Friday, January 9, 2009

The Dawn Of A New Eira

I know it’s been a while, and I’m sorry. But let me assure you that the theoretical move to SNY.tv is happening within the month-ish, at which point I will be updating my situation multiple times daily.

But in the meantime, while you may not be able to count on regular updates at YSCC, it’s nice to know that there are still some things in life you can depend on. Like, for example, MLB beat writer Bryan Hoch. There’s just something comforting about the fact that whenever there’s a basic piece of Yankees-related information to be communicated, you know that somehow Hoch is going to find the craziest possible way imaginable to communicate it.

There was my personal favorite—the time that he accidentally phrased a sentence to make it sound like there was a statistic for water and oxygen. (What he had really meant to do was use water and oxygen as part of a stupid analogy.)

There was also the time he described the speech that Jeter made to close down the Cathedral as “a moment stripped from cinema.”

Oh, and that time he said, “If Robinson Cano was given a do-over, he might have attacked Saturday's seventh-inning grounder differently. But the Yankees second baseman has no intention of changing the way he plays.” Hard to wrap your brain around, right? It’s like, does Cano want the do-over or would he not change a thing?

But that’s what I love about Hoch. He makes you think.

More than that, though, Hoch is what you’d call reliable. Reliably confusing. And in a recent expression of this confusing reliability, he wrote, “Securing back pages on snowy street corners means little for the regular season—a fact the Yankees know all too well.”

Now, I can’t confirm the veracity of this statement because the “fact” in question—the one about the back pages and snowy street corners—would have to make sense in order for it to be verifiable. (Seriously, I read this sentence twenty times before finally picking up Finnegan’s Wake because my brain hurt and I wanted to look at something that would be easier to digest.) So, if the Yankees are indeed familiar with this “fact,” then hats off to them for speaking, uh, Hochonese. A language so difficult that, like Arabic, the members of the U.S. Intelligence Community are still trying to master it.

As a result of this language gap, I couldn’t tell you for sure what Hoch’s piece was about. However, based on the headline and a few other tidbits that I managed to piece together, I think I got the idea. The gist of it was that, apparently, as it turns out, money was not the deciding factor for Teixeira in his decision to come to New York. It was family. Damn. Cashman’s gotta feel like kind of an asshole for having offered such stupid salaries to two of the only players alive who didn’t actually give a crapelbon about the money. (Remember? For CC it wasn’t a business decision either.)

According to Hoch, Teixeira brought the issue to the table when he “dined with his wife, Leigh, over their regular date.” (Don’t ask.) Apparently Teixeira asked her where she thought he should play, assuming all the offers were equal. I’m sorry, but that’s like asking your broker what stocks to buy assuming all stock values were equal. I mean, it’s nice to fake decide who you’d fake save on some fake boat if you only had two fake life preservers or whatever, but truth bomb; the only thing more pointless than a hypothetical is a wish for a do-over. (All truth bombs courtesy of Tim McCarver—obviously.)

Recently, one of my readers gave me a hard time for my criticism of Sabathia. Among other things, he said that I should know by now that it’s always about the money. And you know what? Point taken. But it’s not so much that I don’t get that it’s all about the money or think there’s some universe that exists where it ever could be about anything other than the money. (Not that that wouldn’t be nice.) It’s more that it would be refreshing to just hear these guys say unequivocally, “Hell yeah, this was a business decision. Because it’s all about the money.”

A.J. Burnett actually did say that—more or less—when he went on the Mike Francesa Show. Sure, he made a point of saying how excited he was to play for the Yanks and to be in pinstripes and all that other stuff, but he was honest about his bottom line. And you know what? Much respect. I know these guys think that they sound less like jerks when they pretend that there are other factors that go into making these decisions, but they actually sound less like jerks when they don’t treat us like idiots.

This is not to say that I have a real beef with Teixeira. My impression of him is that he's actually a pretty good dude. Plus, at the end of the day, if it was gonna be Manny or Teixeira—and it was gonna be Manny or Teixeira—well, you know the end of that sentence unless you literally just landed on earth, have never spoken with me, and started reading my blog right this second. OK. I guess there are other scenarios in which you might have never spoken to me or read my blog until now. That was crazy. Consider yourself Hoched. But you get the point.

Another reason that I have for getting behind the Teixeira acquisition is that this insane expenditure of money means that we’re not going to go after anymore pitchers, Pettitte included if he continues to hold out for a bigger offer. What does that mean? Our young guys get to duke it out for the number five spot. And who was it who suggested that that’s what we should be doing with our number five spot? Oh, right. That was me.

As for talent, I mean, obviously. A gold glove caliber, switch-hitting first baseman who hits for power and drives in a lot of runs? Not exactly the kind of guy you kick out of your lineup. Did we pay a kind of obscene amount of money to acquire him? Of course. Did we, in fact, probably overpay for him? Yeah, sure. Do I think it’s like kind of unreasonable and out of control that there’s such a disparity between our payroll and, say, the Marlins’? Yeah, definitely. And someone needs to regulate that situation. And I won’t lie and say I don’t feel at all sheepish about the fact that we waltzed our way into and out of the offseason with the three most coveted players on the market—just because we can. But that doesn’t mean I’m sad to have him. And, seriously, who could be? (I mean, other than Nady and Swisher. But that’s another story.)

I have but one grievance.

Um. Teixeira? Really? What in the what is going on with that insanity? I mean this isn’t even a case of a spelling that doesn’t match its pronunciation. It’s about a spelling with no pronunciation that makes sense. Like, if your last name’s Teixeira, you might as well do what Prince used to do and just use a symbol for your name.

Oh, and P.S. sports fans, Tex is not the correct nickname for a guy who pronounces his name “Tesherra” But I guess Tesh would also be a pretty demented nickname, so I don’t know where you go from here. I mean, call me crazy, and I know it’s a little on the dull side, but…Mark?

Has a certain ring to it.

1 comment:

C-3P0 said...

Quick sidebar on Texeira's name: the name is Portuguese and comes from his great-grandfather (I believe), who was from British Guiana aka Guyana. That would make "Tex" one of my peoples!!!