Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

All Star Break Crankies

Alex Gonzalez got traded to a contender today (Atlanta Braves).  Good Luck, AGon! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

Alex Gonzalez got traded to a contender today (Atlanta Braves). Good Luck, AGon! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

I wrote a long, rambling blog entry yesterday that drew parallels between George Steinbrenner dying and my losing an aunt on the same day.  I scrapped it because my emotions are pretty raw right now and that’s probably a bad time to be writing about the dead – especially when all I want to write about Steinbrenner is how much I disliked him and how annoying all of the “He was a good man and great for baseball” stories that are out there right now.

I’ve had some time to take deep breaths so here goes draft two (without any mention of my aunt because, honestly, it’s an insult to her memory to lump her in with Steinbrenner).

George Steinbrenner was generous to the Jimmy Fund and to most of his players (at least with their salaries). These two things I won’t dispute. The list of reasons why he doesn’t deserve glowing obituaries that make him sound like the Second Coming is too long to rehash here but we all know it exists. I don’t expect to read headlines like “George Steinbrenner is dead – woo-hoo!” but I also don’t expect tweets like the one the official Oakland A’s Twitter account published yesterday:

…baseball lost a good one today

My reaction was a loud “Are you shitting me?”.

Baseball lost a notorious one today. Baseball lost an infamous one today. Baseball lost a scandalous one today. These all would have worked. Baseball lost a good one today is just mind-bogglingly ridiculous. George Steinbrenner did amazing things for the New York Yankees team and fans, often times to the detriment of the rest of the league. This does not make him a “good one”.

I understand when someone dies folks want to put a halt to the negative talk for a day or two. What I will never get (and will never join in on) is acting like someone was a wonderful human being just because they had the misfortune of dying.  This is a man who called one of his own players a “fat toad”.  This is a man who took the time to mock the Red Sox after their loss at Yankee Stadium in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS with “Go back to Boston, boys!”.  This is a man who insisted Don Mattingly be benched because of his facial hair.  This is a man who was a convicted felon.  This is a man who was suspended TWICE from baseball.  This is a man who hired someone to dig up dirt on one of his own players and got a lifetime suspension from then commissioner Fay Vincent because of it (as an aside, guess who reinstated him?  Fellow team owner Bud Selig.  I didn’t know weasels ran in packs).   Instead of being good for baseball, as so many claim today, he made a mockery of it and now that he’s dead we’re supposed to pretend he was the most amazing man to ever work in MLB?  Not me.  Not doing it.

I’m sorry that his family and others who love him are going through what they are because I know how much that truly sucks and I don’t wish it on anyone.  That doesn’t mean his entire slate gets wiped clean…that’s all I’m saying.  I’m not here to dump on the dead guy but I’ll be damned if I sit idly by while revisionist history runs amuck.

Now that I got that off my chest…

Local Yankee troll “Lou” commented last night that Big Papi lost the game for the American League with his poor base running (I deleted the comment because Lou lost commenting privileges a while ago, but he wasn’t the only Yankee fan I encountered who gave that argument).

How’s this for a dose of reality?  Joe Girardi manages his first All Star Game and the American League loses after 13 straight wins on the back of Phil Hughes’ poor pitching performance (check the box score folks, the “L” is next to Phil’s name).

Last week, when Joba choked up the lead by giving up a grand slam to the Mariners just after Girardi picked Paul Konerko over Kevin Youkilis for the All Star team, I jokingly tweeted:

Mariners win. Maybe the curse of Joe Girardi being a horse’s ass begins tonight?

Yanks won the next game but they lost both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner and now have to face the realization that Mr Girardi (and Mr. Hughes) blew home field advantage for whichever AL team makes it to the World Series (I figure this way the Sox can win the next one in Boston!).  I don’t wish death on anyone (especially not sweet Mr. Bob Sheppard) so I take no glee from either death, but maybe there is a cloud forming over the house that Ruth didn’t build?

And finally, some of you mocked me when I began calling Jon Lester “Crabcakes”.  He’s finally letting his guard down.  Unlike Steve Buckley, I get no joy from reading about one of our players backhandedly insulting another player who hasn’t engaged first.  This isn’t a Sox/Yanks Sox/Rays Sox/anyone rivalry.  STFU and just say “no”, Jon.  You’re a major league ball player, try acting like an adult.

Guess I still don’t have the cranky out.  It’s going to be a long week and I really need a game that counts to get me through!

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July 14, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. I confess I am very uncool and never knew exactly what you meant by “Crabcakes” but was quite sure you had a very good reason, whatever it was.

    I agree about the need for professionalism. It is one of the things I admire most about our guys. Usually wild horses won’t pull a negative quote about any other player out of them. I also love the way Tito sounds like he is disclosing his finest reasoned conclusions when he is just going to great lengths not to make a negative remark even about a loss, no matter what happens. He’s very good at it.

    I had to turn off the tv because I couldn’t watch any more Steinbrenner encomiums which ran non-stop for, I swear, hours. Enough, already. So I missed the All=Star Game. Soon we will have real baseball.

    And Hanley Ramirez sounds like a piece of work, even if Crabcakes should not have remarked on it.

    Comment by Anita | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  2. Billy Martin said it best. One’s a born liar and the other is convicted.

    Comment by Ted | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  3. Strange how things work in circular ways. I still think Girardi was the best thing ever to happen to Hanley.

    Buckley was over the top. “Jon Lester appears unwilling to throw imaginary bouquets at opposing players simply because he has been asked to do so.” Er, he wasn’t asked to commend Hanley. He was asked a slightly fanciful but not unreasonable question, given that most prospects don’t find their way to the majors, let alone the All-Star Game. He chose to answer the literal question with a big dose of snark instead.

    Steinbrenner left an ineradicable legacy and changed the game forever. Doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.

    Comment by KellyO | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  4. About George…

    Hate him or love him, one thing is absolutely certain… He has left an indelible mark on the game that will be felt for decades.

    George is not the first owner of a major sports franchise to enjoy success while also liking the spotlight. His spending for on field talent was the envy of the league to some, although that formula didn’t always produce the desired result.

    And George also isn’t the first owner to be a horses ass. Marge Schott was doozy if you recall.

    Steinbrenner also did not concoct the formula that brought his franchise the financial success it has enjoyed. In large part, he can thank AirBud and NESN for coupling new and interesting ways to generate revenue that allowed his massive check book to run wild. And for that, George never really overspent, as his keen eye on profitability was also balanced with slick marketing to ensure his fan base believed it was all about what was on the field. Masterful stuff, but remember, he’s the same owner that dinged MLB for hot dog costs when the Rays didn’t show up when hurricanes were devastating Florida.

    Finally, no one should be surprised about the coverage about G$ passing. On the day of the All Star game, the media bent over backwards to interview everybody, including “the Donald”, which of itself was a half-assed attempt to infuse a business titan into the remembrance mix. It was so far reaching it made you wonder why there was nothing from Queen Elizabeth. Although, Larry had some wonderful remarks, but omitted Evil Empire when he made them.

    But it’s not over, Beazer and you know it.

    There will be made for TV movies, with Jack Black as a young Steinbrenner and John Goodman doing the later years.

    There will be books written by anyone and everyone.

    There will be Suzyn Waldman crying on air in 2015, assuming she still has a job.

    Hell, I need another drink!

    Comment by Tru | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  5. The man was a rat from his “shipping magnate” days on. His charitable giving to the Jimmy Fund and others was, relative to his net worth, trivial and almost insulting, the rough equivalent of an average earner giving something like $6 per year.

    Good riddance.
    /rant

    Comment by HorshamScouse | July 15, 2010 | Reply

  6. I wouln’t have used the computer space to talk about him or Lester.
    Noni

    Comment by Noni | July 15, 2010 | Reply

  7. “George Steinbrenner was generous to the Jimmy Fund and to most of his players”

    and time small time gamblers who dig up dirt on dave winfield

    his “generosity” with the jimmy fund was about .01% of his personal wealth. it would be like me giving 3 dollars to the jimmy fund

    his “generosity” with player salaries all but guaranteed that many baseball fans both in new york and in boston couldnt attend game without paying through the nose

    if you’ll allow me to go all old school sjlc: george steinbrenner can suck my soiled taint

    Comment by josh blue | July 16, 2010 | Reply


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