Results tagged ‘ Reggie Jackson ’
Over the weekend, while the rest of New York was gearing up for a Super Bowl that didn’t quite live up to the hype, I had the pleasure of catching a matinee performance of the new “Bronx Bombers” play at the Circle in the Square theatre. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed the performance very much; moving the Bronx to Broadway is no easy task, but they’ve succeeded.
The play opens in Yogi Berra’s (Peter Scolari) suite at the Boston Sheraton in June 1977, the day after Billy Martin (Keith Nobbs) pulled Reggie Jackson (Francois Battiste) from a nationally televised game against the Red Sox. All of Boston seems to be talking about what happened in the Yankees’ dugout yesterday afternoon, and Yogi is nervously pacing, rattling off the greatest hits from the catalogue of Yogi-isms. He’s hoping he can broker peace between Reggie and Billy before George Steinbrenner gets involved; good luck with that.
Thurman Munson (Bill Dawes) is the first player to arrive in the suite, and he’s terrific – the captain is instantly recognizable, cracking wise about his aching knees and sour about his own issues with Reggie. Martin soon enters the room, rage flooding the room in a southern drawl. He’s shading his eyes with dark sunglasses and a cowboy hat, sneaking the occasional airline bottle into his coffee cup. Finally there’s Reggie, dressed head to toe in red polyester swiped from the ’70s. His strut instantly owns the room, fully in the heart of his “magnitude of me” years, months away from hitting the three homers that will cement his legacy in pinstripes.
You’ve become a fly on the wall in the history books. They’ve clearly done a lot of research to incorporate realistic portrayals of the players’ personalities, and if you’re familiar with those back stories, you’ll appreciate many little easter eggs.
The Yankees are falling apart and Yogi is terrified that Steinbrenner will fire Martin, he tells his wife, Carmen (Tracy Shayne). That soon leads Yogi – and us – into a wonderful dream sequence that is a highlight of the play. Forget time and space: imagine if you could have put all of the greatest Yankees legends in the same room. What would they say to each other? How would they interact?
Your imagination runs wild at that possibility, and clearly the writers had a lot of fun with it too.
An all-time lineup joins Yogi and Carmen for dinner — Babe Ruth (C.J. Wilson, playing the fur-coat clad Bambino larger than life), Lou Gehrig (John Wernke, channeling the Iron Horse’s strength and pain), Joe DiMaggio (an aloof, impeccably dressed Chris Henry Coffey), Mickey Mantle (Dawes, spot-on as the muscled-up, hard-living Mick), Elston Howard (Battiste) and even Derek Jeter (Christopher Jackson).
It’s great fun. I won’t spoil the rest for you. If those names mean anything to you, you’ll want to see it for yourself!
“Bronx Bombers” is now in previews at the Circle in the Square Theatre (West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). For ticket information, visit bronxbombersplay.com or call 212-239-6200 or 800-432-7250.
Received this press release in my inbox today from Sirius XM, where Reggie Jackson hosted a show that ran through last night. Some good stuff in here:
Last night (Nov. 10) on their weekly show, “October Nights,” on SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and co-host Bill Pidto spoke with two members of the 2009 World Champion NY Yankees, free agent outfielder Johnny Damon and free agent pitcher Andy Pettitte.
Highlights from the interviews below:
Host, Reggie Jackson: “You’re a free agent. One of the things people don’t know much about is you’re close to 3000 hits. You’re about three years away…”
Johnny Damon: “Yeah, I believe I’m at 2,425 now so it’s going to have to be three very good years or four pretty decent years so I have to try to keep going strong.”
Jackson: “Are you telling us that you’d like to play another three or four years?”
Damon: “Yeah, absolutely. I feel like with my body type, the fact that I’ve been able to play in at least 140 games over the past 14 seasons, I feel like I can keep it going. I’ll find a way to try to win at all costs. So, that being said, I’m going to take a little break now because the offseason just got here but I’m going to start working out sooner this offseason. It seems like when you start to mature in age a bit your workouts tend to start happening a lot sooner after the season. So I’m going to give myself ’til probably December 1 and then I’m going to get going very hard. And hopefully by then I’ll know what lies in store for me and hopefully it’s back in pinstripes.”
Host, Bill Pidto: “So all things being equal, Johnny, you’d like to come back to the Yanks?”
Damon: “Why not? I mean, we just won a championship. That new stadium is incredible. The Steinbrenners have been the best owners in the game as long as I can remember. They want to win and they proved it last offseason. The Yankees, it’s amazing when you have the pinstripes on and you walk through the clubhouse and you see guys like Reggie Jackson walking around, you see Tino Martinez, you see Yogi Berra. These guys are life-long Yankees and they’ve been accepted into the family because of what they did and how they played the game. And they won in New York City. So, that being said, I’ve loved playing for New York these past four years. You know, if it works out that I do come back then that’d be great and if not, we’ll see where I restart my future at.”
Host, Bill Pidto: “When you look to the financial aspects of your future do you maybe say, ‘You know what? I’ll play for a little bit less if I can stay with the Yanks?’”
Johnny Damon: “Well, we have to go through the system and start negotiating if that’s what it’s going to take. We just need to start talking. We know New York has all the resources in the world but they also know I want to come back. So I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a problem. I’m sure there’s something we can work out. And if it doesn’t work out I’ve enjoyed four years there but I really hope it works out. I’m going to be back up there in a week and just savor the moment again because this was truly a wonderful year.”
Host, Reggie Jackson: “Johnny, if you had a wish list, besides coming back and playing for the Yankees again, do you see anything that you would wish for from [general manager] Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner family to add to the ballclub?”
Johnny Damon: “Hmm. Well, I always feel like you can’t stay stagnant. I always feel like you have to move forward. You can never have enough pitching. I know there’s guys out there like John Lackey. He’s been a workhorse for years. I don’t have that list in front of me [of] who are free agents but there are quality players out there and the Yankees are always trying to get better. I just hope when they try to get better my name is still involved with it and I’m still wearing pinstripes.”
Host, Bill Pidto: “In recent years you’ve thought about retiring, taken a long time to make up your mind. I know it is really early, the season not even over a week, but what are you thinking about for 2010?”
Andy Pettitte: “You know, really I just need to kinda just get down here and get away. If you immediately start thinking about it right now and you start counting the numbers and you’re looking at the calendar you’re saying, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s only 90 days to spring training. Are you kidding me?’ Obviously, you can imagine what’s going through my head right now. I’m down here by myself at my ranch so haven’t even been with my wife really yet as far as to go through things with her and stuff like that. But I’m just going to try to take a little bit of time here and I want to do the right thing. I want to do the right thing for my family more than anything. And I don’t want to continue to play baseball trying to accomplish selfish goals because I’ve never done that before and I feel like that if you try to start doing that you’re not going to be able to be successful as a teammate as you need to be, as far as I feel like the time and the attention that I need to pay to my teammates when you start trying to worry about yourself too much. So there’s a lot of things I need to factor in and think about. I’m not trying to hold anybody up. I don’t want to hold anybody up. People can do what they want to do, you know? But I just want to make the right decisions for my family. I don’t want to leave my kids hanging and regret not seeing my kids do their stuff. They’re not able to be in New York with me no more, you know? I went the last month and a half, two months of the season not seeing my family at all except for the couple of times they flew up during the playoffs.”
Pidto: “You talk about goals. Does the Hall of Fame weigh into it at all? 18 wins now, you’re #1 all time in postseason wins. You’re at 229 wins during the regular season. Do you feel maybe you need to pad those regular season numbers a little bit or is it not something that you think about?”
Pettitte: “That’s the other, and heck, I’m not going to lie to you. Now towards the end of the season and that’s all your friends want to talk to you about and that’s coming up. And to me that’s just like, it’s so off the wall because I’ve never thought about the Hall of Fame. And so it’s not. I don’t want to think about that. If that’s something that happens in my future down the road that would be something I feel like the Lord just absolutely blessed me with and given me the honor to be able to be a part of something like that. Like I said, I want to concentrate on if I come back to just figure out a way that I can continue to hopefully perform at a high level like I feel like I was able to do this year and then, more importantly, to feel like I can contribute to the team and make the guys around me hopefully better and be a positive influence in the clubhouse and hopefully continue to be a positive influence on people.”
“October Nights,” with Reggie Jackson and Bill Pidto, aired Tuesdays (7 – 9 pm ET) through November 10 exclusively on Mad Dog Radio, SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144.
Pedro Martinez held an epic press conference here in advance of his Game 2 start in which he said, among numerous other things, that he may have been the most influential player to set foot in the old Yankee Stadium. He took on the New York media for abusing his name over the years when he was with the Red Sox, and looked back on Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.
Say what you want to about Pedro, but he remains one of the most entertaining and brightest players I’ve ever had the opportunity to cover. That mango tree quote still remains an all-time classic, as does his comment about hitting Babe Ruth in the backside. I had a chance to get to know Pedro a little better during his time with the Mets and one thing that was always constant was he could make you laugh when you least expected it.
Some highlights from the transcript:
Q. You’ve had a unique relationship with the fans in the Bronx over the years. Why do you think that is? Have you thought about that over your career? And what about it do you enjoy?
‘PEDRO MARTINEZ: I don’t know if you realize this, but because of you guys in some ways, I might be at times the most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium. I can honestly say that. I mean, I have been a big fan of baseball for a long time, since I was a kid. My first ball I ever got from a Big League player I actually got to purchase in Dodger Stadium in a silent auction, was Reggie Jackson. I was actually a big fan of the Yankees, too.
For some reason with all the hype and different players that have passed by, maybe because I played for the Red Sox is probably why you guys made it such a big deal every time I came in, but you know, I have a good bond with the people. After playing in New York, I went to realize something: New York fans are very passionate and very aggressive. But after it all, after you take your uniform off and you deal with the people, they’re real human beings. It’s all just being fans.
I have all the respect in the world for the way they enjoy being fans. Sometimes they might be giving you the middle finger, just like they will be cursing you and telling you what color underwear you’re wearing. All those things you can hear when you’re a fan. But at the end of the day, they’re just great fans that want to see the team win. I don’t have any problem with that.
Q. Two things: One, when you say you’re one of the most influential players to come in here, do you mean as a visiting player or
PEDRO MARTINEZ: I think in every aspect, the way you guys have used me and abused me since I’ve been coming to Dodger Stadium (sic), just because I wore actually a red uniform just like this one while playing for Boston, it’s been like I remember quotes in the paper, “Here comes the man that New York loves to hate.” Man? None of you have probably ever eaten steak with me or rice and beans with me to understand what the man is about. You might say the player, the competitor, but the man? You guys have abused my name. You guys have said so many things, have written so many things.
There was one time I remember when I was a free agent, there was talk that I might meet with Steinbrenner. One of your colleagues had me in the papers with horns and a tail, red horns and a tail. That’s a sign of the devil. I’m a Christian man. I don’t like those things. I take those things very serious.
Those are the kind of things that the fans actually get used to seeing, and actually sometimes influence those people to believe that you are a bad person, that you are like an ogre. I see Mariano, and that’s probably the player I admire the most because of how he goes about his business, how he does it, and he remains a humble Christian man admired by everyone in baseball.
The way people perceive me in New York, I don’t know if they got to know me a little bit better after I got to the Mets. It’s totally different than the way I am; I just compete. And yes, I will do whatever it takes to beat you. But I’m a human being after I take my clothes off. A lot of people can witness that any time, anywhere, any moment.
Q. The other thing is going back to 2004, Game 7, the old Yankee Stadium, what do you remember when you came into that game from the bullpen? What do you remember about that scene?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: I remember being calm, really calm, ready for anything. Actually I had a little bit of anger inside of me, not towards the Yankees or towards whoever, towards the tweaking that the whole scenario took. Actually, and I’m sorry I’m going to recall this because it was an ugly scene this is probably the first time I’m ever going to talk about it publicly. But when Zim came over to me, I thought he was going to just give me advice or something, just “Go, Pedro, you need to slow down or something,” or try to make it look a little bit different.
But at that time, I’m going to be honest right now, my shoulder was barking. I was pitching on three days’ rest, I think. It was two men on. I loaded the bases with a hit by pitch that wasn’t a hit by pitch. The ball hit the bat on Karim Garcia, and Zim charged me, and I think he’s going to say something, but his reaction was totally the opposite, was trying to punch my mouth and told me a couple of bad words about my mom.
I just had to react and defend myself kind of. But the tweak that it took made me look like a monster that just came in to play Yankee Stadium. And you know what I did, go out there, compete, and nothing else. I remember getting back to my dugout and seeing middle fingers. My mom, poor mom. I’m glad she’s blessed by God because all those curses were, I mean, unbelievable.
I remember going back, and I blew up the lead, yes, I blew up the lead, but I don’t regret it. It was a great moment. It was a great game. I competed. I did everything I had to do to actually win a ballgame. Fell short. So what? I’m not the last one. It’s not going to be the last one. It’s not going to be the first time ever. That’s why you go out there, to try to survive a game, win it or lose it. I had the great honor to pitch one of the biggest games that a player has ever played in the whole stadium. And that’s a good memory for me to have.
But I didn’t like the tweaking that you guys gave to the whole scenario, because I don’t feel like it was my fault. And at that time when I threw that pitch, I was just trying to jam Karim Garcia. But when you’re struggling, no, you don’t know how it feels. Shoulder barking, it’s a hard thing to deal with.
There was just a little neat pre-game moment on the field, as the center field scoreboard showed Joe Girardi and Paul O’Neill talking behind the batting cage. Underneath, the video folks added text that read “317 combined homers.”
Never passing up an opportunity, Reggie Jackson wandered into the shot and pointed to the screen. Mr. October’s suggestion was soon acknowledged, and Girardi laughed as the screen now read, “880 combined homers.”
Had some time to think on the 4 train this morning, which is never a good thing …
It’s Old-Timer’s Day here at Yankee Stadium, the 63rd annual edition and the first since the Yankees crossed the street. That’s got everyone in a little bit of a nostalgic mood, and I got to pondering this question — if Doc Brown rolled the DeLorean up to your front door this morning and offered to take you to any one game you’d want to see, where would you go?
Seriously, I gave this a lot of thought for about four subway stops. And here’s what I’ve decided — I couldn’t pick just one game. I’ll break them down by stadiums, because I think that’s the only way you can do it.
If it’s the pre-renovation Yankee Stadium, it’s an extremely tough call, but I think I’m heading to October 1956 to see Don Larsen’s perfect game. I’d love to see Lou Gehrig’s speech, but there’s a certain aura about the 1950s that would be cool to experience.
Post-renovation, I think being in the Stadium for Reggie Jackson’s three homers in 1977 would have been incredible — just the grit and excitement of the ‘Bronx is Burning’ years, seeing the rough Bronx neighborhood and the passion that team inspired. A lot of you were probably there for it, I’d imagine. What a fun team that must have been.
And as long as we’re talking New York baseball, I caught Game 6 of the 1986 World Series recently on TV and — not even for the Bill Buckner error, but just that whole amazing 10th inning in general — that would get my choice for Shea Stadium games. What say you?
We’ll all be back here at the big ballyard in the Bronx on Tuesday — April Fool’s Day — and there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this. Since 1923, there has never been a Yankees game played here in the month of March. Maybe this is the baseball gods’ way of reminding us that Opening Days are supposed to be played in April?
Nothing changes as everything gets pushed back for a day. Chien-Ming Wang will celebrate his birthday with 0.0 innings pitched under his belt, and Joe Girardi gets another day to sit around and wait for the butterflies that he said did not come. Reggie Jackson has approximately 27 more hours to loosen up his left arm and prepare it to fire a strike across home plate, and Johnny Damon can head home and keep wondering why this series didn’t open under the inviting roof of the Rogers Centre.
Other than that, we’re all settled up here in the big press box overlooking a white tarpaulin. I’ve got some Pearl Jam going on the iPod and there hasn’t been a rain drop in about 45 minutes. It’s actually beginning to look crisp and dry.
If it looks this good leading up to game time tomorrow, we’ll all be very, very happy.