RIP – - George Steinbrenner

Everyone knows that today is Bastille Day but only people of a certain age can look at the date and understand why it is also Dragnet Day…

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a sports columnist with whom I correspond occasionally. Since he did not choose to make this thought part of a column today, I will maintain his anonymity; here is the text of the e-mail:

“I’m not trying to steal your curmudgeon mantle from you, but Steinbrenner’s death gives me one more good reason not to watch tonight’s All-Star Game. Ad nauseam tributes by Buck, McCarver, et al. Not for me.”

I must say that some of yesterday’s coverage of George Steinbrenner’s passing was way over the top – - and not just the coverage during the All-Star Game. I will only say that it is fitting that someone of George Steinbrenner’s stature within the game of baseball died on the day of the All Star Game.

Rest in peace, George Steinbrenner.

With the All-Star Game as a marker for the middle of the baseball season, let me give you my half-season awards for MLB in a few categories:

    AL Cy Young Award: David Price. CC Sabathia still in contention.

    NL Cy Young Award: Ubaldo Jiminez. Adam Wainwright and Roy Halladay still in contention.

    AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera/Vlad Guerrero (tied). Justin Morneau still in contention.

    NL MVP: Joey Votto. David Wright and Martin Prado still in contention.

    AL Rookie of the Year: Brennan Boesch.

    NL Rookie of the Year: Ike Davis/Jason Heyward (tied)

Greg Cote had this item in the Miami Herald regarding the Marlins’ search for a new manager next season:

“I think when the Marlins restart their managerial search they need to come up with a better want-ad than: ‘Meddling, penurious owner with unreasonably high expectations seeks qualified manager who works well with zero job security.’ ”

You know what would have made “The Decision” starring LeBron James, Jim Gray, Stuart Scott and “The Sycophants” a guaranteed Emmy winner? I cannot understand how the ESPN creative staff missed it. One word here … Vuvuzelas.

Amar’e Stoudamire said that he would get Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker to join him on the Knicks next year. Stories in the NY tabloids throw the possibility of Chris Paul being part of that mix too. Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle had this interpretation:

“Amar’e Stoudamire says he’s got Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony lined up to join him a year from now in New York. So it’s official: NBA teams no longer have any need for general managers.”

I look at that story from a different perspective. If that statement has even 1% truth in it, can someone explain to me how that can happen without tampering? Might one of the ESPN legal experts explain to us how players “recruiting one another” while all are under contract with a single team is not tampering and how that differs from owners colluding as to which players they will sign or not sign? David Stern always tells us about the integrity of the games but here we have three or possibly four players who will be on opposing teams next season colluding to play together next year. No seeds of doubt there … right?

In addition, if ESPN starts covering the Stoudamire/Parker/Paul/Anthony Narcissism Craptacular next week, I hope that an earthquake takes out the entire facility in Bristol Connecticut. C’mon guys; give it a rest.

José Canseco stepped back into a boxing ring. One measure of intelligence is the ability to learn from experience; Canseco seems not to be able to do that very well. His boxing “career” has been miserable at best leading up to his last fight and now he has another blot on the record. He signed to fight Gary Hogan who is one of the trainers at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock as a fund raising event for a local boxing gym. He lost a four-round decision to Hogan – - who is 60 years old. Next up for Canseco could be Abe Vigoda…

In a spasm of self-awareness, Terrell Owens said that he thinks the reason no NFL team has signed him to a contract for 2010 is that teams perceive him as a troublemaker. Let’s see …

    He complained in San Francisco that he was not getting the ball enough while Jerry Rice was on the field with him.

    He had issues with Donovan McNabb in Philly and was sent home by the Eagles and told not to set foot in their facilities again.

    After complaining in Dallas, he was ushered out of town by Jerry Jones – one of the great enabling owners of all time.

    Then he went to Buffalo for a year and caused no problems while not having a very good season on the field.

So, if you are a GM and you look at his record, you see three examples of him being a less-than-wonderful teammate and a most recent example of diminished productivity on the field. So, why should it be a surprise that he remains unsigned?

Finally, here is Scott Ostler again with a comment on Dan Gilbert’s public rant:

“Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Groveliers, charges James with the ultimate sin, quitting on the team during the playoffs. Yet Gilbert groveled to give the Quittin’ King $100 million to come back and quit some more. Get back to us, Dan, when you can explain.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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  • Ed  On July 15, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Best guess why players recruiting is not collusion? The owners (or their reps the GMs) are the guys who actually have to offer contracts. If Wade and lebron and Bosh wanted to play in MIA, and the heat did not want to offer, say, Bosh a deal? No threefer….

    Some NY papers going nuts with James’ “snub” of the Knicks. Questioning how he could come to NYC to “party” so soon afterwards. Um, because Carmelo Anthony married a girl from NYC and that was where the wedding was? Was he supposed to say “Sorry, can’t come, I dissed NYC, so I am banned.”?

    Don’t discount Josh Johnson of the Marlins. Jimenez is first, but….

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On July 15, 2010 at 11:44 am


    Josh Johnson is indeed having a very good year. I thought about him for a “mid-season award”.

    The state of NY and NYC impose income taxes to the tune of just over 12%. Florida has an income tax of 0%.

    On a $100M contract, that is a difference of about $12M. Even LeBron probably thinks that is “real money”…

  • Ed  On July 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Oh, I have zero problem with LeBron taking miami’s money. Just that it is stupid to take signing with a good team with a top coach (Miami) over a zero-chance team (the Knicks) as such a big snub the guy is expected to skip a friend’s WEDDING? Seems that paper made too much over nothing.

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