- Hank Steinbrenner prepares the alibis:
There have been nostalgic fantasies of a return to the days of George Steinbrenner; when money was no object; when there wasn't a tirade too nonsensical; when there wasn't someone to fire; when there wasn't a prospect to trade for a fading veteran; but those that are dreaming of a return to the days of George are only remembering the years of 1996-2007, when even winning wasn't enough and there was still a potential crisis and everyone's job was in jeopardy. They forget the days of shuttling Dave LaPoint and Andy Hawkins out to the mound; of trading Willie McGee for Bob Sykes, and Fred McGriff and Mike Morgan for Dale Murray; of firing and hiring at random after a bad week; of, like his son, saying things that even a casual baseball fan would frown and say, "What is he talking about?"
It's also conveniently forgotten that the late 90s dynasty in which the baseball world relived the era of Yankee dominance was largely built while George was suspended and unable to interfere with Gene Michael's development of the young players that formed the nucleus of those championship years. Had George been able to run interference, would Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera among others, been around to anchor those championship teams?
If anything, Hank has proven himself to be more bark than bite and that's a positive thing for the future of the Yankees even if they don't make the playoffs this year; Brian Cashman has not seen himself undermined in his contract year and forced to do things he doesn't want to do, which makes it likely that he'll want to return; the team still has money to spend and won't make some desperate trades to appease an angry fan base based on the owner's ranting and raving. He may order a ton of money to be spent, but that's better than trading youth for fading veterans and so far he's kept his hands to himself and bellowed when angry; that's better than taking a pitcher like Ian Kennedy and saying, "get him out of my sight", leaving the GM no choice and seeing the pitcher traded for the likes of Paul Byrd to try and win two or three extra games in what might be a hopeless cause.
Even as Yankee fans are probably angry that the Yankees are fading out, they can be happy that the new owner isn't revisiting the days of the early 70s and all of the 80s in which it was clear that the father----who is being feted now and is a likely and worthy entrant into the Hall of Fame----didn't know much more about baseball than his son does and demanded that his judgment be acquiesced to even when his baseball people advised him against some of his impetuous, bullying, rage-fueled reactions if things didn't go as he expected them immediately. Having an owner who screams, shouts and explodes, but then calms himself down and doesn't make demands that won't work is better than having one that does the same thing and insists on his mandates being followed whatever the cost. The one thing about the Yankees this year, win or lose, is that they haven't panicked; Hank deserves some credit for that even if the rest of the organization has had to talk him down from the ledge numerous times to keep the raving dictator that is the father from infecting the son, driving him to make similar mistakes that have faded into memory.
- Is it luck or is it numbers?
- Red Sox 19-Rangers 17:
- Brewers 5-Padres 2:
Speaking of the Padres, with the talk that owner John Moores's divorce may require the Padres to scale their payroll down to the $40 million range, what's the difference going to be in the team's results next year? They're going to lose close to 100 games this year and likely the same next year if that story's true. At least they'll have a chance to be better without some of the dead weight they're carrying this year; and I don't want to hear any comparisons to the Marlins tear-down and leap into contention because the Marlins have something the Padres don't----competent scouting and management.
- White Sox 9-Royals 0:
- Astros 12-Giants 4:
I mentioned luck earlier and am starting to believe it's as important to be lucky as it is to be good and/or smart. McLane made his money in grocery distribution continuing his father's business and made a fortune. Part of that is due to being smart, but part of it must be due to being lucky; it appears he's running his baseball team the same way and with the failures of the more "thoughtful" teams and the overall success of McLane's team since he purchased it despite the criticisms, he may be onto something in terms of luck and not giving up no matter the circumstances.
- Athletics 2-Rays 1: