Howard homers, drives in four as Yankees win

June 25, 1961 – Catcher Elston Howard homered and knocked in four runs as the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4 in a Sunday matinee game at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium.

61yankees58Howard hit a three-run homer to left in the sixth following a walk to Roger Maris and a single by Mickey Mantle that gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

The Twins jumped ahead 3-1 in the third thanks to a two-run homer by Harmon Killebrew. who homered in all three games of the series.

Howard made it 3-2 with a run-producing single in the fourth, leading up to his decisive homer. Howard is now batting .364 on the year.

The Yanks made it 8-3 with another three-run outburst in the seventh. Maris doubled home Bobby Richardson, then came home to score along with Mantle on a two-run single by Bill Skowron.

Bill Stafford raised his record to 6-3 with the win, and Jim Coates came on to retire former Yankee player and future Yankee manager Billy Martin and Killebrew for his fourth save. Jack Kralick (6-5) took the loss.

Box score

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


Terry hurls 2-hitter as Yanks sweep Twins

June 7, 1961 – Ralph Terry pitched hitless ball after the first inning and Roger Maris and Yogi Berra accounted for all the Yankee runs with third inning homers as the Bombers completed a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 5-1 win at Yankee Stadium.

61yankees43Terry was virtually untouchable after the first inning, when a triple by former Yankee second baseman and future Yankee manager Billy Martin and a double by Lenny Green gave the Twins a quick 1-0 lead.

Over the last 8 1/3 innings Terry walked two batters, both erased on double plays. Green reached on an error in the ninth.

Terry, faced 31 batters, just four over the minimum as he raised his record to 3-0. He’s on the rebound after giving up a dramatic home run to Bill Mazeroski that won the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Yankees.

Terry singled in the third inning, the first of his two hits on the day, and went to second on a single by Tony Kubek. Both runners scored as Maris drilled a three-run homer into the right field seats. The homer was the 17th of the season for Maris, who has hit eight in the last 10 games and 14 in the last 21.

Mickey Mantle followed with a single, and Berra hit a long drive into the right center field bleachers for his ninth home run, giving the Yankees a 5-1 lead.

Pedro Ramos (3-7), who later became a closer for the Yankees in 1964, gave up both home runs and took the loss.

Box score

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


Yankees return Cerv in trade with Angels

May 8, 1961: The Yankees re-obtained outfielder Bob Cerv in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels. New York also acquired pitcher Tex Clevenger in return for pitchers Ryne Duren and Johnny James and outfielder/first baseman Lee Thomas.

61yankees19Cerv was the 38th pick by the Angels in the 1960 expansion draft. He was originally signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1950, then was purchased by the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. The A’s traded Cerv to the Yankees in May of 1960 in return for infielder Andy Carey.

Cerv’s best year with Kansas City was 1958, when he hit 38 HRs, had 105 RBIs and batted .305.

Cerv, a part-time outfielder, hit eight home runs for the Yankees in both 1960 and 1961. He shared a Queens apartment with Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961 as documented in Billy Crystal’s movie 61*.

The troublesome Duren,a hard-throwing relief pitcher, was traded by the A’s to the Yankees in 1957 along with Jim Pisoni and Harry Simpson for Woodie Held, Billy Martin, Bob Martyn and Ralph Terry.

Duren had 19 saves and a 2.02 ERA for the Yankees in 1958, and helped New York beat the Milwaukee Braves in the World Series with a win and a save.  Duren posted 14 saves with a 1.88 ERA in 1959 before his performance tailed off in 1960 and he was deemed expendable by Yankee general manager Roy Hamey.

BETTER DAYS: With baseball and life in general on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the SportsLifer will take a daily look at the 1961 Yankees as they captured the attention of sports fans everywhere. It was the year of the great home run race, as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth into history. Hopefully the SportsLifer can provide some nostalgic entertainment for fans who are starving for baseball, past and present. Play ball!


Cubs must prove they’re World Series worthy

1. Pressure’s on: Not buying all that pre-season hype about 2016 being the year of the Cubs. Sure, the Cubbies are loaded with young talent, and they did make it to the NLCS last year. But Chicago was swept by the Mets, stretching the futility another year. The Cubs last made the World Series in 1945, when Harry Truman was President. Joe Maddon is a good manager, but he’s not a miracle worker. Get to the World Series first Cubbies, then I’ll believe. After all, the Cubs have been rebuilding since 1908.

2. Hang it up, Peyton: You won the Super Bowl, you’re tied with brother Eli, it’s time to retire. Very few athletes get to go out on top. If you play another season, it can only end bad. Just ask Joe Namath, who finished with the Rams, or Johnny Unitas, who went to the Chargers.

3. Super Bowl leftovers: Only four players have won both a Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl MVP. Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen and Desmond Howard are the answer to this trivia question. BTW, there has been a least one turnover in every Super Bowl except for Super Bowl 25, when the Giants beat the Bills in the wide-right game.

4. Billy Ball: Mickey Mantle once said this when describing his fiery friend and former Yankee teammate Billy Martin: “Billy is the only guy in the world who can hear someone give him the finger.”

5. Comic genius: Is there a funnier pairing than Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau who play Felix and Oscar in Neil Simon’s 1968 film classic “The Odd Couple.”


9-0. NP. History repeats for Yankees- Red Sox

 

They say history repeats itself. Well it does sometimes, and it did today.

The Yankees comeback from a 9-0 deficit raised the echoes from a Yankee-Red Sox game, just over 62 years ago.

It was April 18, 1950, Opening Day at Fenway Park. Yankees vs. Red Sox.

Boston pounded Yankee starter Allie Reynolds and, like today, led 9-0 entering the sixth inning following Billy Goodman’s two-run homer.

New York rallied, but still trailed 10-4 going into the top of the eighth. Then the Yankees struck for nine runs. Billy Martin, right, making his major league debut, doubled and singled in the eighth inning and knocked in three runs.

The Yankees added to the carnage in the ninth on an RBI double by Joe DiMaggio and a run-scoring single by Yogi Berra to win 15-10.

Sounds familiar, huh.

And again: The Yankees also rebounded from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Red Sox on June 26, 1987, at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks knocked out reigning Cy Young and MVP winner Roger Clemens with an 11-run third inning. They then won the game 12.11 on a base hit by Wayne Tolleson in the 10th inning that scored Mike Pagliarulo.


Top 10: World Series Game 6

Cardinals mob David Freese after his 11th inning home run against the Rangers forced a Game 7.

Was it the greatest game ever? The best World Series game? The top post-season game in history.

Time will be the judge, but the Cardinals never-say-die 10-9 win that denied the Rangers their first World Championship joins a long list of great World Series Game 6 contests.

St. Louis became the first team in post-season history to overcome two-run deficits in the ninth and 10th inning to win. David Freese, who won the game with a home run in the 11th after his two-out, two-strike, two-run triple tied the game in the ninth, became the first player in post-season history to hit a pair of tying or winning hits in the ninth inning or later.

Meanwhile, twice Texas was within a strike of a championship, and lost. The Rangers appeared to have victory in their grasp when Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th, and lost.

And the headlines quickly changed from “My Gosh, Josh” to “Deep Freese.”

Some are already calling it the best World Series game in history. And it may well be.

But there have been plenty of great World Series Game 6 contests. Before the Cardinals’ heroics, this would be the SportsLifer Top 10:

1975 — Red Sox 7, Reds 6, 12 innings, Fenway Park, Boston
Following three days of rain in New England, the World Series resumed with Cincinnati holding a 3-2 lead  in games. The Reds took a 6-3 lead into the eighth inning before Boston pinch-hitter Bernie Carbo hit a two-out, three-run homer to tie the score. Dwight Evans saved the day for the Red Sox with a great catch on Joe Morgan’s bid for a game-winning hit in the 11th. Then Boston’s Carlton Fisk, right,  wishing the ball fair, homered off the left-field foul pole leading off the 12th to send Boston into delirium.

1993 — Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6, Skydome, Toronto
Phillies closer Mitch Williams was brought in to protect a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth, but walked leadoff hitter Rickey Henderson and surrendered a one-out single to Paul Molitor. On a 2-2 count, Toronto’s Joe Carter sent a home run over the left field fence to give the Blue Jays the 8-6 win and their second consecutive World Championship. Carter joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski as the only players to end World Series with walk-off home runs.

1986 — Mets 6, Red Sox 5, 11 innings, Shea Stadium, New York
The Red Sox were one out (and later one strike) away from winning their first World Series since 1918 before the Mets rallied. Singles by Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight produced a run, then Bob Stanley unleashed a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score. Mookie Wilson then tapped a little dribbler down the first base line that went through the legs of Bill Buckner as Knight raced home with the winning run.

1991 — Twins 4, Braves 3, 11 innings, the Metrodome, Minneapolis
The Twins and Braves entered the bottom of the 11th inning tied at 3-3. Minnesota center-fielder Kirby Puckett, left, who earlier in the game made a great catch to rob Atlanta’s Ron Gant, crushed a 2-1 liner over the  left-center field wall to send the Series to a seventh game. The image of Puckett rounding the bases, arms raised in triumph, was punctuated by CBS broadcaster Jack Buck saying “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” The Twins then won Game 7, 1-0, in 10 innings behind Jack Morris.

1953 Yankees 4, Dodgers 3,  Yankee Stadium, New York
Yankee second baseman Billy Martin, who had 12 hits and 8 RBIs while batting .500 in the series, knocked in Hank Bauer from second base with the game-winning run in the ninth inning to give the Bombers a record fifth straight World Championship. Brooklyn had rallied to tie the score in the top of the ninth on a two-run home run by Carl Furillo

2002 — Angels 6, Giants 5, Edison Field, Anaheim
Trailing 5-0 in the seventh inning, the Angels drew closer on Scott Spiezio’s three-run homer. Darin Erstad homered to lead off the eighth, then Troy Glaus belted a two-run double to give the Angels the win. Anaheim would go on to win Game 7, 4-1, for their only World Championship, denying the Giants their first title since moving to San Francisco from New York in 1958

1935 Tigers 4, Cubs 3, Navin Field, Detroit
With the score tied 3-3, the Cubs stranded Stan Hack on third base with nobody out in the top of the ninth. Detroit catcher Mickey Cochrane led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, and scored the winning run two outs later on Goose Goslin’s base hit to right field. Detroit won its first World Series, while the Cubs continued their championship drought, which has now reached 104 years.

1977 — Yankees 8, Dodgers 4, Yankee Stadium, New York
The legend of Mr. October was born on a cool night in the Bronx. New York’s Reggie Jackson, below, joined Babe Ruth as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game in leading the Yankees to their first title in 15 years. Jackson hit a record five home runs, including four in his final four at bats, to earn World Series MVP honors.

1985 — Royals 2, Cardinals 1,  Royals Stadium, Kansas City
Down 1-0 and three outs from elimination, the Royals get a break when umpire Don Denkinger called  Jorge Orta safe on a disputed play at first base. After a single by Steve Balboni and a sacrifice, pinch-hitter Dan Iorg knocked in the tying and winning runs to force a Game 7. The Royals win 11-0 to win the Show Me State World Series and their only World Championship.

1958 — Yankees 4, Braves 3, 10 innings, County Stadium, Milwaukee
The Yankees, who trailed the Series 3-1 at one point, won Game 5 to send the festivities back to Milwaukee. A home run by Gil McDougald and run scoring single by Bill Skowron gave the Yankees a two-run lead in the top of the 10th, but Hank Aaron pulled the Braves within a run with an RBI single. With the potential tying and winning runs on base, Frank Torre lined out to McDougald at second base.

Honorable Mention
1992 – Blue Jays 4, Braves 3, 11 innings, Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta
Dave Winfield’s two-run doubles gives Toronto its first World Championship.

1971 — Orioles 3, Pirates 2, 10 innings, Memorial Stadium, Baltimore
Brooks Robinson’s sacrifice fly plates Frank Robinson with the winning run.

1956 — Dodgers 1, Yankees 0, 10 innings, Ebbets Field, Brooklyn
The Dodgers Clem Labine and Yankees Bob Turley traded zeroes into extra innings before Jackie Robinson’s single over the head of New York left-fielder Enos Slaughter drove in Jim Gilliam.

1945 — Cubs 8, Tigers 7, 12 innings, Wrigley Field, Chicago
Stan Hack’s double drives home the winning run in the last World Series game the Cubs have won.


In Yankee Universe, A.J. Means Absolute Joke

A.J. Burnett leaving the mound after another shelling – a familiar sight these days.

If Billy Martin was in charge, he’d have been marched to the wood shed long ago. Joe Torre’s Job-like patience would have worn thin. Heck, Casey Stengel might be rendered speechless.

That’s A.J. Burnett. a challenge for any manager. They all claim A.J .has great stuff. But pitching, like real estate, is all about location. And when Burnett winds up and delivers, who know where the pitch is going – certainly not A.J.

Forget the No. 2 starter money ($82.5M over five years) he’s being paid, A.J.should be the odd man out, the sixth man in a five-man rotation. .

When the beleaguered Burnett takes the mound, fans cringe, opponents exult and Yankee manager Joe Girardi generally has to go to Plan B by the third inning.

The Yanks should have realized what they were getting on Dec. 12, 2008, when they signed Burnett to a big, fat contract. A .500 pitcher.

Remarkably, since Burnett joined the Yankees rotation he’s three games under .500 — this for a team that’s  been at or near the top of the standings for three years running. After finished 13-9 with a 4.04 ERA and winning a World Series game against the Phillies in 2009, AJ has been dismal.

Last year he was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in what may have been the worst season for a starter in Yankee history. And so far this year he’s got a higher ERA at .531 to go with a 9-11 record..

August Disaster
Burnett finished August with an 11.91 ERA in five starts — even worse than the 11.35 ERA he posted last June during a similar five-start meltdown.

Even Yankee GM Brian Cashman,  who has been a staunch A.J. defender (in part due to his big outlay for the pitcher), has seen enough.

After Friday’s loss to the Orioles, when Burnett allowed nine earned runs and eight extra base hits, mixed in three wild pitches and made an error — in just five innings — Cashman voiced his displeasure.

“He was very bad,” said Cashman of AJ’s performance. “It is what it is,” he added. “He’s obviously pitching terribly right now.”

So Joe Girardi, what do you do with this guy? “With all these doubleheaders we’ve got to play games,” said the Yankee manager. “We need six men.”

Hardly a vote of confidence for the unwatchable Burnett — who doesn’t inspire any faith in Yankee universe these days.


WS MVP Renteria Was Also Walk-Off Hero

Edgar Renteria homers to give  Giants a 3-1 win and a World Championship.

Edgar Renteria joined some mighty select company. His three-run home run off Texas Rangers’ ace Cliff Lee in the seventh inning snapped a scoreless tie and gave the Giants the runs they would need to win their first World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958 — and their first title since the New York Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in 1954.

The Colombian-born shortstop became just the fourth player in baseball history to have the game-winning RBI in two different World Series, joining Yankee immortals Lou Gehrig (1928, 1936), Joe DiMaggio (1939, 1949) and Yogi Berra (1950, 1956).

Wait, there’s more. Of that august quartet, Renteria is the only player to have a walk-off hit among his game-winners. Exactly 4,755 days earlier, in 1997, he lined a single up the middle to knock in the winning run in the 11th inning of the seventh game. Renteria was just 21 years old then, and his clutch hit led the Florida Marlins to their first World Championship with a 3-2 win over the Indians at Pro Player Park.

Renteria also made the final out of the 2004 World Series when he grounded back to the box, giving the Red Sox a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals and their first World Championship in 86 years.

Renteria’s 1997 World Series walk-off was one of 11 in baseball history:

1912 — Red Sox 3, Giants 2 (10 innings) at Fenway Park, Boston
Red Sox win series 4-3, with one tie

The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 10th inning, and seemed to have a championship well in hand with the great Christy Mathewson on the mound. But Giants center fielder Fred Snodgrass dropped a routine fly ball to start the home half of the 10th, and Larry Gardner later hit a deep sacrifice fly to Josh Devore in right, scoring Steve Yerkes with the winning run.

1924 Senators 4,  over Giants 2 (12 innings) at Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Senators win series, 4-3

The Senators rallied to tie the score with a pair of runs in the eighth, aided by a fielding error by the Giants 18-year-old third baseman Freddie Lindstrom. The stalemate continued until the 12th thanks to flawless, four-inning relief pitching from Washington immortal Walter Johnson. In that inning, the Giants committed two major fielding errors including a replay of the missed grounder to third and a dropped foul by catcher Hank Gowdy, who tripped over his own mask. The winning run scored when the Nats Earl McNeely hit a grounder that took a bad hop and bounced over the head of Giants third baseman Fred Lindstrom, scoring Muddy Ruel and giving Washington its first, last and only World Championship.

1927 Yankees 4, Pirates 3 at Yankee Stadium, New York
Yankees sweep, 4-0

One of the most renowned teams in baseball history, the 1927 Yankees, looking for a sweep and tied with the Pirates 3-3, loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of ninth. Pittsburgh relief pitcher John Miljus then struck out Lou Gehrig and Bob Meusel, but threw a wild pitch to Tony Lazzeri, scoring Earle Combs and ending the game. The Yankees had won their second championship title, the crowning achievement to a magnificent season. They also became the first team ever to sweep the National League in a World Series.

1929 A’s 3. Cubs 2 at Shibe Park, Philadelphia
A’s win series, 4-1

Facing the Chicago Cubs, the A’s trailed Game 5  before a two-run homer by Mule Haas over the right field wall tied the score 2-2 with one out in the ninth. Max Bishop then singled and with outs, following an intentional walk to Jimmie Foxx, Bing Miller doubled off the Shibe Park scoreboard to plate the winning run. It was Philadelphia’s first title since 1913, while Chicago, which lost an 8-0 lead in Game 4 before bowing 10-8, lost a heartbreaker. It was a sad portent of things to come for the Cubbies.

1935 Tigers 4, Cubs 3 at Navin Field, Detroit
Tigers win series, 4-2

With the score tied 3-3, the Cubs stranded Stan Hack on third base with nobody out in the top of the ninth. Detroit catcher Mickey Cochrane led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, and scored the winning run two outs later on Goose Goslin’s base hit to right field. Detroit won its first World Series, while the Cubs continued their championship drought, which has now reached 102 years.

1953 Yankees 4, Dodgers 3, at Yankee Stadium, New York
Yanks win series, 4-2

Yankee second baseman Billy Martin, who had 12 hits and 8 RBIs while batting .500 in the series, knocked in Hank Bauer from second base with the game-winning run in the ninth inning to give the Bombers a record fifth straight World Championship. Brooklyn had rallied to tie the score in the top of the ninth on a two-run home run by Carl Furillo.

1960, Pirates 10, Yankees 9, at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh
Pirates win series, 4-3

With one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, Pittsburgh second baseman Bill Mazeroski vanquished the heavily-favored Yankees, who outscored the Pirates 55-27 in the seven-game series. The Yanks scored two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 9-9 before Maz led off the home half of the ninth. With a 1-0 count against New York reliever Ralph Terry, Mazeroski smashed his historic home run over the wall in left field to end the contest and give the Pirates their first championship in 35 years.

1991 — Twins 1, Braves 0 (10 innings), at the Metrodome, Minneapolis
Twins win series, 4-3

Game 7 matched Detroit native John Smoltz of Atlanta against his hometown hero  and former Tiger Jack Morris, now Minnesota’s ace. Both the Twins and Braves blew chances to score in the late innings, and the two clubs battled scoreless into the bottom of the 10th. Dan Gladden, right, opened the Twins half of the inning with a double, was sacrificed to third, and after a pair of intentional walks pinch-hitter Gene Larkin singled to give Minnesota and Morris, who went the distance, the championship.

1993 — Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6, at Skydome, Toronto
Jays win Series, 4-2

Phillies closer Mitch Williams was brought in to protect a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth, but walked leadoff hitter Rickey Henderson and surrendered a one-out single to Paul Molitor. On a 2-2 count, Toronto’s Joe Carter sent a home run over the left field fence to give the Blue Jays the 8-6 win and their second consecutive World Championship. Carter joined Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski as the only players to end World Series with walk-off home runs.

1997 — Marlins 3, Indians 2 (11 innings) Pro Player Park, Miami
Marlins win series, 4-3

Cleveland, seeking its first title in 49 years, took a 2-1 lead into the last of the ninth before the Marlins rallied to tie the score. In the 11th, Edgar Rentereia’s two-out single drove in Craig Counsell with the winning run. The celebration in Florida was short-lived; the Marlins roster was broken up and the following season the team finished 54-108.

2001 — Diamondbacks 3, Yankees 2 Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix
Arizona wins series, 4-3

The Yankees, seeking their fourth straight World Championship, took a 2-1 lead into the last of the ninth with closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. Rivera had converted 23 straight postseason saves and had struck out the side in the eighth. However the Diamondbacks rallied, tying the score on a double by Tony Womack and then winning the Series when Luis Gonzalez, above left, connected for a shallow looping single to center that just cleared the infield and scored Jay Bell with the decisive run.


By George, Yanks for the Memories

Never got to meet George Steinbrenner, never got to shake his hand. But like so many other Yankee fans, I wish I had the opportunity to thank The Boss before he passed on. Thank him for making baseball important once more in New York, and for making the Yankees a winner again.

George Steinbrenner saved the New York Yankees. When a group of businessmen led by Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees on January 3, 1973, for a net price of $8.7 million, the once-proud franchise was floundering. Attendance was down, Yankee Stadium was falling apart, and the team hadn’t won a World Series since 1962.

The Yankees were a bottom feeder in the American League East in those days, a baseball laughingstock. Think Horace Clarke and Dooley Womack.

At first George said he would be a silent owner, that in his words he would not “be active in the day-to-day operations of the club at all.” That lasted for a New York minute. Before long, Steinbrenner promised he would bring the Yankees back to prominence.

Steinbrenner brought in a number of heralded players at the dawn of free agency, most notably Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson. He refurbished Yankee Stadium. And within four years, the Yankees were back on top, winning the World Series in 1977 and repeating in 1978.

Moose Skowron, a Yankee first baseman in the 50s and early 60s, perhaps summed it up best: “This man wants to win, and I respect him for that. Who the hell wants to be a loser.”

Serious Business
Some owners were hobbyists, but for George Steinbrenner ownership was serious baseball business.

Sometimes too serious. George wanted to win, but for a time in the 80s and early 90s his competitive instincts got the best of him. The Yankees endured an 18-year championship drought following the 1978 World Series, and failed to make a single playoff appearance between 1981 and 1995.

Then came 1996 and a surprising World Series triumph over the Atlanta Braves, followed by three straight World Championships from 1998-2000. That 1998 team with manager Joe Torre, Derek Jeter and the rest of the Core Four won 125 games and ranks amongst the greatest in baseball history.

And of course last year the Yankees opened their beautiful new Stadium — the Home Office — and capped the season with their 27th Championship, most of any North American pro sports franchise.

Two Personalities
In retrospect, it’s almost like two George Steinbrenners owned the Yankees, two  different personalities. The first was the tyrannical despot who ranted and raved, belittled Dave Winfield and other members of the organization, phoned the Yankee dugout and hired and fired Billy Martin five times.

George seemed to mellow in his later years as he built the Yankee brand. A softer side of George emerged, a kinder, gentler George, a benevolent George who not only treated his players and managers with respect, but also honored the military and police officers and helped charities, schools and individuals in need.

And in the end, the Yankees won 11 pennants and seven World Championships in the Steinbrenner regime, and had the best record in baseball during that 37-year span.

“I care about New York dearly,” George told Sports Illustrated several years ago. “I like every cab driver, every guy that stops the car and honks, every truck driver. I feed on that.”

The Boss bought the Yankees for $8.7 million in 1973 — the team is now worth more than a $1.6 billion according to a recent report in Forbes magazine. Not a bad investment, by George.

Sadly, George Steinbrenner was not selected for the Hall of Fame before his passing. Perhaps the Hall can do him right now, and open its doors for George Steinbrenner.

Related Blog: Former Yankee Owner Jacob Ruppert Belongs in The Hall


Amazin’ Mess: Mets Way off Base with Willie

Willie Randolph got the shaft. Plain and simple. You don’t keep an employee hanging for weeks, then fire him.

If Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya and the rest of the Mets brass really wanted to fire Randolph, they should have let him go following last September’s colossal collapse when they below the division to the Phillies.

The Mets decided to bring Willie back for another season. That’s fine. But once they continued the death spiral this year and speculation about Randolph’s firing intensified, Minaya should have pulled the trigger.

Instead they dragged things out, fueled even more fan and media speculation, then fired him in the middle of the night under cover of darkness in Southern California, 3,000 miles from home.

“And in the history of New York baseball, there has not been a more cowardly, indecent, undignified or ill-conceived firing of a manager,” said Bill Madden, baseball scribe for the New York Daily News.

That’s saying something when you consider some of the other memorable New York managerial firings. Does George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin ring a bell?

Good luck with these Mutts, Jerry Manuel. The Mets once again proved they’re second-class citizens in New York.