Jim Bouton wrote a tell-all book that angered the Yankees. They kept him away from Old Timers Day for close to 30 years and, if it wasn’t for an emotional plea in the New York Times by one of his sons following the tragic death of Bouton’s daughter, they may not have even invited him back when they did.
The team is much better about letting bygones be bygones now, because Joe Torre wrote a tell-all book that angered the Yankees too, and only a couple short years later Torre will be back in pinstripes:
Joe Torre is headed back to the Bronx. No, the man who led the Yankees to four World Series titles isn’t planning a return to managing, but he revealed Thursday that he will attend his first Old-Timers’ Day on June 26 at Yankee Stadium.
“I may be letting the cat out of the bag, but I was invited back for Old-Timers’ Day,” said Torre, who stopped by Steinbrenner Field Thursday as part of his spring training tour in his new role as MLB’s executive VP for baseball operations. “I’m planning on going.”
In other news, I wasn’t aware that former managers attended Old Timers Day. Given the Yankees pre-Torre experience with turnover, that could make for a really crowded dugout.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?