Caught this post on the Huffington Post this morning, written by historian and basbeall fan Warren Goldstein. He’s been writing a lot about steroids and the Mitchell Report lately, and today talks about — well, I’m not sure what he’s talking about. I can’t tell if the inclusion of many Yankees and few Red Sox means poetic justice to Goldstein, but that was my first thought.
Anyway, he blames the Yankees for a lot of things:
During that time it’s been New York, and the Yankees, who’ve led the U.S. economic powerhouse, and built the most successful and lucrative franchise in the history of American sports. Whose screw-up opened the door to free agency? Who built the most gigantic payroll in the game, all the while complaining about “high-priced free agents”? And which sports town trains the most scrutiny on its teams, from all kinds of media? In which city do athletes most worry about the “pressure” of the hometown media and fans? In which city team is winning a pennant and losing the World Series considered a deep failure? And on which team do we have the most evidence of widespread steroid use–and I love this, given the economic parallels–and distribution?
Yeah, well, you’re going to have more evidence when the only two people to testify for the report were in New York. Had they nabbed a Boston trainer, you can be sure more Red Sox would have been on this list. But for a Yankee hater, that’s neither here nor there. Someone implicated some Yankees, and that’s good enough for them.
Notice the line I bolded, though. Uh, how did a Yankees screw-up lead to free agency? Anyone with a knowledge of baseball history knows that Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith opened the door to free agency when they didn’t sign their contracts for the 1975 season. An arbiter ruled that because they hadn’t signed contracts, they were not subject to the reserve clause, and thus granted free agency. McNally moved from Baltimore to Montreal, and Messersmith went from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Notice that the Yankees aren’t involved here.
Perhaps he’s referring to Catfish Hunter, whose incident occurred a year prior to McNally and Messersmith. The story is that A’s owner Charles Finley didn’t make an insurance payment on time, and Catfish had his contract voided. He then signed with the Yankees. So it was Finley’s screw-up there. The Yankees just took advantage of the situation.
Going back even further, we can tie the destruction of the reserve clause to Curt Flood’s Supreme Court case, which he ultimately lost. Thing is, Flood never played for the Yankees.
You’d think a historian would know all this, though…
Justin Snyder | UTIL
Snyder was born and raised in Lakeside, CA, a relatively small suburb north of San Diego. He attended El Capitan High School, where he starred as a three sport athlete. He lettered in baseball, football and soccer, and helped turn a mediocre baseball program into a Southern California powerhouse alongside future college teammates Jordan Abruzzo and Dustin Church. Snyder batted .407, was named First Team All-State, and helped the Vaqueros win their first California Interscholastic Federation Championship his junior season. He followed that up by hitting .470 as a senior, bringing El Capitan it’s second consecutive CIF Championship title. He again received All-State honors, but added All-American honors as well. Snyder went undrafted in 2004, and chose to attend The University of San Diego over San Diego State because of academics, even though Tony Gwynn’s alma mater recruited him more heavily.
Baseball news has slowed to a crawl these days, but you my have heard a little something about a football game being played tonight. I’m a Jets fan by trade, but I’m waiving my allegiance tonight so I can cheer on the G-Men as they attempt to foil the Patriots’ run at perfection. I can’t stand that no-talent ass clown known as Tom Brady, and in general I just hate all Boston area sports teams. The game is being broadcast simultaneously on CBS, NBC, MY9 and the NFL Network; discuss it here if you wish.
Go Giants! (Don’t fuck it up, Eli.) · (43) ·
On Friday, I dropped in a short post about the current exhibit on New York baseball history at the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibit runs through Monday, and if you’re looking for something to do over the next few days, I strongly recommend it.
But for those of you in not in the New York area or with no free time this weekend, worry not: I snapped a whole bunch of pictures at the exhibit of some of what I thought to be the more interesting sights. At left is a photo from the 1950s of a group of kids posed outside of Yankee Stadium. It’s a great shot of the exterior of the stadium before the renovations in the 1970s robbed the Stadium of that history. The new stadium — I’ll post photos of that next week — restores an entryway reminiscent of the original Yankee Stadium.
But what else can you see at the exhibit? Take a look. All links open the images in new windows:
- Old Yearbooks: The 1957 Yearbook cost just 50 cents. The yearbooks nowadays cost $25.
- Sad days in New York baseball history: Ticket stubs from the final games at the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field. The exhibit focuses on the ten years during which the Giants, Yankee and Dodgers were the dominant forces in baseball, and it ends with the West Coast exodus of the Giants and Dodgers.
- In their spare time: Gil Hodges owned a bowling alley in Brooklyn, and Willie Mays would join in the Harlem stickball games.
- Slumpbusting: Hodges once wrote a letter to Ty Cobb asking him for hitting advice when mired in a slump.
- Old Seats: Perhaps you’d like to check out old seats from Yankee Stadium, Ebbets Field or The Polo Grounds.
- World Series memorabilia: How about a full set of ticket stubs from the 1955 World Series? A program from the 1956 World Series? Or a whole bunch of stuff from the 1947 World Series?
- Personal Favorites: And finally, we come to my two favorite items. The first is a sign from one of the Polo Grounds’ ticket booths. Check out the prices. That equates to about $14 today. And near and dear to me is the Polo Grounds subway sign. While the name has been erased, the station still exists. In fact, at 155th St. on the B and D, it’s on the way to Yankee Stadium.
If you can make it up to 103rd and Fifth for an hour or two tomorrow or Monday, check it out. The Glory Days of New York Baseball will be gone soon.
Tim from MLBTR found a report saying that the Yanks forked over a 2-yr, $2M deal to the now 38-yr old, Mitchell Report named ex-slugger. Juan Gone may have made the biggest blunder in the history of the universe when he rejected the Tigers’ 8-yr, $140M contract offer in 2001, a deal that would still have 2 years remaining. I don’t believe the report for a second – the Yanks have zero use for another DH, let alone a DH that hasn’t seen a Major League pitch in over 2 years. Chalk this one up to a slow news time.
Update: Nevermind, turns out December 28th is “el Día de los Santos Inocentes” in Puerto Rico, or “The Day of Holy Innocents.” It’s their April Fools Day. Oh those clever Puerto Ricans. · (12) ·
Jim Leyritz was reportedly arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide early Friday morning. Miami’s Local 10 has more:
Police said Jim Leyritz was behind the wheel of a Ford SUV that collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Southwest Seventh Avenue and Second Street in the Himmarshee area of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The impact caused the other car to roll over and the female driver of that vehicle was ejected and she died after being taken to Broward General Medical Center, police said.
Leyritz, a fan favorite when he played in the Bronx, currently works for MLB.com. Things do not look good for the King right now.
Twins rookie GM has some case of cold feet. According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, White is sitting on offers from the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets but doesn’t plan to move on them for several weeks.
The Twins continue to stay in contact with the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets and Mariners about a Johan Santana deal. But those talks have moved so slowly it’s now possible a Santana trade may not get done “for several weeks,” according to one source with knowledge of the discussions…
The Twins are now telling other teams that they may hold Santana until spring training to get the package they want. But it’s also possible at some point that Santana and his agents may step in and say that if a deal isn’t completed sooner, he may no longer be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
So for now, the biggest prospective deal of the offseason remains stuck in quicksand. And that won’t change until one of these teams flinches.
Interestingly, the Mets seem very much in these trade talks. This is exactly the kind of move Omar Minaya needs to make after the 2007 collapse and subsequent failure to do much of anything this season.
So for now, nothing doing. Again.
Want to catch a glimpse of New York baseball history? Head on over this weekend to the Museum of the City of New York for their exhibit The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957. I went on Thursday, and it’s a fantastic exhibit. I’ll have pictures and a full post later, but I wanted to toss this up now because the exhibit closes on Monday. Check it out. · (3) ·