Results tagged ‘ Yogi Berra ’
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.
Berra will receive the Legend Award in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World Series-winning Yankees. Teixeira will be joined by Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey plus NBA greats Chris Mullin and Dikembe Mutombo in being honored with “Thurmans,” presented for success on the fields of play and philanthropic works off the field. The Mets’ Daniel Murphy will also be lauded with the inaugural Thurman “Rising Star” award.
For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner, call (212) 249-6188. Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, will attend her 32nd straight benefit, having been involved since its inception, raising nearly $11 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
That was Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes climbing into the bullpen six-pack on Thursday, each throwing 30 fastballs and changeups as they get ready for the competition to be the Yankees’ fifth starter.
And while each one of those pitches met a catcher’s glove under the watchful eye of Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland, you didn’t need to take mental notes from that session. It’s much too early to begin handicapping a race that hasn’t yet begun.
“The ball was coming out of their hands well, and that was encouraging,” Girardi said.
As for Girardi’s presence behind both pitchers, that also shouldn’t have racked the nerves of either right-hander. After all, they both did pitch in the World Series last year, when there were slightly more eyes fixed upon their actions.
There’s still more than a month to figure it all out, but Chamberlain said that he “feels good at this point” and Hughes agreed that everything “feels right about on pace.”
Really, all a guy can do with this session today is prove he can throw a fastball for strikes and pitch inside to a phantom hitter. It makes it pretty hard to read. We could use one of those wooden stand-in batters that Charlie Sheen decapitated in Major League as a reference tool.
Hughes joked that there should be a meter somewhere, with an arrow pointing to the winning player’s name, kind of like a popularity contest. So who’s winning on Feb. 19? Call it even for now.
“I don’t think any jobs are awarded on your bullpens or your BPs,” Hughes said.
- Nick Swisher made another appearance in the clubhouse today – seems like you just can’t keep him away, even though position players don’t have to get to George M. Steinbrenner Field until next week. Swisher says he’s 12 pounds lighter and Girardi believes he can be more productive than he was in ’09, though he was “pretty good” as the right fielder.
- We haven’t talked too much about the bullpen yet, but Girardi did acknowledge today that in a perfect world, he’d like to have two left-handed pitchers to create more options. Of course, there’s right-handers who can get lefties out like Dave Robertson, but Boone Logan will get a serious look during camp. Girardi said that Logan was acquired with the idea that he could do “big things” for the Yankees.
- Guest instructor Yogi Berra arrived today, and I didn’t see his golf clubs on Girardi’s couch. I thought for sure that they’d be safely stored in the building somewhere, but it turns out that Yogi’s saving his strength for the summer. That’ll give him more time to watch BP from behind the batting cage, we guess.