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About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind. 

By Tim Kabel

December 30, 2023


Well, we have reached the end of another year. Not to sound like an old codger sitting in a rocking chair, complaining about the modern world but, this year sure went by quickly. As we cast 2023 onto the scrap heap of history and prepare to welcome in 2024, I will ruminate about a wide variety of topics. Because this is my last one of these articles this year, I will not limit myself to the Yankees or even to baseball. I will be like a free-range chicken, wandering over the landscape, pecking away at the various tidbits that catch my eye. 

  • Years ago, the Yankees acquired separately Ozzie Canseco and Ken Brett, the less successful brothers of Jose Canseco and George Brett, respectively. Legend has it that George Steinbrenner asked the question, "Why do we always get the wrong brother?" This week, I read that the Yankees acquired a player named Cody. Naturally, I assumed it was Cody Bellinger. Alas, it was Cody Morris. We got the wrong Cody. 


  • Morris was acquired in trade for Estevan Florial. I guess you could say the Yankees sent the Guardians a Florial arrangement in exchange for a Cody-gram. 


  • 2024 is a leap year. The only unfortunate part of that is it gives us one more day of the seemingly endless presidential campaign. This will be my my 11th time voting in a presidential election. I was too young to vote in 1980 but amazingly, Jimmy Carter, who was the sitting president and the Democratic candidate for president that year is still with us. Congratulations and best wishes to him. 


  • When I was younger, part of the holiday season was watching the 1934 Laurel and Hardy classic, March of the Wooden Soldiers. My favorite line from the movie was when Oliver Hardy uttered, "Big bait catches big rats." I have found that to be true. By the way, the actor who played the elderly villain, Silas Barnaby, was Henry Brandon, who in 1956, played the Comanche Chief Scar in the John Ford Western, The Searchers. 


  • There are rumblings that the Yankees may soon sign more players, including some combination of Cody Bellinger, Josh Hader, and one of the remaining starting pitchers. I imagine there will be a flurry of activity by many teams next week. 


  • If you were magically given the physical talent to perform in Major League Baseball and your choice was to either hit the game-winning home run in the final game of the World Series or close out the World Series by striking out the final batter as a pitcher, which would it be? I would choose the home run. 


  • For my money, Laurel and Hardy were the greatest comedy team in the history of the movies. Their films still hold up to this day. 


  • Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV is a wonderful experience. It's hard to believe that Burl Ives, who narrated the show and played the lovable snowman, Sam, also played Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film, The Big Country, in 1958. He was also a famed folk singer. His version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town is my favorite. Interestingly, in the original broadcast of Rudolph in 1964, Santa never went to the island of Misfit Toys as had been promised. After many viewers complained, they added that in for the next year’s broadcast and that's how it has been seen ever since. 


  • Who is more likely to be on the 2024 Yankees, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, both or neither? I say the Yankees will find a way to get rid of Stanton but will keep LeMahieu. 


  • These days, virtually everyone signs off their emails or texts by identifying their pronouns of choice. It makes me wonder what pronouns Ben Hur would use? 


  • I think Clarke Schmidt's performance last year as a full-time starter was underrated. He had a very solid year overall. I do think he might be more effective as a setup man, but his performance as a starting pitcher was nothing to sneeze at. Depending on what other moves the Yankees make in the pitching department, Schmidt could fill the role of a starter or an important part of the bullpen. 


  • There are many species of animals, birds and insects which are named after United States presidents. Barack Obama holds the record with 13 creatures and one species of fungi named after him. That is somewhat surprising to me because I would have thought mostly everything had already been named. Still, I think Teddy Roosevelt made out better. Although he only had seven species named after him, among those were an elk, the Abyssinian Lion, a gazelle, and a shrew that he himself discovered. I think those creatures beat a couple of beetles, spiders, and a fungus. I think if I were president and someone tried to name a fungus or a parasite after me, I would invoke my presidential veto. 


  • One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was from my wife. It is a coffee mug with a picture of Mr. T dressed as Santa Claus with Nancy Reagan sitting on his lap. It's like entering the Twilight Zone every time I drink a cup of coffee. 


  • Among the actors who have either played Santa Claus on TV or in film or provided the voice of Santa Claus, are some real surprises: Kurt Russell, William Shatner, Thomas Mitchell, John Malkovich, James Earl Jones, Isaac Hayes, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Mel Gibson, Bryan Cranston, and Ed Asner. I'm also surprised that the late Wilford Brimley never played the role. He would have been a natural. 


  • Aaron Boone recently gave very encouraging news regarding Jasson Dominguez’s recovery from Tommy John surgery. Hopefully, he will be back soon. In his all-too-brief appearance last year, he brought a lot of excitement to the table. 


  • I have lost count of how many times my cats have knocked the ornaments off the Christmas tree. As I stand here surveying the carnage, I feel like Scarlett O'Hara looking at the sea of wounded soldiers after the Battle of Atlanta in Gone With the Wind. 


  •  I'm looking forward to seeing Will Warren and Clayton Beater in spring training. They could each play a role on the Major League team this year, so it will be nice to see what they have in spring training. It's too bad the Yankees don't have a catcher whose last name is Peace. They could then have a battery of Warren and Peace. 


  • If the Yankees do sign Cody Bellinger, they won't have to worry about not having enough left-handed batters in the lineup. They could conceivably field a lineup at some point this season with Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, Cody Bellinger, Jasson Dominguez, Anthony Rizzo, and Austin Wells. They could even work Oswaldo Cabrera in if they wanted to. It always amazed me that they had so few left handers recently. 


Dec 31, 2023

If Clayton Beeter makes it to the majors this year, the Yankees should make Austin Wells his "personal catcher". Beeter has had his best success in the minors when Wells was catching him in Somerset.


Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
Dec 31, 2023

Again, de gustibus non disputantum, but the greatest comedy team in movie history is the Marx Brothers...and they have between 50 and 100 percent more members.


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Dec 30, 2023


As a pitcher, I'll take striking out the batter. (Though hitting a walk-off would be nice.)


Dec 30, 2023

Sox sent Sale to Braves for Grissom; Reds ink Montas.

Dec 30, 2023
Replying to

will Bellinger end up in San Fran?


Dec 30, 2023

the Yankees need both one more starting pitcher and one more dependably productive hitter.......

they probably would be wise to make a trade for only one at present

WHICH should they target?

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