I watched the Joe Girardi Show before last night's game, and heard Michael Kay ask - or should I say complain - about the new Yankee whipped cream tradition. Kay claimed that his boothmates David Cone and Paul O'Neill were "not really cool with that." The broadcaster also said it wasn't "The Yankee Way."
Girardi said he was fine with it. He noted that because it was done after the game when the other team was off the field, it wasn't showing up the opponents.
But geez, is Michael Kay head of the No Fun Zone or what? He didn't like Nick Swisher laughing about pitching. He doesn't like condiments, seafood, soup, or bananas. Now he doesn't like - shudder - the Yankees actually acting like other teams, which means having a good time playing a kid's game. Sheesh.
For goodness sake, this team has won seven games in a row, with three walkoff wins in a row in that streak. If having fun contributes to winning - and I believe it does (and vice versa) - then why can't Kay, Cone, and O'Neill get behind that? The late 90s super-serious vibe worked for that team, but it shouldn't mean that every Yankee team ever has to act the same way. Besides, the Bronx Zoo teams didn't exactly carry themselves like choir boys.
Kay's sports radio competition, Mike Francesa, is just as super-serious. He griped on Monday about A.J. Burnett being the instigator, saying that Burnett should win a few games first.
Francesa also said that Burnett better not try that stuff with Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada, a point Squawker Jon and Newsday writer Anthony Rieber agree with. Rieber writes in today's Newsday:
It's a good thing Jeter didn't get the walk-off hits on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A.J. Burnett smashing a shaving cream pie into Jeter's mug on live television might have been the last thing Burnett ever did as a Yankee.Jeter had already said that the Yanks better not do that to him, so yeah, I wouldn't be surprised over that outcome!
On the other hand I noticed on Saturday how Alex Rodriguez handled the whipped cream pie. He seemed thrilled to be - for once - just one of the guys! For somebody who's been known to worry too much about his looks and image, he appeared to let his hair down there when talking to Kim Jones with egg - I mean whipped cream - on his face!
Besides the whipped cream, and the new WWE wrestling belt tradition (CC Sabathia won it last night), there are a few other new looks in the Yankee clubhouse this year. The bullpen guys are shaving their heads! Phil Coke showed off his new bald look before Tuesday's game. He told the New York Times:
"So far, it’s me, [Jose] Veras, [Brian] Bruney and Alfredo Aceves," Coke said of the bullpen baldies. Coke said Jonathan Albaladejo "is thinking about it; he’s on the fence now. He’s not sure."Maybe Edwar Ramirez will shave his head, too, whenever he comes back to the big leagues. He got sent down to open up a roster space for Bruney. Ramirez has given up too many walks this year - 15 in 17 1/3 innings. Hopefully he can fix that in AAA.
LoHud's Sam Borden blogged today about the Yankees team's newfound team spirit, including how the Yanks are having a Kangaroo Court today, with Judge Mariano Rivera presiding. Cool! That's the first time I can remember that happening in many years, although it used to be a staple of the Bronx Zoo Yankees.
Borden asked Johnny Damon about the team's current makeup:
Johnny Damon, who started the WWE belt trend, was supposed to help “change the rigid Yankee culture” when he arrived in 2005, but that’s tough for one guy to do by himself. This year, the Yankees have several new players and that’s how the vibe of a team changes, Damon said. “We’ve got a lot of new guys here,” he said. “A lot of guys didn’t know what it was like here before, so they bring their own flair and so far it’s working.”
Newsday's Ken Davidoff wrote about this as well earlier this week.
I think this team having fun, and coming together, is all a good sign for the Yanks. Maybe it all started when Joe Girardi took the Yanks out for that pool expedition this spring. At any rate, I hope this era of good feeling continues.
What do you think? Leave us a comment!