Tuesday, December 10, 2013

George in the Hall? Never, as long as Marvin Miller is excluded

Yesterday, the Pooh Bahs of Humptytown - baseball's Hall of Fame executive committee - again screwed the late Marvin Miller, the union leader whose achievements still overshadow any owner or commissioner in the history of the game.

They did this, I guess, out of spite. (After money, that's what they treasure most.) The owners hate Miller because he stole the toy they inherited from their daddies: the National Pastime. Hey, wanna hear a joke? In 2007, they elected Bowie Kuhn to the Hall - and excluded Miller. Bowie Kuhn! Hey, that's worth a trip to Humptytown, eh? They've now kept out Miller for 10 years, even though they no longer have to fear what he would say from the podium.

Yesterday's move prompted the great Murray Chass to vault in from the Scooter Store and write a story in today's Gray Lady.  Chass puts Miller up there with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, the three most important men in baseball history. He says Miller became so fed up with Cooperstown crapola that he asked to never be inducted. (For the record, I hereby request that I too NEVER be inducted into that cesspool of nepotistic hypocrisy.)

Which brings us to The Boss. You could argue that, after Marvin Miller, no other man advanced the players' financial interests more than Old George. Ask Bob Shirley, wherever he is! But I'm still not sure how to measure Steinbrenner. Nobody more celebrated a Yankee victory, but there were also the cruelties - those Yogi Berra and Bobby Meacham moments - I still dunno. But in my mind, George was the last true owner.

An owner has one job, dammit: OWN!  He must be his city's affable, obese, tipsy, gray-haired, cigar-smoking, super-rich super fan. He should never poor mouth (as the current crop constantly does.) He should sit in his owner's box and do nothing but OWN! Old George cheered as hard as any of us. Old George lived and died with the Yankees. When we were swept away by the Dodgers, and Old George punched out that elevator - that wasn't a foible. That was his greatest moment as an owner. Hell, it may have the greatest moment of any owner, anywhere. Dammit, he was OWNING. 

And if any owner deserves to be in the Hall, it is Old George. Understand? Unlike the today's grubs, who use their teams to extort money from fans and taxpayers, George knew how to own.

But here's the rub: No owner belongs in the Hall. Certainly not while Marvin Miller remains on the outside. And if Miller's last wishes are to be fulfilled, he'll stay out. And so should Old George.


JM said...

All of the greatness I once ascribed to professional baseball as a kid has been beaten out of me by the venality and stupidity of the sport's overloads. The A-Rod witch hunt and evidence-free vendetta is just the icing on a rancid and shit-filled cake.

It's becoming very difficult to stay interested, even in the Yankees, who are proving to be incompetent moneybags without even the buffoonery of Old George to leaven the frustration.

As KD said, if Gardner gets traded, it's going to be very difficult to even pretend to follow this team and this game.

el duque said...

Mustang and I were talking about this the other day. We sort of concluded that for things to get better, maybe the Yankee management model has to completely break down. Maybe they have to fall apart, miss the playoffs, and really collapse. Only then will they try something new. Because that's what happened in the early nineties.

I'm not sure that's something we want to root for. This blog would get awfully nasty, if we relive the 1990s. But what if I posed this set of choices:

You can win one World Championship every five years, let's say four over 20, and be constantly frustrated when they fail.

Or you lose for eight to 10 years, learn to appreciate small victories, then win four out of five, and then lose again.

Both scenarios win you four championships. Which is better?

JM said...

Now there's a tough choice.

I'd really like being in the race until the late days of September 4 out of 5 years or so. Maybe win once in a while, but be interesting to watch. That doesn't look like a viable model at this point.

But you guys are right. A complete breakdown might be the best thing to happen. The dark days are tough, but when they lead to smarter decisions and a team that doesn't look like it was put together via dart board, it's a lot of fun to see.

Is Tartabull still available?

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Maybe I'm being overly pessimistic, but I can't fathom this kind of Yankee team winning the WC ever, never mind 4 in 20 years? I feel like the last one was a perfect storm of a healthy core 4, great pick ups, and the old $$$ system still being in place,,,,
I curse the Red Sux, but they did everything right!

KD said...

I'll take 4 out of 5. Four WS wins in 5 years is a legendary team. 4 out of 20 are several good teams but no likely legends. Give me the intense joy, the ultimate high, and then I wander lost for 15. totally worth it!!