As the Red Sox GM search trudges along with a host of uninspiring names being ushered in and out, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner—unabashedly gleeful about any misfortune that befalls the Red Sox, even the illnesses of employee relatives— has taken the occasion to relentlessly taunt Sox owner John Henry.
“John has been getting calls from George on a regular basis,” said a source within the Red Sox front office. “He sounds serious, and offers to help, but then it turns annoying. For instance, the other day he called, and in kind of a sing-song voice said, ‘Don Zimmer, is available! I could arrange an interview!’ Another day he disguised his voice as Donald Duck, and demanded that he should be interviewed as a minority candidate. Frankly, that was not only insulting to minorities, but to ducks as well.” The source relates that Steinbrenner has also suggested, among others, Grady Little, Oil Can Boyd, and the cast of Still, We Believe as possible GM candidates. “He also suggested Tim McCarver, saying that once McCarver got the names of the players straight—no small task for the oft-confused broadcaster—he might work out. If not, he talks so much he might be the only guy who could drive the Boston media away from Fenway.” Another suggestion was to sweeten the offer to Theo Epstein by offering a video-game room in the front office. “The little dufus will come running back in no time,” Steinbrenner reportedly said, cackling maniacally.
Finally, determined to put a stop to the nonsense, John Henry answered one of Steinbrenner’s recent calls, and calmly told him a story.
“George,” he reportedly said, “do you remember the ALCS in 2004? Leading three games to none?”
“Okay, okay,” said a suddenly nervous Steinbrenner. “I get the point.”
“Blown save by Rivera, walkoff homer by Ortiz, it’s 3-1.”
“You don’t need to go any further, I’ve learned my lesson.”
“Ortiz bloop single in the 14th, it’s 3-2.”
“Please, John…uh…Mr. Henry. Enough.”
“Bloody Sock Schilling, Bellhorn homerun, Slappy ARod, it’s 3-3.”
“Look, I’m an elderly--and, admittedly, deeply disturbed--man for goodness sake, don’t continue!”
“Damon grand slam…”
“Cashman! More pitching, dammit, more pitching! Payroll to $300 million! Whatever it takes! We can’t have these savages laughing at us.”