Author Topic: the BASEBALL thread...  (Read 42582 times)


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the BASEBALL thread...
« Reply #150 on: June 04, 2010, 06:24:23 AM »
I watched that game of Stieb's (on tv, not in person) -- it was a heart-breaker, but that was so Stieb. He pitched a number of games that were great ... right up to the ninth. The guy was just so intense. I hate to use the word "choke," but ...


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Re: the BASEBALL thread...
« Reply #151 on: July 13, 2010, 07:38:45 PM »
George Steinbrenner is dead.

He had the reputation of a grouch and complainer - his famous relationship with Billy Martin resulted in him (Martin) being the manager of the Yankees five times. (he quit prior to being fired once.) Undoubtedly a hard headed businessman and a vote for the ticket Republican (that also go him in trouble - for trying to intimidate some employees to vote with him) he revolutionized baseball - for better of worse.

When he took over the Yankees from CBS in 1973 'free agency' was just raising its' head. George, the full blown capitalist (also reported to be a prolific donater to charities although I can find no documentation to these claims) decided that, as in all else, money begats money. He began his begatting with Reggie Jackson - and went up from there.

It took a rather tumultuous fight with Major League baseball over income sharing, so places like Cincinnati, Kansas City and  Milwaukee could afford a team (MLB got their share, he got 'local income') - and whereas Manhattan Island has up to 10,000,000 people on it as any one time, he had lots to play with.

It is easy to note that most of the winners on the World Series ever since have had the largest payroll in baseball. (Including Toronto).

One of my roomies in college runs a company that redevelops old industrial sites. They were called into design a future for a large drydock in Cleveland. To do the work they had to deal with the owner - who else but George S. III. he got to know him quite well and reported that if ever he went to NYC (he [GS]later moved to Florida) and did not look George up, he got a phone call asking what the matter was??? The classic "Is it something I said??' Howcome you never call???

My ex-roomie reports that George, despite his rep. genuinely liked people and wanted to keep in touch. John got to see what is probably the most valuable artifact in the world - George's rollidex.

I am not sure how I feel about George - I recognize that baseball's cardinal franchise is the Yankees. If they are declining in NYC the future for the big leagues is in doubt.

Yet baseball is not the country - there was a country before baseball's major leagues - if they fade away then there will be replacements ... look at the old 'Negro Leagues' - people will go see baseball.

He did add a certain pizazz to ownership, that is usually happy in the background, and was a working owner .. most major league owners 'buy a team' just for their own sport.

(Although I believe that even yet the only owner of a major league sport in America that derives the majority of his income from the sport, is that of The Kansas City Royals - who sold an oil company to spend his time solely on baseball. He also build the lovely Kauffman Stadium as the only major venue entirely for baseball in the the US for 30 years.)

But George did change baseball - for the 20th century baseball was supposed to be the icon, the archetype of America. The confrontation between the pitcher/batter exemplified was, every bit as much as Gary Cooper walking out on the dusty street at High Noon, what America was all about. 

George took this for what it was and added his relationship with managers - baseball can now compete with football as a co-operative game. Derek Jetter can only do the magic he does in the presence of the rest of the team, just as any QB knows without his "O" line his he and dead ducks have a lot in common.

George brought this to baseball - intense organization and attention to detail far beyond 'leaving the boyz in the field to do what they do best'. Bull pens. dedicated closers and (finally) the designated hitter are the outcome from this.

So long George ... you had your effect - but, on a warm summer's night, I would rather stroll down to the local field and watch the locals play with their torn bags and mess up chalk lines, and just generally enjoy myself watching them be real on a nice summer's evening.

updated to include that George was noted for his financial support for Grambling College. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 07:44:47 PM by Croghan27 »
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington


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