Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random thoughts from River Avenue

Have you ever wondered how old John Sterling is?

I know I have. It's pretty much all I think about when listening to the Yankees on the radio.

Based on file photos and the occasional booth shot by YES, Sterling would seem to be anywhere between 58 and 66 years old. And that would sit fine with me...if I didn't open up my 1990 Yankees yearbook recently to discover that in his picture Sterling looked anywhere between 58 and 66 years old.


My most recent lead came during the fourth inning of Wednesday's Yankees-Rangers broadcast. Sterling, in his signature baritone, sang a portion of a song I'm positive had to be released in the earliest stages of recorded music.

These were the lyrics:

"Keep your sunny side up, up!
Hide the side that gets blue.
If you have nine sons in a row,
Baseball teams make money, you know!"

I can't remember exactly why Sterling felt compelled to recite this gay ole tune (if you know Sterling, you're aware that his tangents are tied to the actual game by the slightest of threads).

But it just sounded old, like the kind of ditty "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown would sing on the Titanic. I was curious enough to scribble down the lyrics on a envelope so I could find out when the song was released.

This, I figured, would be my smoking gun. Carbon dating in the Internet age or something. It's kind of like Superman III.

I typed the lyrics into Google and it turns out they originate from a song by Earl Burnett called "Sunny Side Up". The title is from a movie of the same name released in 1956. Using my intrepid math skills, that would be 53 years ago.

I guess that would make John Sterling at least 53 years old. That didn't help me out as much as I thought.

To quote the parlance of Sterling's times, "Drats!"

I will continue this quest and get back to you with any updates.

Some other assorted thoughts while walking along River Avenue ...

- I came across an unintentionally hilarious story in the NY Post last week about the Mean Girls-esque click that is the Yankee Wives Club. Here's what I could gather:

Laura Posada is the "queen bee" of the club, which I'm totally fine with seeing as she's a 12 out of a possible 10 on the hot scale. What did strike me as odd was that Michelle Damon was entrenched in the inner circle. Michelle, as you may or may not know, seduced and stole away Johnny from his first wife.

Wouldn't that make Michelle a Rick Reed-level "scrub" within this world? Very confusing.

- It took 15 years, but Derek Jeter's signature fade haircut may finally be coming back in style. I've seen several players around baseball getting their Kid 'N' Play on of late. Jeter's stubborn follicle sense would be the equivalent of a woman buying bell-bottoms when Charlie's Angels came out and sticking with them all the way until Clueless was released.

The lesson as always? Derek Jeter is better than us.

- I noticed during the Yankees' last series with the Angels that Chone Figgins gets roughly 15 plate appearances a game. The little monster is always at the plate or on the bases.

I was just wondering if this was simply an egregious oversight by the scorekeepers or if the Angels were actually cheating and are in line for a lifetime ban from baseball. I sincerely hope it's the latter because I'd love for the Yankees to play in a league where the Angels do not exist.

- I was at Old Timers' Day last month, and Dwight Cocaine has apparently been replaced in his diet by the double cheeseburger at Shake Shack. I think this is a good thing. Right?

- Is it just me, or is that Bald Vinny guy always standing outside that kabob place on River Avenue? Does Bald Vinny even go to the games? Was there a time where Bald Vinny was Thinning Hair Vinny? I need answers.

- Speaking of River Avenue, I recently spoke with the Old Dude that works at the beer stand at the Bowling Alley Bar. He told me business has been real slow since the new Stadium went up, but the hope is that when the old Stadium finally gets torn down, the whole street will benefit. Let's hope so. Many a good times have been had in the Bowling Alley Bar.

- Finally, back to radio booth. I was watching Game Six of the '96 Series a few weeks back (random aside: Joe Girardi is a fast little sucker) and I noticed something very funny. With the Braves down to their last out in the ninth and the tying and go-ahead runs on base, FOX cut to a shot of a frantic George Steinbrenner in his private box.

Standing right beside him, hands over her mouth like a school girl waiting for The Beatles to take the stage at Shea Stadium? You got it, Suzyn Waldman.

Homers really are everywhere in the Bronx this year.

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