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Why Mattingly Matters
2007-10-25 09:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Over the past several years, I've had more than a few skeptical out-of-towners ask me why Don Mattingly is such a big deal in New York. On a superficial level, it's like asking a Cubs fan why Ernie Banks, or Ryne Sandburg are popular in Chicago: they were all great players on losing teams. Okay, so Mattingly didn't have a great career, but from 1984-1989 he was a great player. It doesn't matter that he isn't a Hall of Famer. Hey, most fans just love guys who hit for a high average and drive in runs without striking out much.

As Joe Posnanski wrote in an e-mail:

He wore the pinstripes, and played Gehrig's position, and he was all throwback -- he wore that black under his eye, and he had that great swing, he came to the park to beat you ever day. I think he's one of those guys who, had he played in Boston, Cleveland, Texas, Philadelphia, Seattle, anywhere, would have still been everybody's favorite ballplayer. There really was nothing phony about him. He went up there to hit. He stood off the plate, he walked shockingly little, he drove in bleeping runs. Guy hit .314 with runners in scoring position.

I always got the feeling from friends that Mattingly was the coveted, "One Yankees player you really wish was on your team." Not because he was good, but because he was a player you liked despite yourself.

The second half of Mattingly's career was marked by injuries. He also played through some awful years in the Bronx, which helped increase his popularity, but the legend of Donnie Baseball started in his first full year (1984) when he won the batting crown on the last day of the season, and the following year when he walked away with the AL MVP. It is also rooted in the fact that Mattingly was an overachiever--he was a heady player with limited physical gifts, a grinder, just the kind of player fans love, especially white fans.

"By the time his career is over," said Ron Guidry in the spring of 1986, "he could be one of the best who ever played this game. He may not turn out to be quite what Lou Gehrig was, but he'll be closer than anybody else."

"His play, not his words, were the thing," says BP's Joe Sheehan. "He was a beacon of dignity in a time when the Yankees were largely undignified."

Mattingly arrived on the scene as the Yankees were spiraling into George's version of Groundhog's Day. The Yankees annually discarded young players for big-name, big-ticket free agents. You remember the names--Kemp, Collins, Clark. Through it all, Mattingly was driven, confident and without pretense--"100% ballplayer, 0% bullsh**," as Bill James later wrote.

Mattingly was the best young Yankee since Mickey Mantle, and like Mantle had the country-boy-in-the-big-city appeal. But he was no dope. He paid his dues on the infamous Columbus Shuttle. "It's good that it didn't all come so easy," Mattingly once told Sports Illustrated. "One thing I can say about the Yankees: They've never given me a thing."

After his MVP season, Steinbrenner haggled with Mattingly before avoiding arbitration and signing him to a one year, $1.375 million deal. Mattingly tweaked the owner at a Super Bowl banquet by showing up wearing sunglasses and a headband that read, "Steinbrenner." (Mattingly was paying homage to Chicago Bears quarterback, Jim McMahon, who famously wore headbands with new slogans each week that season.)

Two years later, Mattingly said, "You come here and you play and you get no respect. They treat you like sh**. They belittle your performance and make you look bad in the media. After they give you the money, it doesn't matter. They can do whatever they want. They think money is respect."

It's not hard to tell who Mattingly was talking about and his willingness to stand-up to Steinbrenner only increased his reputation with the fans. (When The Boss gave Mattingly grief about the length of his hair, Mattingly grew it longer.)

Best of all, Mattingly loved to work.

"I love to watch him practice," Gene Mauch said when he was managing the Angels. "He's very serious during infield, never wastes a swing in the cage. From there on I don't want to look at him."

Just yesterday, Mike Gallego recalled a favorite Mattingly story to Joel Sherman. It was 8 a.m. The Yankees had played a game the night before and had another game that afternoon. Mattingly was alone in the batting cage with about 200 balls littered around the cage:

"Donnie had no idea I was there," said Gallego, now the Rockies' third base coach. "I watched for 20 minutes. He was sweating bullets and all he was doing was tracking the ball. No swings. None. He'd watch all 200, put the balls back in a bucket, feed the machine and start again. He had been having trouble seeing the ball and there he was, the most famous player in the game, hours before the game, alone, retrieving his own balls, looking for an edge. I tell that story to our players now when they think they are working hard enough and they aren't."

Gallego loves the story, in part, because he admires Mattingly so much and thinks it depicts the man. Not just the diligent work ethic. But the humility. The discipline. The grinder makeup. And something else that, Gallego asserts, you could only know if you were observant around Mattingly.

"He is one of the quietest, fiercest competitors that I have ever played with or against," Gallego said. "And he has great belief in himself. He thinks he will find a way to beat you. But he is not going to talk about it. He is not going to tell you how hard he is working or brag on his ability."

In the summer of 1990, Mattingly was struggling and the Yankees had just about hit rock bottom. Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield were gone. Mattingly was the last Yankee, according to an article by Paul Solotaroff in The National Sports Daily (the piece can be found in Glenn Stout's excellent collection, Top of the Heap):

"My place in Yankee history?" sniggers Donald Arthur Mattingly. "I'll tell you what my place in Yankee history is. It's hitting .260 on a struggling ballclub, and letting everyone down in here. At the moment, I don't exactly feel too much a part of Ruth or Gehrig or DiMaggio.

...It's pretty ugly, to tell you the truth. What they need to do is get rid of anyone who doesn't care. I take it home every night, and some guys just leave it. That ticks me off, to see a guy laughing and joking around when we lose...You don't want any of those kind of guys on your team."

So, what kind of manager will Mattingly be? I asked a bunch of friends and colleagues yesterday and the response were decidedly mixed. I have no idea how he'll do. I was not especially into the idea until a few days ago. I don't know what turned me around exactly. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic for the Mattingly of my youth, the one who mattered so much to us. Who knows? Point is, I won't be upset if he gets the nod. In fact, I'll be eager to see how he does.

Hey, think he can get Zimmer to be his bench coach?

Comments (161)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-25 11:15:32
1.   pistolpete
Alex, thanks - your post makes me feel a little better if they go with Donnie, but I'd still prefer Girardi.

Re: Zimmer - not a chance in hell. I get the feeling ol' Zim would detest Hank even more than George.

2007-10-25 11:18:33
2.   Ben
I can't see anyway Donny B doesn't get the offer. He was asked back into the org. for this purpose, and well, here you go.

I was not very hot on him until I heard his mid interview conference call. I forgot how competetive the guy is. He and Jeter seems to have a lot in common that way. Their competitiveness isn't nasty, or flashy, but it runs incredible deep and it isn't something there embarassed about either. If you ask, you'll hear how badly he wants something.

Go Donny B. I think he'll do just fine.

2007-10-25 11:20:15
3.   JoeInRI
I could be happy with either Donnie or Girardi as manager. But I do have a soft spot for Mattingly.

Bill James, in his Historical Baseball Abstract said simply about Mattingly - 100% Ballplayer, 0% Bullshit.

Amen.

2007-10-25 11:22:55
4.   JoeInRI
Sorry, Alex, I didn't see you're quote in the piece . . .
2007-10-25 11:27:31
5.   51cq24
"he was a heady player with limited physical gifts, a grinder, just the kind of player fans love, especially white fans"

i don't think that white fans love these kinds of players more. the race aspect to this is that it is almost always white PLAYERS who are labeled heady grinders. thinking, intellectual players who have to overcome their physical shortcomings with their determination.

2007-10-25 11:49:45
6.   nick
I'm the right age to have loved Mattingly as a kid. I think this is WHY I don't want to see him manage, actually; not convinced he's the right guy and don't want to see his limitations exposed. On the other hand, if the media loves him, that practically makes him the right choice for the Yanks. Maybe he'll be like Torre: great clubhouse guy, good with media, crappy tactician....
2007-10-25 11:54:17
7.   Sliced Bread
Great piece, Alex.

The "especially white fans" line jumped out at me. I like to think the admiration for Mattingly transcended color, but there's no denying race was still a hot issue around the Yanks in the 80's. Of course the crap Winfield got from Steinbrenner and the fans didn't help anything.

Mattingly matters to me because he started his Yankee career when I was in high school, and retired a few months before I turned 30.

He came on strong, and became my favorite Yankee just as my first favorite Yankee, my childhood hero, Willie Randolph went into decline.

Mattingly was one of the reasons I was able to hold my head high wearing a Yankee hat around Fenway Park during the 1986 World Series, surrounded by my college buds wearing Mets gear.

In the 90's, when Donnie started falling apart, he passed the "my favorite Yankee" torch to Bernie.

A black guy, a white guy, and a Latino. My lifetime favorite Yankees. Never thought about that, actually.

Now, if Donnie becomes a manager, could Bernie possibily complete the trifecta for me?
Nah! But who knows? I never thought Donnie would come this close to managing, let alone in NY.

2007-10-25 12:02:18
8.   jonm
5
I think that's exactly right.

There are black players who come close, but don't quite get there. Kirby Puckett was a grinder, but I don't think that he was considered to be a heady. (In fact I think that a great cultural studies paper could be written about the kind of "love" that white males felt for Kirby Puckett.)

Tim Raines was a heady grinder, but he did have those great physical gifts.

Maybe Tony Gwynn was a heady grinder, but the weight gain late in his career makes it hard to square that image.

2007-10-25 12:02:26
9.   Yankee Fan In Boston
3 4 that bill james quote was the first thing that came to mind as i started reading this, too.

succinct and apt.

if he gets the job, i hope he does well. not just because that would mean that the yankees would do well, but because i really don't want to see donnie baseball lose anymore. i spent my childhood doing that.

great piece, alex.

2007-10-25 12:05:24
10.   TomP
Great piece of writing, Alex.
2007-10-25 12:05:58
11.   monkeypants
7 Wow--we disagree deeply on so many issues, yet share a very similar trajectory. Mattingly's career corresponded almost perfectly with my real baseball coming of age (teen years) into adulthood. I loved 1985 not only because it was his finest (well, 1986 may have been, but at the time everyone looked at those gawdy 1985 numbers), but it involved my first real penant race as a young adult fan.

My childhood favorite player was also Willie Randolph, and my favorite "dynsasty era" player was Bernie. Weird.

2007-10-25 12:16:02
12.   Sliced Bread
11 Ah, I knew we'd find common ground here sooner or later!
2007-10-25 12:16:40
13.   jonm
By the way, that was beautifully written, Alex.

I don't admire the Yankees FO today, it really is a very tough decision. The head says Girardi; the heart says Mattingly.

I had preferred Girardi, but now I guess I'm ambivalent.

If it is Mattingly, I hope that he turns out to be a Gil Hodges-type manager.

2007-10-25 12:26:02
14.   51cq24
when i started really watching baseball mattingly was already in decline. i always liked him, but to me he was always just there, not anything special. so bernie was always my favorite, until he shared that spot with mariano. so i can't really say i have any special interest in seeing mattingly as manager. i don't really know who would be the best manager, though i'd prefer someone who has managed in the past. girardi seems like the best choice, but i don't really know much about pena except that he had that one great year with the royals. i just hope that whoever they choose isn't overwhelmed by the pressure.
2007-10-25 12:31:06
15.   Just fair
Donnie Baseball's Yankeeography is my all-time favorite. He was and is my favorite Yankee to have ever watched play. Somewhere in my parents home I have at least 1 sheet of Mattingly rookie cards tucked away in album. They are not worth what they once were. This certainly will not make him a better manager if he gets the job, but I will be rooting for him.
I also remember that Alan Trammell was a Tigers' favorite. I hope #23's situation turns out better than Trammell's.
2007-10-25 12:35:22
16.   monkeypants
As for whom I prefer to see as manager, I fear more for Donnie (it would make me sadder if he failed). But I am really not sold on Girardi--I'm not anti-Girardi or anything, but I feel like he gets a lot of credit for managerial job in Florida that I'm not convinced was so great. And the things he says as an announcer worry me a bit. But then, he's probably no worse than most.
2007-10-25 12:52:42
17.   bp1
I'm sure like so many fans, it was my fancrush on Don Mattingly that prevented me from really accepting Wade Boggs as a Yankee third baseman. To this day I cringe when I see a shot of Boggs riding that damn horse. It should have been Donnie Baseball celebrating a World Series victory.

(sigh)

Maybe someday.

Still, dunno about him as a manager, but what do I know. It will be fun to watch, no matter which direction they go. I would hope he's the kind of guy who will make sure Cano runs out every dribbler to second, and makes sure they call out who's got the ball in the outfield. But - we'll see.

2007-10-25 13:00:08
18.   Andre
I don't get the race aspect to this at all. Black fans don't like heady grinders? Doesn't really make sense to me. Who says black fans don't really like Mattingly-esque players? Is there some history related to Mattingly that I'm not aware of?
2007-10-25 13:02:05
19.   Knuckles
This is a great, great piece of writing Alex, but I want to caution that it should maybe be separated from any discussion of Mattingly as the Yankees' manager. Like Nick in 6 , many of us here attended our first games while Donnie manned first base for the Yanks, during a crappy era int he Yankees illustrious history. We were raised by dads and uncles who had seen the glory days, and when the current days were more inglorious, they pointed to Mattingly and said, "That guy right there Knuckles/Nick/Sliced, is a ballplayer."

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. We needed someone to grab onto when we're ten years old and have seen as many managers of our favorite team. Though I do not have an army of facts to back me up, I will argue that '84-'89 Donnie was the best baseball player of my lifetime until I am blue in the face and you walk away exasperated, but possibly somewhat convinced. But, (and here's where I throw the turd into the punchbowl) this has very little to do with his possible success as the Yankee manager.

His advice to Jeter in his first spring training was to run full speed, even on a rainy day on the back diamond in Florida, because you never know when some little kid might be there and that's the only chance he'll ever get to see you. Jeter said that made a lasting impression on him. That's fantastic, but how many Derek Jeters are out there, as compared to the vast majority of mercenary, pay-me-now players?

I haven't yet come to grips with how I feel about Mattingly managing this club, but I kinda feel that mining the nostalgia of 1980's, eye-black wearing, sideburns-waving, short-hop-picking, the Hit Man, Donnie Baseball and aligning it with the prospect of him as manager, is not the kind of jumping-off point for the reasonable yet passionate debate we get into on this site...

2007-10-25 13:05:45
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
17 but wouldn't it be nice for mr. mattingly to finally get his ring while being at the helm?

19 aww... i was drinking out of that...

2007-10-25 13:12:51
21.   Raf
8 That would make Gwynn a heavy grinder, no? :)

18 Not so much history with Mattingly than history with the press. Anyway, the people I knew were more into Winfield, Henderson, Gooden, and Strawberry...

2007-10-25 13:25:12
22.   thelarmis
now there's some speculation that grady little will be ousted in LA and Girardi would take over there. i'm sure he knows that the Yanks are certainly planning on going w/ Donnie. it would be cool to have Pena back as a coach...
2007-10-25 13:26:58
23.   jonm
20 In the mid-late 80s, I just loved Rickey as a Yankee. Thinking about the Yankees trade of him in 1989 can still set me off. Does anyone here know who in the Yankees FO wanted Rickey gone? It doesn't feel like a Steinbrenner move.

I loved Mattingly too, of course. I remember arguing with a friend of mine who said after the 1988 season that the Yankees should trade Mattingly for Will Clark. I vociferously disagreed, but, in retrospect, alas, he was right.

2007-10-25 13:31:04
24.   Yankee Fan In Boston
23 will clark's swing was a beauty.
2007-10-25 13:34:24
25.   monkeypants
23 Maybe it was spin at the time, but wasn't the perception that Rickey was sandbagging and looking for a trade? His numbers jumped dramatically when he left NY (OPS+ 112 to 148 in Oakland), but he may have been injured.
2007-10-25 13:41:07
26.   cult of basebaal
24 i think i would say that clark's swing was "sweeter" in the classic sense of a lefty swing, but donnie's swing, at least before the back troubles, was like watching a coiled cobra strike, a thing of terrible beauty
2007-10-25 13:41:21
27.   nick
19 nice post!

18 Andre, can't tell if you're being intentionally naive here....

just in case: what's at stake is determining the TRUTH of any particular character judgment: a quality like "gritty" is determined by particular perceptions; as social beings, our perceptions are influenced by those of others and we tend to think in terms of types and groups; when some groups notice tendencies among other groups, they may no longer come to take certain judgments at face value.....

god, that was boring--sorry, guys :)

Short version: if you look at David Eckstein with his shirt off, you will not find "gritty" in glowing divine letters written on his chest.

2007-10-25 13:43:48
28.   jonm
25 Some in the front office thought that. But, I went back on PaperofRecord to read the old Sporting News issues and Rickey wanted to sign a new, relatively reasonable contract with the Yankees.

Without any evidence, I have to think that Dallas Green must have had something to do with the plot to dump Rickey. Rickey was a "non-tradional" player (to say the least) and I could see a hard-assed old-timer like Green wanting to dump him.

Maybe I should let it go, even Rickey wouldn't have made much of a difference on the 90-92 Yankees.

2007-10-25 13:49:15
29.   pistolpete
28 I don't think even A-Rod could have helped that team much either. :)
2007-10-25 13:53:25
30.   Yankee Fan In Boston
26 i am in complete agreement.

i play in an adult league, and to this day still wear the #23 in hopes that it would help me replicate don's swing from the right side. (believe it or not, it didn't.)

i had forgotten all about will clark, however, and the mention of his name conjured memories of the prototypical lefty swing.

2007-10-25 13:58:13
31.   Shaun P
23 I remember arguing with friends in 1989 who was going to be the better 1B over the next decade, Clark or Mattingly. They said Clark, I said Donnie.

Unfortunately, like your friend jon, they were ultimately right. Clark was a very productive player until he retired in 2000.

I will say that, if you take away Donnie's back issues, it would have probably been very close. Sigh.

2007-10-25 14:01:09
32.   Raf
28 ,25 there were always rumors that Rickey always didn't come "ready to play." IMO, I think the beginning of the end was in 1987, when he missed all that time with a torn hamstring. He was accused of "jaking it."

Having Dallas Green at the helm didn't help Rickey either. For someone who wasn't here for a season, Dallas rubbed a number of people the wrong way. I remember him butting heads with Rickey, Stanley Jefferson, Pags, and eventually Steinbrenner ("Manager George," ha!).

2007-10-25 14:23:02
33.   Bob B
Nice article Alex. Maybe I've misjudged Mattingly. I was in San Francisco during much of the time he played and whenever I did get home and see him play I was not as impressed as everyone else seemed to be. I'd prefer Girardi but you've made me see something that I could get behind.
If only Zimmmer could come back, I think the old magic would come back with him. (Didn't Jeter used to rub his bald head for good luck?). Unfortunately, Zim made it clear he'd never work for Steinbrenner again. He saw years ago the same ugly crassness at the top of this organization that the Torre story just exposed.
2007-10-25 14:30:18
34.   jonm
33 Where was Don Zimmer before he came to the Yankees? ;)
2007-10-25 14:31:41
35.   OldYanksFan
I confess I love Donnie.
After the first papagraph, my body started tingling. By the end of the post, I was almost out of body.
I will guess: 50% love for Donnie, 50% amazing writing.

Why do we love Donnie?
How many guys have the lastname of "Baseball"?

"I don't admire the Yankees FO today, it really is a very tough decision. The head says Girardi; the heart says Mattingly."
Congrats Jonm... I believe that sums it up beautifully.

2007-10-25 14:34:43
36.   Murray
23 Actually, one of the deals rumored at the time was Will Clark and Craig Lefferts for Mattingly. I liked Mattingly, too, but I lobbied for that deal at the time.

My favorite player on those Yanks was Henderson. Lou "I'm The Manager" Piniella hung the "jaking it" label on Rickey. Once he got back to Oakland, Rickey jaked his way to the 1990 AL MVP Award. But just think: if the Yanks hadn't traded Henderson back to Oakland, how would the Yankees have enjoyed the services of Luis Polonia?

2007-10-25 14:41:35
37.   OldYanksFan
Also, purely from memory...
Didn't Donnie break the facial hair issue with Steinbrenner? I seem to remember the contention elevated to the point that there was talk of George trading Donnie. But Donnie ultimately kept the stache.

I think because of the quiet, mid-western demeanor, it is easy to underestimate Donnie. He is certainly not dumb and he is his own man. If his handling of players is Joe-lite, well... he learned from the best.

He is not going to tell the press things now that might question or go against the way Joe handled things. But that is politics. If Donnie is manager, he will be influenced by all he has 'studied' under, but will make his own decisions.

2007-10-25 14:41:54
38.   yankz
As people have said repeatedly lately- how often do manager/team relationships end well? Would you want to risk that with Donnie?
2007-10-25 14:53:33
39.   monkeypants
36 "Lou "I'm The Manager" Piniella hung the "jaking it" label on Rickey. Once he got back to Oakland, Rickey jaked his way to the 1990 AL MVP Award."

Ummm...wouldn't that actually support Piniella's contention. Whatever the reason, it is empirically obvious that Henderson's numbers improved dramatically once he got to Oakland.

Now, before everyone get's all worked up, I don't believe that he was not trying.

2007-10-25 15:10:50
40.   OldYanksFan
Anyone have the stomach to watch the game tonight? Or is there another 2 days off? Hard keeping track these days.
2007-10-25 15:12:35
41.   Bama Yankee
Like everyone else, I loved Mattingly as a player. He is a HOFer in my book. If Gayle Sayers can make the NFL HOF after an injury shortened career, then why can't Mattingly make it into the MLB HOF? Hey, I know I'm biased, buy what can I say... it's Donnie Baseball we're talking about.

My problem is that I am more than a little worried about Mattingly as a manager. His lack of experience scares me to death (Bernie and Posada have had about as much experience with their last-game-of-the-year stints). We have nothing to base his performance on. There is no history, there are no tendencies, there is no record, the simple size is not just ultimately small...it does not even exist.

Donnie could be great as a manager (I'd love to see him get that elusive ring) or he could be a bust (could we ever fire Donnie Baseball), who knows. Naming him manager because he was a great player and everyone loves him (especially Steinbrenner) even though he has zero experience is a bit risky for a billion dollar organization in my opinion...

2007-10-25 15:13:31
42.   OldYanksFan
FWIW: I think in terms of smooth transition, Donnie's got to be the man. It terms of strategy, Girardi is the guy. I think when all factors are weighed in, Pena just might be the best guy... but I don't think he's even in the running.
2007-10-25 15:17:34
43.   OldYanksFan
It would be funny if the FO did the ULTIMATE in boat rocking by dumping Torre, and then chose not to rock the boat more by hiring Mattingly. Donnie might one day be a very good manager, but I agree he is not experienced enough. If they want to bring him in now to win in 2010 that's one thing (OJT), but I think it jeapordises 2008.
2007-10-25 15:18:04
44.   tommyl
The thing that is weird about these deliberations is that somehow Mattingly gets bonus points for being a better player than Girardi. I really don't see how playing skill factors into managing skill at all (if anything, its usually inversely proportional). Now, if we think Donnie is the right manager for the job, that's one thing, but I fear he may get the job because he happens to hit better than Girardi or Pena. Its just weird, I mean I'm pretty damn good at Math, but I wouldn't hire myself to translate Russian.
2007-10-25 15:18:56
45.   ms october
36 Me too about Ricky. Mattingly was 1A.

This is probably pollyana but I hope if Girardi gets the job it won't alienate Mattingly too much (I can understand not wanting to remain as coach, but I just hope he isn't too hurt) because as as you say in 38 we don't want it to end poorly if he becomes the manager and that inevitably ends poorly, I just hope it doesn't end poorly on this end either.

I just feel like there is too little information to base our outside judgment on any of the three candidates (their body of work just seems too difficult to tease out) - I wish ESPN or some other slimy media outlet would have found a way for us to hear their interviews so we could know more about their current state of thinking about managing this team (oh well).

2007-10-25 15:21:01
46.   tommyl
41 I agree totally. Donnie may be the greatest manager of this generation but we have no way of knowing. I'd feel a lot better if he managed at AAA or something for a bit first. Certainly he didn't seem to have a tremendous influence as the bench coach in terms of things we could readily see.
2007-10-25 15:22:49
47.   monkeypants
I wonder if the "no managerial experience" theme is a bit overblown. He has been involved in baseball his whole life, and he has been on the coaching staff for a few years now. He never managed in the minors, but then, managing in the minors entails different goals and skills than at the big league level.My biggest concern would be his ability to "lead the troops," which he has never had to do. Then again, all reports say he commands great respect.

I guess I am not entirely convinced that ML managing is a job that necessarily requires much experience. Yes, he might stink it up as a tactician, but I don't think that's because he has not had experience. Bama is right--the greatest source of fear is simply the unknown. But I find that more exciting.

2007-10-25 15:26:48
48.   tommyl
47 I think a lot of the worry (at least for me) is that we just don't know anything about him as a manager. Would he bunt every time there's a leadoff double? Would he rotate the BP well? at all? Can he handle the innings restrictions on the kids? Can he motivate a team when they have their first losing streak?

Like I said before, he may be great at it. It just concerns me that we know next to nothing. Also, if he had any influence on things like which reliever to bring in and things of that ilk while he was the bench coach, I am definitely concerned.

2007-10-25 15:28:32
49.   theblastphemous
45 That is really my concern. If Mattingly was brought on to be groomed for the position and is passed over in favor of Joe, wouldn't it create a tense situation where Joe is always looking over his shoulder for Donnie baseball and Mattingly is always eying the managerial seat? They could not possibly coexist on the same staff with that dynamic and it would be a bit of a step back for Mattingly to suddenly head to the minors. It has to be Mattingly NOW or it never will be... acrimoniously anyway.
2007-10-25 15:30:17
50.   monkeypants
48 Oh, you're right--we don't know anything. But I'm not sure that if he managed AAA we would know anything more. The tendency in the minors is to manage in such a way so as to rehab injured ML players, protect young players, and teach skills. If a manager bunts a lot in MiL, it does not mean he will do so at the ML level.

So, in my opinion, one never knows what kind of manager he gets unless he has managed at the ML level before.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-25 15:31:07
51.   ms october
40 Yes - they play - no don't have the stomach to watch.

41 Keep meaning to ask where you live - I grew up in Hustville and went to school in Birmingham - but moved away several years ago. Hardly ever came across any Yanks fans growing up.

44 Very good point - some of the best players have made truly horrible coaches. I guess Ted Williams was notoriously unsuccessful in large part because of his ability as a player. But doesn't some of this go back to Alex's post - because it is presumed that Mattingly was not "naturally" good - he had to really work at it and "grind" etc. so it may be thought that he won't have the difficulties that someone who was just natuarlly talented would have - afterall he worked hard to become a good player (note I don't buy this all the way - but it might influence how people think about it)

2007-10-25 15:38:58
52.   theblastphemous
Buster Olney is reporting that Girardi might be a candidate for the Dodgers managerial job. I bet Grady didn't know it was even open.
2007-10-25 15:39:26
53.   yankz
Actual tactics is just a small part of a manager's job. There's a lot of other stuff going on, and I'm sure there's even stuff none of us has a clue about.
2007-10-25 15:43:23
54.   ms october
49 Yeah - that could be a bit messy. Obviously they need to choose who ever will be the best manager - but I hope they do it in as clean a way as possible given the circumstances - neither guy should have to look over their shoulder for the other guy. Mattingly would proabably not have to look over his shoulder as much just because I think if Girardi does not get hired by the Yanks someone else will hire him very soon (lot of Dodger rumors with Grady Little gone and Griradi going there)
2007-10-25 15:43:54
55.   OldYanksFan
45 They may have been written poorly. :-)
2007-10-25 15:44:41
56.   ms october
52 * sorry - didn't see your post when I posted the Dodger gossip 54
2007-10-25 15:45:51
57.   ms october
55 Of course it would have - I was hoping for a hidden camera
2007-10-25 15:55:54
58.   standuptriple
40 I'll check on it. It will be hard with a premier NCAA game and The Office competition. But if Bloody Sock is getting smacked around I may have to sit and enjoy awhile.
2007-10-25 15:57:09
59.   jonm
47
I agree with that. We know that Mattingly has a great character and that he is a hard worker. It seems that those two things that we know (along with his stellar playing career) will help him command respect in the clubhouse.

I think that his playing career also indicates baseball smarts.

And, for whatever else he needs, like knowing not to abuse the young pitchers, we can assume that the organization will step in and
teach him. Cashman's not an idiot like Dallas Green.

2007-10-25 16:02:16
60.   OldYanksFan
Does anyone know why Fox insists on having games that often go 3 hours or more, star at 8:00 on weekday nights. 7:00 seems like more people might actually see the whole game.

Funny, listening to T-Mac after listening to Cary is a little like having kidney stone instead of cancer.

2007-10-25 16:06:29
61.   theblastphemous
What do you folks think about a Mattingly or Girardi hire vis a vis the Red Sox rivalry? I swear Torre didn't want to end on '04s note. I feel like Torre was "defeated" in someways by Francona and this recent Red Sox ascendence because he was ushered out without "reclaiming" that place on the totem pole (a world series). I know it is not about just the managers, but I sure hope whoever gets hired brings an edge to this team. Yeah, Torre's Yanks still hold a regular season wins/loss advantage over these bums, but I always felt that these guys had WAY too much pep in the way they approach the Yankees in recent seasons. That isn't a problem in itself, but I never felt the Yankees gave it back to them in their due doses. I want a fight! I want the Yankees to snarl and bully these bums. I want someone shouting at Beckett like he was at Joba. I want Youkilis' wrists on notice and Ortiz and Ramirez getting unsettled at the plate.
2007-10-25 16:09:28
62.   theblastphemous
I know there was always a quite and self assured confidence permeating through Torres teams, but perception has it where the Yankees are uptight and tense all the time, unwilling to mix it up. I'm wishing for a manager that will add a bit of cunning to the corporate image that the Yankees are doomed to.
2007-10-25 16:22:36
63.   tommyl
50 I think I was just impressed with the job Joe did with the Marlins last year. I also recall several times while he was commentating on YES where I was very impressed with his knowledge and analysis. We'll see, its not up to me. I would hate to ever have to boo Donnie Baseball though. That man was my hero when I was in elementary school.
2007-10-25 16:29:09
64.   OldYanksFan
From Breaking Balls: (could you have a better name for a baseball blog?)
"Vegas books have Boston as nearly 2-1 favorites, while Baseball Prospectus' nifty (and essential) Postseason Odds Report gives the Rockies a 56% chance of taking the cake. This seems like a bit of a discrepancy coming from two authoritative sources."

Er... was this a computer glitch? I don't know much about the Rockies but favored over the Sox with Fenway being homefield?

Can anyone here back that up????

2007-10-25 16:30:10
65.   tommyl
63 Errr...not last year, you know what I meant.
2007-10-25 16:43:42
66.   debris
64 Between Tuesday and Wednesday, BP re-ran the simulations, with the Sox' chances improving to 59%. The change in the results, explained by Clay Davenport, "We finally got an idea of the pitching matchups, and the system thinks those have helped the Red Sox big time. Lester over Wakefield looks like a big plus from here; he wasn't that much better than Wakefield over the season, but the Rox have a big left/right split that I didn't think the Sox were going to exploit. I also don't think much of replacing what had been two Morales starts with a Cook and an extra Fogg; the system really liked Morales against Boston, probably too much."

After last night's statement game, the Sox now win 71% of the simulations in their quest to become the first two time champion of the 21st century.

2007-10-25 16:45:54
67.   Alex Belth
More on Mattingly...

From Tom Boswell, "Heart of the Order," early 1986. Boswell writes that Mattingly is Wade Boggs with power, Eddie Murray with hustle, George Brett, but younger and in a home run park.

"I appreciate it," says Mattingly "but it doesn't help me on the field. So let it go. I'd compare myself more to Bill Buckner. He's consistent, hard-nosed, good int he clutch. I love the way he plays. If it's biting it takes, then it's biting; if it's scratching, then scratch...I'll take a ground ball off the chest, get my uniform dirty."

Boswell continues...

"Mattingly's the easiest sort of player to praise--the quiet gamer with eye black like a punt returner and low, unstylish s stirrups below his pants. 'Half the time you forget he's even here,' says [coach, Roy] White.

'What I do on the field, that's me,' says Mattingly. 'If I take care of my game, everything falls into place. The game is the thing you can control. Especially in New York, where so much stuff can clutter you up.'"

And here is more from Joe Posnanski:

"I wrote in SOUL that, for reasons that are not especially easy to put into words, there are certain players whose names instantly conjure up a time and place in baseball. I wrote that line about Tony Oliva -- to me, while Oliva was certainly an excellent player, his name is almost magical. His name is bigger than his game. Kaline was a better player than Oliva, and yet (again, I'm only talking about me), the name 'Oliva' just seems to represent that time. I hear, 'Oliva' and all sorts of grainy images pop into my head (even though I only remember Oliva at the end, when he could hardly walk). I'm sure other people would disagree.

But my point is that the name, Mattingly, to me says 1980s baseball more than players who I think were probably superior players (George Brett, Mike Schmidt, etc). The guy always had an aura."

2007-10-25 16:51:28
68.   joe in boston
Great writing Alex. I love the story by Gallego and I love the quote by B. James. Am I the only one who relates Mattingly with Bird ... without the rings, I know. That midwest upbringing, tough work ethic, sacrifice for the team - yet work hard and get MY points/hits to help out the team as well. Not looking for glory, but getting it by appreciative fans
2007-10-25 16:55:14
69.   ms october
60 It's even worse than that - the actual game doesn't start until 8:30pm. I think it is west coast bias. Oh and there is a campaign to save the children from names such as T-Mac.

61 , 62 I think there is something to be said for all the time the Yanks (especially ARod and Jeter)got hit - I can't remember the exact discrepancy but those two got hit something like 15 times compared to something like 2 for Ortiz and Manny over a few year time span. Which I think speaks to a difference in agressiveness. I also think there was an element of tenseness that set in during the playoffs - with the last few years being the worse.
So, I don't exactly know the manager's role - but I would like to see some more "smart agressiveness" rather than tenseness.

2007-10-25 16:57:40
70.   51cq24
68 i'd say white players are also much more often said to be "team players" who will sacrifice for the team and aren't looking for personal glory. also, people tend to compare players based partially on race.
2007-10-25 17:02:31
71.   yankz
62 Jose Molina has addressed that myth directly. He said something along the lines of, "From the outside it looks like a bunch of cold businessmen, but it's actually a very fun family."
2007-10-25 17:05:56
72.   Alex Belth
More...

From "Wait Till Next Year", a book about the 1987 sporting scene in New York written by columnist Mike Lupica and screenwriter William Goldman. (Bantam Books, 1988.)

This portion, written by Lupica, may be of interest:

"In New York, it has been historically more useful to be a white star than a black star; the opportunities for endorsements and commercials and billboards and all the rest that comes with being a celeb are more readily available to you. With the Mets, Gary Carter and Ron Darling were infinitely more appealing to Madison Avenue than Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, even before Gooden's difficulty getting the passing grade on the urine test.

This sort of racism is not specific to New York, or baseball; it is part of professional sports now. [Wasn't it always?] There was just more conversation about it around the Yankees in early 1987 because [Rickey] Henderson was having such an electrifying start, the Yankees were in first place, the Mets were in trouble, and Henderson still wasn't the toast of the town. A lot of people thought it was a combination of the normal racism of sports, and perception---the way players were presented to the world in the newspapers. Henderson had the image of being cocky. Lenny Dykstra, the white center fielder for the Mets, strutted and swaggered just as much at Shea Stadium as Henderson did at Yankee Stadium. But Dykstra, who had traded mightily on the Mets' World Series championship during the off-season, had a reputation as being tough.

Henderson was a hot dog.

Dykstra was his nickname: "Nails."

It was a subtle distinction, but a distinction nonetheless. Henderson, the black man, was cocky. Dykstra, the white man, was tough. Henderson had an image problem. Dykstra didn't. That day at Yankee Stadium, the crowd at kept cheering after Mattingly's grand slam, wanting Mattingly to come out and take a curtain call. Mattingly, a shy man who thinks curtain calls are silly displays, didn't want to go. Henderson, laughing, ran up the dugout steps, waved, got Mattingly's cheer.

In the clubhouse, Willie Randolph said, "It's the only way Rickey can get one."
And there was more than racism going on.'"

Here is more on Rickey:

"Henderson simply refused to sell himself to the writers; he simply was not one of the kings of clubhouse schmooze. He would not, or could not, make himself available to writers before games. Rickey had his own way of doing things, and his reluctance to promote himself in any way just seemed to fit into the tapestry of being Rickey. He was a game player. He did not enjoy the running and drills of spring training; did not like rules of any kind; he would hide in a corner of the dugout in Fort Lauderdale when the Yankees ran laps early in spring training, then jump out when [then manager, Lou] Pinella and the coaches weren't looking, join his mates for the final lap.

He did not like getting to the ball park any earlier than he had to; it was obvious to teammates and writers covering the team that he had terrible work habits. The slightest injury sent him to the bench; it was a problem that would become more and more acute for Henderson, and his team, and his image, and Yankee fans. [The irony for Henderson, is that he ended up with the career record for stolen bases and runs scored, but never shed the image as a player who loafed it.]

And there was 'Don't need no press now, man.'
The writers had never forgotten those first words Henderson spoke in the Yankee clubhouse, in April of 1985. Henderson had injured an ankle in Florida, had needed extra time to recuperate, and the regular season had started without him. When he did show up, the writers were waiting for him.
Henderson shooed them away from his locker, saying, "Don't need no press now, man."

He hadn't gotten a lot of press since...

One day a writer said to Dave Winfield, "Why isn't Rickey bigger around here than he is?"
And Winfield, voice dripping with sarcasm, said, "You mean like I am?"

Claudell Washington was more vocal and belligerent about the issue, especially at the end of May, when Dennis Rodman and Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons would create a national sensation with some remarks about Larry Bird, and the fact that he might not be as big a star as he was if he wasn't white. Thomas, when given the chance to explain himself by columnist Ira Berkow in the Times, said, "Magic (Johnson) and Michael Jordan and me, we're playing on God-given talent, like we're animals, lions and tigers who run wild in the jungle, while Larry's success is due to intelligence and hard work."...

Washington: "You think Rickey Henderson doesn't understand what we're talking about with this whole black-white deal? You think he doesn't know? That man Rickey is a legend. He should be on every billboard in town, on every commercial. Rickey Henderson is the best." (pp.181-83)

I don't think Don Mattingly was any less sincere in his approach to the game and his talents than Henderson was to his, it's just that Mattingly was the personification of what Curt Flood once labled as "that paragon of nineteenth-century Integrity---the Hungry Ball Player." To be a bit more disparaging, I should say, "The Hungry White Ball Player".

The humble, over-achiever. Flood wrote in his autobiography, "To acquire a public reputation as a 'hustler'---a good competitor---is usually a matter of posture or personality...Slowness of foot also helps, requiring the player to fling himself to the turf in vain efforts to catch balls that more gifted athletes might have handled while remaining unruffled and erect."

(From "The Way It Is" by Flood with Richard Carter. Trident Press, 1971. pp.51 + 59.)

Cynicism aside, Mattingly was a grinder of the highest order, one who led by example. One of the reasons for his popularity was certainly his race; it is why Mattingly was lauded for his dedication, and perspiration, while Winfield was derided as a disapointment at best, and at worst, a choke artist.

2007-10-25 17:09:30
73.   51cq24
70 right after i wrote that, kevin kennedy says that ubaldo jimenez reminds him of fausto carmona. the only reason he gives is that they throw both throw hard.
2007-10-25 17:20:51
74.   ms october
73 I don't know what channel the TV was on, so I don't know which station/moron to attribute this too, but I heard someone say they are similar pitchers because they are both Dominican. What the hell? This is just beyond ridiculous.

And speaking of race - I have read this passage 72 several times, and every time I read it just reinforces what a scummy twister Lupica is - he starts off by saying
"In New York, it has been historically more useful to be a white star than a black star..." which is obviously an attention grabbing line. Then he goes on to admit that this is not exclusive to NY or baseball and so on.
So it just seems to belittle all of the racial injustices throughout sport much less life as an afterthought.
In addition, he takes all these digs himself at all the black athletes (Gooden - failing a urine test; "Henderson was a hot dog" and so on.

2007-10-25 17:22:04
75.   51cq24
was there just a 10 minute commercial break or did i doze off?
2007-10-25 17:34:33
76.   51cq24
74 i don't think he meant to take digs at them. the gooden remark, i think, was to point out that it wasn't just his drug addiction that made him less popular than white stars. and i think the hot dog remark was about the perception, not his own feelings about rickey. although, as he points out, both he and dykstra WERE cocky. there's not really any question about that.
2007-10-25 17:44:09
77.   Chyll Will
72 Thank you very much for that, Alex. I was going to add something along the same lines from Winfield from his book "A Player's Life"; he also brought up the race aspect in that during the their famous chase for the batting title, he noticed how fans and media both actively rooted for Mattingly to win, and though it bothered him, he accepted it for what it was at the time and did not begrudge Donnie for pulling a head and winning the title.

The truth is, baseball obviously has a history of race issues (what in America really doesn't?) and none of those issues would disappear overnight as much as we want them to.

Let me ask a deeper question, and you can answer in any way you want because I'm not trying to make a point, though one may exist: when you look at a player such as Buck O'Neill, who has just been posthumously honored with a Lifetime Achievement award named in his honor, how does his post-career fame square with his actual career, which apparently wasn't good enough to get him in the Hall of Fame on it's own? What qualities garnered this kind of respect? Furthermore, taking much of the previous discussion into consideration, does this mean Black players are analyzed with different standards than White players, especially when it comes to the Hall of Fame?

I for one would hate to think that it is only a Black player's physical prowess that is taken seriously under such circumstances. Does that mean Jackie or Frank Robinson's singular values was as hitters? (Nah...)

2007-10-25 17:47:30
78.   Dellar
Mattingly's also had the opportunity to pick the brains of at least 3 great managers; no doubt he learned something about what works and what doesn't. You can be sure he was paying attention.

DB also knows exactly where he stands with the Steinbrenner cabal, though the debilitation of George does change that dynamic (with Randy and the Steinbros, all bets are off until further notice). My point is that he understands their corporate point of view (football and profits) and what they think of the hired help who are The Yankees, and he thinks can work with that in the hottest position on the team. How long do we really think Girardi will last with those guys?

He's one of those "just cause I talk slow don't mean I'm stupid" guys. And I'm pretty sure he's already figured out what he wants to do when they fire him.

And yes, this is my first post, though I've enjoyed reading all of you for quite a while.
So, a tardy hello.

2007-10-25 17:49:32
79.   Raf
77 O'Neill was a very nice man, and I think that helped push him over the edge.
2007-10-25 17:51:12
80.   ms october
76 You could be right - It's just hard for me to give Lupica the benefit of the doubt. It's just his style and what I think are his feelings that back up that style that turns me off - I get what you are saying about Gooden and that he had not yet had an exposed drug addiction - but why did he have to describe it the way he did - "...Gooden's difficulty getting the passing grade on the urine test"? I know there is more flair in stating it that way, but I also perceive that it is aimed at belittling Gooden. Again though this could just be me reading into Lupica.

Wow - what a nice start to this game. But Colorado cannot leave men on third.

2007-10-25 17:53:20
81.   Chyll Will
76 Then it must mean that Lupe has really let his writing style go to pot over the years. I was ready to take his statements at face value until Ms Oct reminded me that he generally DOES let people know his personal feelings, whether they matter or not... by the way, 74 I'm diggin' the way you think (with all due respect) >;)
2007-10-25 17:54:39
82.   ms october
79 Yes - an extremely gregarious kind of guy. And I have also heard him described as not have any "bitterness" about things - which obviously contrasts with those who are "bitter" which is something Black people/players are almost always punished for.
2007-10-25 17:57:11
83.   Chyll Will
78 Holla! Well, you're not late for dinner, so grab a plate and dig in. By the way Creflo, don't expect much of an allowance around here >;)
2007-10-25 18:10:13
84.   Chyll Will
(cricket, cricket...)
2007-10-25 18:27:24
85.   3rd gen yankee fan
Youkilis' head simply attracts fastballs. :-)
2007-10-25 18:29:24
86.   ms october
I got sucked into watching some of the game - when I swear I heard our good friend Joe Buck say Joba HIT Kevin Youlilis.
Now Jiminez threw over his head just like Joba - so Bucky if you insist on bring this up again at least get it right after all they did the same thing.

83 Guess you are going to have leftovers.

2007-10-25 18:29:27
87.   thelarmis
85 yeah, i wish he would've hit him, instead of walking. (not hurting him, of course)

ooh, that was close on that foul ball. i really hate fenway park. always have...

2007-10-25 18:30:10
88.   thelarmis
nice!

86 yeah, i have no idea how i ended up having the game on... : ~

2007-10-25 18:33:05
89.   ms october
88 I know - and I thought I may have brought a bad vibe when it looked lake Ortiz hit a homer because I didn't see the Rockies score.
2007-10-25 18:35:30
90.   thelarmis
good way to start the inning! c'mon todd, give 'em helton! ok ok, that was terrible. i'm going to HELLton. jeesh, getting worse. crickets were better.

ah, gavce it a ride, but nothing.

i'll be here all week... ; )

2007-10-25 18:36:17
91.   thelarmis
89 i didn't see the rox score either. ah, 2 fly ball outs, holliday still at 1st. feh.
2007-10-25 18:39:28
92.   ms october
Way to swing away at the first pitch. I think I am going back to only checking the score.

90 hell(ton) of a try

2007-10-25 18:42:08
93.   thelarmis
92 thanks! sigh.

if you don't even wanna check, i'll try and update here (if i'm indeed still watching...)

2007-10-25 18:45:21
94.   thelarmis
ah, fuck - tie game, ms. october...
2007-10-25 18:45:56
95.   Bama Yankee
51 Ms October, I'm from Fort Payne, AL. We also have a guy from Birmingham who posts here sometimes (his name is Jeb).

What school did you go to in Birmingham?

You are right about there not being very many Yankee fans down here (mostly bandwagon Braves fans). My grandmother was a huge Braves fan (she watched every game). I was always afraid that she was going to disown me after we won those two Serious-es... ;-)

2007-10-25 18:46:55
96.   ms october
93 Alright thanks - I think I might do what I do when I am mad at the Yanks and only let myself look every 15 minutes (though somehow I never make it to 15 minutes)
2007-10-25 18:48:15
97.   thelarmis
95 bama & ms. october - i'm a native new yorker (queens), but live in atlanta. i've played huntsville a coupla times and birmingham a ton. b'ham is a pretty cool town...
2007-10-25 18:50:10
98.   thelarmis
whew (wipes forehead) - foul ball. c'mon ubaldo, get outta this...
2007-10-25 18:50:50
99.   ms october
94 Crap - I knew I should have changed the channel before that happened - I'm done with this game (I think)
2007-10-25 18:53:04
100.   thelarmis
inning over. finally. 1-1
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-10-25 18:54:40
101.   Bama Yankee
97 I hear you guys are about to run out of water over there in Hot-lanta.
2007-10-25 18:59:56
102.   thelarmis
rox keep getting the leadoff man on base. they need to get him home...

101 yeah, esp. up at lake lanier (about an hour away). we got a little bit of rain yesterday. beautiful chilly fall day today. if we run outta water, i'll just have to start drinking more beer! ; )

2007-10-25 19:01:44
103.   ms october
95 , 97
Oh - I have played softball games in Fort Payne. I didn't start there (actually I went to school in Atlanta for a year) - but I finished at UAB and then worked a year or two in Birmingham - then moved to New York for a few years- now Boston - but I want to go back to NY when I finish my degree here.
I was in high school when the Braves went from "worse to first" and there were a ton a "new" Braves fans at my school. But I remember when I was younger no one really had a baseball team, but a lot of people hated any mention of the Yanks.
I take it you don't think Huntsville is cool (don't worry - it's not).
What do you think of Atlanta?
Birmingham is one of those Southern cities that has changed quite a bit even since the 80s.
Yeah- I thought I have seen you discuss Alabama football with him, after a couple of months I am now starting to kind of know who a lot of the posters are.
2007-10-25 19:02:19
104.   thelarmis
bollocks. a whole lotta nuthin' from the rox
2007-10-25 19:03:40
105.   Zack
Terrible ABs by the Rockies with some terrible calls by the ump. Man, are the Rockies ever hurt by not having the DH or what?
2007-10-25 19:05:27
106.   thelarmis
yeah, i can't stand huntsville, sorry ms. october! i do love atlanta. a whole lot. it's absolutely great here and i'm really happy about living here. i miss my family up in NY, but it's perfect for me in the ATL. i've been here over 11 years now, via Pennsylvania, after school...

where in Atlanta were you for that year and what degree are you pursuing?

2007-10-25 19:06:24
107.   ms october
Why bunt? I can see a hit and run - but save the bunting for when Papi is at first.
2007-10-25 19:06:33
108.   thelarmis
105 hopefully the flip will happen in colorado. my guess is that youk sits and fat papi stumbles around the 1st base bag.

wow, nice stretch by helton!

2007-10-25 19:07:21
109.   thelarmis
107 i can't turn the game off, either. oh well. at least it's on mute... GO ROX!!!
2007-10-25 19:08:14
110.   OldYanksFan
77 To state the obvious, I don't think there is a corner of the globe where there isn't racism, tribalism, religion-ism, fat-ism, and every other 'ism' for every trait, both physical and cultural, that defines any human being inhabiting said corner.

That is one my issues with the term racism. Having some preconceived notions of other persons, especially persons who are not members of 'your' tribe, I think is both evolutionarily natural as well as cultural learned. To some degree, it is with all of us, all the time.

Is it that bizarre or unnatural to think that a white child might more identify with a white adult, or a black child might more identify with a black adult, a Jew with a Jew, a Muslim with another Muslim? If this is so, is this what you and I call racism?

Is there racism in Baseball?
Does a wild bear shit in the woods?
(HA!)

2007-10-25 19:08:54
111.   thelarmis
nice run and catch by tavares, 2 down in the 5th.
2007-10-25 19:18:10
112.   Bob B
Manny almost got tagged out. That would have been funny. Rox are not getting any breaks.
2007-10-25 19:18:11
113.   thelarmis
fuck - 2 out walk by fati, followed by a single for manny. lowell does the damage w/ a run scoring double. men on 2nd & 3rd, still 2 out...
2007-10-25 19:18:49
114.   ms october
109 I know - must we be limited to only a few good shows so this seems like a good alternative.

106 There's almost nothing to like in Huntsville. My dad is from Detroit and when he tells people about Hunstville he says - there is not much to do there, but getting to it is easy.
I went to Emory for a year - but my Alabama public school education left me woefully unprepared and after being such a high achieving nerd in high school I couldn't take getting so many B's - so I left and didn't really know where else to go.
I liked Atlanta though and went there a lot when I lived in Birmingham - as it is much easier to get to Atlanta from Bham than Huntsville.
Right now I am trying to get a PhD in Public Policy.
The good thing about Atlanta is it is very easy to get to NY with so many flights- so hopefully you get to visit your family enough.

2007-10-25 19:19:04
115.   thelarmis
and that's it for ubaldo. rox goin' to the pen'. i didn't see for sure, but it might be lefty affeldt. c'mon boyz, keep it at 2-1 and then start raking against scurt!
2007-10-25 19:19:14
116.   OldYanksFan
77 "What qualities garnered this kind of respect?"
Human qualities? Rare human qualities? Even in baseball, we can honor this, yes?
2007-10-25 19:22:48
117.   ms october
I keep watching all these series and I swear if the Yanks could just win a damn DS they would win the World Series.
2007-10-25 19:23:08
118.   thelarmis
114 i live around the block from emory village! i like it there. yes, it's a very good school. i go there if i need anything medical, too...

yeah, it's not a bad flight from here to NY, though i hate flying. i go up a few times a year to see the fam and was just 'home' a coupla weeks ago...

is your fam still in Ala? ya know the joke they say here in atlanta? -- the only thing good about alabama is that it keeps mississippi one state farther away! ; )

2007-10-25 19:23:40
119.   thelarmis
117 agreed.
2007-10-25 19:24:27
120.   thelarmis
fuck. the lefty on lefty bit didn't work. nancy walked, bases juiced for vagitek...
2007-10-25 19:30:54
121.   thelarmis
nice. big C on his chest flies out to left. that was a looooong inning, hopefully the layoff will ill-affect scurt. let's go Rox!!!
2007-10-25 19:33:41
122.   Bama Yankee
118 Easy there... I'm still here and I saw that... ;-)
2007-10-25 19:34:56
123.   ms october
118 Yeah - my mom and dad still live there - neither one is from there though - so I am hoping they will move somewehere else in a few years.
I guess it is good that Atlantans can make fun of Mississippi since Alabama and Miss have such a big wierd rivalry.

120 At least the Captain Crunch flied out.

I don't really know if it would have changed the outcome of the series, but I wish the Rockies could have played a more normal schedule just so we would have known.

2007-10-25 19:36:08
124.   Bob B
How could these guys win 21 of 22? They Suck.
2007-10-25 19:37:20
125.   ms october
122 But you are practically in Georgia :)
2007-10-25 19:38:12
126.   thelarmis
122 : )
2007-10-25 19:39:52
127.   ms october
124 You are right. They must have been playing way over their heads. But Holliday might be about as good as advertised.
2007-10-25 19:42:38
128.   thelarmis
alright, 1st & 2nd, 1 out. scurt getting the hook. looks like it'll be okajima. ooh, i wish it were gagne! scurt getting a massive cheer at the fens. c'mon Rox!
2007-10-25 19:45:16
129.   ms october
128 Looks like you were right - the long inning might have hurt Schill. Hopefully Francona has suffered a very mild head injury and will forget that he is not supposed to use Gagne
2007-10-25 19:48:06
130.   thelarmis
hawpe really needs a basehit right here...
2007-10-25 19:50:02
131.   thelarmis
fuck. hawpe k's. boo.
2007-10-25 19:51:14
132.   OldYanksFan
Say Pepsi please. http://tinyurl.com/3bbdy2
2007-10-25 19:51:59
133.   ms october
That truly sucked big time. And if that wasn't bad enough I just had to see Troy Aikman - who I used to love - wearing a Red Sox hat. I am defintely turning it off now.
See you tomorrow - where hopefully we will have a new Yankee manager to discuss.
2007-10-25 20:42:15
134.   Zack
Wow ah God awful showing by the Rockies. Just pathetic. Kind of like the Yankees vs. Indians actually. Only have themselves to blame really...
2007-10-25 20:47:48
135.   Mattpat11
Holliday was out by three feet.

This is boys against men.

And am I the only one that watches Okajima and thinks "but we wanted Igawa!"

2007-10-25 20:47:53
136.   Zack
And just when you didn't think it could get more pathetic, it does. Picked off? Are you serious? I didn't realize Papelbon HAD a move...
2007-10-25 20:48:50
137.   Zack
135 Please, Okajima showed in the second half what exposure can do. He's facing teams that have barely seen him. If you are going to make the argument, make it about Dice-k...
2007-10-25 20:59:53
138.   Mattpat11
137 Okajima in the second half was still nowhere near as terrible as Igawa has been the entire time.

I guess Okajima doesn't walk nearly enough men to have been seriously considered for the Yankee bullpen anyway, so there's no point in getting that upset.

Over the nonsigning of Okajima. I have plenty of rage still left in me for the inexplicable Igawa signing.

2007-10-25 21:23:10
139.   yankz
Fuck the Sox. That is all.
2007-10-25 21:26:22
140.   yankz
Also, Okajima was not highly touted, at all. Career stats in Japan
439 G
34 Wins
32 Losses
41 Saves
3.36 ERA
681 Strikeouts

Nobody predicted a 3.36 ERA in Japan translating to a 2.22 ERA in the AL East, especially at his age.

2007-10-25 21:38:13
141.   Jeb
95 and 96 hey Bama and ms October. I actually grew up in Lexington, Virginia, but moved to Birmingham in 1994. I really like it here and I think huntsville is pretty nice. We need to have a Bronx banter party at next year's rickwood classic.
2007-10-25 21:46:02
142.   yankz
Pretty good article: http://tinyurl.com/2cze6l

(Thanks Dodgers49!)

I didn't know the Yankees had someone in charge of "mental conditioning." Does he dislike Farnsworth too?

2007-10-25 21:48:09
143.   bbfan1
-yankz
Fuck the Sox. That is all.-

Wow, I remember when discussion on this blog was better than lohud and others sites.

Pure class.

2007-10-25 21:49:15
144.   yankz
Ken, can we just ban this dude? I don't think he's ever added anything other than "You guys really suck."

Feel free to delete my comment if you think it's necessary.

2007-10-25 21:52:24
145.   Jeb
I think yankz has pretty much expressed how we are all feeling right now since we're staring at 1 year of bragging by the sox, 1 year of twice as many bandwagon Boston hats than before, and having to get new "got rings?" t-shirts that acknowledge another Boston championship.

plus, most of us hate the red sox and at times like this "Fuck Boston" just feels right.

2007-10-25 22:01:20
146.   Jeb
144 ummm yankz, just to clarify, when you say "ban him" you're referring to bbfan1, right? I'm trying to keep my name out of banning discussions.

:o)

2007-10-25 22:10:16
147.   yankz
146 HA! You're not the one who ONLY comes around here AFTER Sox wins to post douchey hit-and-run comments like 143 .
2007-10-25 22:17:50
148.   Jeb
147 I gotcha! Actually I come on after the sox win to talk about Alabama with Ms. October and bama. I slept through the game and am glad I did.

I hate the red sox. I got a ticket to St Louis in 2004 for the WS when the yanks were up on Boston 3 games to 0. When the yanks choked I sold the ticket. My mother in law said, "why not go to the WS, aren't you a real baseball fan?"

And I told her that I'd be damned if I was driving 500 miles just to boo the red sox, that I have better things to do with my time, and I'm a real YANKEES fan!

2007-10-25 22:23:14
149.   Jeb
And you know something yankz? When the yanks won 5 straight in Fenway last year they weren't congratulating us, they were saying fuck us. And I wouldn't have it any other way! Tip my hat to them??? NEVER. I will burn my hat first.

148 And when the yanks win the world series again, I will have better things to do than to go posting on a sox message board! I will be right here smoking a cigar and celebrating and I have a feeling that the subject of the red sox and their fans just won't come up...

2007-10-25 22:26:19
150.   thelarmis
i, too, loathe, abhor, vilipend and utterly HATE the shit sox. as futile as it may be, i truly hope the rockies somehow muster up some mountain magic and win all three games in colorado...
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-10-25 22:26:32
151.   yankz
Haha! I have several good points, and I agree with much you have said, but Ken has told us not to respond too much to trolls :(
2007-10-25 22:32:34
152.   thelarmis
149 exactly. that's what i've been saying - why in the world would they come over to read/post on a yankees site when they're winning. i don't get that. i would never ever go to one of their sites - i don't care. i just want the Yankees to win...!
2007-10-25 22:33:14
153.   Jeb
151 yep, I agree with ken. I'm not at all responding to any troll, I'm just saying that I hate the sox.

By the way, they've got some long in the tooth guys and I think its going to be a short ride. They should enjoy it because papi is obviously hitting the buffet line twice and Varitek, Schilling, wakefield, manny, drew and Lowell aren't getting any younger! And dai-suck isn't getting any better.

And Beckett may be a good pitcher but he's not as good as he's been pitching.

2007-10-25 23:22:51
154.   weeping for brunnhilde
26 That's exactly right, cob.

And the man NEVER struck out.

35 fucking strikeouts in 652 ab or whatever it was?

Maybe 607 ab.

Whatever.

I realize I was young (12 years old in 1985) but honestly, to this day I can't say I've seen a better hitter than Mattingly. Sure, there are guys with more power and such, but my God, watching him spray those linedrives around the field was just the stuff of myth.

Oh, and if that weren't enough, there was his glove.

And his arm.

God, what a player.

I nearly burst into tears just recalling those days.

2007-10-26 03:39:13
155.   Chyll Will
144 Just send an email to Ken dude, he'll see it. I don't see any purpose in being ungracious on other teams' boards, no matter what your own team has done. It's not sporting and freedom-of-speech is a coward's excuse in cases like that.

In regard to 110 , bears shyt wherever the hell they want to >;) but there are consequences when they do it in certain places, just like what we may or may not call racism. There are certain places in New York I have no need to go to, but if I ever do, I am aware that I'm not welcome by the cold stares I receive or the evasive maneuvers I encounter. There's little reason for me to call it out since I have no intention of being there longer than I need to. What I object to about that behavior is when someone comes into MY domain and treats me like bear shyt; opening a store on White Plains Road and treating black customers with far less respect than others is a big no-no in my book. But it seems like we're not allowed to complain about it, or if we do, it's often ridiculed or ignored.

With Buck, I do recall somewhere where he said it did make him mad before, but he learned to let it go. Buck had a long life and earned a tremendous amount of respect, and he was certainly nobody's fool. Does saying that he was a really nice guy make it okay? What about his astute mind for the game? (Did he have one? I'd like to know if that's been talked about or regarded one way or another) Buck should not be looked upon as an exception to the perception that black athletes are basically physical prowess and little/no cerebrum, and I don't think anyone answered my remark about Jackie and Frank, but it's good since again, I wasn't trying to make a point, just asking >;)

2007-10-26 03:43:36
156.   Chyll Will
Good morning, btw >;) I won't be around today to continue the conversation, but feel free to keep it rolling or completely ignore it. I just can't add anything to it until this evening if it's even necessary. Have a great day all >;)
2007-10-26 04:12:18
157.   Raf
155 Of course O'Neil being a nice guy doesn't make the way he was treated ok, but that's the way things are. IMO, if it weren't for Burns' "Baseball," I don't think we would have heard as much about O'Neil as we have.

I think THT had a column on O'Neil regarding his candidacy for the HoF, but I cannot seem to find it.

2007-10-26 05:51:34
158.   Sliced Bread
"In New York, it has been historically more useful to be a white star than a black star; the opportunities for endorsements and commercials and billboards and all the rest that comes with being a celeb are more readily available to you. With the Mets, Gary Carter and Ron Darling were infinitely more appealing to Madison Avenue than Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, even before Gooden's difficulty getting the passing grade on the urine test." - Lupica

I have no doubt this is true to some extent, but Lupica is dead wrong when he says Madison Ave. didn't love Gooden.

Doc did high profile endorsements for Polaroid, Toys 'R' Us, Nike and Spalding. His was a household name before the coke and "vodka therapy" did him in.

Then there's this snipet from Jeff Gordon's recent piece on "all-time money flushers" at Fox Sport.com:

--------------------------------------------
Dwight Gooden
He had a nice run in the major leagues, winning 194 games and making about $36 million. But how many more games could he have won had his cocaine addiction not marred the second half of his career?

For that estimate, compare "Doc" Gooden to Roger Clemens. In 1993, he earned $5.9 million and Clemens made $4.6 million. They were the top power pitchers of their era.

But Gooden was suspended for the 1995 season for cocaine abuse. The next season, he made just $950,000 coming back from rehab. From 1992 to 1999, Gooden made $24 million while in and out of the sport. During that same time, Clemens, exploiting the free-agent marketplace, made $51 million.

Gooden lost some of that earning power due to shoulder trouble unrelated to his lifestyle. But Gooden also had greater marketing potential, given his enduring popularity in New York City. Cocaine abuse cost him more than $25 million.

Darryl Strawberry
Like Gooden, Strawberry made his mark in the big leagues. He hit 335 career homers, drove in 1,000 runs and made more than $30 million from 1985 to 1998.

Like Gooden, the former Mets phenom suffered frequent substance abuse relapses —leading to suspensions, legal trouble, lost earning power and additional suffering in retirement. He cost himself more than $20 million by making unfortunate lifestyle choices.

Baseball salaries soared in the 1990s. During Strawberry's prime free-agent era, from 1991-98, he made $23 million. Jose Canseco, another star-crossed slugger from the class of 1985, made $35.5 million during that span.

Strawberry, like Canseco, had the potential to become of baseball's all-time greats. Had Strawberry fulfilled that promise, he would have made Juan Gonzalez money ($47.5 million between from 1994-2000) and maximized his marketing potential.

But his recurring alcohol and drug problems — along with knee injuries and colon cancer later in his career — kept baseball fans wondering "what if?"

--------------------------------------------

Now, I can think of more than a few black athletes who have owned NY in my lifetime.

Willie Mays was the face of the Mets in his day. I remember his mug on billboards all over town as a kid. (I lived in Flushing until I was 10)

Reggie got the billboards, and a candy bar to boot.

Walt Frazier. Puma Clyde's anybody?

Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Tiki Barber, Pat Ewing, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Sugar Ray Robinson...

Lupica would compare the popularity and bankability of these NY athletes to Gary Carter & Ron Darling? He's got to be kidding.

Hell, every one of the guys I listed was as big, beloved, and bankable as Mattingly, if not bigger, to this white boy.

2007-10-26 07:23:41
159.   JeremyM
I saw someone on here compare Bird to Mattingly--did you know they're actually brothers-in-law now? Bird married Don's sister Dinah. Funny stuff.
2007-10-26 10:28:48
160.   OldYanksFan
155 Chyll... I do believe that 'isms' in some form and to some degree, are natural and evolutionary, and like almost all evolutionary traits, based on survival.

Further, most cultures promote racism, whether openingly or on a subconsious level.

However, this 'fact' does NOT rationalize racism or make it easier to accept or deal with. It may be natural, but within the confines of a civilized society, it is certainly unfair, unproductive and wrong.

I further think we need to separate and even have different vocabulary to differentiate between 'lynch that Nigger!' racism, 'Is he really smart enough to be a manager' racism, and 'here come a funky looking black dude, maybe I should cross the street' racism.

These 3 examples are fueled by very different emotional and intellectual energy.

I would love to dialog with you on this, but BB isn't the place. If you're interested, drop me your EMail address or ask for mine.

2007-10-26 16:56:35
161.   Chyll Will
160 I think the same way, OYF. I was also thinking that if anyone wanted to dialogue more, they can post their email at my blog (http://www.seriousconsideration.blogspot.com). That's kinda what it's for >;)

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