Results tagged ‘ Hal Steinbrenner ’
It has been a tough week…
The week started on the wrong foot when long-time public address announcer Bob Sheppard died, but it reached its crescendo with the passing of owner George Steinbrenner. Monday morning, I was at the gym running on the treadmill when ESPN broke in with the story that George had suffered a heart attack. With each update, the news got progressively worse. Between 6:30 am (actual time of death) and 7:00 am, other news channels began to report that the Boss had died. ESPN lagged behind with their report of the death. It was difficult to watch the news unfold. At first, you hope for the best, but as each report got progressively worse, the realization that this may be the end began to set in, and of course, the finale was the worst case scenario.
I realize that George’s health had deteriorated significantly in the past few years. But still, I did not expect his demise to come so suddenly. Of course George was not a perfect owner. He clearly had his faults, but you could never fault his desire to win. I do not agree with the way people were treated at times. I became a Yankees fan at the end of 1974 so George had just been the owner of the team for two years. Instability at the manager and pitching coach positions was a given. It was a certainty each year that there would be change at one or both of the positions. I idolized Billy Martin and I was always so thrilled when he was hired and so devastated when he was fired, and it was a cycle that kept repeating itself until Martin died tragically on Christmas Day 1989.
The Star Ledger
By the time that Joe Torre was hired in 1996, I was so ready for stability. I had grown tired over the years of the constant change, and did not like the revolving door for players in the 80′s as the roster was constantly changing. I don’t know if it was George mellowing or if it took special personalities like Stick Michael to allow the core players to develop and management and coaching positions to hold, but whatever the reason, George was still responsible for the great late 90′s championship run that I will probably never experience again in my lifetime.
I admire and respect current Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, but he is obviously much more reserved than his father. I don’t think that Hal will ever gain the love (or the hatred) to the degree his father experienced. Well, I suppose championships are a cure for everything, but at this point, it would be hard to envision the son enjoying the success of the father. Time will tell.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
I wish that the Yankees had been successful in landing Cliff Lee in what turned out to be the final trade negotiation of George’s life. But it was fitting for George to depart with a two-game lead in the AL East at the All-Star break. I also read about how his death was convenient for the family given that there is not an estate tax this year (saving them something like $45 million).
I think it is important that we remember George’s faults while we reminisce about his good qualities, and not try to defend those bad traits. They are what made the man…good, bad or indifferent…and frankly, I really wouldn’t want it any other way. I am glad to have experienced the Steinbrenner Era and I hope that it has helped to make me a better person as a result. I will miss George but I do look forward to the new Steinbrenner regime. They’ve already given us one championship so hopefully the dedication to winning will remain and we’ll see Hal and Hank at the podium accepting future trophies from the Commissioner.
Silence is Golden…
Courtesy: Erik van den Ham
Okay, it has been incredibly quiet around the Yankees Universe since they acquired pitcher Javier Vazquez late last year. But all things considered, I think that GM Brian Cashman has the team exactly where he wants them. There is much discussion about left field, but really, a platoon of Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann is not necessarily a bad thing. Or perhaps Colin Curtis makes major strides in training camp. Regardless, the Yankees are in good shape regardless of what happens in left. In fact, it was just last April when the Yankees broke camp with Gardner as their starting center fielder. They now have a centerfielder who can match Johnny Damon’s lost production, so why not take a chance on Gardner in left? If he could improve his on-base percentage, he would be a terror on the base paths.
Antonelli/NY Daily News
Growing up, it always seemed as though owner George Steinbrenner would purposely leak stories about the Yankees to the tabloids just to keep the team in the news. It has been a new world order since Hal Steinbrenner took over the team, but that doesn’t mean the younger Steinbrenner is any less motivated to win than his father. He just wants to avoid those foolish long-term contracts that can haunt a team for years. If greater efficiency ensures the sustainability of the team’s success in recent years, I am all for it. The late 80′s were not a fun time to be a Yankees fan.
I am not saying that I wouldn’t be excited if the Yankees and Johnny Damon somehow came to an agreement for 2010, but at this point, I am not counting on it. I am prepared for the team to move forward with its current cast of players. I know that if a need develops, they’ll pursue a solution that makes sense for the team.
But I respect Hal Steinbrenner, and I am pleased that he is in charge of the Yankees. He has shown support for his manager and general manager, and he is willing to open the purse strings when it makes sense for the team. I remember sitting in the stands at Yankee Stadium during the 1980′s when fans used to yell negative comments about George Steinbrenner. Somehow, I don’t think that will happen with Hal. He is not going to run a frivolous organization, but it will be efficient, streamlined, and a winner. Works for me…
On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship with a 34-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings will face the Saints in New Orleans next weekend.
Favre finally prevailed against the Cowboys after compiling a 0-3 record against them in the play-offs while a member of the Green Bay Packers.
For me, it was vindication, in part, for the disappointing loss in the Hail Mary game of December 1975.
The Vikings have a tough match-up against the Saints, particularly considering that it is an away game. The Vikings have been invincible at home, but on the road, they’ve met mixed results. In facing the Saints, they’ll see a familiar player in former Viking safety Darren Sharper. Sharper and Favre were teammates in Green Bay, but now Sharper stands in Favre’s way for a trip to the Super Bowl.
After the game against the Cowboys, a friend sent me the following “prayer”. I don’t know who wrote it but it is excellent:
Our Favre-ther who art in Mississippi, hallowed be thy name. Thy bowl will come, it will win, in Miami as it is in the Dome. Give us this Sunday, our weekly win. Give us touchdown passes, but do not let others pass against us. Lead us not into frustration but deliver us to the Super Bowl. For thyne is the MVP, the best of the NFC, and the glory of the Purple People Eaters now and forever…
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Good luck to the guys in purple, but seriously, I am ready for some baseball…
P.S. Contrary to what Julia may think, ‘Yankees Suck’ did not win Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat through a write-in campaign!
The 2009 World Champions!…
Nick Laham/Getty Images
I knew that Andy, at his best would give up about 3 or 4 runs, and I had a feeling that this would come down to the bullpen.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
On my FaceBook page, I started the day by posting this Bob Lemon quote:
It was sad that George Steinbrenner could not be in attendance, but perhaps this championship was for Hal Steinbrenner. In 1923, the original Yankee Stadium opened with a World Championship. In 2009, it’s a new stadium but the same result. What a way to christen the new home of Aura and Mystique!
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Manager Joe Girardi earned the number on his back, and he can always wear it with pride. He personally delivered it to the fans of New York, and it will be great to see the parade return to the Big Apple.
Al Bello/Getty Images
Is there anyone who doesn’t believe that Mariano Rivera will be a first ballot Hall of Famer? It has been tough for closers to gain entry to Cooperstown, but the legend of Mo Rivera will be long remembered. He is the greatest closer in Yankee history, and certainly one of the best ever in Major League baseball.
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Going away from the Series, I have to say that I am glad the Yankees didn’t have to face Chase Utley more than they did. The guy is a stud, and certainly one of the premier players in the game. Cliff Lee also proved that he is truly an ace. It’s not like he had anything to prove before the Series, but on the grandest stage of all, he showed that he is a champion. There is no doubt that the Phillies will be back…
Nick Laham/Getty Images
A World Championship celebration in the Bronx…the way it was meant to be. Life is good.
Sipkin/NY Daily News
Hey Julia, I am ready for Opening Day 2010! Bring on the Red Sox! My friend, it is Game On!
All quiet on the Yankee front…
I have to give Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner credit, they do a good job of avoiding leaks to the press (unlike George in years past).
I keep trying to reconcile my mind to accept Phil Hughes as the #5 starter, but when I think of worst-case scenario (both A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain down with injuries), I know that they need more if they are to compete against a Red Sox pitching staff that has 2006/07 16-game winner Brad Penny at the end of the rotation (without even getting to John Smoltz or the beefed up bullpen).
I saw that Nick Cafardo suggested that the Red Sox trade for Prince Fielder. If the Red Sox were successful in acquiring Fielder, I wonder if the Yankees would stand pat. That’s hard to imagine, but at this point, the Red Sox do have the opportunity to have the better offseason despite the huge cash outlay by the Yankees. I saw that Ken Rosenthal suggested that the Brewers trade Fielder for pitching prospects and sign Adam Dunn as his replacement. Which, of course, makes me wonder why don’t the Red Sox consider Dunn? Granted, he is a defensive liability but he is a proven power hitter with good on base percentage. He is a patient hitter (maybe too patient it has been suggested), but he’d provide solid protection for Papi. Plus, Clay Buchholz would stay on the Red Sox roster…
I have a tough time picturing Derek Lowe in a Braves uniform. I think he is a much better fit with the Mets or Phillies…assuming that he wants to win. He’d be a great fit on the Yankees, but of course, that’s cost prohibitive (you don’t pay those kind of dollars to your fifth starter..are you listening Andy?).
Whatever happened to Oscar Gamble?…
With the Mark Teixeira signing officially out of the way, the Yankees began their off-season rummage search with the signings of Jason Johnson and Angel Berroa. I think I heard something about John Rodriguez too. Granted, Berroa was a previous ROY, but I really would not have known anything about him if he had not been traded to the Dodgers last year to fill-in for Rafael Furcal (I lived in LA at the time). I guess the Yankees are looking for bodies for Tampa next month…
As much as I love Andy Pettitte, I completely agree with the Yankees’ approach. I really think that no organization knows when to part ways with aging players like Boston, and now is the time for the Yankees to make one of those hard decisions. At this point in his career and given the current market, Andy is simply not a $10 million a year guy anymore. Those resources are better served elsewhere. With Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, and now Jason Johnson in reserve, the Yanks should try to take a chance on someone like Ben Sheets.
Congratulations to Jason Giambi for his new deal, pending a physical, with Oakland. He did redeem himself in my eyes with his play last season, and I think it’s fitting that he returns to his original team. I fully expect to lose a game next year due to a ninth inning Giambino home run…
My favorite quote today was by Yankee co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner: “If some owners are upset we invest in our team, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.” I think Hal is proving to be a very capable leader for the organization.
Is Derek Jeter really going to 35 in June? Wow! Where did the years go? It seems like he was just an 18 year old kid out of Kalamazoo…
I kind of like those rumors of Trevor Hoffman potentially going to the Dodgers. It seems like a good fit. He makes his home in the area, and I don’t think Joe Torre wants to hand the full-time closer’s role to Jonathan Broxton just yet.
I saw a return of new articles reporting that Bobby Valentine would be a leading candidate for the Yankees managerial post if Girardi fails this year. Ugh, that’s not really something I’d want to see regardless of what happens and no matter how much Bobby V may have changed…
With the Yankees luck in recent years, Carl Pavano will win 15 games for the Tribe…
Starting to see more rumors involving Xavier Nady so I suspect that he may be the odd man out. All things considered, I’d probably rather see Nick Swisher go since I think he is better suited for first base than an outfield position as evidenced by Chicago last year. It would be a shame for the Yankees half billion dollar investment to go array because of poor OF decisions this winter (I am sure that my Red Sox friends are losing sleep over that one! Ha!).
Personally, I’d give a Hall of Fame Vote to Jim Rice if I could. Regardless of what has been said, the fact remains that the guy was one of the most feared hitters of the 70′s.
Whatever happened to Butch Hobson?…