Monday, January 19, 2009

Jim Ed Rice Speaks Out About Steinbrenner's Mega-Spending

Good morning and happy Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Remember the man and what he stood for on this Monday January 19, 2009, inauguration eve day. Wow, will DC be a special place tomorrow as the world watches! I can't wait. On a baseball note, I came across an article written by David Lennon on Newsday dot com that I found very interesting. Hall of Famer Jim Ed Rice reflected about the New York Yankees' mega-spending during his 1975-1989 career with Boston. Evidently, he is still bitter about the many players bought by George Steinbrenner, purchases that led to world championships, players such as Catfish Hunter, Goose Gossage, Dave Henderson and Reggie Jackson. Here's a little bit of what he said. My comments will follow...

"During that time ('75-'89), Steinbrenner spent more money than the Red Sox," Rice said. "He had more free agents. So when you get the best free agents, and you get the superstars from other ballclubs, that's what made you have a better team. The more money you can spend, the better you should get."

But then, Jim Ed compared the Yankees' current open wallet policy (Sabathia, Teixeira, Burnett et al) to the approach of Theo Epstein and the Red Sox...

"If you look at the Red Sox now, you see them bringing guys up in the organization," he said. "That's why Theo has been the person he's been over the last couple of years. He'll bring young kids up and stay within the organization. The Yankees haven't won in the last eight years. What do they do? They go out and buy high-priced players in the hope to get back the winning percentage they had 10 years ago."

Truer words have never been spoken. The pinstriped zebras spent more than $400 million this offseason for three, yes, THREE players. I'm sure they'll win more games than they did last year...that's just about a given. But can they come together as a team, a united group of men who play and win baseball games? The future knows all, and we'll watch it unfold before our very eyes, live and in living color, as NBC's promo said before each television program broadcast in that then new format. Yes, it was a long time ago when color television came into our lives, but I remember it well. I was a young kid who was fascinated with getting the color "just right" for my Dad when we were all in front of the TV after dinner. Those were the days. Boy, am I all over the place! Back to baseball. I want to thank Jim Ed for speaking out...after all, he's one of the best players who ever lived. He's getting the recognition he deserves...finally.

On a final note, I want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday. It's been more than 40 1/2 years since we lost the voice of Martin Luther King, Jr, but his spirit lives on. It always will. Click on the title for the "I HAVE A DREAM" speech. Thanks for stopping in yet again, I hope your weekend was terrific, and as always, BE WELL.

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