Be he ever so humble, there's no one like Mariano

It's not to argue about the "greatest closer" moniker, but the NY Press and media dubbed Mariano Rivera that, several years before he retired.

When they were "on" their game, there was virtually no difference between Dan Quisenberry., Bruce Sutter, Kent Tekulvie, Sparky Lyle, Goose Gossage, and few I have failed to mention.

Then, there was another echelon entirely, with Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, and Mariano, whose excellence lasted beyond the four or five seasons that media followers cite for continued greatness. 

Had Trevor Hoffman been a Yankee, who knows how much more Press had would have gotten? (And make no mistake about it - he WAS great! So was Eck.)

But, but ... there are no "buts" about it, all three have had World Series "blips", but Mariano's occurred after record setting numbers had already been logged!

Well, Eck was first ballot HoF with 83%, so there is an excellent barometer. And just before Mariano comes up for the vote, we will get so see Mr.Hoffman's balloting numbers (no rings but great regular season numbers).

But this year, we have another unique barometer of a kind because we Yankee fans want to see Mariano become the first ever unanimous selection - but with 355 wins in the five man rotation era, Cy Young Awards out the wazoo, miniscule ERAs (albeit in the super wide strike zone era also), they will elect Greg Maddux, and the only question among sports mavens is whether he breaks Seaver's election Pctge record 98+ %.


RIP Paul Blair- I feel strange. ..

I lost my elder brother this month - without warning - no dire symptoms - and that's probably the way it happens in many circumstances.

Last night, Yankee fans, Oriole fans, and friends lost Paul Blair (69) and it's very sad because again, there were no outward symptoms.

Blair's wife told the local paper that Blair played a round of golf with friends Thursday morning and later lost consciousness at a celebrity bowling tournament. After just two or three practice balls (at the bowling lanes), Paul sat down, feeling kind of funny... By the time EMS 
got there after he had collapsed, they claimed they never found a pulse.

Paul, who played for the O's 64-76, then won two rings as a Yankee in 77-78, was famous for playing shallow because he could outrun virtually anything hit over his head, such was his equilibrium. 
 
He once hit an inside-the-park homer to Tiger Stadium's dead center (fence there was 440) and in the interview after the game, a sportswriter asked if he worried that the outfielder would catch up with his drive.

He was quoted as responding, "The only guy who could possibly catch up to that drive was running the bases!" (referring to himself)

But Paul also was seriously beaned and it made him shy away from certain pitches for many years. Pitchers just don't know (or they don't care) about the damage a bean-ball does, which certainly brings to mind Tony Conigliaro from Boston or the one famous fatality when Carl Mays beaned Ray Chapman at the old Polo Grounds in 1920, killing him.

True baseball fans ought to join me in condolences to Paul's wife Gloria, and the extended family. I know the Yankees have, or are in the process of, sending something of their own.

Kids, for glove only, Paul Blair was right up there with Willie Mays for defensive CF excellence. Make no mistake about it.


67 Quotes: What the world said about Mandela during 10 days of mourning

We just read a great post by SHINBOW.com

Subject:Nelson Mandela

Check this link out:67 Quotes: What the world said about Mandela during 10 days of mourning

Thanks,

BG


Q&A regarding Jacoby Ellsbury

Q: What is Jacoby Ellsbury’s new number?

A: Jacoby Ellsbury’s new number is #22 because for some reason, #2 was taken. In a coincidence,Robinson Cano‘s number with the Seattle Mariners is #22. #22 was also the former number of Roger Clemens and was the number Vernon Wells wore last season.Q: Why did Ellsbury choose 22?A: Ellsbury: ”Two is my favorite number, so why not have two of them?”

Q: What tempted Ellsbury to sign with the Yankees?

A: Ellsbury: “The tradition, the great players who have played here. The commitment to winning.”

Q: Did Ellsbury turn to anyone for advice before signing with the Yankees?

A: Ellsbury said he called Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira for their opinions about playing in New York. The both of them assured Ellsbury that he would love playing in New York and he wouldn’t regret it.

Q: Why did Brian Cashman sign Ellsbury in the first place?

A: Cashman: “He’s a dynamic player. someone who can make a difference on the offensive and defensive side.”

Q: How does Joe Girardi feel about having Ellsbury in New York?

A: Girardi: “Seems like each week my job gets a little easier. You’re no longer a thorn in my side. You’re a flower in our clubhouse.”

Q: Did Ellsbury have anything to say about his former team, the Boston Red Sox?

A: Ellsbury: ”It was seven great years. Unbelievable first part of my career.”


Holiday news and views

Item 1: Please don't get mad at Grandy for his comment about true New Yorkers being Mets fans. What he is obviously doing is playing the company line. For all we know, since he is from the Midwest, Grandy is just as likely to identify with his old team (Tigers) best. For Mets fans, the truth is that they are getting a fine all around player who is less likely to see as many breaking pitches with the NL staffs. He could produce wonderful stats for the Mets - he is a baserunner with good instincts, a decent glove and arm, and he is well spoken.

Item 2: The Mets have signed Colon. His biggest test for the Mets might come when he pees in the cup! At 40, I think he's got at least one more year in him.

Yankees acquired a minor league pitcher yesterday to complete the Stewart trade.

Next, we may get a trade off, losing Grandy but gaining Beltran (a switch hitter the Yankees desperately want in their lineup). But that would leave an overcrowded OF - don't be shocked if a package gets done involving Gardner, especially if not with an AL East team.

If the rumor mill is accurate, Papelbon is clubhouse poison - the Phillies can't wait to lose him. They will also trade Cliff Lee if they can get something tangible in return. Why did Oakland abandon Balfour? Did this Aussie want the Moon for those last two seasons? Yankees had good luck with Aussie Graham Lloyd in 1996, so if the price is right, Balfour is younger than Bob Barker!

Item 3: MLB has about as much real chance of stopping home plate collisions as a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest!


Ellsbury cashes in - plans to play "real hard" for the Yankees

Jacoby Ellsbury is set to make 153 million over the next 7 years in New York. The Yankees decided signing the 30 year old former Boston outfielder was the right move.

Despite Ellsbury having already won 2 World Series titles with Boston, Yankees officials feel he is still hungry for more and will continue to play hard.

"Are you kidding? Of course he will!" Says one Yankees official. "Are you trying to tell me a 30 year old professional athlete would sign for that much money and then not give it his all?"

hmmm.......


If Cano goes to Seattle, can Beyonce handle the rain?

Jay Z's first order of business appears to be taking Robinson Cano out of the spotlight of New York and stashing him where no one will ever find him again.

Reports are that the Seattle Mariners are going to sign Cano to a ridiculous deal which will cost them every other player and require Cano to play all 4 infield spots himself.

The deal also means Jay Z and Beyonce will be spending alot of time in the Pacific Northwest.

Umbrella salesman Gipper McGroin is thrilled.

"If I can get Ms Knowles to use my umbrellas in her songs and trips out shopping or to the many Starbucks we have, the sky is the limit for my business!"

Gipper has visions of teen girls and urban youths across the globe sporting his umbrellas.

We will keep you posted on the latest.


Bronx Goblin remembers Joey Napolitano

Although we never actually met Joey in person, he has had a great impact on our blog. Joey, a professional Chef, guest posted a number of tailgating recipes for Bronx Goblin and won a number of our contests.

The picture above (Joey in the middle) was at Finnertys Bar in NYC. Joey won a keg and threw a party for his friends.

Joey was a very nice guy and will be missed.

RIP


Cano say's he didn't ask for 300 million. It was only 250 million. Oh...

Cano is starting to feel the pressure of the market or lack there of. No one seems to be bidding for him right now and his asking price is starting to come down a bit. When I say a bit, I mean a lot.

Here is what he had to say about the whole thing.

“I’ve never asked anybody for $300 million,” the free agent second baseman told the Dominican website El Dia on Thursday.

Cano went on to say in Spanish that “nobody has ever heard that come out of my mouth ($300 million) and you’re never going to hear it.”

Interesting indeed. The reason no one is going to hear it come out of his mouth, because it will be the agent saying it.

At this point, Can is starting to look a little foolish. We will have to see what happens.


Black Friday Special from the Yankees!

The New York Yankees are the premier franchise in all of professional sports having won an unprecedented 27 World Series Championships throughout their storied history. As such they have rarely offered discounted ticket specials. However for 2014 season they have decided to reward their loyal fan base by offering some fantastic deals for the upcoming season. Beginning at 12 pm EST on Black Friday (November 29) and lasting until December 24th the Yankees, in conjunction with MasterCard, will offer three different promotions for fans to purchase tickets.

MasterCard Preferred Pricing
•$15 off select seats when purchasing tickets with your MasterCard.

•Available for every home game through June.

•New for the 2014 season!

MasterCard Holiday Buy 2, Get 2

•Save 50% on select seats (Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers) for the following games:

•Must be purchased with a MasterCard between 12 pm EST on Black Friday (11/29) through Cyber Monday (12/2).

•Entering the promo code “MCB2G2” at check out.

Offer available for these games:
•4/8 vs Baltimore Orioles
•4/9 vs Baltimore Orioles

•4/15 vs Chicago Cubs
•4/16 vs Chicago Cubs

•4/29 vs Seattle Mariners
•4/30 vs Seattle Mariners
•5/1 vs Seattle Mariners

MasterCard $5 & 1/2 Priced Games


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