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How To Be Gregarious, And Other Lessons From NYY

Some utterly random s**t about the Yankees.

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Iggy's still probably in better shape than me, possibly you.
Iggy's still probably in better shape than me, possibly you.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Here's a few Yankees-related things I found interesting. You may not. So click away, click away, click away, TwinkieLand.

The Yankee Flipper

Any excuse to shimmy in a Baseball Project song works for me, so here's one about an odd Yankee anecdote.

On July 18, 1995, in the second half of a doubleheader, Yankees starter (and 1993 Cy Young winner) Jack McDowell got rocked hard, giving up nine ERs in 4 1/3 innings. As he left the mound to Bronx cheers, he flipped off the fans. Shock! Outrage! Haut Takez!

Many, many years later, The Baseball Project gave us some backstory. McDowell was also a part-time rock guitarist, and friends with members of R.E.M., who happened to be in New York. Libations flowed freely, so McDowell pitched the next day with a wicked hangover. (This can make one a touch cranky.)

Oh, and McDowell's a 'Mats fan. No typo, influential Minnesota band "The Replacements," not the Mets. Plus his debut was in 1987, against the Twins! So ya gotta love him. Here's the BP song:

Didi you pronounce that correctly in Papiamento? No, you Didin't

Here's some lazy-ass research. Wiki! I could do like college students everywhere, and cite the Wiki page's sources instead of the Wiki page, but you'd know I was faking. You're clever bastards.

You probably knew that recent Yankee pickup Ike Davis was born in Edina, MN, as he is the son of legendary Twins closer Ron Davis. (I didn't know this. I grew up in another part of the country, alright? You don't f***ing know who won the 1977 NBA title, so get off my back, you vultures.)

You may also know that, before Davis, the Yankees gave a 1B shot to ex-Twins prospect Chris Parmelee, who promptly got injured, because some kind of wicked malevolent god doesn't want him to be happy.

And you know that Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has one of the coolest, if slightly misspelled, names in baseball (IMO, the competition begins and ends with Coco Crisp.)

What you might not have known is Gregorius is an interesting guy. He was born in Amsterdam -- Bert Blyleven territory -- and moved to the Caribbean when he was little. (With his parents. He didn't do it by himself, the Netherlands are a nice place, why would he?) He speaks Spanish, Dutch, English, and Papiamento, the hybrid language of several Caribbean islands.

And he's into amateur drawing. Here you can see him encouraging Carlos Beltran to try it. Is he a master? No. Is he better at drawing than I am at baseball? Hells ya. (He seems like a pretty good teacher, too, although I reserve judgment on who's better in this case, 'cause I ain't bad.)

F**k You From Asbury Park, NJ

Hey -- does Comcast suck? This is a matter of opinion, surely. However, the correct answer is "yes, giant extinct mastodon dick."

As we've discussed before, MLB's blackout restrictions are ridiculous nonsense made up by brain-deprived zombies hoping to slurp a little more money from baseball fans. These restrictions quite possibly make it more prohibitive for younger viewers to enjoy the game, which is something MLB should be seriously concerned about. Except . . . "mmm. Money. Delicious ... Money. Must gnaw ... money. Grr, aargh."

Well, imagine you're a Yankee fan living in New Jersey or Connecticut (both of which are rather close to Yankee Stadium.)

Because the primary cable provider in those areas, our beloved Comcast, has decided to stop carrying Yankee games. And, naturally, computer users there are regarded by MLB as being inside the Yankee "local blackout restrictions apply" area, so an subscription is out of the question.

(Sling and Dish Network added Yankee coverage to their programming packages in response.)

The Yankees equivalent of Fox Sports North, the YES network, is 20% owned by the team (Fox owns the rest), so naturally losing close to a million customers is costing them money. Hence, the Yankees have had celebrities -- like Alex Rodriguez -- record ads imploring Comcast to change their ways, lest subscribers secede.

Not bloody likely. The Comcast website has a FAQ addressing whys and wherefores about cancelling YES. In which the cable monolith explains how YES was asking for a substantial increase in network fees (what Comcast pays for the rights to broadcast programming.) And that certainly sounds like a negotiation hurdle.

In the same FAQ, Comcast explains why dropping YES doesn't reduce anyone's cable bill: "that fee recovers only a portion of our costs of providing all the Regional Sports Networks in your market -- and YES Network accounted for only a small percentage of those total costs."

Which sounds an awful lot like saying "you miserable ingrates, we suffer enough on your behalf. Must we give, and give, and give? Feel sorry for us, why don't 'cha."

Basically, this is a giant pissing contest between YES (who also broadcasts NBA Nets games; until a few years ago, the Nets were located in Jersey, not Brooklyn) and the cable company. Which devolves from the way our "free market competition" deals with cable monopolies, something I am so NOT going to get into right now. Basically, cable companies don't, by-and-large, compete to win over customers; they buy up swaths of territory like players in "Risk."

And YES pissed Comcast off. So now fans served by Comcast are boned by both parties. At least they have more free games on other channels than we do.

Catch 'ya later for the game.