Manning Brothers Get Us Ready For Football In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

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Not that we’re shilling for Direct TV, but you have to give the company props for pulling together this hilarious promotion for NFL Sunday Ticket that has already gathered almost two million hits as of this posting.

We’ve witnessed Peyton’s comedic chops on various occasions, but I have to admit I didn’t know Eli had this in him. Case in point, this line: “It’s like the milk is like football, and your blouse is the PHONE.”

I…I can’t even.

Blatant Homerism

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There’s just something about hearing that a pitcher has a no-hitter in play that makes you shed your team loyalty and cheer like mad. That’s how I felt tonight when I received the alert that Reds pitcher Homer Bailey, he who was separated at birth from Christian Bale, was working on his 2nd career no-no Tuesday night against the Giants.

A single career no-hitter is an amazing feat on its own. But two no-hitters, and you find yourself in the company of the likes of Nolan Ryan.

Bailey was perfect through seven, threw a total of 109 pitches, 74 strikes and struck out nine batters.

I doubt I’ll pay any more attention to Cincinnati from here on out. But for tonight, it was fun to cheer for the pitcher who delivered the first no-hitter of this season (and the last one of last season!)

Mr. Monday: Robbie Rogers

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Sporting his national colours

So a little history took place this Memorial Day Weekend. Robbie Rogers, whom you may recall from the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Team, not only came out of retirement to join the L.A. Galaxy, but became the first openly gay male athlete to actively play in a Major League Soccer game.

There’s been some debate about this in light of many recent “firsts”, namely that some sporty media types may have neglected to point out that Andrew Goldstein was the first openly gay male athlete to play in a professional league when he was active in Major League Lacrosse in 2005 (which I didn’t know because lacrosse.) Regardless, golf claps all around as we celebrate another step towards acceptance and focus on the REAL reason for this post:

Robbie Rogers is ADORBS! Continue reading

Back on the NHL Wagon

You win, Leafs. I mean, you didn’t last night, but in the battle for winning me back over? I’d say you win.

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Jake Gardiner made it fun to be a Leafs fan for a few minutes Monday night.

So remember last fall when I was pissed off with the NHL? And my utter apathy when it returned earlier this year? I truly managed to go an entire (shortened) season without watching a complete game. I ignored favourite hockey blogs. I occasionally snubbed Sportscentre. I shrugged when I heard the Leafs may possibly be in playoff contention. I watched people who swore up and down on social media that they’d never forgive the NHL forgive the NHL and tune in with days of the league’s return. I was teased by my friends. “You’ll be back,” they said. Continue reading

Another reason why firsts matter: Jason Collins

I was chatting with the other Ladies… this morning about how I was ready to post tonight on Don Cherry’s Saturday night rant about how women reporters don’t belong in the locker room. Then Jason Collins happened, we all got weepy at our workplaces, and I decided it would be more fun to reflect on the progress of the human race then a loudmouthed former coach defending the likes of Duncan Keith with a patronizing attitude towards women.

(Photo: SI.com)

(Photo: SI.com)

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For the love of Boston

I wanted to write something last night. But I couldn’t. Like many of you, I went through a series of emotions ranging from heartbreak to anger to numbness. Instead, I waited until my kids were in bed, sobbed over the footage on CBC, and then listened to Vin Scully because baseball seemed like the only thing that made sense at that moment. Sports helping us heal: yes, we’ve been here before.

I knew one person who participated in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Some of us with even stronger ties to the city were deeply upset and concerned about family members down there. The person I know is OK. A lot of people are not.

This wasn’t the post about Boston I wanted to write. You see, I had a chance to visit Boston for the very first time last month, thanks to a work-related conference. The city left a lasting impression with me. My disdain for the Red Sox may be well documented here, but in the two nights I stayed in Boston in a quaint hotel on Newbury Street, not far from where Monday’s tragedy took place, I became a huge fan. I love the people, its passion for its sports teams, every grungy alley and gorgeous brownstone. I snagged a terrific seat for the Celtics game that week when the Raptors were in town. 10 rows from courtside. Unbelievable. I have a pile of pictures I’ve been meaning to share on this site, of the game, of Kevin Garnett’s massive frame, of Fenway and the photo of Old Hoss Radbourne I found at this great sports bar on Boylston Street. But life happened, and now this.

I’m not from Massachusetts, not a Red Sox fan, not even American, so I feel a bit like I’m talking out of my ass. But I am a runner, and I am friends with some wonderful Americans (including these Ladies… ), so Monday’s events nevertheless left me shaken and heartbroken. I never once felt uneasy walking through Boston’s downtown core. Maybe it was the friendliness of its people or how it spoke to my Irish heritage, but the city really felt like home. The morning I arrived I took the wrong Green Line train and got lost, but I never once felt uncomfortable. I walked by Copley Square after the basketball game completely confident that nothing bad would happen to me, which I’m sure was the same feeling those runners and spectators and volunteers had yesterday.

So I promise that sometime soon, I will post those pictures. We need to remember why Boston is such a damn fine town, and how it will continue to be. And I will come back to Copley Square, and I’ll bring my kids. And I will continue to run, just like so many did yesterday and today in solidarity. And I will try not to be so angry about what happened, because in a time of need a city wrapped its caring arms around frightened and wounded strangers. You can’t stay angry when there is love.

Phoenix Coyotes Keith Yandle

Opening Day Moments That Made Us Smile (so far)

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Mo’s last Opening Day. Insert heaving sigh here.

Never mind that it was Easter weekend. Opening Weekend made it more like Christmas Day at the Bee Household, just as I expect it may have been for you this past long weekend. (True story: we spent Sunday morning watching the replay of Yankees-Army at West Point on MLB.tv via Apple TV. And it was glorious.)

While it wasn’t such a great day for my Yankees – and please, let’s all just calm down, alright? – there was so much to celebrate. For one, I was glad to see Francisco Cervelli back in the regular lineup and having a decent outing at the plate, and hearing the Yankee faithful bellowing YOOOOOOOOUUUUK! (Suck it, Boston. He’s OURS now!) For Boston fans, seeing a strong outing from Jon Lester at Yankee Stadium was likely pretty uplifting. Maybe we don’t need to relegate them to the AL East basement just yet.

Here are a few other moments that may have brought a smile to your face:

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Ladies…Bracket Brawl 2013: This Time It Counts*

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Your tourney favourites (AP Photo)

*Well, if you count bragging rights.

This post is brought to you by Advil Cold and Sinus, so if this starts down the trail of incoherence forgive me. It’s NCAA Tourney Time which means we have a Bracket to Brawl over. You can join our group, Ladies…Bracket Brawl, here on ESPN’s Tournament Challenge (password is ladiesdotdotdot) Once again, we are offering the winner (the non-Ladies… contributor winner, that is) a slot for a guest post. Need some insight? You will find some here and here but you should probably avoid cold medication unless you’re comfortable with choosing Davidson to go Elite Eight. For the mobile minded, NCAA has an app for iOS and Android to help you follow along (sadly, not available in Canada’s iTunes Store. BOO-URNS.)

March Madness starts Thursday, March 21 so get your brackets in now!

What fresh hell is this: NHL realignment

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No matter how I feel about the NHL, I can’t stay mad at this guy. (Source: Burnaby Beacon)

I’m sure there’s some sort of valid reason for this based on, I don’t know, a desire to keep the NHL “fresh” and “relevant”? On Tuesday reports surfaced of the proposed realignment for the league: a return to four divisions, seven or eight teams per division, new playoff format, same number of teams getting in (the top three teams in each division along with four wild cards.)

My reaction is mixed (never mind that I still haven’t watched a single NHL game this shortened season. No longer bitter, just uninterested.) I’m personally fine with the altered playoff format and the idea of a few wild card slots. The idea of four divisions, however, falls flat with me. What’s wrong with keeping it at six? I’m old enough to remember when the NHL was a four division league, but it was a much smaller league than it is today. How do you foster an effective division rivalry when your division is eight teams wide? Or does that even matter in the 2013 NHL?

This is still a proposal and subject to approval by the usual suspects. But what do you think? Does this realignment make sense to you?

Jetting Away: Bart Scott

It’s with a somewhat heavy heart that I take a moment to reflect on the release of linebacker Bart Scott of the New York Jets. His last few seasons were marred by injury and discontent, but we’ll always remember him for this epic interview following the Jets’ pounding of the Pats in the 2010 divisional playoffs:

And so another step has been taken as the Jets try to distant themselves from that dumpster fire of a 2012 season. But take heart, Bart Scott fans: there’s a chance he may land with Buffalita’s Bills.

Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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The Best Super Bowl Party (Memories) Ever

There apparently is no such thing as a Super Bowl party image that looks natural and does not feature food.

There apparently is no such thing as a Super Bowl party image that looks natural and does not feature food.

You’ve probably heard before that the Super Bowl is the biggest gambling day of the year.  I started the week thinking all us Ladies would talk about our best/worst Super Bowl bets, but as it turns out, I am the only one who has any. (One. I have one.  And it’s only because I have friends who are professional poker players who LOVE betting games.)

However, the Super Bowl is also one of the biggest party days of the year.  Even churches have Super Bowl parties, so you do not have to have any particular vices to have a good Super Bowl party story (though it helps). Join us, as we discuss some of our favorite memories of Super Bowl past. And some minor betting.

Raven: I’ve been betting on the Super Bowl since I was a small child. My parents’ friends have parties every year and they always do box pools. Of course, I’ve never won, but when my sister was born, she won three straight years. And she was a baby. She has all the luck.

As far as best party, I’m hoping this year turns out to be the best. The Ravens aren’t in the Super Bowl every year, so it’s kinda special when they are. The last time they were in the Super Bowl was probably the worst Super Bowl party I ever attended. I was away at school, living in an all girls dorm and there was only one other girl in my building who cared about the Ravens and/or football. We took over the lounge, bought snacks and food and had our own lonely party. Eventually some other girls joined us when they realized that we weren’t going to let them watch whatever show they wanted to watch in the lounge. It was sad.

Buffalita: Okay, for betting stories, I unfortunately don’t have anything good that I can think of besides betting myself in my head for four years as a little kid that the Bills could and would actually pull off a win. Obviously I lost those bets.

Bee: My Super Bowl parties are quiet affairs – not enough good friends who like NFL football. That or they’re Patriots fans. My most memorable gathering would have been Super Bowl 32 (Favre’s Packers vs. Elway’s Broncos), in my old one-bedroom apartment. One friend/co-worker came over with a slice of processed cheese on his ball cap. Literally and figuratively cheesy. Meanwhile my bestie, deciding she would cheer for the Denver Broncos, made her own GO BRONCOS flag by defacing an old tabletop provincial flag with GO BRONCOS in black Sharpie, which I realize is at the very least bad protocol if not illegal. But she’s awesome so don’t you dare hold anything against her! 16 years later I think she still has it. Otherwise, not much else to report. I forgot the halftime show was that tribute to Motown with Boyz II Men (was it good? I think I’ve mentally blocked all pre-Wardrobe Malfunction halftime shows.)

The Packers lost and Elway got his stupid Championship (oh, let’s be honest – he deserved it!) and the chili was good. Fun times!

Games Mistress: My one and only Super Bowl betting story happened four years ago, featuring the Cardinals vs. the Steelers.  Now I should preface this by saying, I only gamble at my friend’s Super Bowl parties.  He always has one of those score grids with a buy-in of $5 a box, and I would bring $20 with me every year on the assumption that I’d never see that money again.

I remember that Super Bowl as being kind of dull — possibly because other than one half-hearted Pittsburgh native (who wasn’t otherwise really a sports fan), no one at the party had much of an interest in either team.  So I got REALLY into tracking my boxes.  Unfortunately, I had a bunch of strange numbers (I think at least one involved a 5), and my only decent set (Steelers 7, Cardinals 3) seemed increasingly unlikely the way the score was progressing.  In fact, all three of the mini-prizes awarded after each quarter went to the host’s brother, who had bought something like ten boxes and wasn’t even there.  So I resigned myself to it not being my year, right about as the Cardinals started showing signs of life, scoring 16 unanswered points, including an odd, rare safety on a Pittsburgh holding penalty in the end zone.  Making an otherwise pedestrian 27-21 final score 27-23.

It wasn’t a lot of money, but I do still have the IKEA dresser and desk chair the winnings bought me.

What are your favorite Super Bowl party/betting stories?  Any big plans for Sunday?

Why I love being a curling mom

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Curling cuteness from my favourite Olympics

My seven-year-old daughter played in her very first out-of-town tournament this past weekend. It was a big moment for me: a small part of me felt like I finally “arrived” as one of the millions of North American parents who every year pile their kids and their big stinky bags of hockey gear into a minivan and hit the highway to cheer them on in a chilly rink and remind them not to press all the buttons in the hotel elevator.

Except that I drive a Civic, her gear fits into a small backpack, and she’s a curler.

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Name That Booty: Super Bowl Preview Edition

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Not a booty, I know. This just makes me giggle (Photo: J.A. Roberts)

Your Super Bowl contenders are set: it’s the 49ers and Ravens – aka HARBAUGH BOWL, or HAR-BOWL, or BOWL OF BROTHERS (seriously, I just made that one up) – next Sunday in New Orleans. You’re likely aware of the main storylines behind the upcoming game, but here at Ladies… we cover the angle no news organization dares to examine. Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 16: Viktor Stalberg

I hope I’ve provided you plenty of time to take in the deliciousness that Buff and GM have served up these last few days. Let’s wind up the weekend with a handsome Swede: here’s Chicago Blackhawk forward Viktor Stalberg. I’m still not speaking to the NHL, but I’ll lift my posting ban on all things related to the league since it is the season of giving. Also, Viktor is a former Leaf, sent to Chicago in 2010 in the Kris Versteeg trade. SO THANKS AGAIN FOR THAT, BURKIE! Go right ahead, trade ALL of the handsome Leafs!

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I can’t resist a man in knitwear.

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Lady Bee’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: MLB Sleeper Stocking Blanket

A quasi-regular feature for the month of December in which Lady Bee provides you with gift ideas you won’t find in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

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It’s a blanket! It’s a stocking! It’s…the hell?!!

I’m guessing the Snuggie has lost its appeal now that you can find it at your local Dollarama. This would be where the attractive stocking blanket comes in. Why settle for merely a blanket or *shudder!* a throw, when you can pretend you are a live human stocking stuffer? And why settle for just any stocking, when you can declare your love for the Yankees (or Phillies, or Red Sox. Sorry, Nationals fans.) with this: a 69-inch polyester stocking with arm and leg holes, so you don’t feel like a caterpillar?

Currently $15.97 at shop.mlb.com. Cheesy, yes, but it will keep you warmer than this.

Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 10: Calvin Johnson

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Oh, shirtless pic! Why couldn’t you be bigger?

It seems this year’s Calendar is full of NFC North hotness. In celebration of reaching the 1,500-yard milestone for the second season in a row, we bring Calvin “Megatron” Johnson of the Detroit Lions.

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Lady Bee’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: The Best of Down Goes Brown

A quasi-regular feature for the month of December in which Lady Bee provides you with gift ideas you won’t find in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

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If you love NHL hockey, and you have a sense of humour (seems required these days if you subscribe to the former), then chances are you are quite familiar with the excellent hockey blog Down Goes Brown. Brown, or Down, or…well, anyway, his parents and spouse know him as Sean McIndoe. He’s pulled together a compilation of his best work on the blog in The Best of Down Goes Brown, which was released this fall. Continue reading

Giants win World Series, bore some Ladies… to tears

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosA belated congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning their second World Series championship in three years with a 4-3 win over the Tigers last night, cementing the sweep and making me feel like that drubbing of my Yankees was all for naught. But to paraphrase Games Mistress, is it just us or was this series zzzzzz….? Mind you, Game 4 was probably the game I should have watched last night. But after our boy Verlander’s disappointing performance in Game 1, my heart wasn’t quite in it. The two shutouts didn’t help either. Yes, I know, Sandoval had a terrific series and Scutaro was a hero, but it would have been nice if Detroit showed up (in the first three games, at any rate).

So baseball is over and we’re all sad now. Let us know what you loved about the season, what you didn’t, and whether we are totally off base on our assessment of this 2012 World Series. Also, stay safe and dry my NYC area Ladies… and to our readers in Sandy’s path.

The Ladies… Make Their 2012 World Series Picks

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We all agree on how awesome Verlander is.

The defending champs have been eliminated (sorry, GM. I was sad for you last night. For reals.) and the stage is set for the World Series Wednesday night (8pm ET on FOX and Sportsnet). You may remember the San Franscisco Giants from…two years ago! When they won it all and we cemented our crush on Buster Posey. The Tigers return for the first time since 2006, when they lost to the Cards in five.

We don’t have any love for either team (we do, however, have a holy hate-on for Brian Wilson. But that was a sidebar in our email conversation today and deserves its own post.) but we do love to make picks! Here’s who the Ladies… are root-root-rooting for in the Fall Classic.

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Random Thoughts Brought To You By The Bags Under My Eyes

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We’re not on speaking terms right now.

I’ve been MIA lately and for that I apologize. Since my last post, I’ve organized a husband’s birthday, ran my first half-marathon, camped in the rain overnight in the name of Girl Guides, booked Little Bee’s bowling birthday party, discovered hot yoga and watched my grandfather get married. And watched baseball. And drank a lot.

And here we are in mid-October and I am really, really freaking tired. And given how my Yankees have performed of late, really, really cranky. So here’s a few things I’ve been meaning to get off my chest: Continue reading

Moneyball Lives…For Now: The End Of Season/MLB Playoff Omnibus

Although it wasn’t quite up to the standards of last year, with the meaningful games being all about playoff seeding instead of mere survival, at least we had the Oakland A’s and their surprising AL West Title win to entertain us. Is this truly the year of Moneyball? Or is it just going to be the Yankees, Cardinals, or Rangers taking the pennant again? We discuss!

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Know what, NHL? I really think it’s over between us.

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I’ve been thinking about this post for several days now. It took me a while to think of what I wanted to say, because part of me – the awkward teen who used to watch Canadiens games with her little brother on a black-and-white TV in our basement – really didn’t want to admit this. But it’s true.

The NHL is dealing with another lockout. And I honestly don’t give a shit anymore. Continue reading

Five for Friday: Superstar Owners

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Smoldering Justin is everybody’s favourite Justin

Remember when Justin Timberlake was a musician? Neither do I. But according to this report, he’ll soon be adding “Memphis Grizzlies co-owner” to his list of roles which currently include actor, SNL quasi-regular, and Jessica Biel arm candy. That’s great. So instead of recording a followup already to 2006′s Futuresex/Love Sounds we’ll have to settle for seeing his mug at Grizzlies games.

(Hey, it’s a good pop album.)

Timberlake isn’t the first celebrity investor to pour truckloads of cash into a sports franchise, however ill-advised it can be. Here’s five more that come to mind:
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Friday Fellow: Mike Trout

PhotobucketMe upon seeing Mike Trout on the cover of our newly arrived SI this week: “My gawd, Mike Trout has NO NECK.”

Bee Jr., age 11: “It makes sense, Mom. His name is Trout. Fish don’t have necks.”

You can’t script this stuff.

Seriously, you guys, Mike Trout’s story has been an exciting one to watch this season: a bright spot on an inconsistent Angels team, an adorable first time All-Star appearance (he loves Derek Jeter, so he’s alright in my books) and absolutely sick numbers. Consider this analysis courtesy of Bill Chuck over at Billy-Ball:

There are only three players who finished their season with over 20 doubles, over 20 homers, over 30 steals and a batting average of .340 or above.

Mike Trout is at all those levels and soon he will be able to add scored 100 runs.

Now that’s swoon-worthy! So are these photos! I’ll ignore that he just turned 21 on August 7. Continue reading

So what did you do for six hours on Sunday?

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(AP Photo)

The last time I caught bits and pieces of a marathon baseball game, it was 2010 and I was in a friend’s basement enjoying a potluck supper and watching playoff hockey (we kept flipping back and forth because our hosts were Cards fans, and we couldn’t believe it kept going on…and on…) I thought of that night when I learned that St. Louis was on the losing end of another ridonculously lengthy ball game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates: 6-3 after 19 innings over 6 hours and 17 minutes. You could watch the good Star Wars trilogy over that period of time.

If you’re a Pirates fan, this might be a little familiar. That’s because they were involved in another 19-inning tilt last season, which they lost to the Atlanta Braves. There’s another neat note about this game, which is best explained by the researchers of ESPN:

Since 2007 only 2 players have game-tying RBI in the 17th inning or later… and they are both Cardinals. Coincidentally, Yadier Molina had the last one, in 2010, when he tied the game against the Mets in the 19th inning (the Cardinals lost in 20 innings). Molina singled to lead off the 17th inning [Sunday], and was pinch run for by Ryan Jackson, who SCORED the tying run after the Pirates took the lead in the 17th.

All of this to say you really have nothing to complain about when it comes to those long Yankee-Red Sox games.

Hit and Run: In a New York Minute

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39, and yet he still does this. (Photo: AP)

Sweet American Jeebus. Because having two aging outfielders simply wasn’t enough for the Yankees, they shipped two prospects to Seattle today in exchange for one Ichiro Suzuki. Classic Cashman for you: just when you think he isn’t going to make a move in late July, this happens.

A part of me didn’t feel the move was necessary. The Oakland series notwithstanding, the team has played well in the absence of leftfielder Brett Gardner, who is now out for the season. But the Yanks do miss his stolen bases, of which Ichiro has 15 this season. That’s more than Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez combined.

So YAY, WE HAVE ICHIRO! Although I feel for Mariners fans, who have had the pleasure of seeing him play in Seattle his entire MLB career.

Ichiro isn’t the only pro athlete packing his bags for the Big Apple… Continue reading