We’ve talked about Yoenis Cespedes‘ fun cars the past few days. But he doesn’t just show up and let people take pictures of his wheels. He lets lowly team employees go for a ride in them.
Well, I suppose you could spin it that way. You could also say that he uses his car as an incentive to have team employees go run errands that, taken by themselves, amount to diva demands. As Marc Carig of Newsday reports today, he had a Mets staffer take his nearly half a million dollar Lamborghini out today to get him some round waffles for breakfast. Because the waffles at the Mets facility were square and those are bad luck. Or something.
I guess that’s better than having the staffer take his own Corolla or whatever out to get the waffles. If he had asked that of me I’d have been tempted to use a coffee can or something to cut the square waffles into circles. Gas is cheaper now, but it’s still not free.
When Derek Jeter made his last trip to Fenway Park before retiring, Red Sox fans gave him an ovation. A few if I remember correctly. It wasn’t anything extreme, but there was a tip of the cap, as it were.
Kevin Kernan of the New York Post spoke to the Red Sox legend who is retiring after this season — David Ortiz — and he says he would like the same sort of treatment that The Captain received:
“You know what I want most of all?’’ Big Papi told The Post on Tuesday at JetBlue Park. “I would love it if the fans at Yankee Stadium gave me a standing ovation.’’
I guess I can understand that. And one sort of hopes that, rivalry baloney aside, all fans can appreciate that Ortiz was a huge figure in the game over the past decade and a half or so, particularly when it comes to Yankees-Red Sox stuff. I’d clap for him if I were a Yankees fan. This is baseball, not war.
But man, we are gonna be inundated with stories come September about this. Columns in which people earnestly argue one way or the other about whether Yankees fans should do this or that. It’ll be like those “were ___ fans right to boo ___” pieces but worse. And arguably even more inconsequential.
Bring it on. I love dumb stuff like that. I hope it paralyzes the sporting discourse for a month.
Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times has a profile on Chase Utley. Utley is in the twilight of his career, but his intensity is still something to behold. He’s an early riser, a hard worker and, even if his elite skills have atrophied, he still maintains the drive and mindset that made him a superstar.
The dirty secret of a lot of superstars, though? They’re, um, kind of unpleasant people. Go read some stories about Michael Jordan and Bob Gibson and stuff if you doubt that. A lot of superstars can be friendly and outgoing and gregarious people while beating you senseless, but some can’t. Some are just wired differently and need to have their game faces on, constantly. Utley is one of those people:
Utley forgoes fraternization with opponents. He exhibits aggression without shame or apology. He operates with more than a hint of menace.
“He plays emotionless,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Cold and calculating. I think he knows he has that persona. He embraces that. That’s why he’s respected, but not liked, by a lot of teams.”
Those qualities led to a combustion last October, when Utley fractured the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in the National League division series. He appealed a two-game suspension, and a decision is still up in the air.
We call it a game, but it’s a business. And just like in real life, some players go about their business differently than others. Ultimately the only thing that matters is the bottom line. If nothing else, it’s fascinating to see the different approaches different players take to deliver to that bottom line.