“If The Boss Was Still Alive” Watch: George wouldn’t have put up with this A-Rod nonsense!


Every time a New York columnist has nothing new or original to say about the Yankees, he or she will write an “if The Boss was still alive” column, channeling the glory days of George Steinbrenner for some easy, lazy fodder. It is important to note that the people who do this tend to be writers whose own glory days happen to correspond with those of George Steinbrenner. Here at HardballTalk, we chronicle this meme in an effort to protect the legacy and memory of the dearly departed.  Or something.

Bill Madden of the Daily News knows just what The Boss would do if he was alive for this latest A-Rod business:

If George were alive, you can be sure he would be doing everything in his power to get retribution for the $275 million contract A-Rod signed with the Yankees under false pretenses in 2007 — as well as for everything he has done to besmirch and embarrass the Yankees.

Which is amazing considering George did exactly that once. Except the player was Dave Winfield, the contract was a lot smaller and “everything in his power” included hiring a scumbag to dig up dirt on Winfield on an effort to void his deal. For his troubles, Steinbrenner was banned for life from running the Yankees. You can say what you want about George Steinbrenner, but you can’t say he was a dumb man. I feel like, if an 84-year-old George Steinbrenner was still in charge, he maybe would’ve realized that doing something different was in order. But what do I know?

Also rich from Madden is this:

Even though it was probably a long shot given the sacrosanct nature of guaranteed major league contracts, I never understood why the Yankees didn’t at least broach the prospect with MLB of getting the contract voided when, six months after signing the 10-year deal — which included all those bonus clauses for various home run milestones en route to A-Rod someday surpassing Barry Bonds as the supposed “clean” all-time home run champion — he admitted to having used steroids from 2001-2003 with the Texas Rangers.

Saying he doesn’t understand why the Yankees didn’t try to void A-Rod’s contract in 2009 is a brave admission of ignorance on Madden’s part. Most baseball writers would hide the fact that they do not fully know why a team didn’t do something that (a) was legally impossible; (b) would be massively expensive and distracting; and (c) would, at the time, be profoundly contrary to their team’s interests. But Madden is brave in this regard. I hope such bravery catches on. Perhaps we’ll then have political reporters saying they don’t understand why there can’t be a presidential election in 2015 and science reporters saying they don’t understand why the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth.

Part of me wishes that a Spink Award-winning lead baseball columnist of one of the largest daily newspapers in the country would actually put a controversy in its proper context and explain to readers the realities, challenges and consequences of a given situation. But another part of me is glad he doesn’t do that. Because if he did, we’d have one less running feature here at HardballTalk. And running features are the best.

Ohtani homers twice, including career longest at 459 feet, Angels beat White Sox 12-5

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CHICAGO (AP) Shohei Ohtani homered in consecutive innings, including a 459-foot drive that was the longest of his Major League Baseball career, and drove in four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Wednesday.

Mike Trout put the Angels ahead 2-0 with a 476-foot home run in the first that was four rows shy of clearing the left field bleachers. Taylor Ward also went deep as the Angels hit four two-run homers plus a solo shot.

“Those are the guys you lean on,” manager Phil Nevin said. “They can certainly put the team on their backs and carry us and that’s what they did today.”

Ohtani drove a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn (4-6) just to left of straightaway center in the third, where the ball was dropped by a fan who tried to glove it. That 425-foot drive put the Angels ahead 4-1.

Lynn didn’t even bother to turn and look when Ohtani hit a full count fastball more than a dozen rows over the bullpen in right-center in the fourth. The two-way Japanese star is batting .269 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs to go along with a 5-1 record and 2.91 ERA.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m putting good swings on pitches I should be hitting hard.”

Ohtani increased his career total to 13 multihomer games with his first this season.

Trout pulled a hanging curve for his 13th home run. Ward hit a two-run homer against Jesse Scholtens in the seventh and Chad Wallach, pinch hitting for Ohtani, had a solo homer in the ninth off Garrett Crochet.

“Usually when that happens, we’re in a good spot to win,” Trout said.

Trout and Ohtani have homered in the same game for the fifth time this season. The Angels hit a pair of 450-foot or more home runs in the same game for the first time since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Lynn allowed eight runs, eight hits and two walks while hitting two batters in four innings, raising his ERA to 6.55. He has given up 15 home runs, one short of the major league high of Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles. Lynn had won his previous three starts.

“It seemed like he didn’t get away with any today,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Just one of those days, man.”

Jaime Barria (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles won two of three from the White Sox after being swept by Miami last weekend.

Jake Burger homered for Chicago, which has lost four of five. Burger hit his 11th homer in the ninth and Hanser Alberto had a two run double off Tucker Davidson.

Chicago’s Romy Gonzalez, who’d homered in three straight games, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Twenty-three people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a pregame swearing-in behind home plate.


Angels: Trout fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth but remained in the game.

White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) are close to returning but Grifol wouldn’t elaborate on either player’s status.


Angels: Reid Detmers (0-4, 4.93) starts Thursday’s series opener at Houston against fellow LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38).

White Sox: Have not announced a starter for Friday’s series opener against visiting Detroit, which starts RHP Reese Olson in his major league debut. Olson is 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Toledo.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports