"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Yankee Festivus (2nd annual!)

Today is Dec. 23, better known as Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us. For those who don't know, Festivus was a holiday created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza and appeared in the episode called "The Strike." Frank created this holiday in opposition of the commercialization of Christmas because he got into a fight with someone while looking for a female doll for George, his son.

"As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."

For a more detailed look at the holiday, please click here.

I did A Yankee Festivus last year, and it was very successful. After the Yankees missed the playoffs this year, it's impossible not to do it again this year.

The first thing one thinks of when they think of Festivus is the pole, shown above. This, of course, replaces the Christmas tree. It's made out of aluminum, requires no decoration (Frank finds tinsel distracting) and has a very high strength-to-weight ratio.

Another aspect of the celebration is the Airing of Grievances. This is certainly the most fun part. I'll let Frank tell you how it works:

"At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year! ... I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!"

Robinson Cano: I don't think it'd make sense if I didn't air out my grievances against you first. After signing a four-year, $30 million contract last off-season, you got off to a slow start and never recovered. You finished with a .271 batting average, well below your .306 average from 2007. You also hit five less home runs and drove in 25 less runs. You were even benched for not hustling. Don't make us regret our investment in you, Robinson. Go to your room.

Melky Cabrera: Jeez, where to begin with you. After hitting five home runs in April, you only hit three more the rest of the season. Your OBP barely cracked .300 and you were even demoted to Triple-A. You either will be traded or will begin the season in the minors again.

Derek Jeter: All of your offensive numbers were down from a year ago. Is age catching up to you? Prove us wrong next year.

Jorge Posada: You signed a huge deal last year and barely played. I know you got hurt and all, but your catching days could be over relatively soon. If you keep pronouncing that you are going to catch for the remainder of your contract, I think you are sorely mistaken.

Hideki Matsui: You have the knees of a 70-year-old. You've been great for us over the years, but you're clogging the roster at this point. It'll be nice if you can produce like old times next year, but I'm glad it's the last year of your contract.

Wilson Betemit: I'm glad you're finally gone.

Andy Pettitte: You have a 14-14 record with a 5.45 ERA and you still want to make $16 million? Are you out of your mind? You still give us innings and that's nice and all, but it's time for a reality check.

The so-called Big Three: You guys (Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy) only combined for four wins last year - all four going to Joba - and each and every one of you spent time on the disabled list. You're all young and it's likely only one of you will begin the year in the rotation, but you all have to prove you can stay healthy and effective for the course of an entire year.

Darrell Rasner: Hope you like sushi.

Sidney Ponson: I can't believe you actually pitched 80 innings for us last year.

Kei Igawa: Four major-league innings this year for $4 million. Not a bad deal.

Kyle Farnsworth: Enjoy Kansas City.

Joe Girardi: You struggled in your first season as Yankees skipper. You got testy with the media and, at times, looked lost. The Yankees have invested a lot of money so far this off-season. If you miss the playoffs again, I'm afraid you'll be out of a job. You were my pick for manager last year...don't make me regret that.

Boy, that felt good to get off my chest!

During the Festivus dinner, there were two "Festivus miracles." Because they're miracles, you don't expect them, and thus are not an official part of Festivus. However, I can think of a few Festivus miracles.
  • Signing CC Sabathia. We all heard the reports he wanted to pitch in California. It took a lot of convincing ($$$), but we got him and I think he'll be big (no pun intended) for us.

  • The opening of the new Stadium. It was sad watching the last few games at the old Yankee Stadium, but Yankees fans are getting a beautiful new ballpark this year and I can't wait.
The Feats of Strength are the final part of the Festivus celebration. The head of household picks one person at the dinner to wrestle. The Festivus celebration is not over until the head of household is pinned.

"Let's rumble!"

For the purposes of this celebration, the Yankees being in the AL East is enough. The top two teams, the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, met in the ALCS last year. With the Yankees signing both Sabathia and A.J. Burnett (they're probably not done yet), the AL East looks even tougher this year. The Yankees have the pitching to compete, though their hitting can use a boost. It'll be a fun year of division play.

This concludes my Yankees Festivus celebration. Below is a YouTube clip of the Seinfeld celebration.

Last year, I celebrated Festivus with my roommates at college.

This is a picture of us preparing our pole. It's an old flagpole and I'm not sure if it's made out of aluminum, but it served its purpose. The man on the right is none other than Andrew Vazzano from The 'Ropolitans.

Getting the pole to stand up with help from the soda bottle was one of our Festivus miracles. The other Festivus miracle was that the pole didn't fall down during the Feats of Strength (pictured below). I was so happy that we actually had two unplanned Festivus miracles.

The beginning of the Feats of Strength. I'm fighting my roommate Dan (light hat) and Mike (Red Sox fan) is reffing.

During the Feats of Strength.


More fighting

Even more fighting

Losing badly to Dan the former hockey player (this explains how we had hockey gloves)

And the gloves come off

Unfortunately, we forgot to celebrate it in our room this year. Silly us.

This really concludes my Festivus celebration. Have a Happy Festivus, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous (?) Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

This has been another great year of blogging for me. Thanks for continuing to read. I appreciate it very much.

And while we're at it, please check out the Mets "Metstivus" celebration at The 'Ropolitans (but it was my idea first). :)


Andrew Vazzano said...

Wonderful job. It's an honor to be featured.

Anonymous said...

Joe says....
You need help. Get in line behind me.

She-Fan said...

We all need help or we wouldn't be blogging every six seconds. Happy Festivus!

Andrew Fletcher said...

Very true, Jane. Happy Festivus to you as well!

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