The NY Post reported that Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly headed down to the island of Canouan to ring in 2010. How nice for them. The last time I was down there, Raffles didn’t exist and there was no electricity on the island.
But with the Yankees still without a clearly designated left fielder, I was more interested in where Brian Cashman was for New Year’s Eve. We know he wasn’t with Matt Holliday, since the Cardinals are about to announce their deal. And we know he wasn’t with Marlon Byrd, since the former Ranger is going to the Cubs. So where was he? Where is he? And what’s he been doing?
Has he been partying at home in Connecticut?
Did he go to Times Square to watch the ball drop with people wearing those oddly shaped blue Nivea caps?
Has he been planted in front of his TV watching football?
Did he fly to Hawaii to caddy for Obama?
Did he drive up to Sugarbush to learn how to ski?
Or did he end up in Tampa meeting with the Steinbrenners?
Given the fact that there really aren’t any drool-over free agents left on the market, I wonder if he spent the holiday with Brett Gardner explaining to him that he has the job until 2011, at which time it will be handed to this guy.
As for me, I went to a great party on New Year’s Eve. There was lots of food, excellent champagne, interesting people and a roaring fire in the fireplace. But the highlight for me was when I was introduced to a lawyer named Michael Cooney.
“I read about your She-Fan book in the local paper,” he said. “I’m a diehard Yankee fan too.”
Well, talk about a conversation starter. It turns out that Cooney is very friendly with Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher and stays with him every year when he goes to spring training. I mentioned that Kelleher had been nice to me when I was at a game in Tampa last spring. (Here I am calling out to Mick and here he is smiling at me. That constitutes “nice.” At least he didn’t ignore me or tell me to go back to my seat.)
“I’m going down to stay with Mick in March,” said Cooney.
“Oh, wow. I’ll be down there in March too,” I said. Hint hint.
“We’ll have to get together,” he said. “When we go out to eat, all the other coaches come too. It’s fun to sit there listening to them talk about all the players.”
Uh, yah. I’m so there.
As I sat here in Santa Barbara, wondering if/when the Yankees would announce who will play left field, I decided to stop reading other blogs and go straight to the source. No, I’m not referring to Cashman. He’s only the GM. I figured I should talk to the man with the real power – the guy who controls the payroll. So I hopped on a plane (it wasn’t easy, given all the new security restrictions) and headed for Tampa.
“Do you know where I might find Hal Steinbrenner?” I asked my cab driver after arriving at the airport in Florida.
“Sure,” he said. “On Saturday nights he’s always at the Kit Kat Club.
“Really?” I said. “What sort of place is that?”
“A disco club,” he replied. “Everybody in Tampa knows how much that boy loves to dance.”
“Great,” I said. “Take me there, please.”
Within minutes, we pulled up to the club and I went inside.
The scene was very high energy. I searched everywhere for Hal and – success! – there he was at a table for one, sipping a scotch and looking like he was dying to get up on the floor and shake it.
“Hi, Mr. Steinbrenner,” I said. “I’m She-Fan. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. I have a Yankees blog.”
“Of course,” he said, offering me a chair. “You’re the one who does crazy videos making fun of the greatest franchise in sports.”
“Well,” I said, blushing, “I also write about how much I love the Yankees. In fact, that’s why I’m here. We really need a left fielder, Mr. Steinbrenner.”
“Call me Hal.”
“OK, Hal. Listen, I don’t want you to think I’m not grateful for the way you re-signed Andy and brought Granderson over from Detroit. I’m not so sure about Nick Johnson and Javy Vazquez, but let’s concentrate on the left field problem.”
“Problem? We have options. Have you forgotten about Brett Gardner?”
“Have you forgotten he’s not much with the bat?”
He took a few swallows of his scotch.
“You could re-consider Damon,” I pressed on. “Or go after Bay or Holliday. Just don’t settle for Reed Johnson, no offense to him. We’re the Yankees. We need an outstanding, top quality player out there.”
He considered my pitch for several minutes. And then he smiled broadly. “Don’t worry, She-Fan. I’ll call Cash in the morning and tell him what you said. We’ll find somebody. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Swear. Now let’s dance.”
And so we did.
I’m worried about the Yankees’ GM. I am. Just look at him.
He’s such an anxious type, always on the verge of a nervous collapse. He’s been quiet, very quiet since Dana Point. Yes, it’s early in the off-season and it’s not as if free agents are being signed left and right, but what about some trades? Must we Yankees fans sit patiently (not in my nature at all) while Matt Holliday is shipped to the A’s for Huston Street and two others and even the Marlins and Nationals are exchanging body parts?
So I have to ask: What are you doing, Cash? Where are you hiding? What’s on your mind? Who are you hanging with?
I suppose it’s possible you’re in meetings with Jean Afterman, your assistant GM.
Or you could be in secret confabs with these two.
(Is it just me or do they look like they came from different fathers?)
Maybe you’re trying to escape from baseball altogether, given how stressful it must be in the Yankees’ front office. Your wife says you grind your teeth so hard at night that it scares her.
May I suggest that you purchase one of these? They’re supposed to do the trick.
I guess you could be holed up in your quaint, affluent town of Darien, Connecticut.
People say you enjoy a good game of pickup basketball, so maybe you’re doing that.
You’re also rumored to have a fondness for Australian red wine, so maybe you’re alone in your house guzzling.
Or, since you’re a good Catholic, maybe you’re in church praying that a miraculous trade will materialize.
Or maybe you’re concerned about A-Rod gallivanting around with Madonna, following her to concerts instead of working out obsessively at the gym.
And so you decided to confront her directly about leaving your highest paid star alone – and you did it first thing in the morning, before she put on any makeup.
Now that I really think about it, I bet your silence has to do with a certain road trip you’re on. You rented an RV, shut off the BlackBerry and set off on a journey.
Let others make trades. You’re driving straight to CC’s house, parking the camper right on his front lawn and waiting him out. I like it, Cash. Very proactive. You have my complete and total support.