(A little literary piece here, for your amusement.)
First thing I have to say, you know, is that I understand I really have nothing to complain about. Being the announcer for the New York Yankees, I mean, how could you ask for a better job than that? The history, the tradition, the pinstripes, the twenty-six world championships. There’s nothing like being part of the greatest team of all time in professional sports. And the people I’ve been privileged to know in the organization, from Mr. Steinbrenner all down, Mr. Cashman, all the great people at the YES Network, you could not ask for better, classier people to work with. And now that we’ve moved across the street into the new House in the Bronx, it’s just that much better. If you haven’t been there – and I know a lot of you haven’t been, yet – it’s just mind-blowing. The concourses are so much wider. The new steakhouse, which is just incredible, and the new Mohegan Sun sports bar. And they’ve kept so much of what made the old Yankee Stadium such a great place, too. It’s really a testament to Mr. Steinbrenner’s vision.
What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, the whole “See-ya!” thing.
I gotta tell you, I love making that call. It’s the best part of my job. Late innings, the Bombers are down, and Jeter or Damon or Posada come through in the clutch with a home run, well, there isn’t anything more exciting in sports than that. And I get to punctuate that great moment by saying “See-ya!” over the YES Network, broadcasting to millions of Yankees fans in the tri-state Ford area – well, that’s an incredible feeling, I don’t mind telling you.
But even better than that is when I’m out on the streets of the City, and Yankees fans come up to me and say hello, and then when they say “See-ya!” when I’m walking away – well, that just gives me chills. Because that means they’re out there, listening, and that means a lot to me. And of course, they always want me to say “See-ya!” back to them, which of course I don’t do, because it’s kind of a strain on the old pipes to give out the home run call all the time. That’s a little disappointing for them, and I recognize that. But that’s not really the problem.
Let me kind of illustrate what I’m talking about. The other day, the Bombers are in Baltimore, taking on the O’s, and it’s a day game, so I go out to a nice place in the Inner Harbor to get dinner. And I’m there by myself. Which is no big deal. I usually go out with my YES Network broadcast partner, Ken Singleton, but of course he had a great career in Baltimore, and when we go back, it’s like Old Home Week for him, so he ended up going out with Boog Powell and some other old Orioles, and I wasn’t invited for some reason. Same thing used to happen with Kitty up in Minnesota, so I’m kind of used to it. Come to think of it, Cone does the same thing in Kansas City. Anyway.
So I went to this seafood place. And the waiter comes over, and I ordered a Miller Lite and some chowder. And he says, “See-ya later!”
First of all, it’s not “See-ya later!” It’s just plain “See-ya!” That’s irritating. But I didn’t think it was meant in a mean way, so I shrugged it off. He came back with the beer and the chowder, and it was Manhattan chowder, so I sent it back, because I can’t risk all that spicy tomato sauce somehow messing up the old instrument. I had some really hot salsa once in Arlington, and my throat was so irritated I almost couldn’t finish the road trip, but that’s beside the point. So I asked him to send it back, and he said sure, and then he said “See-ya!” I sort of smiled at him, because at least this time he got it right.
So he brought the right chowder back, and then he did it again with the “See-ya!” Only this time, half the other waiters were watching him do it, and when he did, they all started cracking up. That’s disrespectful, if you ask me. I know there’s a lot of resentment of Yankees fans in Baltimore – after all, we outdraw them in their own stadium nearly every game – but there’s no need for that kind of treatment.
I finished my chowder, which wasn’t half bad – they had the oyster crackers and the saltines with it, which is nice, you usually just get one or the other. And the waiter guy brings me my crabcakes, which are always great in Baltimore. And I look up at him, and this time the entire wait staff is looking at him, and he does it again. “See-ya!” And everybody in the restaurant starts breaking out laughing. And I don’t see why, because it isn’t funny or anything. Well, eventually, the manager came over and apologized, and offered me a free dessert, which I had to turn down because I’m starting to maybe get a little tubby, you know.
That’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about. You see me out on the street, and greet me with a nice “See-ya!” – that’s a nice thing for me. All I’m asking is that people not overuse it. That, and come out and see the new House in the Bronx. You’d be surprised at how affordable the tickets are – the sightlines in the upper deck over by the left-field foul pole are amazing. Like I said, it’s a real testament to Mr. Steinbrenner’s vision.