Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sgt. Torre's Lonely Hearts Club Band


Sorry that it's taken me so long to get back, but now I'm gonna get back to where I once belonged. Which is a pretty good segue:

The Yankees re-signed catcher Jorge Posada. That's one load off my mind. Now it looks like they're going to lock up Mariano Rivera, and then we'll only need one more starter (which we may already have, among the kids) and a 3rd baseman (don't get me started).

Somebody -- I won't say who, but he roots for The Other Team -- recently suggested that Posada is the "Ringo" of the Yankees' 1996-2003 dynasty. It's gotta be the nose and the ears, since it can't be the hair. And let's be fair here: Ringo Starr was a great drummer, and I don't want to hear that Keith Moon of The Who or John Bonham of Led Zeppelin were better: They were better, but they weren't Beatles.

So if Jorge is Ringo on the Yankees, what would he be on the Mets? He'd be either John or Paul, since the Mets are the Rolling Stones of New York: Call 'em "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" all you want, but that doesn't make it true. Also, like the Stones compared to the Beatles, the Mets' drug problems have been more embarrassing than the Yankees'.

Mariano would be George Harrison, since he's the one interested in religions, which may let him out of being John Lennon; or maybe Bernie Williams was George, because he's the one with the guitar that gently weeps; Andy Pettitte has a Lennonesque nose; and Derek Jeter is Paul, not just because his shortstop play and his clutch hits are so lyrical, but because nobody except Paul McCartney has ever walked into a New York sports stadium or arena and made more teenage girls scream.

But does that make Joe Torre producer George Martin? What does it make Brian Cashman? Brian Epstein? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I wouldn't want to compare Ed Sullivan, Murray (the K) Kaufman or Bruce Morrow to George Steinbrenner -- especially since Cousin Brucie is a Brooklynite and a proud Dodger-turned-Met fan. (But then, nobody's perfect.)

I realize that, on their 1965 and 1966 tours, the Beatles played Shea Stadium, not Yankee Stadium, despite the Bronx ballyard having more seats. CBS was liberal enough to let the Fab Four play on The Ed Sullivan Show, but not on the field of the team they then owned.

Then again, it didn't do the Mets any favors: They finished 10th in '65 and 9th in '66. (Ten-team, single-division leagues back then.)

But, in the years since, John was photographed in a Yankee cap, and Paul has been to a number of games at The Stadium. These things tend to work out. We can work it out.

Unless "we" are the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez. I don't care how repentant he is over the Scott Boras debacle over the last three weeks: He only wants to be a Yankee for the money and the publicity. He hasn't got a clue as to what being a Yankee means.

He's not Eric Clapton, or Elton John, or Billy Preston, or Ravi Shankar, or even Harry Nilsson. (All of whom had musical associations with the Beatles, while they were together or individually.) You know what he is? He's Michael Jackson. He had the duets with Derek/Paul, and the individual success, and the pretty face. And now, all the "plastic surgery" in the world can't restore his image, and he's a weirdo.

Although, as far as I know, not a criminal. And even if you take away the criminal investigations against Jacko, he's still weirder than A-Rod will ever get -- I hope!

Jacko must -- I hope he does -- want to return to the days when the jokes were far less malicious. Like this one: Did you hear the Mets signed Michael Jackson? Just what they need: Another guy who wears a glove on only one hand for no apparent reason!

(UPDATE: Michael Jackson was still alive when I wrote this.)

Of course, the Mets are bad. It doesn't matter if they're black or white: When it came to losing in September, they decided, "Don't stop 'til you get enough." They were really off the wall. And now Met fans would like Tom Glavine to beat it. Maybe they should start with the man in the mirror.

Hmmmm... Does this make Don Mattingly Pete Best? Or maybe it makes him Cliff Richard.

(NOTE: This was before Cliff Richard, like Michael Jackson, was accused of being a pedophile.)

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