Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tough times for Yanks? Take this quiz and find out!

A decade ago, Queen Elizabeth closed the year by recalling the assorted misdeeds of her children and their spouses and declared it an annis horribilis, which I believe is Latin for “crappy year.”

As the baseball season rolls into its mid-year celebration, we can only assume Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is preparing to make a similar declaration.

Not that that’s a bad thing.

I won’t say that we here at Mets Guy openly rejoice when the tormentors in the Bronx stumble on hard times. But we do take of note of them – to reflect upon on those days when Kaz Bleeping Matsui goes 5-for-5 against his former team.

Now it is your turn to show how much you’ve been paying attention. Here is your Mid-Year Yankee Turmoil Quiz, and we can only hope it becomes an annual event.

1) The Yankees have spent the last decade or so declaring centerfielder Bernie Williams to be the second coming of Joe DiMaggio. Williams, known as “The Classy Yankee, if there can be such a thing,” appeared to have lost a step or two or five in the last couple seasons. The Yankees:

A) Told Williams they always have a place for their legends and welcomed him back with open arms and allow him to leave the game on his own terms.
B) Announced plans for “Bernie Williams Day” where they would unveil his plaque for Memorial Park and retire No. 51.
C) Announced his return in a dramatic seventh-inning appearance, where homer/announcer Suzyn Waldman shrieked “BERNIE WILLIAMS IS IN GEORGE STEINBRENNER’S BOX!!!”
D) Informed their legend that he was welcome to report to spring training -- but only with a minor league contract as a non-roster invitee and no guaranteed spot on the team.

2) Yankee captain/hype machine Derek F. Jeter was mum last year when fans were riding star/rival Alex Rodriguez, and when Jeter’s leadership was questioned he said, "The only thing I'm not going to do is tell the fans what to do. ... I don't think it's my job to tell fans to boo or not to boo." ARod in spring training gathered reporters together to say:

A) He respects Jeter's quiet leadership.
B) He’s sure Jeter supports him, but has trouble showing it.
C) Thinks Jeter is absolutely as wonderful as Tom Verducci says he is. Every day.
D) Announced that he and Jeter are no longer friends but will get along on the field.

3) Losing to the rival Red Sox in the sweepstakes for Japanese sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Yankees signed a Japanese pitcher of their own, Kei Igawa, to a 5-year, $20 million contract. Six weeks into the season, the Yankees:

A) Praised their scouts for plucking an unknown star from the Japan League.
B) Declared Igawa the team’s best signing since Carl Pavano
C) Shipped his greasy butt down to play for the Tampa Yankees for putrid performance, where Igawa became the highest-paid player in the history of Single-A baseball.

4) Back to ARod. Family man Mr. Rodriguez was captured by New York Post photographers in Totonto:

A) Stopping his limo by the side of the road to help an old lady change a flat tire, prompting the Post to declare him “Good SamRod.”
B) Stopping into Toronto Memorial Hospital to see if there was anyone in need of a kidney transplant because, gosh, he’s got two and Derek won’t be needing it, prompting the Post to declare him “SaintRod.”
C) Rushing to the Phanages Theater when he heard that both the lead and the understudy had called in sick, yelling “The show must go on!” and landing on stage just in time to sing “Music of the Night,” prompting the Post to declare him “Phantom of the OpRod.”
D) Appearing with a blonde who did not seem to be Mrs. Rodriguez entering an establishment where ladies seem to have a hard time staying dressed, prompting the Post to declare him “StrayRod.”

5) Slugger Jason Giambi, whose power numbers seem to decline after he lost a lot of weight and was the subject of leaked grand jury testimony in the infamous BALCO performance-enhancing drug case, decided to cleanse his soul to USA Today, where he said:

A) “I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m deeply sorry that I didn’t have more respect for the game and the fans."
B) "I don’t deserve the 7-year, $120 million contract the Yankees gave me because of my inflated statistics. I intend to use some of that money to help former players who have fallen on hard times and perhaps were squeezed from the game because they refused to use performance-enhancing drugs. And I will fully cooperate with Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid use.”
C) "That stuff didn't help me hit home runs. I don't care what people say, nothing is going to give you that gift of hitting a baseball."

6) The Yankees lured Roger Clemens away from Houston with a $28 million contact and a strange announcement that as sullied the aforementioned Ms. Waldman’s reputation. “The Rocket” since returning:

A) Has generated nothing but warmth and compassion from fans in both Houston and Boston, the two teams with sentimental connections to Clemens.
B) Performed so well that the team doesn’t want to wait for his eventual retirement to add his plaque to Memorial Park in the spot once reserved for Bernie Williams.
C) Produced an unspectacular 2-3 record with a 4.26 ERA -- and a loss to the Mets -- becoming the most expensive middle-reliever ever and was ridiculed by people at the typically Yankee-loving Sports Illustrated by being branded one of the year’s “high-priced busts.”

7) Speaking of middle relievers, Scott Proctor decides to cleanse the team of its struggles by burning his equipment on the gravel near the field. Such equipment is often in demand from baseball card companies that slice it into pieces and attach them onto cards that are inserted into packs. In this case, card companies likely said:

A) What a shame. Yankee fans are denied a chance to own a slice of game-used memorabilia.
B) Too bad. Many teams auction game-used memorabilia and give the proceeds to charity.
C) Who is Scott Proctor?

8) Back to ARod again! Cynthia Rodriguez shows up in the section of the stands reserved for players’ wives, wear a shirt that says:
A) “I love Alex,” prompting the New York Post to declare him “Snuggle BunnyRod.”
B) “37 14 41 42” on the front and on the back, prompting the Post to declare him “Well-ReadRod” and praising his wife for her fine taste in blogs and T-shirts.
C) “F--- You,” only without the dashes, apparently violating a Yankee Stadium policy about profanity, prompting the Post to declare him “F-Rod.”

Naturally, you realize that the final answer in each question is the correct one.

Wow. So it’s been a pretty eventual year in the Bronx. And the most beautiful thing? The season is only half-over!

In other words:

If you like funny baseball quizes, the friends at Yes, Joe. It's Toasted are the masters! Give them a read!


Anonymous said...

There are few things in life that give me more enjoyment of Yankee failure. 1. My Family, 2. A losing season for the Raiders, Bills, Pats and of course the Doll-Fins. 3. World peace, but, sorry Miss America, at my advanced years I realize that is unattainable. So in fact, I am truly basking in the Yankee misery. You are kind to say your not basking, but are you being totally honest my affable Bard of blogs, my soothsayer of all thing baseball? I think not!! I know how you feel, deep down inside. Dave, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls are in baseball stadiums and have to be guarded by men with gloves. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Mike from Long Island? We have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. Some weep for the Yankees, and you curse Steinbrenner. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not digging deep inside. The demise of the Yankees, while some consider tragic, probably saved baseball. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to Mike from Long Island (doll-fins fan), saves baseball. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want the players on that wall, you need them on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending baseball. A-Rod and Jeter use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a Yankee fan. For them to shun my support to the better NY team (METS), and then question the manner in which I provide it! I would rather everyone just said thank you, and went on there way. Otherwise, I suggest we all pick up a glove, and stand a post. Either way, I don't believe you don’t, deep down inside, enjoy every minute of this mister, save it for the Sunday Sermon.

P.S. Some of these lines were co-written by my close friend a colleague Rob Reiner.


Mets Guy in Michigan said...

OK, I shall concede that there is a chance I was somewhat more joyful than I initially stated.

Hmmmm. Perhaps that's not entirely true, either. There is an extra bounce to my step as the Yankees weep. After all, it's not like I'm causing them to suck. It's just happening.

Aw heck, you called me on it, Tim. Truth be told, people think I was hanging decorations and setting off fireworks because of Independence Day. Just a coincidence. The Evil Empire has inflicted so much pain that I was practically doing cartwheels in the office. As for the fireworks, typically we get the supermarket-sized box.

But the Yankees below .500 in July? That called for a Costco-sized box, then a trip to the guys selling fireworks out of the U-Haul in the strip mall parking lot to get something extra-special for the finale! Plus, they had something called "The Climbing Panda" where a cardboard panda really did climb through the sparks in a salute to Yankee shame.

It was a glorious thing!

G-Fafif said...

We ran out of shirts just before CRod requested one. We could have saved her a lot of trouble. said...

I am a lifelong -- back to the Polo Grounds -- Mets fan about to move to Grand Rapids from LI (Huntington). Great blog. I hope to make one last game at Shea, on Endy Chavez Bobble Head Doll night. I'm guessing I may then have the only one in West Michigan.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Hey Rick,

Welcome to the Midwest and West Michigan. GR is a nice place. You'll like it.

It will be nice to have another Mets fan in the area.

We'll have to check out a Whitecaps game.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have an update with the Mets' stellar performance at the end of the season.