Who's nuts, Sid or Steinbrenner?

Sid Hartman's Strib column remains a tragicomic must-read for any self-respecting sports fan who isn't already living with a crotchety grandpa barking inanities and spraying food over on the davenport. Nearly every day you can unearth something in Sid's column that is either a diamond or a really hard piece of shit. A week or two ago he spun a tale about once riding on a train with Joe Paterno and Woody Hayes as they scrawled plays on napkins until the sun came up. Or something like that. It was an absolutely riveting story, made all the more spellbinding by the fact that, because of Sid's advanced years and obsequious determination to remain in the presence of powerful people, it could actually be true.

But then you read something that just makes you shake your head and wonder who is making this stuff up, and why? An item in today's column was one such eye-popper, especially when you consider that it involves Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The butt cheeks of Steiny rank among the top ten posteriors Sid enjoys nuzzling, and sometimes the ass of the moment will even offer up a morsel of information for Sid to pass on.(It's no mean feat to crack that top ten, by the way. The competition is heavy, what with Lou Holtz and Bobby Knight still alive and no fewer than eleven stadiums that have to be approved before December or every single athlete in the state will leave town by 2007. That's some serious suck-up.)

After working the kinks out of his kneejerk with some obligatory stadium grumbling, this was Sid's second item under "Jottings":

There isn't any doubt that the New York Yankees would have interest in trading for Twins center fielder Torii Hunter. But the only player on the Yankees roster the Twins could afford and might be accepted by them in exchange for Hunter would be young second baseman Robinson Cano and he isn't available.

Forget the fractured and grafted English (like I should talk) and consider the substance of that nugget. The only question that comes to mind is, Who is nuts here, Sid or Steiny? Robinson Cano is a nice little player who may eventually become one of the game's top five second basemen. Torii Hunter, however, ranks with Andruw Jones as the best defensive outfielder in the world, and is a far more dangerous hitter than Cano to boot. Put Hunter out in center field (even only 3/4 recovered from his broken ankle) when Adam Kennedy hit that "triple" in Game Five of the ALDS and the Yankees are playing the White Sox tonight instead of the Angels. An ace center fielder who can vacuum up flies and hit better than Bernie Williams and Bubba Crosby combined is exactly what the Yanks needed this season. And Cano "isn't available" in a swap for Hunter?

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