Luis Castillo, who was a Yankees batboy from 1998 to 2005, has a new book coming out called “Clubhouse Confidential” and shared a preview with the New York Post that includes some reasonably interesting behind-the-scenes stories about Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and company.
Assorted highlights from the preview:
* Jeter nicknamed him “Squeegee” immediately because “you look like a Squeegee” and “he names everybody.” (Note: On the book cover, he’s listed as Luis “Squeegee” Castillo.)
* Jeter’s standard greeting to the teenage batboys was “how’re you doin’, biatches?”
* When out at clubs, Jeter’s “preference was for women who had a nice smile and personality.” (Note: For whom is that not a preference, exactly?)
* Jeter often had his personal trainer approach women on his behalf in order to “avoid scandals and gossip.”
* Compared to other star players, Alex Rodriguez was a bad tipper, although he gave Castillo “$100 a week to make sure there was a creatine shake waiting for him after each home game.”
* Rodriguez needed his toothbrush put in a specific place near the sink and had his clothes laid out for him in a specific way.
* Once when a then-married Rodriguez was “on his way out with two blondes on his arms” he spotted Castillo wearing a suit and commented on it, quietly placing $200 in his suit pocket while saying “have a good night.”
* Prior to Game 7 of the ALCS in 2004 the pregame meeting ended with Joe Torre asking the Yankees “what are we going to do?” and Hideki Matsui responding: “Kick ass. Pop champagne. And get some ho’s.” (Note: They lost the game.)
There’s a lot more where those came from in the New York Post article and presumably in the book.
Major League Baseball just announced the details for the ceremonial and off-field stuff in connection with Games 1 and 2 of the World Series. The one most people were wondering about was the ceremonial first pitch. Sorry, Charlie Sheen fans. Sorry fans of “Major League” in general. Two real baseball stars are handing first pitch duties: Kenny Lofton before Game 1, Carlos Baerga for Game 2.
Lofton needs no introduction. He should be a Hall of Famer but is criminally overlooked, perhaps because he bounced around to a lot of different clubs. He made his name in Cleveland, however, doing three separate tours with the Indians, leading the AL in stolen bases for five straight years early in his career and putting up a line of .300/.375/.426 in ten seasons on the shores of Lake Erie.
Baerga played for the Tribe between 1990 and 1996 and was, for a time, quite the superstar, even if people don’t talk about him much anymore. His career fell off pretty quickly in that way that often happens for second basemen and/or stars who end up on the Mets, but there was a time when he was perhaps the biggest star on some excellent Indians teams. People had “will Carlos Baerga be a Hall of Famer?” conversations and stuff. The mid-90s were a special time.
Beyond the first pitches, the National Anthem will be sung by Rachel Platten before Game 1 and by the group Locash before Game 2. As I am an old man out of touch with most things, I have no idea who they are, but I am sure their fans are passionate and their renditions of the Anthem will be fine and non-controversial. Fox, MLB and the folks at major record labels are pretty good about that sort of thing and everyone will be especially vigilant in light of what happened with that Canadian tenors group at the All-Star Game. If nothing else, I bet you pick up the check for the Anthem performance after the song, and not before these days.
I realize everyone is super excited about the Cubs being in the World Series for the first time since 1945, with the chance to win it for the first time since 1908. But you’d think folks would remember that it’s just the Cubs — and not Chicago as a whole — who have been away from the Fall Classic for so long.
I know their recent struggles makes it seem like a long, long time ago, but the White Sox won the World Series in 2005. They were in the World Series in 1959 too. You wouldn’t know that, though, if you looked at some prominent media outlets:
I understand the impulse to tell the “a whole city is coming together!” story every time stuff like this happens, but there are a lot of White Sox fans in Chicago. A good number of them don’t give a crap about the Cubs. Many even resent them for being the glory franchise in the city in the eyes of many. They certainly don’t feel like there’s a championship drought afoot, and I imagine they’re somewhat cranky about having their team’s glory plastered over like this.