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Posts Tagged ‘George Steinbrenner’

In case you’ve been under a rock this morning, George M. Steinbrenner III, owner of the greatest sports franchise in history for the past 38 years, passed away around 9:45am after a massive heart attack.He had just celebrated his 80th birthday on July 4.

George was bombastic, argumentative and at times a bit crazy. But like your slightly off-kilter uncle, George was part of our family – and because he was always a fan first and owner second, we understood and accepted him, even when the rest of the world tried to shun him. We always knew we were part of the Yankees Family, as long as George was around. Yes, he made a ton of money, but unlike other owners in any sport, he put that money back into the team. Ask a fan in Kansas City or Pittsburgh if they would rather have their current ownership or a George Steinbrenner, and the answer is always “George.” As much as the rest of baseball cries foul every time the Yankees sign the best players on the free agent market to multi-million dollar contracts, MLB has never had to step in and force the Yankees to spend their revenue on improving the team (a la the Florida Marlins). Even when the media would hoist him on a petard of his own making, George remained the Boss: large and in charge.

And one thing remained constant throughout the years: winning. When he bought the team in 1973 from CBS, the Yankees had fallen to become a laughing stock. The great stadium was empty on most days and falling into disrepair, the team was terrible and without direction. From the start, the Boss was determined to restore the Yankee legacy. He convinced a broke New York City to repair the destitute field that had once seen immortals like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. He imported new stars to roam a revitalized Yankee Stadium: Mickey Rivers. Willie Randolph. Graig Nettles. Lou Piniella. Bucky Dent. Chris Chambliss. Catfish Hunter. Reggie Jackson. Within three years, the Yankees had returned to the World Series. The next season, the team rewarded George with the first of his seven world championships. In 2009, the new Yankee Stadium was completed and while we were all saddened to see the original go, it truly is worthy of the name Yankee Stadium. George struck again, signing CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Texeira. And once again, the team rewarded him with a world championship.

The public perception of George was of a man who didn’t care about those around him, but his legacy will be larger than the Bronx Bombers. Over the years, he created foundations that will continue to serve the needs of ordinary people throughout the Tampa and New York areas for years to come. As a veteran, the work George did for our servicemen and women, including sponsoring scholarships for the children of fallen heroes, will always hold a special place in my heart.

George Steinbrenner was not always a beloved figure in New York sports, but nobody ever doubted his commitment to winning. For that, Yankees fans everywhere will always love him. RIP, Boss – you earned it.

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ESPN is reporting that Steinbrenner passed away this morning.

R.I.P. George M. Steinbrenner III “The Boss” (July 4, 1930-July 13, 2010)

“Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.

“As I’ve always said, the way New Yorkers back us we have to produce for them.”

“I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful – but I know that I have tried.”

“I’m really 95 percent Mr. Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch.”

“Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa.”

1976

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From the Yankees Official Website:

While Jeter is in no hurry to advance the clock on his playing career, the captain repeated a statement he has made numerous times, in that he would like to move into a perch like George Steinbrenner’s after his last at-bat has been logged.

“I always wanted to own a team,” Jeter said. “I like to call the shots, so that’s my next dream.”

Will Jeter take over the Yankees one day? Who knows.

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Before this marital infidelity news emerged, Tiger Woods was seen as this “perfect” sports figure, who could do know wrong. With his mystique and aura now gone, he is looking to  come back from one of the most dramatic falls from grace in sports history. As of now, he has taken an ‘indefinite’ break from golf.

What are people saying now? Be like Jeter. That’s the message people are sending out. The man is shining bright on the biggest stage in the world, winning the Sportsman of the Year Award and recently being crowned a World Series Champion. Not only that, but Derek is thought of as the ultimate team player, a winner, and a person that gives back to his community.

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci said,“He is a role model not only for how to play baseball but also for how to remain atop the wobbly pedestal of fame.” 

Derek Jeter keeps things to himself and is a pretty private person. He doesn’t talk all that much, except when he needs to rally the troops. He doesn’t use twitter, make idiotic public statements, and declines to discuss his relationships. His performance on the field keeps all of his fans happy. 

Derek appeared on FOX News Channel’s “FOX and Friends” this past Wednesday. He spoke about how sometimes he doesn’t pull everything off in his life perfectly and admits that he slips up from time to time.

When Derek was asked whether the bright lights of the city forced him to try to live his life “perfectly,” and Jeter said that was unrealistic. The thing that we respect about Derek, is that he knows that he’s human and understands the responsibility that he carries under his belt.

“Nobody’s perfect, everybody makes mistakes,” Jeter said in the interview. “I’ll be the first one to say, ‘I’ve made mistakes as well.’ I think the thing you have to realize is that everything you do, people want to know about. I don’t always think that’s fair.  

“I try to keep things private, you know there are so many things that are made up, people fabricate this story and that story, but you understand it’s part of it. I think when you’re younger, I think it affects you a little bit more. I think it bothers you and it bothers your family and friends, because they have feelings as well.”  

“Everything you do people want to know about — I don’t always think that’s fair,” Jeter said. “I try to keep things private, you know there are so many things that are made up, people fabricate this story and that story, but you understand it’s part of it.”  

Derek has been linked to Mariah Carey, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly. Isn’t it funny how nothing really negative has come out about any of his relationships? The most you hear is something like this: (On his Mariah Carey relationship) Their relationship ended in 1998, with both parties citing media interference as the main reason for the split. Nobody makes a big deal about Derek’s relationships because he’s a single man. He hasn’t rushed into marriage either like many other athletes.

When Derek gets in trouble…it’s something like this:

In December 2002, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner criticized Jeter for staying out until 3 a.m. at a birthday party during the 2002 season, saying his star shortstop “wasn’t totally focused” and that “it didn’t sit well” with him. In May 2003, the two appeared in a VISA commercial together where they went club-hopping, mocking the incident in a similar fashion that Steinbrenner and former Yankees manager Billy Martin had mocked their feud in a Miller Lite commercial during the 1970s.

Derek has been in the spotlight of New York City for 15 years now, and it’s just amazing how he’s avoided all of this negative attention. He hasn’t been in situations like Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, or Grady Sizemore because not only does he carry himself on the field with integrity, but off the field as well. He knows how to handle the media. The man pitches video games, Gatorade, and dates celebrities but he doesn’t focus on himself. It’s always about the team, and that’s all that matters to him.

Derek doesn’t bring out team issues with the public, because he doesn’t want to make it a media thing. If asked by a reporter about something like that, he will simply ask what that has to do with baseball. He leaves things unsaid, and people respect him for it.

“I always find it interesting when people say, ‘Well, he’s a lead-by-example guy, he doesn’t ever say anything,’ ” Jeter said. “How do you know? I don’t do things through the media, but that doesn’t mean I don’t say things or I’m not vocal. You guys maybe don’t know about it. But you don’t have to know about everything.”

Derek feels an obligation to represent his organization in the best possible way to the public. He has an image as a quiet leader, but that doesn’t bother him. Jeter gets it, and not many other athletes and celebrities out there do.

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Yesterday the Yankees brass started their annual organizational meetings, while Joe Girardi would be in attendance today. Most likely the topics to dominate the meeting would be the budget for 2010, whether or not to re-sign either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui (What, no Jose Molina love?) whether to go after free agents John Lackey or Matt Holliday and whether to go after Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay.

According to ESPN.com, The Boss has taken part in some of the meetings so far. I don’t know if it’s me, but in years past you would have figured that Big Stein would have been hot on Doc Halladay’s trail by now. Now, we have the Yankees trying to appear to be ‘fiscally responsible’ which is all good, but when the best pitcher in baseball becomes available, acting like you don’t care won’t win. However, the Yankees may come out of their meetings and go after him, which makes my above statement null and void.

The Winter Meetings in Indianapolis begin on Monday, so the outcome of organizational meetings might be obvious then. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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According to the Daily News, sources indicate that there is a split between Theo ‘Whiz Kid’ Epstein and owner John Henry about the potential acquisition of Roy Halladay. Apparently Epstein doesn’t want to part with Clay Buchholz, Josh Bard and Casey Kelly while John Henry appears to be the main effort behind the possible completion of such deal. Epstein would prefer to use those players in a possible deal for Adrian Gonzalez or former Red Sox farmhand Hanley Ramirez.

John Henry prefers to load up on star power as opposed to cultivating homegrown players, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise as he used to be a limited partner with George Steinbrenner. Henry is also tired of letting marquee players go the Yankees instead of his Red Sox (See: A-Rod, Contreras, and Teixeira). If I was in Henry’s place, I would feel slightly the same watching the parade of marquee players agreeing to wear pinstripes.

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Yogi-NavyEverybody seems to know someone who has served. Heck, you, the reader might have served at some point in time. Whatever the circumstances were, we here at Zells Pinstripe Blog tip our hat to you in recognition of your service. Whether you know it or not, there have been a few Yankees that have served as well. While this may not be a comprehensive list, it highlights how even people of their stature value service to their nation.

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     Here are a few Yankees related Seinfeld clips…

Derek Jeter & Bernie Williams on Seinfeld

Costanza getting hired by The Boss

George trying to get fired from the Yankees

Steinbrenner sings “Heartbreaker”

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One day later / Opinion: Fair Or Not, A-Rod Should Get What He Gets

Yankees stuck with A-Fraud / O’Connor: Yanks can thank Hank for A-Rod mess

ALEX PUTS PLANE ON MARKET FOR $20M / What to do with A-Rod?

These are the worst of times / Time for baseball to end steroid coverup

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     I just watched Joe Torre on ‘Larry King Live’ and I thought Joe put things in perspective. If you listen to what he says..it really seems like the media blew the book out of proportion. He wasn’t really attacking anyone, but he wanted the readers to further understand what was really going on during those 12 years. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good book, or it’s not interesting, but everyone jumped on Torre and started bashing him. I took notes on the interview, so those who missed it can see what Larry and Joe talked about.

 CNN also had live blogging of the interview where people were submitting questions to Joe.

Here we go….

  • Tom Verducci and Joe decided to write this book two years ago. This was all decided before he left the Yankees organization. He wrote it to encompass the 12 years he spent in New York. Both the good times and the bad.
  • The book tells people the changes that went on. How the Red Sox changed their style of business and the steroid era.
  • He didn’t want to shock people with the book. He thinks that people will always resent some of the things said, but it’s the truth. Joe wanted to share his story and feelings during his tenure with the Yanks. He says that he wants his reputation to be honest, and that is exactly what the book is.

he was asked…

Why soil your own legacy?

Joe said he doesn’t think the book takes anything away from his legacy. If you keep it in context..you will appreciate the book. It was just an inside peak of what went on. He thought it added personality to the players, and helped the readers relive those golden years.

Did leaving the Yankees make you feel bitter?

He said he can’t look back on those years with the Yankees and be bitter. The years he spent with the club was wonderful.

Did you violate “the code”?

 He really dodged this question. He went on to talk about Boomer, and how he felt about the comments he made. Joe said that David and him always had that sort of relationship. They respected each other professionally. Joe asked him to come to his dinner which honored the 1998 Yankees..and he David responded by saying: I don’t like you, but I’ll go. Haha. That’s Boomer for ya.

  • Joe talks how Kevin Brown and David Wells drove him crazy. He said he didnt’ have anything against Brown, and that he actually liked him because he tried to do well. Torre said that Brown didn’t leave room for any mistakes and was hard on himself.
  • He then started to talk about A-Rod. He said that Alex is a special player, and that there is no other person more talented then him. Baseball is A-Rod’s life. He didn’t want Alex to be “the guy”  all the time. He wanted Rodriguez to be himself. Fans were only interested in wins, while Alex wants records and statistics.

– Joe said that he puts a great deal of pressure on himself, and he tried to help him out.

– Alex didn’t have problems with teammates.

– Torre said that the A-Fraud thing was more of a joke..that was said right in front of him and not behind his back.

Did Rodriguez have a conflict with Jeter?

Joe said no. They weren’t best friends, but they acted like professionals.

What do you think of A-Rod’s divorce and Madonna?

The divorce surprises him. He also understands that he’s a lightning rod, and that gives him a great deal of attention.

Is Alex Rodriguez a  minus to the Yankees?

Joe said no. He spoke about Alex coming into NY, and how everything he does draws attention.

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some other tidbits…

– He thinks the ’01 World Series was the greatest of all the ones he managed. With those 3 amazing nights..and especially since it was after 9/11.

– Joe gets along fine with Many Ramirez. He described him as a fun loving guy. He spoke about how Manny scared him to death when he was the manager of the Yankees. He hopes Ramirez returns to the Dodgers this upcoming season.

-Torre’s name is on top of Verducci’s because T goes before V. Haha

Think it will effect your players right now?

He said no.

Do you think you were burning any bridges?

No. He didn’t think there was any sensitive material in the book that he felt shouldn’t have been in there.

– Watching some of the World Series clips gave him goosebumps. He wanted to share those moments. Joe said that without the bad times..it wouldn’t be an honest book.

– His last year with the Yankees was very difficult. He said it was mutual and he needed to move on.

When did you last speak to Alex Rodriguez?

He hasn’t spoken to him since he left NY. He said that nothing in his book should make Alex angry.

You never got trust from the front office? That bothered you. Are you angry inside?

He said the front office didn’t trust him, but he isn’t angry inside. Joe said that Steinbrenner was always cracking the whip and he wanted to be in control. He wasn’t able to enjoy what he did for very long, because Steinbrenner was always thinking about the next thing. Joe went on to say that it’s worth the price you have to pay. When you get an opportunity to win..you pay the price for it.

Did you feel betrayed when you left the Yankees?

No. What bothered him was that they gave him a one-year deal with incentives. He felt that it wouldn’t change anything, and the club thought it would make him a better manager. It wasn’t about the money, but the thought that he needed motivation bothered him.

Did you sign an agreement with the Dodgers since the book has come out?

No he hasn’t. Torre says that this isn’t the first time this idea has come up. The Yankees have asked him before about not writing a book. He never agreed to anything. Torre likes to believe that it is only retracing his years spent with the Yankees. Joe is shocked by the initial reaction, but he’s not upset. He thinks that once people read the book..people will further understand exactly what went on.

What did you say about Steinbrenner?

Joe said that George would be proud of things he said. Georgie was proud to be the boss. It wasn’t criticism, but he was  just describing him. Torre said that George got him the players, and that he couldn’t have done it without him.

-Steinbrenner talked about giving out no bonuses to the coaches after the Yanks beat the Mets in the WS. After new years eve…he called them and changed his mind. Joe said that Steinbrenner just wanted to get their attention..

What are your thoughts of a Yankees/Dodgers World Series?

He said it would be wonderful to play in a World Series again. He smiled at the idea of Manny facing the Yankees again.

Betrayed by Cashman not in the book, but was implicated…?

His perspective..doesn’t mean everyone will agree that that’s the case. Joe said that he had disagreements with Brian, and he didn’t have his support at the end. Torre said that Cashman “saved his bacon” a time or two. He said that Cashman was ready for a change. Not just that..but Brian changed as well. Joe said he did things differently. His last year with the Yankees was the worst year of his 12 year tenure. He didn’t want to be asked everyday on his current status. Joe wanted a two-year contract, and he didn’t care about the terms. Torre said that if he was fired in the first year of the two-year contract that he would be paid for both years. He wanted one year to concentrate on baseball, but he couldn’t get the Yankees to agree with him

-Joe gave Larry King a Dodgers cup. Larry than poured his drink into the new cup and drank from it. Haha

How do Dodgers fans compare to Yankees fans?

He said it is hard to duplicate what went on in NY, and that you could feel the heartbeat in the Bronx. He said Dodgers fans were Lukewarm in the beginning, but when they went on to beat the Cubs..they got very excited. Joe put Yankee Stadium in a class by itself.

Joe was asked if he would run for President?

He didn’t say no. Haha. He likes Obama. He thinks he is very bright, but people need to have patience.

Was the book purely monetary? Will money go to charity work?

Not monetary. They were both paid for writing the book.

Who is the most purely gifted athlete?

A-Rod. He said that Alex can do it all..hit for power, hits to the opposite field, plays great defense, etc.

What went on with Gary Sheffield?

He said that Sheffield was always suspicious person and that he had mood swings. They had a good relationship, but he called him out once for not hustling. Joe said that he was treated fairly.

What did you know about steroids?

He said he never saw it..never talked or heard about it. Joe said he never went in a players locker and respected players privacy. Joe said that everyone is to blame for the steroid era.

Did you speak to Giambi about Steroids?

He said that they spoke around it. He was hesitant to approach him, but he wanted to make sure he was okay. He thought that he wasn’t the person who should be asking those questions, because they could have changed his livelihood. 

How are you doing Joe?

He talks about overcoming prostate cancer. He was first diagnosed in 1999..and 10 years later..he is doing fine. He said that cancer is not something you cure, but you try and extend your life as much as you can.

-He like LA. His daughter was first upset about the move, but she made adjustments.

-He said he doesn’t think he said anything bad about Bobby Abreu in the book. Haha.

UPDATE: 12:31AMET: Here is a transcript of the Larry King interview

 

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Other reactions to Torre  /  Logistically, Yanks can’t sign Dunn or others?

Joe Torre book fills the winter vacuum  /  SAY IT AIN’T SO, JOE!!!

SOFTBALL TOSSES FROM TORRE  /  The story behind The Yankee Years

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