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George never would have done it!


"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


Being born with a silver bat in your crib or mouth does not necessarily translate to knowing how to use it or even what it is. The offspring of "The Boss," George Steinbrenner, do not have a clue about the sport, the team, management of same or anything remotely attributable to the New York Yankees other than the legacy and endowment that is likely valued at close to $1.5 billion on the market today. They just had to be born.

George was involved. Like it or not, he was there. He called the shots when it suited him or he felt the team needed him to do so. He irritated managers, but he was The Boss. He knew the game. He wanted to win. The money was secondary. It was academic. He knew that.

Joe Girardi
Joe Girardi has won 287 games in his three years as manager of the NY Yankees.
No playoffs and/or World Series and the season was a failure. He never would have renewed manager Joe Girardi's contract for three more years at $3 million per, following an ouster short of the Fall Classic. He would have sent him packing with all those books to which he constantly refers in the dugout. The ones that say pitch left to left-handed batter, right to right-handed. No double steals. Bunts only when there is a full moon or pending eclipse. New relief pitchers for every batter starting in the eighth inning. Rivera saves games in the ninth, not earlier. At 100 pitches during the game, dial 911 and have an emergency unit on standby. Give world class athletes that they are supposed to be a day of rest after standing on the field for the prior day's game and fielding only two or three balls.

Girardi played and managed elsewhere prior to the Yankees, but he has no feel for the game. He spent one season with the Florida Marlins in 2006, winning National League Manager of the Year with a 78-84 record.

What the heck was all that about? Popularity contest? Nice to the media?

Now he will be called upon to revamp the team he apparently put together with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, the very same club that was embarrassed by the Texas Rangers who, as we all know, folded their tents and went home when asked to be competitive in the second-least watched World Series ever. San Francisco toyed with them and headed home with the trophies, caps, shirts and championship. The Polo Grounds almost came out of the ground in New York at the news.

Cliff Lee, 32 - his age, not his number - did not show that much against the Giants, but he is the top priority for the Yankees and the bidding will be intense. Arlington versus New York, that should be interesting. The Los Angeles Angels and the Boston Red Sox will be in the battle, but no one has the same dollars if they want to bring Lee to the biggest market out there.

At some point, it is not the money. He who dies with the most toys dies. Lee wants a World Series, more than one. He wants to be in the playoffs every year. Hello pinstripes.

Derek Jeter
For those who think Derek Jeter will be elsewhere next year and beyond, don't kid yourself!
Derek Jeter stays. Alex Rodriguez is in for the long haul. Mariano Rivera has his second home in the bullpen. Jorge Posada will leave baseball eventually ... as a Yankee. As will Andy Pettitte, now 38 years old. Robbie Cano is an MVP candidate - Nov. 23 is the selection date. Mark Teixeira is solid at first and a vacuum. C.C. Sabathia is the No. 1 gun on the mound. The Core Four Plus.

The outfield is set with Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher. Can they use back-ups? Sure, but it cannot be Austin Kearns, Marcus Thames, Greg Golson or Melky Mesa. Why are any of them in professional baseball, no less wearing NY on their uniforms?

It is time for an overhaul. That means make Joba Chamberlain someone who knows his role and hope you have not totally ruined him already. Close but spring training will tell the tale. Let him know now, so he can get ready. Starter or middle relief?

Boone Logan goes, Sergio Mitre shares cab fare with him. Dustin Mosely displayed a glimpse of ability and then reality set in. So long, Dustin. David Robertson got to the dance, but lost more than a step or two spinning around the floor. Wave goodbye!

A.J. Burnett is an accident that has happened. Pay in the insurance claim and move on to a new as-yet-to-be-named No. 2 starter. Phil Hughes stays. Everyone else currently listed on the roster as a pitcher goes. Plain, pure and simple.

Francisco Cervelli is not a threat at the plate, but he can handle the chores, so he keeps his locker. Ramiro Pena will not frighten any opposing pitcher, but he can field to give someone a break, so he tells his wife to stop packing.

Girardi will be working with a team that has a $200 million payroll and will not have the leverage he once had despite a new contract. Nor should he. Had George not passed and been The Boss of old, the manager would have been on unemployment or speaking with one of the networks.

Key question on the table is whether Lee will seek the record $161 million, seven-year record deal of his good friend, Sabathia, with whom he would love to be pitching. At five or six years, still good! Checkbooks at sunrise in center field and seconds are asked to schedule their appointments soon. Lee wants NY ... great market, perennial contender, historic organization and Sabathia telling him all sorts of good things.

Zack Greinke, Kansas City's ace and 27 year old Cy Young Award winner with a Dallas Cowboys' cheerleader, certainly has the credentials worth chasing but reports of anxiety disorders keep circulating and that is the last thing the Yankees need in the clubhouse. Confirmation, medically, that he is good shape and does not favor the Red Sox, as has also been rumored and he is a definite target addition.

On to the offense. Carl Crawford, 29, has plenty of mileage left in the tank. But so does Jayson Werth, 31, and both the Angels and Red Sox will be courting these two. Did anyone out there know that super scout and one-time Yankees first baseman Dennis Werth is Werth's step-father?

The beat goes on and another pennant, or World Series, will not be there for New York because Girardi is at the helm of this ship. It will come in spite of him, but for that to happen, all hands on deck means hands that can steer, trim the sails, be first rate and bear down all the time.

No, for the more knowledgeable and sea-faring among you, we are not setting sail just yet, but the Yankees will be doing precisely that, and it is where, after all, The Boss made his original fortune.

Before George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees, there was Steinbrenner the shipbuilder. Ships built his fortune, and brought him from the Great Lakes to Tampa. They funded his purchase of the Yankees. As ships made him rich, the Yankees made him famous.

Spahn and Sain and pray for rain! The battle cry of the 1948 Boston Braves. C.C. and Lee and Pettitte makes three. Maybe. But whatever is coming down the pike, it had better be the World Series or The Boss will find a way to come back. Houdini could not do it, but George just might.

Will they really get Lee? Do I know for certain?

You gotta be kidding!