Category Archives: Asinine Baseball Analogies

Kerry Rules, Yankees Suck?

Did John Kerry lose the 2004 presidential election over improper messaging?

From the right-hand corner of the political button display in my office: The Fred Flintstone presidential campaign shares equal time with Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon (notice the name of his running mate?).

But my most curious political souvenir comes from the streets outside Boston’s Fleet Center at the 2004 Democratic National Convention: Kerry Rules, Yankees Suck.

Strangely, there is no punctuation. There should be one if not two exclamation points.

Given that Red Sox fans have been known to inexplicably chant “Yankees Suck!” at Celtics, Bruins and Patriots games, as well as at concerts, it’s not so surprising it would surface on the national political stage — regardless if the voters in the 44 non-New England states ever got the joke.

Now that the Red Sox unfortunately do suck, it will be fascinating to see what happens to the “Yankees Suck!” cheer.

Here’s betting that the bitterness and resentment outside Fenway Park gets much much worse.  Ironically, scapegoating the Bronx Bombers just made a cameo in the Scott Brown / Elizabeth Warren U.S. Senate race.

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Filed under Asinine Baseball Analogies, Red Sox, Sports Psychology, Yankee Stadium

The Joy of Broken Ribs: Why I can humbly claim to be the Tom Brady, Carlton Fisk and Kerri Strug of Experiential Journalism

What do athletes Carlton Fisk, Kerri Strug, Tom Brady and Darren Garnick all have in common? -- They don't let a mere broken bone derail their destiny.

So, yeah, it might be a bit cocky to publicly declare myself to be Carlton Fisk, Tom Brady and Kerri Strug all rolled into one, but I have to get some kind of return on my $200 rib X-ray.

Weekend Warriors: Why run in the mud for free when you can pay for the privilege?

My endless fascination with Mud Races spills out on the pages of New Hampshire Magazine this month.  Find out why when I learned that I broke a rib in the Warrior Dash, I was insanely and inexplicably happy.

Click on the links below for the PDF recap (I’m still stubbornly clinging to the charms of print layout):

Joy of Broken Ribs — Part 1

Joy of Broken Ribs — Part 2

And then hop on over to New Hampshire Magazine to see how, where and when YOU can ruin your best pair of sneakers this summer!

P.S. Yes, I do know that Kerri Strug broke an ankle in the Olympics and not her ribs. Nevertheless, I am honored to be mentioned in the same sentence as her (even though I wrote that sentence).

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Filed under Asinine Baseball Analogies, Mud Racing, Near Death Experiences, New Hampshire Magazine

Are the New York Yankees powerful enough to squash (or buyout) the First Amendment?

torrepost

This ESPN story sounds like it was yanked from one of those New York Yankee-themed Seinfeld episodes. Ripped over the new Joe Torre book, which allegedly characterizes general manager Brian Cashman as a backstabber, the Yanks are reportedly trying to put “non-disparaging” clauses in manager and coaches’ contracts to prevent future tell-all books from conquering Amazon.

Now, making employees sign agreements not to badmouth their companies is standard procedure when offering severance packages, but those employees willingly sell their First Amendment rights. Signing nondisclosure agreements to protect a company’s intellectual capital is also pretty commonplace.

But can a company enforce language in a contract stripping employees the right to shoot their mouths off with no severance package attached? Any lawyers out there who can shed some light on this?

Before I ramble on any further, I should admit that I am prone to find symbolism and universal meaning in the baseball world where it likely doesn’t exist.

Middle East ceasefire negotiations remind me of Manny Ramirez free agent talk. Jason Varitek’s job situation makes me think of Joe Sixpack’s job security. And when Joe Torre was first fired from the Yankees, I was outraged how a loyal organization man with stellar performance could be treated so shabbily.

But I am also a child of 1970s tell-all Yankees books, including Jim Bouton’s classic “Ball Four,” Billy Martin’s “Number One,” and Sparky Lyle’s “Bronx Zoo.” I still am fascinated by the tension between Reggie Jackson and Martin — and every salacious detail of the Rich Gossage-Cliff Johnson fight in 1978.

So even though I have no intention of reading the Torre book, I love the pop culture allusion that was being used in the Yankees clubhouse to describe A-Rod’s jealousy of Derek Jeter. From ESPN again:

Co-written by Torre and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, “The Yankee Years” is due out Feb. 3. Among other things, the book details how some teammates referred to Alex Rodriguez as “A-Fraud” after he joined the Yankees for the 2004 season, and it compares A-Rod’s supposed obsession with Jeter to the movie “Single White Female.”

So, to satisfy the anti-Yankees gossip addiction deep within me, I tracked down Jim Bouton — the ex-Yanks pitcher who dared to reveal that Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford weren’t saints — and asked him his thoughts on the idea of management banning tell-all books.

The usually chatty Bouton, who took tremendous heat for being the Jackie Robinson of Tell-All Baseball Books, wasn’t so chatty with me in his e-mail. But not surprisingly, he thinks any Yankees attempt to squash free speech will only make the next author even more powerful.

“It will be like working for the CIA,” Bouton writes. “When one of them does write a book (which is guaranteed to happen), it will be a blockbuster.”

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