Sorry, was basically out yesterday and unable to blog, but how about that, boys and girls? The Yankees pick up their first Jewish player since Ken Holtzman back in the 1970s.
Youkilis signed that 1-year, $12 million deal to play for the Bronx franchise next year. Here’s wishing him good health and good luck.
As you can imagine, there will be numerous stories in the mainstream and Jewish press about this, beginning with this one by the NY Times‘ Ken Belson, which puts Youkilis in the pantheon of great Jewish ballpayers in New York, and followed by this one by Richard Sandomir, which discusses the Youkilis family’s immigrant story as well as the issue of religious identity. Hoping to set something up myself with NY’s latest acquisition.
At our staff holiday party yesterday, I was talking with my editor about some of the possible home runs calls by the Yankees’ TV announcer John Sterling, who’s know for his frequently annoying home run pronouncements, such as “The Grandy-man can!” for Curtis Granderson or “An A-Bomb…from A-Rod.” Possibilities include “Youk can kiss it goodbye” and “Can Youk believe it?” and, perhaps after a slump, “Youk can’t keep a good man down.” Ugh, getting headache just thinking about it. It’s almost as bad as all the plays on David Wright’s name in the headlines (“The Wright Stuff,” etc.).
In addition, I have to complain about the use of the Dennis Leary “Youkilis is a Jew?” routine. It’s getting a bit cliche to use in a story as the Jacques Barzun quote about baseball or the joke about “light reading material.”
Of course, if Youkilis was really conscientious about it, if he really wanted to play for “the Tribe,” he would have joined his former manager Terry Francona and signed with the Cleveland Indians.