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?
ESPN announced their lineup of Sunday night games the other day, and their second one of the season – the April 10th contest – will be Yankees/Red Sox at Fenway. I realize it’s still January but seeing that actual games will be played on actual dates makes the start of the 2011 campaign seem more real, doesn’t it? Like it’s really happening? It does to me.
Of course, while certain aspects of Yankees-Red Sox will seem like old times (the “Yankee suck” chants, the lusty boos for A-Rod and Tex, the presence of familiar villains like Pedroia and Youkilis), it’ll be interesting to see how newcomers Crawford and Gonzalez play into The Rivalry. And it’ll be weird not to have Joe Morgan and Jon Miller to kick around anymore.
The good news is that spring really is around the corner, despite this photo that Friend of the Blog John (aka ooaooa) sent me of his picturesque, snow-covered backyard. Gotta love his taste in barns.
Here’s the headline that generated my laughter today.
It was from a blog on NESN that was brought to my attention by Paul Lebowitz’s blog earlier. Now don’t get me wrong; the Red Sox made terrific deals to upgrade their team this off-season, and my Red Sox fan friends (yes, I do have a few) are rightfully delirious with their shiny new acquisitions, just as we were when CC, AJ and Tex landed in our laps. But “the greatest team in major league history?”
That’s just plain hilarious. For starters, I wouldn’t be caught dead writing a headline like that, given how superstitious I am. (Talk about a jinx.) For another thing, isn’t it a little nutty to make such a grandiose prediction this early, particularly after 2010 when the Red Sox were supposed to be locked and loaded and instead ended up sending everybody to the DL? And finally, the author of this masterpiece decided to compare the 2011 Red Sox with the 1927 Yankees?
There’s a reason the ’27 Yanks were called “Murderers’ Row.” (And it wasn’t because they had a bunch of murderers on the team, which reminds me: Did everyone read about O’s pitcher Simon? Allegedly, he shot and killed a guy in the Dominican over the weekend and wounded another. I hate when that happens.) Babe Ruth hit 60 homers that year and Gehrig 47, and the others in the lineup were no slouches either. The team dominated, absolutely dominated. So my question is this…Will the 2011 Red Sox dominate in the same way? Can any team dominate in the same way, given the competition these days? And who would comprise Boston’s Murderers’ Row? Crawford and Gonzalez are really good but are they Ruth and Gehrig? Are Pedroia and Youkilis? No doubt they’ll all score a ton of runs, but I’m just not ready to anoint them as the “greatest team in major league history.” That’s like saying the chicken and barley stew I made last night was the “greatest comfort food in culinary history.” I mean, it was excellent, if I do say so myself, but….Well, you get my drift.
I’m relieved to say I survived last night’s New Year’s Eve karaoke party. Actually, I not only survived but ended up having a really great time. Our hosts were gracious, everyone was in the holiday spirit and, once the machine started shooting out song after song, we all got into it. (Alcohol helped.) I’m hoarse today, so I must have been belting them out without realizing it. Anyhow, as promised, here are a couple of guests covering the Beatles. (Notice the guy in the background with the beard and glasses? That’s Michael, who claimed he didn’t sing, but as it’s plain to see he was moving his lips!)
Next up were our hosts (I promised I wouldn’t reveal their names so they wouldn’t be mortified). I hardly remembered the song “King of the Road” by Roger Miller but now I can’t get the damn thing out of my head.
The party was moving right along toward midnight when suddenly the karaoke machine started playing Neil Diamond’s….you guessed it….”Sweet Caroline.” I immediately held my ears and yelled, “God, no! Not that awful Red Sox song! I’m a Yankee fan!”
“You are?” asked Steve, one of the other guests.
“Absolutely,” I said, a little wary of admitting my allegiance in a town where most people root for the Dodgers or Angels.
“So am I,” said Steve, who explained that he grew up in Connecticut and has been a Yankee fan his whole life. “I’m really worried about the team going forward. The Red Sox made so many moves and we didn’t. I still can’t believe we didn’t get Cliff Lee.”
Well, that led to a discussion of the Bombers and our concern about the pitching, etc. Before we knew it, the TV came on and Ryan Seacrest was in Times Square counting down to midnight – and Frank Sinatra was in the background singing “New York, New York.”
“Now that song makes me feel a lot better,” I said. “We could be at Yankee Stadium right now.”
Which was not a bad way to end the evening.
Today was depressing. Not only did I have to read about how the Red Sox were sure-fire bets to win the World Series now that they’ve signed Crawford and Gonzalez (didn’t the media say the same thing about them last year after they signed Lackey and Beltre?), but I continued to check for updates about Cliffy and could only find out that the Yankees had upped their offer to 7 years (7, apparently, is the new 6 in baseball these days) and that the Texas delegation was in Arkansas to make their case to the Lees. Blah blah blah. As I said yesterday, I’m not a patient person and this whole Lee thing, on top of the whole Jeter thing, is dragging me down. So what did I do about it? I went to a screening tonight of the most depressing movie on the planet. “Rabbit Hole” was a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and now it’s a critically acclaimed film that’s about to open in limited release to qualify for the Oscars. Nicole Kidman, who plays the mother of a child that died and tries to come to grips with the tragedy, is on everybody’s Best Actress list, along with Natalie Portman and Annette Bening. She’s very good. And it’s hard not to be moved by the film (Kleenex essential). But fair warning: it’s just not an easy story to sit through. Here’s the trailer.
I was hoping that when I emerged from the theater and turned my phone back on there would be news – as in “Lee signs with the Yankees!” No such luck. I’m thinking Friday is the day. Or maybe Saturday. Definitely by Sunday. If it goes longer than that, I’m over it and will start doing Countdowns for anybody and everybody. Meanwhile, here’s tonight’s Cliff Lee video.
It was an easy pick, since Danny Knobler says straight out that Cliffy will be a Yankee because he won’t be able to leave “all that money on the table.” So far, nobody’s been able to leave money on the table, judging by the choices made by Werth and Crawford.
Oh. One more thing. Recently, I noticed that this blog has passed the 20,000-comment milestone. That’s a whole lot of people checking in here. A heartfelt thanks to all who’ve taken the time to leave a word or two.
Michael and I were on our way to dinner with friends when I said in the car, “The winter meetings have been a big tease this year.”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “Aside from the Werth deal before they started the meetings, things have been pretty quiet.”
“Apparently, Cashman can’t even get Cliff Lee’s agent to respond to an offer,” I said. “And now the agent has left Orlando and gone to Arkansas to talk to Lee. Which means more waiting and wondering.”
“This agent seems to have everybody waiting and wondering,” said Michael. “Who is he anyway?”
“His name is Darek Braunecker,” I said. “Sounds like a German coffee machine.”
We got to the restaurant, a cute Italian place here in Santa Barbara called Trattoria Victoria, and sat down with our friends. During dinner we all talked about the updates in the murder investigation of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, about the recent ruling in the McCourts’ divorce case and what it might mean for the Dodgers, about the bones I found in my otherwise delicious piece of sea bass. And then we went home. I went straight to the computer to see if there was Cliff Lee news. Nope. Only the fact that Carl Crawford will be a Red Sock for the next 7 years. My condolences to the Angels, whose offer wasn’t enough to hold off those busy shoppers in Boston. But what about Lee? Is he planning to make a decision about his future soon or not? I’m tired of this guy Braunecker acting like his client is an undercover agent with the CIA. I’m tired of all the secrecy. I’m tired of waiting. Just tell us straight up: Does Lee want to pitch for the Yankees or doesn’t he? Even Andy Pettitte is waiting for an answer.
Tonight’s Operation Cliff Lee Countdown video is actually audio. Even if you listen closely, you still can’t figure out what Braunecker is really saying. He’s a master of double talk, which explains all this waiting and wondering. I’m glad he’s not my agent, that’s for sure.
I figured everybody could use a laugh right about now. Sure, there was a meeting between Jeter and the Yankees yesterday, but there’s been nothing since and we’re still playing the waiting game. So tonight’s Jeter-related video is designed to elicit a derisive smile or two. It features two Boston Globe guys speculating about whether the Red Sox should jump into the melee and sign our captain. The young guy on the right doesn’t say much. The old guy on the left is long-time Globe columnist Bob Ryan. After you watch the video, tell me he’s not Andy Rooney on speed.
“What would happen if we got stuck with him?” Ryan asks. You should be so lucky, pal.
Moving on, I was not happy to read this afternoon that Alfredo Aceves, who spent all that time not being a productive member of the Yankees so he could rehab his back by not having surgery, had surgery….for breaking his collar bone in a bicycle accident. Sheesh. I realize we can’t keep players from leading normal lives, and riding a bike is not the same as playing basketball (I’m talking to you, Aaron Boone). But I sure wish we could encase them in bubble wrap or something.