NEW YORK, NY – It’s hot here in Hell’s Kitchen and it’s only going to get hotter tomorrow. You can see that wave of heat off the black top on Tenth Avenue – there ain’t no Freeze-Out, Boss. Anyway, it’s now the middle of summer and finally, at long last, we will have some Major League Baseball to watch. New stuff. Not the archived bunk tile. For the MTM Writing Staff, it will be a welcome relief, what having actual live sporting events to banter about. BUT… it ain’t here yet and we’re left with what’s in the now. In the present, as they say. And thus, today’s morsels for us to devour like starving rats in some cruel experiment: Bard For The Yips, Harden’s Blue Mask, NL’s Best Team.
A Bard For The Yips
Kudos for those of you that immediately thought of William Shakespeare. We are are of the same feather. But this is not Macbeth’s Bard; he is the Colorado Rockies‘ Bard. Daniel Bard. And the tale he has woven is pure baseball feel-good stuff that makes you smile with happy tears.
To refresh your memory, Bard was a gas-throwing reliever for the Red Sawx from 2009-2011. Then the roof caved it. It wasn’t Tommy John Surgery. It wasn’t a torn labrum. He didn’t go Matt Harvey and have a rib removed. No, Danny Bard came down with an acute case of… The Yips! He was like Mackey Sasser meets Rick Ankiel meets *Steve Sax meets *Chuck Knoblauch. Well, the Bard is back! Having last pitched in The Bigs way back in 2013, he gave up coaching/counseling to take one last stab at it at age 39. And guess what? He made it. CLICK THE TWEET from Rockies:
Harden’s Blue Mask
James Harden made the headlines for possibly supporting the police. As you likely know, he was wearing a mask – like we all should be. He got grief, however, because it was a Blue Lives Matter mask. Harden said it was simply a wardrobe malfunction… or choice. He said he wore it because it looked cool and covered his beard. I don’t believe him. I also don’t think we need to vilify a guy because he wore a mask supporting cops. Most cops are good people. All of us know one or two of them. My grandfather was a Jersey City cop. A good one. Yes, there are bad cops and yes, there needs to be some fundamental changes in certain police cultures, but Jesus H. Chrisps, the men and women wearing blue are not the scourge of the planet. Most of them do a thankless job, risk their lives doing so, and are having one helluva time right now – particularly Black cops. What are those of us to say who feel that Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter?
NL’s Best Team
It’s not the Nats. The reigning World Series champs are going to struggle without Anthony Rendon. He was one of the best players in baseball last year and is one I wish the Mets went after. I also wish I wasn’t bald, didn’t have back hair and could dunk. BUT… Rendon or not, the NY Mets are the best team in the NL. Sorry, Dodgers. You have an ace that can’t pitch in the post-season. The Phillies are going to be good. Bryce Harper is now settled, they have a real Manager in Joe Girardi, a cast-aside Didi Gregorious hell-bent on making the Stanks rue letting him skate and great 2nd half starter in Zack Wheeler. Yet, the Amazins have plenty of pitching for a 60-game season and stand to benefit greatly from the abomination that is the DH. Have you seen Cespedes raking at the dish? He can DH. So could J.D. Davis – who reminds me of a blossoming Kevin Mitchell. With The Squirrel (Jeff McNeil) flying around at the top of the order, you have him, followed by Alonso, Cespedes, Conforto, Davis, Ramos, Rosario (who is now a solid hitter) and Nimmo – who could very easily be batting 9th. And I didn’t even mention Cano – who likely has tested positive, as Mets Brass is mum on his being out. Sure, yours truly bleeds Orange & Blue but this ain’t no DJ Eberle or Buddy Diaz kiss-my-team’s-ass piece. This is a legit lineup with some very good arms. Betances anyone? The Magic Is Back.
Speaking of magicians, come back tomorrow for Cheesy Bruin waving his wand and have a listen to the aforementioned Boss.
*Both Sax and Knoblauch got their “Yips” once they were Yankees, after Tall Matt allegedly put a hex on them.