Tagged: Cliff Lee

Playing Poker with The Core Four: Jeter, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera

I’ll see your bet and raise you something that matters.

casino_chips.jpgAs we patiently await the offers, counter-offers, re-offers and lack of offers to and from key “Yankees” players Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, who are floating around in the purgatory of the baseball space-time continuum, and the probable retirement of Jorge Posada after the 2011 season, we are brought to a few basic points of life:

  1. Be thankful for what you have.


  2. Never assume anything.

(Remember what Felix Unger said on that topic?)




  3. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.


  4. Appreciate those around you. They are the ones who will save your a-$-$ some day.

  5. You can’t fully appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

It pains me to see the Yankees organization snub it’s nose at its leader. Yes, Derek Jeter had a not so stellar season as opposed to previous years, but he did manage to earn a Golden Glove Award.  Yes, as we all do every day, he has aged since his rookie debut.

However, that should not be used as ammo against his past accomplishments – which far outweigh the bummer moments – and his future record breaking 3000 hits record to come. It would be a real downer to see him hit that almighty stat donned as anything other than a Yankee. There are plenty of players who would give their left arm to have a golden right arm as good as his and stats as “bad.” Both Brian Cashman and the new generation of H.H. Steinbrenner & Co. could learn a thing or two from this seemingly humble servant who has done everything to set an example for all athletes to follow.

Pitcher Andy Pettitte has yet to come to a decision as far as weathering out another year with the team in New York vs. returning to his home state of Texas. Plagued by a secret back injury in the post-season, Pettitte would seem to be the biggest gamble for the Yanks if he doesn’t fully heal from his 2010 traumas. Despite the rather unsavory odds, they have left the welcome mat out for him…at least until they slam the door shut when the pesos runs out.

Lastly, as far as the old hotstove is concerned, I find it odd that any pitcher should be offered more than NYY’s expert closer Mariano Rivera, let alone double the amount. Yes, he is older and toward the end of his career compared to a much younger starter Cliff Lee. Like watching Jeter’s ballet-like throws from short stop, witnessing Mo put the batters asleep is a thing of beauty.  Any opponent would find having The Sandman on their roster a dream come true. It’s really quite sad that the core Yanks who have held the team together all these years are offered less money for their experience than acquisitions. Not much of a reward for their dedication.

Then again, they are making millions of dollars a year. Kind of hard to feel sorry for them from that perspective. We should all be so lucky.


Afterall, how much money can you get before it really doesn’t matter anymore? Seriously, somebody please tell me at what point the money becomes insignificant, and no longer outweighs the truly important things in life such as family, friends, non-work goals and dreams, and morals?  The way I see it, most big ticket professional athletes could coast through life on $1M per year for the remainder of their existence on this planet (the one the rest of us call earth) and still have plenty left over for their heirs and favorite charities to get by on.

Which brings me to fellow pinstriped compatriot Jorge Posada who has stood guard over Yankees home plate as if it was his own island territory, blocking runners from ever stepping a toe on his little piece of real estate. Yes, he, too is aging. Aren’t we all?

Before you call the game on him, consider the fact that while busy fending off Yankees opponents, behind the scenes, Jorge and wife Laura were quietly involved in young son Jorge’s life-threatening battle with craniosynostosis, a rare disorder that most of us can’t even pronounce, let alone spell or hope to understand. 


Witness The Jorge Posada Foundation http://jorgeposadafoundation.org.  I’d say they deserve at least a few “Hip! Hip! Jorge!”s and some generous tee shirt sales to boot on behalf of their charity.

Rest assured, the Steinbrenner’s money will be well spent should they choose to contribute to Posada’s coffers one more time.

My final word on the subject is:


definition:  com•pro•mise  n.  1 a settlement in which each side gives up some demands or makes concessions

If this is not done in a timely manner, it could lead to:

definition:  com•pro•mise  n.  2 a) exposure, as of ones reputation, to danger suspicion or disrepute  b) a weakening of one’s principles

Compromise seems to go against human nature.

Lack of it is the reason why spouses divorce,

why parents and children don’t get along,

and why wars are waged.

Giving in to other’s wants is one of the most difficult things for any human being to do. It involves sacrificing something of oneself. To be successful in the process, it is important not loose sight of the goal at hand.

In the case of the Yankees Management vs. The Core Four, that means keeping the family together in a dignified light, regardless as to who is waiting backstage as an eager understudy. Good things come to those who wait. The next string of superstars will get their day when the time is right and they are called upon in a time of need.

It is important for each side to to avoid mud-slinging. It only results in a hungry psychologist’s dream of hurt feelings and offended parties, which ultimately leads to pride and ego getting in the way of what each side really wants:


So, please boys, play nicely. Make it a “do over.” Start all over from home plate, run joyfully across the wide-open green field, over the pitcher’s mound, meet each other somewhere down the middle (shortstop would be ideal), and give each other a big group hug. You know you want to.

Then tell each other how happy you are to be together as one big family – The New York Yankees 27 times World Champions! No other team can claim that!

Then, you will live your dreams together as you are destined to.


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The Hotstove Trump Card

HAH!  Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Hah! The heat! It all boils down to the heat!
The one single variable no human being can control no matter what.
Something as basic as the temperature. [snicker]



That’s right, last week Cliff Lee informed the Texas Rangers that he isn’t sure if he can handle the heat. No, he wasn’t referring to the flash of a hundred cameras lighting up his face at a press conference. He was talking about the weather. Yessiree, the searing Texas heat that holds the power to bake a cow pie into something resembling a fine piece of Lenox china, fry an egg on a sidewalk, and melt the soles of your shoes faster than you can say “rubber baby buggy bumpers.”

Despite having admitted to being perfectly happy together “deep in the heart,” the Lees are entertaining offers to relocate to cooler climates. One possibility is New York, New York. If Cliff could ask Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin they would all tell him, “It’s a wonderful town.”




In actuality, New York can be frighteningly frigid in the Spring,
horribly humid in the Summer and only a little cooler than Texas, but
enough to make a survivable difference when compared to 105ºF day after day.

When given the choice, I’ll take my cold, frozen ice cream in a mini
Yankees helmet over a Rangers
soup bowl meltdown hands down on any hot summer

Not unlike other Texans of Yankees history, it would seem Cliff Lee may be willing to trade grilled cheese sandwiches seared on the hood of his car for being grilled by the searing lights of the New York press.  It’s not like he would be a lone star.  He already has some friends in New York who he can dodge the cameras with while out on the town.

That’s fine with me. Now, would I rather have a good pitcher or a good pitcher of _________? You fill in the blank. I’ve already made up my mind. The question still remains…When will Lee make up his?


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An Open Apology to Mrs. Cliff Lee, et al.

(and a Stern Warning to All Morons)

Before I get to the apology, I find it necessary to attend to this first:

First Order of Business

Dear Yankees Lunkheads (you know who you are),

Ok, you moronic idiots, now you’ve done it! Reality check…You are not big fans. You are big fannies!  That’s right, jackasses!  Thanks to your stupidity, a prospective Yankee player may not care to come to The Big Apple because you wormy maggots had to act like the pathetic drunks that you obviously must be and yell obscenities, throw beer, and spit…yes.SPIT! (ewwww!)…on the lovely wife of one of baseball’s most gifted pitchers, Cliff Lee. Instead of sitting back in your seats like good little children to enjoy watching one of baseball’s living legends, YOU decided to take it upon YOURSELVES to embarrass the good citizens of New York, whose proper behavior you should have been emulating.

Let’s get one thing straight. It is NOT cool, NOR is it accepted behavior to act like obnoxious buffoons in public. What you do on your own time is your business and, probably, no one wants to know about it, judging by your recent display of stupidity. Don’t ever assume that the we Yankee fans back you up. We don’t. You deserve to be embarrassed for your heinous acts. Shame on you, you, you big bullies!

How would you like it if you traveled cross-country to watch your family member perform in front of a national audience, only to be greeted by pompous jerks who called you names and tossed stuff at you in front of millions of viewers and in front of your kids? I’ll bet you wouldn’t like it too much. Better yet, what if your sons and daughters acted out like that? How proud would you be? My guess is, about as proud as your own mothers and fathers are of you right now.

Even a young kid is wiser than you. You could learn a lot from this eloquent young man Grayson Chance:


As for Mrs. Kristen Lee, the woman responsible for keeping her talented husband on track and holding down the fort while he throws strike after strike, day after grueling day, and all of the Rangers’ families who endured the same cruel treatment…

Dear Mrs. Lee,

On behalf of all NY Yankees fans, please accept our most sincere apologies. You did not deserve to be a victim of such cruel taunting by a few rotten eggs. That is not the way we choose to treat our guests. That was most rude of them and we will not tolerate it. Those unrefined Cro-Magnon men do not represent us. They are despicable, rude pigs who deserve to be fed gruel vs. liquid yeast and roll in their own horrid words. The average Yankee fan has a deep respect for your other half and thoroughly enjoys watching the amazing gift Cliff Lee possesses -12-9, 3.18 ERA, 185 strikeouts in 2010.

Kindly find it in your heart to forgive us for our obnoxious behavior that night. We promise it will never happen again. We are extremely embarrassed by this incident and very sorry that a small handful of supposed fans treated you so poorly.

Please allow Brenda Lee to patch things up between us…


You and your family are welcome to come back to Yankee Stadium any time and we guarantee things will be a lot different. You deserve better and we would like the opportunity to make it up to you. Please do not be hardened by the thought of returning to the great city of New York. It has so many wonderful things to offer. We hope you will give us another chance.

With many arms extended, we remain truly yours with “Purple Skies,”


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“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.