Celebrity Madness



It’s been a slow sports week.  Not much has been going on, other than Andy Pettitte’s sore elbow, or Orlando Hernandez’ bunion, or Barry Zito’s 17.18 ERA.


It’s been so slow that it’s been difficult thinking of interesting things to write about.


Billy Crystal saved the day.  In case you haven’t heard, the Yankees have signed him to a one day contract and he will be in uniform today and play against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Memo to Mr. Crystal.  Don’t go away mad, just go away.


Jack Nicholson was the original celebrity fan, long before it was in vogue.  Always an ardent LA Lakers fan, he was known and respected by all the players because he was a true fan.  In fact, he was such an ardent fan that he was affectionately nicknamed “The Cuckoo Man” by the NBA players.


Nicholson I could respect.  He was a die hard fan, and how could you not respect a guy who “mooned” the Celtics fans in Boston Garden during the NBA finals.


After Nicholson started showing up at the LA Forum, the avalanche then began.  Dyan Cannon.  Arsenio Hall.  Soon the Lakers seemingly had more celebrity fans than everyday average Joe fans.  Then it spread elsewhere.  Spike Lee and John McEnroe started going to Knick games at Madison Square Garden.  Jerry Seinfeld was spotted at Met games at Shea stadium.  It seemed like the cameramen spent more time showing the celebrities than showing the game.


Perhaps they were all “true” fans, but my cynical side thinks that most of them were more concerned with their Q rating than the outcome of the game.


The Yankees have crossed the line with this absurd signing.  Look, I get that Crystal is a huge baseball fan.  City Slickers was a great flick, and I enjoyed “61” and it’s perfectly acceptable if he wants to go to Yankee Stadium and support his favourite team.


I just don’t want to see him playing for the Yankees.


Can you imagine what the legendary Yankee, Joe DiMaggio, the personification of class, would think?  Just imagine him patrolling center field, and seeing this celebrity “never was” on the same field with him?  It makes a mockery of the sport, and denigrates the tradition of the most successful baseball franchise in history.


How about if I make a few other suggestions for stand-in Yankee players?


Robert DeNiro.  I guarantee that he’d be Joe Girardi’s kind of guy and there would be no brawls with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.


Rudy Giuliani.  Now that he’s out of the Presidential race, he’s probably got a lot of time on his hands.  If they put him at shortstop,  the University of Pennsylvania can no longer claim that Derek Jeter is the worst fielding shortstop in baseball.


Hillary Clinton.  Why not?  She now lives in New York.  She’s not doing so well in the race, and would probably love the publicity.  With DeNiro and Mrs. Clinton in the lineup, there is NO Way that anytime would want to start a fight with the club.


Elliot Spitzer?  Well, I’ll leave everyone to ponder that one.






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