(EDITOR’s NOTE : from time to time, Bronx baseball executive Randy L. is kind enough to visit CSTB to offer his thoughts on the issues of the day, sporting and otherwise. In the wake of Wednesday night’s incredible scenes at Citi Field — in which a rumored deal for Milwaukee OF Carlos Gomez left Mets IF Wilmer Flores visibly weeping on camera — Randy offered, no he insisted on having his say – GC)
Greetings to all members of the Yankee Universe…and the dateless, friendless, often jobless losers who can only fantasize of someday entering its ranks. You know, I’m well aware MLB’s Trade Deadline represents a last gasp opportunity for some of the game’s more desperate franchises to knock the Yankees off our lofty perch, but once Toronto’s new acquisitions realize they’ve renounced their American citizenships (and any eligibility for Obamacare), I’m pretty sure morale in the Blue Jays clubhouse is going straight into the toilet. So even with our own oversexed GM doing little more than bringing Dustin Ackely into the fold (GET THAT PLACQUE IN MONUMENT PARK READY, CASHMAN), I’m not at all worried.
Which is to say, my calm, collected demeanor should be seen as being in stark contrast to that of our crosstown rivals, who once again managed to thoroughly embarrass themselves by letting the sensitive, young Wilmer Flores twist in the wind last night while negotiating a trade for Carlos Gomez that would ultimately fall apart on the advice of Mets team doctors.
That’s right, the same Mets team doctors that routinely tell guys with serious concussions to get on airplanes. The same collection of quacks that couldn’t keep Jose Reyes on the field and now seem to be bringing the same expertise to what’s left of David Wright’s career. Why wouldn’t you listen to those guys?
It’s the cruel, irresponsible handling of Mr. Flores that I find most objectionable, however. For Mets officials to act as though they had no idea what was being reported on Twitter Wednesday night is beyond disingenuous. This is like asking the public to believe the entire Mets front office staff isn’t following my Tweets with breathless anticipation.
You won’t catch me showing that sort insensitivity to our players in pinstripes. Anytime there’s even the slightest hint of negativity on social media directed at our former Third Baseman / current Designated Hitter, I am the first to bring it to Alex’s attention, be it via a direct message, a text, a phone call, maybe even an item posted to the Nu Stadium jumbotron. Some might call this overkill, harassment, even. But that’s the kind of executive I am. Possibly twice as magnanimous as I am handsome.
Were Wilmer Flores a player under Yankee contract, not only would I have personally made sure he knew of a pending deal as early as possible, but I’d have already made arrangements to have his locker cleaned out and belongings placed in a cardboard box on River Ave (or possibly put up for sale in our impressive Clubhouse Shop located directly behind home plate at the New Stadium).
I dislike being the one to say that my way of dealing with such an issue is the only way. So say it yourself. Out loud. Several times while staring directly into my eyes, wishing, praying that your sad sack, financially bereft ballclub had a decisive, paternal figure like me calling the shots.
DREAM ON MOTHERFUCKERS,
(FROM THE EDITOR : From time to time, respected Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to weigh in on the major sporting matters of the day. Upon learning New York Mets 3B David Wright’s injury rehab has suffered a serious setback, Randy requested, no, he insisted on having his say – GC)
Like so many of you, I heard the disturbing news about David Wright today and my first thoughts were with this fine young man and his family. Sure, he’s got all the personality of a slightly less douchey Gregg Jefferies, and now, it seems he might have the career to match. Still, David Wright might not be my intellectual equal, but really, who is? Can you imagine my embarrassment in seeing Brian Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner high-fiving each other after the former learned about the Wright story on his iPad (of course, when I asked to look at the screen, this is what he’d been paying rapt attention to). Not for the first time, I have to do all the creative thinking around here.
On numerous occasions I’ve used these pages to reach out to Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to let them know that despite the crosstown rivalry between our franchises, I have only warm feelings for the Mets owners, not unlike the feeling you’d get if Shane Spencer was urinating on your leg. Though I have repeatedly made trade offers that would’ve dramatically bettered the Mets — history shows that I am as magnanimous as I am handsome — these proposals have gone unanswered. Now, faced with the loss of their only offensive threat (save for the threats Wally Backman makes every time he’s passed over for a big league job), I am again dangling sure-thing-Hall Of Famer and future All-Time HR King Alex Rodriguez for the mere price of Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard.
I know what you’re saying. “Randy, that’s totally nuts, Matt Harvey’s going down the toilet and he’s got a triple chin. You can’t trade a marketing juggernaut like A-Rod for a self-styled playboy with a triple chin.” Such talk doesn’t scare me one bit. We’ll figure out a way to get the slovenly, unshaven Harvey into Yankee Universe Shape if I personally have to show up with the medicine ball and supervise his training myself.
As for the thoroughly unproven Syndergaard, I realize Yankee fans are concerned that a guy who looks like he’s auditioning for Candlebox is a rather poor fit for the World’s Most Successful Professional Sports Franchise (HEY KID, WHO’S YOUR STYLE GURU, JACOB DEGROM?), but please keep in mind it’s difficult to get a decent haircut on a rookie per diem. Even in Queens. I hear the Mets had their own in-house barber, but apparently he objected at having to be the club’s general manager for the same salary.
All kidding aside, the important thing is that I’m committed to improving both teams (provided the Mets pay all of A-Rod, Harvey and Syndergaard’s remaining salaries), but if push comes to shove, I’ll settle for simply improving the Mets. It’s not like anyone else is going to.
alright. I’m Audi (Club) 5000.
(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, highly respected Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to address the major issues of the day, sporting and otherwise. After last week’s highly publicized and debated premiere of Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain documentary, “Montage Of Heck”, Randy requested, no, he insisted on having his say – GC).
Greetings members of the Yankee Universe, lovers of high art and the jealous, unsophisticated, dull-witted persons who find trivia night at their local chicken wing emporium to be the highlight of their week. Speaking of which, when persons like this blog’s editor spent the early 1990′s chasing “speedballs” and fleeting, sleazy encounters with persons of indeterminate gender or planetary orgin at establishments like lower Manhattan’s Pyramid Club, I was busting my ass, honing the skills that would someday see me become the crucial individual leading professional sports’ most important franchise. As such, I cannot, for instance, tell you which member of Ugly Kid Joe would someday go on to shoot Osama Bin Laden. When you try to tell me a joke like, “what’s the difference between a back issue of The Big Takeover and the bathroom at CBGB?”, I simply have no idea what you’re talking about.
That said, I do make some effort to put popular culture in some broader context, and when a plaid-clad Brian Cashman announced he’d arranged an advance screening for Yankee brass of “Montage Of Heck”, adding in his usually smug fashion, “but you wouldn’t care about that, would you, Randy?”, I was all too happy to show that sniveling, overpaid/oversexed little creep that just when you think you know Randy L., it turns out you’ve got no fucking idea.
For starters, I thought the film was a carefully crafted portrait of a sensitive young man with extraordinary talent — alright, he was no Matt Berninger — who unfortunately, fell under the influence of a more assertive, possibly destructive female companion, and resorted to drug abuse at the height of his success.
(illustration courtesy Tim Cook)
It’s an American tragedy, and the film bore an uncanny resemblance to a collection of video tapes I’ve compiled from scenes shot in a number of midtown NYC penthouses and health clubs. You see, unlike the tawdry punk rock world inhabited by the late Kurt Cobain and the sickening creeps who read & edit this blog, baseball doesn’t look kindly upon defacing rental properties or using needles without the supervision of team-approved medical personnel. While it saddens me that Mr. Cobain didn’t live long enough to reap the rewards and gold CD statuettes he earned during his artistic tenure, a young Randy L. would’ve been the first person to offer his legal skills to a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame seeking to deny entry, much as you’ll see Shannon Hoon singing “God Bless America” at the new Yankee Stadium before I sign a six million dollar check made out to a monumental fraud like Alex Rodriguez.
And for fuck’s sake, Cashman. Get rid of the skater shorts. It’s 2015.
(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. takes to the pages of CSTB to weigh in on the major sporting matters of the day. USA Today published a column from former SNY staffer Ted Berg Friday in which Berg suggested that in the event Alex Rodriguez were to hit career HR no. 660 this weekend at Fenway— tying him with Willie Mays on the All-Time list and possibly qualifying him for a $6 million marketing bonus — Red Sox fans would be well advised to loudly cheer the Player They’ve Loved To Hate. Upon reading Mr. Berg’s column, Randy asked, no, he demanded to have his say – GC)
If the Fenway faithful are smart about it — or smaht, if you will — they should give A-Rod a standing ovation so long and so rousing that it interrupts the game. Force him to come out of the dugout and give a curtain call. And the Red Sox, in turn, should put up a special message on the scoreboard congratulating him and maybe show a video montage of previous A-Rod highlights.
Seriously, Boston, listen up: If A-Rod hits his 660th home run this weekend, everything you do to celebrate it will hurt the Yankees’ chances of saving $6 million. Think about that. Spread the word. Ted Berg, USA Today, 5/1/15
So we have an actual battle for first place happening in Kenmore Square tonight, and the best an alleged professional like Ted Berg can come up with is cheap shots at the greatest sporting franchise in human history? Clearly, all those years having to ask the Wilpon family to make good on bounced paychecks have left Ted a rather snide individual, the sort better equipped for “hot takes” on Michael Kay’s radio program (not that I’ve ever tuned in — he’s still on the air, right?)
If we were nearly as hellbent on diminishing Alex Rodriguez’ historical accomplishments, why would I have campaigned so openly, so aggressively, to have him traded to our crosstown rivals for a number of players that while flavors of the month they might truly be, all represent risks to this organization’s culture and commitment to winning? In fact, given the way Jacob deGrom has looked in his last two outings, I think we’re well within our rights to ask for David Wright as a throw-in. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT DEGROM’S HORRIBLE HAIRSTYLE.
No, what’s really most disappointing about Berg’s brand of humor is the staggering unoriginality. Consider if you will, my contribution to this barely-read blog from September 16, 2013, in which I took great umbrage at the Red Sox showing Mariano Rivera’s blown saves against their fluke-tastic ballclub during ceremonies intended to honor the ever-classy Mo :
Just for the sake of argument, however, suppose for a moment I buy into the idea that a little nudge-nudge, yuck-yuck at the expense of the universally beloved Mariano Rivera on what could be his final game in that cesspool was somehow an appropriate gesture. How might the World’s Greatest Sporting Franchise return the favor? What sort of highlights could we show on the New Stadium jumbotron during Manny Ramirez’ final game…no, wait, sorry, too late for that. Maybe we can find a clip of Nomar Garciaparra glued to the bench on his own volition while Derek Jeter makes a heroic leap into the stands in time for the former’s last game at….whoops, a little late on that one, too. How about some hidden camera video of Manny Alexander giving his car keys to the batboy? Josh Beckett loading up a baseball w/ KFC grease? Oh, sorry, those guys aren’t wearing Boston uniforms…or anyone else’s for that matter.
That’s because when it comes to dominating for generations rather than an isolated, aberrational year or two, there’s only one New York Yankees and there’s only one Mariano Rivera. Our pathetic, desperate neighbors to the north know this better than anyone. If you think I’m overreacting to the least witty exhibition to come out of Boston since the last time Sully Erna opened his mouth, rest assured, I know my way around a blooper reel, too. And in the not-so-unlikely event we face these Red Sox in the 2013 postseason, I’ve already begun production on a special video montage the Fenway A/V dept. can showcase in what
should could be Alex Rodriguez’ final game in Boston. Until then, I’m tempted to say of the Red Sox, “you’re better than this,” but we all know that simply isn’t true.
Yeah, I liked my version beter, too. “FTW”, my dick.
yours in excellence,
(Editor’s Note : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to offer his insights regarding the event of the day, sporting and otherwise. After Alex Rodriguez released a handwritten letter of apology in lieu of a Nu Stadium press conference, Randy offered, well, he demanded to have his say – GC)
Dear Members of the Yankee Universe and those equally sickened by today’s events,
Under normal circumstances, I would welcome any piece of baseball news that would overshadow the retirement of a reprobate like Jason Giambi (say, Johnny Damon selling his pubic hair on eBay). But when our disgraced third baseman blows off a carefully arranged ceremony that I’ve spent hours….arranging….I’m fucking pissed. Do you have any idea how many strings I had to pull to get A-Rod’s peers (Tino, Jorge, Andy, Mo, Chyna, etc.) to sit alongside him and solemnly nod their heads as he begged forgiveness for the 13th or 14th time in the last decade?
That Alex would once again, take the coward’s way out, is about as surprising at this point as our General Manager asking MLB security to protect him from another jilted librarian. But a handwritten note! So now we’re on the hook for $60 million for a guy who can no longer hit, no longer field his position, but possesses lovely penmanship? Fuck me.
All of that said, I realize some of the younger consumers of sports media have never actually seen handwriting before, and they might require some assistance in order to make heads or tails out of Rodriguez’ sad letter. And that’s why you’re so goddamn lucky I’m here to spell it out for you>
“To the Fans,
I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.”
Translation : “I’m a huge pussy who can’t remember how to spell Randy’s name or how to apologize to him.”
I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology, but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.
Translation : “When you look up the word “punk” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me. And I don’t mean ‘punk’ as in Patty Smyth or Richard Marx. I mean the bad kind of punk.”
I served the longest suspension in the history of the league for PED use. The Commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball.
OK, enough with the translations. THE YANKEES “HAVE SAID THE NEXT STEP IS TO PLAY BASEBALL”? DON’T PUT WORDS IN MY MOUTH, YOU PIECE OF SHIT. THE NEXT STEP IS MY FOOT ON YOUR THROAT.
This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager. When I go to Spring Training, I will do everything I can to be the best player and teammate possible, earn a spot on the Yankees and help us win.
Translation : I’m a pathological liar who’s been
sticking needles in his ass honing his ‘craft’ since high school. And because I’m a preening narcissist with no regard for his colleagues or paymasters, I have now guaranteed I’ll be an even bigger distraction in Tampa than I would’ve been otherwise.
2018 can’t get here fast enough.
yours in vengeance,
(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. checks in with CSTB offering his deepest thoughts on the issues of the day, sporting and otherwise. Following yesterday’s news that Alex Rodriguez had offered apologies to Yankees ownership and management for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, Randy offered, well, he insisted on having his say – GC)
“Sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word”
With the possible exception of The National’s Matt Berninger , Elton John and Bernie Taupin remain my favorite songwriters…but how could they have known, some 38 years ago, the above lyrics would summarize all-too-well, a situation so tragicomic, so pathetic, that even Jim Leyritz pities Alex Rodriguez? I’m usually not one to say, “I told ya so,”, but yesterday’s appearance of a timid, deferential A-Rod in our offices couldn’t have been in more stark contrast to the preening, arrogant legend-in-his-own-mind who had paraded thru the Yankee clubhouse before his banishment. Imagine, if you will, Freddie Mercury on stage,in his prime, suddenly morphing into Brian Cashman in the bedroom.
Now that I’ve got that sad image stuck in your fucking brains, get a load of this : during Tuesday’s apology tour, I couldn’t even get this 40-something Eddie Haskell-wannabe to look me squarely in the eyes. Sure, he hugs Hank Steinbrenner, weeps on the shoulder of Cashman, but was there any personal expression of regret towards the one man who has always been there as a real confidant? Of course not. Keep in mind, we’re dealing with a zero character individual here. The sort of person who’d throw a family member under the bus to save his own skin. The sort of man who’d turn his back on the lovely and talented Torrie Wilson, who clearly sacrificed any number of boat show and supermarket opening bookings in order to be by Alex’s side.
But I’m not the sort to hold a grudge. I know the Yankee Universe is more concerned with my campaign to return the franchise to glory than with any nickel & dime bullshit related to one fraud’s attempts to compile gaudy personal statistics. I pledge to each and every one of you that I’m ALL IN for 2015 and nothing is going to break my concentration, not our General Manager’s misadventures with this website, nor Mr.Rodriguez forwarding me a bill for some $32,000.00 for services rendered by a physical therapist. While the simpering fools I’m surrounded by continue to betray your trust, take the easy way out and provide flimsy “apologies” after they’ve fucked up, isn’t it great to know your pal Randy is still standing up for THE YANKEE WAY in an era when no one else gives a shit?
THANK ME IN OCTOBER,
(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L. visits CSTB to weigh in on the events of the day, sporting and otherwise. After USA Today’s publication of Howard Megdal’s “A-Rod’s comeback tour a gift that keeps on giving”, Randy offered, no, he demanded to have his say – GC)
Greetings and a belated happy new year to the Yankee Universe and all those who can only gaze upon it with a mixture of envy and desperation. USA Today columnist Howard Megdal undoubtedly falls into the latter category, a man so hopelessly frustrated with the thankless task of chronicling the financial straits of our crosstown rivals in excruciating detail, who could blame the guy if he asked to be reassigned to Fallujah?
Instead, Megdal lashes out at an organization that’s a paragon of fiscal stability! I was trying to enjoy an afternoon matinee of “The Wedding Ringer” (COMEDY, THY NAME IS GAD) when my Blackberry is suddenly blowing up with messages about this would-be shit-stirrer suggesting we have anything other than optimism surrounding Alex Rodriguez’ pending/heroic comeback? I quote :
What about how the Yankees have made it clear, over a multiyear period, how little they wish to have Rodriguez on the field? Can you remember a more adversarial relationship between player and team? Remember, until recently, Rodriguez had a lawsuit against the Yankees team doctor that suggested a conspiracy to keep him off the field. This isn’t Reggie Jackson ripping George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin in the news media. This is next-level acrimony.
GIMME A FUCKING BREAK. Just because Mr. Rodriguez is a delusional, paranoid fantasist who imagines conspiracies behind every corner (much the way he believes Joanie Laurer will someday rescue and drag him back to her cave) does not mean the New York Yankees haven’t been 100% supportive in his attempts to return to the field. I’ve personally done everything in my power to be a friend to our 3rd baseman, whether it means monitoring his training regiment or being one of his only confidants
that doesn’t resemble Tony Atlas in a sports bra.
I deeply resent the following passage : “Oh, and the reaction from the Yankees when he hits his sixth home run this year, reaching Willie Mays’ 660 and triggering a $6 million bonus in his contract? That’s going to be priceless?”
Does Megdal really believe a business genius like myself is sweating a mere $6 million? Shit, we paid that much money to a Jon Polito lookalike that played a whopping 24 games. Did you hear any stories about me slapping the face of our perpetually horny GM or ordering Nick Johnson’s remaining salary to be paid in pennies?
Of course not. That’s why we have a little thing called “non-disclosure agreements” that anyone who works in our offices is expected to sign. And when I find out exactly who’s been talking to this Megdal character, they’re gonna end up like Michael Kay’s simulcast (ie. never seen or heard again).
I’m Randy L. And I’m not fucking around.
(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, Bronx baseball executive Randy L. takes to CSTB to address the important issues of the day, sporting and otherwise. After published reports this week suggested the New York Yankees would force disgraced veteran Alex Rodriguez to take the sort of spring training bus trips players of his stature routinely skip, Randy offered, no, he demanded to have his say -GC)
Greetings Yankee Universe and all who gaze upon it with their usual combination of envy and desperation. I know it’s been suggested that I hold future Hall Of Famer Alex Rodriguez is something less than high esteem, but if tempers have flared the last few years, that’s simply because both Rodriguez and myself are very competitive persons, hell bent on bringing the greatest city on the planet the World Series championship it’s been cruelly denied for the last half decade. And I’m not even going to dignify Nick Cafarado’s claim that we’re trying to goad A-Rod into retirement. BUS TRIPS? Are you shitting me? Do you really believe a man of my expertise, an executive with my resources can’t do better than putting a guy on a bus for a few hours? Do you have any idea how many people I’ve made disappear? I sincerely hope not…or you’re next!
Just kidding, folks. Cafardo can believe whatever sick gossip he wants, but the real scoop is my bold proposal that could well result in both of New York’s baseball clubs colliding next October. I know I’ve been rebuffed repeatedly when offering Alex Rodriguez straight up for the unproven, possibly disabled-forever Matt Harvey or the thoroughly unproven Jacob deGrom but a skilled negotiator like me doesn’t know the meaning of “fuck no, are you insane?” (did you teach your son to speak that way to adults, Fred?).
Instead, I’m prepared to pivot and shall reluctantly accept the contractual albatross that is David Wright, provided the Mets throw in Dilson Herrera. This offer expires at midnight tomorrow, or whenever David Samson returns my phone calls (whichever comes first). GET AT ME.
(from time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L’s musings on matters sporting and otherwise appear here at CSTB. Upon learning the Milwaukee Brewers plan to retire the uniform no. 1 in honor of former owner / retiring MLB commissioner Bud Selig, Randy offered, no, he demanded to have his say – GC)
So, did you all enjoy the dramatic events at the baseball temple known as Yankee Stadium last night? Unless you’re a sad, jealous crank like this blog’s editor (or perhaps a guy who changes sports media jobs more often than normal people change light bulbs) I’m assuming every last one of you. But I don’t suppose you had any idea that our oversexed General Manager had been petitioning the league office since early that morning to have the game called (something about finding “a dead ringer for Patricia Heaton” on this website) and it took my intervention to get the contest in, thus preserving yet another historic moment for our beloved Captain and the entire Yankee Universe.
But that’s the sort of thing I manage to pull off routinely. Who secured Metallica for Mariano Rivera’s big send off? That’s right, Randy L. Who maneuvered — at great personal risk & expense — to finally rid our clubhouse of a preening, primping presence, a crummy teammate whose lack of ethics were only matched by his disinterest in women who can’t bench press more than 400 lbs? Right again, genius! Randy L! Ever wonder who is personally responsible for the disappearance of that annoying “Freddie Sez” character?
I rarely take credit for these achievements because as the late George Steinbrenner once told me, “it’s not the name on the back of the uniform, it’s the name on the front.” “But Mr. Steinbrenner, we don’t put the players’ names on the back of their jerseys,” I told him. “Really? GREAT WORK, Levine.”
(then he mumbled something about leaving the franchise to me in his will, but I’ve been told several times this would go nowhere in a court of law.)
So go ahead, retire a number for Bud Selig. It’s not as though the Brewers don’t have plenty of numbers already available for that kind of thing. Here in the Bronx, however, we’re retired many numbers, 16 to be exact. True, I’ve never taken the field in pinstripes, but neither did Jackie Robinson, and his #42 is already on the do-not-use-list. I’m not suggesting for a moment this wonderful Civil Rights pioneer isn’t deserving of the honor, but since he isn’t alive to argue against my being honored in similar fashion, who are you to put words in his mouth?
I’m pretty happy with number 2. And because I’m as magnanimous as I’m handsome, I’m totally OK sharing it with Derek Jeter. Seeing as he’s the most unselfish Yankee, nay, human being of all time, I refuse to entertain the possibility he’s got a problem with the idea. That’s the difference between you and me (well, that and the size of our IQ’s and bank accounts) — I simply believe in Derek Jeter more than you do.
See you in Monument Park
(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, Bronx baseball executive Randy L. graces CSTB with his observations on matters sporting and otherwise. In the wake of SNY “Loudmouths” co-host Chris Carlin calling Yankee captain Derek Jeter “a fraud” earlier this week, Randy offered, no, he insisted on having his say – GC)
Greetings, Yankee Universe (and the small number of this blog’s readers who can get this far without the help of a special-education tutor). The 2014 MLB season has been challenging for all of us. When we broke camp last spring, the organization had 3 simple items on our agenda. The first two — win our 28th World Championship, find a way to escape our contractual obligations to Alex Rodriguez —- have clearly not been completed to anyone’s satisfaction. But the third task on our checklist —- spend the entire year paying homage to the greatness, class and everlasting clutchiness (clutchitude? clutchworthiness?) of my captain and yours, Derek Jeter —- has in my estimation, been handled with all the understated elegance & grace you’ve come to associated with Jeter’s career.
As befitting our modern age, these efforts to honor Derek have not been without detractors. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney has the unmitigated gall to suggest our club would’ve been better off had Jeter been kept out of the lineup, a suggestion so fantastic, I am resisting every urge in body to have this columnist fired and then “disappeared” as some of my friends in the security business like to say.
Suppose, for instance, earlier this year, you purchased a ticket to see the Broadway musical adaptation of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, starring the multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris. Though upon arriving at the Belasco Theatre, you’re told that Mr. Harris is indisposed and performing in his place will an understudy, a person with no serious credentials to speak of and relatively little star power, charisma, skill, really, any redeeming qualities whatsoever. For the sake of argument, let’s just call this performer, “Brian Cashman”. Would you, the paying customer, welcome this pretender with open arms? Or would you instead, scream bloody murder and attempt to find the Belasco Theatre’s equivalent of well, me, and demand a refund? I think we already know the answer to this question.
That said, Olney’s attacks on this organization are mild when compared to the slurs delivered by the thoroughly unpleasant Chris Carlin. The latter expressed the ill-founded opinion that Derek Jeter is “a fraud” and seems to consider our shortstop’s Farewell Tour some sort of exercise in egomania.
It would be an understatement to say that I’m shocked. For starters, I don’t know what’s harder to believe, that anyone would pay Carlin to appear on television or that the New York Mets have some sort of cable channel of their own. Though I’m happy to know the production team behind the old Robin Byrd Show (ask your parents….or John Sterling) have landed on their feet with SNY’s “Loudmouths”, who the hell is Chris Carlin to be questioning Derek Jeter’s credibility?
I don’t suppose many of you are familiar with a piece of SNY lowbrow dross called “Beer Money”, but I have it on very good authority that throughout this game show’s run, contestants were routinely fed answers to questions in a manner not unlike the TOTAL SCAM depicted above. So really, Chris, who’s the fucking fraud now? A guy who’ll be in the Hall Of Fame on the first ballot or a local TV/radio schulb whose parting gifts to dates usually consist of penicillin and sealed copies of “Afterlife With Archie”?
But whatever. Who’d pick “Beer Money” or “Loudmouths” when you could watch Michael Kay’s “CenterStage” with Kevin Pollak instead? NOT ME.
Thanks for everything, Derek!