The Yankees Go Spanning the Globe

Not to be outdone by either the Red Sox, who appear to have signed Japanese pitcher Junich Tazawa (even though he is an amateur), or by the Pirates, who have inked deals with Indian pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel (even though neither youngster had ever heard of baseball), the Yankees have taken a major dive into the world’s untapped talent pool.

“We can’t sit back and wait for Sabathia to make up his mind,” Yankees Control Person Hal Steinbrenner told She-Fan during a late evening meeting over cocktails. “What’s more, it wouldn’t be prudent for us to pay what Boras is asking for Teixeira. And we’re certainly not throwing money at Pettitte, Abreu and Giambi, although they will always be part of the Yankees family.”
“Then which players are you planning to put on the field on Opening Day?” I asked with a healthy dose of skepticism. I do love Hal, but he’s still pretty new to the job.
That’s when he began singing – right out of the blue, his voice an oddly familiar falsetto.
“We are the world. We are the children.”
Yes, that’s who he sounded like. “Why that song?” I asked. 
He motioned me closer and whispered, “This is very confidential, so please don’t blog about it. We’re replacing our expensive players with amateurs from the far corners of the world.”
Well, I was shocked, of course. This was the Yankees we were talking about.
Hal revealed the names of our Opening Day lineup, which I will now pass along to you. I know, I know. I told him I would keep his secret. I hope he will forgive me.
Without further ado, here are the new Yankees.
From the Netherlands….batting first and playing shortstop: Percy Isenia, a member of the Olympic baseball team. He’ll have to lose the facial hair, naturally.
From Thailand….batting second and playing left field: Ek Boonsawad, a champion sailor.
From Hungary…batting third and playing right field: Zsolt Nemcsik, who excels at fencing. On guard! Touche!
From Croatia…batting cleanup and catching: Blazenko Lackovic, a burly handballer.
From Iceland…batting fifth and DH-ing: Sigfus Sigurdsson, an even burlier handballer.
From Cameroon…batting sixth and playing third base: Joslain Mayebi, a goalkeeper or something like that.
From Denmark….batting seventh and playing center field: Jonas Rasmussen, who is good at badminton and can, therefore, handle a shuttlecock if need be.
From Switzerland…batting eighth and playing first base: Niklaus Schurtenberger, an equestrian jumper who goes by the nickname “Baldy.”
From Luxembourg…batting ninth and playing second base: Marc Schmit, another sailor. He’s got a little Nick Swisher in him, doesn’t he?
And from Latvia…pitching: Aleksandrs Samoilovs, who plays beach volleyball and will have to replace the smile with a snarl if he wants to succeed in the Bigs.
No marquee names. Not even any names I (or Bob Sheppard) will be able to pronounce. And how will the Bleacher Creatures come up with chants for these guys?
Still, Hal’s strategy is bold, I’ll give him that. 
“I only foresee one problem,” I told him as he was getting ready to catch his flight back to Tampa. “Too many translators in the clubhouse.”
He smiled. “Haven’t you seen the pictures of the new Stadium? The clubhouse is huge.”
“Right. Have a safe trip.”
I miss A-Rod already. I even miss Swish.


  1. levelboss

    LOL, she-larious once again

    “And how will the Bleacher Creatures come up with chants for these guys?”

    (not quite ‘John-nee Da-mon!’)

    when i first heard about Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel (btw, you have a spelling error or typo, Jane; it’s ‘Patel’ not ‘Patei’), i had NEVER, EVER heard of Indian baseball players.. just hearing about Chinese and Korean baseball players was interesting enough, but Indian? don’t they play cricket? maybe it was a natural connection as baseball came from cricket (i think)

  2. steve_t

    Hey, Patel and Singh would be at least as reliable as, say, Pavano and Igawa.

    Jane, I go away for a couple of days and you dis the greatest American auteur of all time? Mr. Woody Allen is still funny. Have you seen “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”? Penelope Cruz deserves the Oscar–and she’ll win it, guaranteed.

    Steve T.

  3. jimmy27nyy

    Well, Jane …

    All the above players would make for some interesting dinner conversation around the Thanksgiving Day table at Yankee Stadium … But, they all would have to sit at the kids table because I think all Yankee fans would much rather have: Tex; CC; Abreu; and, Pettitte sitting at the main table with George, Hank, and Hal !!! … By the way, nice feature of your Blog on the homepage … It’s an honor for my Blog, along with the other Yankee Blogs, to be included in the same “Yankees Feature” … The New York Yankees 1998 World Championship ring looks “awesome” … “24 Diamonds” celebrating the Yankees 24th World Championship !!! … Have a “great” Thanksgiving, Jane … and, continue to enjoy the “Hot Stove League” … Jimmy [27NYY]

  4. Jane Heller

    Good catch on the typo, levelboss. It’s fixed now. It was after midnight when I wrote the post and my eyes were crossed. I think I even spelled Yankees wrong at one point. As for the two Indian amateurs, they were, indeed, cricket players who won a contest called “Million Dollar Arm.” They were brought to CA to learn about baseball. It’ll be interesting to see if they make it here.

    Chinese divers would be great, Julia. And they’d be able to talk to our pitcher, Chien-Wing Wang, who currently has no one to talk to.

    Steve, you are so right about Vicky, Christina. I LOVED that movie. Woody did return to form with that one and Penelope will certainly be nominated for an Oscar. She’s coming to the Santa Barbara Film Festival in January and I’m looking forward to the Q&A with her. But I still miss the “old Woody.”

    Supposedly, the new clubhouse is enormous, Kaybee. Indoor pools. Spacious lockers. You name it.

    Jimmy, I’d rather have the players you mentioned too. I have a feeling we’re on the verge of breaking news on the big FAs – maybe while we’re eating turkey tomorrow or possibly over the weekend. Let’s hope.

    Look at that, Jeff. You’re calling that guy “Ek” already, as if you know him. The other one would go by the name “Blaz,” as in “Blahs.” This will work!

    I’ll be posting on T-day, I think, but to those who’ll be eating instead of blogging, Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. PAUL

    In all seriousness, I’ve long been an advocate of spanning the globe to find athletes who have natural hand/eye coordination, speed or throw hard. There’s no difference between drafting a guy based on tools or just finding him and teaching him the game later; and presumably, they’d be cheaper and more pliable to instruction than some kid who’s played the game since he was a kid and thinks because he was drafted in the 30th round, he doesn’t need to listen to anyone. In all of Africa, India, Pakistan, etc. there have to be a load of kids who have natural skills that translate to baseball.

  6. Jane Heller

    I think that’s the point the Pirates are trying to make. If the two pitchers they signed show real talent, teams will be sending scouts everywhere. Could be interesting.

  7. Elizabeth D

    Hey Jane, that’s cool that you lived in FL for a while. I’ve been here my whole life, and I’m sick of it. I really don’t enjoy the weather, or the people down here. I go to California for a while each summer, and I absolutely love the weather there! The hurricanes are a hassle down here, but we’ve been lucky the past two years.
    Congratulations on having your blog featured on the front page! And indoor pools in the clubhouse? That’s insane! And I also have a feeling that the Yankees are on the verge of signing some big free agents soon. This week has kind of been like a calm before the storm (I can’t remember who mentioned this in their blog)..
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. Jane Heller

    Yep, Elizabeth. I lived in Stuart, about an hour north of Palm Beach. My husband loves to sail, and Stuart has two rivers and an ocean so he was in heaven. But California has other charms (and better hair weather for sure). Have a great Turkey Day.

  9. Jane Heller

    I picked people from various ’08 Olympic teams. It was fun, but I think I’d rather keep the players we have.



    I’ve always advocated sending scouts to the Yangtze River region of China. If we could find a guy who was halfway decent, even a quarter decent, he would be the Yankee from Yangtze.

    Let’s hope we do this before Boston recruits a Soviet from Red Square.

    el duque

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