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.
Who? I mean it’s possible that Lee will sign somewhere else, it really is. So if not him, then who else? That’s what everybody seems to be asking today so I’ll join the discussion – only I warn you: I won’t make any sense. Why should reality get in the way of a good blog post? The truth is, Lee isn’t the best non-Yankees pitcher in baseball; he’s just the best free agent non-Yankees pitcher in baseball. Which means that we have to look at those who aren’t free agents and would, therefore, require a miraculous, impossible-to-pull-off trade. Here are those I covet, regardless of availability or practicality.
1) The Freak
So what if he just won a World Series for the Giants? Maybe he’s tired of the West Coast, not to mention the color orange.
Yeah, he’s got some mileage on him, but I’ve made no secret of my affection for him and maybe he misses the American League East.
3) King Felix
It’s true that his team hasn’t been a contender and he’s looked out of sorts on occasion, but he’s only 24 – plenty of time for him to mature into the game’s best pitcher.
4) The Zackster
He’s already said he won’t come to New York, but that doesn’t mean he means it. And maybe CC and Amber will find him an historic old house in rural New Jersey with a barn and horses and it’ll feel just like Kansas, as in Missouri.
That’s what Girardi would call Justin Verlander if he migrated to the Bronx. Sure, he’s the ace of the Tigers’ staff, but wouldn’t it be less pressure to be a #2 pitcher?
Those are my top five choices in case Cliff Lee doesn’t work out. Did I miss somebody? (This is why I don’t play fantasy baseball. I always miss somebody.)
Last year I got CC, AJ and Tex for Christmas. This year all I’ve gotten so far is Curtis Granderson.
I’m excited about Grandy, no question. I think he’ll be a quality player and a great guy in the clubhouse. But I really hope Cashman isn’t done shopping. One new Yankee does not a Merry Christmas make – especially with Matsui going to the Angels. Which reminds me. I haven’t said a proper goodbye to Godzilla.
非常にすばらしいDHおよびワールドシリーズ最高殊勲選手があることにあなた、Hidekiに、感謝しなさい。 私は逃すが、アナハイムの運のベストを望む。 それで、私は運の限り天使aren’最もよく望む; ヤンキーを演じるt。 愛、彼女ファン。
(Translation: “Thank you, Hideki, for being such a wonderful DH and the World Series MVP. I will miss you, and I wish you the best of luck in Anaheim. Well, I wish you the best of luck as long as the Angels aren’t playing the Yankees. Love, She-Fan.”)
Rumors are swirling that the Yanks are interested in Nick Johnson to replace Matsui. Will the former Yankee with the insane on-base percentage be in my Christmas stocking?
He’s not my idea of a great signing. What’s the point? He’s injured a lot and won’t be playing first base, since Tex has the job. Shouldn’t Cashman bring back Damon? And why am I even talking about the DH spot, since what we need is another starting pitcher. Lackey, Halladay, Lee and Harden already have new homes, so it’s time to look elsewhere for a Christmas gift. I think I’ll do some window shopping on my own.
OK, I found a few trinkets that would be perfect additions to the Yanks. No, they’re not Sheets, Marquis, Pineiro or Duscherererer (or whatever his name is). I was shopping for arms on the Halladay level. So how about one of the following?
* King Felix Hernandez
Well? The Mariners just signed Lee. Why do they need King Felix too?
* Zack Greinke
Sure he won the Cy Young. But maybe he’d like to be on a winning team.
* Mark Buehrle
He pitched a perfect game. Why wouldn’t I want him?
* Justin Verlander
The guy is really, really good. Enough said.
Yes, I know I’m dreaming. But Cashman has a way of surprising us when we least expect it. Let him keep telling the media we can find pitching within the organization. I’ve heard it all before. What I want on Christmas morning is one of the above – all signed, sealed and delivered in a Yankees gift bag.
P.S. Commenter Mike thinks we should be happy with Sheets for Christmas. Hmm.
Except that the book business is bracing for its worst holiday season ever. Retailers are slashing orders and publishers are laying people off and new manuscripts are harder to sell than condos in Reno. Lots of panic in the biz right now.
That said, there’s one aspect of the publishing industry that’s way more efficient than the Hot Stove season, where we’re forced to sit around waiting to see which free agents will deign to play for which team for how many millions of dollars.
It’s called an auction.
Seriously. Let’s say Mark Teixeira wrote a novel about – I don’t know – being a vampire, and every editor in New York was eager to acquire it for his or her company.
Mark’s agent, Scott Boras, would set a date for the auction. On that day, editors would submit bids for the book to Scott, who would sift through them, pick the highest bidder and the best marketing plan, and notify the winner. And that would be that. Tex and his vampire novel would have a home. No waiting around. No blogging about why it’s taking so long. Just a done deal.
Authors aren’t that different from ballplayers (not counting the lack of athletic ability and affordable health insurance). There are some, like John Grisham, who’ve stayed with the same publishing house for their entire career. In fact, Grisham is the Derek Jeter of authors.
There are others, like Jackie Collins, who finish up contracts, become free agents, and jump from publisher to publisher, making her the LaTroy Hawkins of novelists.
There are still others, such as the Red Sox-loving scribe Stephen King, who have special bonuses in their contracts (more money for each week a book is #1 on the NY Times bestseller list). Doesn’t that remind you of A-Rod and his “historic event bonuses?”
My agent’s name is Ellen Levine. She’s a big cheese at Trident Media Group, and she conducts auctions all the time. You could call her the Scott Boras of publishing, because she’s been known to make editors cry.
Ellen held an auction for me after I became a free agent. It was the most stressful day of my life. I sat by the phone saying out loud to no one, “What if nobody comes to my auction and we don’t get a single bid?” I thought about other careers I could pursue if we didn’t have any takers. Like maybe this.
Or even this.
Luckily, I had a taker, so I didn’t need to become a dental hygienist, a bullfighter or a clown. If I had to compare myself to a Yankee, I’m probably the Robinson Cano of authors. I can make the stylish play from time to time and hit with power when the mood strikes. But I’m lazy. I fool around too much. I could very easily be shipped off to Kansas City for Zack Greinke.