By: Toots O’Finn
Beat Sports Reporter
New York Daily Gazette-Dispatch
Spirits are bright in the South Bronx as the Yankees organization is in the midst of putting the wraps on yet another banner year. It would be impossible to catalog all of the highlights of the memorable 2013 season here, but your humble correspondent will endeavor to list just a few:
Brendan Ryan Takes a Bite out of the Big Apple
Without a doubt, the highlight of this stellar season was the much-ballyhooed arrival of shortstop Brendan Ryan from Seattle on September 11th. The ruggedly handsome Lewis-Clark State College product instantly injected some much-needed glitz and glamor into the perennially dull position and he immediately became Gotham’s most eligible bachelor. Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner, in overseeing the blockbuster deal that brought Ryan to New York for “a player to be named later,” demonstrated a flair for the dramatic that his father all but patented. In addition to being a serviceable fielder, Ryan knows how to swing the bat, having hit a solid .192 for Seattle this season before being acquired by the Yanks. Since donning the pinstripes, that batting average has swelled to .194, no doubt a result of playing under the bright lights of Yankee Stadium. The revelation in the press that Ryan had wrestled with Attention Deficit Disorder as a child quickly made him the darling of the Big Apple’s large and vocal ADD community, and then, just as quickly, the community lost interest and returned to surfing the web, playing with the dog, and folding their socks. By press time, though, they were back on the Brendan Ryan bandwagon, singing his praises from the rooftops. Always looking to rain on the Bombers’ parade, some naysayers in the press have focused on the fact that Ryan’s acquisition after August 31st means that he won’t be eligible for the Yanks’ post-season roster. Yankees GM Brian Cashman was quick to point out that the Yankees did not anticipate needing a post-season roster, a prediction that has been proven accurate, showcasing Cashman’s keen baseball mind.
Legends Hospitality, the Yankee Stadium concessionaire, reported near-record profits for 2013, in spite of diminished attendance at games and decreased sales and revenues. LH spokesman James Brunklehouse credited the corporate miracle to a “perfect storm” of positive developments, including the firm’s decision to charge separately for the cheese and the nachos, an unexpected drop in pork prices leading to increased profitability in the hot dog sector, and the fact that the already-robust stadium alcohol sales increased steadily as the season wore on, especially among season ticket holders.
A Little Something for the Kids
Popular music artists Justin Timberlake and “Jay Z” brought their triumphant Legends of Summer Tour to Yankee Stadium in July. The show’s detailed descriptions (and frequent simulated demonstrations) of intimate and, one would think, deeply personal experiences was a little saucy for this reporter’s tender sensibilities. Nonetheless, numerous Yankees brass were in attendance, anxious to see what a sold-out Yankee Stadium looks like.
Yankees Notes: RHP Mariano Rivera announced that he would retire at the end of the 2013 season. Primarily used in relief, Rivera spent much of his time with New York plugging the hole at the closer spot left by the departure of John Wetteland after the 1996 season. … Surgeons had to perform emergency surgery to reattach SS Derek Jeter’s left foot after it fell off during a short warm-up jog on Friday. Witnesses said that Jeter initially was not aware that the foot had detached again and continued jogging, leaving behind not only the foot but a trail of small bones and surgical screws. Once bystanders had alerted Jeter to the mishap, he appeared embarrassed, gathered up the aforementioned items and hurriedly placed a call to his orthopedic surgeon. … Asked what he was planning to do during his free time this October, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez reported that he was looking forward to spending more time with his lawyers.