Tag Archives: George Steinbrenner


"The definition of insanity is when  you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result"

Albert Einstein

It's becoming an almost arduous task to read our local New York papers these days.image Before the All Star Game, they talked about the "crucial stretch" of games before the break against sub .500 teams that would put together a run and put the team in serious contention. That didn't happen and the Yankees are back where they've been all year at .500.

Now, the talk turns to yet another set of "crucial series" against the Red Sox, Orioles, and Giants. And how A-Rod is asking for and is being given a chance to play first base again - and Nathan Evoldi is being given yet another chance to prove himself as a starter next Tuesday against the Orioles......and blah blah blah........

Like I'm supposed to get excited about all this wishful thinking as a Yankee fan?

I don't think so. I'll tell you what would get me excited though......

And that's if the front office could get a grip on reality by acknowledging that the 2016 Yankees are at best a mediocre and (still) very old team with little or no chance of making the playoffs this season.


And stop treating me like a little kid telling me, "Don't worry son, everything's gonna be all right"......

Because it isn't gonna be all right......

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In the end, he’ll most certainly say “I did it my way ” and you can watch Sinatra sing it here because the song is as haunting as it is true………. And nothing comes closer to the real story of A-Rod…….

Very few ballplayers get the chance to go out “their way “. David Ortiz is trying to imagedo what Derek Jeter did two years ago rounding the ballparks one last time. Others like Michael Cuddyer seemingly wake up one morning and say, “That’s it, I don’t have it anymore ” and they disappear from the baseball landscape in the blink of an eye.

Still others imagehang on simply because they can’t let go even though they are but a shell of what they once were. Willie Mays comes to mind getting those last few hapless at bats with the (then) hapless New York Mets.

And for others, it’s the trap of that lucrative long term deal you signed when you were young and seemingly invincible. Although now, you have aged and your skills have proportionately diminished – and because of the money you are owed – it’s like you’re being hung out there to dry and you look for a lifeline that isn’t quite reachable……..

This now is the story of Alex Rodriguez…..

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What would you do with a starting pitcher who is 35 years old (and looks older),  struggles to hit 91 on the gun, rarely has MLB: Cleveland Indians at New York Yankeescommand of his fastball, spent most of last year rehabbing a serious knee injury, then spent most of the winter in rehab for self defined alcoholism………. And to whom you owe $50 million to over the next two seasons?

This outlines the dilemma facing the New York Yankees with CC Sabathia. But no matter what they do it’s a lose lose situation for which they have no one to blame but themselves as yet another of the long term contracts given freely imageaway bites them in the butt on the backend.

So what should they do……..bite the financial bullet making him a backup starter and long relief guy………or put him out there as their fifth starter and hope for the best? Joe Girardi has said since the first day of Spring Training that the spot is open to competition – which is a statement that shows zero loyalty to Sabathia and just might be a hint to the way the team is actually thinking………

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New York Yankees manager Joe Girard’s press conference yesterday included a look forward to 2016 as well as a glance backward at ” what happened”. Most telling were his largely defensive comments explaining how he tried to give his aging lineup enough rest so they could limp to the finish line. Left unsaid, probably because he’s a true professional, is the question he must have been asking himself all season……..”Why do I even have to deal with this?”

The New York Yankees are old. Even Brett Gardner (left) who is considered “young” by team standards will be 33 next August. Along with Jacob Ellsbury, (below) he appeared to lose his legs down the stretch and both weighed heavily in the Yankee’s decline and inability to catch the Blue Jays. More telling, Ellsbury was sat by Girardi against Houston in favor of Chris Young. He may regret that decision now but it is indicative of the decisions Girardi had to cope with all year.

Even more baffling was Girardi’s insistence that the Yankees are good to go for next year. Again, he is not the type to put any of his players in harm’s way. But he could have deferred the question to Brian Cashman who will be weighing in soon and it is likely that he will have a entirely different take on next year’s roster. More importantly, ownership is likely to take notice of the continuing decline of TV ratings on YES. Even fans like myself found my way to SNY and the youthful and energetic Mets more often than not.  We’ve seen this cast before and watching Alex Rodriguez go 1-4 with three strikeouts and a home run is getting downright boring. And I sense that a good portion of the fan base agrees.

Some tough decisions need to be made quickly. CC Sabathia is one of them. As difficult as it would be (in light of his personal problems now), he needs to be cut loose and his salary eaten. Same with Teixeria who is a injury waiting to happen all year, every year. The kids the Yankees have need to be in the forefront of the lineup and in full view of the fans and media. Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Michael (above) Pineda (if he can stay healthy and grow up – pine tar?) and Rob Refsnyder are budding stars. Don’t let them wait for a spot to clear in the lineup when a aging “regular” goes down with injury. And for God sakes, do not sign David Price or any other veteran over the age of 26. 

In truth, the Yankees are no longer fun to watch. That needs to change………and while I’m thinking about it…….maybe a change at the helm needs to be made too.images-8 $$$ is always the big factor though and a year of Girardi’s contract would need to be eaten. We know what George would have done regardless of the cost. His son Hal moves to center stage now………it’s been six long years since the Yankees posted a Championship in 2009. The Boss would never have stood for that…..no way….no how.


Let’s Lighten Up On The Steroids Thing

Too often, we tend to view things outside the all important context of historical perspective. We forget why Richard Nixon ordered the break in of the Democratic Headquarters  (he was a tortured man who believed everyone – especially the press – was out to get him. We also forget that J Edgar Hoover was wire tapping Martin Luther King during the same period. This is not to excuse what either man did – but it is to suggest that there is a “context” that must be recognized and explored when forming opinions about individuals and events.

In the same vein, remember that the emergence of steroids images-4occurred immediately after the 1994 season strike. The strike hit baseball hard. There was no World Series that year. Fans turned away from the game. A few never came back.

Owners needed as George Steinbrenner liked to say “asses in the seats”. And what better way to do that than with a high dose of power and home run bombs every night. And let’s spread the power around the league too…….no sense having just one player smash 60 home runs……1372350453_big-head-barry-bonds-clearLet’s have three (Bonds, McGuire, and Sosa).

They knew. They not only knew and looked the other way………they also fattened their wallets…….big time.

The players were perplexed. In the same way that Nixon knew others were engaging in questionable tactics to gain an advantage……hey why not me too? The playing field needs to be leveled and if he’s taking steroids then I’d better do the same.

And so it goes……..as Buffalo Springfield suggested…..”Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong”.

But wait a minute. Baseball is a game more reliant on stats than any other sport. Even your average baseball fan knows “the numbers that matter”. And therein lies the rub…….what to do about all these records? It’s not the steroids that bother many fans…….it’s more about “keeping score”.  How do you judge (for example) the accomplishments of a Barry Bonds when you cannot quantify the number of home runs he hit BECAUSE of steroids. It drives  ’em nuts.

But I look at it differently. No one has ever proved or even suggested that steroids augment the level of hand to eye coordination required to make contact with a 97mph fast ball. So whether or not use of performance enhancing drugs causes a hit ball to travel further is really a moot point. It doesn’t matter if you can’t hit the pitch to begin with.

In the same way, do steroids have anything to do with the ballet that we see at second base every time a double play is turned?

Let’s lighten up a bit. Let’s enjoy the game and put aside the numbers game………….there’s too much to marvel at……..and I for one simply want to watch every at bat of a player like Mike Stanton……….and yes….Alex Rodriguez too!