The Yankees signed him instead of re-signing Marcus Thames because, unlike Thames, Jones can play every position in the outfield?
Okay, I get that he’s lost weight since his unfortunate stint with the Dodgers, but how confident will any of us be to see him out there? I wish him the best and hope he gets a hit every time he’s called upon. I just hope kids like Colin Curtis are ready to fill in if necessary.
Speaking of kids, Friend of the Blog Wendy alerted me to this story on the MLB web site about a terrific kid, an avid Brewers/Prince Fielder fan, who lost his life to a drunk driver. His family is trying to raise money to build a state-of-the-art field in Wisconsin in his honor, and you can help. Take a look – and grab a box of Kleenex while you’re at it.
I know, I know. Cashman flew off to SF for yet another meeting with Cee Cee. I can’t believe I’ve spent week after week pining for the big lefty, even though his teammate, Ben M. Sheets, has been there all along, waiting in the wings for me to notice him. God, what a fool I’ve been.
If you’re wondering what the “M” in Ben’s name stands for, don’t. All that matters is that he’s adorable and he can pitch and he had a very cordial meeting with the Yankees. Joe Girardi pronounced him “impressive” and even referred to him as Bengie, which was rather endearing, if familiar.
The point is, the Yankees might make the four-time All-Star an offer and he might actually accept it and we’ll be able to fill one of our vacancies in the starting rotation at last.
In case things do get serious between us, however, I thought I’d better take a closer look at Ben M. Sheets. (Is it Michael? Mark? Martin?)
He’s cute, yes? (Manfred? Mortimer? Maurice?)
He was born on July 18th, 1978, in Baton Rouge, which would make him another “Louisiana Lightning,” like this proud Yankees pitcher.
Possessing the requisite nasty stuff, he was drafted by the Brewers and made it to the majors in 2001. Here’s where the story goes sour.
In ’01, he was hobbled by rotator cuff tendinitis.
In ’03, he was out with a respiratory infection.
In ’04, he had surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation.
In ’05, he was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis, which is a severe inner ear infection that causes a lack of balance…
(I hate when that happens.)
Late in the same season, he suffered a tear to his right latissimus dorsi muscle.
In ’06, he was back on the DL with a right posterior shoulder strain and, soon after, tightness in his right pectoral muscle. (I hate that too.)
In ’07, there was your basic strained hammy, followed by a season-ending tear of a tendon in his right middle finger.
Is Ben M. Sheets merely a more talented version of this man?
“When he’s on the mound, he’s dynamite,” Girardi said of Ben M. (Milton? Maury? Moses?)
When he’s on the mound. That’s the big qualifier.
Still, there are advantages to Sheets over Sabathia.
#1) He’s thinner.
#2) He’s cheaper.
#3) He doesn’t whine about living in California. (He lives near Dallas.)
#4) He has a son named Seaver, which suggests a fondness for New York ballplayers.
#5) He is among the worst-hitting pitchers of his generation with a career slugging percentage of .085. Which means he will never get on base and, therefore, never have a freakish, Wang-type Lisfranc injury.
Oh, and he’s got spirit. Just look at the fist pump here.
Best of all, he’s not afraid to throw inside. He was suspended and fined for spinning out Aramis Ramirez, who, unfortunately charged the mound and incited a brawl.
So while Ben M. may be as fragile as glass, I’d take him for a couple of years at $30 mil. Why not? If he’ll be a Yankee, I’ll be his She-Fan.
Well, I’ve tried everything else, Carsten.
I’ve asked this man to talk to you.
And this man.
Even this man.
And I’ve made it perfectly clear that money will never be an issue between us.
Yet you still won’t make the commitment. I didn’t peg you for one of those men who’s all nice and sweet to your face and then fools around behind your back. I mean, really, CC. The Giants? The Dodgers? The Angels? You thought they’d care more about you than the Yankees? I understand your attachment to the Brewers. I do. It’s hard to let go of the past. But now it’s time to look ahead to the future. Our future. Together.
So I’ve made an appointment with the shrink who came highly recommended by Yankees doctor Stuart Hirshon.
We’ll sort through the reasons you keep pulling back and find a way to move forward. Here we go.
You’re concerned about this?
Oh, CC. That’s just silly. The crime rate in New York is down, or at least it was the last time I checked. Besides, the Yanks have an army of security people. No worries.
You think there’s too much of this?
I admit it can get nasty on the Deegan, and the tunnels are a nightmare. But the Yanks will arrange for a helicopter if that’s a roadblock, no pun intended.
The Steinbrenner boys? You’re anxious about working for them?
I’ll handle Hal. He’s very reasonable. And Hank stays down in Tampa and will be totally out of your hair.
Your hair? Oh, I see. Yes, unlike California, New York does get hot and humid in the summer. It’s definitely not good hair weather and without the proper conditioning it can be impossible to control.
But, again, the Yankees have people. Hair people. They can keep you looking great all season long.
Yes, CC. The Stadium will be loud, especially on the days the Red Sox come to town. But you’ll have these wonderfully supportive friends behind you.
They’re called the Bleacher Creatures and they’ll hold forth with a charming chant for you.
No need to fret over her influence, honey. She likes them young, yes, but in tip-top shape, no offense.
Well, of course the media is tough in New York. But I really think the whole “glare of the spotlight” thing is overblown.
You’ll have zero problem dealing with this man.
His name is Peter Abraham. He blogs day and night, but he’s fair, CC. They’re all fair. You play ball with them and they’ll play ball with you. (O.K. There are one or two I’d stay away from, but we’ll deal with them when the time comes.)
What about the broadcast people? You’ll have this man calling your games on the YES Network.
Michael Kay is a bit of a drama king, but I think you’ll hit it off just fine.
Yes, he has a colleague, Kim Jones, who does the interviews with the players.
She may look like she’s giving Jeter a case of hives, but her questions are harmless. Trust me.
Her counterpart on the radio is this woman.
Suzyn with a “z,” just like Liza Minelli. And, like Liza, she sings. You and she will have a blast humming show tunes.
And speaking of a blast, John Sterling is the radio voice of the Yankees. You’ll have nothing but fun with him during the season.
He’s very descriptive and invents nicknames for the players. Every time you throw a strikeout pitch, he’ll say something like: “It’s a C-Bomb! From CC!” Or maybe: “Ortiz takes a BATH courtesy of SaBATHia.” You’ll be chuckling all the way home after the games.
So? Are we on the same page now? Everything out on the table? No more hesitation?
Good. Sign the contract already, hon.
The Major League owners met today and officially designated Hal Steinbrenner as the “control person” of the Yankees, officially ending George’s reign of terror tenure as boss.
My Hal. He’s something, isn’t he? In his first pronouncement as Control Person, he took a very Georgian stance on the Sabathia situation: “We’ve made him an offer. It’s not going to be there forever.”
In other words, “Hurry up or we’re taking our $140 million off the table.” I like it. Direct. No-nonsense. Even slightly intimidating, judging by Sabathia’s expression here.
However, CC quickly reminded himself that he still has that backup offer from the Brewers, which gave him the confidence to counter Hal with: “I’m not making any decisions until after Thanksgiving. I’m eating my turkey in peace.”
She-Fan has just learned that when Sabathia said, “my turkey,” he meant it literally. I know it sounds implausible, but while his family shares the turkey his wife Amber labors over every year, the big guy gets a large bird of his own.
And he finishes it in one sitting. No leftovers! Not even a drumstick! And he polishes off an entire vat of gravy!
I got acid reflux just thinking about this, so I called Amber Sabathia to verify the story. She was extremely friendly and confided, woman to woman, that she often worries about her husband’s cholesterol levels.
“I bet,” I said. “But how do you cook two turkeys at the same time? I’m sure you must have a huge kitchen and lots of household help. Even so, I have trouble making one turkey come out all moist and golden brown.”
That’s when poor Amber broke down in tears. “Thanksgiving is an annual nightmare, if you really want the truth.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I had no idea. Do you want to talk about it?”
“No.” She sighed. “I’ll just email you the video of CC’s turkey from last year. You’ll understand.”
A few minutes later, this landed in my inbox.