Tino Marintez is five and a half years older than me. Andy Pettitte is only one year older than me. And after reading their “back in my day” rebop from yesterday, I feel like we’re all 80 years-old.
It came in Bob Klapisch’s column in which those two, along with David Wells, talked about how the Yankees of today couldn’t have handled playing under George Steinbrenner back in the day:
To a man, the old breed doubts the new guys could’ve survived under Steinbrenner. The real Boss, that is, pre-2003.
“They wouldn’t know what to do. They’d be freaking out,” David Wells said.
“There wasn’t a lot of ‘make sure we protect this guy’ or ‘don’t hurt his feelings,’’’ Andy Pettitte said. “It was, ‘Go figure it out yourself.’ There was no nurturing or babying.”
“These guys have no idea what it was like in the 90s, just like I didn’t know what it was like in the 70s,” Tino Martinez said. “I enjoyed the circumstances — it made us better as a team; we didn’t worry about our statistics — but they’ve got it easier today.”
Oy vey. There’s always a core of truth to “you have it easier today than I did” comments. But really, these guys are talking about, like, 1996. I mean, I know it was rough then — if you could even afford a mobile phone it was analog — but it’s not like it was a different planet. The 1996 George Steinbrenner was practically neutered compared to the 1970s and 80s version. Goose Gossage is quoted later to remind us of that.
Anyway, I hope that when these “old timers” were talking about all of this, Jeter and Rivera were over on the other side of the room rolling their eyes.
Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.
Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.
Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.
A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.
The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:
- Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
- Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
- Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
- Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.
As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.
The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.
La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.