Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Billy Crystal To Suit Up For the Yankees...

Billy Crystal is not doubt one of the most renowned entertainers in the world as he's had a wonderful career of making the masses laugh through comedy and his cinematic work.

However, I strongly disagree with his latest move, whether it is to fulfill a lifetime dream on not. He’ll be suiting up for the Yankees and signed a one-day, minor league contract with the New York Yankees and play in Thursday’s exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Crystal, an avid Yankees fan, will work out with the team on Wednesday and will wear uniform No. 60 for the game -- to be played one day before his 60th birthday. The Yankees said Monday they have the approval of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

"I've been waiting 50 years for this call," Crystal said in a statement released by the team. "I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of the Yankees and commissioner Selig. I know this'll be tougher than the Broadway Softball League, but I'm looking forward to helping the younger players, which by the way is all of them. Oops, I have to go, Scott Boras is on the phone."

Crystal, according to the Yankees hit .348 and was captain during his senior year at Long Beach High School in New York. He directed and produced "61*," a move about Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and the 1961 Yankees.

"The Yankees are excited to welcome the newest member of our team known for his humor and wit as well as his undying love for the Yankees," chief operating officer Lonn Trost said.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, after Monday night's 4-0 win over Cincinnati, said he hasn't determined what position Crystal will play.

"That remains to be seen," Girardi said. "Obviously, it's kind of exciting. Billy Crystal has done a lot for this organization. He's always been a big part of it. Our way of rewarding him, saying thanks for everything that you've done."

I'm for fans living out a dream, but c'mon, this a bit silly and is going way too far. It's one thing to practice with a team, suit up for batting practice, and get up and close with the players; however, if you're not doing journalistic work or you're not an athlete, you've got no business playing in a competitive professional game - exhibition or not. I don't want to know what the Yankees were thinking.

I love Billy Crystal's work, but I think playing in a live professional baseball should be left to those who can sincerely play the game, not for fans who want to live a dream.

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