Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shocker: Luigi Squeegee's Book Has Inside Scoop on Yankees' Habits

After last night's Yankees' loss, instead of trying to figure out why CC Sabathia can't beat the Red Sox, I was Googling to find out more information about a new book about the Yankees. Clubhouse Confidential: A Yankee Bat Boy's Insider Tale of Wild Nights, Gambling, and Good Times with Modern Baseball's Greatest Team is written by Luis Castillo, aka Luigi Squeegee, a former Yankee batboy and clubbie who worked for the team from 1998 to 2005. Reportedly now all people now who work around the team have to sign confidentiality agreements, but he was the last of the era that didn't have to.

Anyhow, Google Books has some pages online from the book. One of the more interesting tidbits I read last night from the excerpt was that not only was Roger Clemens (who comes off fairly well in it) extremely upset with himself for hitting Mike Piazza, but that he sent Brian McNamee over to the Mets' clubhhouse to get word to him that he was sorry!  Heh.

The excerpt I read also talked about how Clemens filmed the 2003 rookie hazing costume event which featured Hideki Matsui bopping around the clubhouse in that infamous pimp costume. Heck, the Rocket ought to put that on DVD to finance his defense costs!

Anyhow, this morning's New York Post has an exclusive excerpt of tidbits from the book, and it looks to be pretty entertaining. Here are the most interesting things in the article:

Longtime Squawker readers know how I complained for years about Joe Torre snoozing in the dugout, and not paying attention to what was going on in the game. There may be a reason behind that -- according to "Clubhouse Confidential," he was more concerned about his bets on horse races than he was on the game! During a late-season game, Torre once asked Castillo to do him a favor.
"Go down to my office," he said. "I want you to check the score on the Off-Track Betting channel and see who won." I was stunned. It was during a game! I had never before been asked to leave my post.

"Make sure you find out the exact track and horse," he added.
Castillo continues:
I ran down into the clubhouse and found the attendant, Joe Lee.

"Joe, Mr. T just asked me to find out something about which horses won," I said. "What's he talking about?"

Lee was chewing gum and looked unimpressed about the whole thing. "Yeah," he said. "Don't you know why he's got that TV in his office? It's usually just tuned to one channel."

"What's that, the YES Network?"

"No, the OTB station."
Yikes! Lee helped Castillo figure out the results of the race and write them down.
I jogged up to the dugout and gave them to Torre, who grabbed the paper and studied it like his life depended on it. When he had discovered the information he wanted, he turned to Don Zimmer and showed it to him. The older man's eyes lit up, and before I left they were talking excitedly not about the next batter but the OTB results!
Are you kidding me? Hey, where's the MLB investigation on Torre paying attention to gambling on horses during a ballgame?

This anecdote was at the bottom of the five-page online article, but I thought it was the most devastating. Torre was the highest-paid manager in MLB history. It's not too much to expect him to pay attention to the game, instead of his horse racing bets, when he's doing his job.

Torre's love for the ponies is well-known. Heck, he has owned several horses that run in races. But that's okay by MLB standards, but A-Rod playing poker in the offseason with Hollywood A-listers is the crime of the century. Can you say double standard?

Castillo clearly likes Derek Jeter, if the excerpt is any indication. It was Jeter who came up with the Luigi Squeegee nickname for him. And every day, he would greet the 14-and-15 year old bat boys with this: "How're you doin', biatches?" Classy!

(Let me note my usual point on these things. If A-Rod had been the one to call minor boys "biatches," the street slang for "bitches," how many wailing columns would we get about A-Rod treating the children poorly? Just saying.)

And when Bill Clinton once came into the clubhouse after leaving office, most players, according to the article, were formal and polite with him. Jeter, on the other hand, before heading into a game, greeted him by saying, "Hey, Mr. President, you staying out of trouble?"

The excerpt continues:
Jeter didn't even stop to have a chat, he continued out to the field. The confused expression on Clinton's face said it all: Here was a man so shot up with confidence that even running into the president didn't make him miss a beat.
I'm sorry, but if you talk that way to a president, you're kind of a jerk. And any other player would be chastised by the media for doing such a thing. But Teflon Jeter does it, and it just shows that he's 'shot up with confidence." Sorry, the word isn't "confidence," it's "arrogance."

In another part of the excerpt, Castillo talks about how what he perceived as A-Rod trying to outdo his teammates at something:
I had to chuckle at how he aped the captain. For example, Jeter and some of the other guys were terrific tippers. Roger Clemens gave me $3,000 at the end of the year. Posada gave me $7,000. A-Rod might come in with $1,400. Sure, it's still a sizable amount, but when he found out that other players were tipping higher, he had to imitate them, and he bumped his tips up. In fact, he had to make sure he was the best tipper in the league. He even tipped me $100 a week to make sure there was a creatine shake waiting for him after each home game.

Anyhow, I dunno if I buy the whole aping the captain thing. Rodriguez was the highest-paid player in MLB baseball history, and after finding out what others tipped, he wanted to make sure he was the best tipper. That sounds like a positive character trait to me.

Although he did tip well, Rodriguez seems pretty high-maintenance -- Castillo had to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush for him and lay out his uniform just so. (It remind me a little of when the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy had that guy Fonzworth Bentley carry his umbrella for him!) And Rodriguez sounded more than a little full of himself, as with the bragging in the dugout about his home runs.

There's also stuff in the excerpt about how Jeter would get his personal trainer to approach women for him, and Rodriguez being out with two blondes.

Anyhow, I will definitely check out this book -- it's coming out next week.

What do you think? Tell us about it!

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