"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Joba! Joba! We Accept You! We Accept You! One Of Us!

Here’s what I wrote prior to Joba Chamberlain’s last start of the first half:

Joba Chamberlain . . . got an ego check his last time out when he allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. Joba’s been a bit obstinate about his performances thus far this season, often giving too much credit to the opposing lineup as well as to his own ability to make good pitches, when in reality he’s been inefficient, nibbly, and his velocity has lacked consistency. He’s still been valuable, but his lack of progress is becoming disturbing. Part of me almost wants him to get his ass handed to him tonight so he has to ugly outings staring him in the face through the All-Star break. The hope being that might put a crack in some of his delusions.

Joba did indeed get smacked around in that start against the Angels, allowing five runs on nine hits in just 4 1/3 innings while using up 94 pitches, and it seems those two starts did indeed give him something to think about during the break. Since play has resumed, Chamberlain has been the pitcher those of us who argued for his restoration to the rotation envisioned. He’s an ace, a dominating horse who is only getting better each time out. Dig these three lines:

6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K, 107 pitches
7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 100 pitches
8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 101 pitches

Two runs on six hits in 21 1/3 innings? That’s sick, and surely a little bit lucky, but there’s no denying that Joba Chamberlain has finally arrived.

Joba comes up big (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)That last line is what he did to the third-best offense in the league in Wednesday night’s rubber game against the Rays. Joba was quite simply mowing them down. With his new no-nonsense approach, he was getting the ball and getting set on the mound so quickly that even Jorge Posada was trying to slow him down. He retired the first eight men he faced, and after Posada threw out Jason Bartlett with two outs in the third (thanks to a great jump, catch, and tag by Robinson Cano) he faced the minimum through 4 1/3. He walked two in the fifth, but stranded them both and didn’t walk another batter in the entire game. The only hits he allowed were a pair of singles to Bartlett and an infield single off his own glove in the sixth. He had his fastball clocking in around 94 miles per hour and great movement on his slider and curve. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Yankees, meanwhile, picked away at Matt Garza. Derek Jeter led off the game with a triple on a ball misplayed in the right-field corner by Gabe Gross then scored when Mark Teixeira singled through three drawn-in infielders on the right-side. In the fourth, Alex Rodriguez singled, moved to third on a Hideki Matsui double, and scored on a Robinson Cano groundout. Cano then blasted a homer in the sixth after fouling a ball off his shin. With sidearming lefty Brian Shouse on in the eighth, Bartlett threw away a grounder by Matsui, putting Hideki on second, from where Posada was able to drive in pinch-runner Cody Ransom with a single to make it 4-0. Melky Cabrera and Mark Teixeira then added solo homers off Dan Wheeler in the ninth.

The Yankees nearly needed all of those runs as Brian Bruney, in to finish off a 6-0 game, gave up a triple and a homer to his first two batters (Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria). After getting Ben Zobrist to pop out, he then gave up a double to Carlos Peña. Before Bruney could pitch for the cycle, Joe Girardi brough in Mariano Rivera to lock down the series against a division rival. Rivera walked Gabe Gross, but struck out Pat Burrell and Michel Hernandez around him to secure the 6-2 win and the 3-2 series victory. With the win, the Yankees gained a game over the Red Sox, who lost to the A’s, and tied Joe Torre’s Dodgers for the best record in baseball.

Bruney’s showing was the one sour note on the night. If Bruney can’t step up, it’s going to be that much harder for the Yankees to feel comfortable moving Phil Hughes back into the rotation, if they’re even considering such a move at all. Meanwhile, Joba’s next start lines up with the Yankees’ off-day on Monday. Given the fact that his longer outings have him racing toward his innings limit, would the Yankees consider skipping him in Toronto? He’ll get to pitch in the weekend series against the Red Sox either way. If so, they could skip him again on August 24 in lieu of starting him against the Rangers at home on the 25th.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 30, 2009 2:28 am

Great post Cliff, thanks. I Heart Joba!

May get hammered for this but..the Boss Steinbrenner revisionism is starting already in the media and it's very distasteful..I am sorry for his family that he has health problems, and the "human" element of seeing a once-vibrant guy become so weak is of course thought-provoking..but I'm sorry, Steinbrenner was a first-class bully who treated a lot of people very badly...I was always taught that those wit power and influence should NEVER raise their voice or in any way abuse their employees..that doing so was sign of weak character...Steinbrenner may have had his charitable side (Daryl Strawberry, etc) but let's not forget what a grade-A a##hole he was for the majority of his tenure as owner of the Yanks...I mean, Howard Spira for god's sake!

rant finished!

2 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jul 30, 2009 2:44 am

Yes, Cliff, great post.

Things are really getting interesting and (knock on wood), feeling good.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Jul 30, 2009 5:12 am

[1] I've been noticing that, too. It's like Steinblabber, who was once dubbed Mr. Badstench on the back page of either the Post or the News, never existed. But, you know what, I don't mind and I actually think it's a good thing. People change, and everyone deserves a second, third and even a fourth chance (Robert Downey Jr.). Who wants to remember the creepy, kooky, allegedly pedophilic and spooky Michael Jackson, when it's so much more gratifying to remember the boy genius who gave you goose bumps. I feel the same way about Von Steingrabber.

4 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 30, 2009 6:39 am

[1] I have to agree 100%. I was a fan from day 1 of the 'Steinbrenner Era' and believed he ruined the team, it's reputation, and my love of the Yankees. His actions, attitude and hogging the limelight made me sick. As I've said before, I literally danced a jig when he was banned (theoretically forever) from running the Yankees.

But George is a complex character. Even at his worst, he did many charitable acts. I guess he could have turned Ray Negron in to the police, but instead he gave him a life.

George is just the ultimate egotistical, spoiled rich kid. Having HIS way seemed more important then any decision he made for the Yankees. But it seems he has always had a big heart.

Like a lot of spoiled rotten kids, he simply didn't know how to behave, and had more power then he could handle. Looking back on his legacy, to me, he is the good kid who behaved terribly for a long time, but finally turned it around. Fortunately, with age, his kindness has been able to come through.

I think what turned it around was Torre. Again, like a kid, George's behavior was affected by who 'he hung out with'. Billy Martin brought out the worst in George. It was really a disturbing relationship, possibly unprecedented in sports (what.... hired/fired 5 times?).

But when Torre came aboard, his winning and popularity forced George into sitting back a bit, and letting Torre have the ball. As the dynasty rolled (and as he started getting old), George continued to sit back while Torre became Poppa Yankee.

I believed back in the day, nobody hated George as much as I did. But he has changed, and his desire to win and put money back into the team, has set an example for all of baseball. I can't forget all the truly crappy things he has done, but I can forgive. In the long run, The Boss has had a very possitive effect on both the Yankees and all of Baseball.

(Jeez... I would I could get the difference between Affect and Effect)

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 30, 2009 6:41 am

I'm pretty sure the 'Joba to the pen' talk is done.
Hopefully, the Joba and the Farm for Halliday talk is also done.

6 knuckles   ~  Jul 30, 2009 7:01 am

So how many games should Garza get suspended for, given his acknowledging that he drilled Teix on purpose? I'd say missing 2 starts is warranted- maybe 12-13 games?

7 The Mick536   ~  Jul 30, 2009 7:13 am

[1] I still hate George and will until the day I die or he dies whichever is first. I will not forget his support of Nixon, his destruction of trade unionism, his lying, or his treatment of players and staff. Do you seriously think that anything could make up for following Dave Winfield and trying to destroy his reputation? Whores and old buildings get respectable with age; George does not.

As for last night's game, A-Rod hit into two double plays. Joba made me sick to my stomach when, after being removed following a superior major league start, he put two fingers full of some type of sucking tobacco into his mouth and started spitting. I had to turn the game off and couldn't watch Baseball tonight. And, I am unalterably opposed to throwing at someone's head, even though it is a part of the game. The Joba throw scared me, as did the ball thrown at Tex.

He and Swisher should be talked with. Disgusting.

8 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 30, 2009 7:31 am

I would agree that the game would be a lot 'prettier' if 'sucking tobacco' was outlawed on the field. Not a bad message to kids (and adults) too.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:15 am

How long before the official "Joba Innings Countdown" is up on the Times Square jumbotron? They're already starting to include it with the traffic and weather reports on the radio. "20 minute delays at the bridges and tunnels, 75 degrees, going up to 84, and Joba's thrown 110 point 2 innings of his projected 140. The official Joba Innings Countdown brought to you by Peerless Boilers."

10 RIYank   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:20 am

Me too, about Steinbrenner.

He is, if not solely responsible, then 98% responsible, for the period during which I was embarrassed to be a Yankee fan. I was a fan, mind you, but I was reluctant to say so out loud, and had to sit quietly and take it while others lambasted my team.

At the same time, we have to acknowledge the role The Boss played in cementing the greatness of the modern Yankees. I certainly thank him for that.

11 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:35 am

[1] Steinbrenner definitely had his faults, but I think you ultimately judge a man by the totality of his life and not his lowest points. As a man, George was definitely a tough boss, but he was never vindicative and malicious. No matter how emotional he got, George was always willing to forgive, forget and rehire. His charitable works are also unquestioned.

As an owner, George's ledger is decidely on the postive. He turned around a great franchise in decline and restored a might empire (not even the Romans could do that). As a fan who made his bones in the 1980s, when George was a bit crazy, I can still focus on the big picture...and what I see is a lot of success.

In his declining days, George deserves all the praise he can get. Just because he made a few mistakes doesn't wipe out his triumphs.

12 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:39 am

[7] Nixon, organized labor and tobacco? This is baseball you know ;)

13 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:42 am

I'll also go one further and say that George Steinbrenner stands among ALL the Yankee greats. That includes Ruppert, Huggins, Gehrig, Ruth, Joe D., the Mick, Jeter and Mariano. When he passes, the Yankees should immediately errect a monument for the Boss. The Yankees have a long and glorious history, and George is front and center in it.

14 vockins   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:53 am

The Rays might be the third best offense in the league for the season, but they've been one of the three worst offenses in AL over the last month. I'm not putting too much stock in last night's win.

15 Rich   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:56 am

I don't think anyone forgets that George made the Yankees a psychodrama as he acted out on his unresolved issues with his father, but it's very hard not to be sympathetic to an old man in his senescence.

Joba isn't as overpowering as he was at times as a starter last season, but his recent approach has demonstrated a maturity that could indicate that his success will be enduring. I suspect that his velocity will go back up next season, as Verlander's has from last season to this season.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:56 am

[7] One last thing...how do you feel about the Mick's drinking, carousing, neglecting his children, etc.? What about Joe D.'s arrogance and coldness toward others, especialyl his family. His only son was homeless for years. Besides, if you didn't like George's politics, imagine Dimaggio's. I don't see the point in being self righteous about any of these guys.

17 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:59 am

It's 8:58am. Traffic in lower Manhattan is now snarled, nobody's moving anywhere as the first annual williamnyy23 Steinbrenner Praise Parade progresses through the Canyon of Heroes. It's 77 degrees, going up to 86, and Joba’s thrown 110 point 2 innings of his projected 140. The official Joba Innings Countdown brought to you by Peerless Boilers...

18 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:04 am

obviously just joking with ya, william.

19 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:06 am

"he was never vindicative and malicious"

Tell that to Dave Winfield. Who hires a thug to dig up dirt on one of your own employees? If that's not the definition "vindicative" and "malicious" I don't know what is.

If anything keeps him out of the HOF it will be that. The guy had an awful character and only bestowed blessings on those he felt were beneath him and if they had served proper penance to him. Like most though, the encroachment of death humbled him. But let's not forget how horrible of a human being he was. I can accept complex, and self-destructive, characters (Downey). But Big Stein was baseball's equivalent of Dick Cheney in his prime. He sought to destroy his "enemies" and he used power viciously.

That said, I have no animosity toward the guy. I'm just thankful that karma does come around. The beast weeped on camera. Nothing destroyed his aura more than that.

20 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:16 am

That was a great game and a fantastic writeup. It's why I come here. I can read any old beat reporter's game report. After a game like last night, I want to revel in the excellence and quaff the beauty of an almost complete game shut out. Stupid innings limits.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:23 am

[17] I'd rather be leading a parade than a mob with raised pitchforks :)

[19] The Spira incident was definitely a low point, but let's be honest. Spira wasn't a thug. He was a down and out gambler who claimed to have "dirt" on Winfield. Obviously, it was a horrible thing to do, but things like that happen more than you'd think in the both business and politics. I wouldn't exactly crucify him for it.

Furthermore, calling him a horrible human being strikes me as crude at best and a lot of other things I'll keep to myself at worst. Mocking his current health condition, well, that speaks for itself.

Thankfully, your vilification is decidedly in the minority. I look forward to seeing George honored in Monument Park and enshrined in Cooperstown.

22 Rich   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:26 am

I think the Cheney comparison is patently unfair and inaccurate. Most of the damage done by George's actions was minimal, and it was offset by the generous salaries he paid. Also, the orbit of George's influence was so small as to almost be inconsequential. He may have been overbearing and boorish, but he wasn't Darth Vader or worse. Not even close.

23 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:38 am

I think the Cheney comparison is apt...both men accomplished great things for the entity they represented: George restored the Yankees to glory and Cheney helped several administrations defend and protect the nation. Because we are talking politics, I figured I'd go on the record too.

24 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:43 am

George was definitely a tough boss, but he was never vindicative and malicious.

You don't think attempting to extort your starting Left Fielder qualifies as being at least a little "vindictive"??

Then again you've characterized Dick Cheney as someone who helped defend and protect the nation, so grain of salt I guess. (sorry, I had to get a jab in)

25 Rich   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:44 am

Cheney is responsible for the biggest foreign policy mistake in US history, thereby weakening the country, and violated the Constitution with impunity. George...not so much.

26 RIYank   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:44 am

There could be a generational difference here. Some, including me, just can't forget how George wrecked a decade of Yankee fandom by making it a genuine embarrassment to admit you rooted for the Yankees. That was awful. If you didn't live through that and just look at Steinbrenner's impact in retrospect, it must be very different. And if he's assessed by the total impact he made on the success of the team, then, as William says, it's a no-brainer and his likeness belongs in Monument Park.

27 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:49 am

[25] Can't you see? Outing CIA agents whose spouses publicly criticize you is patriotic

(reminding myself this is a sports blog....reminding myself this is a sports blog....)

28 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:51 am

[24] People keep claiming that GS tried to extort Dave Winfield. That isn't true. Actually, Spira tried to extort GS, which is why the former was arrested by the FBI. Steinbrenner's action was to pay Spira for "dirt", which while reprehensible, actually wasn't illegal. As I mentioned, digging for dirt is very common place in the business and political world.

Similarly, judging by some of the political comments, I too have to take alot of the sentiment with a grain of salt. Of course, my main point toward that end was to illustrate why politics should have very little impact on this issue.

29 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:52 am

You said "he was never vindictive and malicious". Obviously that's completely false.

Many will claim that Stein did destroy the modern game. Of course his malevolence isn't Cheney-level but in context it is. What other MLB owners have been both convicted liars and banished from the game?

Cheney also destroyed whatever moral authority this country could have claimed. Outing a CIA agent and torturing people to justify a phony war. All of the worst torturing was done in the lead up to Iraq. It was old school fascism at its worst. Torture people not because of what they know but because of what they could say they know. Notice how no one is talking about the captured US soldier and his treatment?

30 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:53 am

[26] My first "full-time" year as a Yankee fan was 1983, so I don't think it's a generational issue. While the Yankees often resembled a circus in the 1980s, I was never embarassed to root for the pinstripes because the team was always trying to win and often came pretty close. The way the Pirates have been run of late is embarassing, IMHO.

31 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:54 am

[28] But the fact remains that he actively sought out "dirt" on one of his players, a player who dared demand that he honor a clause in his contract that called for charitable donations. That doesn't qualify as being the least bit "vindictive" or "malicious" to you?

32 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 9:57 am

As I mentioned, digging for dirt is very common place in the business and political world.

On one of your own employees?

Yeah, I'm sure that's "common".

What kind of paranoid and power-mad person would even dream of that? That's one of the very worst impulses in humankind - it's the definition of "vindictive" and "malicious".

Steinbrenner got his. Cheney will too. Notice how the only one defending him is his daughter? People just want him to climb back into his hole and rot. And he will. Good luck trying to be the puppetmaster of Sarah Palin.

33 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:02 am

Why am I arguing these points to a troll? Of course Steinbrenner was a horrible human being. We all know that. Just like Cheney is the worst thing to happen to this country in a long time. 9/11 happened on his watch (August 2001 memo - "Al Qaidya determined to strike in US) and, like other small and fearful men he acted out of paranoia. His own administration marginalized him by the end. After Rummy and Wolfie and Libby were kicked to the curb, he was all alone.

34 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:03 am

[27] [29] In the proper forum, it would be easy to rebut the Cheney paranoia, but it isn’t worth it here.

[31] Yes, he did seek out dirt. That was reprehensible. It isn’t, however, the atrocity being described by many here.

[32] Your obvious political bias makes this a futile discussion. Why you can’t discuss GS without dragging in Cheney and Sarah Palin is beyond me.

35 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:05 am

[33] Name calling, ridiculing sick people, distorting history...very insightful. Thanks.

36 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:08 am

As a historian, I would suggest that we cannot yet judge the invasion of Iraq as the "biggest foreign policy mistake in US history" [25], since events there (and the longterm outcome) are still unfolding. In former times, one might have argued that failed invasions of Canada and/or the disastrous war of 1812 were the worst foreign policy decisions in the nation's history. Some might even have argued that getting involved in foreign wars in Europe in 1917 and the 1940s were grave mistakes. Time and emotional distance will tell.

As a religious (pun intended) reader and contributor to this blog, I would note that the Commenting Guidelines prohibit

preaching about partisan politics or religion

So maybe we can lighten up on the "Dick Cheney is evil" / "Sarah Palin puppetmaster" stuff, and bring the topic back to baseball.

I too was embarrassed by Steinbrenner, but at the same time he was instrumental in pulling the Yankees out of the dumper in the 1970s. It was his money and winning attitude (which had very dark aspects, no doubt) that were largely responsible for turing the Yankees into the only legitimate dynasty of the last 30 years.

37 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:09 am

[34] I haven't made Cheney out to be some sort of 2-dimensional ogre, although I think he can generously be described as a national embarassment and harshly be characterized as a borderline traitor.

No one is saying it was an atrocity, but you yourself claimed that he never did anything "malicious" or "vindictive." When faced with irrefutible evidence to the contrary, you choose to move the goalposts and claim "well everyone else does it."

38 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:09 am

Who's the last MLB owner to be both convicted of a federal crime and later banned from the game?

I'm actually an independent. Voted for GHWB. Cheney stands on his own as the worst this country is capable of. What's interesting is he doesn't respect democracy because he was never elected to national office. He was a freaking representative, not even senator, from Wyoming district. Now the Republican Party is spoken for by a Governor from Alaska? Good luck in the minority with that rotting corpse of a base. Paranoids and racists deserve each other. And Reagan is rolling over in his grave.

39 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:12 am

The seeds of the dynasty were planted while he was banned from the game. Otherwise, I'm sure he would have traded away definitely Bernie (because of how he looked) and probably Mo too.

40 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:15 am

I'll ask again:

Who’s the last MLB owner to be both convicted of a federal crime and later banned from the game?

41 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:16 am

[40] Nintendo?

42 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:19 am

[37] If I haven't explicity admitted as much, I was clearly wrong to suggest GS NEVER was malicious or vindicative. The Spira incident is such an example. Even absent it, no man is perfect. The point I was trying to make is that when George reemed out his employee, it wasn't like he tried to blackball them from the industry. He would usually forgive and forget and then rehire them.

My point in bringing up the fact that "dirt digging" is common wasn't to excuse the action, but place it in a more proper context.

43 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:19 am

[38] etc

Now you are claiming Stenbrenner is a racist...the man who signed Jackson and Winfield? Sorry dude, you just killed this thread for me.

BTW, I don't care whom you voted for or what party you belong to. That's the point of the commenting guideline, no?

44 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:20 am

Looks like Bum Rush has returned...great.

45 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:24 am

I was referencing the GOP. That party is a sad shell of the great one it once was. Palin (superficial no-nothing) and Rush (drug addict and womanizer) are their lead voices. I'm done now.

Steinbrenner's flaws are far beyond "no man is perfect". And digging up dirt on your own employees is far from common. It's unheard of, especially in *baseball*.

46 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:25 am

I literally danced a jig when he was banned (theoretically forever) from running the Yankees.

So did all those people when the announcement came over the PA system. Standing ovation, IIRC.

47 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:26 am

[41] Were they banned? And what crime were they convicted of?

Steinbrenner's influence on the game is unmatched - good and bad. Complex, yes. Excusable? Hell no.

48 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:26 am

[36] Well said, monkeypants.

49 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:27 am

[46] I never knew that. Sounds like a beloved boss.

50 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:27 am

[43] I think he was referring to Steinbrenner as "paranoid," and the GOP as "racist"

51 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:28 am

[36] I apologize for the politics.

52 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:30 am

My point in bringing up the fact that “dirt digging” is common wasn’t to excuse the action, but place it in a more proper context.

I can't remember any other owner who went to that length to hammer a player. Usually, they blast them in the press or simply get rid of them.

53 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:32 am


He wrote: Otherwise, I’m sure he would have traded away definitely Bernie (because of how he looked) and probably Mo too. [39]

I'm not sure how to take the comment about trading Bernie because of the way he looked...maybe I misinterpreted.

54 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:36 am

FWIW, here is the lengthy list of players, executives and owners banned from baseball:


Steinbrenner is not alone when it comes to banned owners (though I'm not sure Marge Schott is good company). It's worth noting that Mickey Mantle was banned for life then reinstated.

55 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:37 am

[50] Does it matter?
[52] The history of MLB consists of owners hammering players in their own ways. That's why we have the Union we have today.

I think it's definitely time to kill this thread now before we all get Bum Rushed.

56 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:38 am

[53] I think that had more to do with Bernies presentation (long, lanky, big glasses, "awkward") than anything else. While I can't really confirm it, going off memory, I believe there were a few times where Bernie was almost traded.

57 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:39 am

Bernie was not the definition of a manly athlete when he came up. He's exactly the type that Steinbrenner would have belittled and wanted traded. Mo too.

No, I don't think he was a racist.

58 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:41 am

On a lighter note, for those of you wishing to purchase your own replica Yankees Score Truck...
Here ya go:

59 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:42 am

Marge Schott was a racist. But she got banned for her free speech. Steinbrenner was clearly worse. He actively tried to destroy another human being (and a HOFer) over charitable contributions. That's plain sick.

Of course, he did much worse to other employees.

60 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:43 am

The Mets just fired an executive for something Steinbrenner did all the time (though with his shirt on).

61 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:44 am

[54] Of that list, which are owners and how many were also convicted of a federal crime?

62 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:44 am

Does it matter?

In the context of the conversation, certainly.

The history of MLB consists of owners hammering players in their own ways. That’s why we have the Union we have today.

Yeah, but none of them paid someone like Spira for information on a player. Even now, I'm trying to remember an owner with as acrimonious a relation with a player as Steinbrenner did with Winfield. For all his shenanigans, not even Finley tried to pull a stunt like that.

63 RIYank   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:46 am

[58] Bama, that is awesome!
And look at that, apparently it's in Brett's Locker. Now that's something I never would have guessed.

64 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:50 am

[61] My point is that the list of banned figures is long--some were banned for seemingly trivial reasons, some serious. Many appear to have been "good" guys, many were reinstated. That Steinbrenner was banned is not a particularly strong piece of evidence, in my mind, against his character.

That he was convicted of a federal crime is, perhaps, more telling.

65 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:51 am

[58][63] That IS awesome. I always imagined the score truck looking like one of the ice cream trucks, or maybe a UPS delivery truck. This is much more manly...and hard to stop when it get's rolling!

66 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:51 am

[62] I don't know...in my book espousing Nazi philosophy and purposing denying a player an incentive bonus (in a time when that bonus would really help his family) are worse than a millionaire resorting to dirty tactics in a business deal with another millionaire. You can write a book about the things that owners did (conspire to keep black players out of baseball for 50 years, for example) that far surpass consorting with Spira. But, that's just my opinion.

67 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:52 am

[62] In the context of this conversation? I would argue that declaring an entire political party "racist" would constitute a violation of the commenting guidelines.

68 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:53 am

[63] For those times when you can't a place to park the big truck , there's always this version:

69 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:54 am

So context matters until it doesn't?

Steinbrenner stands alone among his peers for the level of unethical, and illegal, behavior he was behind. In the last fifty years, no other owner comes close.

70 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:57 am

[67] I'm sorry again I used Darth Paranoid's name. That was a mistake. I had no idea his apologists here. And I'm sorry I continued when it became a flame war. That was my mistake.

Steinbrenner apologists are fair game though on a baseball blog.

71 Yankster   ~  Jul 30, 2009 10:58 am

Now that AJ is pitching, I doubt we'll hear from Bum Rush much. And, fella's please. The only reason to discuss politics is to be persuasive, and clearly the tone has moved far from that.

The only thing, in my opinion, that save George's legacy is the degree to which he was insulated from his own mistakes by Torre and Cashman. The only thing worse than George would have been an owner that didn't care at all, and there seem to be plenty of those. I don't think he deserves monuments (especially since so few of his admittedly enormous impacts on the game were positive), but do we really need to start a war crimes trial?

72 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:01 am

[71] Bum Rush was banned, but I fear he has resurfaced under another name. His style of "argument" is very evident in this thread.

73 RIYank   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:02 am

[68] The Hummer doesn't fit my image at all. (I mean, the image I have of the Score Truck -- it definitely doesn't fit my image!)

[65] The tractor-trailer is pretty clearly not intended for bunting, productive outs, or stolen bases. I can definitely see Jorge and Godzilla stretching out in the cab as they barrel along the 3-run homer highway, though.

74 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:04 am

[67] I was simply trying to clarify Paul's comments which were interpreted as Steinbrenner being called racist. Which he did in post [57]. Nothing more, nothing less.

[66] No matter which way you try to spin it, it doesn't excuse what he did. And as for that post, tying it back to your entry in [55] the color line had little if anything to do with the formation of the MLBPA.

75 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:06 am

[72] There hasn't been the unhinged profanity laced rant yet, so I don't think it's him. Key word is yet :)

Paul, what do you think of Cashman?

76 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:07 am

[73] I'm with you, I had a different image of the Score Truck. Although, I guess maybe we need a fleet of Score Truck. Just in case one has trouble making it through traffic (or if Pascual Perez is driving). How about a Monster Score Truck for those times when you just need to crush the competition?

78 Simone   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:10 am

Decided to add my thoughts re: George Steinbrenner. I can let go of any bad feelings about George. George is a flawed man who made many mistakes, but also did made generous donations that made people's lives better. Based on everything that I have read, George regrets his mistakes. I'm not going to hold a grudge against that particularly remorseful old man. I hold my distaste for he shall not mentioned on this thread any more.

79 RIYank   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:10 am

A monster truck would be good, for a Teixeira homer especially.

There's a certain irony to this Score Truck.
This one is more like it!

Though I imagined maybe a Ford pickup for a Jeter opposite-field two-run single.

80 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:11 am

[74] Who said the color line led to the advent to MLBPA? I just put that forward as something that owners did for which no one was banned.

Also, one more time, I am not excusing what Steinbrenner did in the Spira incident. I've called it a reprehensible act, but I won't go further than that. I just can't buy the argument that suggests that action permanently smears GS as a villain.

81 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:11 am

Cashman? What does any of this have to do with him?

He's okay, I guess. I wish he'd trade surplus for needs sometimes, and he's not the greatest baseball mind, but he knows how to handle the NY press. That's pretty valuable as we're seeing from Minaya. Plus, he does seem to value prospects and he's been smart about keeping them by stressing how much money they can save. Good but not great.

82 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:11 am

[70] I had no idea his apologists here.

Cripes, man, it's not about "apologists" for the man. It's that one should not introduce blatant political statements into the discussion to begin with. I'm not taking one side or another, and I'm not apologizing for anyone or any party. Nor should I here, in the BASEBALL blog, with clear guidelines for commenting.

By the way, very clever how in your "apology" you got to take a few more political swipes (Darth Paranoid, dismissive tone of surprise that there might be "apologists" on the site--heaven forbid).

83 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:14 am
84 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:14 am

Not to distract from the great political discussion going on, but damn the Yankees offense is awesome.

85 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:15 am

[79] I saw the Wang Truck...it made me sad when I saw it.

86 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:16 am

[80] The problem is you were exactly excusing it, and him, earlier in the thread. The other problem is Spira was the tip of the iceberg. They disciplined him then because he clearly crossed the line and publicly. But it wasn't an isolated incident. It was par. He just got caught doing it to a well-known player.

87 Bama Yankee   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:16 am

[84] Get your replica Score Trucks while you can...they're selling like hot cakes (die cast hot cakes)...

88 Paul   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:17 am

[82] Again, I'm sorry. It was a poor analogy, especially here.

89 Raf   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:34 am

I just can’t buy the argument that suggests that action permanently smears GS as a villain.

Neither can I. Having said that, it isn't that action that GS is smeared as a villian. It is that action combined with others that had him permanently smeared as a villian.

[81] It was a tongue in cheek question referencing a since banned member :)

90 RIYank   ~  Jul 30, 2009 11:40 am

[83] Ah, good. Can be used for small-ball and landscaping.

Now the fleet is all set. Let's roll!

91 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jul 30, 2009 12:30 pm

[42] "He would usually forgive and forget and then rehire them."

And then fire them and then rehire them and then fire them and rehire them and fire them and .....

Since we all know Steinbrenner positives (he spent on the team and charities), let's also consider some of the ways he embarrassed us as Yankee fans:
1. He donated illegally to Nixon and became a felon. This led him to being kicked out of baseball by Commissioner Kuhn.
2. Pissed off many players and coaches. See Yogi Berra for example.
3. Implemented a dumb policy on hair that led to the bench of Don Mattingly and an ensuing media frenzy.
4. Winfield/Spira which led to his 2nd ban from baseball
5. Held a press conference during the 1981 World Series claiming he was in a fight with Dodger fans in an elevator. The claim was never validated, nor the injuries for which he wore a cast.
6. While the Yanks were rolling in money and signing players to record contracts, he threatened to cut a $100,000 dental plan for all his employees.

What a nice guy!

ESPN even made a list:

Still not embarrassed by Steinbrenner?

92 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jul 30, 2009 12:32 pm

And we have Steinbrenner to thank for the "God Bless America" at the Stadium.

93 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 30, 2009 12:39 pm

Holy shit, this just in on ESPN.com:

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, lawyers with knowledge of the results told The New York Times.

The two were key members of the Boston Red Sox World Series teams in 2004 and 2007

94 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 12:42 pm

[93] Just read that now...RSN must not be happy.

95 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 30, 2009 12:43 pm

[91] No, I am still not embarrassed because the list of good things he has done would probably crash the Word Press servers.

96 Start Spreading the News   ~  Jul 30, 2009 2:38 pm

[95] Ha. Ha. No doubt.

97 monkeypants   ~  Jul 30, 2009 8:08 pm

Do a significant number of fans actually like--or even prefer--announcers such as Kay and Sterling? Or do networks simply enjoy mocking their audience, knowing that we'll watch/listen no matter how bad the announcers are?

98 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 31, 2009 9:40 am

Wow..one innocent comment about not liking Steinbrenner and all hell breaks loose!

But we should all refrain from criticizing Dick Cheney, no matter what our political beliefs. After all, as some have commented here, he was instrumental in defending our country throughout his career. I for one slept better as a wee lad knowing that men like Cheney were sending our boys into Grenada back in the 1980s. Likewise, when voted against sanctions against apartheid-era South Africa. How lucky he stood up for our economic interests in Africa! And of course, his leadership after 9/11 when he led to the charge to fight Saddam Hussein, who was an Arab just like Osama bin Laden, an obvious connection! No, it's very wrong to compare Dick Cheney to Steinbrenner!

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