As I sat here in Santa Barbara, wondering if/when the Yankees would announce who will play left field, I decided to stop reading other blogs and go straight to the source. No, I’m not referring to Cashman. He’s only the GM. I figured I should talk to the man with the real power – the guy who controls the payroll. So I hopped on a plane (it wasn’t easy, given all the new security restrictions) and headed for Tampa.
“Do you know where I might find Hal Steinbrenner?” I asked my cab driver after arriving at the airport in Florida.
“Sure,” he said. “On Saturday nights he’s always at the Kit Kat Club.
“Really?” I said. “What sort of place is that?”
“A disco club,” he replied. “Everybody in Tampa knows how much that boy loves to dance.”
“Great,” I said. “Take me there, please.”
Within minutes, we pulled up to the club and I went inside.
The scene was very high energy. I searched everywhere for Hal and – success! – there he was at a table for one, sipping a scotch and looking like he was dying to get up on the floor and shake it.
“Hi, Mr. Steinbrenner,” I said. “I’m She-Fan. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. I have a Yankees blog.”
“Of course,” he said, offering me a chair. “You’re the one who does crazy videos making fun of the greatest franchise in sports.”
“Well,” I said, blushing, “I also write about how much I love the Yankees. In fact, that’s why I’m here. We really need a left fielder, Mr. Steinbrenner.”
“Call me Hal.”
“OK, Hal. Listen, I don’t want you to think I’m not grateful for the way you re-signed Andy and brought Granderson over from Detroit. I’m not so sure about Nick Johnson and Javy Vazquez, but let’s concentrate on the left field problem.”
“Problem? We have options. Have you forgotten about Brett Gardner?”
“Have you forgotten he’s not much with the bat?”
He took a few swallows of his scotch.
“You could re-consider Damon,” I pressed on. “Or go after Bay or Holliday. Just don’t settle for Reed Johnson, no offense to him. We’re the Yankees. We need an outstanding, top quality player out there.”
He considered my pitch for several minutes. And then he smiled broadly. “Don’t worry, She-Fan. I’ll call Cash in the morning and tell him what you said. We’ll find somebody. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Swear. Now let’s dance.”
And so we did.