Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Mouth or Mouse?
2008-01-03 05:56
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

On cue, here is the latest from Hank Steinbrenner re: Johan Santana:

"I think the Twins realize our offer is the best one," Steinbrenner said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I feel confident they're not going to trade him before checking with us one last time and I think they think we've already made the best offer."

...Steinbrenner said the offer "does not include two of the three young pitchers" - Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, from a group that also includes untouchable Joba Chamberlain - "but it's still the best one. And let's face it, we're the best able to handle the kind of contract (extension) Santana will be after."

..."I either have to do it (a Santana deal) or don't do it, same thing for the Red Sox, I guess," Steinbrenner added. "I think the Twins would like to keep him, so I don't think there's any hurry on anyone's part. It all depends on what he asks for in an extension. You obviously have to be very careful with pitchers, for obvious reasons."
(Anthony McCarron, N.Y. Daily News)

Big talk. Enough to make you wince. But you know the old line. Don't let your mouth write a check...

2008-01-03 06:07:34
1.   The Mick 536
Frankly, I prefer the transparency to Howie's press releases. Enjoy hearing from the horse's mouth. More comforting is the fact no lien will be attached to the future. Gotta have a big lefty in the Stadium, yes? I take your wince and raise you two eyebrows.
2008-01-03 06:19:19
2.   Alex Belth
Dude, I'm all for them making a deal for Lefty.
2008-01-03 06:33:52
3.   hoppystone
Speaking of mouths writing checks, there was a request here yesterday for some Albert Ayler:

"See, I wore short pants until 16 years old. The kids used to laugh at me; they'd say "Ohhh! What's the matter? Why should he wear short pants? He should have long pants!" But, my mother was very particular. She wanted me to be… special! I had to be special for my mother.
So, I started traveling on the road with Little Walter when I was 17 years old. I wasn't out of school yet; I was still in high school. And while traveling with him, the going was tough for me. I couldn't understand how it would be for me in the music, how it would be for me to be traveling on the road so abruptly. Because we would be playing in Saginaw, Michigan one night, and then we be traveling… all night long. They would be drinking! Sleep-driving! And I said, "Music? This is music? Do I have to live like this? What is this?" But, it was OK, you know, because it was a good experience for me. I had to, like, carry my food in a bag, because there wasn't much money then. See, I was very young; I was too young to be living that kind of life, because I had never lived that kind of life, because my mother kept me special! All the time, kept me special.
So, while traveling, playing with Little Walter, I would hit, say, "PPAAAHHAAHH!!". And he'd say, "Naaaah, you don't hold the note long enough!" Because, you see, the country soul, and where I was from, was a little difference, a little difference. It was the middle class where I was from in Cleveland, the middle class. But the country, they were… living right with it. And I wasn't living right with it because I wasn't born in the country, you understand? So, I said, hmm, these people are a little different than me, or something was wrong.
So after that, I started holding the note, and getting it good. And before I knew it, I just fit right in, fit right in with them.
So I played with him that whole summer, and then, that was it. And while back in school, I was the golf captain. I was that first black man in the school ever to win a trophy for the school. See, I could have played golf, and I could have been rich now. But, music was in my heart, so I had to do that."

- Albert Ayler

2008-01-03 07:02:17
4.   Alex Belth
Thanks for the Ayler. Dope.
2008-01-03 07:30:36
5.   JL25and3
I had no idea that Ayler started off by backing Little Walter. In retrospect, seems like an odd match - though not nearly as odd as Ayler, in short pants, as a golf champion.
2008-01-03 08:20:35
6.   Raf
2 I'll pass; he's 63 and hasn't pitched since '88. :D
2008-01-03 08:32:10
7.   dianagramr
More Leyritz troubles ....

Troubled ex-Yankee Jim Leyritz burned through thousands of dollars by buying high-priced booze and partying at expensive nightclubs, court papers reveal.

The glimpse into Leyritz's 2003 financial records shows he spent large amounts of money on alcohol, swank clubs and ritzy hotels in Florida, New York and beyond.

The former catcher also struck out on his finances, watching more than $10 million he earned over 11 years in the majors shrink to about $600,000, records show.

2008-01-03 09:16:47
8.   JL25and3
7 None of that is a surprise. It all fits with his (sardonic) image as "The King."
2008-01-03 09:28:58
9.   OldYanksFan
I guess as far as the King is concerned, Tug set the bar pretty high.
"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste."
Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw, on his plans for his $75,000 salary

It's just amazing that one can squander $10m, but I guess there have been worse.

2008-01-03 09:35:49
10.   Schteeve
This may be irrational, but I'm going to be bummed if we trade Hughes for Santana. I really want to see Hughes in Yankee Pinstripes. Santana should be great obviously, but I'd rather have Hughes even if he's slightly less good than Johan.

And I'm starting to get tired of Hank's talkativity.

2008-01-03 09:43:08
11.   thelarmis
3 wow, this site never siezes to amaze me. 2 days in a row w/ albert ayler mentions. hoppystone - thanks so much for sharing that bit of greatness, very cool stuff!

it takes BIG ears to to truly 'get' musik like ayler, sun ra, ornette coleman, derek bailey, pharoah sanders and the like. eric dolphy is a fascinating guy! and composers like Penderecki, on the Classical spectrum.

of course, i don't have a story like Ayler's, but i can certainly relate to a few things he said in there... i, too, was kept close by my mom and ended up in the deep south, on the road, touring with musicicans with completely different backgrounds that were like twice my age, at a relatively young age (post high school though).

there is not nearly as much glory in this liefestyle than most folks think. it was a lot of driving, eating poorly and feeling alone in a van full of folks that don't really understand you. i, too, questioned "this is musik???", "this is what i've always dreamed of doing for a living?" etc. etc.

i always thought i'd be further along, but it is an unfair and grueling industry. i did those tours for a number of years, then got off the road to work in town. i still tour, just not as much and prefer the overseas jaunts with bigger acts.

i went through a lot of the bad vibes on stage and the highs of finally arriving and fitting in. i saw, and continue to see, a lot of strange behavoir, but at the end of the day, the search for that perfect wrong note is the breath of life!

that said, i'm about to start a marimba recording session. long live the avant-garde and bronx banter : )

2008-01-03 10:05:19
12.   OldYanksFan
10 Not irrational at all. To swap Hughes for Santana gives us X gain. What X is depends on how you think Sanatana will hold up over 7 years, and what Phil might do in 7 years. Anyway, that X will cost us Melky, Marquis, another kid, AND over $100m! This whole thing is really being fueled by a semi-rational "But it's Johan Santana!".

At best, it's a coin flip, which is probably weighted towards the present and against the future. So if you're gonna flip a coin, why not go with Home Grown?

We all know from experience, that if you do it right, Home Grown can be better then commercial.

To me, X AIN'T worth what it's costing us. That's not even including: SAVE PHIL HUGHES

2008-01-03 10:31:35
13.   tommyl
Man, why can't Hank just STFU. Does he not realize what a jackass he sounds like with his artificial deadline proclamations and then flip flopping on that. Just let Cashman do his job. Please.
2008-01-03 10:32:36
14.   hoppystone
11 - "unfair and grueling industry"? Thelarmis couldn't be more right on the money with that one! Really nice synopsis of this rotten, yet blissful, music business.

I don't know if you're aware of it, but if you want to hear more of Albert's wisdom, the "Holy Ghost" box has 2 whole discs (#8 & 9) of him just TALKING! Any real Ayler freak needs to have this; I can't get it out of my CD player. It is a 10 disc set, so it's pricey (I got it used on Amazon), but these two discs of interviews are worth whatever price you pay. Not to mention that there is some pretty good music there as well!

2008-01-03 17:50:50
15.   thelarmis
14 this thread's probably long done, but...thanks hoppystone - that box set sounds pretty cool. i have the 9cd dolphy box. that talking bit is intriguing, esp after reading your earlier post.

are you a professional musician also?! whilst it is an 'unfair and grueling industry,' there is NOTHING else in the world i would rather do as a career! : )

it's the opposite spectrum of avant, but i'm listening to hard bopper Hank Mobley right now. it's become fashion to say he was 'underrated,' but he sure as shit was. LOVE that guy!

13 and yes, Hank really needs to sew his trap.

clemens claiming Lidocaine and B-12 injections...

2008-01-04 06:13:37
16.   hoppystone
15 thelarmis: we need to take this further. Yes, I am a musician, too, and it sounds like we have much to discuss, best done away from the Banter.
Drop me a line at, and lemme know where I can contact you directly.

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