"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The One and Only

Over at SNY, Cliff and I remember George with Ted Berg:

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 13, 2010 3:00 pm

Nice job guys .... loved the ending! :-)

2 omarcoming   ~  Jul 13, 2010 5:01 pm

That was really good.
I confess to never being a fan of GS. The newspaper guys loved him and surely will wax eloquent today. But it was sad to read the press release and notice that Rubenstein said " massive heart attack". Who cares about such details? It's as if a regular one couldn't take him out.
Revisionist history gives him too much credit for building the team. First Gabe Paul then the holy trinity (Gene Michael, Buck Showalter and Howie Spira) remade the Yankees. He was fortunately in the right spot to become very wealthy. Good for his family, they seem to be nice people. That is all the legacy any of us need.

3 a.O   ~  Jul 13, 2010 5:32 pm

I think it is important to distinguish between what George did and did not contribute to the Yankees in the way of winning.

He did NOT provide any useful baseball knowledge or player evaluation skill. His signings were always the "warrior" veteran, almost always past his prime, and almost always not what the Yankees needed. Bad decisions. Infuriating to watch. Except for Boomer.

He DID provide the money needed to build a champion... For Gene Michael to build a champion, that is.

And I think that's something special, especially when contrasted with the rest of baseball's owners. These are men who, to paraphrase Rupert Murdoch, would rather finish second so the team will still make money but they don't have to shell out extra money for championship players. No one will ever say that about George. His will to win made him the best owner in baseball.

My quarrel with George was that he put winning ahead of treating people with respect. There is too much of that in this world and that is inexcusible. It was even more infuriating because, in those rare moments, you could see that he really did care about people. Later in his life, he probably wished he had treated some people better. But we all have regrets. I can forgive.

4 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 13, 2010 6:12 pm

Jeez, that's crazy news to wake up to..will sift through all the comments later..not sure am ready for all the revisionism about him, the Boss was not a nice man..epic, larger-than-life, complex, Nixonian and compelling for sure though..

Am sure someone commented on this already but with the old YS gone, Scooter gone, Bob Sheppard, now the Boss..feels like the Yankees of my youth (my youth??) are gone..when Reggie goes that will be the hardest...

5 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 14, 2010 1:19 am

[4] Robert Merrill, Eddie Layton . . . Gene Monahan is the last institution left.

6 Repoz   ~  Jul 14, 2010 8:06 am

One pick to bone...

The Graig Nettles trade was a Michael Burke-fueled deal. Pulled off a month or so before Steinbrenner even bought the team...Steinbrenner and his camp have been taking credit for this heist for decades.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 14, 2010 8:23 am

6) Well, since Nettles came from the Indians, and Gabe Paul had just been there, it's always been a little suspicious. Perhaps it was a square deal, but I don't know...

8 Repoz   ~  Jul 14, 2010 10:30 am

Alex...If I remember correctly, Burke and Steinbrenner (put together by Paul) met for dinner in NYC in Nov of '72 to discuss a joint ownership package. Now maybe a Nettles deal started there (I doubt Houk's rants about getting a 25 HR guy was the first course)...but Lee MacPhail has long stood by his making the Nov/Nettles deal.

Guess we'll never really know...but it still must go on Burke's side of the ledger.

9 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 14, 2010 3:34 pm

My bad on the Nettles thing. I agree with the suspicions about Nettles coming from Paul in Cleveland, but I should have noted the distinction or omitted Nettles in the conversation. The point on George remains, however, that the team was built primarily via trades (also Lyle) prior to him throwing his cash around on free agents.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver