Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman Frequents the Red Light District

Try walking across Flatbush (Brooklyn) at 3:30 in the morning-- without protection. I dare you. It'd be like walking through Patpong, Bangkok (an ORIGINAL RED LIGHT DISTRICT)-- without... well... protection. Either way, you're liable to come to the following morning with an empty wallet and a few inexplicable bumps.
So if the hearsay about either scenario is true (I swear it's hearsay), both entirely hypothetical situations are pretty damn dangerous.
Apparently, New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has spent some time spelunking Thailand's red light district (or getting roughed up in Flatbush) because the addition of former Los Angeles Angel Mark Teixeira makes the previously defunct Yankee lineup more dangerous than a sword fight with Lorene Bobbit. And more expensive then a night with her freaky twin sister.
That's right-- the 28-year-old Teixeira is packing his bags for the Bronx and Pin Stripe fans are already anticipating a return to the Fall Classic (all courtesy of a $180 million flight). The Yanks can only hope, however, that Teixeira didn't have to check his BIG BAT (one that the Count himself couldn't even stack up against-- sorry, that one was too easy) at LAX. After all, even Big League Chew is a code orange commodity these days.
If he did somehow manage to sneak his lumber past security, the new Yankee Stadium will be greeted with more long balls than a certain Curb Your Enthusiasm episode (I hope Brian Giovinazzi won't be the only one to catch this reference).
Along with a stellar defensive reputation, the former Angel is lugging with him a 2008 .303 batting average, 33 home runs, 121 runs batted in, a .552 slugging percentage (.200 points higher than the league average) and a big-situation ability that the Yankees have been in desperate need of.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the bright lights of Broadway will cramp the new Yankee's style (see Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, or Chuck Knoblauch. Even Alex Rodriguez has fallen victim to some pretty dismal slumps in the Bronx). New York seems to have a way of getting to athletes the way few other cities can (unless, of course, you're former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller).
IF Teixeira can manage to grace Yankee Manager Joe Girardi with the bat that the Steinbrenners bargained for, the New York lineup suddenly seems dangerous again. That is, of course, IF Captain Derek Jeter can wake up after an uncharacteristically poor 2008 campaign, A-Rod doesn't move to Argentina with Evita-- I mean, Madonna, Jorge Posada returns to old form, and Xavier Nady can replicate last season's success. As Yankee fans know all to well, however, all of those are MAJOR IFs. Perhaps only time will tell.The 100 RBIs that free agent Bobby Abreu (one of last year's few bright spots) will be exporting from New York won't help, but a revamped lineup might be the only remedy.
One thing is for sure though-- IF Teixeira DOES come through with the bat that he carried with him for most of the 2008 season, Pin Stripe fans can expect a playoff berth. The slugger's ability to hit from both sides of the plate makes him a threat at any spot in the lineup and his prowess from above the pitch count make him a nightmare match-up for opposing pitchers. Throw him behind A-Rod and the Bronx will be burning once again this summer (hopefully just not the way Cashman was after his trip to Thailand).
So yes, the addition of Teixeira makes the Yankees more dangerous than a protection-less trip to Flatbush (or Thailand). Cashman has spent more this past summer than Eliot Spitzer did in one year as governor (including money spent on his own prostitution escapades).
CC Sabathia's $161 million contract, A.J. Burnett's $82.5 million and Teixeira's $180 million make this summer the richest in New York sports history, but will the Bombers see the benefits? The addition of Teixeira certainly fills one major need for the previously hapless Yankee offense. What do you think New York?
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