(hey, at least Gary’s not hugging John Franco)

Though I’ve long admired Phil Mushnick’s full head (and face) of hair, it does seem a little churlish of the Post’s sports media columnist to deny members of Kojack Nation what little remaining hope they’ve got left. Likewise, can it really be that Phil is shocked to find a pitch for a dubious product on cable television? Yesterday, Phil was up in arms over the Yankees’ YES telecasts being sponsored by Procede. “The incongruity of the classiest team in sports being sponsored by what seems to be a smoke-in-a-bucket sell is not all that incongruous,” sneered Mushnick. “After all, John Sterling has been the radio Voice of the New York Yankees for nearly 20 years.”

From the start of these ads, when endorser/Beverly Hills hairdresser Giuseppe Franco is identified for having big-shot clients – Franco is seen in a comically staged hug/collision with actor Gary Busey, whose career has been on the fade since drug and spousal-abuse arrests – you feel the need for a shower.

Later within the ad, Franco says of ProCede, “I don’t know anything about it. I just know that this is the greatest product ever for the appearance of your thinning hair.” To that end, viewers have a lot in common with the first part of his statement.

But the best is saved for the end, when the narrator tells us that ProCede is “the exact same product selling at Giuseppe Franco’s of Beverly Hills for $450 for just $19.95.” That seems to tell us all we need to know about ProCede and Giuseppe Franco.

But it still doesn’t explain why YES can’t do better than to allow such a product and such an ad to become attached to and synonymous with Yankees telecasts and that great Yankee tradition.