When Cashman Met Carsten

After all the waiting, all the speculating, all the yearning….Brian Cashman flew to Las Vegas this weekend, prior to Monday’s start of the Winter Meetings, so he could finally be in a room alone with CC Sabathia. Would Cashman be able to woo CC to the Bronx? Would CC be receptive to Cashman’s terms of endearment? Would they hit it off at the Bellagio Hotel?

Since the Yankees’ future was hanging in the balance, I consulted the web site of Emily Post, America’s reigning (albeit deceased) etiquette expert.

Miss Post has specific guidelines for how one makes a good first impression in an important meeting. Her pre-meeting tips include:
1) Shoes are clean and polished.
2) Clothes are pressed and spotless.
3) Hair is neatly combed.
4) All extra jewelry is removed.
5) Address of meeting place is written down.
6) Personal scent is reminiscent of freshly baked bread.
She goes on to list three more tips that will insure success during the introduction itself:
1) Look the person in the eye.
2) Give him or her a firm handshake.
3) Smile.
Although these suggestions sound antiquated and obvious, I made sure to pass them along to Cashman – just in case.
The Yankees’ GM was so grateful that he allowed me to accompany him to the meeting. Here’s what happened.
His shoes? Clean and polished.
His clothes? Pressed and spotless.
His hair? Neatly combed as usual. Well, what there is of it.
His jewelry? Removed. Except the essentials.
Address of meeting place? The Bellagio was right there on his BlackBerry.
His scent? Yep. Just like freshly baked bread. CC could hardly contain himself.
Bread.jpgWhen it came time for the two men to make eye contact? No problem.

Next was the crucial handshake – the moment when Cashman would actually make physical contact with the Yankees’ would-be ace.

Miss Post said the handshake is supposed to be firm, but Cashman’s? Judging by CC’s expression, it must have felt more like this.
I was appalled! CC recoiled! We were losing him! 
When he turned away for a split second, I kicked Cash in the shins and hissed, “At least give him the big smile now!”
Cash gave him the big smile.
Unfortunately, it looked like this.
Needless to say, the meeting ended before it began and CC did not become a Yankee.
I flew back to California feeling utterly defeated. But then I reminded myself that perhaps the GMs of the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox, etc. didn’t bother to consult Emily Post and wouldn’t know that they were supposed to smell like freshly baked bread. And maybe, just maybe, their handshakes would be like dead fish too.


  1. PAUL

    The smell of bread is an interesting reference. The architect of the Big Red Machine of the 70s, Bob Howsam, tried to find an artificial smell that came close to the smell of a bakery because it was proven in studies to make people happy and hungry; he never found one. He hadda settle for building one of the best teams in history.
    One question: to look into C.C.’s eyes, did C.C. get down on his knees, or did Brian have an assistant carrying a couple of phone books to place carefully in front of C.C. for Brian to elegantly step on to even out the eye level?
    And the ring thing? (Whispering) It’s been eight years, the invulnerability cloak is gone.

  2. juliasrants

    Perhaps Cashman would have done better to go in smelling like a pretzel or hot dog from a NY vendor cart. CC strikes me as a guy who would spend a lot of time at those carts on his way to the ballpark. And I’ll have to agree with Paul – the Red Sox rings sparkle more. I mean, they are newer! But good luck to the Yankees – it will be tough on the fans if they don’t end of getting CC.


  3. Jane Heller

    Paul, I remember when I was trying to sell my house in CT years ago and the real estate agent said, “Put some bread in the oven. It’ll make the house more appealing.” You’re right about the eye contact; I should have added a pic of several phone books for Cashman to step up on, darn it. As for “the ring thing?” (Whispering) I’ll take the Yankees’ 26 championships any day.

    Julia, see above about the rings. Yes, the Red Sox have newer ones but, alas, there are so few of them! Thanks for your good luck wishes though. We can certainly use them.

  4. Jane Heller

    A Debbie-Downer. You crack me up, Jeff. I’m fully aware that CC isn’t dreaming of pinstripes and that he may very well take less money to play elsewhere. It happens. But you? Of course, you’d take the money to be a Yankee. I see you as our next shortstop after Jeter moves to first.

  5. redstatebluestate

    Me? Why… I’m blushing, Jane. So kind. In fact, Jeter and I go back… well not really, but I went to college in Kalamazoo, MI and I used to party with his sister, so I’ve kind of got an “in” even though I never met him. You’re right though, if you pay me, I will play… though I’d be better suited to replace Cano I think given my stature and hand/eye coordination.

  6. Jane Heller

    You know Jete’s sister? Yikes, Jeff. You’re my new hero. Does she walk around saying, “Bottom line: We just need to win games,” like he does?

  7. Jane Heller

    I’m keeping the faith, Neal. I promise. I want Tex as badly as you do, but I guess it’s pitching first and first base second. (Did I just write that?)

  8. Jane Heller

    I thought of that Abbott & Costello routine as I was writing the comment, levelboss. I made my own eyes cross.

  9. hseely@twcny.rr.com


    I’m afraid there’s only going to be one Yankee Carsten.

    Jeff Karsten.

    And now he’s gone, too.

    el duque

    P.S. Also, be very worried about the fact that we got a pitcher named Texeira in the Swisher deal.

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