They say that when September rolls around rookies have graduated to an in between level of experience. Something like floor 7 1/2 in Being John Malkovich, I guess. You aren't quite a veteran but you are more than just a greenhorn. Shelley Duncan of the Yankees, for example, is in just such a situation. He hasn't been up in the Show for more than a couple of months but he's playing on a team in a pennant race and can't be acting like he's wet behind the ears. If the way he signed an autograph for a young Red Sox fan is any indication there's not much chance of that.
Griffin Whitman, a 10-year-old Red Sox fan from Swampscott, was excited to attend his first Yankees vs. Red Sox game Friday night. The young autograph -collector was even more thrilled to score Yankees outfielder Shelley Duncan’s signature before the game. That is, until Griffin read the message from the 27-year-old rookie: “Red Sox suck! Shelley Duncan.”
“It was cool to get his autograph,” Griffin said. “It didn’t make me feel happy when he wrote that.”
Griffin’s mother, Karen, blasted the Yankees slugger’s bad manners.
“This is someone who wears the Yankee uniform and is on the payroll and should be setting an example for 10-year-olds,” she said.
Mrs. Whitman could start setting her own example for young Griffin by buying herself a sense of humor. Duncan could tell her where to go to pick one up. She could also buy a book on the history of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry because when a kid dressed in Red Sox garb asks a Yankee player for his autograph he should be so lucky as to get a player who knows the game and knows how to have fun with the fan of the rival team. My first kid is on the way and if they turn out to be a Yankee fan like their dad and they ask an aging Jacoby Ellsbury for an autograph one day I hope he's cool enough to give an equally entertaining John Hancock.
(Tip of the signed Yankee cap to River Ave. Blues)