In what has become a yearly tradition, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman prepared for the winter meetings by donning an elf suit and rappelling down the side of the 22-story Landmark Building in downtown Stamford, Conn.
Only this time, in addition to being joined by Santa Claus, Rudolph, and even the mean-spirited Grinch (who once stole Christmas), he was also joined by the guy who once managed the arch-nemesis Boston Red Sox for one year, Bobby Valentine.
(Note: I realize it may be difficult for some Red Sox fans to believe Cashman and Valentine were hanging out together in public, let alone the fact that Valentine and the Grinch aren't actually one in the same, but all has been confirmed through pictures.)
The whole thing went down on Sunday night as a part of Stamford's annual Heights and Light festival. Cashman, who has taken part in said event every year since 2010, decided it would fun to invite Valentine, a Stamford native and current resident who was actually named to Mayor Michael Pavia's cabinet as the city's director of public health and safety in January of 2011, to join him in his descent, and it's said Valentine jumped at Cashman's offer like a free agent reliever seeking a multi-year deal.
Oh, and yes, Valentine even got into the spirit of the event enough to wear an elf suit of his own.
Or maybe that was required. I'm not sure.
Anyway, what I do know is both men pulled the stunt off successfully without the piece of mind provided by a safety net. For those of us who feel like we need one coming off a 10-foot ladder, that's very impressive. But for daredevils such as Cashman, and especially Valentine, I guess that only adds to the exhilaration of the moment.
"It was really exciting, exhilarating," Valentine told the Connecticut Post. "To get the act coordinated was fun."
To get a better idea of the coordination Valentine referred to that goes into such a stunt, the folks over at MLB.com have footage of their practice run from Friday morning, which was originally aired on the Fox News program Fox and Friends. There's also a photo gallery dedicated to their preparation over at the Connecticut Post's website.
If you're not fond of heights, don't click on either link. And for that matter, don't scroll down.
With every bit of joking aside, I take my hat off to both men for risking life and limb to participate in an event that is attended and enjoyed by people of ages, but is clearly geared towards putting smiles on the faces of children who can't wait to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus.
Or as Cashman himself sums it up:
"I think it's great to get the city and community together. An ordinary Sunday night turned into a really fun time."
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