Does anyone remember Jim Carrey’s character in the comedy “Liar Liar?”
He had to tell the truth no matter what because of his son’s birthday wish. After reading about Brian Cashman’s WFAN sponsored breakfast today and all the gems that popped out of his mouth, I’m wondering if one of his kids made the same birthday wish. The Yankees have often been accused of being a secretive organization, not disclosing injuries, not wanting to discuss contract issues, evading reporters’ questions, but not today and not with Cashman at the mic.
To wit, here are some of his candid remarks:
* He foresees Jeter moving to centerfield (as opposed to third base) at some point in the future.
* He rates the Red Sox as the better team (except for our bullpen).
* He thinks Joba is washed up. (OK, he didn’t say that, but he did admit that Joba hasn’t been the same since his shoulder injury.)
* He implied that a couple of our minor league pitchers are better than Nova.
* He repeated that he wasn’t on board with the signing of Soriano.
* He doesn’t want Andy back unless his heart is in it.
Will Cash’s truth-telling compulsion continue? And if so, what will he blurt out at the next media event? A few possibilities…
* “I’d be willing to trade anybody for Felix Hernandez.”
* “I like Hank better than Hal, as it turns out.”
* “I always laugh when I see that commercial on YouTube with Coney doing the ‘El Duque.'”
* “I wish I had my own funny commercial.”
* “I wish I were taller.”
* “I wish I had as much hair as Theo Epstein.”
* “I wish the Yankees would win the World Series this year so fans would stop sulking over Cliff Lee.”
* “I wish Cliff Lee had said yes.”
That’s it for tonight. I’m off to watch the State of the Union address. Wouldn’t it be cool if politicians were forced to tell the truth – even for 24 hours?
I ask the question because Agassi IS getting into the Tennis Hall of Fame, according to Yahoo Sports. I’ve been watching the Australian Open lately, so tennis has been on my mind. When I heard about Agassi, I was happy for him but I started to think about the different sets of standards that sports have for their Halls of Fame. Agassi, you remember, admitted in his book that he used drugs and lied about it. Here’s the pertinent quote from the Yahoo article.
“Agassi revealed in his 2009 book “Open” that he was depressed in 1997, when he was using crystal meth and failed a drug test. The result was thrown out, he said, after he lied by saying he took the drug unwittingly.”
If Derek Jeter took crystal meth, failed a drug test and lied about it, would that disqualify him from – or, at the very least, hurt his chances of – getting into the Hall? I can’t imagine anything disqualifying him, but the baseball writers are pretty tough when it comes to drugs, aren’t they? Or do they just draw the line at steroids? All I know is that Agassi was such a fun player to watch and his matches against Sampras were great for the game. Talk about a rivalry.
Federer vs. Nadal is always exciting, but I thought Agassi and Sampras brought out the best in each other, given their completely opposite styles and personalities.
As for the women’s side, I miss Evert vs. Navratilova too. I mean do I really care about Wozniacki against Clijsters? At least the really noisy grunters are out of the tournament. I can’t even watch Sharapova anymore without muting the TV. Ugh.
Even though I’ve lived in California for a long time, I still subscribe to New York magazine. Can’t help myself. I love their articles, and the recent one in which Will Leitch asked a panel of experts (including Al Leiter) whom they thought qualified as New York’s Greatest Athlete Ever was one of my faves. Among the candidates:
It’s a really interesting article and I urge people to read it if they haven’t already – and then weigh in. A case was certainly made for Jeter, Gehrig and Ruth but Mays had one very loyal supporter. If they had asked me, I’d have said “Mariano Rivera,” but I’m not objective when it comes to him.
Turning to present day events, it appears that Rafael Soriano will be officially introduced by the Yankees tomorrow. I’ve read so much about his temperament; how he refused to pitch more than one inning for the Rays and had hissy fits about this or that. We don’t need divas on this team, so if he pulls any crap I have no doubt that the aforementioned Mo will take him aside and gently but firmly explain the facts of life in Yankeeville.
While I’ve been busy moaning about Andy Pettitte and the state of the Yankees’ starting rotation, I’ve completely neglected the little drama happening in the middle of the country where Albert Pujols continues not to have a new deal with the Cardinals. According to Ken Rosenthal, the detente won’t become Jeter-like in terms of antagonism….in his opinion.
“This will not be Derek Jeter, Part II. Pujols is in the prime of his career, not nearing the end. He remains under contract for 2011 with a full no-trade clause. The Cardinals will not snipe at him. He will not snipe at them.“
Oh, really? Did anyone think the Jeter negotiations would be anything less than civil? Tough, yes, but not unpleasant. My point is that despite Pujols’ sunny demeanor and the Cardinals’ high regard for him, business is business and things have a way of turning ugly when it comes to dollars and cents (or, in this case, millions and millions). I hope for Cardinals fans (that would be you, Jeff) that we’ll be reading a happy announcement soon and all will be well in the heartland.
And not just because every fan would worship at his feet. He needs to be a Yankee because he’d get to star in better commercials. I mean nothing against the Mariners but he’d be able to endorse cars like Jeter or suits like Mo. He wouldn’t have to participate in ads like this, although he does seem very sweet.
The only thing I can’t figure out is why does the commercial feature the Rockies? Is Interleague play that big a deal in Seattle?
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.
Before we get to Cliffy, raise your hand if you watched the Jeter press conference today?
Here’s what jumped out at me about the presser, which I watched on the MLB Network at 11:30 California time.
#1. Jeter was the only one who came dressed for the occasion. Loved the suit, the shirt, the tie. Good job by Jeet on his wardrobe choices, but why did all the other guys have to look like schlubs?
#2. Jeter was emotional (for him) when he got up to speak – and not in a good way. You could tell how angry he was at the Yankees for making the negotiations public. He said as much, but there was also a chilliness to his words. I’m sure it’ll all be fine, but I’m glad he was honest about his feelings.
#3. Nobody on the dais but Girardi and Jeter spoke. Couldn’t Hal have said a few words on behalf of ownership? Seriously?
#4. Cashman kept glancing at his phone while Jeter was talking. I found it annoying. Granted, he’s in the middle of the winter meetings and Cliff Lee’s future is hanging in the balance, but still. Show a little respect, dude.
Speaking of Lee, supposedly there are a couple of teams actually willing to give him a 7 year deal (maybe or maybe not including those free-spending Nationals). Will the Yankees make him an offer already or must we gnaw on our fingernails for the foreseeable future?
Hopefully, my Operation Cliff Lee Countdown will speed things along. For tonight’s video, I picked a recap of Game 3 of the ALCS against the Rangers – a game we lost, obviously – during which Doug Mientkiewicz (if you’ve read my She-Fan book you know why I have a special affection for the former Yankees first baseman) waxes poetic about Lee. Take a look.
Here are some of Mientkiewicz’s quotes about Cliffy that especially caught my attention:
“He’s about to make a lot of money.”
“He’s dominated the best lineups in baseball and he’s making it look easy.”
“I don’t see how anybody can beat him.”
“He’s not afraid of contact.”
We need you, Cliffy. We do. Please don’t sign anywhere else. I’m asking you nicely.
What a busy baseball day for a lazy Sunday in December, right? There I was, sitting in a screening for a movie called “Barney’s Version,” completely unaware that Jayson Werth had signed a monster contract with the Nationals and that Adrian Gonzalez had backed out of his deal with the Red Sox.
Before I move off “Barney’s Version,” I have to recommend it to everyone. It’s based on the highly acclaimed novel by Canadian writer Mordecai Richler and it’s just great. Paul Giamatti plays the hard-drinking, cigar-smoking, politically incorrect son of a cop (Dustin Hoffman) who falls in love with a woman – at his own wedding. The movie tells the story of his life and is both funny and touching. It opens in January. Here’s the trailer.
Back to baseball. I don’t even know what to say about the Werth deal except that Carl Crawford must be dancing in the streets. And if the Red Sox aren’t able to put the Gonzo deal back together, it’ll be like their near-miss with Tex. But mostly, it’s time to focus on Lee. With the GMs gathered in Orlando, will Cashman finally make his agent an offer that’ll blow the Rangers and all other suitors out of the water? Taking no chances, I thought we needed to start the Operation Cliff Lee Countdown right away, posting a video either of him or about him each night until he’s wearing pinstripes.
(Hat tip to the Village Voice for the odd Photo Shopping)
So without further ado, let’s go to the videotape. It worked for Jeter.
Yes, this video is long. Sorry about that. But here’s why I picked it: It gives us a taste of what Lee’s press conference at Yankee Stadium will be like when Cashman, Girardi and Hal introduce him to the New York media. Well, with one big difference – there’ll be a lot more reporters and photographers in the Bronx. (From the look of this Mariners presser, there were maybe 10 media people there.) I had to laugh when he was asked what kind of a contract he’s expecting and he said, “10 years for $200 billion.” Yes, he did say billion. But he’s such a kidder, that Cliffy. Did everybody catch the cool attitude when the reporter (don’t they use recording devices in Seattle or just pads and pencils?) asked him to talk about hitting Sammy Sosa in the head in Texas. Lee shrugged and said, “What can I say? I hit Sammy Sosa in the head.” And then there’s the interview the same reporter did with Cliffy’s wife – about their dog. I think he’ll be much happier with the Yankees. Don’t you?
Update: Looks like I spoke too soon on the Red Sox-Gonzo deal. Apparently, all is well now and there is joy in Beantown.
How considerate of the Yankees and Jeter to agree on a deal so we could all go back to our lives. Well, until we start the Countdown for Cliff Lee, which I’m not doing until Monday. I’d rather take the weekend to relish the return of the Captain (and Mo, of course).
For me, today’s Cinema Society movie screening here in Santa Barbara was “Frankie and Alice,” a drama that’s based on a true story and stars Halle Berry as a woman with multiple personalities, one of which is a racist white woman. Here’s the trailer.
Berry produced the film too and it was clearly a labor of love – 11+ years in development. She’s fantastic in it, playing three distinctly different characters at the same time. The movie will open in LA next week to qualify for the Oscars (I can’t believe she won’t get a Best Actress nod), then go wider in January. It’s a low-budget project that was shot in only 22 days, but it’s worth seeing for her performance if nothing else.
Now, everyone knows Berry is gorgeous. But when she walked on the stage after the screening for the Q&A, I have to say the entire audience went, “Ooooh.” She was dressed simply in a sweater and jeans, but looked absolutely beautiful. I wish I had a picture of Michael’s face as he was staring at her, but it was something like this.
We were sitting about 7 rows back so the pic I took is pretty lame.
But I raised my hand and asked a question. (No, I didn’t say, “So what was it like to be married to David Justice?”) I asked if she had prepared for the role by watching other movies about multiple personality disorder like “The Three Faces of Eve” and “Sybill.” She said she’d seen them years ago but didn’t want to watch them before making the movie so she wouldn’t try to imitate what the other actresses did. She also said she didn’t meet the woman the movie is based on until after the shooting was done. Then she stayed and answered everybody’s questions for a long time and was very gracious, which I can’t say about every guest we’ve ever had. So go see the movie when it comes out, people, and make Halle happy!
Since things are humming along with the negotiations (or so everyone’s reporting), I thought tonight’s video should reflect Jeter’s sweet side. It shows him emerging from a Starbucks, his favorite haunt, with a small crowd of fans wanting an autograph. Notice how he doesn’t sign for anyone – except the little boy. All together now: “Awwwwwwwww.”
Also notice how he’s able to do four things at once: sign the kid’s baseball, hold his Starbucks cup, talk on his cell phone and walk down the street. Who says he’s not multi-talented.