Craig Calcaterra

FILE - In this undated file photo, New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra poses at spring training in Florida. The Hall of Fame catcher renowned as much for his lovable, linguistically dizzying "Yogi-isms" as his unmatched 10 World Series championships with the Yankees, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. He was 90. (AP Photo/File)

In Memoriam: remembering those in baseball lost in the past year


For the last three years, Paul Sullivan of Sully Baseball has put together a video montage of the baseball figures who have died since the previous All-Star Game. It’s the sort of “In Memoriam” piece that you see at the Oscars and other awards shows each year but which Fox and Major League Baseball, curiously, has never done. It just seems like an obvious thing to do. Maybe the 4-5 minutes such a thing would take detracts too much from the sponsor-service and baseball’s too self-congratulatory-by-half promotion of its own charitable efforts. Hard to say.

In any event, Sullivan has once again put together a wonderful video reminding us of the stars and journeymen, the broadcasters, executives and scouts, the men and the women who, in their own way, touched baseball and baseball fans in their time on Earth and who now reside in Baseball Valhalla.


Darryl Strawberry says he had sex in the clubhouse during games

Darryl Strawberry mets

Tonight is the premiere of ESPN’s 30-for-30 documentary “Doc and Darryl.” It’s, of course, about infamous Mets greats Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. It’s on at 9 p.m. ET. Based on the stuff Strawberry is saying while making the media rounds to promote it, you’re probably gonna want to see it.

Among the things he’s saying is stuff we all have long known: he drank, he used drugs, he was a wild man in ways that he’d never be able to get away with if he played in the teens instead of the 80s. But there are still some new ones.

Like the thing he said today on Evan Cohen and Mike Babchik’ “Morning Men” radio show on Sirius/XM about how he had sex at a baseball stadium. Like, in the middle of games. Games in which he was playing. He’d just see someone in the stands and have the clubhouse kid go get her and bring her to the clubhouse.

And you thought that business with Rickey Henderson and Bobby Bonilla playing cards in the clubhouse during the 1999 playoffs was bad.


Brian Cashman wants to tear down and rebuild, the Yankees brass doesn’t

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman watches live batting practice during a spring training baseball workout Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Associated Press

The Yankees are seven and a half games out of first place in the AL East and five and a half back in the Wild Card. There are three teams ahead of them in the East, however, and seven teams ahead of them in the Wild Card hunt. Between that, their age and their injuries, it’d take a pretty optimistic sort to think that they’re truly contenders.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, there are two people who are optimistic: their owner, Hal Steinbrenner and their president Randy Levine. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York says that they are the only two people in the organization who don’t want to sell at the deadline and rebuild while Brain Cashman and the baseball operations folks do:

According to a baseball source who spoke to ESPN on condition of anonymity, the opposing factions are composed of the baseball operations people, led by general manager Brian Cashman, who believe the team should sell off its assets and plan for the future, and the business side, which is led by owner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine, who hold to the belief that the club is still in contention.

“There’s only two people in the tri-state area who think this team is still a contender,” the source said. “Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine.”

Read that article even remotely closely and it sounds A LOT like Brian Cashman or someone very close to him is the “baseball source.” In that light this should be read as something aimed at pressuring Steinbrenner and Levine to allow the baseball folks to sell at the deadline.

To that end, Matthews details all that the Yankees would try to sell, according to his source, and it’s a pretty thorough list. Not just relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, as many have speculated, but also Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, Ivan Nova, Nate Eovaldi and even Jacoby Ellsbury. Obviously a lot of those guys would be hard to move given their contracts, but it’s better to get something for them rather than nothing. As the Phillies showed last year, even a late rebuild can bring real talent back in return, and the Yankees have a lot of talent to offer contenders at the moment.

But they’ll have noting to sell if Steinbrenner and Levine remain stubborn and continue to cling to the old fiction that the Yankees must always be buyers and that they can perpetually contend. That’s simply a lie of the George Steinbrenner era that was more P.R. than reality. Personally, I’d listen to my experienced baseball operations department on this one. A baseball operations department which sounds like it really wants to sell off in the month of July and rebuild for the future.