Maury Brown, the man behind the excellent Biz of Baseball site, sat down with Tim Marchman for a Q-and-A on New York sports. Marchman is, in my opinion, one of the more under-appreciated columnists in New York, mostly because he writes for The Sun, a paper that doesn’t get the same level of attention as the other New York dailies.
Marchman, who’s just a few years older than the three of us, talks about his journey to the sports pages of The Sun from Allegheny College and, of course, the state of New York baseball this season.
On the Yanks’ development plans:
I’m mainly surprised that they seem to be sticking with the idea of developing the young talent while trying to squeeze a last run out of the older players, rather than visibly panicking. I do have the sense that Hank Steinbrenner could become a really serious problem for them, just because you never want an owner expressing opinions on which players should be in the rotation or the lineup, especially when those opinions are different from those of people with actual professional qualifications, but for right now he’s a harmless diversion. The Yankees may not be good, but there’s never any sense of abject hopelessness about them, and that puts them up on the Mets.
On the game’s worst GMs:
It’s really impressive how few outright bad GMs there are today. Bill Bavasi may be pretty bad, but there’s no way he would have stood out as anything exceptional ten or fifteen years ago. Brian Sabean of course is in a league of his own, but what’s notable about him isn’t that he’s bad but that he’s so bad in contrast to the rest of the league.
On the new stadiums (Marchman hates Yankee Stadium and feels that one of the new parks should have gone up in Brooklyn):
Yankee Stadium is on the merits one of the worst places in the country to watch a ballgame, and there’s really little that’s more hilarious in baseball than the pretense that this giant concrete bowl is some magnificent cathedral and monument to the glories of the game. It just drips with pompousness and fake old-timiness, and I won’t miss it at all…Mainly I think it’s too bad that the new Yankees park is displacing public parks…and that both seem to be simultaneously titanic monuments to a really bombastic idea of New York and utterly divorced from the life of the city.
Marchman talks more about New York sports and baseball writing in general. Check it out.