Today’s report that Zack Greinke has changed agents (he’s now with Jeter’s guy, Casey Close) and asked the Royals to trade him got me wondering. Maybe he’s not totally wrong for the Yankees. Yes, I know he has the team on his no-way list, but maybe he’s changed his mind along with his agent. And yes, he’s suffered from social anxiety disorder, but maybe he’s over it to the point where the bright lights of the Bronx wouldn’t turn him to sand.
There are really good therapists in New York (except in August when they all go on vacation). Plus, Curtis Granderson is into nutrition, if he’s into that, and Amber Sabathia is into finding new players houses in her neighborhood, if he’s into that, and Nick Swisher is into telling jokes and playing loud music, if he’s into that. Fun fun fun! My feeling is if Greinke is tough enough to pitch in front of large crowds (and pitch well), then he’s tough enough to pitch in front of large crowds anywhere. Bottom line? I wouldn’t rule him out. Not at all.
As everyone knows by now, Brian Cashman flew down to Arkansas for a visit with Cliff Lee and his wife Kristen. Presumably, his goal was to express the Yankees’ keen interest in signing Lee as well as answer any questions the couple might have about life in New York – and, of course, to allay Mrs. L’s fears about boorish Yankee fans. But how did the meeting go? Nobody’s coming out with details, so I decided I needed to flesh things out for myself. Here’s how I think it went down today…
* Cashman drove up to Mr. and Mrs. Lee’s big new house, rang the doorbell and was greeted by the entire Lee clan, Southern hospitality being what it is.
* He arrived bearing gifts – some toys for the kids with a slight subliminal message.
* Mrs. Lee sent the children off to play with their presents and invited Cash to sit down for lunch. She had decided to use her favorite caterer.
* Despite the fact that Cash watches his diet and almost never eats fried foods (especially chicken skin), he threw back a few legs and thighs while he described the joys of playing for the New York Yankees. He talked about the franchise’s history and tradition. He ticked off the names of all its legendary stars. He made a speech about how Yankee fans were the best ever, but he was interrupted by Mrs. Lee and the conversation detoured.
Kristen: “They spit at me and threw beer and shouted mean things. It hurt my heart.”
Cash: “I’m so sorry about that. But there are always a few bad apples at every ballpark.”
Cliff: “Mr. Cashman is right, honey. You know what happens when guys get all liquored up.”
Kristen: “They pass out, that’s what. These people didn’t pass out.”
Cash: “I can guarantee you, Kristen, that the same scenario would never happen if your husband came to pitch for us. You’d be treated like royalty.”
Kristen: “I don’t know about that. I talked to Karen Burnett the other day and she said the fans boo her whenever A.J. has a bad game.”
Cash (laughs): “Your husband will never have a bad game, so no worries.”
Cliff: “Nice of you to say, Mr. Cashman.”
Cliff: “Brian. But sometimes it’s just not my day and I stink up the joint. What then?”
Cash: “Cliff, the fans will love you. I’m so certain of it that I’ll put a ‘boo clause’ in your contract. You’ll get an additional $50,000 for every game involving fans booing you or your wife. Fair?”
Cliff: “Extremely.” (Turns to his wife) “What do you say, honey?”
Kristen: “Very fair. But Brian, I have to be sure we’ll be happy with the Yankees. You understand.”
Cash: “I do. And I promise you that if you join the Yankee family you’ll never regret it. Look at me. I’ve been in the organization since I was a kid. The Steinbrenners are the best owners in baseball.”
Kristen: “Nolan Ryan said he was the best owner. He was here yesterday.”
Cash: “Did he make an offer?”
Cliff: “No. We just went hunting. Do you hunt, Brian?”
Cash (panicking): “Um, I play tennis. There isn’t much hunting in Connecticut, although we do have a lot of deer.”
Kristen: “Nolan said we should stay in Texas.”
Cash: “We’ve got better shopping up in New York. Ask Leigh Teixeira.”
Kristen: “I’ve never met her but Amber Sabathia says she’s super sweet.”
Cash: “They’ll take you to Saks and Neiman’s and Bloomie’s. You ladies will have a blast together.”
Kristen (bolting up from the table): “Designer shoes and dresses and everything! I want Cliffy to be a Yankee! Where do we sign?”
And that was that. Mission accomplished. I think.
According to the Lohud Blog, the answer he gave is….”my wife’s cooking, maybe?”
Can you imagine Amber Sabathia’s food bills? Anyhow, CC is worth every pound because aces like him don’t come along every day. One hit? On a hot, steamy day in September? That’s just crazy good. And how about Granderson, who wasn’t even supposed to be in the lineup? One homer would have been a nice surprise, but two? Awesome. And how locked in is Posada at the moment? Which is another way of saying how lucky are the Yankees to have a 38-year-old catcher who is still one of the league’s best offensive players? I’m knocking on wood just thinking about it.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, I’m really hoping Earl will leave the Bronx alone and let me watch Ivan Nova and the boys beat the Blue Jays without getting soaked. I can’t wait to be back at the Stadium. (I’ll be in section 315, row 4, if anyone else is going and wants to say hi.) So tonight I’ll be doing an anti-rain dance. Help me out and do it with me. Please?
With way too much time on my hands this off-day, I let my mind drift. That’s what vacations are for, right? Anyhow, I started to imagine all the excellent things that could happen during Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox. Here are a few.
Since it’s Saturday night, which is traditionally known as “date night,” it’s time to turn our attention to the celebrity whose romantic interest in a Yankee helped both the player and the team win the championship this year. No, I’m not including Madonna, since she and A-Rod were over their little whatever-it-was before the season started. I’m not considering Joanna Garcia either; for starters, she’s not A-List enough, plus Nick Swisher isn’t the reason the Yankees won #27. What I’m saying is that this is a two-horse race.
And so, without further ado, here are the nominees for the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Celebrity Girlfriend.
– Minka Kelly, Girlfriend of Derek Jeter –
Minka followed on the heels of a long list of Jeter conquests, but she’s lasted longer than any of the others, which proves she has staying power. She was at the Captain’s side at the finale of the old Stadium, and she’s been rumored to be his fiancee. But can she pass the She-Fan Award test?
1) Did she wear Yankees gear proudly? Yes.
2) Did she show up at the games with her Yankee’s family members? Yes.
3) Did she exhibit genuine excitement and pride when her Yankee played well? Yes.
4) Did her Yankee have a great 2009 season? Yes indeed.
And now for our other nominee…
– Kate Hudson, Girlfriend of Alex Rodriguez –
Kate followed on the heels of Madonna, as previously mentioned, as well as assorted actress/models with whom A-Rod was photographed after his divorce from C-Rod. She was rumored to have moved in with Alex in New York, but is currently on the circuit promoting her new film “Nine.” Can she pass the She-Fan Award test?
1) Did she wear Yankees gear proudly? Not that I noticed.
But she sat next to someone who did – and she sat with Amber Sabathia and Michelle Damon, neither of whom wore Yankees gear either.
2) Did she show up at the games with her Yankee’s family members? No. But she showed up with her own family members.
3) Did she exhibit genuine excitement and pride when her Yankee played well? Yes.
4) Did her Yankee have a great 2009 season? Oh, yes.
The envelope please.
And the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Celebrity Girlfriend is…
***** Kate Hudson *****
Yes, Jeter made the bigger splash. (How often do you break Lou Gehrig’s record and become the first Yankee to be honored as SI’s Sportsman of the Year?) But how much did Minka have to do with that? Jeter would probably have hit .334 if he’d been dating Miss Piggy. Kate, on the other hand, went to Texas, Philly and other cities where the Yanks played. She hung out with the wives, was on the field for family day, brought her own family. And A-Rod thrived despite all the adversity early in the season. He certainly had his best post-season ever. And tell the truth: doesn’t Kate look like a lot more fun than Minka?
Congratulations, Kate. You and A-Rod may not last another month, but you helped us Yankee fans out this year and we’re grateful.
Oh, wait. Kate would like to accept her award with her mom by her side. Very sweet.
Enjoy, both of you!
It’s Halloween and it’s scary out there.
It’s especially scary if you’re the Yankees and you’re in Philadelphia looking at costumes like this.
But not everyone is dressed like a monster. I met up with Amber Sabathia, and – surprise! – we both had the same idea for Halloween. Take a look.
Back in California, I went in search of Bill, the guy who owns the Surf Dog concession at the beach. Last time he gave me a free hot dog, along with his thoughts about the Yankees. This time he presented me with my very own Surf Dog shirt. I do love swag, but what I love even more is a Yankee fan willing to let his freak flag fly, so to speak. Here’s Bill hoisting the pinstripes.
Since the Yankees didn’t fly home from Minny until today, I took the opportunity to spend a little quality time with CC’s wife Amber. She met me at our usual spot, a cafeteria near Newark Airport, and we chatted about the Yankees, her husband, my husband, and, of course, the upcoming ALCS. She hasn’t changed that much since I first spoke to her during the off-season when CC was still deciding whether to sign with the Yankees.
OK, yes she has. She’s changed a lot. Moving to New York has turned her into a different person.
But she’s still very entertaining company, and she didn’t hesitate to share, which is crucial when it comes to girlfriends. Here’s an excerpt from our afternoon together. It sounded to me as if CC, like any successful pitcher, has a plan for facing the Angels.