Does The Boss Belong in the Hall?

by Eddie Mayrose

As talk of George Steinbrenner’s possible induction into the Hall of Fame swirled around Old Timer’s day at  Yankee Stadium, I was asked by Cheap Seater Jim Case if the late Steinbrenner had been good for baseball.  A difficult question to answer, no matter how you felt about The Boss during his reign in the Bronx.  While most Yankeee fans  are sure to point to the many championships won since Steinbrenner bought the franchise in 1973, his detractors make note of the mockery he made of the pinstripes with his endless firings of managers and pitching coaches as well as two suspensions that resulted from a felony conviction and an extortion attempt.  However, almost all will use the phrase, “George just wants to win.”

The thing I always found interesting about the “just wants to win” theory is that the Yankees never, EVER, won a title when the impetuous Boss had the final say about the roster.  His first championships were won under the watchful eye of GM Gabe Paul, who threatened to quit whenever Steinbrenner insisted on a ridiculous player move. When Paul had had enough, he resigned, leaving the reins in George’s hands and the fans with a drought that would last eighteen years. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

St. John’s Basketball Hires (Settles For?) Steve Lavin

Don’t know if there’s a better indication of how far the St. John’s basketball program has fallen than the difficulty the powers that be had in signing a new head coach.  ESPN analyst and former UCLA head man, Steve Lavin, accepted the job after the Johnnies were rebuffed by Florida’s Billy Donovan and Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech.  In addition, Fran McCaffrey, who led Siena to the top of the MAAC during his tenure, and Boston College head man Al Skinner were brought in for interviews and may or may not have been offered the job.  That Lavin is, at best, the Red Storm’s third choice, and might actually be the fifth, speaks volumes to the current irrelevance of what was once a national power.  While Lavin has his work cut out for him, he does have a significant resource of talent in his own backyard.  Armed with four returning senior starters and eight scholarships, he may actually be able to effect a significant turnaround in very short order if he can tap into the prep talent in New York City; something at which his two predecessors failed miserably.  It’s been too long since the Johnnies were at the top of the Big East and a viable threat in the NCAA tournament.  Lavin has an opportunity to be a hero to all of the Johnnie faithful longing to, once again, be a part of March Madness.  Here’s hoping he delivers. Continue reading »

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