Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Right (Pinstriped) Earth, Vol. 5

In our story so far, Brian Cashman, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, has met with a fatal, possibly A-Rod-caused rappelling accident, going up the Green Monster clad as Paul Revere.  George Steinbrenner was driven mad by a stint owning the Cleveland Indians, and his sons ended up on food stamps.

Get it?  Actual food stamps?  Like "Food Stamps Hal"?  

Oh, you people make me sick!  Here I am, busting my butt to try to make you laugh, make you dream while our baseball apocalypse is looming, and do you care?  No, you don't care!  Look way from the Boston series!  Look away from the looming, Boston-Dodgers World Series!  It's the end of the world!  Bwahahahahaha!

Ahem.  Anyway, here is Yankees president and GM Buck Showalter talking to Yankees manager Hensley Meulens about his own progress through the amazing, dauntless Yankees system:

“I was still in the minors back then, of course.  The Yanks were a damned hard club to break in with, back in the day.  All I had ahead of me was Chris Chambliss, this monster-sized guy named Cliff Johnson, then Balboni and Mattingly.”

“Did you ever wished they traded you off?” asked Meulens.  “I mean, it was hard enough for me coming up.”

“Yeah, but you had, what seven, eight terrific years in the majors, Mule?” objected Buck.  “And a couple more in the beginning, platooning with the great Orestes Destrade?  Man, talk about a tough player to dislodge!”  Showalter said, shaking his head.  “Me, I could hit all right, field all right.  But no power.”

“C’mon!  You got your shot.  That pinch-hit that won the 1982 World Series, when Balboni was out with his back injury.  I still gotta watch that on the video screen every other game.”

“Yeah, well, that was a special moment.  And being with the Yankees worked out all right, I have to say, thanks to their tremendous organizational loyalty.  And you know, it sounds crazy, but it seemed like there was always something looking out for us.  Like when Thurman Munson had that plane crash?”

“Oh, right!”

“Thank God he’d invited Reggie Jackson along on the flight.  It was Reggie who pulled him out of the cockpit, unconscious, and carried him to the ambulance.  Even when the EMT guys tried to take him from him, Reg wouldn’t give him up, saying, ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my Thurman.’ ”

“He actually said that?”

“Well, that was Reggie.  He couldn’t help himself.  Wasn’t enough mustard in the world to cover that hot dog. “

“So that’s why those guys are always thick as thieves.”

“Yep.  And believe it or not, they couldn’t stand each other when Reggie first came over to the Yankees.”

“Yeah, well, they’re a pain in my ass.  Always sitting just behind the dugout in spring training, heckling and second-guessing every move I make, like those two guys in the Muppets show.”

“That’s them, all right.  But don’t forget, Thurman worked with Posada, helped make him a first-rate catcher in no time.  Then Jorge worked with Sanchez, got him in line for you.”

“He did.  You know, Jorge’d make a good manager some day.”

“Nah, we’re grooming Posada for the front office.  Besides, you’ll be in the dugout as long as I was.  You know how it is with the Yankees:  you’re manager for life!”

“We’ll see about that.”

“Anyway, after Reggie finally retired we just went on and on.  That great lineup with Winfield, and Henderson, and Mattingly.  Balboni in the DH spot, until Fred McGriff came along.  Willie McGee and Roberto Kelly setting the table.”

“Don’t forget those ‘Young Guns’ staffs in the 1980s.  Gene Nelson with his five pitches.  Jose Rijo, Gil Patterson, Ken Clay, Mike Griffin, Doug Drabek, Mike Morgan.  Righetti and Fisher and Jay Howell in the pen.  Thank goodness we were smart enough to hang on to them.” 

“Well, that’s always been the philosophy around here:  ‘Don’t trade, develop.’  And so we did.  Sure, there were setbacks.  I mean, when Yogi finally handed over the reins to Dick Howser, I thought Dick was the best manager in baseball.  But then came that damned brain tumor.”

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when he gave that speech in the Stadium,” Meulens said soberly.  “Telling everybody he finally knew what Lou Gehrig meant.”

“We moved on.  We had to.  Sweet Lou took over and had some good seasons before he said the stress was getting to him, and he retired to Florida.  The first time.”

“Yeah, that lasted a good two minutes.”

“It was right about then, too, that Gillick finally handed over the reins to Stick, and he brought in Bob Watson. “

“And you.”

“And me,” Buck acknowledged.  “Right on the hot seat, with all that Yankees tradition hovering over me.”

“How the hell did you do it?  How’d you keep the pressure from getting to you?”

“Well, I’ll tell ya.  But first—more bourbon!”


13bit said...

Great work, Hoss, but it makes me sad. I have to go have some coffee.

TheWinWarblist said...

More bourbon. I'm gonna go with that.

Good morning Bitty!

KD said...

I care, Hoss. truly!

13bit said...

Bonjour Winnie!