All posts by Stanzo

No longer banned from TopGolf. Rutgers student, avid Yankees fan, 2-time Intramural Basketball champion. I tell terrible jokes 95% of the time, the other 5% are probably above average

New York Sports is a Dumpster Fire

Yesterday was one of the worst days to be a New York sports fan, if you’re a Yankees/Giants/Knicks fan like me. Obviously OBJ got traded for a less-than-stellar package, which sucks. The Giants are the new Jets, I’ve been saying it for awhile now but we’re the circus football team in town. I really couldn’t tell you what the plan is, between trading OBJ, letting Landon Collins walk for nothing, and holding onto Eli until he’s probably 47. The Jets signing Le’Veon sucks to see too, but at least the one redeeming quality about this Giants team is that we still have the best running back to play his home games at MetLife in Saquon Barkley.

As infuriating as it is being a Giants fan right now, and as much as us fans want Dave Gettleman run out of town by an angry mob (see below), that was far from the only reason yesterday was frustrating.

If Dave Gettleman is public enemy number one in New York at the moment, I have a pretty good idea who’s second on the list. I was minding my own business, doing some homework (I’m still a college student, somehow blogging once every few months isn’t gonna pay the bills), and watching The Michael Kay Show on YES. To my surprise, none other than good ol’ Jimmy Dolan joins the show. The worst owner in all of professional sports proceeds to do nothing besides make more of a fool of himself, and I found myself shaking my head at nearly every word that came out of the guy’s mouth. I mean, he banned a fan for life for telling him to sell the team, which literally EVERY Knicks fan wants him to do. When Kay asked whether a ban was necessary, or if the billionaire who owns multiple pro sports franchises could maybe have thick enough skin to let the guy back in The Garden, Dolan responded by asking if a fan who beat the shit out of another fan would be allowed back. Yeah, cuz telling the most incompetent owner of pro sports to sell the team is the same thing as publicly assaulting someone. The guy is an absolute fucking clown, and I’m really scared that he’ll scare free agents out of signing with the Knicks this summer.

The Knicks finally seem to have some kind of forward momentum. I believe they have the right coach in David Fizdale. They have some young talented guys in Dennis Smith, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Alonzo Trier. They’ll have a top pick in the draft in June with the potential to take a guy like Zion, RJ Barrett, or Ja Morant. And they have enough cap space to sign two marquee free agents in a class that features KD, Kyrie, Kemba Walker, and more. But I just really have a hard time believing that despite everything we have going for us, and the chance to play in MSG, that any All-Star is coming to play for a James Dolan-run franchise. I can’t see it.

The Giants are a dumpster fire I don’t even wanna get into. They’ll be unwatchable for awhile. All we can do is hope whoever our next QB is (whenever that day may come) isn’t a bust. All I have right now is the Yankees, and that’s dependent on my prayers that Luis Severino’s shoulder is okay. Rutgers basketball plays in the Big Ten tournament tonight, and it’s actually wild that they’re the second-most competent team I root for right now. The Browns might be great next year, but at least I’m not from Cleveland.

P.S. There’s few things I love more than Yankees baseball, so if this ever happened I would be inconsolable, like Ron Burgundy crying in the phone booth after Baxter got punted-level crying.

 

Boston Sports’ Domination Must Be Stopped

As a Yankee fan, and New York sports fan in general, no fan base infuriates me more than Boston fans. The fact that I am growing up in an era they have absolutely dominated (12 collective championships since 2001) is sickening to say the least. I mean, how ridiculous is this billboard?

It hadn’t even been 100 days since Boston fans saw the Red Sox win it all before they saw Tom Brady win his SIXTH ring in probably the most boring Super Bowl of all-time. And don’t try and tell me it was a good game just because it was tied in the fourth, watching both teams fail to move the ball whatsoever just waiting for Brady to eventually lead a game-winning drive and rip everyone’s hearts out is pretty much the worst possible way to spend your Super Bowl Sunday. Anyone who says otherwise is either a Pats fan or a liar.

Seeing the Pats win and all these Massholes at yet another parade today just brought back bad memories of Yankees/Sox from October. I can’t believe kids like this are celebrating again today.

If that doesn’t make you wanna throw up, you don’t have a true hatred for Boston sports fans. Here’s the bottom line: it has to be stopped. There’s no real end in sight, either. The Red Sox are bringing back the entire core of their 108-win championship team (with a bit of a weakened bullpen but that was never their strength anyway.) The Celtics may be underperforming, but they still have the most talented roster in the Eastern Conference (Warriors in 4 regardless.) And Tom Brady was literally saying “we’ll be back” on the field on Sunday before he had even been handed his sixth Lombardi. It’s absolute madness and it has to be stopped.

There is some hope. If the Giants find a quarterback to pair with Saquon, they could become Super Bowl contenders within the near future. If the Knicks can draft Zion and actually sign superstars like KD and Kyrie (!!!) they would become one of the best teams in the NBA. But our one true hope in 2019 is the New York Yankees.

The Yankees were a great team in 2018. It may not have felt that way due to the fact that the Red Sox were a dominant team, but the Yankees won 100 games with many of their top players underperforming (Severino, Sanchez, even Stanton) and their best player missing two months (Judge).

After watching the Yankees do what they had to do and split the first two games of the ALDS at Fenway, only to come home and get absolutely EMBARRASSED by the Red Sox 16-1 at Yankee Stadium in Game 3, sucked the absolute life out of the season, Yankee fans, and the city. People forget this was a team that won 100 games, lost the regular season series to the Sox by just a game, and gave them their most competitive playoff series (aside from Game 3 of course). We need this team to come up big in 2019 and end Boston’s domination of the sporting world.

The Yankees had a nice offseason. They bolstered their pitching staff as well as making moves to offset the impact of not having Didi to start the year. Is it the offseason we expected following the Red Sox embarrassing us in the playoffs on their way to a World Series, as well as the Yankees getting under the luxury tax? No, I think we all expected Machado or Harper to be in Pinstripes by now. Regardless, the Yankees improved an 100-win team. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, this team gets as far as Luis Severino brings us. We need him to be the ace we know he can be.

I’m sick of watching Boston fans celebrate. 2018 was their year, and frankly the 21st century has been theirs. It needs to end. The Yankees need to get it done this year. Counting down the days to Opening Day, and I can’t wait.

Never Forget Derek Jeter & Mariah Carey

Merry Christmas, everyone. You might be wondering why a retired Yankee and a washed-up pop star are an appropriate blog topic for Christmas Eve. Well, there’s a very clear reason.

 

Derek Jeter is my favorite Yankee and athlete of all-time. Everyone knows his baseball accolades; 14-time All-Star, 5-time World Series champion, sixth-most hits in baseball history, etc. Most people also know his illustrious dating history.

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I always thought he’d get married to Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly, and was unsure why he didn’t.

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But, of course, being Derek Jeter, he lands on his feet and marries swimsuit model Hannah Davis, who he now has a child with.

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Jeter’s history of dating high-profile women all started with Mariah Carey, whom he was linked to early in his career. Obviously, this is where the story ties into Christmas, as she sings the best Christmas song of all-time. I won’t listen to any arguments saying All I Want For Christmas Is You isn’t the GOAT Christmas song. Not only will it send any ugly holiday sweater party into an absolute frenzy, you could play it at any time of year and people will gladly sing along. It’s just an absolute banger.

Jeter was always a guy who had a vision of what he wanted in his life. He was voted “Most Likely to Play Shortstop for the Yankees” by his classmates in high school because of how often he talked about doing exactly that; he was later drafted 6th overall by the Yanks out of high school. His teammate in the minor leagues, R.D. Long, visited Jeter in Kalamazoo after the 1993 season. Here’s what he said about the visit:

Long couldn’t believe his pal’s bedroom: wall-to-wall Mariah Carey posters, “like a little kid.” As far back as high school, Jeter would tell people that one day he would marry the pop diva. By 1996, he would be dating her.

I mean, that’s just insane. To grow up with posters of a celebrity on your wall, and then becoming a famous athlete yourself and dating her? Derek Jeter is a legend that will never be forgotten. But wait, the story gets better.

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Rumor has it that Jeter was the one to dump Mariah when they eventually split. I’m not gonna elaborate on this too much because this is BTB and not TMZ, but that is some big dick energy right there. Growing up with posters of a girl on your wall and telling people how you’re gonna date her, then actually dating her, only to become a huge star in your own right and break up with her? Derek Sanderson Jeter was an absolute legend on and off the baseball diamond.

Nowadays, Jeter is retired with a wife and kid, and is busy absolutely tearing down the Miami Marlins (thanks for Stanton), while Mariah has seen better days.

Yeah, Jeets.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Definitively Power Ranking the Best Thanksgiving Foods

In just a few short days, the greatest eating day of the year will be upon us. Thanksgiving is the absolute best excuse to drown anything wrong in your life with some delicious food. Before I get to my list, I wanna set a few ground rules.

  1. I strictly stuck to classic Thanksgiving dinner foods. I didn’t do appetizers, desserts, or anything that may not be considered a “classic” (ex. I know a lot of people do mac n’ cheese on Thanksgiving, but personally my family doesn’t so I left it off the list.)
  2. If you disagree with me calm down, it’s a fucking blog about Thanksgiving food
  3. Sorry I got a little heated with #2, food is a sensitive topic
  4. I took into account the food’s place in Thanksgiving, not just how good it is overall

Here we go, power ranking the best 5 Thanksgiving foods:

5. Cranberry Sauce

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Also commonly referred to as “turkey lube” (never actually heard that but I’m trademarking it now), cranberry sauce is definitely one of those “Thanksgiving only” foods. I think that’s dumb because it’s really freaking good. If I walk into a deli in July and order a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, I’d get looked at like I have three heads. But November is pretty much a free pass to order Thanksgiving food all the time. Don’t sleep on the Thanksgiving bowl from Wawa, the Fat Pilgrim from CARS (for the Bergen County readers), and the Thanksgiving Wrap from Hansel (for the Rutgers readers.) It’s the perfect complement to turkey, and even better on sandwiches. No disrespect to it at #5, cranberry sauce is absolutely a Thanksgiving essential.

4. Mashed Potatoes

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Kind of surprised myself putting mashed potatoes at #4 since I consider them one of my favorite foods, but they’re socially acceptable to eat year round unlike most other foods on this list. They also go great with turkey and in sandwiches, and you can use them to pick up anything else on your plate for a bigger bite (vegetables, stuffing, etc.) Big bites = big flavor, that’s a life hack. Just make sure you keep your mouth closed while you chew. Also, PSA: gravy ruins mashed potatoes. I don’t care how unpopular of an opinion this is, keep the gravy away from my plate.

3. Turkey

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While I’m very confused as to why we only eat some of these delicious foods on Thanksgiving, I kinda get why a full turkey is a once a year thing. It takes a long time to make, and it’s a shit ton of food. That being said, turkey is absolutely delicious. They call it “Turkey Day” for a reason. After Thanksgiving dinner, at least my next 3 meals will include turkey in some form, most likely in a leftover sandwich. They say “you can’t have Thanksgiving without turkey,” and I pretty much agree with that statement. You can do ham or roast beef in addition to the turkey, but not instead of it. Despite that, turkey is not the #1 Thanksgiving food.

2. Stuffing

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Look at that beautiful bowl of carbs. Stuffing is sick and it’s a tragedy we only have it on Thanksgiving. It’s like having a girlfriend who you can only see once a year. Consider Thanksgiving Day the equivalent of getting the “my parents aren’t home ;)” text from bae, and crushing a bunch of stuffing is basically just you Razor scootering over to her house. (Side note: overeating and your stomach violently hurting is also the metaphorical equivalent to hitting yourself in the shin with said Razor scooter, just brutal.)

1. Sweet Potatoes

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If you’re saying,”A vegetable #1? What’s this dumbass saying?”, then you’ve clearly never had candied sweet potatoes. These things taste so good and are so covered in sugar/syrup/whatever else that you can’t even taste the fact that there’s a vegetable somewhere in there. They’re pretty much only a holiday thing, which makes them even better. So no, Michelle Obama, you do NOT win this round. Candied sweet potatoes ftw, maybe if you’re lucky I’ll have a bite of salad or something.

If You Had to Pick One Player In Your Rival Team’s History To Play For Your Team, Who Would It Be?

I just saw this question on Twitter, and it really got me thinking. You spend so much time rooting against the players on your rival teams that you never really consider, what if they were playing for my team instead? As a die-hard Yankee fan, my most hated rival team is clearly the Red Sox. I saw another Yankee fan answer this with Pedro Martinez, or perhaps Mookie Betts. For me, the answer is clear. I would have wanted David Ortiz on my team 100%.

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As a Yankee fan, I absolutely hate the guy. There has never been a bigger Yankee killer than David Ortiz. The Red Sox’ 2004 ALCS comeback doesn’t even start without his heroics in Games 4 and 5. So as much as I hate him for that, as well as the fact that everyone lets him off the hook for being named in the Mitchell Report, the guy was a damn good hitter. In my mind, he’s the most clutch hitter of all-time, or at the very least of my generation. If you don’t think he could’ve helped the Yankees win more than just the one title they won during his career (2009), you’re insane.

 

As for my other teams’ rivals, here are my “Honorable Mention” picks behind Ortiz:

Giants: Sean Taylor (Redskins); absolute savage, Rest in Peace.

Knicks: Kevin Garnett (Celtics); I guess they were kind of rivals for that like season and a half stretch where the Knicks were pretty good?

Rangers: Martin Brodeur (Devils); Why wouldn’t you want the best goalie of all time on your team?

UNC Basketball: Zion Williamson (Duke); I don’t care if he’s only played two games, watch this kid play for 30 seconds and you’ll understand why I picked him.

Rutgers Football: Our only rival is our coaching staff’s ability to recruit.

What about you? If you could have picked a rival player to put on your team’s jersey, who would it be?

Creed 2 Comes Out in a Week

I was always a big fan of the Rocky movies, and Creed just took everything about the Rocky movies and made it 100 times better. Michael B. Jordan is the best lead actor the series has ever seen (no offense to Sylvester Stallone), Stallone himself puts in his best performance in Creed, and modern technology made the fight scenes much better than in the older movies. All that being said, Rocky IV is also one of my favorite movies of all time. I mean, Rocky going to Soviet Russia on Christmas Day, in the middle of the Cold War, to fight a roided-up Soviet Ivan Drago, who he watched kill his close friend Apollo Creed in the ring? What kind of storyline could match that? How about Apollo’s son Adonis fighting Drago’s son? Well, that’s exactly what we get with Creed 2.

Throw in the fact that Adonis’ girlfriend, Bianca’s hearing is still deteriorating, and the two now have a child together, there is so much more on the line in this movie than the original. The original is already my favorite movie! Creed exceeded my expectations in every single way. I’ve never been more excited for a movie, next week can’t come soon enough.

 

They Might Not Win, But Let’s Appreciate the Yankees’ ROY Candidates

Major League Baseball will announce both their American and National League Rookie of the Year award winners tonight. In the National League, the finalists are the Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr., the Nationals’ Juan Soto, and the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler. That is believed by many to be a two-man race between Soto and Acuna Jr. I have Acuna Jr. winning, but you can easily make a case for either of the two.

The American League finalists include two Yankees in Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, as well as the Angels’ two-way star Shohei Ohtani. As much as I love the two Yanks, and think they’re both deserving (Andujar especially), I really believe Ohtani will win this award. I don’t like the guy, and I think it’s somewhat silly to go crazy over his pitching stats when he made only ten starts. But, there are a few reasons I think he’ll edge out both Miggy and Gleyber to win.

  1. His sample sizes are smaller, but when he did play he was exceptional, especially for the first pitcher/hitter since Babe Ruth
  2. There is a lot of anti-Yankee bias in the media when it comes to award voting, and they’ve had ROY candidates get snubbed before (Gary Sanchez in 2016, Robbie Cano in 2005.)
  3. Andujar and Torres will take votes away from each other

So yeah, I think Ohtani will be the Rookie of the Year. But this post isn’t about him, it’s for the two Baby Bombers. I’ll start with Torres.

As the main return in the Aroldis Chapman deal, there was a lot of hype surrounding Gleyber before he came up. There were talks that he could be an All-Star caliber player for years to come. He has certainly lived up to the hype thus far, earning his first All-Star nod in his rookie season. To me, the most impressive thing about him is that no moment seemed too big. Gleyber played with the confidence of a seasoned veteran, not a 21-year old rookie. He immediately made an impact, coming up clutch numerous times.

Just two weeks after being called up, he delivered a game-tying two-run single in the 9th inning at the defending-champion Astros in a game the Yankees would ultimately win.

 

He had a walk-off single against the Astros at home later that month

And who could forget his three-run walk-off homer to sweep the Indians at home?

Not only did Torres provide a flair for the dramatic, his power numbers were better than anticipated too. He blasted 24 homers this year after never hitting more than 14 in a season in the minors. He even launched five in four games at one point.

I love Gleyber, and everything he did. Red Sox series aside, you couldn’t have asked for a better rookie season from the kid. That being said, Miguel Andujar deserves the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year award.

Andujar was not only one of baseball’s best rookies, he was one of its best hitters down the stretch. He was the Yankees’ most consistent hitter all year long, and arguably their MVP. His .297 average led the team, his 27 homers put him in a three-way tie with Judge, Hicks, and Didi for second on the team, and his 92 RBI trailed only Stanton. The Yankees won 100 games this year; I don’t think that’s remotely possible without the production they got from Miguel Andujar.

Andujar was a consistent, doubles machine, and just seems like a guy who plays the game hard and has fun doing it. How could you not love him? I know his defense at third was bad, and even horrible at times. But hopefully he can work on that, because his bat is too valuable to have to take out of the lineup for defense late in close games.

Andujar’s name has also come up a lot in trade rumors, especially in potential deals for Indians’ ace Corey Kluber. The rationale behind that would be to trade Andujar, and then sign Manny Machado to take his place at third. While Kluber and Machado are two franchise-altering players, it would be tough to part ways with Andujar. His rookie season was so promising, and you have to think that as he continues to grow stronger, some more of those doubles will turn into homers. We’ll see what happens, but regardless I’m ecstatic that Andujar is part of this baseball team.

Ohtani will probably win it, but boy am I glad we have these two Baby Bombers. Hopefully Gleyber and Miggy are wearing Pinstripes for a long time. (It would be such a Stanzo thing for one of them to get traded like a day after I post this.)

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