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News of the Day – 11/24/08
Posted By Diane Firstman On November 24, 2008 @ 8:36 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
Don’t worry … none of this will be on the quiz. Here’s the news …
In an informal poll of veteran baseball writers, it appears Mussina may not be a lock to get into the Hall of Fame when his name will first appear on the ballot in 2013. However, no eligible pitcher with a won-lost record of at least 117 games over .500 has ever been denied entry into Cooperstown.
The Yanks also have indicated they will put a time limit on their six-year, $140 million offer for Sabathia. But that is a worthless time limit. They said last year they would not re-sign Alex Rodriguez if he opted out, and then not only brought him back, but did so on a record contract. So their credibility on this issue is zero.
1. He fully appreciates the fact that no matter what decision he makes, he is never going to be able to spend the money he is about to earn.
2. Factors other than money could serve as tiebreakers in his decision. Maybe, in the end, it will be about remaining in his home state of California, if the Dodgers or Giants or Angels check in with a competitive offer. Maybe it will be about playing in the National League. Maybe it will be about heading to New York with a good friend who happens to be a pretty good basketball player, and taking a parallel path and commiserating and sharing the experience of shouldering enormous pressure and conquering New York.
The best part of this is that Hal Steinbrenner can do it his own way now. He doesn’t have to do it with back pages and headlines and threats and being louder than New York City traffic, because everything we have seen from him so far indicates that it isn’t his style. Hal Steinbrenner, who was always going to be the guy in charge no matter what his older brother kept saying, who was quietly learning the business while his brother kept talking, can do it his own way and make his own way.
And because the Yankees are such a big deal around here and always will be, there is no reason to root against him, no reason to hope he does anything besides do things right, and with some style. This is good for the Yankees and good for baseball, which did not want Hank to be the one in charge.
According to the Web site baseball-reference.com, Wakamatsu is one of two players to reach the major leagues after being the draft’s Mr. Irrelevant. The other was Desi Wilson, the 1,490th overall pick in the 87th round in 1989 by the Astros.
Wakamatsu is also the second Mr. Irrelevant to become a major league manager. Matt Galante, who became the second member of the club in 1966, led the Astros for 27 games of the 1999 season when Larry Dierker had health problems.
Such a quiet passing of the torch, so unfitting, so at odds with everything that had come before.
The most bombastic, pompous and notorious owner in all of sports – if not sports history – called it a career Thursday and there was barely a media ripple.
Now 78, Steinbrenner’s brash style had long ago become obsolete but the man’s significance is not remotely debatable. It could be argued he is the most significant pro sports owner of the past 50 years.
…. (another excerpt)
It’s not that I feel sorry for him over his lack of media fanfare. He received more than his worldly share while leading the Yankees the past 36 years. Became expert at continually landing the Yankees on the back page of the New York tabloids.
It’s more the simple lack of recognition for an amazing, controversial and historic career.
Really, there has never been another like it.
There never will be another one like George. There never will be anyone as complex, as full of bluster and meanness one moment and yet capable of such acts of kindness the next.
George was the perfect owner in a city in which fans demand a winner, a city in which fans simply don’t want to hear about excuses and bad bounces. They just want to win.
George was like that. He just wanted to win. Whatever criticisms Yankee fans spouted in his direction, they always knew he wanted to win and that money was never an object.
He didn’t always spend his money wisely, but he always, always kept the Yankees interesting. One of the New York columnists wrote this week that in Steinbrenner’s 36 seasons as owner, the Yankees were never irrelevant. No other New York team can make such a claim.
Indeed, Yankees offseasons were more interesting than most teams’ seasons. Thank you, George Steinbrenner.
Some, like the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, are particularly meticulous, tracking fat, calories and carbohydrates while planning ahead on road trips in order to find smart restaurants to dine at.
“Alex is unbelievable. Just his diet,” Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte said. “He just doesn’t put anything bad in his mouth, and it’s amazing. But look at the way he looks, and that’s why. There’s no doubt that he watches extremely closely what he eats, and he’s very disciplined. And that’s the biggest thing, is a disciplined person.”
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URLs in this post:
 BP.com: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8326
 Post: http://www.nypost.com/seven/11232008/sports/yankees/yanks__mets_face_competition_for_free_ag_140353.htm?page=1
 ESPN’s: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3721020&name=olney_buster
 News’: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2008/11/22/2008-11-22_hal_steinbrenner_can_be_his_own_boss.html
 Times’: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/sports/baseball/23blogs.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
 Los Angeles Daily News: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_11054072
 Sporting News’: http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=489647
 MLB.com: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081121&content_id=3688622&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
 Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/sports/baseball/24score.html?ref=sports
 Post: http://www.nypost.com/seven/11232008/sports/yankees/an_off_the_ball_look_at_your_favorite_sp_140352.htm
 Josh Lucas: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0524197/
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