Making it Billy Crystal Clear

And other stories we’ll get to including Andy Marte’s bad day at the beach and Beauty and the Geek…
But first, the Billy Crystal caper. Who thought of this? And doesn’t it beat the **** out of Garth Brooks batting one-for-whatever — and it was a gift — with the 1999 Padres?

“Billy Crystal will be in camp,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday. “I will talk to him (Wednesday) when he gets here. We’ll have a plan of attack, but I probably won’t share that unti (Thursday).”

Crystal is on the field today as you read the column. He’s wearing Number 60, his new age as well. The jersey number actually had a good go on Tuesday. Cody Ransom looked good in it. The ball jumped off his bat and nearly crushed the far wall.

But the Number 60 with all the world watching Thursday against the Bucs is B. Crystal. And then, after the game, “I think he should run just like all the other players,” Girardi said. “I hope he has his own insurance, though.”

Elsewhere:

Indians….

Tom Mastny looks like top dog in the hunt for final bullpen spot. His competition is Jorge Julio, Rick Bauer and Scott Elarton. Bauer pitched Tuesday and had control problems, walking guys and giving up a run without even a hit. Elarton looked good in the Ninth Inning and then Andy Marte went to town. And went into IED Mode. When did Winter Haven turn into Baghdad Spring Training?

Marte picked a bad time to have a bad day. He struck out in the Ninth on an inside fastball, taken, not stirred. This carried over into the field. Boom kaboom, hot shot to Third Base, perfect double play ball mishandled and then thrown wide to first. Two runners on and the dreaded bunt. Hey, it’s spring? Why not blossom a bit. Marte charged the popped-up bunt and…Oops. Marte let it drop in the apparent belief this act would atone for the previously botched double-play ball.

Tough love got Marte though. Forgetting to inform teammates rotating in the wheel play, he had no other play but a flip to First Base. Sacrifice –Successful! In fact, one of the weirdest succsesful bunt sacrifice attempts in history. And in spring. Never know what you will see, especially in extra innngs at Winter Haven with players with football offensive lineman numbers and tickets punched to places such as Buffalo and Toledo.

And oh by the way and yadda yadda yadda, Elarton took Marte explosion as a cue for an implosion and managed to start walking anything that moved, punctuating the sweet symphony with a meatball cooked into a two-run single to Right Field by Jeff Larish.

‘Nuff said. The following will be a semi-regular part of this column. In tribute to San Francisco legend Herb Caen, we begin the Three Dot Lounge wth a wide world view…

…Jake Peavy struck out the side alright on Tuesday at Peoria, Great outing if only, if only, if only those four runs didn’t score in-between

…Brian Bruney has hair, streaking away from the top-of-old-baldy, and it looks like the Samson pre-Delilah look brings a sense of control to his style repertoire…

…Francisco Cervelli and Elliot Johnson, not quite Pete Rose-Ray Fosse All Star smash, but pretty darn good for spring. Cervelli’s cast wasn’t even dry when he was replaced. The Yankees signed veteran catcher Chad Moeeler to replace Cervelli who was ticketed to Double-A Trenton, according to reports.

Coming in future posts: Dan Weisman will be paying some specialized attention to Japanese players and those with ties to Japanese baseball now playing in the Major Leagues. More on this later…

And finally, the world beyond crazy; Client No. 9 — and fellow Horace Mann graduate — Elliot Spitzer — and wasn’t Martha Stewart glowing over it — aside

…What about All My Children. How come the so-called super-powerful all-evil “The Boss” soto voce on the phone just makes small talk about the weather and dating? Get a real Sopranos rip-off, AMC. Speaking of which, Beauty and the Geek, Oh my, But I digress.

You made it this far. Tell everybody to read Dan Weisman’s blog. Thanks and good luck.

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