|Edition No. 25||
July 22, 2010
As we move into the autumn of our baseball season, Possum’s team continues to separate itself from the rest of the pack, and nothing short of a complete collapse will prevent the Wahoos from claiming another crown for Possum’s mantel.
There is a sharp drop-off from the Wahoos to the next four teams in the standings, the Cubs, Chiefs, Highlanders and Monarchs, and then another steep precipice to the next level, and then six teams bunched together at the bottom. A lot of potential sewer dwellers in the pack. Here are the standings through July 21, 2010:
Only because Tirebiter had apparently shirked his guest article duties did I step in to try to fill the void for this week. Actually, Jim Ed was supposed to post his Crimson Chirper last week, but after much whining and begging he was given a brief extension until Monday of this week, but the slacker produced nothing for posting until yesterday and has been under deep cover this week. Strike one was Tirebiter failing to show up in person on Draft Day this year, forcing us to view his ugly mug via Skype technology. This is strike two. Enough said.
It boggles the mind how much press has been devoted to George Steinbrenner’s passing last week, and more than that, how many glowing tributes have been showered upon him by so many people who once loathed him. Steinbrenner was almost universally hated and ridiculed by Yankee fans and foes alike in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, and it was only after the Yankees started winning again in the late ’90s that some people actually began praising Steinbrenner for restoring order to the Big Leagues. However, even then I don’t recall anyone saying they actually liked the guy. Yet we have the disingenuous mortician, who poses as the ML Commissioner, saying that he and Steinbrenner were “great friends” for more than four decades. I say bullshit. Nobody stuck in Selig and the other owners’ craw more than George Steinbrenner, who always bullied and bluffed and threatened his way to getting what he wanted.
Having read a couple of books about him, there is no doubt that Steinbrenner was a very complicated person, with good and bad attributes, and almost everyone concedes that he was generous to the poor and disenfranchised without trying to make a big deal out of it. Okay, so give the devil his due. But did anybody actually like the man? Until last week and all of the quotes from every nook and cranny of the sports world, I had not thought so. I guess nobody wants to speak ill of the dead, which is okay, but disingenuous.
What I will say about George Steinbrenner is that he was a fascinating persona who generated a great deal of talk around the water cooler in his heyday, and about whom are some of my favorite quotes. Moreover, George himself had a few memorable quotes in his time, and so I will share with you all a few here:
STEINBRENNER’S BEST QUOTES
I am dead set against free agency. It can ruin baseball.
I will never have a heart attack. I give them.
I wouldn’t sell the Yankees for anything. Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa. You don’t sell it.
BEST QUOTES ABOUT STEINBRENNER
There’s nothing more limited than being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner.
~ John McMullen, who sold his Yankee stock to buy the Houston Astros in 1979.
They deserve each other. One’s a born liar and the other’s convicted.
~ Billy Martin about Reggie Jackson and Steinbrenner.
When I was a little boy, I wanted to join the circus and I wanted to play professional baseball. With the Yankees, I get to do both.
~ Graig Nettles.
Never known for his outstanding foot speed, Cal Ripken stole a total of only 36 bases in his major league career, for an average of about 1 every 83 games. However, how many of you knew that the very first base that he purloined in the bigs was home plate? That’s what I thought. You heard it here first.
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Okay, that’s it for now, boys. Hope you have enjoyed the light reading from yours truly in place of the absentee Crimson Chirper.
 Billy Martin, who was quite a colorful character himself, had insisted that New York’s mercurial star Reggie Jackson be suspended for insubordination after repeatedly ignoring Martin’s on-field directions. Steinbrenner reluctantly agreed, but limited that suspension to only five games. The Yankees went 5-0 during Jackson’s suspension. Prior to his return, Jackson told reporters that he had done nothing wrong. When Martin learned of these comments, he fumed to reporters, ripping both Jackson and his benefactor Steinbrenner. Referring to what he considered Jackson’s selfish delusion and Steinbrenner’s guilty plea on two charges of illegal campaign contributions to the 1972 presidential campaign of Richard Nixon, Martin said: “The two of them deserve each other. One’s a born liar and the other’s convicted.” Within hours, Martin was no longer the manager of the Yankees, though he would return within a year. The reigning two-time World Series champion Yankees then suffered through an 18-year drought without a title.