Keep On Moving
Well the game of baseball has lost its greatest showman and some might say also one of its own worst enemies with the death of New York Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner. For almost four decades he essentially made the game march to the beat of his drums and they essentially played his tune even if the game’s hierarchy didn’t know it at the time. And if anything Steinbrenner brought a sense of professionalism to the game in the way that his front office managed the business side of the game. Before that, I doubt you’d have witnessed such showmanship and that strive for excellence. What we were accustomed to seeing were the teams compete and then their chase for that elusive World Series title . Beyond that the fans didn’t really get to see what went on in the boardrooms or how the teams went about making their decisions in terms of their acquiring players. Steinbrenner changed all that and a great deal more concerning the game and more than the present hierarchy of the game would care to acknowledge.
Having bought the team in 1973 from television station CBS for the low ball figure of $8.8 million . Today that figure has exponentially grown wherein the Yankees are the most valuable baseball franchise in the league valued at $1.7 billion. And it is amongst the most valuable and quite possibly one of the most recognizable names in sports across the globe. That being said along the way Steinbrenner and the franchise has courted controversy welcomed it and at the same time they have been viewed as a pariah within the game. Along the way in the midst of it all he amassed 11 AL Pennants and 7 World Series titles , hired thirteen managers and over the course of time this led to 25 managerial casualties , of which Billy Martin had the privilege of being not once but five times over the course of his professional career with the team by the Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner.
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Courtesy of New York Daily News
By David Hinckley New York Daily News Staff Writer
WHILE THE FLAGS were flying half-mast at City Hall yesterday to honor George Steinbrenner, they were snapping with gale force on sports-talk radio.
Steinbrenner’s death got prominent play on local TV, too, though only the sports channels covered it wall-to-wall.
There was a slight early lag on the Yankees’ own network, YES, which was still showing Jim Abbott’s 1993 no-hitter on “Yankee Classics” when reports started to roll in after 9 a.m. that Steinbrenner had apparently had a serious heart attack.
Other stations, prominently including Ch. 5, were carrying progressively more dire bulletins before YES switched to an archival Steinbrenner profile.
By midday, YES had Yankee announcer Michael Kay hosting all-day coverage.
The rival SNY network alternated through midday between a Steinbrenner tribute and its regular infomercials.
Channels 2, 4, 7 and 9 all broke into their regular programming with confirmation of Steinbrenner’s death. New York 1’s Pat Kiernan used reports from sportscaster Tom McDonald and others.
The national ESPN network poured all its considerable resources into the Steinbrenner story, at one point carrying Steinbrenner profiles and discussion on at least four channels.
That focus enhanced ESPN’s local radio outlet WEPN (1050 AM), which had fresh comments all day from a parade of ballplayers and others who had known and worked with Steinbrenner. WEPN also called in prominent local sportscasters like Len Berman.
“It’s a story like this, or LeBron, that lets people know you’re a player,” said WEPN general manager David Roberts, whose station has had a tough battle against well-entrenched WFAN (660 AM).
“We’ve got an interview Suzyn Waldman did with Steinbrenner in 1993,” said WFAN program director Mark Chernoff. “We’ve got the tape of him making up with Yogi Berra. We’ve been covering him since we started in 1987, and I think local sports fans recognize that history.”
Click on the link provided to view David Hinckley’s article in its
Under Steinbrenner’s leadership however and the organization’s most successful under his reign was from 1996 to present wherein the team has won five World Series titles and made seven appearances in the game’s showcase event. But it’d be remiss to suggest that whilst all this was happening there wasn’t a great deal of jealousy and suspicion as to way things were being done by the Yankees. For one reason or another whatever George wanted he got especially when it came to acquiring best free agency talent that money could by. And given the fact that the team had its cable programming sports broadcast network (YES Network) it was able to avail itself of some rather dubious accounting procedures. Namely the team could write down as a loss salaries attributed to acquiring a player via a trade which is all perfectly legal by SEC and FASB standards and that of the game of baseball. To wit other teams around the league haven’t got that type of open financial wherewithal available. Other than the Boston Red Sox there are few teams that can match the financial clout of the New York Yankees. They have the largest payroll in professional sports in North America and in the last decade the team has grossed in excess of $3 billion in revenues, far outstripping that of its closest rival by over $1 billion. So when there’s talk that the financial inequitabilities within the game are what makes it popular, one can point to the Yankees and ask is that so ?
Now while many will condemn George Steinbrenner , as what they see as the epitome of greed within the game. One should also applaud him for his philanthropic work down the years especially when it concerns the plight of children and the families of fallen police officers and military personnel. Not always one to bang his own drum and fete his accomplishments there, Steinbrenner would at times anonymously give to a needy cause merely because he wanted to or he felt that it was the right thing to do.And for that you cannot fault the man or his deeds.
The fact of the matter is George Steinbrenner will be sorely missed by fans and his enemies alike. He changed the modern face of the game some might say for the better, while others might say to its detriment. Fact of the matter is, while he presided over the New York Yankees he made them and himself the topic of conversation whether you liked it or not.
Now while the postseason in basketball has been hyped up by the LeBron James’ saga and the fact that he’s left Cleveland for the sunnier climes of Miami and South Beach. As if that was a really a hard decision to make ? Hot looking females on the beach, wearing skimpy outfits or remain in Cleveland , where the owner loves LeBron like he covets catching a dose of gonorrhea ? Truth be known the closeness between Dan Gilbert and the player were inextricably broken when the owner and GM Chris Grant made the decision not to consult the player as to who they would seek to hire going forward after the firing of Mike Brown . Way to make your star player feel appreciated , thus showing what complete morons the ownership hierarchy were to begin with in Cleveland !
Now for me one of the more poignant stories coming out of the season and postseason has been the ongoing health crisis concerning Denver Nuggets’ coach George Karl . For those of you unaware , the coach has been fighting throat cancer and having undergone chemotherapy and bouts of progressive medication to stave off the return of the cancer. It now appears that the damage done to Karl’s body may well be irreversible and with the coach taking a distinct turn for the worse.
The Nuggets’ fans and the entire organization are no doubt hoping that their esteemed coach makes a full recovery from this debilitating illness. But while the team now contemplates being without Karl for the foreseeable future it’s hard to see how they can continue without him. Karl is the heart and soul of this organization and that includes the Nuggets’ star player Carmelo Anthony . If anything Anthony has a great to be thankful for under Karl as he’s seen his professional career within the NBA blossom, where he may well be viewed as one of the elite players within the league. That asides for Nuggets’ owner Stanley Kroenke and the entire front office of the organization, this has to be indeed a worrying time. Karl’s assistant , Adrian Dantley guided the team through much of the regular season and the team’s entire playoff run while Karl took a prolonged and indefinite leave of absence to undergo treatment. But things would not be the same for the team without their erstwhile coach at their side. And as good as Dantley was presumed to be as a player, as a coach in the NBA Playoffs he was simply out of his depths as the team bowed out to the Utah Jazz in the first round , in a rather disappointing 4-2 series loss. Overwhelmed and over-matched this was such a sad way to end what many felt would be a most promising season that had been expected for the team. Sadly, as the fortunes of the team’s coach laid in the balance, so too came about an abrupt end to the Nuggets’ forlorn year in the NBA .
Courtesy of NBA.com
By David Aldridge
LAS VEGAS- — There is so much that happened this week in the NBA that is worthy of a column, or two. And I know you simply cannot help yourselves; you can’t get enough about LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh joining forces. (Does Bosh understand that is he not going to be Batman on South Beach? He’s not even going to be Robin – maybe he’s Commissioner Gordon?)
It was a seismic change to be sure, and they may write books about how everyone behaved this week, from superstar players, to agents, to managers and publicists, to jilted owners. Not many will come out well.
You will forgive me if I start elsewhere.
Where there was greed and excess run amok, and endless hype, and teams throwing money at marginal players like there was absolutely nothing broken with an economic system that the owners insist is broken, there was also Thursday night at the Hard Rock Hotel here, where, a little ways removed from the main Strip and the hedonism found therein, there was an ironic, wonderful reminder that humanity can do great things when good people commit to helping others.
The NBA’s Summer League kicked off Thursday with a fundraising dinner for St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, honoring George Karl, making his return to the sidelines after undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments since last February for throat and neck cancer, his second bout with cancer in the last five years.
The NBA’s involvement with St. Jude’s is the work of Tom Penn, the former Blazers’ assistant GM. Penn has been intimately involved with St. Jude’s since his days in the Grizzlies’ front office, and the fact that he was working his end of the LeBronathon for ESPN didn’t stop him from hopping on a plane Thursday morning and flying across the country to be at the event. With the help of Warren LeGarie, the prominent coaches’ agent who has developed the Vegas Summer League into the premier offseason league, and Albert Hall of HallPass Media, a brilliant young exec who is going to run someone’s television network quite soon and seems to know everyone in basketball directly or indirectly, the dinner has become a significant event. (Full disclosure: those three have asked me to emcee the dinner the last two years, evidently reaching the bottom of their list of possible hosts.)
In order to read David Aldridge’s article in full just click unto the link provided.
A great deal of speculation has been bandied about concerning what the Nuggets will do concerning the coach’s position. But there are even greater concerns as there seems to be rumblings concerning the impending future of Carmelo Anthony and the fact he becomes a free agent at the end of next season. Such has been the speculation that it has been noted that the Nuggets front office led by Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman are said to be contemplating trading the NBA All Star. That if anything would send a seismic shock wave within Denver community and amongst the fans therein . Never mind the fact that the player himself feels that he’s been truly appreciated by the fans there. But when it’s all said and done this is a business first and foremost and the players as well as the fans have to recognize that fact.
The Denver Nuggets without George Karl at the helm would seem almost unimaginable given the success that he’s been able to achieve there. Often seen as a perennial contender within the Western Conference , of greater concern now has to be the health of their popular and likable coach . And until we’re assured that he’s back at full health and fitness ,there will be a growing concern not only to his future but also that of the Denver Nuggets as an organization. So let’s just hope for the best for George Karl and of course a full and speedy recovery for the esteemed coach.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on George Steinbrenner and his reign as the New York Yankees’ owner ? And also how do you view the situation concerning the ailing Denver Nuggets’ coach George Karl ? By all means leave a comment as to your thoughts and I’ll respond in kind. As always thanks for the enduring support as it is gratefully appreciated.
NB: To chart where your favorite player may well have gone during NBA Free Agency period just click on the link provided. NBA Free Agency (2010) moves ………….
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………… 🙂
Bones Thugs N Harmony …………………. “Crossroads”