Archive for the ‘Yankees’ category

End of Era? (Oh no! says a New Yorker.)

February 20, 2012

We are approaching what may be the end of an era.

I am not talking about anybody’s presidential campaign.

Or the Euro as a unified currency.

Or even the U.S. Postal Service.

To some, the era at issue may be more important than any of these others.

I am speaking, of course, of Mariano Rivera’s tenure as a Yankee.

Mariano says he really means this to be the last season. Honestly. This time. For sure.

As a New Yorker, I unequivocably say–Agh!

As a human being, also subject to the depredations of Time, I say, oh dear.

More Yankee Grit And More Tea

August 25, 2011

My favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, once again gave a lesson in perseverance today, coming from a score of 1-7 (behind) in the 4th inning against Oakland to a final victory of 22-9, with a record breaking 3 grand slams.  This, on a day in which the game was delayed for approximately 90 minutes because of rain.

I ponder this example of “sticktuitiveness” over my sixth or seventh cup of strong tea, hoping to get something done this damp evening, or to, at least, go to the gym.   Caffeine is useful, but doesn’t quite seem to substitute for a good eye, apt swing, strong follow-through, stamina….

Important Update Re Robert Pattinson

November 1, 2009

Yankees' Fan (Guess Who)

This just out re Robert Pattinson:  He was spotted leaving LAX airport and arriving at Tokyo’s Narita Airport wearing…. a New York Yankees’ baseball cap!

OMG!!!  RPatz and the New York Yankees–combined!  Has he been reading ManicDDaily?????

If so, Rob, sorry for any/all jokes at your expense.  (Also sorry for the bad picture.  At least I wasn’t chasing you with a flashbulb.)

Go Yankees!


October 29, 2009

The great thing about Mariano Rivera is the way he manages to be both human and super-human at the same time.    Pretty amazing.


All that said–

October 29, 2009

Despite all that said in previous blog re Yankee Stadium and materialism–good luck to the Yankees!


Elephant Baseball

Go Yankees!

All rights reserved.  Karin Gustafson

Speaking Out on the Number 4 Train – Greed, Girls, Yankees

October 29, 2009

Writing a daily blog can do strange things to you.  One of the more dangerous is that it strengthens the propensity (already outsized in most bloggers) to openly speak your mind.

This was brought to my attention last night when I  was jammed on the Number 4 train heading for Game 1 of the World Series.  The guy squeezed next to me had a slightly pudgy face that was decorated by half-there facial hair (some form of beard or goatee, probably intended to better define his face shape.)

He noticed, in the mass of people clumped around the  subway pole, a tall pale guy, whom he recognized.  The tall guy held the hand, knotted around the pole, of a young woman who looked up at him with eyes thick with make-up, shiny with adoration. (It turned out these two had only been married for a month.)  But I digress.

The pudgy guy, clearly hoping to impress the tall guy, told him about that big things had been happening in his life.  He’d gotten married the previous year; his business, four years old, was doing great; he was employing his brother; his wife was expecting.

After asking the tall guy where he lived, he revealed that he’d “closed” on a place in mid-town Manhattan last week.

Finding out that the couple had just married, he asked the tall guy where they’d honeymooned.  “Nice,” he said appraisingly.

They talked of a mutual friend who was also doing great, the pudgy guy said.  This friend had had a student loan business which he sold for $150 million dollars last year, then, “two weeks later,” the pudgy guy went on, “the government changed the regulations for, you know, student loans, and the place literally closed its doors.  Busted.”  He grinned widely.

(For government “changing regulations”, the blogger in me thinks “cracked down on corrupt business practices.”)

“Beautiful,” a third guy said.  I don’t know if this third guy, young, short, bristly, was a stranger or friend.  It’s hard when everyone is cheek by jowl, arm by guy, to know who’s with whom.

Who was going to the Yankees’ game and who was just headed up to the Bronx was a bit clearer.  For example, a very slight Hispanic girl, just opposite me, who had worried eyes, a  worried complexion, a small stud below her lower lip, and a large rumpled SAT prep book under one arm, looked like she was probably not going to the game.  (In fact, she got off in the Bronx, but before the stadium.)

“Well, you must be doing okay,” the pudgy guy said to the tall guy, “if you can buy Yankees tickets.”  He rubbed middle finger to thumb, moola-style.  (He had season tickets himself.)

(I should note here–yes, to make myself look virtuous–that my ticket, the most expensive single ticket, other than for a flight, that I’ve ever held in my hand, was given to me.)

Trying, I think, to change the subject, the tall guy at the pole asked the pudgy guy when his baby was due.  The pudgy guy pulled out a cell phone and directed it to an image of the baby’s sonogram, which he pressed across multiple limbs to his friend’s face.

This might have been a touching gesture.  But he kept saying, “you can see he’s a boy, right?  I mean you can’t miss it, right?”

The tall guy tried to say something about how amazing it was that the pudgy guy had a sonogram on his cell, but the pudgy guy wouldn’t let go of the fetus’s penis. “Look at the size of that.  You know what that is right?  I mean, how can you not see it?”

The tall guy said that he knew what it was.   “You’re happy then, with the baby coming?”

“Oh yeah, sure.  I’m just so glad it’s not a girl.  I’d just hate to have a girl.”

The blogger in me could suddenly no longer control myself.  “I think you’re horrible for not wanting a girl,” I said loudly.  “And I think your friend who made the 150 million for selling his worthless company was horrible too.”

As silence descended over the car, I was glad I had not added anything about the guy’s obsessing over the size of his son-to-be”s genitalia.

No one looked at me, except the third guy, who sneered.  “No, it wasn’t horrible.  I don’t want girls either.  And what that guy did was great.  That’s what capitalism is all about.  That’s what the Yankees are all about too, that’s why we’re all here.  To beat these guys from the start.”

I, thought about the incident repeatedly during the game.  It was a game in which one had a lot of time to think about things (such as, will anyone ever hit one of Cliff Lee’s pitches?)

I really do like the Yankees.  Despite their ridiculous pay scale.  But when you go to the new stadium, when you sit in a large crowd many of whom have paid hundreds of dollars for this ticket (and have a season of them) , beneath the bright lights, in the freezing cold,  surrounded by $10 special hot chocolate cups,  $8 beers, and small private suites which have crowded full bars, big TVs and a real Las Vegas feel, you become conscious of a few things which are both obvious and, to me, unpleasant;  (i) sports is a big, greedy,  business; (ii) the players are highly-paid, highly-skilled entertainers, and (iii) many fans, particularly now that the prices have gotten so high, are demanding consumers, some of whom look to the highly-paid, highly-skilled players to act out their own (slightly impotent) macho instincts.

You can’t blame the players for the business aspect, and you really can’t blame them for taking advantage of the big bucks.  Many of them grew up in poor or working class families and have worked incredibly hard to hone their skills.  (Mariano Rivera apparently practiced pitching rocks as a child.)   In fact, it’s amazing to me that so many players are so genuinely devoted to the game, so genuinely excited by their victories, so seemingly tolerant of their team members.

You can’t blame the fans (or at least some of them) for acting like consumers, getting irritated not just when their team is losing, but because the show is not up to the high admission price.

But because the amounts of money involved are so large, something  has gotten very out of whack.  And strangely enough, it almost makes the TV experience feel like the truer sport experience, simply because the audience there hasn’t paid hundreds of dollars for its seat and doesn’t have to look at signs that say things like “Make Noise,” and “Win It For the Boss” (meaning George Steinbrenner.)

The game can also be watched on TV even by those folks getting off in the Bronx, before the stadium is reached.

Go Yankees! Going to Game 1!!!!

October 28, 2009

I was going to write about re-watching movies tonight, BUT I was given a very generous gift of a ticket to the Yankees’ game, Game 1 of the World Series.  The WORLD SERIES!

I’ve never been to a world series before; (I’ve only been to a couple of live baseball games); and I understand that elephants are not allowed to play.

Accordingly, the pictures below are not really accurate depictions of what I hope to see and not see tonight.  But in the interest of keeping true to the name of this blog (ManicDDaily), and in the hope that my good intentions (at least) will bring the Yankees good luck…..


What I Don't Plan To See 1

What I Do Not Plan To See Tonight

What I Don't Plan To See 2

What I Also Don't Plan to See Tonight


Go Sabithia!

Elephant Baseball

Go Yankees!

All rights reserved.  Karin Gustafson

Talismans – Go Yankees!

October 10, 2009

Last night, I heard news of the first nine innings of the Yankees game only intermittently as various men in my family returned periodically to the dinner table to report, conversationally, “one-all”, or terribly, “down three to one,” or amazingly, “A-Rod tied it in the Ninth!”

I missed Mariano.  (Dishes.)  But sat through some of Aceves’ inning.  (He was the second Yankee closer, who also did an admirable, if nail-biting job.)

I am sometimes concerned that I’m not good luck for the Yankees.  This is probably just grandiosity on my part.  But I worry, when they are down and when I am watching, that my own insecurities pass in a reverse osmosis through the television screen, and endanger their efforts.

So after a few minutes  in which nothing good was happening, I left the TV room and helped the Yankees in the only way I could think of, that is, putting up a “Go Yankees” post, with a repeat elephant baseball picture, hoping for luck.

Silly, sure.  Except that a few minutes later (even with me watching), Teixera hit his wall-scraper home run!


I’m not taking any credit.   But I’m reminded of the man in South India who put salt around his porch to ward away tigers.  When told that no tigers had ever been sited in that part of India, he nodded at the salt, “effective, isn’t it?”

Few people know that I have protected New York City from further terrorist attack by wearing a certain silver-balled necklace every single day since 9/11.

My mother wards off car accidents among family members by wearing the color blue.   (This can be quite difficult when it is too hot in Florida for a certain favorite periwinkle jacket, and her cerulean short sleeve shirt is dirty.)

My husband keeps loved ones safe through three knocks on the vehicle that holds them.   (He sometime has to do this on the trunk of the cab to the airport since it’s pretty hard to get close enough to airplanes to knock on them these days.)

I can’t really speak for my mother and husband.  I can only say that I don’t just adopt any object or action—the talisman has to proven to work.   This means that I don’t pick a lucky object, rather the object presents itself to my notice after the magic has already started working.  In the case of my silver necklace, for example, I conveniently realized, after several weeks of just happening to wear it, that no further terrorist act had happened in NYC.   (In this sense, I am quite different from Charlie Chaplin, who seemed, at least in City Lights, to adopt talismans in a rather desperate ad hoc way that proved comically inefficient.   I’m thinking here of the scene before his boxing match, in which he sneaks a rabbit’s foot from a very brawny professional-looking boxer and rubs it all over himself only to see the boxer carried out on a stretcher.  Then Chaplin tries frantically to rub the rabbit aura off .)

Oddly, one reason that I like the Yankees is that their success does not seem to depend on luck.   (Yes, they have good luck, and their own little talismanic rituals to keep hold of it.)    But, of course what the Yankees really rely on (aside from Mariano) is skill.   (Yes, this skill was bought with multi-digit figures I don’t want to think of.)   But what impresses me even more than the Yankees’ skill, is their endurance–the way they just keep going– beyond bad luck, beyond bad odds, beyond even those times when their skills have failed them and their prior innings’ performances have been embarrassingly bad (especially considering their pay).  They just keep trying until the very last out.

Probably even without silver necklaces.

If you liked elephant baseball, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson at link above.