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Bob Ryan

Bronx bombshell sends loud message

By Bob Ryan
Globe Columnist / December 24, 2008
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Attention, Yankee Nation. Attention, America. Attention, World. Attention, Universe. Attention, Galaxies Unknown. Attention, Babe, The Iron Horse, The Mick, and all other residents of that great Yankee Retirement Home In The Sky:

These are The Steinbrenners speaking.

WE'RE BACK!

Yeah, we're back. We told you we had money and we were going to spend it. We told you we were tired of not winning. We told you we had enough of the (ugh) Red Sox and - this may have been even worse - the Devil Rays, or Sting Rays, or Ultra-Rays, or whatever they want to call themselves. Like, Tampa is a good place to live, but you wouldn't want to own a ball club there, you know what we're saying?

So what do you think now, smart guys? We told you we meant business. First, we bagged the best pitcher available. We got big ol' CC Sabathia. Then we got the righthanded pitcher with the best stuff available. We got A.J. Burnett, and he even has his own periods to go with his initials. And now we got ourselves the best position player available. We got Mark Teixeira.

How you gonna pitch to us now, smart guys?

The last eight years have been tough. First there was that nonsense against the Diamondbacks in 2001. Like, how many times is Mo gonna give up a save in the ninth? Then we lose to the Angels with their pitty-pat lineup. Please. Next we lose to the Marlins and that kid Beckett? Impossible.

You know we don't talk much about '04. Up 3-0, just kicking their butts in Game 3, and we're three outs away from a sweep that would have buried them for the next 86 years. Then they luck out. Roberts just makes it to second and Mueller bounces one up the middle. And how did that ball Tony Clark hit crawl up the fence? That shoulda been the game-winner right there. Aw, we're sick of talking about it.

Anyway, we could never catch a break. Mussina was OK, but did we win it all with him? No. Kevin Brown? Hey, you win a few, you lose a few. Randy? We had to try, but he was never really comfortable in New York, you know? Roger? Next question.

And position players. We got Giambi a year removed from an MVP year, and he put up some pretty good numbers, but, well, you know. A-Rod? Coupla MVPs and a lot of off-the-field headlines, but how 'bout a big postseason hit (or any postseason hit), Big Guy?

Johnny Damon, Abreu? Nice players. Of course, Damon can't throw and he has to move to left, and what do we do with Matsui? Hideki Matsui. Now there's a guy who's worth the money. Too bad we couldn't have cloned him.

Couldn't catch a break with the farm system, either. Way back when, we brought up Jeter, Mo, Pettitte, and Posada. Went kinda dry after that. Yeah, well, there's Robby Cano. They say he's a future batting champ. That's assuming we can get him to understand this is a 162-game business.

And Wang. You can't say he's not a good pitcher. Oh, and Joba The Heat. Kid's kinda frisky and we don't exactly know what to do with him, but Girardi went to Northwestern, so we'll expect him to figure it out.

It's been very hard to take, watching what's been going on. The Red Sox! John Henry's OK. He used to be on our side. Had seats in the first row and everything. The manager's OK. Never says the wrong thing. Don't know anyone in baseball who dislikes Terry Francona. We'd take him in a New York minute.

But that Lucchino! Strutting around like he's in charge. Yeah, right. We never did like that guy. He used to be a toady lawyer for Edward Bennett Williams, that Democrat. It's not right, losing to that guy.

Well, that's all history now. Can't wait for that first series. April 24, 25, and 26. We'll give 'em CC and Wang and A.J., or CC and A.J. and Wang. Doesn't matter. Oooh, we can just see 'em slinking back to the dugout or taking those right turns at first base.

And we can't wait to see Teixeira playing first and batting in front of A-Rod. Or after, or wherever Joe G wants. Teixeira is the goods, and he's ours, all ours.

Nyahh, nyahh. Teixeira was the best guy out there. Twenty-eight years old. Switch-hitter with power from both sides of the plate. And disciplined. Takes pitches. Works counts. Just a tough out, baby.

You've gotta love this guy. When he was a rookie with the Rangers, he walked 44 times and struck out 120 times. Not so unusual. But last year he walked 97 times and whiffed 93 times. That's a guy who has studied his craft. That's a guy who can take instruction. That's a guy you want on your side.

Yup, and he's now on our side.

So it cost us a little money. So the total outlay for CC, A.J., and Teixeira is $423 million. Hey, you know what Herman Edwards says: "You play to win the game." We're in this to win.

We've got our new ballpark, remember? We're gonna mint money. Hey, the seats behind home are going for $2,500 per. That's right, KC, Milwaukee, Seattle, and not just the Red Sox. You wanna bask in the glow of our historic greatness? You wanna feel the whoosh of CC's fastball or get a sense of the breathtaking nature of A.J.'s breaking stuff? You gotta pay. Anyway, it's only money.

We're the New York Yankees. We've won 26 world championships, and we've gone eight long, agonizing, humiliating, dehumanizing years not winning number 27. We've watched the Diamondbacks, the Angels, the Marlins, the Red Sox - twice! - the White Sox, the Cardinals, and the Phillies win in the 21st century. Ridiculous!

Enough is enough. We're the New York Yankees. WE'RE BACK!

Bob Ryan is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at ryan@globe.com.

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