| Saddle up kids, cuz we're going on a wild ride to Stein-ville! Big Stein has historically had a penchant for bringing whomever he fancies into the Bronx
and onto his team, always seeming a bit like the bad fantasy team managers that forgo the stats and draft all the players whose numerology matches up or only players that have endorsement deals with Nike (Boot Barn deals are clearly not as cool...I'm sorry, Mr. Klesko
). We fans have felt both the benefits and the detriments of his childlike "bring me 2 of every animal - - - I mean all-star!"
attitude; Roger Clemens
certainly didn't hurt the Yanks, but our lives would have been a whole lot better with about 99% less Mondesi
action. Now that Cashman has taken the reigns away from the Big Man (thank you, baseball gods [Babe, Mick, and Joe, obviously]) the team has become significantly more stable
and the accounts-payable department has had a few less zeroes to write on the payroll - both priceless qualities in the eye of the Yankees Chick - but the old thrill/fear of knowing that the Yanks could and would snap up whoever was on the Stein's radar is a thing of the past. In honor of the the tradition that once was, I've put together a little list of a few players I'd certainly have on my "throw this cash at them and bring them to me" list if a horrible Freaky-Friday-esque mixup warped me from Yankees Chick to George Steinbrenner:
The first name on my dream list would, not surprisingly, be Roger Clemens
. This dream is actually not so much a fantasy, since the Rocket could very well be joining the team in just a few short breaths if the Red Sox and Astros fail to entice him with enough shiny objects and family time. If this were the "olden days" (aka a few short years ago), though, Big Stein would have already thrown about $36 million Roger's way even though the Rocket still has not officially announced that he'll even be playing next year.
Albert Pujols would certainly be on my list
, as anyone who hits that many home runs and has such a sweet lifetime batting average (.332 in 6 seasons....!) should clearly be a Yankee - to be a good player on any other time is obviously equatable to a mortal sin
. I imagine Big Stein dreams nightly of trading Phillip Hughes, A-Rod, and "cash considerations" (think sketchy briefcases full of hundreds) for a 1 year deal with Pujols (bonus points if Pujols gets injured and Stein still insists on making the deal
In addition to Clemens and Pujols - and I would be shocked if Sweet Stein hasn't at least mentioned the idea of selling the farm in order to acquire either of them - Johan Santana cannot be forgotten.
I don't think anyone would object to spending Matsuzaka- or Zito- caliber cash on this champ when
he becomes a free agent in 2008 (assuming the Twins don't pony up the bucks themselves for an extension before that becomes an issue), but the true Stein way would be to strike now on Johan rather than wait patiently for him to become available via free agency
, shipping prospects and a few proven position players off to Minnesota to bring Johan into his Bronx lair pronto.
Mets' third baseman David Wright
would surely be on my "if I were Stein" list, too. The reasoning for this would have little to do with Wright's impressive stats
; no, Big Stein would simply covet him because people like the kid.
like Steinbrenner has a near desperate need to assure himself that no fan in all of baseball could possibly like a non-Yankee player, particularly a player from a bitter rival team. Now that Wright has emerged as a talented, charming, all-together lovable (except for those nasty Republican tendancies, which have turned me off to him entirely
) New York athlete, Big Stein must be keeling over in an ulcer-related pain that cannot be assuaged without moving the delightful young man across town.
The good news, my friends, is that I am not Steinbrenner (although I must admit that it would make me absolutely love that man if he had spent over a year creating an alternate identity as the Yankees Chick). The better news, though, is that Cashman is also not Steinbrenner, in any way, sense, or form. Cash's values have proven themselves to be so far from those of Stein that the fear of a Julio Franco or Sammy Sosa signing can virtually be considered impossible. Had Cash not asserted himself over the past few years, I would not be so sure...
Labels: front office, haha...ha.