Category Archives: Derek Jeter

JOE TORRE – A QUIET YET VERY EFFECTIVE LEADER

When you look up a profile of Joe Torre, you quickly realize that he has been successful in every facet JOE TORREof his career, and never has that been true more than in his current position as MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer. As a player, he finished a distinguished career withi (1) a .297 batting average, appeared in nine All Star Games, and won a NL Batting Title in 1971. Then, as a manager he won four Championships more than 2,300 games. Culminating his career as a manager, he was rewarded with a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. (left) Oh, and by the way, he’s also a member of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

And from the looks of things, he’s just getting warmed up. Since 2011 (his first year as a baseball executive), joe-torre-jpghe has presided over the introduction and refinement of instant replay, the creation of the “Buster Posey Rule” for collisions at home plate, the adoption of the 20 second rule designed to speed up games, and is now poised to lead the way with the adoption of a “Chase Utley Rule” requiring a runner to be sliding directly at second base when attempting to break up a double play. 
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DON MATTINGLY – SOMETIMES, NICE GUYS DO FINISH LAST

It was Leo “The Lip” Durocher (below) who coined the17iti2omk97d0jpg phrase “nice guys finish last”. While it’s hard to imagine him as a role model for anyone in the game of baseball today, Don Mattingly (below) 635811032741246297-USATSI-8863478definitely fills the definition of a nice guy. And in a way, he has finished last as the Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether he resigned or was forced out is really a moot point. What matters is that he might be one of those people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But in order to fully understand what happened in LA, we need to take a look back at his time with the New York Yankees. Don Mattingly1371570128000-C03G2FOCUS23-21P6-X-38-LINES-1306181143_4_3 was a workmanlike “carry your lunch pail” first baseman. He was quiet, often mysterious. He never (as they say) put himself out there. He was also a self made major league hitter who assembled numbers that arguably make him a outside candidate for the Hall of Fame. Much like Derek Jeter, he led by example and not with words.

Therefore, the question then becomes – was he ever truly managerial material? Fans and media in New York wanted desperately for him to take Joe Torre’s place at the end of “the run” by the Yankees. But the Yankees went in a different direction and hired Joe Girardi. Left unsaid were the reasons why Mattingly did not get the job. However, everyone knew the reasons why – the job was ill suited for his talents.

Add to that the dysfunctional ownership situation in LA 1371690499000-06-19-2013-Don-Mattingly-1306192110_4_3during the beginning of his tenure there plus the influx of dysfunctional players to deal with (read Puig)……and then the final blow of the new owners choice to collect and fill their “book of stamps” resulting in a $300 million payroll……..and well……you get the picture.

There is (or should be) a place in baseball for someone like Don Mattingly. He would be welcomed back in New York by Brian Cashman in a heartbeat. Joe Girardi’s ego could accommodate him as a bench coach and he could also have an impact as a role model for younger players like Greg Bird and Didi Gregorious. In sum, Don Mattingly needs to come home…….

YOGI BERRA’S VALUE IN TODAY’S DOLLARS

Just a quick follow up on yesterday’s post only because I think it kind of puts everything in perspective when we assess the return value that Baseball Clubs are getting today versus what they are paying out.

The highest yearly salary rip-yogi-berra-L-2mSJWdYogi Berra made in his entire career was $65,000. I did some research and found that this translates into about $570,000 in today’s dollars. That figure is virtually the same as the minimum salary for Major League players today. In case you are wondering, the average Major League salary today is $4 million.

Understand, I don’t consider myself one of those who rattle the sword and say that Baseball is being ruined by the almighty dollar with profit seekers coming from everywhere ( owners, players, agents, TV, etc.). I’m not that jaded (yet).

But, idon’t you think these numbers are a bit skewed when you consider that Berra won ten World Championships while Mike Trout, Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, and Mike Stanton have yet to win one.

It’s just another way of saying…………Yogi Berra was a special kind of ballplayer who collected World Series  Rings like some of these guys collect Gatorade commercials and endorsements.

And now that I think about it, maybe that’s why Yogi and Derek Jeter became such good friends……because each understood the inner gratification that stems from winning when you play a professional sport.

“MATT THE BRAT” – EPISODE TWO – THE FLIP FLOP

I’m telling you, you can’t make this stuff up. Today, just one day after holding court in the Mets dugout with his woe is me act and indicating that he sided more with his agent than his team, Matt The Brat published one of those “I take it back” statements on Derek Jeter’s website (how ironic is that) telling all of Metland and baseball that all is well and “I’ll be pitching in October – no matter what”.

Except it does matter. In fact it matters a lot. They say that timing is everything. For the Mets, this Harvey/Boras fiasco couldn’t have come at a worse time. images-48Beginning today, the Mets begin a critical four game series against the Nationals – in Washington. Their lead has been cut to 4 games including the all important loss column by the (finally) resurgent Nats. Met fans are blinking and wondering…..is this the beginning of yet another late season collapse……..and if the team blinks……..it could easily happen.

For Terry Collins, who is fighting for his baseball life, everything hangs in the balance over the next few weeks. Like the Mets Brass, he has to be images-32images-23scratching his head and saying to himself……..”Do I/we really need this now, Matt?” (photo above). But in fact and being the man that he is, what he actually told Harvey is “Just go out there Tuesday night and pitch like you are capable of doing”. Significantly, it was also no coincidence that David Wright made a point of sitting with Harvey in the dugout during last night’s painful loss to the lowly Marlins.

In 2019, Matt Harvey will become a free agent entering the market with the potential to sign a Scherzer like contract at nearly 30 years of age. Hopefully, by that time owners and general managers will have come to their senses about long term contracts (Note: Scherzer is a mere .500 pitcher this year). Nevertheless, he will be in for a significant pay day. 

It can be said that the only thing holding Matt Harvey back from that is Matt Harvey. With fame that he seems to thrive on and fortune comes responsibility.

This is especially true in New York where the spotlight shines brightly. Sometime soon, he will need to grasp that concept and grow up and into it. He boldly associates himself with Derek Jeter every chance he gets….fine……no problem……but how about BEING like Derek…..and not the immature person you were when you thought it was funny to pose (below) giving the finger from your hospital bed. New York City doesn’t give itself away easily and that’s a lesson Mr. Harvey needs to learn quickly. His image already has been tarnished, but it is repairable IF he performs on the mound. Because with that (think Alex Rodriguez), New York can also be a very forgiving town.

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

Note: In case you missed Episode One, here’s a link………

https://scontursi.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/matt-the-brat-a-big-pain-in-the-mets-brass/