Tag Archives: George Steinbrenner

Joe Torre Proves He’s A Fraud Too!

25 Jan

According to early newspaper reports on Joe Torre’s upcoming book, the former Yankee skipper says A-Rod’s Yankee teammates referred to him as A-Fraud.  Torre also reveals that A-Rod has a Jeter obsession and takes some shots at GM Brian Cashman and King George along the way.

All of the above may be true and well deserved commentary.  Here’s the thing though, this book is going to change people’s perceptions of Torre rather than his targets.  Long regarded as a class act, a book like this is going to take Joe Torre’s good reputation down more than a few pegs.

For the life of me, I don’t understand this move by Joe Torre.  I’m not a Yankee fan, but many of my friends and c0-workers are.  From what I’ve seen most were ready for a regime change.  But, it wasn’t that Yankee fans no longer liked Joe Torre, in fact it was quite the opposite.  New York fans are sophisticated and realized that like anything else Torre’s run simply had run its course.  The team just needed to hear a new voice after so many year’s of Torre’s.

When the Yankees forced Torre out by offering a contract they knew was way below what he was expecting, most Yankee fans were not happy to see Joe leave the organization.  Many expected him to no longer manage but to stay part of the Yankee family.  They were disappointed when Torre fled for the bright lights of L.A., but they understood and most sided with Torre over Cashman and the Steinbrenners.

Why?  Cause they thought he was a class act.

I wonder what Yankee fans are thinking now? 

Anyway, back to what I’m thinking.  I can’t understand why Torre would do it.  It can’t be for the money.  He’s making a seriously nice salary with the Dodgers.  So, it’s got to be that Joe Torre is majorly ticked off at the Yankees.

We’ve all been there.  It could be directed at your boss, a good friend or your wife.  You are just too angry or hurt and end up saying something that you know will end up hurting you more than the person you’re trashing. 

Today was Joe Torre’s turn to say something dumb and prove that Saint Joe is merely human.

Mission accomplished…

New York Yankees Eliminated! Dynasty Dead!

24 Sep

Yankees Urn.jpg

It finally happened tonight.  The Yankees were eliminated from baseball’s postseason.  Even more delicious for this Red Sox fan was that it was a Boston victory that knocked them out.

With Boston’s win over the Indians tonight, the Yankees 1,000 year playoff streak was finally broken.  Millions and millions of hours of my prayers and church going were finally answered!  The Yankee Dynasty is dead.

Will it return anytime soon?  My first reaction is with that much cash, there’s no doubt that the Bronx Bombers will be a serious threat to the BoSox claim to the mantle of the “New Evil Empire”.  Of course, there will be challenges and questions to answer along the way.

  Let’s take a quick look at some of them!

Brian Cashman – is he a genius or is he highly over-rated?  Will he come back or will he bolt at the thought of coming back with deminished powers?

The Steinbrenner Boys – probably should have put them at the top of this list.  Will they be as hungry to win as their dad was?  Will they be as undisciplined in that quest for winning as their pop was?  If so, you’ll start to see it this off season as they persue every just past his prime free agent with the gusto of a prostitute at the GOP and/or Democratic national convention chasing after drunken superdelegates.

Joe Girardi – So… He came to the Yankees with exactly how much experience?  He was supposed to be Mister Tough guy to Torre’s old softie act.  Somehow Girardi didn’t crack down as much as let the franchise crack up in year one.

Joba, Joba, Joba – Jorge Posada says he belongs in the pen.  Chamberlain says he doesn’t care so long as he isn’t forced to bounce between two jobs.  And Cashman actually raised the idea of starting him in relief AGAIN and then converting him to starting later in the seaons.  Hmmmm… Maybe Cashman isn’t a genius.  As I’ve long said, pick a role for Joba and keep him there. 

Old Guys – Posada is an old injured catcher.  Giambi is old and no first basemen.  Jeter (and lightning may strike me down now) looked older this year.  Alex plays old in the clutch if you believe in that kind of thing.  Godzilla isn’t getting younger and was hurt this year.  Damon has aged rapidly and you’ve got to wonder how many years he’s got left.  Mussina has made me eat my words and he may yet win 20, but how many will he get next year?  Does Andy Pettite want a next year and if you’re the Yankees do you want that with you?

Under Achieving Young Guys – Just about every young Yankee pitcher underachieved either by their play on the field, getting hurt or in most cases all three.  Can someone from among Hughes, Kennedy or Rasner and their ilk step up and throw strikes for a full seaon?  And then there’s Robinson Cano and Melkey Cabrera out to show that not only young pitchers underperform.  What’s their true value?

Wow!  That’s a lot to tackle and I barely follow the Yankees.  Good luck to them and their fans.  But not too much.  This is one Red Sox that wants to appreciate them when they’re down cause it likely won’t last long.  It may not be classy but after suffering for the first 30 years of my fandom at the Yankees’ rough hands, what else can you expect from me?

One last thought on the Yankees’ demise.  It makes the Rays a fun story for me again.  When it became clear the Rays weren’t going away earlier this season, I was worried between a Red Sox slump and Bronx surge that Boston might be left watching October baseball from the sidelines.  I went from almost rooting for the Rays to actively rooting against them.  It was maddening and incomprehensible that the Sox weren’t able to catch them.  After all, what’s it worth being the New Evil Empire if you can’t crush the Tampa Bay Rays?

Anyway, with the Yankees safetly dispatched, I can now go back to rooting for Tampa.  That is, until Boston plays them in the playoffs should either team get that far…

Yankee fans, it was a great run.  You earned a little break.  Enjoy the time away and see you next spring!

Scandal! How Did These Guys Get Into The Hall Of Fame Before Gossage?!

29 Jul

Sorry to rain on Rich Gossage’s Hall of Fame parade, but I’d like to know just how come it took so long to get the Goose into the Hall of Fame.  Gossage has been incredibly gracious about the whole thing and I admire him for it.

I, not being Goose Gossage, don’t have to be gracious.  I’ve never been a Yankee fan.  In fact, I’m a card carrying Yankee hater, but I also believe myself to be capable of making unbiased calls on our all important Hall of Fame debates.

The reality is that Goose Gossage belonged in the Hall of Fame way before he actually got in.  To me, there are two ways to get into the Hall.  Actually, there are three ways and Gossage accomplished all three.

First, you can be a compiler.  This is a player with a long, consistent career who ends up putting up some very big career numbers.  Check that off for Gossage, who played over twenty years and was usually in the discussion of the top closers in the game.

Second, you can just be the top dog.  That category is reserved for the Ruths, Mantles, Mays, Seavers and Koufax types.  This is the kind of player who is simply the very best at his position for a very long time.  Check that off for Goose too.  Gossage was debatably the top closer in the game from the mid 70s through the mid eighties.

Finally, you can be a game changer or as they more typically say in football, a game breaker.  This is the kind of guy who strikes fear into his opponents’ hearts and singlehandedly changes the way the game is played.  Think LT in football.

Gossage was that in baseball.  He was an intimidater.  You knew that if your team didn’t put runs up before he got into the game you sure as hell were not likely to score any more once he got onto that mound.  In that respect, Gossage is very similar to today’s Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera.  Of course, Gossage was doing it two innings or more at a time…

So, by all my standards, Gossage was a clear Hall of Famer sincethe very moment he became eligible.  Yet, somehow the Goose didn’t make it in for nine long years.

Let’s take a look (and some admittedly cheap shots) at the guys who beat Gossage into Cooperstown and grade them as better or worse picks for the Hall than Goose Gossage:

Class of 2000 – This is the first year Gossage is eligible (if I counted backwards properly)

Tony Perez – RBI machine, but lots of guys in his position in the Big Red Machine’s lineup would probably be able to say that.  Outside of one or two truly great years, was he even ever the third best player on his own team (remember he played with Bench, Morgan and some guy named Pete Rose…)?  ADVANTAGE: GOOSE

Carlton Fisk – all time leader in most catching categories because he played for about 100 years, definitely one of the top 10 catchers ever.  Impacted the game both on offense and defense in a very critical position.  ADVANTAGE: FISK

Class of 2001

Dave Winfield – great athlete, played all three major sports, very good hitter for a long time, but he wasn’t Reggie Jackson as George Steinbrenner can tell you.  I agree with George for once!  ADVANTAGE: GOSSAGE

Kirby Puckett – may he rest in peace, great player who was on pace for some great numbers prior to his eye injury,  Championship Center Fielder on two Twins’ World Series Champs  ADVANTAGE: TIE

Class of 2002

Ozzie Smith – great defensive shortstop, couldn’t hit that much until later in his career.  Am always amazed at how easily Smith got in.  Sure he was The Wizard, but it should have taken him much longer to get to Cooperstown.  Consider that Alan Trammel will likely never get into the Hall, yet during their primes you probably wouldn’t have traded Trammel for Smith even up.  Trammel was way more valuable.  ADVANTAGE: GOOSE

Class of 2003

Eddie Murray – super consistent slugger, yet never hit for a truly amazing amount of home runs in any given year.  ADVANTAGE: MURRAY (But just slightly)

Gary Carter – I go with the Fisk argument here again.  A catcher with his offensive ability is a rare thing.  ADVANTAGE: CARTER

Class of 2004

Paul Moliter – the man could flat out hit.  If not for injury and some youthful foolishness, who knows what his numbers could be.  Interesting thought that essentially he, like Gossage, was a specialist for much of his career, yet that didn’t hurt him in the Hall vote as much as Goose.  ADVANTAGE: MOLITER

Dennis Eckersley – amazing career as a quality starter and then transitioning to a modern day bullpen ace.  Still, with all that, in my book you take care of the people who blazed Eck’s trail first.  ADVANTAGE: GOSSAGE

Class of 2005

Ryne Sandberg – hit great for a second basemen.  Had an amazing ten year run and then, poof!  He was done.  ADVANTAGE:  GOSSAGE (who had about double his run in baseball)

Wade Boggs – tough to argue with his lifetime batting average and the handful of batting titles.  ADVANTAGE: BOGGS

Class of 2006

Bruce Sutter – sure, he perfected a pitch that changed the game.  And sure, he was dominating.  But, he played about half as long as Gossage.  Gossage’s prime lasted longer and Sutter was never clear cut better than Gossage.  If the baseball gods were fair, they would’ve gone in together.  But, since, they’re not…. ADVANTAGE: GOOSE

Class of 2007

Tony Gwynn – like Boggs, only better.  No argument here.  ADVANTAGE: GWYNN

Cal Ripken Jr – how do you argue against a guy who breaks Gehrig’s record and “saves” baseball.  Plus, he revolutionized the position of shortstop and paved the way for guys like A-Rod, Nomar and oh yeah, Jeter.  ADVANTAGE: RIPKEN

Hank Steinbrenner loses his mind. It’s good to be a Red Sox fan!

22 Apr

Showing himself to be more like his dad with every passing explosion, Little Steinbrenner went off recently about Yanks Phenom Joba Chamberlain.  In a season in which, so far, the young Yankee pitching (they resisted trading for Johan Santana) has let them down, Hank could take no more.  It was time for the chip off the old block to pull one of his dad’s favorite moves.  Pointing the finger of blame squarely at somebody else.

Hank has just come out in favor of Chamberlain joining the Yankees starting rotation as soon as possible.  But, that wasn’t enough for him.  He had to get to the root of the problem.  He needed someone to blame.  It was Joe Torre or maybe it was Brian Cashman, but it was NOT him.  That much was VERY clear.  According to Hank, Joba was handled the wrong way last year.  Rather than being used as a set up man, Hank thinks Chamberlain should have been put straight into the Yankee rotation.

If Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes keep pitching like Ted Kennedy and the late Howard Hughes (ok, that was an admitted stretch…) respectively, then The Little Stein will soon get his wish.

And how will Joba do in the starter’s role this year?  Not as good as Hank may think.  First off, kiss a few miles off of his fastball.  If Chamberlain’s going five plus innings, he’ll have to pace himself.  Secondly, while he has two fantastic pitches, his other two are not as stellar.  Major league hitters will exploit that relative weakness when he’s forced to throw them more.  And lastly, how exactly is he getting tuned up to be a starter?  Do you send him down to the minors for a while in the middle of a pennant race and give up your eighth inning lights out set up guy?

As a Red Sox fan, I certainly hope so.  I’d love to see Joba only once in a seven game series rather than three or more times. 

Bring it on Hank!