Friday, October 17, 2014
Posted by el duque at 8:41 AM
(Cue the classy music)... Tonight on Yankeeography, we celebrate the career of baseball hero Travis Ishigawa, the "Six-Inning Yankee."
The time is July 8, 2013. The place is New York City, in the back of an expensively seedy hotel bar and hash house near Yankee Stadium.
Brian "American Picker" Cashman has just spent the last 24 hours doing massive amounts of ibogane and laxatives with fellow top Yankee official, the legal begal known as Randy Levine, who still wears his Buzz Lightyear costume, which he donned for a Fourth of July founding fathers costume party.
Cashman is worried. The Yankee team is listing, losing, lifeless. Something has gone wrong with the Murderers Row batting order... Zolio Almonte, Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells, Luiz Cruz, Alberto Gonzalez... the team simply hasn't recovered from Boesch getting hurt.
"We need a firstbaseman who can spell Lyle Overbay," he tells Levine.
"I can do it... I think," Levine says. "It's O-v-e-r-b..."
He stops when Brian slaps him, hard, across the mouth. Levine has been cycling steroids, growth hormone and lead-based paint chips for the last. He's a little hazy. The slap awakens him. It also excites him.
"O-v-e-r-b-e-y!" he shouts.
Before Brian can hit him again, his cellphone trills. It's Brian's special "MLB Waiver Wire Mix and Match Madness" ap. A new names has landed in baseball's recycling bin. The name is Travis Ishigawa. He sounds Japanese.
"KEI IGAWA?" Randy says, fitting himself onto his Yankee logoed bong. "I've heard of him. Sign him!"
"Not Kei Igawa," Brian says. "ISH- Igawa. And he could spell Overbay."
"That's easy. O-v-e-r-"
"Shaddup. I'm involved with important Yankee backroom wheeling and dealing. I should call our chief scout and baseball man"
"Don't wake up Hank," Levine says. "Last I heard, he was on a horse and hookers bender."
"Shaddup. This is big business."
"Sorry, Brian... you know that, really, I... mean well." Randy blurts out a bong hit. "MEANWELL, GET IT?"
Despite his anger, Brian simply must laugh. This mirthful scaliwag, Levine, he knows how to push a fellow's funny bone.
And so the Yankees sign Travis Ishigawa.
That night, Travis appears in the Yankee lineup - batting sixth, after Vernon Wells and before Luis Cruz. Travis goes 0 for 2 with two strikeouts, then is replaced by Lyle Overbay. The Yankees lose to Kansas City, 5-1.
A six-inning outing... Seven pitches. Six strikes.
Next night, he is gone... like Brigadoon... like that Malasian airliner... like Vanilla Ice.
And every July 8, it is said that he reappears in the clouds over New York City to say...
"I'm Travis, not Kei."
TRAVIS ISHIGAWA... NOT KEI... THE SIX-INNING YANKEE.
This week's .... YANKEEOGRAPHY. (Cue out music. Run credits. Audience applause.)