Alfred: Will you be wanting the Batpod, sir?
Bruce Wayne: In the middle of the day, Alfred? Not very subtle.
Alfred: The Lamborghini, then. Much more subtle.
Yesterday Yoenis Cespedes arrived at camp in something that looked like it could’ve been the Batmobile. If the Batmobile was painted up in Ohio State colors and had a big “52” on it at least. Maybe such a thing did appear in the Val Kilmer or George Clooney Batman movies. I’m not sure. I’ve sort of blocked those out of my memory like Bill Simmons has blocked out Rocky V.
Anyway, today Cespedes is taking a much more subtle approach to transportation:
But if you think for a moment that Cespedes has a monopoly on pimped rides, you’re sadly mistaken:
Last week Yankees COO Lonn Trost created a controversy when he said that people “who [have] never sat in a premium location” tend to “frustrate” Yankees fans who do sit in the expensive seats. In response, the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr., sent a letter to Yankees president Randy Levine, blasting the team for seemingly abandoning its working class fans.
The letter goes after the Yankees for their secondary market ticket policies which impose price floors and prohibit printing at home and further blasts them for being elitist. In relevant part:
“I have been a Yankee fan my entire life. Without the everyday, working class fans who make up the vast majority of their fan base, the New York Yankees would not be the successful franchise they are today. The Yankee organization should not be making it more difficult and more expensive for their fans, especially fans who might be visiting our great borough for the first time, to occasionally enjoy a ball game in The Bronx . . .
“. . .Yankee fans have always been the best in baseball. We root for our team harder than anyone, we live and die with every single loss. The idea that some of us would recoil in horror because the person sitting next to them paid less than face value for their seat is absurd, and represents the very definition of elitism.”
You can go read the full text of the letter here.
Borough President is more of a ceremonial title than anything, but my New York friends tell me that Diaz has designs on running for Mayor of New York one day. When a New York politician thinks that slagging on the Yankees is good politics it must mean that the Yankees have REALLY stepped in it.
Most guys who wind up on a 40-man roster were high draft picks or long sought-after international free agents. Most guys who become high draft picks or international free agent signings were on scouts’ radars when they were 16 years-old or younger. These days it’s just not all that typical for a guy who is in the bigs or on the verge of it to have first been noticed when he was already out of high school.
Giants minor league reliever Jake Smith is an exception to that. And quite an exception he is. The hard-throwing prospect, who will likely pitch at Double-A and maybe Triple-A this year, played on a league for home schooled kids back in South Carolina and then played for a small college, all while never getting a sniff from scouts. He was first noticed while working on the grounds crew for the Giants’ farm team at low-A Augusta. He was mowing the grass and dragging the infield when Felipe Alou and some other Giants officials came through town and got a look at him throwing. After some work and adjustments the Giants drafted him in the 48th round and now he’s on the 40-man and could very well be in the Giants’ pen one day soon.
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury-News has his story and it’s a great one. Go check it out.