After last night’s extra-innings loss to Boston in a crucial game for the New York Yankees, there was little consolation to be had for their fans. Except for this: the New York Post got their hands on and excerpted the new memoir from a former Yankees batboy, one of the last of his kind who didn’t have to sign a presumably eternal confidentiality agreement. If the excerpt they used is any indication, this is going to be one of the better, jucier reads in Yankees history.
- Derek Jeter nicknamed the kid “Squeegee.” Because Mr. Jeter thought said batboy looked like a Squeegee.
- Mr. Jeter used to greet the batboys as “bee-yotch-es.”
- When Bill Clinton dropped by the clubhouse, Mr. Jeter’s only words for him were “Hey, Mr. President, you staying out of trouble?”
- Mr. Jeter sent his trainer to pick up women he was attracted to in bars, rather than initiate contact with them himself.
- Jorge Posada once tipped the batboy $7,000 at the end of the year. Alex Rodriguez? $1,400.
- Former Yankees manager Joe Torre used to bet on horses. From the dugout. During games.
- Whenever Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was in the house, the code used was “RED ALERT.”
The most endearing tale, however, may be reserved for designated hitter and outfielder Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui, the otherwise quiet and reliable 2009 World Series MVP, who the Yankees let go the next season on a one-year $6.5M contract to the Los Angeles Angels in a flub that still stings Yankees fans to this day. This wonderful anecdote about Mr. Matsui’s mystique-shrouded clubhouse demeanor—which little was known about, as he was never much of a talker, even for the Yankees—may only serve to make Yankees fans miss him more.
The setting is a locker room meeting before Game 7 of the 2004 ACLS, which the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series. And, scene:
At the end of the meeting it was traditional for Joe Torre to ask Jorge Posada what we were going to do. He would reply, “Grind it!” This time — I guess to make Hideki Matsui feel more part of the team — Torre turned tohimat the end of the meeting.
“What are we going to do?”
Hideki paused for just a second before replying.
“Kick ass. Pop champagne. And get some ho’s.”
Reminder: Mr. Matsui emigrated from Japan to play for the New York Yankees in 2003. It took less than two seasons with the Yankees before he got to that point.
There is truly nothing in the world like a pinstriped baseball player of New York.
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