Yesterday marked the end of and era with the passing of Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner. Although through much of the day I felt ambivilant to the mans passing,I never liked the man - but I begrudgingly respected him. I saw much sorrow and and heartache amongst the huge collection of Yankee fans that I both am friends and co-workers. George's image as portrayed by the media wasn't of the kind grandfather, but of the megla-maniacal owner that wanted to win at almost any lengths. He and his acolytes played by the rules and guidelines that were set up by major league baseball - turning a franchise that he bought for a paltry six million dollars back in 1973 into a multi billion dollar entity. Yes George got even richer through his ownership of what is definitely the most familiar brand in all of sports history, but the man also reinvested much of his money back into his team. Whether it was through taking on a star players expensive salary through a trade , or overpaying to get prime talent to join the most dominant baseball franchise in the last 35 years, George almost never flinched when it came to the payroll, probably because he lived by that old adage -" In order to make money you have to spend money
". Yes with the exception of last years World Series championship the team that the Boss built had gone through a nearly nine year drought, but you know what ? With the exception of 2008 they had made the post season every year ! It is no wonder that in the last 38 years that George has owned the team, Yankee fans have seen him first as a saviour, then as a meddler,a vindictive man ( the Howie Spira - Dave Winfield fiasco
), to beloved owner in his later years.I honestly wonder what went through Fred Wilpon's mind when he found out that his "friend", colleague and cross town rival had passed away. I am sure that shock and grief were his first reactions. But I wonder how he reacted internally to the outpouring of sadness, the many accolades from politicians , dignitaries, former players and fans to the passing of the man who in many ways eclipsed him in baseballs biggest market. I wonder if Fred wonders if the fan base will eulogize his passing with much sorrow, if they will laud him for the one trophy ( so far
) that was won under his ownership. Does he feel maligned, slighted and forgotten by the legions of Met's fans that see him as a owner that doesn't go the extra mile for his teams fan base? Yes Fred has spent alot of his money to try to improve his team , and most of the times he focused on playing " meaningful games in September" when he should have been more interested in getting his team into the post season. But lets face it , when the history looks back at both men, George Steinbrenner will more than likely be canonized as a saint , and Fred will be more of a footnote in New York sports history. So will we forget him when he's gone? I personally will shed a tear for Fred, as will most of the fan base - question is will anybody else in New York - or anywhere else care ? " Loved By Millions!" " Crickets?"
And with that said .... HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!
Today would have been the 102 birthday of former Mets General manager of the '68-69 team, Johnny Murphy (1908). Many fans don't realize that hs brother was none other than Mets radio announcer, Bob Murphy .
One of the best third basemen in Mets history,Robin Ventura is 43 (1967) . Everyone remembers the " Grand Slam Single"
- but he was one of the Mets biggest clutch hitters.
New York Mets traded Jeromy Burnitz to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder, Victor Diaz and minor league pitching prospects, Kole Strayhorn and Joselo Diaz on July 14, 2003.Mo Vaughn was very pleased with David Wrights 2-2 performance as the National League won the All Star Game by the score of 3-1 - snapping a 15 year drought. He was going to buy David a Beer , but got upset when David thought he was Mo Rivera !