Happy Birthday to my Favorite Yankee Fan

I wrote in an earlier post that Red Sox fans and Yankee fans should be friends.

I’ll take it a step further. A Red Sox fan can love a Yankee fan.

There is someone in my life who grew up a big Yankee fan and to this day whispers into my kids’ ears “root for the Yankees.”

She grew up loving Mickey Mantle, and when #7 died, I called her to let her know I was sorry.

And she loves Joe Torre, who reminds her of her dad.

As I wrote last year
, my love for baseball history can be linked to my discovering this Yankee fan’s collection of baseball books from the 1950s.

A Red Sox fan can indeed love a Yankee fan.
I admit, it is easier to do when that Yankee fan is the Red Sox fan’s mother.

Happy birthday, Ma.
I couldn’t be more proud to be your son.

As for MY son’s baseball loyalties… it’s looking like they are taking sides in ANOTHER big rivalry!

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There was a time in my life when I was as big a fan of WFAN as you will ever meet. I listened to Joe Beningo, Mike and the Mad Dog, Suzyn Waldman, Sid Rosenberg, Jody McDonald and even, God help me, Russ Salzberg.

I would call in from time to time and it was a staple on my radio dial and I would for years fall asleep with WFAN playing on the radio.

But nobody was better than the Schmoozer. Steve Somers had the perfect voice, the perfect sarcasm, knew exactly which buttons to press with each caller and could be so condescending in such a friendly way.

Well, when I was looking for a clip to use in my Ryan Howard/Albert Pujols post, I stumbled across this gem.

It was when Somers was in Sacramento (or as he called it later, Sacratomato.) As the sports anchor on KOVR Newwatch 13 in 1982, the future Schmoozer shows the many talents that have made that Bay Area native a mainstay in New York sports talk.

The sarcasm (throwing in a “ho hum” while listing the Cincinnati/Houston score), the admitting he is annoying some of the people listening to him (especially L.A. Dodger fans), the strong opinions (especially regarding Robin Yount’s MVP candidacy) and a flair for the smirking dramatic (the “Fan held hostage” graphic is classic Somers.)

Plus watch the video… besides the amazing late ’70s/early ’80s afro, there are two other awesome elements to this video.

First is how the clips are set up. The score is told first, as opposed to being held to the end. I forgot that is how they did it.

Secondly, look at how cool the Giants looked with the orange top, orange cap bill and cursive writing on the jerseys.

The Schoomzer has always been king… I can say that as Sully here and YOU there!

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5 Reasons why the Pujols for Howard trade is a good thing

1. It’s a good old fashioned blockbuster deal that will put a spark in Spring Training!

Seriously, is this a Fantasy Baseball trade? I mean this is a deal I would make in June when the Fantasy League is getting stale and I think “Heck, let’s shake this up!”

It’s not a salary dump… it’s not a Johan Santana like “deal away a superstar for spare parts” fiasco. It’s not a “We need to get Manny Ramirez off the team” trade. It’s a pair of contenders swapping former MVPs, former NLCS MVPs and guys who have delivered a World Series title to their home towns. We don’t see enough of these trades.

2. It kind of makes sense baseball wise

The Phillies have too much left handed hittting… throw Pujols into that line up and not only will it be more balanced, but he’ll see quite a few more fastballs.

Put Howard in St. Louis with Matt Holliday batting behind him and you’ll have the deadliest lefty/righty combo in baseball.

3. It will add a nice plot turn in Albert Pujols’ legend

As I wrote the other week, Pujols doesn’t owe the Cardinals nor their fans anything. They’ve had MVPs, playoff heroics and a World Series title with Albert in the lead. He could play the next 10-11 seasons in St. Louis, pile up numbers and work on his Cooperstown speech.

OR he can bring his act to a new city and give him some new challenges. Maybe it will be like when Pete Rose came to the Phillies… or Mike Piazza, seemingly a Dodger for life, brought his legend to Queens (by way of the Marlins) and will probably go into Cooperstown with a Mets hat.

Sure Pujols can be a Cardinal forever and be fawned over by the passionate yet friendly Cardinals fans… or he can jump into the cauldron of the Northeastern baseball and be loved in two different cities.

4. It is an ideal place for Ryan Howard

Ryan was born in St. Louis.
He grew up rooting for the Cardinals.
He went to High School at Lafayette High in St. Louis County.
He went to college at Missouri State University.

He was born to play for the Cardinals. And yes, he is replacing a beloved legend… but Cardinal fans are loving fans (just ask Mark McGwire.) And a few bombs into the right field seats will have Cardinal fans saying “Welcome home!”

5. It will embolden every yahoo calling up WFAN and XM Radio with trade theories

You know those guys who call up, especially late at night, to sports talk stations? They usually have outrageous trade proposals. Usually it is something like “I think the Mets should trade for Derek Jeter… maybe we can send them Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy and some prospects.”

And then Steve Somers would shoot them down.

But now whenever someone has a crazy trade proposal that is dismissable, they can reply “Hey! You never would have thought the Pujols for Howard trade would have happened!”

Yes, it is a good thing to give those looneys some ammo… it makes listening sports talk radio so much more interesting!

Now this trade is probably not going to happen. For what I understand it was an internal conversation among Phillies scouts… and who knows? Maybe some scouts left a spring training game and wandered over to Meg O’Malley’s bar in Melbourne Florida, and got hammered.

And one of the scouts just blurted out “Heck, why don’t we just trade Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols?”

Next thing you know it is front page news.

It isn’t going to happen.
But it would be cool if it did.

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