BRONX, NY –There’s been a lot weird/unfortunate stuff going on with the Yankees this year but I haven’t been enjoying it as much as I should. I’ve had this nagging feeling that something’s missing and I finally figured out what it is. It’s George Steinbrenner. Crazy, right? I mean, I hated Steinbrenner. To me he represented all that was wrong with baseball. Yet, here I am missing him. The Yankees seem kind of hollow without him. Today they’re run by a bunch of lawyers and corporate suits with George’s two dim-bulb sons serving as figureheads. The team isn’t so much a ballclub as it is a brand name. Even it’s most recognizable player, Derek Jeter, is more of what Howard Cosell would call, an inane drone, than he is charismatic superstar. Hey, speaking of Howie, this whole George Steinbrenner thing reminds me of how I felt about Cosell. When he was on Monday Night Football I, like many Americans, absolutely loathed the guy. But now that he’s gone, I kinda miss having that big mouth on MNF keeping things interesting. Oh well, whaddaya gonna do? One thing’s for sure though, if Big Stein were still around, this Yankees season would look very different. Here’s what I mean.
Joba Chamberlain injures his ankle on a trampoline. Steinbrenner calmly adds “no trampoline jumping” to his growing list of Joba Rules, right under “no visits from meth-head mother.” He then thinks about it a bit, tears up the list, hands Gene Michael a shotgun and tells him to “put the kid out of his misery.”
Yanks get swept in season-season opening series in Tampa. George goes absolutely ballistic. Calls C.C. Sabathia a fat f**k and threatens to buy every box of Captain Crunch in the free world. He also asks the state department to send Hiroki Kuroda back to Japan in exchange for a whole bunch of old Casio wristwacthes because “they keep good time.”
Bombers sweep second series of the season in Baltimore. Steinbrenner announces that the ship has been righted, mostly due to his Captain Crunch and Casio deals. He also calls Peter Angelos to see whether he’s interested in selling Camden Yards. Angelos declines, George calls him a “Dirty Greek” and hangs up.
Yanks take two games in Boston. George is elated but blames the third game rainout on “that scumbag Valentine.” Steinbrenner further accuses Bobby V. of practicing the black arts and afflicting him with a case of the gout.
Yanks win home opener. Big Stein lights up a victory cigar with Kei Igawa’s head, which George had Nat Sherman turn into a novelty lighter.
The Yankees drop two of four to Kansas City. Steinbrenner goes ape. He fires Joe Girardi, calling him a “dumb wop” in the process. He then hires “a much smarter Italian,” Yogi Berra, to manage the team with the caveat that he keep his “coke-headed kid away from the club.”
Andy Pettitte loses his first game back with the Yankees. George summons Andy to his office and tells him to “give up this Jesus crap right away.” He then urges Pettitte to worship Lucifer. When Pettitte balks at the idea of aligning himself with the Devil, Steinbrenner assures him that he meant Lucifer the Cat from Walt Disney’s Cinderella. “That cat is where it’s at,” he continues. Hey, the guy has to get down to losing his marbles sooner or later, right?
So, there you have it, we’re barely half way through May and you can see how much more interesting the New York Yankees would be were George Steinbrenner still around. I never thought I’d hear myself say this but, it’s a damn shame.
Come back tomorrow for free coffee and donuts, and stay tuned tomorrow for the sizzling Cam James, the Artist Formerly Known As Ram Rules, who’ll be swapping with Lori Levine. Apparently Vegas eats women alive, too.