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Home Run Drill, Rickey Still Has It, Phony Erin Andrews, Bombs By Straw

By Mike Silva ~ July 12th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

Robinson Cano won the Home Run Derby last night, but should that be a surprise?

Cano does a drill instituted by Yankees Hitting Coach Kevin Long called the “home run drill.” It focuses on swing consistency by having the same short, compact path throughout the swing. This allows a player to maximize his power without exerting a lot of energy. Take this quote from Long in the Star Ledger article about Cano and the drill from last October:

“He can go like 15 out of 20 just perfect and in the seats,” Long said of Cano. “It’s one of those swings where when he gets it — and gets that explosion and gets that contact — he’s just able to repeat it over and over and over again. And that’s the whole idea behind the drill: to stop forward movement, keep everything tight and to be really explosive in your lower half.”

One of the first players Long tested this with was Brandon Berger, an outfielder in the Royals system in 2001. As the guinea pig, Berger hit 40 home runs for Kansas City’s Double-A affiliate in Wichita in 2001. He received a big league call-up later that season and belted two more homers in 18 at-bats. He would go on to get about four seasons of big league time.

In my opinion, Long is the Rick Peterson/Dave Duncan of hitting coaches. I had a chance to chat with him earlier this season on my radio show, which you can download here.


One of the better moments in the Home Run Derby history was Robinson Cano and his dad Jose, who was his pitcher, holding up the trophy together.

Jose Cano was a big leaguer as well who received a cup of coffee with Houston in 1989.  Cano would start three games that season and finish 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA.

Cano’s only career win came on September 30th of that year in a 9-2 complete game victory over the Reds.

For his MILB career, Jose was 35-28 with a 3.30 ERA. He would retire in 1990 at the age of 28.


Rewind the clock 50 years and read the story about Sal Durante, a young kid who caught Roger Maris 61st home run. Durante, like Christian Lopez, offered to give the ball to Maris for nothing. Unlike Jeter and the modern day Yankees, Maris told Durante to sell the ball, which he did to a restaurateur for $5,000 and a free honeymoon.

Roger Maris didn’t take advantage of a naive kid in 1961. Unfortunately, the Randy Levine Yankees didn’t do the same in 2011


I received a nice email from a fan of the site named Peter Kapsales. He wrote:

You are the only one in the media that has brought out this issue. It needs to keep being told. My opinion of Jeter just dropped to the equivalent of Mel Hall. He could have easily worked out a deal with Ford to give the kid a Ford Edge. He is selfish and only interested in himself. The real Captain surfaced when it came to money. No wonder Cashman took the shots at him during contract negotiations.

As a season ticketholder for ten years, I sure have noticed it doesn’t take the Yankees much thought to raise ticket prices during a recession as well as parking almost 50%. Why should this kid be taken advantage of because he believes in a mystic that is as real as Disney World.

Thanks for reaching out Peter. I don’t know if I would compare the plight of Hall with Derek Jeter, but you hit the nail on the head with your comment on the cost of going to the games. The Yankees have a right to charge whatever they want. It’s the free market and if people didn’t go to the game they would lower their demands. To date, that hasn’t happened as the team is on pace to sell 3.5 million tickets this year. Of course, we have the right to play the same game when in a position of power. Something Lopez failed to do on Saturday.

What I don’t understand is the pass the media is giving the Yankees. This isn’t about Christian Lopez and what he did or didn’t ask for; it was what the Yankees offered the kid in return for the ball. Basically things that cost them nothing.

In hindsight, the kid was in a tough spot. If he left the Stadium with that ball it would have been tough to get home. Did he drive? Take the train? Whatever it was he would be a target leaving the ballpark.

I would have told Reggie Jackson, Randy Levine, or anyone else talking to me about that ball to give me two things: security to get out of the ballpark and a limo ride home. Give them my number and say I need to think about this and talk.

Anyway, the rich get richer in this case, right?

The good old media, with their corporate interests, let the whole thing get swept under the rug.


I watched a bit of the Celebrity Softball Game last night, which Rickey Henderson, Bernie Williams, Steve Garvey, Ernie Banks, Matt Williams, Luis Gonzalez, Ozzie Smith, and Mike Piazza. Rickey continues to be in great shape and I wonder if he could still come off some team’s bench today at the age of 52.

In case you are wondering, Rickey did lead off the game with a homer, just as he did 81 times in his career.


Another mainstay of Celebrity Softball is ESPN Sideline Babe Erin Andrews (I call her that because her actions deserve that moniker).

Andrews is one of the media luminaries that I utterly despise for her transparent phoniness after her naked pictures showed up in the news. She actually made a 911 call after the event that went like this:

I’m the girl who’s been in the news for having naked pics all over the internet, taken in a hotel. I’m all over the news… My first name is ERIN. My last name is ANDREWS

Narcissistic much?

She also went on to say she was being treated like Britney Spears.

Of course, she would appear on Dancing With the Stars shortly thereafter and prance that same body on national television that she claimed to want privacy about. Funny how that video, that she claims to despise, gave her the kind of national profile that has helped her career. She has now become more than just a talentless sideline babe doing college sports.

Of course, Andrews keeps the victim persona up. Check out this video as she yells at a 12 year old in the stands that says he is going to watch her video (2:25 mark):

Funny, it was all fun and games when she was making the wise remarks. There are ballplayers that have heard far worse and haven’t said a word. Looks like she has a case of rabbit ears. Again, she needs to keep that victim role up for her persona.

Best quote of the night on Twitter during the ESPN broadcast of the game  was from from SportsRevTV who said “Why am I supposed to take Erin Andrews seriously when she is parading around on my TV in short shorts and knee high socks?”

Yes, the same reporter that doesn’t want to be known for her sexuality, but participated in a national TV show that promoted just that?


Shannon at Mets Police is doing “80s Week” over at his site. One of the videos he played yesterday was from 1985, when Darryl Strawberry hit the clock in St. Louis. Check it out.

There is also this bomb from Straw on Opening Day 1988 in Montreal. Kevin McReynolds got into the action as well.


Final video.

Check out the uncomfortable camera shot (h/t to Full Count Pitch) on NESN

Could you imagine Keith Hernandez in the booth for that?

Better yet, what would Michael Kay do?

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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7 Responses to Home Run Drill, Rickey Still Has It, Phony Erin Andrews, Bombs By Straw

  1. Stu B

    Some of us remember seeing those Strawberry shots live!

  2. AH

    that erin andrews, she asked for it, right, mike?
    she is some kind of slut. next time maybe she will think twice about undressing in her hotel room.
    and to think this floozy wore knee socks and shorts in a SOFTBALL GAME after making a stink about having her privacy intruded. i hope they gave the guy a medal who secretly spied on her. taught her a real lesson!

  3. AH

    “Of course, she would appear on Dancing With the Stars shortly thereafter and prance that same body on national television that she claimed to want privacy about. Funny how that video, that she claims to despise, gave her the kind of national profile that has helped her career.”

    so you’re saying that because she appeared on tv in dancer’s outfits on a dancing show that she should not have been OUTRAGED about having someone peep in her hotel room and post it for the world to see?
    And because her fame increased after the release of said video that she should have been GRATEFUL that it happened?

    you’re a crappy writer and a transparent attention whore, but this puts you in a another class of scum.

  4. Anonymous

    The guy shoulda just repeated, ‘im going to watch your tape’.

    What was she going to do?? Nothing.

    It could been her patroling the sidelines on tape.

    She’s a FRAUD who is playing the victim card - which is disgraceful.

  5. Greg

    Bravo to the Erin Andrews piece.

    Yes - She didn’t deserve the peephole incident. But her behavior is questionable.

    She did a bedroom prancing display just weeks after the incident on DWTS. Then, the commercials the constant displays of attention grabbing outfits.

    Take a look at the blurry but very good example of how she wants to be the center of attention. A timeout at a college basketball game. She crosses the floor…not around it. Then proceeds to just stand there during a timeout right in front of the band in a tight outfit. You make the call!


  6. Russ Cress

    The word poignant isn’t often used to describe John Kruk but his comment comparing the Robinson Cano & his Dad story to Field of Dreams was just that.

    Great job by Kruk last night who was the best thing in the booth for the Derby.

  7. Chuck Johnson

    Erin Andrews: million dollar airport, ten cent control tower.

    The only reason she doesn’t know how dumb she really is is because she can’t spell dumb.

    It frustrates me when the media listens to people like Kevin Long an Leo Mazzone.

    Mazzone is a great pitching coach because the Braves ran out a Hall of Famer two thirds of the time he was there.

    How’d things go for him in Baltimore.

    Same with Long. The Yanks have All-Stars at almost every position, a fact Long has nothing to do with.

    Did he give a tip to Granderson or Cano which may have helped them?

    Sure, but they were in the major leagues before they ever heard of him.

    On the other hand, Jeter an Teixeira won’t work with him because they don’t like his philosophy.

    It is what it is, and stuff like this happens with every coach on every team, which makes the glorification of Long silly.

    He’s got a good job, one which everyone reading this would pay to have.

    That said, his impact on the Yankees offense is minimal at best.

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