The ghost of George visits Hank and Hal


(Hank and Hal Steinbrenner sit in their Tampa offices. The TV is on showing the Giants and Rangers playing in the World Series. Each are reading over details of Joe Girardi’s contract offer. They both look up when they hear a strange rattling.)

HANK:
What the hell was that?

HAL:
Who’s there?

(The ghost of their father, George M. Steinbrenner III, appears.)

GHOST:
I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night.
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love–

HANK:
That doesn’t sound like you, dad.

HAL:
You never spoke in iambic pentameter.

GHOST:
What? Your old man didn’t have a flair for the dramatic?
I ought to fire you both.

HANK:
Now THAT’S dad.

HAL:
What are you doing here?

GHOST:
(Pointing to the TV.)
First of all, I want that turned off. There’s no World Series being played
this year. Not as far as we are concerned. Now for the last few years my
body has slowed me down a little. But let me tell you… I am charged up
and ready to be the old George again.

(Ghost sees they are reviewing papers.)

GHOST:
What are you working on? I assume the apology to the fans of New York
for such a poor showing this October?

HAL:
Um… no dad. We’re not issuing a statement like that.

GHOST:
Why not? What are you satisfied with this showing? Did you break camp
in April saying “Ooooo. I hope this rag tag bunch of misfits scrapes together 95 wins and gets the Wild Card?” You think New Yorkers want that? You see those “Wild Card” hats and shirts flying off the racks? We should donate the whole damn line to Goodwill. It’s a disgrace. What are you working on?

HANK:
These are about Girardi.

GHOST:
Ah. Good work. Get him out of here.

HAL:
Actually it’s a three year extension. We’re bringing him back.

GHOST:
WHAT?

HANK:
We believe in Joe.

GHOST:
Oh I believe in him too… I believe he just cost us a trip to the World Series. Did you see how he managed that ALCS? He wouldn’t bring in Mariano Rivera with the season on the line, but in every big spot out came David Robertson. I read the box scores and kept thinking “Why the hell are they listing his social security number?” Then I realized THAT WAS HIS PLAYOFF E.R.A.!

HAL:
The Rangers were tough.

GHOST:
Tough? We used to beat them and they’d score only one run all series. And those were the Rangers who were all on steroids. But it’s easy to score runs I guess when you don’t use your Hall of Famers and keep throwing the Robertsons and Mitres of the world. Where the hell was Sabathia when the season was on the line in Game 4?

HANK:
Joe didn’t want to wear down his arm.

GHOST:
Wear down his arm? He threw 10 innings over 2 weeks. Billy Martin used to throw Sparky Lyle 10 innings every other day out of the bullpen. Does Sabathia look like a guy who is going to wither away? He’s built like a brontosaurus. But I guess Joe got his wish. He’ll be well rested for spring training!

HAL:
Burnett actually pitched well.

GHOST:
6 innings and 5 runs for the loss. That’s a 7.50 ERA.
For $16 million I’d expect a little more than that.
Catfish Hunter could throw better than that and he’s as dead as me!

HANK:
That’s not fair, dad. Burnett pitched well for the first 5 innings.

GHOST:
Well unless they shortened the game to 5 innings since I’ve been gone,
those other 4 innings count too! And going into that game, every Yankee fan out there would ask a GENIE for 5 innings from Burnett… then 2 from Wood and 2 from Rivera. But Clueless Joe kept Burnett out there until his arm fell off. Which reminds me, when the hell did we start letting players wear tattoos on their arm?

HAL:
Molina hit a fluke homer right after the intentional walk.

GHOST:
That’s another thing. Why was every other batter intentionally walked?
David Murphy was walked? Did David Murphy become Joe DiMaggio since
I went away? And what’s he doing walking Josh Hamilton twice early in
Game 6?

HANK:
Well, best face Guerrero. He didn’t do anything all series.

GHOST:
He got 4 hits in one of the games! What happened to going after the hitters?

HAL:
Joe likes to go “By the book.”

GHOST:
Let me give you the Cliff Notes for that book. “I have the biggest payroll in baseball and I spit the bit 2 out of 3 seasons.” I’ve read it. Let me spoil the ending for you. It ends with the words “You’re fired.”

HANK:
He has Cashman’s vote of approval.

GHOST:
There’s another one. This guy has Monopoly money to play with. He can just keep building Hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk… and we don’t have a #4 starter? We don’t have a decent pen? That poor shmuck Joba kept being shifted back and forth that Girardi tried to bring him into the game as a reliever but forgot he was starting. Get rid of Cashman.

HAL:
We can’t do that!

GHOST:
Why not? There’s good GMs floating around out there. Let’s see how
they’d feel about working with blank checks. They might even put a Division
Winner on the field… something we’ve only done ONCE since 2006. And get a
manager in here with some guts.

HANK:
Like who?

GHOST:
Why not Bobby Valentine? I liked that whole “disguise” thing he pulled in
Queens. Very clever. Or hell, Joe Torre’s available. Get the author back in here and have him write a sequel.

HAL:
Torre? We’ve already parted ways. There’s too many bad feeling there.

GHOST:
Like Billy Martin and me were singing Kumbaya. I’d bring Billy back sometimes WHILE I was firing him. Let’s go. Let’s shake things up. I can only do so much from the other world.

HANK:
What should we do first?

GHOST:
Can you shake up the coaching staff?

HAL:
We already let Dave Eiland go.

GHOST:
That’s my boy! And by the way. I saw my monument at the Stadium.
It’s nice. Understated.

HANK:
Thanks dad.

GHOST:
Fare thee well at once!
The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And ‘gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
Adieu, adieu! Hank and Hal, remember me.

(Hank and Hal look confused.)

GHOST:
That’s Billy Shakespeare. Good guy. Turns out he has a wicked curve ball.
Lived in the wrong century. I would have paid him Kei Igawa money.

(Exit Ghost. Hank and Hal exhale, look at Girardi’s extension, and then search for Joe Torre’s number.)

HANK:
(Into Phone)
Joe. It’s Hank Steinbrenner. You won’t BELIEVE why I am calling you.

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