Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My thoughts on the George Steinbrenner monument and tribute

I thought the Yankees did Monday's George Steinbrenner ceremony right Monday night. Things got a little dusty in this Squawker household, to use a Bill Simmonsism. Here are a few thoughts on the evening:

* I've decided that if there is anybody I want to meet in the Steinbrenner family, it's Hank. He seems to be the child with most of his father's personality.

* I don't ever remember seeing Joan Steinbrenner before -- she's definitely been out of the public eye forever. The funny thing was, though, when I saw some addled-looking man escorting her, I wondered to myself at first, "Gee, that guy's in bad shape." Then I realized that the befuddled-looking person was Bud Selig!

* Don Mattingly looks so young! Younger than when he was a coach with the Yankees. He still needs to bring the mustache back, though. It was nice to see him. Mattingly was truly a class act in the way he left the Yankees, which is why no fence-mending was needed on his part.

* Good to see David Wells at the event. He was one of Steinbrenner's faves. But, unless I missed it, where was Paul (The Warrior) O'Neill?

* Smartest thing the Yankees did -- and I am sure it was deliberate -- was to not introduce any of the VIPs. While fans cheered for Mattingly and Joe Torre, them being there didn't overshadow the ceremony itself. On the other hand, the media is all about Torre today in the stories. Well, that, and one other thing...

* ...That monument is, um, monumental! I'm wondering if Yankee players in the batters' box will be able to see The Boss' image looking at them, the way the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleberg gazed upon the characters in "The Great Gatsby."

* I'm also glad the Yankees won. There wouldn't have been anything sort of Grandish if they were to lose on the night of the Steinbrenner tribute!

What do you think? Tell us about it!


paul22 said...

I had no problem with Torre being there, but I felt that he received a forced ovation partly because of the occasion and partly because he was with his wife. If it was any other time, like the Dodgers playing the Yanks, he probably wouldn't have received the same warm welcome. There is still some bad blood because of the way he left and writing that book. Donny Baseball deservedly got a better welcome than Torre.

Uncle Mike said...

The win: George would've wanted it that way.

Joan: For years, her picture in the Yankee Yearbook showed a 1964-style hairdo. I thought, Either she still looks like that here in the 1970s/80s/90s, or she’s aged so badly that she’d rather have this picture. But in the 1996 parade, there she was on the float with George, and she looked like a normal 65-year-old woman, hardly a bad picture.

Selig: You're just noticing NOW that he looks befuddled? If they ever elect HIM to the Hall of Fame, it'll be as bad as electing Walter O'Malley. Speaking of whose team...

Mattingly: It would be nice if he could find success as a manager, even if it is for the Los Angeles Carpetbaggers, but I still think the guy is jinxed and will never win a Pennant in any uniform. Maybe he should become a GM. I understand such a job will be opening up around here soon.

O’Neill: I also noticed that I didn’t notice him. I thought that was odd, as he did seem to be George’s favorite player. Certainly, in that era, he was mine. And it’s not like he’s been “excommunicated” from the Yankee family: Last I heard, he was still broadcasting from the booth and analyzing from the studio on YES.

Torre: Mike Lupica made a big deal about him in the Daily News, but then, Lupica is a Met fan and never was a Steinbrenner fan. I think he’s just stirring it up.

The Monument: It is awfully big, but then, so was George’s personality and influence.

That billboard in “Gatsby”? F. Scott Fitzgerald called its area “a valley of ashes,” and said it was roughly halfway between Midtown Manhattan and “West Egg” – Great Neck. Which would place this 1922 valley of ashes right around... Flushing Meadow. The more things change... You can’t make this stuff up, folks!

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