The New York Yankees have signed Billy Crystal to a permanent deal after the actor impressed in an exhibition match against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
The game was in honour of the lifelong Yankee fan's sixtieth birthday, and his sterling work in When Harry Met Sally, which George Steinbrenner is known to regard highly, listing it as his favorite movie of all time.
The film star certainly came away with his reputation enhanced:
"The guy can hit", stated manager Joe Girardi at a press conference today. "(He's got) Good plate discipline. He drew a lot of walks, and showed nice speed round the bases for an old guy. He looked mahvelous, absolutely mahvelous."
"He's clutch that's for sure", said an impressed A-Rod. "But the play where he went into the bleachers to deny Jason Bay a certain home run, then threw out McLouth at home was the one that really got me. For anyone to do that is incredible, but for a guy playing shortstop to pull that off? That's web gem stuff."
Going 9 for 15 with 4 home runs, 3 triples, 2 doubles, 23 runs batted in, Crystal drew 6 walks, with 14 stolen bases, threw 5 Pirates out at home base with bullet throws from center field, ended the game in the 18th inning with a walk off grand slam, turned 10 double plays and threw three innings of relief work, striking out the entire Pirates line-up with an impressive repertoire of pitches, including a devastating curve and a quite simply unhittable gyro ball.
"He's lights out", assessed Mariano Rivera. "Dude's got a filthy cutter, the like of which I've never seen".
"A curtain call on his debut? Not bad", remarked Giambi.
"One word: hustle", added Abreu.
The exhibition wasn't without its controversy however, when a clearly miffed Byung-Hyun Kim went up and in on Crystal, striking the actor on the helmut and leading to a bench-clearing brawl in the ninth inning.
"I'm not a big fan of City Slickers and Jodie Dallas, his gay character in Soap, is frowned upon in my country", stated an unrepentant Kim. "He's overrated as a comedian. And bald."
Nevertheless, Crystal ended up cleaning house and left the Pirates bruised and running scared.
"The guy's a gamer", enthused Johnny Damon. "Although I never knew he was capable of such vicious rage."
"He's a true Yankee", declared Posada. "Passion personified. The Yankees are in his blood. You know he's got your back. The guy's a scrapper."
"He's a good clubhouse presence", revealed Robinson Cano. "Always joking around, making guys feel good about themselves. He even made Matsui laugh."
Manager Girardi has issued a note of caution:
"It was only against the Pirates in an exhibition game. Let's see what he's like in October, if we get there. We don't want to go overboard and tip him for the MVP just because of one great performance", stated Girardi, who confirmed the contract is 300 million dollars over ten years to play short in place of Jeter, whom they traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Friday.