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.
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.
When 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.