Monday, December 31, 2012

A toast to you in 2013

Dearest friends, commenters and autobot spammers,
May 2013 bring you peace, prosperity,
happiness, love, and all the joys of life,
including but not limited to
a power hitting RH outfielder,
a dependable fifth starter,
a solid defensive catcher,
and temporary amnesia when our thirdbasemen come to bat,
(regardless of who it is),
and may you never have to cringe
because a certain player - or group of them -
comes to bat with runners in scoring position,
and develops a lump in his throat the size of Jessica Simpson's left boob,
and may the owners of your team
somehow cut their expenditures,
so their children no longer go shoeless and hungry;
may our Captain heal
and our Closer stay forever young,
may A-Rod find true love
and Grandyman find a pair of glasses;
may we never have to boo again,
unless it's Pedroia.

Happy New Year from IIH, IIF, IIc.

Other cliffs

Fistfull Cliff
Fretfull Cliff
Siskel Cliff

Bristol Cliff


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Before 2012 Ends, Let's Kick Bobby V One Last Time

Until last night, when I stumbled across this year-old story from The Nation, I had no idea Bobby Valentine left a government job--Stamford, CT Director of Public Safety--to manage the Red Sox.
Last January (2010), Stamford's Republican Mayor Mike Pavia appointed Valentine to the position for which he had no background because he was looking for someone who could be, as he said without irony, “a good manager.” Valentine, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican was born in Stamford and owns a restaurant in town (where he claims to have invented “the sandwich wrap.”) Presumably this qualified him to handle the negotiations of city contracts for Stamford's fire fighters, police officers, and public safety workers...
Stamford, located in Fairfield County, is the richest county in America where many Wall Street executives live, but this didn’t stop Valentine from pulling a Wisconsin style attack on the city's public sector workers…  demanding 65 different concessions from its public safety workers including a wage cut of $1.20 an hour, cuts in overtime pay, higher health care costs, the elimination of pensions for new hires, and the right to privatize any public service.
Happy New Year, Bobby.

Yankee disaster of the year: Freddy Garcia

It's hard to imagine the perfect Yankee backfire - the Drabekian trade that reeks on every Higgs boson plane from the moment it transpires. Usually, it takes time to realize we gave away Tyler Clippard for Jessica Alba, or that Steve Trout has a third hip growing from his butt. It's rare to immediately smell the rotted flesh of a bad Yankee deal.

And if we're looking at backfires last season - well, most trustees of the Yankiverse prison yard would target the trade of Jesus Montero for Venus de Milo Pineda as Brian Cashman's biggest "oops" since he got frisky in that hotel lobby with Miss Bipolar 1987. But I dunno. I'm partial to last winter's quick signing of Freddy Garcia.  (Technically, this might have occurred in calendar 2011, but you know what I mean.)

The Freddy move came as the Steinbeer heirs began laying the groundwork for Fiscal Austerity in 2013. The Yankees signed Freddy to a one-year, $3 million contract, rewarding him for 2011 and because - aw, hell - you know: Pitching, pitching, pitching.

From then on, every winter move was balanced - at least partially - on the notion that Freddy Garcia, at age 35, would repeat as reliable lugnut in the Yankee pitching machine. Why did we think this? And are we doing it again?

Just before spring training of 2011,  we had claimed Freddy and Bartolo Colon off the scrap heap. We rung decent years out of both. Rather than move on, we resigned Freddy and let Bartolo go to Oakland, where he pitched well until his pee burned a hole in the beakers.  So we had Freddy, the classic example of that guy you're paying too much to not pitch.

Well, without Freddy, the Yankees could never have enjoyed that great 15-9 comeback at Fenway. He gave up five runs in 1.2 innings. By the end of April, his ERA was near 13.00. He didn't start again until July. From then on, he was a 5-inning, 3-run bomb whose outing depended on how well the bullpen staunched inherited runs. By season's end, Freddy statistically gave up more than one earned run every two innings. Ouch.

By February, Freddy's signing forced us to push AJ Burnett out the door. When Kuroda, Pineda and Pettitte arrived, we had to move somebody. Yes, yes, yes... I know there are hard AJ Burnett critics who read this site - but we traded a guy at the absolutely low point of his value. We got nothing for Burnett, who became Pittsburgh's ace. And why? Because we had Freddy.

Well, you might say we didn't have much choice this winter when Mariano, Andy, Ichiro and Kuroda came on the market. But age-wise, they're well beyond Freddy territory. 

And as much as it hurt to watch Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez and Nick Swisher go, at least we haven't lashed ourselves to another Freddy. The Steins want a $189 million payroll. It starts by cutting the Freddys.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Yankees announce that IT IS HIGH poll for starting catcher in 2013 will be binding

I think it was Lizzie McGuire who said, "If you don't watch TV, you have no right to criticize it."  Well, the same holds for IT IS HIGH non-scientific Internet polls.

I know what you're thinking: Dukie, there's been too much happening in the Yankiverse this week - Christmas AND the signing of Mike Diaz - for me to waste ten seconds taking part in one of your meaningless polls. Well, comrades, while some of you are sizing Slade Heathcott's plaque for Cooperstown, one of the most important polls in IT IS HIGH history - Alphonso's opinion notwithstanding - is happening two inches to the west of this here post.

With a day to go, Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine are separated by two votes - TWO VOTES - for starting catcher in 2013. A meaningless micro-thin margin such as this could require a recount, leaving the Yankiverse torn and polarized over who should be the rightful 2013 January catching frontrunner, and - surely - the losing side will feel as though the poll was stolen. This could fracture the fan base well into Super Sunday.

So who is it? Austin or Frankie?

One - Romine - remains a Yankee prospect, albeit one who knows the city of Trenton all too well, having spent two long years there. Seriously. By now, Romine must have a favorite Trenton bar, a favorite Trenton Chinese take-out, even a favorite Trenton mall outlet to buy shoes. That says it all. The young man - once considered on par with Yankee legend Jesus Montero (now Tampa legend Mike Pineda) - has been Trentonized, which is like being traumatized, except it happens in New Jersey. Still, if Romine becomes a solid catcher, who knows, the Yankees could bridge the $189 million "Save the Steinbrothers" charity austerity cap and have a chance to catch the Billion Loonie Blue Jays.

The other - Cervelli - remains a true blue Yankee lugnut, who has twice stood his ground at home plate and took a freight train to the body for his team. He has twice gone to the hospital in his uniform for a team that rewarded him last spring with a joy-buzzer demotion to Triple A. He spent most of 2012 on the New York State Thruway, no exit ramp in sight. But in his time with the Yankees, Cervelli made a name as one of our better clutch hitters, and he's still young enough to give us two or three years - until the next train hits. He hasn't the upside of Romine, but if Cervelli could raise his defense, he can probably hit as well as Russell Martin did - in other words, .220.

Why, why, WHY... do they both have to hit RH? And who, who WHO will win this meaningless exercise in democracy?

Hideki Matsui, The Sayonara Kid

The link in question

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hideki Matsui Highlight Reel

Hideki Matsui Says, "Eat"

Hideki Matsui Says, "Drink"

Hideki Matsui Day Continues

This came from an unknown transmission...

The night Hideki Matsui hit an A-bomb

Today is Hideki Matsui Day in the Yankiverse.

It seems like yesterday that Paul Rudd yelled, "Honey, I just drafted Hideki Matsui!"

It came in the movie "Knocked Up," when Paul Rudd - wearing an Orioles jersey, no less - was found "cheating" on his wife in a fantasy baseball draft. He had selected Godzilla, probably in a high round, and every guy watching had to appreciate the movie's realism. Now, "Knocked Up" has spawned a sequel - "This is 40." And Hideki is hanging up his cletes. Damn. You blink, and 10 years go by.

I remember Godzilla's first home opener, when he hit a grand slam. The place went bonkers. I penciled him in for 40 homers and .350. But my mid-May, he couldn't hit a beach ball. I penciled him in for Columbus. But he Tino-ed through it and should have won the Rookie of the Year award, instead of - who? - oh, yeah, the god in human form known as Angel Berroa. How did it happen? Two Gammonites screwed him, left them off their ballots, saying he wasn't a legitimate rookie, because he's played in Japan. Of course, they hadn't done that with Ichiro, just a few years earlier.

Frickin' Gammonites.

But my favorite Matsui moment came in the 2003 ALCS, the Aaron Boone game. In the eighth inning, we were down by three with one out, and Pedro dealing. The place was as quiet as Lindsay Lohan passed out on the floor. Jete doubled. Crowd wakes up. Bernie singled, knocking him in. The Redsock bullpen started. Pedro huffed. The place came alive. Hideki smacked a ground rule double to right field. Second and third, one out. Jorge coming to bat. I just remember Hideki standing at second, trying not to smile, while Pedro simmered.

Great moment. Great player. Great Yankee. I wish I drafted him in my fantasy league.

Make no mistake: Matsui goes into the Hall wearing a Yankee cap.

I wish him happiness. He has a lovely wife, at least on paper. And of course he has his legendary porn collection. I assume Paul Rudd won that year in his fantasy league. The movie got it right.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who Cares?

The current poll on this site focuses on who will be our catcher in 2013.

Given the choices, I think we should go without one.  I mean, seriously, with those choices there is no choice.

Stick another old guy in the outfield and just deal with wild pitches when men are on base.

Maybe Andruw Jones will be freed from his contract in Japan, and he can come back as a short left center/right center guy, like in beer league softball. He does need to distance himself from loved ones, I gather.

I think we need a poll on, " who will be the first Yankee starter ( position player or pitcher ) to incur a significant injury in 2013, and spend meaningful time on the DL?"  And in what month will his tweak occur?

I really think this Yankee season is going to be a joke.  It is going to be like watching the Jets disintegrate.

Oh well.

The Yankee lineup in the final year of George H.W. Bush's presidency

Read it and weep. (The Cashman Apocalypse is just 12 months away.)

Pat Kelly, 2b
Roberto Kelly, cf
Don Mattingly, 1b
Danny Tartabull, rf
Mel Hall, lf
Kevin Maas, dh
Matt Nokes, c
Charlie Hayes, 3b
Andy Stankiewicz ss

Melido Perez
Scott Sanderson
Scott Kamieniecki
Tim Leary
Shawn Hillegas 

Hard to imagine how this team won 76 games.

Yankee Juju Omen of the Year: Jayson Nix

Last winter, the cold winds of free agency blew onto Brian Cashman's doorstep a black-edged, tarot card of death named Jayson Nix.  (Much in the way he found Mike Diaz yesterday.) Hardly anyone noticed when Cashman signed Nix off the scrap heap. The guy had Scranton/Wilkes Barre written on his forehead in Sharpie. After all, everybody knew Eduardo Nunez was our utility infielder. We didn't need two.

Well, Jason Nix became the mystery man - the Zelig - of the 2012 Yankees.

1. It was Nix who banged the long batting practice fungo that chased Mariano to the wall, where Mo's knee buckled like Kleenex, and the Yankee season changed.

2. It was Nix who took over as shortstop for the injured Jeter - because Eduardo Nunez turned out to be a fielding combination of Chuck Knoblauch and Bill Buckner. (For much of the season, it was Nunez who disappeared on the New York State Thruway team, somewhere between Batavia and Utica.)

3. It was Nix who became one of our steadiest hitters against Detroit in the ALCS. (Which, frankly, isn't saying much.) In fact, Nix came within a few feet of a HR that could have won a game and - who knows - maybe rallied the team.

4. It was Nix who made the final out - batting as our thirdbaseman, the position Arod could not play - in the 2012 championship series. He popped up.

5. It was Nix, the no-hit utility infielder, who played three games as our DH last year - can you believe it? Jason Nix, our DH. Think about that when pondering our current march to the $189 million payroll.

6. It was Nix who we're supposedly trying to upgrade this year, because he's eligible for arbitration in 2013, the year of the Cashman Apocalypse.  

7. It is Nix who - imagining any spring training setback for Jete - would likely be our opening day shortstop - that is, unless Cash can find another Jayson Nix.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

With his Christmas arrest, Andruw Jones re-establishes the rules of scandal: When they mess up, they’re always “ex-Yankees.”

Andruw Jones -- who played 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves, hit most of his 400 home runs in Atlanta, won his Gold Gloves in Atlanta, lives in Atlanta, and was arrested in Atlanta on Christmas Day -- of course, is identified in news accounts as an "ex-Yankee."

Listen: I don't mean to make fun of Andruw's arrest. He was charged in a domestic violence dispute, and there’s nothing funny about it.

But I can't help but note the First Rule of Identifying Ex-Ballplayers for Bad Behavior.

I. Thou shalt always be an ex-Yankee.

Consider the case of Roger Clemens, the ultimate "ex-Yankee." Doesn’t matter that he spent more time in a Boston uniform, or that he's linked forever to the Redsocks. He gets in trouble for steroids, and he's "ex-Yankee Roger Clemens."

Do something bad, or just be accused of it, and you’re an old Yankee.

Sidney Ponson? Ex-Yankee. Jim Leyritz? Ex-Yankee. (Can't fault that one.) A relapse by Darryl Strawberry or Doc Gooden? They're ex-Yankees. 

Somebody should tell Youk: Whatever happens, the Redsocks are off the hook.

Yankee quote of the year: "Beggars can't be choosers."

The great run started with Derek Jeter's rookie season, some 17 summers ago: A string of Yankee teams that challenged for every pennant, chased every post-season, aimed for every ring. With one rancid exception - the injury riddled 2008 - the Yankees played in every October. Through terror attacks, superstorms and the general roil and rot of civilization, the Yankees ruled the back pages and defined New York City by their pride and domination. They spent to win. They played to win.

Oh well. Fun while it lasted. Not anymore.

This winter, influenced by a salary cap installed by socialistic owners, the Yankees have changed quietly ceded their mantle. Despite a lineup with gaping holes, they let major free agents walk and didn't even make offers to the biggest stars on the market. And during the winter meetings, when Brian Cashman was asked the Yankees would chase important players, the GM answered clearly. 

 "Beggars can't be choosers," he said.

Let that sink in, folks. Because it's the new reality.

Some NYC Gammonites have recently written booster stories about the 2013 Yankees, saying Toronto and Tampa don't look that good. (This was before Boston landed Drew and the closer from Pittsburgh, continuing to load up.) But study the rosters that have won in October lately, and you see young teams entering their primes - not near-40somethings, which is what we will field this year.

It's hard to imagine the wheels staying on the bus through August, much less September. And our top prospects still haven't surpassed Double AA - the level that notoriously culls the herd. Even if they get past Trenton with their Sickels "B-plus" ratings intact, don't expect help in September.

Next year, we hit the Steinbrothers' self-imposed $189 million salary cap. If the brothers truly intend to stick to it - and why wouldn't they, after collapsing the team for two years in advance - it's hard to imagine how they will keep Robbie Cano. Do the math, folks. There's a limit to how much money a team can tie up into a few star players.

Thus, I submit that the team should hang a banner over Yankee Stadium with the motto for 2013 and beyond clear for all to read:

"Beggars can't be choosers."

Happy New York, everybody. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gather the family 'round the computer! It's time for a Christmas story...

On Christmas Eve, Jolly Old Saint Nick has gone to Cleveland

Nick Swisher became an Indian yesterday, bringing an end to Brian Cashman's greatest trade, and one of the few that worked according to plan. He also gave the Yankees a larger-than-life personality, performing as an actual human being on a team of p.r.-obsessed cardboard cutouts. (Now, only Joba represents the Everyman who just happens to wear pinstripes. The rest - from Arod to Grandy - come off about as real as corporations in the Mitt Romney definition of the word.)

We're going to miss this guy, and I'm not referring to his on-base percentage (which is a mile-higher than Ichiro's.)

Swish was the first person in MLB to reveal that Ozzie Guillen is an idiot, a fact now universally understood. (Ozzie being the rare manager who occasionally tries to ruin his own players.) As a result, we received a switch hitter with power for Wilson Betemit (a switch hitter without power.) Swish blossomed in NYC - and not many do (Boomer Wells, Scott Brosius, Paul O'Neill, anybody else?) When Swish was hot, he mashed every pitcher in his way. You wondered how great he could be, if he could just avoid those slumps.

But he couldn't. Slumps were as much a part of his game as fingers pointed to the sky. Swish couldn't beat them, no matter how he tried. He hoped marriage would level him out. It didn't. He hired a personal trainer and came to camp in great shape. It didn't matter. Last winter, he hired a hypnotist. It didn't work. The trenches always claimed him - kept him down. If he could avoid the slumps, Swish could have risen into the pantheon of great Yankee sluggers, maybe stay a Yankee until retirement. What a great hope. But it didn't work.

And the record will show horrible slumps in October. I must be hard to play unconscious when the world is watching. Swish's last playoff debacle came in right field, blowing a line drive that he catches 999 times out a thousand. He lost it in the lights - a line that pretty much defines Swish's career.

He'll get a loud ovation when Cleveland comes to town. He should. He'll hit a homerun against us, maybe win a game. They all do. And in my final moments, I hope to remember him standing at second base, after the Yankees just roared back from that huge deficit in Fenway. Damn... I'll miss the guy. We all will. Good grief: A real live person - one of us! - actually played right field for the Yankees. And he did a good job, folks. He made us proud.

Swishalicious! That's what it was.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

So long, Raul... and thank you

Last January, when the Yankees signed Raul Ibanez instead of Johnny Damon for the position of third nipple, I went Wayne LaPierre on the rappelling rag doll known as Brian Cashman. I wanted Johnny - a great former Yankee - instead of a Philadelphia steak sandwich. When Raul didn't hit his weight - or hair count - in spring training, I rambled and ranted about Cashman's epic mistake. And I wasn't alone. After one exhibition game, I recall Raul facing a Gammonite siege, his slump now something like 0-25. He gazed into a forest of third chins and snow-cap pimples and noted that this was the largest group of Shakespearean talent he had ever faced. "Hooray for me," Raul deadpanned.

Under pressure, the guy never flinched. Never. And a week later, Ibanez homered on opening day against Tampa, one of the few Yankees to matter in the clutch. "Raul, so cool," John Sterling said. And the Master got that one right.

For a guy who hit .240 and went Judge Crater during the entire month of August, Raul is going to generate some incredible ovations when he returns to Yankee Stadium next year in a Mariners uniform. From my personal luxury skybox, a few steps from my refrigerator, I will stand an cheer. He deserves it.

If you ponder the sample size, it's amazing how such a flawed bit player could become such a beloved Yankee. With a catch by Nick Swisher or eyesight by a first-base umpire - that is, if the Yankees hadn't folded so abruptly and utterly - Raul could be a rare Yankee icon: The player who saved a team worth saving.

Instead, he goes into the bin with Aaron Boone, Scott Brosius and Tino Martinez - great HRs that were followed up with - well - pain . When we think of Raul, we'll remember the incredible HRs and then feel a chaser of frustration. After such gallantry, after such miracles, teams are not supposed to lose. But we sure did.

On paper, nobody can call Raul's defection to Seattle a terrible, horrible loss. The guy is 40. And he did hit .240. Those magical clutch HRs probably won't happen again. A sad truth about miracles is that they only happen unexpectedly. You can't buy them on the free agent market. I'm sort of surprised Seattle doesn't know that. 
 Well, I don't know if I've ever formally apologized to Raul Ibanez for the wintery rants about our failure to sign Johnny Damon. So here goes:

Sir, last January, I only wanted us to sign a great Yankee. I was wrong. We did.  I wish you the best in Seattle. You'll always be a fond Yankee memory. Hooray for you. And let me say this with my finger as heavy as it can be on the keyboard:


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry $#@% Christmas, everybody. Raul Ibanez is going to Seattle

Hoooookay. So much for that idea that we only need a RH platoon at DH.

Wither goest Chris Dickerson?


Off-topic but oh-so relevant: Be it "Welcome Back SWAT-er," or "Saved By the Shell:" America needs more firepower in the classroom

Yesterday, instead of wringing its hands over a few people somewhere who decided to leap into the way of spraying bullets, the National Rifle Association outlined a cogent national strategy to solve the problem of "madmen" - (the concept, that is, not the hit TV show) - shooting up schools:

Simply eliminate a teaching slot here and there, and replace it with a trained law enforcement professional or - better yet - an elderly member of the NRA. Thus, classrooms can shoot back when fired upon, letting the little bastards again feel safe, while practicing for the football team... or, in the class of girls, the cheerleading squad.

Frankly, we couldn't agree more if a loaded AK47 was pressed to our temple. And we couldn't be happier!

For many years, student discipline has lagged, as those spoiled brats play with their electronic devices and make fun of old people. Well, with Dirty Harry sitting in the back of the room, let's see little Johnny stick Amy's pigtail into an ink well! When those little monsters start disrupting class with their giggling, a shot into the overhead lights should shut them up. And if schools dispensed a few less social studies assignments and a few more whippings, maybe our test scores wouldn't be falling behind the Chinese. 

We applaud the NRA for its devotion to the 22 gun manufacturers that comprise its membership.  Arm the schools! Arm the churches! Get your gun, America! There's only three shopping days until Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Mets are supposedly considering Carl Pavano

Whom we remember fondly.

A Christmas card... just for you

A visit from Santa.

Holiday Weekend Takeaway Thought: With a second Gulf Coast League team, are the Yankees attempting to construct a mirror universe, and thus are they tampering with a fundamental law of atomic physics?

ABSTRACT: In an earlier report, we empirically discussed the positive news that the Yankees next year will field a second team - let's call them Yankees II - in the rookie dirt-level Gulf Coast League of Florida. In this post, we will consider the cutting edge ramifications of this development, with regard to elemental space-and-time.

PREAMBLE: The worlds of science fiction and atomic string theory have long postulated the existence of multiverses - an infinite number of parallel realities that co-exist in cosmic planes, beyond our temporal awareness.

QUESTION: By tampering with the molecular structure of the minor leagues - specifically, the entry level - could the Yankees create a new multiverse? And if so, what does it mean?

FACT: In 2013, when the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays play the Yankees, they will not be playing the Yankees. They will be facing a variation of Yankiness - the Yankees I or Yankees II. Each day, the Yankees will field two concurrent realities - with players and fans experiencing divergent timelines.  

It is a fundamental tenet of physics and movies that no one can travel back in time and meet themselves. Nevertheless, the Yankees in 2013 - at the sub-atomic level of Rookie League - will be able to play with themselves. 

THROUGHOUT HISTORY: A day in the GCL offered two Yankee outcomes: A win or a loss. Now, the Yankees can win and lose, or win twice or lose twice. Add the possibility of doubleheaders, and the number of outcomes rises exponentially. We could go 2-1. We could go 3-1.  

We may experience the day when the GCL Yankees lose four times.

THE FUTURE: In theory, these dual timelines merge in 2014, when players move up to Charleston or go home... unless the Yankees II spawn a Charleston multiverse - Charleston Chew II?

This could create an alternative Yankee system.  In 2015, the high Single A Tampa Yankees would split. Then in 2016, the Trentonites, and in 2017, the long prophesized - and some would say overdue - breakup of Scranton and Wilkes Barre could take place. Scranton could play Wilkes Barre! Blood on the coal!

By 2018, the Yankees could field two mirror reality teams, each with a bloated payroll and aging personnel. The Yankees could play for the American League Championship. But under the current laws of physics, they cannot face each other in a World Series.

CONCLUSION: We at IIH are nearing a great breakthrough in the appreciation of reality.

Imagine it: Twice the number of 40-year-old outfielders, twice the DL listings, an A-Rod and a Josh, a Robbie and a Bobby... two John Sterlings crying. "Ballgames over, Yankees and Yankees win, thuuuuh Yankees and Yankees... win."

At that point, comrades, the world ends.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

It's the end of the world...with Skeeter Davis and the Master

Why do the Yanks go on playing?

Thursday, December 20, 2012


(SPECIAL TO PAGE SIX) Take a gander at these globes, God, because You won't be seeing them again! Smoldering Barbadian super-seductress Rihanna Friday offered Meteor #3112-B a healthy glimpse of the perfectly rounded size #32-B cup breasts that it will soon pulverize. In a plunging gown, barely held up by her own "asteroid belt," the SOS-rapping spitfire stopped traffic - and a food riot - during a ladylike stroll through soon-to-be-scorched Manhattan. Later, she flashed to the world, via Instagram, what could be its final shot of her baby-naked toosh. That's one high-impact beauty who see her future in the stars. Who knows? After examining Rihanna's cleavage, maybe the hammer of God will burn up with desire before it annihilates life on Earth. We sure would!


(SPECIAL TO PAGE SIX) "OMG! Just coughed up blood, gross!" voluptuous Kim Kardashian tweeted Friday, dazzling onlookers in spray-on leotards, a tank top and mile-high stilettos, while touring abandoned Hollywood pharmacies in search of leftover antibiotics. Along with super-stud boyfriend Kanye West, the toned and shapely reality TV temptress dutifully covered her nose and mouth - but little else - as she joined celebrity looters in emptying the shelves for undisclosed charities. A jubilant Kim emerged with an armful of laxatives and cough syrup, which she later sipped on the curb with bankrupt sideshow mega-siren Octomom, who is said to be dating her hospice attendant. "Got me a syrup fix, but threw it up, ugh!" Kim twittered later, adding a frowny face. Hey, to keep up with the Kardashians, this death plague better go viral.


(SPECIAL TO PAGE SIX) Even in her lurching, reanimated state, 20-year-old zombie superstar Miley Cyrus wowed a somewhat disoriented red carpet crowd Friday night, strutting her only-mildly disfigured frame for the annual "Yesterdays of Tomorrow" awards, where the ex-Disney star - now ex-life - was honored for her posthumous work in caring for homeless severed arms and legs. In a wound-revealing gown, the former Hannah Montana showed the zombarazzi how she stays fit - by continuous walking and avoiding human entrails. What's next? "Gahh," Miley said, with an eye-popping wink - literally - as she dragged a fractured-yet-shapely ankle along the pavement. Once again, Hollywood has found its "It Girl." And "it's alive!" Sort of. You gahh, girl!


(SPECIAL TO PAGE SIX) She's never getting back together - with anybody. Sweet and tender super-songbird Taylor Swift showed off spectacularly slender drumsticks Friday, as she led photographers on a picking tour of convenience store dumpsters, barely a guitar solo from Malibu. Staying rail thin not only maintains Taylor's angular form, but it's a major reason why the country singer hasn't been devoured by ravenous hordes. We suspect she's one homespun dish the cannibals would rather see in a tasseled skirt than fry pan. Friends say the Grammy-winning nightingale has sworn off relationships, since her last beau tried to chop off her left arm. Taylor is reportedly heading into the studio with a bellyful of song ideas - and canned food. No teardrops on this guitar, and no soy sauce, either!


(SPECIAL TO PAGE SIX) Forget the nuclear winter. It's the atomic hot stove league! Yankee hero Alex Rodriguez showed off a lesion-free complexion Friday, rising from his concrete bunker with his lady fave, ex-pro wrestling diva Torrie Wilson. Breathing bottled oxygen, the postcard-perfect pair autographed coffins and posed with fans for photographs and Geiger counter readings. "The hip feels great," A-Rod assured reporters. "I'll be back by September 15!" A-Rod said he'll miss the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry, now that Boston no longer exists, but the Blue Jays - with 15 confirmed survivors - look like a contender. The super-slugger nixed any notion that the world is ending: He has five years left on his Yankees contract. Plus, he's got another Torrie in his life. Clad in a lead-lined halter that revealed her own ample "fallout," the pinstriped princess glowed, not only with love - but radiation. Hey, she's survived an A-bomb... with A-Rod!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Good news from the dirt leagues, the Yankees may finally have found a smart way to spend their money

Today, we celebrate great breaking trivial molecular insider beisbol news in the Yankiverse:

This year, we will field a second Gulf Coast League team. We already have the Yankees. Now, will have Yankees 2... or Yankees B, or maybe the Yankee Trolly Frogs, I dunno. Name 'em and claim 'em. Doesn't matter. What matters is this:

We're finally using all those gobs of gold to get a leg up on the opposition.

This could be an advantage, long term. (Until the other billionaires prohibit it, because it cuts into their profits. The current fake-salary cap system forbids us to spend on free agents, because the owners only practice free-market capitalism when it lines their pockets. If it costs them money, they become pink-underwear commies.)

But this is a chance to spend our extra money on player development. An extra minor league team gives our youngest prospects get more innings and at bats. A few should move faster through the system, and a rare gem gets more of a chance to emerge from the slag heap. Best of all: When the Yankees 1 play the Yankees 2, we can't lose! Good grief, which team will I root for? (Normally, I'd be partial to Number 1, but those plucky Number 2s - damn, you gotta love them!)

Of course, the Gulf Coast is the dirt league, a notch above American Legion ball. And it's cheap. Probably the biggest expense is the uniforms. But last year, it seemed as though we had no place to give kids their first taste of pro experience. Some would sign early and still only get 40 at bats for the season. Now, maybe they get 150.

This means a potential advantage - because we freakin' need one. At the free agent level, we are Syria. Next year, we may lose Robbie Cano, because we're pushing for a $189 million payroll with $75 million tied to Jete, CC, A-Rod and Tex. Grandy is all but gone. And if Andy and Mo decide to stay, we'll end up putting uniforms on janitors.

This gives us a bigger intake, so we can pour more grist into the pipeline. The full-season Charleston team will now have two rosters from which to pull. It should be stocked to the gill with prospects.

This might not pay dividends for five years. But damn... at last, we're using our money for something beyond propaganda and lawyers. And you know, when the Yankees 1 play the Yankees 2, maybe I'll just root for a tie!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Scooter & White Broadcast a Rain Delay (1986)

Merry Christmas, everybody... with two Jolly Old Saint Nicks

Have a cool yule.

Iceberg ahead: Look at the Blue Jays lineup and tell me not to worry

Toronto fans - aka: the raidin' Canadi'ns - have had the kind of Christmas you'd expect of Suri Cruise: Two rich parents competing to buy you the best gifts. Eldon Bowl-a-Matic? Check. Robot Commando? Check. E-Z Bake Oven? Check. They not only got everything they wanted, they got the pony too.  They named it Melky.

Meanwhile, we gave gifts: Swisher to the homeless (Cleveland, apparently), Soriano to the fates (Boston, possibly) and A-Rod to his pro wrestler girlfriend through July. Under our tree, we found a giant bald iguana, and we named him Yuke.

Look at the Toronto lineup. LOOK, DAMMIT, DON'T TURN AWAY! You half-expect to see Winfield, Molitor and Tony Fernandez.

ss Jose Reyes (two years ago, won batting crown)
lf Anthony Gose (ascending)
rf Jose Batista (40 hr power)
dh Edwin Encarnacion (40 hr power)
cf Melky Cabrera (got juice? best cf in game!)
3b Brett Lowrie (ascending)
1b Adam Lind (30 hr power)
c JP Arencibia (20 hr power, ascending)
ss Macir Izturis  (ascending)

How do you say "Ouch" in Canadian? That leaves Colby Rasmus and Moises Sierra on the bench. Either could become a star. What's scariest is the rising talent. They are young: They'll heal after a home plate collision. They won't break an ankle stepping off the curb. Name an ascending player in our lineup. Brett Gardner? Maybe.

Now let us ponder the Toronto rotation.

RA Dickey (cy young, probably another 5 years)
Kyle Drabek (ascending)
Josh Johnson (coming back?)
Rickie Romero (solid)
Mark Buerhrle (solid)

Yeah, they have intangibles. Was Melky a juicer-Joe D? Is Johnson back? What about clubhouse chemistry? Hell, we can lob question marks at Santa. But in the name of Ivan Nova, tell me that lineup isn't for real.

We are challenging for the one-game wild card playoff. And if we look over our shoulders, we might just see Boston courting Soriano.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Final Holiday Thoughts

Hi there merry little reindeers....

I do really like the trend that Cashman is setting for the 2013 Yankees.

He has assembled the world's oldest, slowest, worst hitting team, and every win becomes a new record.  As the age-related injuries pile up, beginning in mid May, the Yanks will establish a new set of records for most player games lost to injury.  Inherent in this recoding of the record books will be the highest number of player hours lost to the DL in a single season.

Now we can add another little bump in the road;  with RA Dickey in the division at Toronto we can assume a minimum of two losses every time we play the Jays, home or away.  We never can hit a knuckleballer, especially one who won the Cy Young, and we also will lose the next day to a high heat pitcher, where we still are looking for jumping 60 mph floaters.  Throw in a rookie pitcher from anywhere, and it is three losses per series.

How many losses does that give us to start?

The Yankees' marketing folks need to start giving out age related bobble heads when it is promotion time.  Yankees with canes, walkers, and really thick glasses would be my first choice.  Or they could give out current roster racing sets where players are timed to first base;  any non-wind aided time below a full minute is the winner.

I really think it is possible that the entire scranton roster will be in pinstripes by mid-August  The only problem with that is the average age of our AAA team is 32-33, and there is not a prospect among them.

Next season, when we announce a re-building effort ( the Yankees always like to pretend we are legit contenders ), I say we begin rebuilding via weight gain.  That Williams person we hear so much about in centerfield only weighs 149 pounds at present.  He could easily be 152 with another full year in A ball.

As for current veterans, we have already seen Derek's leadership in the weight gain effort, and I would like to see Tex blossom up to an even .300, just for something different.

I think we win 40-50 games next season.

And I am not watching until Puke ( currently the youngest, but not the lightest, Yankee ) is on the DL.

I would rather have 25 Ed Whitsons than one Youkilis.  I would rather have bird flu.

The next Yankee: Dice-K!

OK, I know what you're thinking: Dice-K? WTF? Duke, enough! ENOUGH! Thou hath goneth too far! Thou art the speakereth of blaspheme! In the name of God, thou shalt be smote, and thy serpent tongue shalt be cut out and hung for the treasonous she-lizard that it hath become!

All right. Purge. Get it out of your system. We're making progress. (Especially that she-lizard part.) Just remember one thing, one thing: Pitching, pitching, pitching. There's a free agent out there with a high ceiling (relatively), low expectations and a raging salted pickle in his keister about Boston, and he might take a one-year deal to prove to the Gammonite world he's not done, or that he was never Hideki Irabu.

Why not sign Daisuke Matsuzaka? Because he's a dirty filthy Redsock. (Listen... friend... I don't know how to say this, but that ship frickin sailed.) Because he's a crapola starter? Yeah, OK. And does the name "Ivan Nova" mean anything? Think this: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen. Get it? Bullpen. Remember Irabu's final MLB incarnation? Bullpen. Remember Jose Contreras? Bullpen. Yeah, if Dice-K flops as a starter... oo-oo, Jumpin' Jehozaphat! I got an idea... Bullpen!

Listen, he'll be only 32. On our team, that's jail bait. In the last two years, yeah, he has been horrible. Never pitched more than 45 innings. But at least he's not a Pedro Feliciano - who pitched his arm out for the Mets, before we signed him.  Dice K was hammered so badly last year that he is eligible to be considered Cashman Scrapheap Metal.

They say he wants to pitch in San Diego. Why? Nobody knows. Frankly, I think he just looked at a map of the U.S. and said, I want to go to the place farthest from Boston.

But San Diego is not that place. No sir. The Yankees are.

Why not roll the dice. (Ha. Get it?) Remember: Pitching, pitching, pitching, PITCHING. And frankly, we never have too many desperate former Redsocks. The guy once had talent. He clubbed with Affleck dallied with the Kennedys, dropped the puck for the Bruins. Now, he represents the human embodiment of Boston's failure as an evolutionary species. If he pitches well in NYC, those Redsock fans will be leaping into the harbor. He'd be our greatest in-your-face acquisition since Sparky Lyle.  See ya later, Danny Cater.

I say, offer the guy a one-year chunk of golden cleavage. We've got the scootch.  What's the downside? If he stinks, he's Capt. Matsuzaka of the Scranton Railriders! If he pitches well, he salvages his career. And he can stick to those Redsock blogs.

Hey, I know what you're thinking: Ivan frickin' Nova? Make it stop! Please, she-lizard, make it stop. We're making progress.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Letter to the Editor: "Even the Yankees..."

Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2012

Dear Editors,

May I gently suggest to Dodgers fans and Times columnists reveling in the certainty of a World Series in 2013 that history teaches otherwise?

Throwing obscene amounts of money at athletes does not guarantee success. Plenty of teams have tried it and failed. Even the Yankees.

The real deal with such apparently insane bingeing is not about the Series but about the reported $6-billion TV contract coming. And guess who is going to pay for it? The fans, of course. If you thought cable TV was astronomically priced, just wait until you have to pay your share of this bubble.

Ray Mungo
Signal Hill

In an alternative universe, Brandon Weeden signed with the Yankees years ago

And today, the Giants don't need him to beat Washington.

Thus, if the Browns beat the Redskins, through an incredible loophole of irony, New York fans will have benefited from Weeden's choice not to go to NY.

Leaving us all to wonder:

In that alternative universe where Drew Henson said no to George, what team does Derek Jeter now play for? And is Justin Bieber a girl?

Vernon Wells? No.... NO... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOugh... (swallow)... No.

Supposedly, the Anaheim Disneys - having bought the AL West and replaced the Steinbrothers as Old George's true spiritual heir - want to put Vernon Wells in a crate, poke a breathing hole into the top and put in some lettuce, and ship him to NYC on the Amazon book rate. In return, they'll accept a card that gets them a free fried clams plate at Denny's.

It's one thing to be neutered by Hal and Hank's lust for gold. Must we also now serve as Mickey and Minnie Mouse's dumpster?
Last year, Vernon Wells hit .230 with 13 HRs and on on-base percentage shy of Betty White. That's Anduw Jones, after he's been left in a microwave. Why would we want another Andruw Jones? Because Wells is "feared?" I'll tell you who fears him: Yankee fans fear him. 

I've called for a Chris Dickerson rule on all acquisitions via the Antiques Road Show.  It's simple: We ask, what would Chris Dickerson do? Would this guy do better?(Frankly, I'm not sold on Ichiro for two-years, but whadda I know? I'm a blooging blogger.) Of course, in this case, Dickerson bats LH, and Wells RH, so it's sort of moot. Wells would team with Raul Ibanez -- a two-man elderly DH platoon - once again stripping Girardi of late innings options and guaranteeing that Robbie Cano plays every inning.

Good grief, can't we beat a declining .230 hitter? Jason Nix can hit .230, and he's a utility infield glove. Eduardo Nunez? Ronnier Mustelier? Billy Crystal? Anybody?

Well, if we sign Vernon Wells, forget them all. No matter how bad he looks in spring training, he's our man. We'll be invested in him. He'll hit a HR every three weeks, revving speculation that he's ready to break out... but by the end of the year, there it will be: .225 with 13 HRs and a well rehearsed stroll back to the dugout, shaking his head, following his 110 whiffs, while the Yankee propaganda team hawks the upcoming home series against Seattle.

Dear God, it took a year to realize the mistake known as Andruw Jones.

Did we learn from it?

Letter to the Editor: Boston reacts to Yank Youk

The Boston Herald
December 14, 2012

Dear Editors,

Kevin Youkilis played hard for the Red Sox and in his brief tenure with the Chicago White Sox ('Youkilis agrees to join Yankees,' Dec. 12). He unfortunately had to deal with the crazy verbal behavior of Bobby Valentine (whom I think most of us are glad to see gone), who not only trashed Youkilis but also David Ortiz. 

I am sorry Youkilis went to the Yankees, but am glad that he wound up as an active player. Just think what he could have done as a Red Sox again as a backup third baseman and at first if Mike Napoli does not join the Sox or doesn't work out.

Jacob Romo
N. Reading

Did Mickey Mantle Make The Rules For Baseball?

Answer at 1:34, but WATCH THE WHOLE THING. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Christmas poem from Crazy Yankee Chick

Where has she been all my life?

'Twas a night in the offseason, and all through the land,
Not a creature was sitting in the stadium stands.
The stirrups still hang by the lockers with care,
In the hopes that opening day soon would be there.

Cashman was nestled by hot stove (still heating),
While visions on the Post showed Jeter (still eating).
And Mo in his rehab, and Arod’s aging bones,
Make the upcoming season a cistern of unknowns.

When out in cyberspace there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from football mode to see what was the matter,
Away to the internet I flew like a banshee,
Opened up Firefox and googled “new Yankees.”

The mood on the blogs of the new-written posts,
Was resignation at best and murderous at most.
What to my wondering eyes came upon,
Was news of acquiring Beezlebub’s spawn.

An old Boston fielder, so much of a d*ck,
I knew in a moment this must be a trick.
More preternatural than picklebacks, this must be a fluke.
Now joining the Yankees is none other than Youk.

“Now Andy! Now Pineda! Now D-Rob and CC!
On, Texeira! On Cano! On Gardner and Cervelli!
To the top of division, to the top of the east,
You’ll have to make nice with this ex-Red Sux beast.”

As stomachs that turn before taking the stage,
I felt sick and uneasy, and somewhat enraged.
His bellicose stance compares to rhinos when mating,
Or Soda Popinkski-- it all compounds my hating.

And then in a twinkling, I read on the twitter,
The hemming and hawing over our new 3B hitter.
As I drew in my breath, and was taking it in,
I tried to envision when baseball begins:

Youk’s all dressed in pinstripes, from head to his foot.
And his helmet’s all tarnished, with pinetar and soot.
Wagging his bat, parallel to the dirt,
Like some roided up yoga he’s trying to exert.

His eyes—so depraved! His hair—doesn't exist!
His goatee is like dead moss, his brow—homo habilis.
His skull cap of a head is puffed up like toadstool,
And the beard of his chin makes him all the more a fool.

The wad of his dip once held tight in his cheek,
Distended his jaw and made him look like a freak.
He has a broad frame, and was called “roly poly,”
And laughs like the Pinnochio villain, Stromboli.

He’s not a Greek god, he’s not even Greek,
He’s just a Moneyball prototype, who’s already peaked.
A high and in fastball will cause him to riot,
And not all the tea in China could keep his a** quiet.

I’ll speak not a word when he first dons the stripes,
When opening against Boston (hashtag media hype).
And raising his finger may work in Fenway,
But you’re a Yankee now, b*tch. So shut up and play.

He sprung at the deal, to the Sox said adieu,
Now we wait out the winter, for the season anew.
But hear me exclaim, ‘fore I cap off this prate:
“Happy Holidays to all, and to Youk: pull your weight!”

Consider this: If the Yankees win next year, the Steinbrothers are screwed

A grand old trope of sports movies is the scheming, evil owner who secretly wants his/her team to lose. That's what makes the Cleveland Indians appealing in Major League. It's the real deal behind Paul Newman's sorry team in Slap Shot (greatest sports movie of all time, FWIW).

Add the 2013 Yankees to this list. With so many one-and-done contracts, the Steinboys are basically betting that the team falls short of the World Series, so they can press REBOOT next winter and save money.  Close your eyes and imagine the scenarios 12 months from now, when the brass intends to chuck out people like bails of hay in a barn fire.

What if the Yankees are coming off a 2013 World Championship? Well, considering the owners' goal of achieving a $189 million payroll, we would become, in essence, the Florida Marlins of 1997. (Remember how they sent Sheffield, Leiter & company packing? Remember how they dismantled everything - because they didn't have fan support. And remember, of course, how they blamed the Yankees for driving up salaries?)

Imagine next winter after a Yankee championship: Andy Pettitte - after another solid year - is angling to return in 2014. But the owners don't want him. Same with Mariano. If either - or both - pitchers decide to return, the $189 million payroll goes out the window.

If Kuroda gets a ring with the Yankees, won't he want to stay? And Cano... would the Yankees let our best player walk out the door, especially after the team just rode down the Canyon of Heroes? And then there's the Youk... half-Yankee now, but what if he is a World Series MVP? (Actually, we've been there before, haven't we? Like father, like sons...?)

Clearly, the Steinbrothers secret favorite outcome -- even if one side of their brains roots for the team -- is to almost win. If they finish close - but out of the running - August and September can offer a "Farewell Tour" of struggling Yankee greats, like watching The Who, putting boomer fannies in the seats. With the expanded playoff system, even a .500 team can chase that last wild card berth into early September. Then, poof.

Even if we completely collapse in May/June, they can run with the hope that A-Rod and Pineda - the cavalry - will soon arrive. That should float YES ratings into August. In September, they can trot out the kids - Jesus Sanchez and Brackman Betances - and keep the faithful watching.

But if the Yankees win... uh oh: Hal and Hank are totally screwed.

In other words, folks, be afraid. Be very afraid. In the movies, the team always rallies and wins. This ain't Hollywood. That's the land of Joshes. We're the city of the Youks.

We are designed to finish third.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ichiro is safe and secure

In historic phone call, Joba extends healing hand of friendship to Youk

Joba Chamberlain phoned the Youk - (from now on, to separate him from his previous incarnation, I'm calling upon the Yankiverse to refer to him as "the Youk) - to talk about old beanings and misunderstandings. When they finally meet, I hope a camera crew from the YES News Network will be there to document it.  And I hope the two players are willing to have some fun.

Joba could swipe his hand below the Youk's impressive second chin, as a gesture of the "music" that once played there. In turn, the Youk could flip an imaginary bat toward pitcher's mound and offer a fake staredown.

Joba could then pretend to be angry at the Youk, and make a motion suggesting that his new lockermate STFU and go to firstbase like the fat slug that he is (jokingly, of course.) Playing along, the exuberant Youk would take a menacing step in Joba's direction and thump his chest, gorilla-like, totally messing with reporters' heads. 

The two could step nose-to-nose and - as The Master would say, "belly to belly" - and, hopefully they could pull this off without breaking up, throw a couple fake punches. The Youk would have a blood capsule in his mouth. Joba could keep one his nose, or just cut his forehead with a hidden razor, the way pro wrestlers do.

They could roll around on the floor, while people plead for them to stop. But they wouldn't stop. They would be having too much fun.

They could stop when both yelped together in pain. The Youk would hold his knee, and Joba would clutch his shoulder. The Youk would then announce, through his agent, that he'll be out until the all-star break. Joba could have fake surgery and miss the season. 

By the way, has this practical joke been done to us in the past?

Mr. Chairman... For designated hitter, I hereby nominate Ronnier Mustelier

Right now, way I seez it, here is the 2013 opening day Yankee batting order:

DH to be named


We can debate whether Ichiro or Gardner should lead off.  Hopefully, one hits during the spring and makes the question moot.

So... the issue: Who is our DH - particularly our RH man, because we're weak as cooked spaghetti from that side. There's talk of Scott Hairston - and I'm all for signing people -- but considering our starvation diet, I'd hate to think we give Hairston the two-year contract that we refused Russell Martin. Unless Grandy delivers in a deal, we're stuck with the Andruw Joneses and Raul Ibanezes of the world.

As the Master says, Raul is cool. If he accepts a one-year, I don't see how we can say no, from a public relations standpoint. If he wants two, well, I would have to invoke the Russell Martin rule, (See above.)

Which leaves us with the RH. Folks, I have talked about Ronnier Mustelier in the past. Last year, when the Traveling Wilkes Barres came to Syracuse, he was the only position guy in the lineup I wanted to see. In my two games of watching, he never showed a bad at-bat.

Listen: He's 28. On the Yankees, that's jailbait. They signed him out of Cuba two summers ago. He vaulted through the system, Alfredo Aceves-style. If he hadn't tweaked a gonad last August, he might have gotten a cup of coffee in the Bronx.

He's hit everywhere he's played. At Trenton last year, he was murdering the league - .353 in 25 games, with a home run streak just starting - when they promoted him. He went to Scranton, batted .303 with 10 HRs in 89 games. (Batting averages last year in the IL were not that high, so .303 is pretty good, and 89 games is enough of a sample to negate being once around the league.) He's now hitting well in winter ball.

He was signed as an infielder, but he's got a Luis Sojo body, and he plays OF. He could probably fill in at 3B in a pinch. Are we going to send him back to Scranton, Cervelli-style?

Of course, if he craps the bed in spring training, none of this matters. But in a time of self-inflicted austerity, when we're walking on thin ice at catcher, why not take a cheap gamble at DH? I just would hate to see another Andruw Jones in our lineup: A guy too expensive to bench, who homers every two weeks, making us think he's finally turning the corner, but he never does. Last August and September, Andruw Jones absolutely killed us. This year, he's in Japan.

This year, let's not sign someone and award him a spot. Let's put the position up for grabs, because I think Mustellier has deserved a crack at it.

Listen: What do I know about hitting and DHs? Nothing. I'm a fan. But I do know this: If you keep churning has-beens and rewarding them for what they did on other teams, five and 10 years ago, you get nowhere.

Last year, we got nowhere. I proudly nominate Ronnie.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In historic Sandy concert NYC foreshadows Yankee 2013 lineup with collection of aging stars

(L to R): Mark Teixiera, Randy Levine, Derek Jeter, Suzyn Waldman and Andruw Jones (wearing funny hat) covered the Beatles' hit "When I'm 64"

Alex Rodriguez brought down the house when he vowed to play 70 games.

Curtis Granderson wore a shirt he said was given to him during his recent tour of Tunesia.

Nick Swisher returned to again apologize for complaining about the boos he received in his final Yankee Stadium appearance.

And newcomer Kevin Youkilis stunned the crowd with his heartfelt rendition of "New York State of Mind."