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.”
The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.