one of us a had a great weekend!!

Enjoy!!

Jay Z & Eminem on the YES NETWORK!

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop History, MLB, Music, New York City, New York Yankees, Rappers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 12, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

Jay Z & Eminem on The Yes Network

Jay & Em

It is a true rare occurence for the Hip-Hop Gods and the Baseball Gods to get together and create magic, but that is exactly what happened tonight. Now Judaism being my primary religion, baseball and hip-hop follow a close second equally. This is big news..at least in Matthews World…

So this evening while I was on the phone , I had the Yankees vs Detroit game which had just started on mute. My boy Oliver tells me that Jay Z and Eminem were spotted at the game together.

Now its no big deal to see Jay at a sporting, he is always front row at the Stadium or court side at the Garden. I mean I saw Jay Z at the US Open last year. The man is clearly a sports fan. Now Eminem on the other hand does not strike me as a huge sports guy, but its possible he might take in a Yankees/Tigers game…you know anywhere the Yankees go, it’s the place to be.

But Jay Z and Eminem together at a New York vs. Detroit game, cmon son…. something is up.

Jay & Em Walk The Stadium

And what is up is probably the concert event of the year.

Jay Z & Eminem live together for two shows. The First show Sept 2 at Comerica Park in Detroit and then what will def be a serious historic event.. the first ever concert in the New Yankee Stadium September 13th. Now I can’t speak for Detroit but it New York that will be a massive affair.

Jay Z spoke on it in the booth

“These shows are like a dream come true,”

“I’ve always hoped that hip-hop could play any stadium like other genres of music. How perfect is it that Eminem and I get to play our hometowns and show how far the live rap experience has come? Fun and historic — a great combination all around the board.”

So of course these two being marketing geniuses announce the shows 4 months in advance, at a Yankee/Detroit game featured on both ESPN and the Yes Network. And it s genius that they made the announcement in Detroit rather than in NY. Jay Z with Em is his hometown just has the feel of a larger story than Em taking in a game with Jay in the Bronx. Makes perfect sense to me.

But the highlight of this night is not the prospect of an incredible concert  4 months from now that I will most def be at.

It’s that Jay Z and Eminem were in the YES NETWORK booth with Michael Kay and Ken Singleton. Its like two of my very favorite worlds colliding to make greatness. Michael Kay talking billboard charts with Eminem…..classic material.

enjoy and click the link.

Jay Z & Eminem On The Yes Network with Michael Kay and Ken Singleton….CLAASSIC!!!

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.