Uh-huh, your basic bridal bouquet toss. Guy who catches it, he's next in line to hit a game-winner. Why not sprinkle rose petals at home plate, toss rice, stomp on a wine glass. (Oh, Ron Blomberg doesn't play for the Yankees anymore?)
Why not have a guy get down on all fours, and the game-winning hero props one foot on his back, and somebody slips a blue-and-white, Vera Wang-designed, pinstriped garter around his thigh? If that doesn't bring George Steinbrenner back to life with a thunderbolt in each fist, then nothing will.
And it isn't just the home-plate high-jinks the Yankees have warped. They have twisted the whole pie-in-the-face, mess-up-the-postgame-on-field-interview ritual, as well.
Shaving cream? Not for the descendants of Ruth and Gehrig, Mantle and Maris, Yogi, Moose, Mr. October. Shaving cream stings the eyes, clogs the nostrils. Tastes lousy, too.
Nope. The Yankees use whipped cream, which they keep in a fridge near the dugout. A.J. Burnett, the DPT, Designated Pie Thrower, darts out from behind some decoys, then rubs the mess into the hero's face.
They probably buy the stuff at Whole Foods, made with organic cream from grass-fed, free-range cows. Named Beulah.
You're wondering about the relevance of sneering at the Yankees and their dainty choreography? Yo, Florida leftfielder Chris Coghlan, last season's NL Rookie of the Year, is scheduled for surgery todayto repair damage to the meniscus in his left knee. Ripped it last month trying to slap a pie-in-the-eye on Wes Helms. Helms ducked, Coghlan went airborne, landed awkwardly, tore up his knee.
And then there was Kendry Morales, who was leading the Angels in hitting when he hammered a walkoff grand slam to beat the Mariners, 5-1. His teammates swarmed to greet him. He tried to jump to where he thought home plate was, and landed with a screech, his lower left leg shattered. Season over.
Two season-ending injuries in, what, 308 celebrations. It doesn't sound like something that calls for a congressional investigation. Or even a warning from the commissioner. Yo, Prince Fielder pretended to be a bowling ball in Milwaukee and his teammates toppled at home plate like so many tenpins, and nobody got fined or scolded. Oh, there was some grumbling from the opposing team about sportsmanship, but nobody pays attention to that sort of prattle.
So, what's next? How about the New York Mets hire a Broadway choreographer, somebody in the mold of the late Bob Fosse, and stage an elaborate number with Sinatra warbling "New Yawk, New Yawk" in the background?
That's Bob Fosse, no relation to Ray Fosse, who was greeted at home plate by Pete Rose in an All-Star Game that did not decide homefield advantage in the World Series. Oh, the Mets already have one on the payroll, which explains all those complex, quivering handshakes on a team that defines underachieving.
This just in: A.J. Burnett missed a scheduled start Sunday with lower-back spasms. That's what they always say. Maybe he strained his gluteus maximus tossing a whipped-cream pie after sitting around for nine innings.
It wasn't that long ago writers were using gluteus maximus in the same sentence with Burnett when describing his personality. What goes around, comes around. John McGraw said that. Or maybe it was Soupy Sales. *
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