I’ve said my piece on Steinbrenner, but I’m sure he’d think he could say it better himself.
All of these things were actually said by George Steinbrenner at one point or another. Some of these words constitute genuine wisdom. Some of them constitute craziness. Some of them are flat out lies. One of them is a little eerie and sad after today’s events. All of them, however, go a long way towards explaining what George Steinbrenner was all about, for better and for worse:
- “We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned. We’re not going to pretend we’re something we aren’t. I’ll stick to building ships.”
- “I am dead set against free agency. It can ruin baseball.”
- “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.”
- “I will never have a heart attack. I give them.”
- “Don’t talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what’s good right now. And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance.”
- “I am tough. Sometimes I’m unreasonable. I have to catch myself every once in a while.”
- “I don’t want to be in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think owners should be.”
- “I haven’t always made the right decisions.”
- “I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful – but I know that I have tried.”
- “In the end, I’ll put my good acts up against those of anybody in this country. Anybody.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.