Tag Archives: New York Yankees

Opening Day Baseball 2011

Here we are, March 31st, 2011, sitting at The Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant watching a couple games for the beginning of what looks like will be an incredible season.

Currently we are watching the Detroit Tigers take on the New York Yankees in the Bronx. We also have the Cincinnati Reds game on as they take on the  Milwaukee Brewers in Cincinnati.

mda: Oh it is great to have baseball back.  No talk of player lockouts or any of that junk.  Baseball is in a good position right now and life couldn’t be better.  The Yankees are really looking good right now.  Sabathia with a decent outing and Texiera and Granderson each with monster homeruns.  The Brewers are lighting up the Reds with homeruns galore…I am sure that makes you happy, eh?

RBD: Indeed. Being a staunch St. Louis Cardinal fan, I have to say that seeing the Cincinnati Reds struggle isn’t a bad thing! That being said, I do love the game of baseball and can appreciate the fact that the NL Central is going to be a tough division. The Brewers are playing really well and are  making an already tough division even tougher. The Yankees are doing what they normally do, play good consistent baseball. There are really no bad players on the Yankee team, anybody at anytime can be the ‘hero’ of the game. They spread the love around. Baseball in that regard is a pretty democratic game, which makes it fun, fun, fun to watch!

mda: Yes sir.  The defensive plays in these two games have been top-notch!  I think that has been the most exciting part of the opening day for me so far.  So shall we make some predictions for the MLB Season?  I’ll start.  I have to go with my Yankees winning the AL East.  AL Central I think will go to the Twins.  AL West is a little more of a toss-up…I think the Oakland A’s will surprise the Rangers and beat them out.  Boston will finish up with the Wild Card.  NL West will go to the Giants once again.  NL Central will be crazy close between the Reds, Brewers and Cardnals but I have to think that LaRussa will put the Cards on top.  And my surprise pick will be the Braves over the Phillies in the NL East.  Phillies will have to live with the Wild Card.  World Series:  Yankees over the Giants in 6.  (sorry RBD, if Wainwright would not have gone down for the season, I think they would have made it).

RBD: Well, certainly losing Adam Wainwright hurt the Cardinals outlook this season, but I do think they will persevere. Predictions? OK, I got ’em. Starting the the NL West, I believe the Giants will once again take the division. The NL Central will be tough, tough, tough, but I do believe the Cardinals will surprise a bunch of people and take the division. The NL East is also going to be a tough place to play, but I agree that the Atlanta Braves, if they can stay healthy, will win. The Brewers in the NL Central will take the Wild Card. Yeah, I said it. Moving to the AL West, I’d like to think that the Angels will win that division, yeah. AL Central will be taken by the Twins. They have a new park, lots of talent and good energy. The AL East, will more than likely be the RAYS!! Yeah, the RAYS! The Yankees will get the Wild Card. I’ll have to predict the Cardinals making it all the way to the World Series where they will meet the Twins and win in 5. BAM!

mda: If either of us are right, the other must buy a 6-pack of the winner’s favorite beer.  Deal?

RBD: Dude if either of us are right, we should get some national attention, besides, just a 6-pack? Let’s make it interesting. How about  if either of us are correct, the other buys the beer throughout the World Series. Now THAT’s a bet! As we’ve been writing all of this, Mariano Riveria has entered the game. He’s 42 and easily a first ballot entrant into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s looking good so far!

mda: And Granderson with an amazing catch…his third of the game!  And your deal? That’s a deal.  If there are any patrons out there on the web-o-sphere who would like to purchase World Series tickets for us if the Yankees and/or Cardinals make the World Series, we will gladly accept your patronage.

RBD: Indeed, in fact ANY tickets anybody would like to buy us for any Yankee or Cardinal game, we’d take ’em! Now we’re moving on the St. Louis Cardinals game over in St. Louis as they take on the San Diego Padres. Should be a GREAT game! GO CARDINALS!!


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Spring Training Trip 2010 #7…Final Edition

RBD: Well, it has been a couple of weeks since we returned home from our Spring Training Trip to Florida. I had the time of my life and I can’t wait to get down there again, next year…but first we get to enjoy the 2010 Major League (and Minor League) Baseball Season. I’ve got my MLB 2010 At Bat App for my trusty iPhone and beer from Upland. Now I wait.

mda: Ah baseball…..is there really much that is better than baseball?  Well, the arts are certainly a viable option.  We do promise to write more about the arts, especially arts in Indy.  But first let’s recap the trip.  My most enjoyable moment would driving through Georgia.  Ok, that is a complete lie.  My most enjoyable moment would be watching Yankees manager Joe Girardi work with the young Yankee catching prospects.

RBD: I BET your favorite time was when I drove through GEORGIA BOTH WAYS!!!! Sorry, for the outburst. I really enjoyed

Crazy Atlanta Traffic

myself on this trip. If this is any testament to the fun that was had, when we got back within 24 hours of our arrival, we were hanging out again! That is a good travel partner I tell ya! My favorite moments were being at Roger Dean Stadium with a bunch of people that are Cardinal fans. I’m sure the people in attendance and I didn’t see eye to eye politically (maybe we do, I don’t know and don’t care) BUT, we all share the same thing…the love of St. Louis Cardinal baseball.

mda: The first Cardinals game was pretty cool since we sat next to a couple who are big The University of Texas at Austin fans.  So it was fun talking about Colt McCoy and his prospects in the NFL plus UT-Austin baseball team.  HOOK ‘EM HORNS!

RBD: Ah, yeah, Colt McCoy…Anyway, we had tickets to our final game in Florida for Friday, but at 8pm Thursday night, a

Crazy Florida Thunderstorms

giant thunderstorm rolled through. After looking at the radar and realizing that this storm stretched from Jupiter, Florida (on the East Coast) all the way to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, we decided that perhaps the game would be canceled and we would leave for home Friday morning and drive all day long…and that’s exactly what we did!

mda: We should have arrived back in Indy at 3:26am Saturday morning (thank you Garmin). But we ran in to a little problem.  And the name of that problem?  GEORGIA.

RBD: YUP. 2 HOURS of traffic for reasons that will never be explained to me EVER. I just don’t get it and I probably won’t. Therefore I doubt I will ever move to Georgia, maybe visit here and there, but I could never live there. OK, now that that is done, we ended up getting to Indy around 5:30am in the morning. So we drove from 11am straight through to home and arrived 18.5 hours later. We listened to a lot of great music and had great conversations. This is a

Great American Ballparkin Cincinnati...not a bad seat in the place!

trip to remember and I can’t wait to get back. Now, I have two games to attend in Cincinnati to watch the Cardinals play the Reds at The Great American Ballpark for the beginning of the

Indianapolis Indians

season. April 16th is the home opener for the Indianapolis Indians the AAA affiliate for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lots of baseball coming up this summer and I can’t wait! I’m sure there will be lots of concerts we will attend as well. What do you say mda?

mda: A wonderful vacation and I couldn’t think of a better friend to go with.  Honestly, this was one of my three dream vacations I have always wanted to take.  One down, two to go.  So the next time we do Spring Training, the brother of RBD…we will call him FCD will have to join us.  Of course, if that happened I have a feeling we will be blogging about the inside of Florida jail cells at some point in the trip.

FCD...on the left...

RBD: Oh man, to have FCD on this trip would have made it that much more better! I’m sure we would have gotten into more interesting situations for sure. Well, glad to have shared this experience with you mda and I look forward to a summer of baseball games! Now, what do you say we get back to writing about the Arts and such in future blogs?

mda: Let’s do it…

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Spring Training 2010 Trip, #4

Tampa, Florida

Spring Training 2010

Tampa, Florida

mda: Well this is a bittersweet moment for me.  Although the vacation has just begun, this was the last day for me to watch my beloved Yankees during Spring Training.  I am sure RBD will say something along the lines of “Finally, on to bigger and better things!”  Just watch, he will say something like that. 

 RBD: Finally, we leave Yankee town. There is nothing bigger than the Yankees…their payroll, their complex and their sense of self righteousness. However, we do move on to better things and that is three days (well, two and a half really) of Cardinal baseball in Jupiter Florida! BUT, before we get started going on about the St. Louis Cardinals, lets recap the game we saw yesterday. 

Derek Jeter waiting his turn at BP

mda:  jerk.  …..   So that game was great (except for the Yankees losing).  After RBD woke from his winter hibernation from the night before, we arrived early to watch the Yankees work out.  That was so exciting!  I think even RBD enjoyed himself.  We then walked around the stadium and found where we would be sitting.  But before sitting down we took a stroll over to the Yankees dugout and was surprised to find Yankees manager Joe Girardi working with the Yankees catching prospects, including Jesus Montero.  This was a real treat considering Girardi was such a great catcher in his time and now is an even better teacher.  


Girardi working with Jesus Montero prior to the game. "See, this is how you do it!"

Jesus Montero and Girardi once again.

RBD: I was very excited about watching the morning workouts of the Yankees! It was really, really cool. I can’t imagine having a job like THAT! Of course, being out on the field, working out, playing catch and hitting the baseball in BP (batting practice) is fun, but once they are on the field, they are expected to produce and operate at the highest level. As a musician, we are expected to perform as close to 100% as possible and the standards are just as high (although compensated at a higher rate) in baseball. One thing I like about the Yankee games and the Yankee franchise are the traditions. In lieu of having a terrible local high schooler try and sing our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, in multiple keys at one time, the Yankees played a very traditional interpretation of the Anthem by Robert Merrill and the New York Philharmonic! Perfect every time!!!


Nick Johnson getting ready to smack the ball out of the park.

mda: Yup.  Tradition is certainly important.  On to the game.  The Yankees started out quite rough.  CC Sabathia took the mound a gave up 4 runs in the first, including a 3-run blast by Garrett Jones of the Pirates.  Now that was exciting to watch because Jones played much of last year for the Pirates AAA team Indy Indians, so RBD and I have seen him play quite often.  They Yankees answered back, though, with a 2-run shot from Nick Johnson.  And the game went back and forth like that for quite a while until the Pirates finally finished off the Yankees with a 2-run 8th and 4-run 9th.  Cool to see the Pirates win, but I would always prefer to see the Yankees win.

RBD: I know what you mean mda. I have a feeling that the Cards are not going to win all the games (or any of the games) we are going to see this week, but that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that we get to see the stars of the teams play AND the up and coming prospects. Both managers, Girardi for the Yankees and LaRussa for the Cardinals, like to mix and match things in Spring Training to see exactly what they have on the bench of the team. That’s what makes it exciting! Oh, and another thing about the game…mda, as we have learned, is a huge Yankee fan, and during each game there is a trivia question up on the big board. Well, mda, knew the answer to the question and texted his response. Guess what??!!! HE WON!!!! That’s right! He won a video game…MLB 2010: The Game for Sony Playstation 3. The only problem is…he doesn’t own a Sony Playstation 3, or 2, or 1. I guess that’s why we get along so well… 

mda is a winner! Now only if he could play the game...

mda: Anyone have an extra PS3 laying around their place they would like to donate to me?  haha.  So after the game, we headed to Jupiter, Florida to prepare for three days of Cardinals games.  This will be fun, and my wallet will be happy to know I will not be spending any more money on Yankees paraphernalia.  The drive was very cool.  We were on highways and turnpikes instead of the interstate.  We saw orange groves, peacocks and an awesome sunset.  The Florida turnpike is a very fun, and scary drive.  The speed limit was 70.  However, I was going around 85 just to keep up with the slow drivers and semi-trucks.  I did allow myself to drive as fast as 95 for a brief moment AND I COULD STILL NOT CATCH UP TO ANYONE DRIVING IN FRONT OF ME!  Crazy. 

RBD: Certainly driving south of the Mason-Dixon line has been an experience I won’t soon forget or re-try. After are death defying crossing of the state of Florida, we arrived at our new friends house. Perry and Lynn are incredibly nice, open, generous and have a beautiful home…complete with ducks in the back yard, a full garden and three cats. One of which slept with me all night long! When we arrived, Perry and Lynn had some wonderful stew cooking that was a sweet potato peanut curry concoction and it was wonderful! We then proceeded to hang out and chat about beer, wine, baseball and everything in between until about 11pm/11:30pm. The travel day was over and now…on the Cardinal baseball! 

mda: Hey, do you think Mark McGuire will offer steroids to the first 1000 people to arrive at the ballpark?  You know….to help with injury recovery… 

RBD: Stop it…I don’t remember once, NOT ONCE, making fun of A-ROID while we were watching the Yankees…Huh?


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Spring Training 2010 Trip, #3

Tampa, Florida

Spring Training 2010

Tampa, Florida

Day 3:

What a day for a Yankees Game!

mda: Wow, what a day for Spring Training.  The sun was out, the sky was clear, a small breeze, and my left ear blistered from massive sunburn due to Sunday’s Pirates game.  But the best part?  We were at George M. Steinbrenner Field to watch the Yankees take on the Phillies.  Being able to watch the Yankees during Spring Training was truly a dream vacation come true.

RBD: This was a different day all together. The fans were there for the long haul (the didn’t make a mass exodus after the 2nd and 5th innings) and we had actual seats, not a bleacher.

mda: My first thought about the Yankee complex was “Wow this is a huge training facility compared to Pirate City!”

RBD: Yeah, this was an actual stadium. About the same size as our Victory Field in Indianapolis.

Girardi giving Gardner some pointers before he goes up to bat.

mda: And now the game…   The Yankees had a split squad today (half the team at Pirate City while the other half stayed home for the Phillies game).  The lineup consisted of Brett Gardner, Nick Johnson, Mark Teixiera, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Marcus Thames, Kevin Russo, and Ramiro Pena so we still got to see quite a few of the major players.   Javier Vazquez started out a little rough giving up a solo bomb over the right-field fence to Jimmy Rollins.  However, he calmed down after that and ended his two innings of work with 4 strike outs.  He certainly had some great movement on his pitches.  I am always amazed at looking at photos of pitchers while they are pitching.  Their arm and leg angles are quite crazy.  I see why so many of them end up having injuries on their elbows and shoulders.

RBD: To see pitchers pitch is one thing, they are just throwing a 5 ounce ball 80-90 miles per hours. Big Deal, but check out this little photo series!

Pitching Montage 1

Pitching Montage 2

Pitching Montage 4

Pitching Montage 3

Jorge Posada putting a hurt on the ball. What a hit!

Robbie Cano hitting a double. See the ball?

mda: The Yankees at the plate were pretty darn good too.  Great doubles by Cano and Swisher.  Posada had a great single and Kevin Russo certainly showed he was hungry to be added to the 25-man roster when the Yankees make the trek up to NYC to start the season.  The Yankees #1 prospect (and #4 prospect in all of MLB according to Baseball America) Jesus Montero came in to catch the later innings.  He is certainly a promising player.

RBD: The game started out a little rough for the Yankees, but they strung together a few hits and dug out some singles…they played great baseball, even with half the squad present.

The 2009 World Series trophy! That is a thing of beauty.

mda: Probably the highlight of the game didn’t even happen on the field.  The NY Yankees were displaying their 2009 World Series trophy on the concourse behind 3rd base.  I was so close to the trophy I could have touched it, but then I probably would have been arrested or tasered or something.  It was pretty darn cool.

RBD: Eventhough the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t win the World Series last year, it was pretty cool to see the trophy up close and personal!

mda: Another great moment of the game was a foul ball hit toward are section.  Unfortunately we did not get the ball.  However, a lady, holding a sleeping 7-month old baby all decked out in a NYY jersey, pants and even a little NYY hat, pushed another lady out-of-the-way to pick up the foul ball….and the baby never woke up!  Very cool moment and what a story to tell her son when he gets older.

RBD: A treasured moment for that family for sure.

Donnie Baseball Monument!

mda: Again, what a day at the ballpark.  I cannot wait until tomorrows game when it is the entire roster against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It will be great!  We will hopefully get there early in the morning to see some of the players work out before the game.  No Yogi Berra sighting yet, so hopefully I will see him tomorrow.  I did take a photo of Donnie Baseball’s monument!

RBD: A great day indeed!

Lori waiting to chow down on the tasty dinner by mda and RBD.

mda: To celebrate a great day at the ballpark and to thank Lori for putting up with two crazy men staying at her apartment, we made dinner tonight.  Spaghetti with marinara sauce and homemade meatballs with a Spinach/Pecan/Strawberry/Gorgonzola salad.  The food was excellent and the company was even better!  I was in charge of the spaghetti and homemade meatballs while RBD outdid himself on the salad.  Quite tasty.

RBD: Yeah, but I think the combination of $6.50 Budweiser beer at the ballpark, the sun and going for a run over did it for me! I was tired!! I’m going to sleep for about 12 hours to get ready for the rest of the week!!

mda: What do you think RBD, shall we do it again tomorrow and then head to Jupiter, FL for a few Cardinals games?

RBD: I couldn’t think of anything better!



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Spring Training 2010 Trip, #2

Tampa, Florida

Spring Training 2010

Tampa, Florida

Day 2:

Today started after a nice night of sleeping. Lori, our host set up a really nice guest room for mda and RBD, including a throw mattress on the floor.

Bradenton Florida...it's true, look at the sign!!

RBD: Wow, I slept like a baby. The little throw mattress Lori laid out (complete with sheets, blankets and pillows!), was quite comfortable. I woke up and mda had made a decision. We were going to go to Bradenton to try and get tickets to see the Minnesota Twins play the Pittsburgh Pirates at Pirate City! I was stoked/happy/excited! A BONUS GAME!!!

Pirate City 1

mda: Yeah, Lori has a pretty swanky apartment and it was certainly nice to get some good sleep after the 14 hour drive down to Tampa.  And a Bonus Game!  How exciting is that.  Luckily, we were able to talk Lori into accompanying us to the game (and driving).  Pirate City was pretty darn cool!  And it was awesome to see the Pirates

Pirate City 2

play.  For those not in the know, the Indianapolis Indians baseball team is the AAA minor league team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It was perfect

Ross Ohlendorf

baseball weather: sunny, upper-60 degree weather with a slight wind blowing in from right field.  So RBD and I were able to see many players today that we have watched play for the past 2-3 years…players like Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Steven Pearce, and Ross Ohlendorf.  So RBD, why don’t you give us a rundown of the game.

Pirate City 3

RBD: The game was quite the spectacle. The day was absolutely

Right Fielder Garrett Jones

beautiful! Blue skies, whispy clouds and nearly 4, 000 people in attendance. The stadium was very quaint and easily navigational (although the bleacher seats were kind of ‘rough’). Not only was the day beautiful, there was an entire consession stand dedicated to beer from Pennsylvania, including Yuengling. So that was nice. In the first inning, Justin Morneau of the Twins hit a two run homer. A smack that easily went over the left-center wall.

Mmmmm...Yuengling Beer

mda and I thought, ‘Well, here we go again. Another terrible year for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Indianapolis Indians. But the Pirates answered with two crooked innings. A 3-run second and 5-run 4th, thanks to Garrett Jones! After the 5th inning, about half the people left. I suppose, after the 5th inning, the major stars don’t play, s

Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Millege done for the day.

o people just leave. mda and I think that is when things start getting exciting. It is at this point that we see the younger guys, the up and coming stars of MLB try to make an impression on the coaching staff and maybe have a shot to get on the big league club! Now, THAT’s Exciting!!!

mda: I think the highlight for me was watching Pedro Alvarez play a mean 3rd base and simply rake at home plate.  I can see why he is the top prospect in the Pirates organization.  Unfortunately, I am assuming we will only see him play for the Indy Indians the first half of the season, if that.  The way he played today, he

Pirates WIN!!! 15 - 5!!!

may even start in the majors.  Overall what a great way to start Spring Training 2010.  We decided to head back to Lori’s place and go out for dinner.  Now here is where things change a little.  As many of you may remember, I was not supposed to make decisions on where we would eat for the rest of the week.  RBD was supposed to decide.  So what happened Mr. RBD?

Why do I do this to myself?

RBD: Well, on the way back, I fell asleep while we were listening to Journey, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. When I woke up, mda was wondering if there were any Brew Pubs in Tampa. I looked at my trusty iPhone Google App and we found the Tampa Bay Brewing Company. So via a suggestion, dare I say a decision by mda, we headed over to the Tampa Bay Brewing Company in the Ybor City district here in Tampa. Now, let’s be clear, our waiter was hip, cool and very nice. The food was pretty good, not spectacular, but memborible, if only because I had what was called ‘The Bomb’, a burger with onion rings, fries, bacon and cheese wrapped (yes wrapped) in pizza dough. I’m still alive. It was not as heart stopping as it sounds and I’m sure I’ll be alive in the morning. The beer was very good! Lots of variety and flavor…but getting the beer was a different story. The bartender was easily the worst bartender south of the Mason-Dixon line. We ordered a sampler of

Worst Bartender EVER!

beer. THEN some salsa and chips. We finished the said salsa and chips and we STILL hadn’t gotten our beer sampler. The bar only had 12 people sitting there, but really? Way too long. A sampler is a way to get people to try their beers then have a pint, then

Hometown buds, Lori and mda

another…we almost didn’t even have a pint before we finished our meal. Terrible bartender. Terrible. The guy back there was just nonchalantly going about his business with NO rush or hurried movements. Terrible.

mda: Yup.  I agree.  And I will state once again that I will no longer make food decisions for the rest of the week.  Good thing we brought veggies, hummus, sandwich fixins’ and other tasty

Our host Lori and RBD

treats.  Ybor City district was very cool.  I think I would compare it to Broad Ripple, but cleaner, classier, and great architecture.  Lori informed us it is the old Cuba district of Tampa and there were a couple of streets that made me think ‘this must be what Cuba is like.’  Very cool stuff.  And now we sit in Lori’s apartment finishing up the blog, watching the academy awards (The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is getting hosed by the way.  It should have won quite a few of these awards).  Next up tomorrow is a trip to the Yankees complex to watch the Yankees take on the Phillies.  It should be a great game!  I hope I get to see Yogi Berra tomorrow.  That would certainly be a highlight for me.

RBD: And a highlight for me will be to have you make any more food eating decisions for the rest of the week.

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