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August 1, 2014

Barbecue State of Mind

Soccer and Stank

by Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman


Return to Yankee Stadium by Jordan Shusterman
This ridiculous week in New York began at Yankee Stadium. It was a Yankees/Blue Jays game in which Shane Greene was the starting pitcher for the Yankees and Dan Johnson was the designated hitter for the Blue Jays. On Wednesday night, we returned to Yankee Stadium to see a non-baseball game in which neither Shane Greene nor Dan Johnson was participating (as far as we know). Two English Premier League powerhouses, Manchester City and Liverpool, played a friendly in front of nearly 50,000 people. After 90 minutes of stomping around Jeter’s hallowed ground, the two footballing squads were in a 2-2 tie, at which point the majority of us were ready to not be there anymore. Soccer friendlies are meant to be just that—friendly! A tie means everybody wins! Everybody can be friends! Apparently, these two teams had no intention of being friendly. Thus, they went straight to penalty kicks. No extra innings or anything. Penalty kicks are amazing because they don’t score every time. The first two attempts from both teams sailed over the goal and into the left field seats, just beyond Brett Gardner’s reach. Liverpool eventually scored enough goals to be declared the winner, although they did not seem to celebrate accordingly. It was eerily reminiscent the celebration after a spring training walk-off hit, where the winning team casually jogs over to the hero and pats him on the back. Meanwhile, the predominantly-Liverpool crowd was going absolutely crazy. It was strange. If there’s one thing I learned from the frantic futbol frenzy at Yankee Stadium, it’s that Derek Jeter was the greatest baseball player who ever lived. #RE2PECT

Brooklyn Game Notes by Jake Mintz
Coney Island is an interesting place. It feels like you’re still in New York City, but you’re also at the beach, which makes sense because that’s exactly what Coney Island is. It feels like all of your childhood memories and childhood nightmares are colliding in a single place at a single moment in time and there’s nothing you can do about it. The Cyclones’ stadium is built to fit into the surrounding landscape of rollercoasters, food shacks, and people that smell of ocean stank. The style of the whole thing is best described as “run-down-amusement-park-chic.”

It was Irish Heritage Night at the ballpark, which made for some very unusual moments. Upon entry to the park we were each given an Irish Heritage Night jersey, which looks just as absurd as you think. The color of it is simply the worst color; it looks like gold poop, or a better analogy. Here’s a picture of me wearing the jersey looking like an idiot.

After receiving our new prison uniforms, we were lucky enough to be subjected to the culture of Ireland, if the culture of Ireland is a bunch of dressed up Brooklyn kids dancing to The Dropkick Murphys. If all this wasn’t absurd enough, a leprechaun named Scotty threw out the first pitch. He’s probably a bullpen arm.

We might have to dress like it from time to time, but we are certainly not scouts. We know a bit about scouting and player development and do our best to read as much about it as we can, but to say that we are experts in analyzing minor leaguers would be a lie. So when two idiots like us can go to a minor league game and instantly recognize a player who is clearly a touch above his competition, you know that player is worth keeping an eye on. We saw three at-bats from Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario last night and he looked really freakin’ awesome. In his first at-bat, he blistered a single up the dingle, showcasing impressive bat speed and a considerably clean swing. In bottom of the fifth, Rosario drilled a fastball to the wall in deep right-center for a triple. Brighten up, Mets fans; you have a new toy to be irrationally excited about.

The Mets’ 2014 first round pick, outfielder Michael Conforto, was built like a linebacker, but not necessarily a good linebacker. If Rudy filled out his frame, grew an inch or two, and put some meat on his legs, he would be built like Michael Conforto. We didn’t see enough of Conforto at the plate (we were getting food during two of his at-bats), but he made a laser beam throw from the wall in left to nab a guy at third. I’m looking forward to having my phone auto-correct Michael Conforto to Michael Comfort in the years to come.

We left after the top of the sixth, but not before Auburn scored literally all of the runs; fourteen of them to be exact. When a major-league game gets out of control you can take solace in the fact that these are the best players in the world and boy can they ever hit. When you’re watching a short-season-league game go AWOL, all you can do is sit there and appreciate how good Mike Trout is at baseball.

What’s Next
Tomorrow is our last day in the big city as we’ll make our way out to the Staten Island Yankees to watch the future Zoilo Almontes of the world battle it out against the Lowell Spinners. We might also go to the Empire State Building, but we’ll probably just settle for a building in the Empire State.

What We Are Actually Focused On
The Athletics traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox. We are still trying to cope with the magnitude of this transaction.

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