Not with the media trolling the Strip for even mildly juicy tidbits from the winter meetings.
But first we’ll be treated to yet another episode in the longest running soap opera since “As the World Turns.” The story line: Will Sabathia sign with the Yankees or shun New York?
According to the bloggiest of the bloggers, Peter Abraham
, Cashman’s meeting with Cee Cee (I’m bored with the initials) is Sunday. Here’s my scenario for how it goes down.
They do lunch. Cee Cee won’t make his decision, so Cashman suggests dinner. Cee Cee still can’t decide, so Cashman suggests a night on the town – anything to keep the dialogue open and get this deal done already.
“What’s your pleasure?” Cash asks.
“Slots,” Cee Cee answers.
They work the machines at the Bellagio. Still no decision.
“Poker,” Cee Cee insists.
They play a few hands. Nothing. Cee Cee drags Cashman to the Black Jack table.
“What about a show?” Cash says, trying not to look as exhausted as he’s beginning to feel. He’s on east coast time, after all.
“Cool,” says Cee Cee. “I hear Bette Midler’s naughty.”
They head to Caesar’s Palace, where Cashman shells out a fortune for front row seats. Midway through Bette’s first number, Cee Cee leans over and says, “I wanna see the Blue Man.” Cashman sighs and they move on to the Venetian.
Again, the Yankees GM spends big bucks to insure the best seats for his elusive free agent. Cee Cee seems to enjoy himself, but then nudges Cashman. “Too artsy. How about Donny and Marie.” Cash rolls his eyes, finding Cee Cee’s tastes difficult to anticipate, but off to the Flamingo they go.
“Boring,” the pitcher announces about five minutes into the set. “What about Barry Manilow.”
They arrive at the Hilton just in time for “Mandy,” a song Cashman detests. His patience – and his budget – is running out. “We good now?” he asks, hoping Cee Cee will finally agree to join the Yankees’ rotation. Instead, Sabathia shakes his head. “David Copperfield. He’s at the MGM Grand.”
Cashman thinks about choking Cee Cee, but his hands are much too small. He’s frustrated and who wouldn’t be? He’s had it with the bowing and scraping. Enough is enough.
“David Copperfield,” Cee Cee says again, tugging on Cashman’s sleeve.
Suddenly, a light bulb goes on inside Cash’s head. Forget the magician. There’s a guy on the Strip who hypnotizes people and gets them to do whatever he says.
“I know an even better act,” he tells Cee Cee. “We’re going to Hooters to see Gerry McCambridge, ‘The Mentalist.'”
Once inside Hooters, Cashman excuses himself and sneaks backstage. He slips McCambridge a wad of bills, all the money he has left, and explains exactly what he needs.
Minutes later, McCambridge walks out to thunderous applause. He summons Cee Cee to the stage, instructs him to close his eyes, and counts down from ten to one. Cee Cee is hypnotized. McCambridge has him do the usual stunts – shake his arms, scratch his nose, hop around on one leg. Then he says, “After I tell you to open your eyes, you will run toward the short man in the front row with the thinning hair, glasses and worried expression, and you will get on your knees and beg him – do you hear me? – beg him to let you become a New York Yankee.”
And so it was done. Cee Cee will don the pinstripes and start on Opening Day. As for Gerry McCambridge, he is now on the Yankees’ payroll.