Yankees unveil monument for George Steinbrenner

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And honestly, is anybody surprised that it’s the biggest darn plaque you’ve ever seen?

The large tribute to the “The Boss” was uncovered beyond the center field fence in Monument Park by his widow Joan just a short while ago. Commissioner Bud Selig and a host of Yankees icons — including Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly and Joe Torre — were among those in attendance for the pre-game tribute.

Here’s the full text from the monument, via the Associated Press:

“A true visionary who changed the game of baseball forever,” the
monument reads. “He was considered the most influential owner in all of
sports. In 37 years as principal owner, the Yankees posted a major
league-best .566 winning percentage, while winning 11 American League
pennants and seven World Series titles, becoming the most recognizable
sports brand in the world.

“A
devoted sportsman, he was vice president of the United States Olympic
Committee, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors
and a member of the NCAA Foundation board of trustees. A great
philanthropist whose charitable efforts were mostly performed without
fanfare, he followed a personal motto of the greatest form of charity is
anonymity.”

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.