Pride and Pinstripes
Joe D and the Iron Horse must be spinning in their graves.
The Yankees had some nice week of Yankee Pride. They signed Billy Crystal so he could massage his ego. They complained about a completely legit, legal and accepted play in baseball — the home plate collision. Then Shelley Duncan went out and acted like a punk, starting what many called a “brawl” although it really wasn’t even a tiny fight.
First on Crystal. I have always liked his comedy and his story-telling, but I hope he gets a fastballÂ in the backside. The Yankees claimed they signed him for one exhibition game to thank him for all he’s done for them. All he’s done for them? Isn’t it the other way around? Haven’t the Yankees allowed him to claim title as the greatest Yankees fan and the greatest Mickey Mantle fan, even though he very likely is neither. Indeed, he surely sees far fewer games than many, many Yankees fans see … and most of them have to actually pay for their tickets and not sit on the railing and not get into the dugout before games. In other words, Crystal has gotten nothing but everything a fan could want from the Yankees only because he’s a celebrity. People argue that those who don’t think Crystal should be playing in an exhibition game (at age 60 no less) are just jealous. Well, duh. Shouldn’t you be jealous? What do you think the Yankees would say to you if you told them you’re a season-ticket holder and the biggest Yankees fan of all time and all you want was to sit in the first row during the play0ffs and to play in one exhibition game? Right. They’d have security eject you.
Now onto this whole Tampa Bay thing. Joe Girardi is a hypocrite if he truly thinks the home plate collision doesn’t belong in a baseball game? It’s a game. The kid coming to the plate is trying to make his spot in the majors. The plate is blocked. He does what every player is taught to do in that situation: He bowls over the catcher.
That is a far more acceptable play, and there is far less intent to injure, than going into second, out by a mile, with spikes intentionally high? Shelley Duncan should be suspended for that move. He injured — a minor cut, fortunately — an innocent player, a little guy at that,Â who was totally uninvolved in the previous incident. He acted, again, like a cowardly punk.
And you know what’s going to happen now? At some point, some Yankee who is important, more important than Duncan, is going to get hit by a Tampa Bay pitch. Because Girardi criedÂ and Duncan acted like a punk.