Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Does Old George belong in the Hall of Fame: The answer is simple. Yes, with all the other dregs

Before there was a President Trump, there was a George Steinbrenner. And while I'm not here today to argue politics - (this site should be a zone of Yankee fan unity; please honor that request) - I think we can agree on one reality:

For better or worse, in our lifetimes, we will never be free of their legacies.

For Yankee fans, there will always be a "before" and "after" the Boss. On our deathbeds - hopefully, many years from now - we will recall moments of incredible triumph and desperate humiliation. We will wince and, hopefully, have a smile. So it goes. As the great philosopher, Blue Oyster Cult, once wrote, "History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man." 

Today, our nation faces a thorny decision: An MLB veterans committee must soon rule on whether Old George belongs in the Hall of Fame. 

I should note that George would not be enshrined near Mickey and Willie - where he has no business - but in a bunker earmarked for old, rich, dead, obese and heavily flawed white assholes, who were lucky to have lived before the #me-too movement. It's called "The Owners' Wing. If there is a god, it is surely a rest stop on the way to Hell. 

And, yes, old George certainly belongs.

Let's dispense with a review of George's life. We all know him. Nearly a decade after his death, he remains a polarizing figure, a punch line, and a prime reason people still hate the Yankees. But he was a mixed bag. He disgraced himself with petty acts, scapegoating players and managers. Then he'd stand up against some idiocy - remember how he refused to allow the bases to be festooned with logos for Spider-Man 2? - and save the day from a runaway Selig shit show. 

I hereby nominate George Steinbrenner for the Hall of Fame's owners' wing because he'll be in fine company. 

For starters, he can spend time with Charles Comiskey, the cheapest bastard to ever own a baseball team. His wages were so shitty that they fueled the Black Sox scandal of 1919, though he- of course - escaped the blame. They always do, don't they?

George can also hang with Tom Yawkey, the beloved Boston owner who - if he were alive today - would be a hero in the white nationalist movement. Remember the Curse of the Bambino, and how Redsock fans banded together as a tribe of "chosen people," relegated to suffering? That was no curse. It was the result of an owner who didn't want black people on his team. And old Tom is in the Hall.

But wait, there's more! If George gets in, he can talk with Walter O'Malley, who was inducted 10 years ago. If there a dung heap in Hell, it's reserved for the man who moved the Dodgers to LA and forever betrayed the loyal fan base that made him rich... but not rich enough. What a guy!

(Of course, George won't get to spend time with Charles O. Finley, the original Steinbrenner of the Oakland A's. He never made it. Too many burned bridges. 

But this should be his year. In the NFL, Jerry Jones is going into Canton. Why not George. There is something about assholes. The more, the merrier. Oh, no, there goes Tokyo. Go go Godzilla.

14 comments:

KD said...

just wondering.. if CBS had made it into the HOF as an "owner", would there be a portrait of their goofy eyeball thing hanging there in some cubbyhole?

13bit said...

Love you, Duque. Amen. Long live mad King George. He belongs in the hall.

KD said...

say what you will about old George, I remember an early season moment when he showed himself to fans. Bleacher Creatures, impressed with his signing of Gary Sheffield (as I recall), began an earnest chant of "Thank you, George! Thank you George!" One could easily tell the old man was touched.

two things to ponder. would Hal ever come to The Stadium before an ordinary game day and show himself to fans? If for some reason Hal actually did that, would fans cheer him and thank him for putting on the field the best team he could assemble?

I think we know the answer to both those questions.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


would Hal ever come to The Stadium before an ordinary game day and show himself to fans? If for some reason Hal actually did that, would fans cheer him and thank him for putting on the field the best team he could assemble?

Hal's face would appear on the Jumbotron and 45,000 fans would say "meh" in unison.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


The chant would mutate into "F You, Hal." And it would be louder than what George got, but perhaps 25 decibels.

John M said...

Steinbrenner was terrible. If you look at his cumulative actions and record, he was a clod. Just because you make a lot of noise, act like a four year old, and became the first guy to cash in as free agency began (and do nothing smart for 30 years thereafter) is no reason to be in the Hall.

Of course, a lot of guys in the Hall shouldn't be in the Hall. Owners shouldn't be in the Hall at all. Maybe a special niche for Rickey based on Jackie Robninson's signing. Within the Jackie Robinson display. Likewise managers, except for those who managed for so long for the same team that they became the equivalent of the Yankee Stadium facade. Which brings up a point: why aren't stadiums (or stadia, your pick) enshrined in the Hall? They often played as big or bigger a role in the lives of fans as many great players did.

Managers are fired when the team sucks and lauded when the team is great, and deserve neither fate, generally speaking. Aside from disasters like Boone, they generally have minimal effect on the team's record, and the supposedly "best" of them usually have great teams to put on the field and players who perform whenever--rightly or wrongly--they are called upon (yes, Torre, looking at you...and speaking of you, I'm so tired of hearing about your "soft skills," handling the press and keeping a dugout full of stars on track. If that makes you a great manager, players who excelled at sacrifice bunts and savvy baserunning should be in the Hall regardless of the fact that they hit .250 with little power.)

I remember going to the Hall as a kid and being impressed by all of the memorabilia and plaques of legendary ballplayers. I guess you can tell that it's lost a lot of luster and interest for me in the past 50 years. The best thing about it now is that maybe some kid will remember Wee Willie Keeler's name or understand that there was a time when home runs were a rare and unintended phenomenon, and batters had to actually hit for average to be considered great.

Curmudgeonly old fart, signing off...

Anonymous said...

GEORGE GOT US 6 RINGS BEFORE HE PASSED.

OF COURSE HE BELONGS IN THE HALL OF FAME.

LARGER THAN LIFE.

MY FAVORITE STORY IS DURING THE WORLD SERIES AGAINST THE METS IN 2000, WHEN HE HAD THE FURNITURE FROM THE YANKEE CLUBHOUSE U-HAULED TO THE "SUBSTANDARD" MET CLUBHOUSE.

CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING A YANKEE PLAYER SEEING THE FURNITURE ARRIVE?..LOL...WTF??

IF GEORGE DOESN'T GET IN, THEN IT'S BECAUSE OF THE "CHARLEY FINLEY PRINCIPLE".

TOO MANY PEOPLE BURNED, TOO MANY BRIDGES BURNED.

...AND KD...

I REMEMBER WHEN THE FANS WERE THANKING GEORGE ON THAT INTERVIEW. GEORGE WAS WELLING UP THE TEARS...LOVED IT.

HoraceClarke66 said...

John M., I agree with most of what you wrote, with the exception of this: the Yankees were at such a point when Torre came in that he really does deserve credit above and beyond most managers for how he handled what was then the incredibly delicate, press-players-George triangle.

Torre, I thought, was a weak field manager. He ran pitchers into the ground or let them rust in the pen, never trusted newbies, and reacted poorly to events. I think he cost us several rings, and I will never wholly forgive him for 2004.

BUT...he did manage to right a franchise that was drifting into total madness, after George's firing of Showalter.

HoraceClarke66 said...

ALL-CAPS, I agree that George was an enormous improvement on CBS. He was The Last Barnum, in a city that used to be full of them. Through about 1980 or so, I actually found him a somewhat sympathetic figure, as he had to deal with Reggie's ego and Billy's madness.

BUT—after that I came to loathe his bullying, his lying, his idiotically impulsive decisions, how he drove away so much front-office talent, and how he kept trying to extort money from the city.

I wouldn't put him in any Hall, though I do admit he would be an improvement on many of those already in the "executive wing."

HoraceClarke66 said...

Who was it who said that Branch Rickey loved two things in this world, ballplayers and money, and he devoted his life to keeping them apart from each other?

John M said...

CAPS, I obviously disagree. The rings from 1996-2000 had nothing to do with George, aside from the fact that he had hired Michael and Watson and, yes, even Showalter before he was temporarily banned from the game. I really believe that if George had been active at that time, we would never have won those rings.

Torre was a mediocre manager, a questionable field manager, and his ability to handle the press, the players, and--later--George is like saying McCann belongs in the Hall because he's so good at framing pitches. That stuff is so far down the list when it comes to being a great manager that it's kind of embarrassing to say it was his strength.

Regardless, I do agree with you, Hoss, about the executive wing. The whole wing should be sawed off and floated out to sea so it can join the plastic continent in the Pacific.

Anonymous said...

JOHN M...NO DISRESPECT...SORRY, BUT IN MY BOOK, 6 RINGS IS 6 RINGS.

THEY ARE MOMENTS IN OUR LIVES, WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU GO BY?

I REMEMBER THE MIKE BURKE/CBS YEARS TOO WELL.

WE DISAGREE ON JOE TORRE TOO.

I WAS INCENSED WHEN WE FIRED SHOWALTER. I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND IT. I LOVED THE YOUNG SHOWALTER.

.....BUT YOU JUST CAN'T DENY HOW EVERYTHING TORRE TOUCHED IN HIS FIRST 6 YEARS, TURNED TO GOLD. (4 RINGS- ALMOST 5)!

ONCE AGAIN, WHAT ELSE DO YOU GO BY?



TheWinWarblist said...

George should be there on a throne and crowned king of those miserable fucks.

Anonymous said...

HOLY SHIT.

GARY SANCHEZ LEFT SHOULDER SURGERY.

WTF??

WHY IS EVERYTHING GOING KABLOOHY ON US?

WHY DOESN'T ANYBODY ON THE RED SOX EVER GET INJURED?

....EVEN GOING BACK TO MANNY AND FAT FRAUD PAPI!!

WHY?!