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.