Amazins Have Chance To Bury Bombers

Another day, another shutout by the Mets, who now have crawled back to one game under .500 before the Subway Series this weekend.

And what a great time to find their game as the club may be catching the Yankees at just the right time this year.

For those who have been under a rock or at least try to ignore what is happening north of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, the Yankees are a team in turmoil. Sure they won last night, but that came on the heels of a seven out of eight skid, which saw the Bombers throw their icons under the bus.

First Jorge Posada asked out of the lineup last Saturday after getting dropped to ninth in the batting order. After sitting out for a couple of days, he played on Tuesday in Tampa, but still is in Joe Girardi’s doghouse. His average is still on the Interstate at .179.

Then Derek Jeter irked Yankee officials by daring to defend his friend, instead of toting the company line and his got into the Yankee brass’s crosshairs.

Well, at least Mariano Rivera kept quiet over the past week, and there is no truth to the rumor Reggie Jackson was flown in for a tongue lashing, just for good measure.

And all of this turmoil, losing, and Bronx Zooery up there at the House that Jeter Built may be a good thing for the Mets, as the Amazins are playing their best ball of the year without the services of Ike Davis and David Wright, and relying on – of all things – strong starting pitching and solid relief.

Add to that a few rookies that just don’t know any better and things seems nice in Queens.

“We got to get to .500 and that’s all we are thinking about right now,” said pitcher Jason Irsinghausen, who was on the Mets back in 1998 and 1999 when the Subway Series was in its infancy. “It’s a May series. It’s just another baseball game for all of us. It’s nice to go to Yankee Stadium, though.”

A sweep by the Mets would be even nicer as the Yankees could be pushed over the edge. With R.A. Dickey, Chris Capuano, and Mike Pelfrey going for the Mets against Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, and Ian Nova, the pitching matchup is there.

Add to that Jose Reyes being Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran playing for a contract and Frankie Rodriguez pitching like there’s $17 million dollars on the line, you have to at least give the Mets a better than average chance.

Imagine what would happen if the pass the hat Mets sweep the mighty Yankees. Posada would probably be released. Players would be demoted. Derek Jeter would be dropped down in the lineup and maybe a coach or two would get whacked.

Although George Steinbrenner is no longer with us, over the last week, we have seen the Bronx Zoo alive and well on 161st Street.

And the Mets will get a chance to make a statement. For a team so desperate to sell tickets and so e desperate to remain relevant, this is their weekend to get back in the good graces of their disillusioned fan base and maybe change the tide of New York Baseball for both teams.

Two shutouts against the Nationals were a nice start, but now this is their chance to shine.

Posted under Baseball Game, Bombers, David Wright, Derek Jeter, Doghouse, Good Measure, Infancy, Joe Girardi, Joe Mcdonald, Jorge Posada, Kennedy Bridge, Last Saturday, Mariano Rivera, New York Mets, Reggie Jackson, Robert F Kennedy, Rookies, Shutout, Subway Series, Top Story, Yankee Brass, Yankee Stadium

This post was written by Joe McDonald on May 19, 2011

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Mancuso: A Boss Like No Other

George Steinbrenner did it best when it came to manipulating the media, all for the benefit of his beloved New York Yankees. It sparked interest and most of all ticket sales. Steinbrenner, love him or hate him, it always came down to doing what was best for the Yankees. In the end it was best for baseball.

They will say that Steinbrenner, named the “boss” by the media and his piers had this passion for winning. But the way he came across at times made the “boss” appear to be what the rival Boston Red Sox would call, his “Evil Empire.” Steinbrenner took the initiative to spend money, all with one goal in mind, to bring the best to New York all for a championship. And for that he became evil.

To the New York Yankee baseball fan, Steinbrenner, on the contrary was not the evil man.  He spent and always got his man. It was Reggie Jackson in the 1970’s, Dave Winfield, Goose Gossage, Randy Johnson, Alex Rordriguez and so many more.

And his team delivered the championships he wanted, most of all wanting title after title for the city he loved, New York. Chaos and anarchy in between with fellow owners, managers, coaches and players, and two suspensions from the game would not stop Steinbrenner from becoming the most important and historical owner of  a professional sports franchise.

The tributes immediately came in when word reached from Tampa Florida early Tuesday about the passing of “the boss.”  It was a massive heart attack that ended a life of fulfillment. Because since January 3, 1973, until his last breath, all George Steinbrenner thought about was, his family and the New York Yankees.

He wasn’t seen the last few years around the Bronx. They would say “the boss” was feeling better but we all knew it was not the same Steinbrenner when he handed most of the responsibilities to his sons Hal and Hank.  And statements about a Yankee icon passing on, or about the state of his team would come from his friends at Rubenstein Associates.

We tried to get a glimpse of him when he came to the Bronx for what would be his last time, in October to take in Game 3 of the World Series. Secluded from all with the exception of the captain Derek Jeter, he anointed, and the manager Joe Girardi who was his second choice over Yankee favorite Don Mattingly.  They came to see him in his suite at the new billion dollar Yankee Stadium that is known as the “House That George Built.”

Jeter always referred to his boss as, “Mr. Steinbrenner.” We never knew why, but it had to do with respect, because Jeter considers himself, never wearing any other uniform but Yankee pinstripes and owes that all to Steinbrenner.

The new stadium was always a priority, because Steinbrenner felt his fans deserved a stadium that had all the amenities of all those other new ballparks that were built The Bronx at one time was his enemy, There were harsh words and threats to move his team across the river to the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

Cooler heads prevailed and Steinbrenner got his commitment for a new stadium. Those around him say, George would rant and rave, threaten those near him about losing their job, and some would, but he would always make peace and have that compassion to bring them back to the Bronx.

He cared about people, some who he would adopt into the Yankee family. Bill Stimers is a main stay in the Yankees press box. They met in front of the old stadium by the press gate. Stimers, a former employee of Entermann’s Bakery would give Steinbrenner a box of cookies. George would become his friend and assist him with paying off his home in Brentwood New York,

There were numerous and continued contributions to charitable organizations, sitting on boards of foundations, and always a Steinbrenner assist leaving tickets for kids in the Bronx who wanted to go to their first New York Yankee ballgame and could not afford to do so.

Ask Yankees legend Yogi Berra, and just about every player that passed through the Yankee clubhouse.  George would have his say, the football mentality in him from his assistant football coaching days at Northwestern and Purdue. But as they all say, “We kissed and made up.”

After all he was “the boss” that delivered and got the right players in place over the years, good enough for seven world championships. He wanted to win, had the desire and will, and he got it. More so his love-hate relationship with the manager Billy Martin that constantly got headlines.

Who would ever know, that this shipping baron from Cleveland Ohio with no ties to New York would eventually become the most influential and recognized owner of a professional sports franchise.

As for the media we all had some stories. There was a time Steinbrenner could be seen often at the old stadium walking from his private box through the auxiliary press box where we sat.  Jason Giambi, his $19 million a year ballplayer would ground out into a game ending double-play with the bases loaded, and the Yankees would lose a tough one.

Steinbrenner, standing above this writer would put his hands up in dismay and say, “Geez, I pay this guy 19 million for that,” And he would rant and rave later saying, “and don’t you write that or I will remember you,”

It was written, he remembered, and later requested only a select few to sit in that auxiliary box area. It got yours truly to finally have a brief face-to-face with the person they called “The boss.”

‘You were only doing your job,” he would say.”  Yeah, it was his box, his stadium and had the authority to say what he wanted. But bygones were bygones, and Steinbrenner always remembered the face.

They were his Yankees also, for New York City and the Bronx. Yankee fan or not you had to admire that personality and style.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Baseball Fan, Boston Red Sox, Dave Winfield, Early Tuesday, Evil Empire, Evil Man, Fellow Owners, George Steinbrenner, Goal In Mind, Goose Gossage, Last Breath, Mancuso, Massive Heart Attack, New York Mets, New York Yankee, New York Yankee Baseball, New York Yankees, Professional Sports Franchise, Randy Johnson, Reggie Jackson, Rich Mancuso, Rubenstein Associates, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on July 13, 2010