And I’m not talking about this kind.
I live in a Mac household and Santa usually brings me some assortment of accessories for my MacBook Pro, my iPhone or my iPod. Like the nifty dock below that allows me to play music through my stereo speakers.
I went to our local Apple store this afternoon to add to my loot and the place was mobbed. People weren’t just exchanging gifts either; the line for getting new stuff trailed all the way around the store. But instead of total chaos, there was customer service help everywhere you turned – bright-eyed men and women wearing red shirts and earpieces who not only wanted to answer questions but actually knew the answers. This is all my long-winded way of saying I think Steve Jobs is a genius who could probably make me buy anything he’s selling.
What does this have to do with baseball? Stay with me.
I have no idea if Jobs is a fan of sports in general or baseball in particular, but I can’t help wondering what a guy with his intelligence, marketing savvy and bank account would do with a major league team. I’ll tell you what he wouldn’t do if he owned the Yankees; he wouldn’t start the season with a rotation of CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova and Mitre. Nope. He’d engineer some sort of big signing – keeping his plan secret and then announcing the deal at a news conference that would whip the media into a frenzy. “Yankees Rotation Version 2011” is what he’d call it and then he’d list all the reasons why it represented a much improved formula.
I’m not saying the Yankees won’t still go out and get a pitcher before the season starts or that we’re not okay with the arms we already have (Mitre excluded). Maybe our new pitching coach will have a sensational session with AJ this week or whenever they’re meeting up. Maybe Pettitte will decide to come back for another year. And maybe Ivan Nova is the next King Felix.
A girl can hope. That’s what the holiday season is all about, isn’t it?
Really thoughtful of the Yankees’ GM to put me on his holiday cards list this year – a card featuring our starting rotation for 2011. And what surprises his card contained! Who knew, for example, that Phil Hughes had “lead singer” in him even with CC around or that AJ was such a wild man (well, we kind of knew that). Also, what a clever way of letting me know that Pettitte has decided to pitch another year for us. But the biggest surprise of all was seeing Felix Hernandez in the band. I had a hunch we wouldn’t be stuck with Mitre filling out the rotation or even Nova; Cash had much more lofty ambitions and I’m very grateful for that. Rock on, Yankees.
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Not a huge news day unless you count the conflicting reports about whether Andy Pettitte will retire. One minute, a source says he’s not coming back. The next, another source says he will. My take? I’ll believe nothing until I hear Andy state his intentions in his own words, and only then will I cheer or cry.
Now, onto tonight’s Cliff Lee Countdown Video. In this one, he’s in the Bronx, about to start the ’08 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. There are two parts that struck me. Early in the video the YES Network’s Joe Auriemma asks Lee about pitching at Yankee Stadium on such a big occasion. What does Lee say in response?
“Everybody knows the heritage that comes along with the New York Yankees. I’m completely honored and privileged to be here.”
OK, he didn’t say anything remotely like that in last night’s video with the Mariners, right? Clearly, he gets that the Yankees are the team where icons hang out. I mean, did he ever say he was honored and privileged to be in Arlington, Texas?
The other part that interested me comes at the end of the video. Joe asks if his family is there to watch him pitch.
“Yeah, my wife and kids, my parents, my financial advisor…”
Hmm. His wife was at Yankee Stadium? And she didn’t get harassed by boorish, spitting, beer-swilling Yankee fans? I think Cliffy needs to remind her of that. Or Cashman does.
Another day, another swipe at Jeter and his agent by the Yankees (or should I say by a so-called Yankees source). This time, the message was for Jeter and Casey Close to “drink the reality potion,” according to ESPN. Alrighty then. Are we on a school playground? Is this how grownup business people talk? Why so rude? It’s a negotiation, not a personal grudge match. I understand that the Yankees don’t want to pay Jeter more than they think he’s worth, but why the sniping? For tonight’s Countdown Video until we can declare “Mission Accomplished,” I picked an interview Jeter did with Jeremy Schaap in ’99. Most of it is Jeter’s usual “I always had a dream to play for the New York Yankees” stuff. It’s Schaap’s last question and Jeter’s prescient answer that are worth the price of admission.
He can’t see himself ever wearing anything other than Yankee pinstripes, but he gets that “this is a business. They could trade me tomorrow.”
Maybe he was the only one who could have predicted this current standoff, knowing the organization and the game as well as he does. We’ll see. In the meantime, how about Nolan Ryan “reaching out” to Pettitte? As if Andy would ever play for the Rangers. Good try, cowboy.
P.S. I actually forgot it was Mo’s birthday. Shame on me! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MO!
P.P.S. Very sad to hear about the passing of former Yankee Gil McDougald. RIP, Gil.
He’s doing the dance again….He told Brian Cashman he wants to spend more time with his kids but he loves being a Yankee. He can’t make a decision yet. He won’t. We’re left to watch and wait and wonder. I’m not a patient person, so I think he needs some help with his plans. Here are the reasons I think he should put the pinstripes back on and give it one more go. Listen up, Andy:
#10) Hanging out with ballplayers is way more fun than making the bed, loading the dishwasher and taking out the garbage.
#9) Mrs. Pettitte won’t let you spit sunflower seeds in the house.
#8) Throwing over to first and picking off runners is still a kick – admit it.
#7) You’ll gain a lot of weight if you retire.
#6) You’ll be an “Old Timer” instead of an “active player” if you retire.
#5) All you’ll have to look forward to is testifying at Clemens’ trial if you retire.
#4) You won’t be invited to Jeter’s wedding if you retire – or his new house in Tampa.
#3) You won’t get that nice big check if you retire.
#2) You won’t be interviewed by Kim Jones, Suzyn Waldman, Jack Curry or anyone else if you retire.
#1) You’ll miss Cliff Lee’s debut as a Yankee if you retire.
What have I forgotten? We have to send Andy a list. And soon.
Cashman said Eiland’s dismissal had nothing to do with the Yankees’ pitching performances in the playoffs, so that’s not it. And he refused to say whether it was related to the mysterious “personal leave of absence” that kept Eiland away from the team for nearly a month. So we’re left to speculate on our own, and in my case that’s a dangerous thing. Herewith some theories…
#10 He had a secret Twitter account under the name @Joba_Rules_Are_Stupid.
#9 He repeatedly told Mo that the Panamian skirt steak at Mo’s New York Grill was tough and overcooked.
#8 During Game 6 of the ALCS, he picked up the phone in the dugout and called 1-800-FLOWERS.
#7 He refused to wear a jacket and tie on the flight back from Texas.
#6 He acted huffy because the Yankees wouldn’t let him sing “God Bless America” during the season – even though Haley Swindal got to do it.
#5 He had T-shirts printed up that said, “Javy Vazquez belongs in the National League.”
#4 He teased Jonathan Albaladejo that he looked like Lurch in the Addams Family.
#3 He deliberately miscounted the number of innings Phil Hughes pitched this year. Oops.
#2 He invited Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens to the same cocktail party.
And #1 (Drum roll) He was the one who gave A.J. the black eye.
How much better do I feel knowing the Yankees are on a plane to Dallas instead of cleaning out their lockers in the Bronx? This much better.
I wasn’t ready for our season to be over and neither, apparently, were the Yankees. CC didn’t have his dominant stuff, but if there’s a pitcher (besides Andy Pettitte) who can grind through an outing and still retire very good hitters in very big situations, it’s our ace. Huge applause for him.
The bats came alive against Wilson, who helped by not having the kind of control he had the last time out. The homers by Cano, Swisher and Granderson were awesome, but so were singles that kept the line moving. Speaking of Grandy, I’m thinking maybe we should give the prize of the Crumbs Yankees cupcakes to Kevin Long for turning his season completely around. What do you think? OK, never mind. Maybe Barbara or Melissa will knit/sew him a nice scarf instead.
There was still an issue with RISP, but I’m not going there. Not when I’m this happy. So let’s talk about Wood. When he spun around and picked off Andrus at second, I gave him a standing ovation.
And Mo. Well. It was just good to see him after what seemed like an eternity. Of course, there was another moment of panic when Fat Elvis went down trying to catch that foul ball. I swear I thought we were seeing The Curse of the First Basemen. But once I figured out that he was OK, I watched the replays of his banana peel slip and slide and (I admit it) I laughed.
I hope he’ll get plenty of treatment for his neck/back and feel 100% on Friday night. I’m just so excited that there will even BE a Friday night. Yes, we’ll have to deal with the Rangers’ white towel-waving home crowd and yet another elimination game, but at least we’ll have a shot at tying up the series and forcing a Game 7. In other words, it’s not over until she sings.