Again we promised you a follow-up Subway Series post and it seems as though we’ve made further promises (daddy), promises that we can’t keep. This time it’s not our fault. We’re having some difficulty tying our Yankees fan down. She’s very busy, therefore we’ll have to work around her schedule. We will give you that follow-up post eventually when she has more free time. In the meantime, we’re going to talk about old people.
While watching the Yankees’ former athletes don the pinstripes again for a brief stint of baseball this afternoon, we became wistful and longed for our teams of old. Watching guys like Charlie Hays (who made the final catch of the 96’ World Series), Willie Randolph, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, Bernie Williams, and David Cone take the field again made Serena miss the old Yankees. The Yankees of the 90’s. A time when her family owned season tickets and got first dibs at post season ticket sales. A time when Ken Griffey Jr. chased the home run record while playing for the Mariners, when the Mariners were actually a good team, when Roger Clemens/Andy Pettitte/AROD/Barry Bonds/Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa hadn’t been publicly flogged for steroid use, when the Expos still existed and there were no Nationals, when the Brewers still played in the American League, when there was only one Wild Card team from each league, when you were able to slip a quarter into those little vending machines and get a plastic mini-helmet for your money, when the Mets’ home run apple actually looked like an apple rising from a top hat and not a tomato rising from the center circle of hell, when satin team jackets were the style, and when pitchers went the distance.
Don’t get us wrong. We enjoy watching the Yankees and Mets. Serena loves Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte, Nick Swisher. Lisa loves TOWSNBN, Daniel Murphy, Johan Santana, RA Dickey, Mike Baxter, Ruben Tejada. However, it’s not the same. Maybe we’re getting old or maybe we’re just too jaded, but it feels like these group of guys are tarnished.
We decided to create our own Old Timer’s Team, only instead of just having Yankees, it would be a team for New York, consisting of our all-time favorite players (not including active players). After compiling our list, we discovered that we apparently have strong emotional ties to outfielders and pitchers. We might have one of the oldest, most epic pitching staffs in history. Before we share our list, please be aware that some players that you may feel are obvious choices for this list (Mike Piazza, Joe DiMaggio) won’t be here and that’s not to discredit their abilities as ball players. We just don’t have emotional ties to them…or, as in the case with Piazza, we just don’t like him as a person. So without further ado, here’s the TBB’s version of an Old Timer’s Team:
Behind the plate, we chose Thurman Munson and Gary Carter. Granted, neither of us were alive for when Munson patrolled home plate (okay…Lisa was 1, but that hardly counts) and we were quite young during Carter’s hey-day, but these men embodied what a baseball player should be. They were strong, passionate, hard-working, and soulful players. Munson’s career was cut short tragically and when you think about the player he was and how he died, it has to tug on your heart strings, right? You’d have to be pretty heartless to roll your eyes at that. The Yankees still have his locker. Carter died just this year and his death had an obvious affect on the baseball community, including the current Mets…half of which hadn’t been born to see him play since 90% of them are now younger than us. We’re like the Derek Jeter-age of fans. Still socially considered “young,” but we should be approaching baseball retirement any day now. Soon, we’re not going to be allowed to check out any players without being referred to as cougars.
At first, we only have representation from the Bronx side of New York: Tino Martinez, Lou Gehrig, and Don Mattingly. Even Lisa loves Martinez. How could you not? He’s a nice guy, easy on the eyes, and a great first baseman. What an appropriate defensive replacement for Don Mattingly. Growing up under Mamadukes’ roof, there were 3 Yankees that were golden and could do no wrong: Gehrig, Donnie Baseball, and Sweet Lou. Naturally, being a staunch Donnie supporter, Mamadukes did not appreciate the arrival of Martinez. In fact, she hated him. When he got the boot for Jason Giambi, she actually cheered and proclaimed utter adoration for Giambi, which makes no sense. You replaced an amazing first baseman with a complete disaster who wore a gold thong.
Donnie Baseball and Lou Gehrig shouldn’t NEED an explanation, but if you really want one, we’ll give you one. Lou Gehrig got the sh*tty end of the stick. He was a good guy and a great ball player who had heart, yet he was forced into an early retirement because his body failed him, not because he failed himself. It’s not fair. He set the record of most consecutive games played which stood for 56 years. When his physical abilities began to fail, Gehrig asked his manager, Joe McCarthy to bench him. He never played again. Now when players ask their managers to bench them, it’s only because they want to retain the batting title. Selfish. Ah, and now for Mattingly. The man they call “Donnie Baseball.” When you epitomize the beauty of America’s pastime, you must be pretty legendary, no? Mattingly IS baseball. End of story.
At second, we only have representation from the Queens side of New York: Edgardo Alfonzo and Tim Teufle. Teufle was a member of the exciting 86’ Mets and is part of an elite group of players who actually gave a crap about the game. Plus, he had the Teufle Shuffle at the plate and anyone who has a shuffle named after him is a-ok in our book. Lisa chose Alfonzo because he was great fun to watch, “unlike these jack-a-loons we have playing now.” You may remember Alfonzo for his Sports Illustrated cover appearance alongside John Olerud, Rey Ordonez, and Robin Ventura, which brings us to our next category:
Third base. Representing our elderly gentlemen at third is Robin Ventura and Howard Johnson. Let’s start with the man they call HoJo. As you may recall, both Fred #1 and #2 are Mets fans, therefore while Serena and Brother were brought up in a Yankees household, they did see action at Shea Stadium, including getting to watch HoJo play third for the Mets. At the time, Serena was fascinated by the man that she was sure owned the hotel chain called Howard Johnson. Mamadukes later scoffed at this idea, borderline calling Serena a moron, but Lisa swears that she also remembers HoJo doing Howard Johnson commercials (as we write this, Lisa is sitting on Serena’s bedroom floor furiously Googling for evidence to support our theories on her portable internet machine). We know you’re probably shocked that we chose a ginger to play on our team, but even gingers have potential for athleticism. Just look at Brian McCann. He might be severely unattractive, but that doesn’t stop him from being a bad a$$ mother f*cker behind the plate.
Robin Ventura is a special addition to our team because he played third for both the Yankees and Mets. It’s like a two-for at Chili’s. Serena was obsessed with him. When the Yankees got him from the Mets, she nearly pissed herself with excitement. a) Ventura was a gold medal winner (as in the f*cking Olympics, people). b) he fought Nolan Ryan. Epic. c) had a knack for hitting grand slams (18 for his career, once having hit 2 in one game), and d) was a 6-time Gold Glove winner at third. Serena loves her defense. Plus, he was and still is adorable. When the Yankees released him for Aaron Boone, Serena went to a game at Yankees Stadium with a sign that said, “Bring Robin back. Go away, Aaron.” Mamadukes was embarrassed.
At short stop, we have Bucky “f*cking” Dent and Rey Ordonez. You know that when you talk about Dent and that home run over the Green Monster in 1978, you call him Bucky “f*cking (or bleeping)” Dent. Late game heroics and curse words are what the TBB are all about. In regards to Ordonez, he set a major league record for short stops by playing 101 consecutive games without committing a fielding error. Plus, he is also on the Sports Illustrated cover that we really like.
We have six outfielders because four isn’t enough: Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neil, Lou Piniella, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, and Cleon Jones. Let us give you the quick summary of what’s happening in the outfield for us: Bern Baby Bern, I am the Warrior, Sweet Louuuuuuu, The Mick, Bobby Murcer once hid an Easter egg in the YES booth for Michael Kay to find, and Cleon Jones caught the final out of 69’ World Series when the Mets defeated the Orioles. All a class of individuals who cared about playing the game…and in O’Neil’s case, he might’ve cared a little too much as he’d been known to break sh*t in the dugout.
When we think about Mantle, we think about him in hindsight because we never had the opportunity to watch him play. You don’t have to be a Yankees fan to appreciate Mantle for what he brought to the table: class, charisma, a beautiful swing that younger players emulate, and all-around athleticism. He had the career that most men dream of: 20-time All Star (20…people are making a big deal about Derek Jeter being voted into his 13th…TWENTY?!), 7-time World Series champion, 3-time AL MVP, Gold Glove and Hutch Award winner, Triple Crown, his number has been retired at Yankees Stadium, and oh, yeah, he was voted onto the MLB All-Century Team. No big deal. It’s no secret that he never took care of himself. His longtime alcoholism finally caught up to him and he eventually died of liver cancer. Look at what he managed to do with his talents while not giving a sh*t about his body. Could you imagine the great things he would’ve accomplished if he only cared about himself?
As mentioned earlier, our pitching staff is pretty legendary (yes, Cliff Lee, legendary…unlike what you’re pitching with). It consists of Ron Guidry, Mike Mussina, David Cone, Tom Seaver, Ron Darling, and John Franco, who was recently inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. Mamadukes once sat next to Ron Guidry in a hospital waiting room and didn’t know who he was. When she relayed this story to her father later that day, he was displeased. She tells us that all the girls loved Louisiana Lightning/Gator because of his big blue eyes. Why do we like him? We’ll take a guy who once pitched to a 25-3 record and holds the single-game strikeout record (with 18). How do you like us now? In his old age, he struck out Tino Martinez today. He’s still got it. And he still has his moustache.
Moose is not only a surgically precise pitcher and fierce competitor, he can also field his position, which is more than we can say for a lot of morons pitching these days. Sometimes it looks like a T-Rex stumbled off the mound and tried to pick up the ball with his little arms. They look ridiculous. Moose, on the other hand, is the goddamn man. He was a vacuum on the mound. Plus, he’s a borderline genius, so if something happens, he can tell us what’s wrong with us. He is also sarcastic, so he’ll totally get us. He’ll never get offended by our jokes.
David Cone spent time with both the Mets and Yankees. Lisa had a crush on him as well. She had a poster of him hanging up in her bedroom. Serena did not have a poster of him, but she did cry when she watched the 1996 World Series tape that Mamadukes bought her when they talked about his aneurysm. He threw a perfect game for the Yankees and Serena wishes they’d just fire Michael Kay in the YES booth and replace him with David Cone and Paul O’Neil. Commence hilarity.
Tom Seaver is Fred #2’s hero. Lisa spends countless nights on the couch with Fred #2 trying to watch the Mets game while Fred #2 talks over the television about what a great player Seaver was: “He won all of his games 1-0, 2-0, Lisa. Why? Because they weren’t hitting for him. He played with a bunch of nobodies.”
Ron Darling was a very good pitcher and he’s a very good commentator, but more importantly, he’s very handsome. We’ve seen him in person and he is absolutely beautiful. He’s tall, tan, brunette, and glorious. We didn’t get to speak to him, but we did stare at his magnificence from across the bar while we continued to get sloshed for free.
Finally, John Franco, to date, is the only closer that Lisa did not fear coming out of the bullpen. That should count for something.
Just for sh*ts and giggles, we have Todd Zeile because he’s handsome and Lisa used to have a crush on him. He’s going to be our mascot. The End.
Side note: if anyone remembers anything about HoJo in relation to the Howard Johnson Motel chain, whether it’s regarding ownership or a commercial, please message us. It’s driving us crazy.
This week’s a-hole of the week is Carlos Beltran for making it to the All Star roster. Really? He’s a douchenozzle. We can’t believe you’d betray our trust by voting for him. Meanwhile Bryce Harper is on the extra vote ballot. You’re all going to die morons.
In honor of 4th July, we’d like to make the US Armed Forces the TBB Super Hero of the Week. To quote Dazed and Confused, “this summer, when you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.” Happy 4th of July!