Saturday, October 30, 2010


Joe Girardi Girardi led the Yankees to their 27th World Championship in his second season as Manager. (AP)
October 29, 2010

The Yankees signed manager Joe Girardi to a three-year contract extension on Friday. The Yankees’ manager since 2008, Girardi has posted a 287-199 overall record and has led the squad to one World Series title and one American League pennant in that three-year time span.

Vote Girardi as Manager of the Year in the 2010 This Year in Baseball Awards. Vote »



Los Angeles - The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) announces its first set of 2010 season award selections, naming its 2010 Comeback Player of the Year and Relief Pitcher of the Year awards.

The National League Comeback Player of the Year award was won by Tim Hudson, of the Atlanta Braves, with the American League Comeback Player of the Year going to Vladimir Guerrero, of the Texas Rangers.

The NL Hoyt Wilhelm Relief Pitcher of the Year award winner is Brian Wilson, of the San Francisco Giants, with Rafael Soriano, of the Tampa Bay Rays, being selected the AL Rollie Fingers Relief Pitcher of the Year.

Voting took place between September 15 and October 3, the final day of the regular season. Additional selections will be announced starting the second business day after the completion of the World Series

The IBWAA was created July 4, 2009 by Howard Cole, editor of, to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as an alternative to the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).

Among others, IBWAA members include Kevin Baxter, baseball writer for the Los Angeles Times; Tim Brown, YahooSports; Tom Hoffarth, Media/General Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News; Tony Jackson, Dodgers reporter,; Ben Maller,; Gary Warner, Travel Editor, Orange County Register; and prominent baseball authors Peter Golenbock, Seth Swirsky and Dan Schlossberg.

Association memberships are open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $20. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available.
For more information on the IBWAA, please visit the temporary webpage here, In the coming months, the IBWAA can be found at


Howard Cole
Director, IBWAA

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood out - ESPN - By Wallace Matthews

Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood out

NEW YORK -- As expected, the Yankees declined to pick up the options of Lance Berkman ($15 million), Kerry Wood ($11 million) and Nick Johnson ($5.5 million with a $250,000 club buyout) on Wednesday. But at least one of them, Wood, might still have a future in pinstripes if the Yankees can negotiate a free-agent deal with him this winter. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Cleveland Indians, the 33-year-old Wood became a valued member of the Yankees bullpen, supplanting Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson as the eighth-inning set-up man for closer Mariano Rivera. "It all depends on how much it costs us to do the deals with [Derek] Jeter, [Joe] Girardi and Mo [Mariano Rivera]," a Yankee source told ESPN New York. "And I have the feeling he's going to try to make a deal as a closer for someone." In Cleveland, Wood had been 1-4 with a 6.30 ERA and had just come off the disabled list -- his 14th trip to the DL in 13 seasons -- with a blister on his pitching hand. But in 24 appearances as a Yankee, Wood went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and at one point, had 21 consecutive scoreless appearances. Berkman, acquired the same day as Wood from the Houston Astros, batted just .255 with one home run in the regular season and expressed dissatisfaction with his role, in which he was forced to platoon with Marcus Thames at designated hitter. But in the postseason, Berkman was an adequate replacement for Mark Teixeira at first base in the American League Championship Series after Teixeira went down with a hamstring strain, batting .313 in the playoffs, including a big home run against the Minnesota Twins in the division series. Johnson's second stint with the Yankees was a total bust. Acquired before the season to replace Hideki Matsui as the DH, Johnson hit just .167 with two home runs, and struck out 23 times in 24 games, before wrist surgery landed him on the DL in May. A second surgery on the same wrist officially ended his season in August. The Yankees also announced they exercised the option on Andrew Brackman, a 6-foot-10 right-hander who was their No. 1 pick in the 2007 amateur draft. Brackman split time between Class A and Double-A ball in 2010 and compiled a 10-11 record. He was called up to the Yankees in September but did not appear in a game.  

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 New York Yankees Review - Some Ugly Stats

 Thanks to Fred of Ashburn, Virginia for passing on these alarming stats.
  • $206,333.389. for that? (Texas: $55,250,545.)
  • After their 8th inning rally in the 1st game?  5 for 47 w/RISP = .106
  • Yankees BA? .201, scored 19 runs. Texas: .304, 38 runs.
  • Hughes: 0-2 = 11.42 ERA
  • Jeter .231, NO RBI
  • A-Rod NO HRs, .190, 4 for 21, 2 RBI.
  • Teixiera 0 for 14.
  • Killed by:  lack of little ball, ineffective pitching, lack of clutch hitting (what, about 1,000 LOB w/RISP?), excessive K's (many with 3-0 count), DPs up the kazoo, Jeter's groundouts/DPs/K's up the same kazoo.
  • Innocent?  Mo and Cano.
  • Yankees went from 86-50 to 9-17.
  • They have spent two billion dollars over 10 years for players, revenue sharing and luxury tax.
  • One might wonder why A-Rod slept during the playoffs.
  • CHOKE.
  • My salute to the dethroned NYY:  middle finger, right hand.
  • Great job Fred!

Yankees fire Dave Eiland - By Andrew Marchand ESPN

Yankees fire Dave Eiland By Andrew Marchand


NEW YORK -- In the wake of the disappointing end to New York's season, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has fired pitching coach Dave Eiland.

Picking Up The Pinstripes

The Yankees need to retool after an ALCS defeat. Tell us which ones you'd keep -- and which ones you'd cut.
"I'm not going into any detail about what the reasons were," Cashman said on Monday.

Cashman said it had nothing to do with how poorly the Yankees pitched in the American League Championship Series, where they were eliminated by the Texas Rangers in six games. Cashman termed the decision a "private" one.

Toward the end of the first half, Eiland missed nearly a month with an undisclosed personal problem. Eiland's absence coincided with the downfall of A.J. Burnett's season.

Cashman said he thinks Eiland will get another job in the majors as a pitching coach.
Cashman is planning to start negotiations with the agent for manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday. The plan is to sign Girardi to a new contract, and then the Yankees will figure out who will replace Eiland.

Andrew Marchand covers the Yankees for

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yankees Trivia - October 20, 2010

In 2001, what Yankees player became the oldest player in Major League history to record a 20 home run/20 stolen base season? (scroll down for answer)
Answer: Paul O'Neill

Monday, October 18, 2010

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium: 1927 by Harvey Frommer

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium: 1927
Another season, another opening day. The old Yankee Stadium still stands but the new one (as if we needed it) is in place poised for its first opening day.
One of the most memorable of openings days at the “House That Ruth Built” took place in 1927 when the old Yankee Stadium was just four years old.
Owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert was very upbeat about prospects for baseball in 1927 but was muted in his predictions for his team. He did not seem to have a clue as to what tremendous accomplishments lay ahead for his Yankees.
“Everything indicates that 1927 will be one of the most remarkable in baseball history,” Ruppert told reporters.  Although born in New York, he had never lost the German accent inherited from his paternal grandfather. It was an accent that became thicker when he became emotional, usually when talking about the Yankees. 
On April 10th , a New York Times headline proclaimed:
“BIG LEAGUE SEASON TO OPEN ON TUESDAY: Yanks Will Greet Athletics, Picked by Many to Win Flag, at the Stadium”
 “Well, it won't be long now,” James R. Harrison wrote in The Times. “Only a few days more and the greatest show on earth will be on. Tired business men will lock their desks and go uptown for an important "conference" at 3:30 P.M. The mortality rate among the grandparents of office boys will take an alarming jump . . .”
Everything was in readiness for the Yankees of New York beginning their fifth season at their majestic Yankee Stadium home field in the Bronx.  
"The big parade toward Yankee Stadium started before noon yesterday,” Peter Vischer described Opening Day 1927 in the New York World.  “Subways brought ever-increasing crowds into the Bronx. Taxicabs arrived by the hundreds. Buses came jammed to the doors. The parade never stopped.”
"Yankee Stadium was a mistake, not mine but the Giants’," Ruppert had said. The site was chosen for among other reasons to irritate the Yankees former landlords the Giants and because the IRT Jerome Avenue subway line snaked its way virtually atop the Stadium's right-field wall.
Built at a cost of $2.5 million, "The Yankee Stadium", as it was originally named, and nick-named "the House that Ruth Built,"when the park first opened in 1923 by Fred Lieb always one especially handy coming up with a catch phrase, had a brick-lined vault storing  electronic equipment under second base, making it feasible to have a boxing ring and press area on the infield.
 Yankee Stadium was the first ballpark to be called a stadium. A mammoth horseshoe shaped by triple-decked grandstands, the edifice’s huge wooden bleachers circled the park. The 10,712 upper-grandstand seats and 14,543 lower grandstand seats had been fixed in place by 135,000 individual steel castings upon which 400,000 pieces of maple lumber were fastened by more than a million screws.  Sod from Long Island, 16,000 square feet of it, was trucked in. 
        The Stadium had eight toilet rooms for men and as many for women scattered throughout the stands and bleachers, a nice touch for the time. A 15-foot deep copper facade adorned the front of the roof, covering much of the Stadium's third deck, giving it an elegant almost dignified air. This decorative and distinctive element was the ball park’s logo.
Seating capacity in 1927 was now 62,000, increased from 58,000. The admission price for the 22,000 bleacher seats (the most in baseball) was reduced in 1927 from 75 cents to 50 cents. Grandstand admission was $1.10. All wooden seats were painted blue. In right center field there was a permanent "Ruthville" sign. Sometimes , the area was also called "Gehrigville".
The left-field pole was but a short 281-foot poke from home plate. It was 415 feet to left, 490 feet to left center, 487 feet to dead center, 429 feet to right center, 344 feet to right, and 295 feet down the right field line. The 82 feet behind home plate made for plenty of room for a catcher to run and chase wild pitches, passed balls, foul balls.
Above the bleachers in right centerfield was the manual scoreboard.  The Yankee bullpen looked out on left centerfield. The dark green Yankee dugout was on the third base side of the field and remained  there until 1946.
 "By game time the vast structure was packed solid," Peter Vicher’s article continued. "April 12, 1927, Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.  Rows of men were standing in back of the seats and along the runways. Such a crowd had never seen a baseball game or any other kind of game in New York."   
The crowd was the largest in all the history of baseball, 73,206, breaking the previous attendance record of 63,600 that had been set in Game 2 of the 1926 World Series. Another 25,000 were turned away.There were 9,000 guests of the New York Yankees plus one thousand who were able to get in with passes.
On the balmy, almost summery day, the Seventh Regiment Band dressed in gray outfits began playing with vim and gusto. Red coated ushers, really into their  effort of trying to keep the level of behavior orderly, worked the crowd, seating people.
 At 3:25 the string bean manager Cornelius McGillicuddy (Connie Mack) of the Philadelphia Athletics, in dark civilian clothes and high stiff collar who was featured on that week’s Time Magazine cover, and the wisp of a Yankee pilot Miller Huggins posed for photographs.
Mayor Jimmy Walker, 45, typified New York City and the 1920s.  A svelte, more dressed up model of the gregarious Babe Ruth, Walker in 1927 was happily involved with Betty Compton, 23, an actress. The two of them, it was said, had a gay time of it in their Ritz Hotel suite.  Largely ignoring public mention of the relationship, the press instead gave lots of attention to the way Walker dressed, the parties he attended, the stories he told. 
Urbane, dashing, positioned in Ruppert's private box, the Mayor threw out the first ball – twice, taking no chance to miss a photo op, to Eddie Bennett, referred to in newspapers of the time as “the hunchback bat boy.”
Bennett gave players their bats, presented baseballs to umpires. He let his cap and hump be rubbed by Yankees before games. He sat on the bench next to Miller Huggins, observing and pointing out things out on the field, a kind of precursor to today’s bench coaches.  He would bring bicarbonate of soda to Babe Ruth before every game generally during batting practice after the big man had downed his massive quota of hot dogs and soda pop. 
Ruth and Bennett would create laughs for early arrivals at the Stadium by engaging in a highly animated game of catch. Starting about ten feet apart, they would toss the ball back and forth. Ruth would throw the ball after a while about a foot above Bennett’s reach, and he would scamper after it. They would repeat the routine and the Yankee mascot would bitch a bit to the Babe who would feign total innocence. The game continued until Bennett found himself backed up against the screen behind home plate. To some, the whole ritual was viewed as cruel behavior on Ruth’s part, a taunting, shaming of a cripple. It wasn’t – just two guys playing around.
On this day of days, the Yankees had two loud voiced announcers using megaphones to inform the crowd of the on-the- field goings on. Previously one megaphoner had sufficed,  colorful Jack Lentz, longtime announcer, who wore a derby hat and sometimes mangled the King's English. He was joined by George Levy, who had made a reputation working the Polo Grounds. He wore a soft hat and made use of a smallish megaphone.  The work of the announcers was simple: speak the name of each player as he came to bat; keep silent after that except when a new player entered the game. 
Knowledgeable fans noticed a significant change in New York’s white wool flannel home uniforms for 1927. "Yankees" was now on the front of the jersey rather than the name of the city. Navy blue vertical pinstripes and stirrups accentuated the uniform. Players wore navy blue caps with a white interlocking "NY" in script on the front.  The v-necked shirts had a brief tapered extension around the neck. Sleeves extended over the elbows, and the knicker pants reached just below the knees. Belts and cleats were black.  On the road, the team from the Bronx would wear a gray uniform with "YANKEES" in navy blue block letters across the chest, and two colored stirrups, navy blue on top and rust on bottom.
By noon, a carnival-like atmosphere pervaded the area around Yankee Stadium. Swarms of hawkers, vendors, gawkers and fans intermingled in a circus of sounds and colors. 
By three o'clock most unreserved seats had been snatched up.  Lines of police were at River Avenue in the back of the park and also along the approaches in front of the Stadium. New York’s Finest checked carefully allowing only those with tickets to pass.
It was exactly half past three when the game got underway. 
  • This was the Yankee Opening Day lineup:   
    • Earle Combs cf
    • Mark Koenig ss   
    • Babe Ruth rf
    • Lou Gehrig 1b 
    • Bob Meusel lf 
    • Tony Lazzeri 2b
    • Joe Dugan 3b
    • Johnny Grabowski c    
    • Waite Hoyt p
The Yankees, scoring four runs in the fifth and sixth innings, triumphed, 8-3, They were in first place where they would remain day in and day out throughout the season.  
#   #   #
You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   
About the Author: 
Harvey Frommer is in his 34th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 40 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." Frommer's newest work CELEBRATING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION is next.
Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:  
Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 
This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2010 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Freddy 'Sez' Schuman, a Yankee Stadium staple for last 20 years, dead at age 85

Freddy 'Sez' Schuman, a Yankee Stadium staple for last 20 years, dead at age 85

Originally Published:Sunday, October 17th 2010, 4:09 PM
Updated: Monday, October 18th 2010, 11:43 AM
Freddy 'Sez' - a Yankee Stadium icon for 20 years - is dead at age 85, according to a friend.
Freddy 'Sez' - a Yankee Stadium icon for 20 years - is dead at age 85, according to a friend.

Yankee Stadium fixture Freddy (The Fan) Schuman, who banged his trusty metal frying pan to rally Bombers fans for over two decades, has died.
The 85-year-old superbooster died Sunday afternoon at an undisclosed Manhattan hospital after suffering a heart attack Friday, said longtime friend Chuck Frantz, president of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club.
"Freddy was a true Yankee legend and a No. 1 fan [who] will be missed," Frantz said.
Frantz said he collapsed Friday at a senior center where he lived.
He was a staple at the old and new stadiums since 1988, greeting fans at the turnstiles by banging on a frying pan that was painted with a shamrock and toting a colorful sign that usually began with the words "Freddy Sez ..."
Schuman was the same age as the old Stadium when it was torn down. His death comes in the same season the Yanks lost owner George Steinbrenner and beloved announcer Bob Sheppard.
In the Yankees clubhouse, players said they'll miss the rat-a-tat-tat of Schuman's pan when they resume their American League pennant series tonight in the Bronx against the Texas Rangers.
"I've seen him out there all the time. I know he's been here forever," said Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher. "I definitely send my best wishes to his family."
Tina Lewis, the self-described queen of the Yankee Stadium "Bleacher Creatures," said the Bombers' home games will not be the same without Schuman.
"It's going to be very strange without him, without hearing Freddy and his pans," Lewis said. "He wasn't a Creature, but we respected him out in the bleachers. I wish he'd lived to see what I hope is one more great postseason."
Schuman was such a Bombers icon that one of his pans is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and another is in the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Montclair, N.J.
Schuman, a retired Bronx upholstery shop owner, was also a die-hard booster of the Manhattan College Jaspers and Fordham University Rams athletic programs.
But he was mostly known as the Yankees' unofficial mascot, so famous he appeared in a baseball-themed MasterCard commercial and a House of Pain music video.
He once told the Daily News that his spirit for cheering stemmed from a lesson he learned when he caught a burglar in his upholstery shop.
"Get 'em down and keep 'em down," Schuman said. "That's what I like the Yankees to do."
With Filip Bondy

Read more:

Freddy’s Pan Will Bang No More for Yankees

October 18, 2010, 3:03 pm

Freddy’s Pan Will Bang No More for Yankees


Barton Silverman/The New York Times Freddy Schuman posed with admirers and his lucky pan, in 2006.
Freddy Schuman, who with one eye, one tooth and several old frying pans and spoons turned his love of the New York Yankees into a full-time occupation as the team’s unofficial mascot, becoming one of the wackiest and unlikeliest cheerleaders of a baseball empire not known for wackiness, died Sunday afternoon at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Schuman had survived heart attacks in recent years. On Friday, he was playing bridge and dancing at a senior center on West 76th Street in Manhattan when he collapsed and was taken to the hospital, said Suzie Zakoian, his fiancée and longtime companion. Heart failure was the cause of death, Ms. Zakoian said.
Mr. Schuman attended hundreds of games at the old and the new Yankee Stadiums, roaming the stands with a frying pan and spoon for fans to whack as hard as they could. Mr. Schuman and the pan-banging tradition were so beloved that one of his pans was inducted into the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in Little Falls, N.J. Another is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“I crave the excitement and the adulation of my fellow fans,” Mr. Schuman says in Gillian Zoe Segal’s 2001 book, “New York Characters.” “Because if not for the fans, then I’m nobody.”
Mr. Schuman hand-painted signs for each of the more than 1,500 home games he attended, never using the same sign twice, and he was the author of a newsletter for fans, past issues of which included his Yankee-themed poetry and Ms. Zakoian’s recipe for leg of lamb stew.
“Out of the 81 home games each year, you can count the games he missed on one hand,” said Chuck Frantz, 57, a friend of Mr. Schuman’s and the president of the largest Yankees fan club in the country, the 430-member Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club in Pennsylvania.
“A few weeks ago I called him. He was very sick. He had a very bad cold and he couldn’t shake it. Freddy was a guy who didn’t like doctors. I said, ‘Freddy, do me a favor. Please take a couple days off, relax, then you can go to the game when the Yankees are back.’ He said, ‘Chuck, I can’t. The players need me. The fans need me. I can’t stay home.’ And he went to the game.”
Mr. Schuman, a retired truck driver who was known as Freddy “Sez,” first took his pan to a Yankees game in 1988. Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani once called Mr. Schuman the embodiment of the die-hard Yankee fan, saying that if Mr. Schuman is not at a game, “it feels like there’s something missing.” It was no idle compliment: In November 2001, at the mayor’s urging, Mr. Schuman, his pan and his spoon were rushed out of his Upper West Side apartment and put on a plane to Phoenix on an urgent mission: Help the Yankees win Game 7 of the World Series.
Few fans were as intimate with the old Yankee Stadium as Mr. Schuman, and he remained one of the last vestiges of the old ballpark at the Yankees’ new $1.5 billion home. “I even know where some of the best drinking water is,” he said in the days before the Yankees’ final game at the old stadium in September 2008. “There are some fountains that work very good and there are some fountains that need a plumbing job.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yankees president Randy Levine slams Barbara Kopple's ESPN documentary on George Steinbrenner - by Bob Raissman

Yankees president
Randy Levine slams
Barbara Kopple's ESPN
documentary on
George Steinbrenner

Thursday, September 9th 2010, 4:00 AM

Sounding very much like his old boss, Yankees
president Randy Levine Wednesday fired verbal
shots at an upcoming ESPN documentary on George
Steinbrenner, calling it "disjointed" and "the usual
news at 6."

The film, "The House of Steinbrenner," is produced
by Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara
Kopple. It will air on Sept. 21 as part of ESPN's "30
for 30" series.

"It was very disappointing to watch the film. She had
unbelievable access to the Yankees. She had great
access to Hal (Steinbrenner). The interview with him w
as exceptional," Levine said. "The rest of the film
was the usual news at 6. It was a disjointed effort.
I'm not sure where she was trying to go with the

"As somebody who is an admirer of hers, I just think
she swung and missed at this one."

Kopple said Levine did discuss "The House of
Steinbrenner" with her after watching it at her office.

"I'm sad Randy Levine feels this way," Kopple said
Wednesday. "I feel when people see this film they
won't quite understand what he's talking about."

Kopple said her film projects love - love of the

"You see a lot of it through the fans and their
excitement and their passion for the team," Kopple
said. "You see it in the pilgrimages the people make
to (the old)
Yankee Stadium on the final day."
Levine insisted he was just putting on his critic hat
and not speaking for the organization. Does he also
see himself as caretaker of The Boss' image and the
Yankees brand? Did this make him more sensitive to
Kopple's effort?

"No, absolutely not," he said. "I don't mind people's
opinions whether they are critical or not critical. I
just thought from a great filmmaker it would say 
Kopple said after Levine watched it ("We showed it to
him out of the good graces of our heart") he "didn't
stay and talk very long," but did ask why he wasn't
in it. Neither Levine nor
GM Brian Cashman appears
in "The House of Steinbrenner." Kopple said she
wanted to include both in the documentary.

"We sent emails asking for Mr. Cashman and Mr.
Levine," Kopple said. "They just said no."

Levine differed, saying: "She's a filmmaker and she's
entitled to decide who she wants in the film. She
never communicated that she wanted to interview me
or many other relevant people at the Yankees."

Now, even with controversy and criticism injected
into the mix, Kopple still has a singular feeling.

"I'm proud," she said, "very proud of this film."

‘House of Steinbrenner’ Fails to Convey a Compelling Story By RICHARD SANDOMIR

‘House of Steinbrenner’ Fails to Convey a Compelling Story

In “The House of Steinbrenner,” the Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple created an enormous storytelling challenge for herself: describe the generational shift in the Yankees family, from George to Hal Steinbrenner, and from the old Yankee Stadium to the new one.
But Kopple attempts too much in this Sept. 21 edition of ESPN’s “30 for 30” by following too many narrative strands (is it about the Steinbrenners, stadiums, fans, construction workers, fathers and sons, and Yankees employees?) and talking to too many people with predictable things to say.
There is little new here about the Steinbrenners — except for Hal’s love of flying, which prompts a single new revelation about his father’s behavior in a situation that he could not control.
But Kopple’s inescapable problem was the unavailability of the elder Steinbrenner through illness (his death in July concludes the film) and the publicly colorless personality of the younger one. “We knew George was taking a back seat,” Kopple said in a recent interview. “But something more beautiful happened: a film about fans and generations at the end of an era. It moved me.”
It could be suggested that a lot of people reside within the metaphorical house of Steinbrenner, and that the variety of those interviewed by Kopple were vital to give heft to the shift from old to new in the Yankees universe. But if the old Boss, the patriarch of the house of Steinbrenner, can be summoned only in video clips saying familiar things about his impatience to win, and the new Boss does not generate quotable bites for a future archive, the narrative heart is weakened.
Hal Steinbrenner’s interview with Kopple shows why he engages in so few of such sessions. He was friendly, even a little playful. But not much more open than he is in his news conferences.
“I like budgets,” he tells Kopple. And, “I do well with rules and with discipline.”
Also, he adds, “I was a mama’s boy.”
He cannot match his father’s rhetorical skills, showman’s instincts and willingness to be loathed. So he does not try. His older brother, the once-loquacious Hank, declined to speak to Kopple, despite her sending him some of her past documentaries, including “Wild Man Blues,” about Woody Allen on tour in Europe as a jazz musician. One of Hal and Hank’s sisters, Jenny, is seen in two cheerful if unilluminating stadium scenes, but she does not answer any questions.
“I would have liked more of Jenny,” Kopple said. “She’s so attractive and warm.”
A family in a public transition that cannot describe the impact of that change is, at best, a difficult subject for a documentary. So the film suffers for their introspection or lack of availability.
Kopple said in my interview with her that she did not want a film packed with wild stories of the Boss, like those in Bill Madden’s recent biography. “Everybody knows that stuff,” she said, although the book was a lively mix of old and new tales that would have translated well on screen. She added, “I wanted to go on a journey, like Eloise at the Plaza, into the bowels of Yankee Stadium.”
Documentaries soar when they reveal something new and send viewers on new paths. From the start of “One Night in Vegas,” the ESPN “30 for 30” film that had its premiere Tuesday night, you clearly see how deftly the director Reggie Rock Bythewood is using his hypercreative arsenal — graphic comics, hip-hop music and commentators as diverse as Maya Angelou and Mickey Rourke — to tell the story of the day in Las Vegas in 1996 when Mike Tyson beat Bruce Seldon and Tyson’s friend Tupac Shakur was fatally shot on the Las Vegas Strip after attending the bout.
That kind of verve is absent in “The House of Steinbrenner.”
Yet in the scenes when Kopple’s cameras follow the razing of the old stadium, the film comes to life. But there is not enough of it. Kopple said that she received access from the city to film the stadium’s destruction, which the rest of the news media had to observe from rooftops and the subway platform.
She shot the upper deck being torn down, the seats being removed and Derek Jeter’s locker being taken apart — and the emotion of longtime team employees like Debbie Nicolosi as a beloved stadium died to give life to one that cost more than a billion dollars to build.
Here was a vivid, colorful, noisy, political, financial, generational change, a blue-collar story that would have formed a sports connection to Kopple’s Oscar-winning documentaries about striking coal miners (“Harlan County U.S.A.”) and meat packers (“American Dream”). Here in the stadium saga was something potentially akin to Ken Burns’s “Brooklyn Bridge” and Gay Talese’s reporting about the builders of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Kopple spoke to some demolition workers but used their words sparingly to punctuate their Yankees devotion or hark back to their fathers.
Some Yankees fans will identify — and feel a sense of affirmation — from the words of their brethren in “The House of Steinbrenner,” regardless of how foreseeable their sentiments are.
But the story of the tear-down of the House That Ruth Built is the film that needs to be made.

Summers with George - by Mary Jane Schriner

Summers with George

After the article that appeared in the New York Times, July 15th, about my friendship with George Steinbrenner I received numerous letters from across the country asking me what exactly was our relationship.
Was it a delightful friendship or were we teetering on the beginnings of love? I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide, because I honestly don’t know.
George and I met on a summer’s evening in 1949. We were teenagers living in Bay Village, Ohio. Summer evenings in Bay Village were soft and wonderful. Lovely tree lined streets, a dog’s bark in the distance, residents on tandems, youngsters coming of age and, for that moment in time, this was our town.
Shortly after our first meeting George called and invited me to go to the movies. He spoke in quick brief sentences but I understood every word. Of course, I said yes.
How exciting to be going out with an attractive young man in his fashionable convertible. What could be better than that?
We double-dated with two of George’s friends, Mike and Gloria.
The movie “Twelve O’Clock High” starring Gregory Peck was thrilling and when it was over we visited the Bay Village ice cream parlor. As soon as we finished our scoops of homemade ice cream and exchanging small talk with other local teenagers we headed for home.
Our first stop was Gloria’s house. Pulling into her driveway I couldn’t help thinking it had been a perfect date. The car’s top was down, night breezes circled me like a silken shawl and the stars were twinkling.
As we waited for Mike to say goodnight to Gloria at her front door George slipped his arm around my shoulder while with his free hand he drew my face close to his. Instinctively I asked him “What are your doing?” He replied, “I’m going to kiss you.“
Without another word I grabbed my purse, flew out of the car and proceeded to walk the block to my house.
In a split second George was in hot pursuit. I could hear him shouting, “Please get back in the car. If my parents find out about this I’ll be in big trouble.”
By now, Mike had returned to the car and was shaking with laughter. Gloria’s curious neighbors were peeking out their windows trying to see who was causing the raucous but, worst of all, everyone in our small town knew who owned the powder-blue convertible.
So, out of pity for George I got back into the car. You can only imagine how quickly I was driven home.
About a week later, when the dust had settled following our tragic date, George stopped at my house just to say hello.
We sat in the living-room sipping ice cold lemonade and chatting about all sorts
of things.
He wondered what my plans were for the summer vacation. I told him my father suggested I paint the inside of the addition being added to the back of our small ranch-type house. George offered to help me when he could.
He said much of his summer would be spent on the Great Lakes. His father’s plan for him was to work on the boats for their family owned American Ship Building. But George got home often and came over to our house to assist me with my project.
Various people did odd jobs around the house that season, still the five core workers were Jerry, a jolly African American cleaning lady, my mother, George, me and Uncle Joe.
Uncle Joe was my grandmother’s brother. The family thought of him as a frail little man who seemed to be always there, although, no one really saw him, until he met George.
Uncle Joe tended to the backyard gardens. In fact, all his tasks were out of doors because he had the disgusting habit of chewing tobacco.
Yet, each noon he’d come inside to join us for lunch at our wobbly kitchen table. And for the next hour the five of us would eat cucumber sandwiches while we discussed the pressing issues of those times.
One day George remained in the kitchen to ask for my mother’s permission to take her uncle for a ride in his car.
Mother felt it was a fine idea if Uncle Joe agreed. The look of sheer delight on the dear old man’s face was his answer.
Even at my age I remember the joy I experienced watching our proud Uncle Joe sitting next to George as they backed out of the driveway and drove off into the afternoon sun.
They returned about three o’clock and when they entered the house a beaming Uncle Joe was carrying a mysterious satchel.
Not sure what to expect mother inquired, “What’s in your bag Uncle Joe? “
Then with a majestic gesture, he reached into his mysterious satchel and pulled out a package of the best brand of chewing tobacco known to man.
Oh yes, I loved George that day.
Occasionally we’d take a break from painting and sneak off to play tennis at the exclusive Clifton Club in Rocky River, Ohio.
But first George went home to change his clothes and get his tennis racket. He knew I also needed to change my clothes so, before he left, in a scolding voice he’d worn me not to wear my burlap sack. You bet I did wear it.
Let me take a minute to describe my burlap sack. The petal pushers were a cherry purple plaid with a long-sleeved matching linen jacket. And huge mother-of-pearl buttons completed my stylish ensemble.
Secretly I knew this wasn’t proper tennis attire but it was great fun annoying George.
When he came back to pick me up and found me dressed in my gorgeous burlap sack he’d frown and under his breath he’d mumble my maiden name, “Elster, Elster, Elster. “
My reply to all his mumbling was, “Now George, about your white bucks. What makes you think I want to date a Pat Boone look-a-like?”
Our favorite pastime on those soft summer evenings was to stroll along the winding roads in our hometown.
The rows of small houses nestling behind flowering gardens blended with the scent of roses in the approaching night air and, in a sense, this picturesque scene was mesmerizing.
There was an enchanting house the two of us had chosen to be ours. We’d stand in the twilight’s shadows and peer through its picture window at an elderly couple sharing their last meal of the day.
While we watched the aging couple George would take my hand and whisper, “Someday, Mary Jane, this house will be ours and we will be them.” It was a magical time.
The entire summer we didn’t kiss. I guess neither one of us wanted to risk another uproar.
It wasn’t until the night before George left for college that he held me and kissed me. The kiss was a lingering gentle kiss. It showed me he cared but, as we all know, life can play tricks on young dreamers.
By September of ’49 George had returned to Williams College in Mass, and I was a senior at St. Augustines Academy in nearby Lakewood, Ohio. George often referred to my high school as the “Country Club” and, in hind’ sight, he happened to be right.
We corresponded a lot over the school year but we only caught glimpses of each other during the holidays.
In December George said, “The track is going well.” He received invitations for meets from Madison Square Garden, Boston Gardens, Philadelphia and the K.of C. in Cleveland. He felt his coach was priming him for the Olympics. And that was his dream.
After reflecting on our long-ago conversations, I began to see George’s quest was not for fame. He was becoming a young man driven by a powerful inner quest to always succeed. I hope George knew he did.
The summer of 1950 was greeted by the genuine concerns of my generation.
In 1945 World War II ended and, once again, the winds of war were upon us. By June of 1950 the Korean Conflict was starting and on every street corner confused citizens were questioning the validity of the war.
Train terminals were packed with anxious young men who had left their homes to serve in the military.. Sadly, statistics have shown 36,000 of them died fighting in an East Asian country few of us had heard of.
The Korean Conflict overshadowed everyone’s thinking. It accelerated my generation’s ideas and dreams.
College students tucked away light-hearted thoughts in order to deal with their unknown futures. And so… Enters George and Mary Jane.
We joked and did the usual summer things but nothing seemed real. The talk of war brought out the serious side in all of us.
And considering the seriousness of the times, I think its interesting George and I never discussed religion. He knew I was Catholic and that was the extent of it.
So, when George called me one day in August and said “Get ready Elster, I’m taking you some place special. “ I was pleased because I suspected it would be another of our pleasant adventures.
But after a long ride into the heart of Cleveland I became a bit suspicious. Then when he parked in front of St. Johns Cathedral I nearly fainted.
Not knowing what to do I sat in the car and waited for George to open my door.
Along with opening my door I heard him saying, “Come on M.J. lets go in.”
Then he took my hand and together we climbed the steps, opened the heavy church doors and entered the vestibule.
As soon as the doors clicked shut behind us it appeared we were the last two people on earth.
After genuflecting, with my arm wrapped around George’s arm, we walked down the narrow aisle to the alter and, with bowed heads, the two of us knelt beneath the Tabernacle.
Golden shafts of sunlight surrounded us and delicate shadows from flowers in slender vases slid across the glistening floor. Kneeling next to George I couldn’t help thinking how beautiful our friendship had become.
To this day I’m not sure why George took me there. Perhaps he was going to tell me that he loved me. I will probably never know.
With so much that has happened since, I sometimes wish I could go back to our soft summer evenings.
Mary Jane Schriner
© All Rights Reserved
This story can be found in Mary Jane’s book “And So“, a compilation of short stories written over 40 years.
Please feel to leave a comment for Mary Jane, she enjoys feedback.

The Boss Still Lives in Oversized Monument - by Tim Dahlberg

The Boss Still Lives in Oversized Monument

As debates go, this one is monumental.
Larger than life when he was alive, George Steinbrenner is even bigger now that he’s dead. The Boss towers over the Babe, dwarfs both the Iron Man and the Mick.
The new monument unveiled Monday at Yankee Stadium is so huge it even seems like Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away.
A tribute to the late Yankee owner, sure. A monument to excess in a ballpark born of excess, for sure.
Steinbrenner would have been tickled to see this when he was still alive. But he did stick around long enough to see the opening of a stadium where two seats nine rows up from the visitor’s dugout for Thursday night’s game against Tampa Bay could be had for just $1,800.
Babe Ruth helped usher in baseball for the masses. Steinbrenner should at least get credit for reinventing it for the classes.
Love what he did for the Yankees? Then you’ll love the 7-by-5 foot, 760-pound mass of bronze that looks down over everything behind the centerfield fence.
Hate what he’s done for baseball? Then save your $1,800 and stay home.
Steinbrenner was always polarizing, of course, and the online debate over his mammoth monument reflects that. A proper memorial to some, it seems tasteless and overbearing to many more.
One poster suggested a better choice for the monument might have just been a giant dollar bill with Steinbrenner’s picture on it.
It was perhaps fitting that baseball commissioner Bud Selig was on hand for the unveiling. It was Selig, after all, who built on Steinbrenner’s foundation by making sure taxpayers subsidized new ballparks in almost every major league city and then stuck them again in their wallets when it came time to buying overpriced tickets to actual games.
It’s even more fitting that Selig also has an oversized monument to himself. It’s a statue, actually, standing 7 feet tall in front of the stadium in Milwaukee that Selig helped push to get built when he owned the team.
Selig shares the space outside Miller Field with Milwaukee greats Robin Yount and Hank Aaron. He’s standing, holding a baseball in his outstretched right arm, likely prompting some children to ask their fathers what position he played.
There’s nothing wrong with statues glorifying players, and they are a great way to link the new parks to the heroes of old. Almost every new stadium has them and some, like the one of Willie Mays in San Francisco, are truly spectacular.
Aaron is so big he also has a statue at Turner Field in Atlanta. And there are statues paying tribute to announcers in Chicago and St. Louis.
But when did we begin glorifying owners and commissioners? Their goal in baseball was never to play the game, but to profit from it.
Almost as bizarre as the Steinbrenner monument was the statue the Minnesota Twins unveiled earlier this month outside of Target Field of former owner Calvin Griffith, who brought the team to Minneapolis. It stands near the state of Rod Carew, who Griffith told a Lions club gathering in 1978 was a “damn fool” for playing for as little as the Twins were paying him.
At least Carew gave his approval. The dead Yankees who share Monument park with Steinbrenner never got that opportunity.
Who knows, they might have signed off on the deal. For as much as Steinbrenner did to turn his franchise into the most valuable in sports, he was also a guy who was never afraid to throw millions of dollars at players if he thought it might get his team in the World Series.
Joe DiMaggio never made $100,000 a year until his final few years, and contract time meant long hours trying to squeeze a few dollars out of Yankee ownership. Steinbrenner didn’t create free agency but he created a place for free agents to go where they didn’t have to beg for money to play and made a lot of players a lot richer than they ever would have been.
Still, former owner Jacob Ruppert was the one who brought Babe Ruth to New York to turn the Yankees into a powerhouse. He was the one who, trading on the vast popularity of Ruth, astounded the entire country by building a stadium with massive decks that could seat amazing crowds.
The stadium that George built isn’t nearly as innovative, and Ruppert’s Yankees won just as many World Series (7) in 14 fewer years than did Steinbrenner’s teams. Ruppert’s reward the year after his death was a plaque that looks downright puny when compared to the 35 square foot edifice to Steinbrenner.
Even Babe Ruth’s legacy seems diminished in comparison. Nothing is in scale anymore with Steinbrenner towering over everything in Monument Park.
“Probably just how The Boss wanted it,” Derek Jeter said at the unveiling. “The biggest one out there.”
Indeed he probably did. And even from beyond the grave, The Boss got what he wanted.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)

Read more:

Scientists Warn of Steinbrenner Monument's Effects on the Earth's Orbit

Scientists Warn of Steinbrenner Monument's Effects on the Earth's Orbit

steinmonument.jpgNEW YORK--Scientists cautioned that the new monument dedicated to George Steinbrenner, unveiled at Yankee Stadium Monday night, may have negative effects on several of the Earth's astronomical functions. Despite warnings from the scientific community at large, the UN, and several prominent clergymen, construction of the monument--which used 92 percent of the earth's available deposits of granite--continued unabated for the past year.

"It will definitely influence the earth's gravitational pull," said Dr. Henrik Lundegaard, professor of geophysics at Princeton University. "It will probably also have some consequences for the planet's revolution around the sun." Lundegaard estimated that, due the monument's colossal size, "the calendar year will probably lengthen a full day by the year 2031, and exponentially more each year thereafter, which will have untold consequences for life as we know it."

The Yankees were unfazed by such revelations. "I think it's a fitting tribute to The Boss," said shortstop Derek Jeter. "All he wanted to do was win, and what bigger victory is there than beating the tilt of the Earth's axis?"

"We all loved Mr. Steinbrenner," said pitcher Andy Pettite, "and I think it's only appropriate that his monument should have its own climate." This separate ecosystem, reportedly a temperate zone, may explain the appearance of several tornadoes on the Grand Concourse within the last week.

A spokesman for the Yankees confirmed that the team will unveil a monument to the Steinbrenner monument during the 2012 season. "It will take that long for us to locate and mold an appropriate amount of adamantium," the spokesman said.

Yankees Pitching Rotation for the ALCS

Here is my take:

I save Pettitte for Game 3 and for Game 7, to go against Lee.  I'll take my chances he wins at least one against Lee.

I throw CC game 1 and game 4.

I throw Hughes for Game 2 and Game 6.

I throw AJ for Game 5 and take my chances....AJ has been slightly better at home than on the road....

If Burnett gets into trouble early, then I throw in Nova or Mitre for Game 5.

Game 1 - NYY @ TEXFriday, October 15TBSSabathia
Game 2 - NYY @ TEXSaturday, October 16TBSHughes
Game 3 - TEX @ NYYMonday, October 18TBSPettitte
Game 4 - TEX @ NYYTuesday, October 19TBSSabathia
Game 5* - TEX @ NYYWednesday, October 20TBSBurnett
Game 6* - NYY @ TEXFriday, October 22TBSHughes
Game 7* - NYY @ TEXSaturday, October 23TBSPettitte

Post your thoughts or reactions!

Be well,


Monday, October 11, 2010



"The Last Boy -Mickey Mantle:
And The End of America's Childhood"

$ 30.00 includes discussion, book and autograph
Please call the Museum at 973-655-2378
to reserve your copy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

2010 Derek Jeter Kids Clinic - December 5, 2010 - Reserve your spot now!

2010 Derek Jeter Kids Clinic
Steiner Sports is proud to offer you the opportunity to watch your son or daughter play ball with Derek Jeter!  Although he has a little work to do over the next week or so, Jeter will be ready to go on Sunday, December 5th!  That’s when he will instruct 100 lucky kids at the 2010 Derek Jeter Kids Clinic
Each child will be allowed to bring 2 chaperones along to watch and take pictures/video.  The clinic will consist of 5 stations, broken up by age, where the kids will work on hitting, fielding, pitching, base running, etc.  Afterwards, there will be a Q&A session with Jeter.  Also, joining Derek Jeter will be Yankees Centerfielder, Curtis Granderson!  Complete details are listed below.  If interested in reserving a spot in this year’s clinic, please contact me direct at 800-909-9162.  Have a great day!
Breakdown of Event
When: Sunday, December 5, 2009
Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm (check in will begin at 11:00am)     
Who: Derek Jeter & Curtis Granderson
Where: New York, NY
Spots Available: 100 Total (kids must be ages 7-14)
What You Get: 1 Child, 2 Chaperones, Commemorative Gift Bag (includes 16x20 signed by Jeter), Food & Drinks, Group Photo with Derek Jeter
Price: $1,999 per child
Additional Packages:
All Star Package
Gift Bag -Novelty Items
One (1) TBD 16x20 photo signed by Jeter
Steiner Sports gift certificate
Signed Balls by other Athletes in Attendance
Derek Jeter Signed Jersey Framed OR Jeter Signed Game Model Bat + Case
Jeter Game Used Batting Glove
Price: $3,499 per child
Championship Package
Gift Bag -Novelty Items
One (1) TBD 16x20 photo signed by Jeter
Steiner Sports gift certificate
Signed Balls by other Athletes in Attendance
Jeter Game Used Bat with Case
Price: $4,799
-Jason (800-909-9162)
Jason Klein
Director of Editorial & Web Content
Steiner Sports Memorabilia, Inc.
145 Huguenot Street
New RochelleDirect: 1-800-909-9162, NY 10801
Direct: 1-914-307-1093
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Read My Blog:Here
All prices subject to change. All items subject to availability. Steiner Sports is not responsible for typographical errors.