Jeter Goes Down

Last night sucked.

This happened.

Considering this guy gets up from everything.

It didn’t look good when he didn’t.  Which immediately gave me horrible flashbacks to this.

It’s hard to describe exactly how I felt, but I think this is the closest approximation.

Me = Lance Harbor’s Dad + Jon Voight + Ali Larter + Billy Bob | Derek Jeter = Lance Harbor

The Amalgam of Me

A while ago, I shameless stole this idea, tweaked it a bit, and then called it my own.  Well, I’m up to it again.

Truth be told, I steal a lot of things and call them my own.  Sometimes, I consciously steal them, sometimes, I don’t even realize I stole them.  Now, I’m not talking about stealing tangible items, I’m talking about stealing the intangibles of a person, their character traits, habits, style, views, sayings, inspirations, etcetera.  All these things create an Amalgam of Me.

The pie chart below will effectively explain, how exactly I became me. Twenty-three years, nine months and six days in the making.

****The Amalgam of Me in Pie Form****
(click pie to enlarge)

*******************************************************

Derek Jeter – 18%

A complete aversion to doing  anything controversial.
Showing minimal emotion.
Leading by example.
Never airing out grievances.
Deflecting personal question.
Never making excuses.
Playing through injuries.
Fist Pumping.

Giving the women I bed gift baskets.

George Costanza – 14%

Overall disposition to the world.
Views on career.

Views on women.
Views on baby names.

Sleeping at work.  

Steve Carell (Michael Scott) – 7%

Saying “That’s what she said.”
Doing things so unfunny to the people around me, that I (and only I) find hysterical.
Writing a terrible screenplay based on myself.
50% of my sense of humor.

Steve Carell (The 40 Year Old Virgin) – 7%

Saying “This is not a good look for me!”
Screaming “Ahhh Kelly Clarkson!!!”
Being completely awkward.
Playing the underdog.
Other 50% of my sense of humor.

Jimmy Fallon – 6%

Calling people, “pal.”
Laughing really hard at things not necessary funny.
Acting overly enthusiastic.
Slim fitting suits.
Wishing I was best friends with Justin Timberlake.

Paul Rudd – 5%

Relishing the sidekick role.
Saying “Totes Mcgotes.”
Making fun of Coldplay.

Frank Sinatra – 4%

Drinking red wine.
Acting like a stereotypical Italian-American.
Acting like a stereotypical New York-American.

Ernest Hemingway – 4%

Inspiration to write.
Desire to run with the bulls.
Romanticizing boxing.
Drinking.

Drake – 4%

Wearing crewneck sweatshirts.
Irrational love for sweaters.
Saying “be you” and “I’m doing me.”
Beefing with Chris Brown.

Ryan Gosling – 3%

An attempt at the haircut above.
Sporadically growing a beard.

Seth Rogen – 3%

Making extremely obscure pop culture references.

Rembert Browne – 3%

This entire blog.
This specific post.

 Peter Gibbons – 3%

Destroying office equipment.
General apathy.

 Crash Davis – 3%

Everything I believe in.

 Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 3%

Listening to The Smiths.
Desire to make Alex Mack my girlfriend, circa 1999.
Desire to make Zooey Deschanel my girlfriend,circa present day.

Always believing in my team.

 Luke Skywalker – 2%

Unwavering crave to be the good guy.
Realizing girls like the bad boy.

Ben Stiller as Starsky – 2%

Dance-offs.

Lloyd Dobler – 2%

My plans for the future.
Dating behavior.

Kenny Powers – 2%

Loving America.

Ronaldo – 1%

Wearing long sleeves with shorts.

C.T. – 1%

Getting drunk and making my voice deeper.
Getting drunk and instigating fights.

Tom Cruise – 1%

Wayfayers.

 Vince Vaughn – 1%

Trash talking during sports–based video games.
Telling people they’re “so money.”

Martin Luther King Jr. – 1%

Believing that Love will save the world.

So yeah, that’s basically me.  All summed up.  As Jay-Z would say, “either love me or leave me alone.”

Greg. Out. (mic drop).

Happy Birthday Derek Jeter!!

Today, my favorite non-family member turns 38 years old.

With 3,181 hits, Jeter has the third most hits ever by his 38th birthday (only Hank Aaron and Ty Cobb had more).

And he did it the right way.  No chemically induced seasons needed.

I’ve only been in one fight in my life, but call Derek Jeter over-rated and I will punch you in the face.

Also, I’m naming my first born daughter Jeter (future wife, this is non-negotiable).

Happy 38th DEREK!!!

New York Yankees 2012 Preview

The New york Yankees start their march for a 28th championship title tomorrow at 3pm eastern time.  While I do not follow the league as keenly as I once did (I can’t even name all thirty closers anymore) I still possess a pretty good beat on my hometown team.  Here is my player by player analysis of the 2012 New York Yankees.

Catcher: Russell Martin
A bit overrated in my eyes.  Supposedly a good locker room guy and tough as an overcooked rib eye, but he doesn’t produce like he did in his early years (he’s an under .250 hitter over the last three years).  Behind the plate he is pretty solid all though not spectacular.

First Base: Mark Teixeira
It’s hard to gripe about a guy who consistently hits 30+ home runs, drives in 100+ runs and plays a gold glove first base, but I’m about to.  In recent years he has fell in love with the short porch in right field and has become pull crazy.  He no longer drives the ball the opposite way, he looks for a pitch in and tries to yank it over the right field fence.  This can be seen in his dramatic decrease in batting average, .256 and .248 over the last two years respectively, for a guy who hits .281 for his career.  This tendency has also manifested itself in the playoffs where he is hitting a putrid .136 over the last two years.  In the playoffs you face a lot of good pitching and you need complete hitters, ones who do not have holes in their swings, in order to thrive.

Second Base: Robinson Cano
Talking about complete hitters, here is one of the top three pure hitter in the game (next to Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols).  Cano does a great job of taking what the pitcher gives him and spraying the ball all over the field.  He has hit 25+ homers, 40+ doubles and carries a .314 average over the last three years.  Plus he plays a superb second base, coupling a powerful arm with an incredible smoothness in the field.  Cano is arguably the Yankees most valuable player.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez
Let me make it clear, I have not liked A-Rod since 2001 when he dissed Derek Jeter in an Esquire article.  Now in 2012 their are a trove of articles outlining the demise of A-Rod, which I believe is a bit dramatic.  I know in each of the last four years he has found his name on the disabled list, but this guy may be the greatest right handed hitter since Roger Hornsby.  Add to that, he went to Germany this off season to receive the same dubious Rocky IV- Ivan Drago type leg surgery that Kobe Bryant received before the start of the NBA season and now look at Kobe, he leads the league in minutes and points per game.

Shortstop: Derek Jeter
O Captain! My Captain.  As a Yankee fan I am contractually obligated to never criticize Derek Jeter.  So he’ll be great.

Left Field: Brett Gardner
When he first came up to the big leagues I thought he was no more than a fourth outfield, but he proved me wrong displaying two legit MLB skills, base stealing and fielding.  Both of these skills are routed in Gardner’s insane speed.  He doesn’t quite read pitchers well when stealing bases and his great defensive value comes from the great range he can cover thanks to his wheels.  But he is limited in the power department and if he hits .260 again  he may be looking for a new job.

Center Field: Curtis Granderson
Granderson posted career numbers last year with 41 homers, 136 runs and 119 rbis.  He’ll probably regress a bit this year but he should still be one of the premier center fielders in the AL.  Though like Teixeira he tries to pull everything  and can not claim to be a truly complete hitter, I mean the guy struck out nearly 170 times last year.

Right Field: Nick Swisher
This guys is a full count machine.  I have never seen a player who went up to the plate trying to draw a walk.  That being said, Swisher is about as average a player as you can get.  He doesn’t hit for a great average but draws a bunch of walks, he has some power but strikes out a ton.  Swisher is the ultimate neutral player.

Designated Hitter: Raul Ibanez/Eric Chavez/Andruw Jones/Eduardo Nunez
I don’t know exactly who, if anyone, will take the reins on this one, but it seems to me like it will end up being a hodge-podge platoon of match ups/who’s hot.  The Yankee brass seem to really like Nunez and his potential.  While the other three, well past their prime, have a combined six all star appearances among them and look to try an recapture some of their youth.

Backup Catcher: Chris Stewart
I know literally nothing about this guy, the Yankees just signed him yesterday.

Ace: CC Sabathia
I love CC, he is my favorite Yankees pitcher since Orlando Hernandez.  The guy is an absolute bulldog on the mound, you can pencil him in for 230+ innings and 18+ wins.  He gives you a chance to win every time he takes the rubber.  The Yankees MVP comes down to him and Cano, period.

Starter: Hiroki Kuroda
An overlooked signing by Brian Cashman.  The guy eats innings, has pretty good control and should be effective although I do anticipate a bump in his era, moving from the NL west to the AL east.

Starter: Phil Hughes
I attended Hughes’ Major League debut ready to embark on what was suppose to be a great career.  What followed? A huge disappointment.  He’s shown some flashes but thanks to injuries and overwhelming ineffectiveness I find it incredibly hard to expect anything positive coming from this guy in the immediate future.

Starter: Ivan Nova
He does not boast a strong K/9 or K:BB ratio and I don’t see him repeating his impressive rookie season, but maybe I’m wrong, if he keeps the ball on the ground maybe he can do what Chien-Ming Wang did for a few years.

Starter: Freddy Garcia
This guy’s been around and I can’t imagine him topping 150 innings this year.

Starter (DL): Michael Pineda
I hated this deal the moment I heard it.  The Yankees traded Jesus Montero (a top five prospect) for a guy with one year big league experience who posted a +5.00 era in the second half of last season.  Are you kidding me?  Did you watch Montero at the plate in the last month of  the season?  This guy can rake in 60 at bats (I know it’s a small sample size) he put up .328/406/590 and showed power to the opposite field at age 21!!  This guy can be the next Miguel Cabrera, for Christ sake.  I know a lot of people are saying Pineda has just as much upside, but you fail to realize he has globs more downside.  Look at young pitchers, young pitchers better than him, Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain, Dontrelle Willis, Brandon Webb,  injuries to young pitchers are so common and detrimental, its basically a crap shoot.

Starter (Wildcard): Andy Pettite
Who knows?

Relievers: Clay Rapada/David Phelps
End of the bullpen guys they’ll bounce back and forth from AAA to the bigs all season.

Relievers: Boone Logan/Corey Wade
Pretty effective last season, but the shelf life on relievers is so hard to predict.

7th Inning Man: Rafael Soriano
Tremendously overpaid and struggled last year until he found a groove toward the end of the season.  He’ll make about $11 mill this year.  $11 mill for a seventh inning man, a luxury only the New York Yankees can afford.

Set-up Man: David Robertson
This guy is good,  real good.  He struck out 100 guys in under 70 innings last year while posting an era of 1.08.  He issues a tad too many walks, but if he can refine his control he’d be superhuman.  The heir apparent to Mariano Rivera.

Closer: Mariano Rivera
The most amazing man I have ever watched in sports.  The man is the Jay-Z of closers, he has been around the game since 1995 and while others pop up and try to claim his throne (Eric Gagne, Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, Joakim Soria)  he always outlasts them and ends up on top.  Unequivocally the greatest closer of all time.

Predictions:
I see the Yankees winning the wildcard but in a stacked AL east with an old base and questionable starting pitching behind CC I don’t see them winning the division.  When it comes to the playoffs I always say that you’re only as good as your number two starter.  If Pineda proves me wrong or Pettite can revive his career they could be in good shape, but I doubt either of those will happen.  Yanks lose in the ALDS.

New York’s Coolest

1940s

Joe DiMaggio

The guy married Marilyn Monroe for Christ’s sake.  It didn’t hurt he played the most popular sport on most popular team at the time.  He inherited the throne of Gehrig and Ruth, won nine World Series, and three MVPs.  He played with grace and always maintained his cool, calm composure, rarely showing emotions.  Whether it was his slick backed dark hair or the perfectly tailored suit, off the field he always looked sophisticated without comprising his manliness.  And once again, the guy married Marilyn Monroe for crying out loud.

1950s

Mickey Mantle

Another Yankee, if Joe D. inherited the throne from Gehrig and Ruth, Mick inherited it from Joe.  That said, the two didn’t have much in common, other than winning, Mick won seven World Series.  Both cool for exactly opposite reasons, if DiMaggio was Clooney, Mick was Tommy Lee.  Joe personified class. Mick was a rock star in a baseball player’s body.  Mick famously got drunk, got rowdy and got woman.  His teammates loved him as they owned the New York night life.  Of course none of that stopped him from destroying on the baseball diamond, selected TWENTY times to the All Star game.  They say ‘chicks dig the long ball’ and Mick had 536 of them.  Legions of men today walk around with the name Mickey, thanks to the awe he inspired.

1960s

Joe Namath

Before he famously tried to put the moves on Suzy Kolber on nation TV, the media dubbed him as Broadway Joe.  He won the first and only Super Bowl for the New York Jets , which helped merge the NFL and AFL.  He made waves guaranteeing a win over the heavily favored Colts back before guaranteeing a game was played out.  He wore fur coats on the sideline, had long hair and a fu manchu.  He starred in movies and TV and owned his own bar.  My mother still has a crush on him.  If you really want to see just how cool he was, watch the documentary Namath from HBO sports, it shows his entire southern cool persona as he flourishes under the bright lights of New York.

1970s

Walt Frazier

You may know Walt simply as ‘Clyde”.  Frazier got the nickname from his propensity to dress stylishly like that of Warren Beatty in the movie Bonnie and Clyde.  Frazier lead the Knicks to their only two championships in the franchises’ history.  Clyde, another southern gentleman, hailing from the ATL, made New York his town.  He rocked fedoras, three piece suits and more animal prints than Cruella de Vil.  Even president Obama admits to owning Clyde’s book Rockin Steady: A guide to basketball and cool.  You can still experience his radiant cool by tuning into a Knicks game with him on the sideline calling the game.

1980s

Keith Hernandez

A controversial decision, Keith over Lawrence Taylor, both won championships, and both forayed into drugs.  Keith takes this one, because under his ‘bad boy’ image it all seemed good natured while LT just seemed unhinged.  Keith, the captain of the 86 Mets’ championship squad, known for his late night partying assisted in making New York a Mets’ town and stealing the back page from the New York Yankees (even if it was for just a short time).  Whether it was the mustache or the cocaine he symbolized 80s cool.  Thank God the 80s are over.

1990s

Derek Jeter

Let’s run down the list, Mariah Carey(pre-crazy), Jordana Brewster, Vanessa Minnillo, Vida Guerra, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Adriana Lima, Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly, yea, pretty impressive list.  He hasn’t given any of those women rings but he does have five for himself.  The captain of the New York Yankees has every woman in the tri-state area fawning over him while also having every guy in the tri-state area wanting to be him.  Jeter ranks among the leaders in all most every Yankee offensive category, plays shortstop (the sport’s most glamorous position) and has a first class ticket to Cooperstown whenever he decides to hang them up.

2000s

Michael Strahan

Yea, I know Strahan and Jeter can be flipped but Strahan won his Super Bowl in 2008.  Strahan, the face of the New York Giants, owns the single season sacks record as well as the NFL’s most famous smile.  Now that he anchors NBC’s Sunday football pre show he still owns some limelight.  Strahan stars in a bunch of TV commercials hawking subway sandwiches and SoBe life water.  Strahan distinguished himself as a true leader and notorious goofball

All of these players were cool for different reasons, some had class, some partied hard and others just had a certain flair, but what unifies them is that they all won and New York loves a winner.