The Yankees' secret weapon tonight will be ... Muhammad Ali?

August 6, 2009

In case you haven't heard, the Yankees and Red Sox kick off a monster four-game set tonight in the Bronx.

And in case you also haven't heard, New York hasn't performed too well against Boston this season, going a hang-your-head-in-shame 0-8 in 2009.

So what do the Bronx Bombers do to get things turned around and ensure their 2.5-game AL East leads either grows or stays intact through Sunday night?

Enlist the help of The Greatest, of course.

Muhammad Ali will be at Yankee Stadium tonight to help inspire the collective 'Stripes across the street from the site of his title defense against Ken Norton all the way back in 1976.

Here's the best part, though: The reason Ali is making the trip is because he'll be presenting Hal Steinbrenner with something called the "Six Star Diamond Award" for "excellence" in hospitality.

Yes, the man who made a career of punching people in the face will give a hospitality award to a man who helped build a stadium so expensive most regular people can't afford it.

I'd say that Steinbrenner should be ashamed of making a man with Parkinson's travel to New York to feed his ego, but it's really a shrewd move to ask the champ to do something before the Red Sox did. Jason Bay(notes), after all, is going to miss at least the series' first two games with an ankle injury and Ali would surely still have more range in left than Kevin Youkilis(notes).