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Thursday, January 15, 2015

On the matter of Max Scherzer, Hal Steinbrenner not only invokes Yogi, but Jerry Garcia

About 40 years ago, an enterprising journalist asked Jerry Garcia why so many contradictory quotes existed among members of the Grateful Dead, when it came to explaining the meanings of certain songs. The Zen master replied that early on, the group decided that anybody should say anything in press interviews, true or not, and they wouldn't care. It just didn't matter. And to this day, the band is revered for its integrity.

(OK, I know what you're thinking: I've finally disclosed the inspiration behind this blog. Yes: I'm the dooh-dah man.) 

Well, yesterday, in the blinding heat of the Arizona sun, the Yankees finally adopted the Deadhead philosophy of public utterances.

Hal Steinbrenner told reporters the Yankees remain in the hunt - sort of - for Max Scherzer or James Shields. He quoted the greatest Yankee quote-box in history, Yogi Berra, saying the bidding is "not over, until it's over." This remarkable statement comes just days since the last round of front office denials regarding Scherzer & Shields, a pair that sounds suspiciously like pundits on the PBS News Hour.

All winter, the Evil Empire has reached into its khakis and pulled out the pockets, poor-mouthing, as it ladled out money for Chase Headley and Stephen Drew. (It signed Headley to punish A-Rod; it signed Drew out of its fear of rookies.) Now, Hal cracks the door slightly ajar on Scherzer, like a debutante pledged to Eric, but still flirting with Joey. It's fun to get phone calls.

Well, we've been here before. In fact, we've been here for the last three winters. The Yankee dynasty is dead, and we're only midway through Elizabeth Kubler Ross's five stages of grief: Denial (2013, when they collapsed with Mo), Anger (2014, the A-Rod bloodbath), Bargaining (now.) Still to come are Depression (2015) and finally Acceptance (next winter, and long-term rebuilding.) Scherzer would vault the Yankees into contention this season - and sentence us to another cold stretch of winters, around 2018.

Here's hoping we jump to Acceptance: Spend the money - but only on players who are ascending. Don't pay for their great years in Detroit or Tampa.

One of these days, bidding will start on the 19-year-old Cuban prospect Yoan Moncata. If the Yankees fail to get him, Hal's words will look especially hollow. Because even if the Dead didn't care about interviews, their lyrics still stand tall. And your cards aint worth nuthin, if you don't lay em down.

1 comment:

ceeja said...

Memo to Steinspawn:

Big boss man,
Can you here me when I call?