Wednesday, October 24, 2007


My first major League experience was at Yankee Stadium. My father and I went to a game against the White Sox. I was never a AL fan and never will be. I think the DH is an abomination. However the mystique of Yankee Stadium is haunting. All the great players that have placed that franchise on so many banners, past and present, is mind blowing. My take from the experience was that Yankee fans were rude and the owner was a tad cranky at the time, the early 80's.

Forward to the years that Rudy ran crime from the streets and the Yankees started their run to a few rings. Seinfeld placed Costanza in the front office of the Yankees and Buck Showalter lost his job. Along comes one of the classiest cats in baseball, Joe Torre. Along with Rivera, Posada, the sprinkling of Sheffield, Lofton, Aaron Bleepin' Boone and the maturation of Derek Jeter, the Yankees as an organization became somewhat palatable.

All that went out the window last Thursday. Offering a guy that has been second only to Bobby Cox in post season births being a 40% pay cut and an incentive laden contract is classless. There were no negotiations, showing as much disrespect as would canning the guy in Spring Training. To offer a manager a lame duck contract is as classy as booing A-Rod after a MVP season.

Yes Yankee fans, you will now feel like the Storm Troopers on the Death Star. Bend over and kiss your tokus good-bye. There will be chaos in the Bronx. Big Stein is back making decisions for the sake of being relevant. Brian Cashman, the Senior VP and GM of the Yankees, has got to feel kicked around like a hacky sack at a Lalapalooza tour stop. Cashman got to be the guy who offered that joke to Torre. And that is what it is, a joke!

Torre won 4 World Series Titles, 12 Divisions Titles, and was the AL Manager of the Year twice. Bobby Cox hasn't won the titles that Torre has, but has a longer Post Season streak and a job. Bobby doesn't have a carrot at the end of a stick contract and Torre's next one won't either. If I were the Yankees, I would have at least locked the guy up in the organization, but they can't think that far ahead. They will think twice when Torre shows up across town in Shea Stadium taking the Subway Series, or in Boston at which time the Death Star implodes in on itself.

The Atlanta Braves have stuck with Bobby Cox as he has caught and surpassed the record for being ejected from games by a manager and only won one World Series. He is their guy, and has continued to be for 16 years. Atlanta had made a run into the post season for 14 straight years before the resurgence of the New York Mets. Cox didn't make it to the playoffs for a couple of seasons, but he still has a contract and is not looking over his shoulder.

The over inflated expectations of the Boss has sent one of the best managers into the booth. If you can't remember how bad it was in the late 70's, and 80's, just wait Yankee fans. History repeats itself. You can put them in a new stadium, but you can't make them have class. As long as the business people are running the baseball operations, Cashman may want to keep his head on a swivel.

All is calm in Hotlanta; and bedlam in the Bronx.

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