Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big Pimpin' Baseball in the Bronx

The leaves, they are a-changin’ and the clocks have moved backward. Yep, it’s that time of year again in turkey land (no, not the Mid Eastern nation sandwiched between Greece and Syria known primarily for its rich exportation of olives and livestock). It’s Thanksgiving—time to be grateful for all the year’s blessings while dining on a smorgous board of pumpkin-spiced, cranberry-gelled, tryptophan-packed dishes.
On Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the eclectic group of relatives that is family—the sweet old grandma who keeps confusing you with Mr. Bookman of Good Times, the overtly friendly cousin who isn't safe to be left alone at the kids' table and the gay uncle who seems to have a new "friend" every November.
Then, of course, there's the deep-pocketed, quick-to-spoil you uncle who sneaks you cash and candy every time mom turns around to baste the turkey. Without hesitation, that's the uncle who bought you Grand Theft Auto when your parents deemed it unfit, and he's the guy who bought you a new bike every time a tire needed pumping.
For the New York Yankees, that man is Uncle George (or more recently, perhaps Uncle Hank). Not the gay uncle that is, but the rich one (although he does have quite the collection of festive summer cabana wear). Every off-season, it appears that Uncle Steinbrenner has a new toy for Brian Cashman and company to play with. This year appears to be no different.
So let the games begin...
Like the token drunk at the local bar, the Steinbrenners throw money around with zero inhibition. Only one shot of Jamo is drunk talk for a CC Sabathia offer that exceeds Johan Santana's previous record of $137.5 million for 6 years-- quite the bar tab (apparently the Yankees held out on Santana because their days of big money pimping were "over"-- really?), and perhaps Nick Swisher, previously of the Chicago White Sox, was the result of some late-night (or off-season) beer goggles. Only Yankee fans won't have to roll over to see what they're stuck with until mid-July rolls around and he's in the midst of a 4-42 slump at the plate-- that's a $3,600,000 shot of Jamo (must have been a city bar).
At this juncture, it has become increasingly clear that Jay-Z and Hank Steinbrenner have so much in common that if things don’t work out with Beyonce, the two of them will probably find compatibility on E Harmony (“Big Pimpin…spendin’ G’s, we be… big pimpin’ in B L A D’s, we be big pimpin down in P A T, it’s just that Jigga Man, Pimp C and B U N B”).

Enough rambling. Here are the facts:
Last February, two-time Cy Young award winner Johan Santana signed with the New York Mets for $137.5 dollars in six years.
The Yankees passed for reasons stated by General Manager, Brian Cashman, that involved a commitment to players like Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and other up-and-coming youngsters.
Less than one year later, however, the Yankees have given Swisher the reported $3,600,000 to play first base (a position that Wilson Betemit, who hit 265 in 2008, was more than capable of playing for half the price).
Of course, with 20-game winner Mike Mussina recently announcing his retirement, the Pinstripes have been hard-pressed to find a pitcher or two that can fill his spot in the rotation. Clearly, the Yankees believe CC Sabathia or more recently, 32-year-old A.J. Burnett, to be the answer.
After a week-long span in which the Bombers offered $135.5 million to Sabathia and a reported $80 to Burnett, Yankee fans are wondering if one playoff race spent boozing in the Caribbean was all it took for Cashman to revert to his old philosophy of Big Pimp Baseball.
What do you think of the recent moves Yankee fans?

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