Monday, April 25, 2011

Talks hurt Derek Jeter-GM relationship - ESPN New York

Talks hurt Derek Jeter-GM relationship

The relationship between Derek Jeter and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was seriously and perhaps irreparably damaged during last fall's contract talks, according to an upcoming book about the Yankees captain by ESPN New York columnist Ian O'Connor.

“Don't you think I've tried? I try, and sometimes I've just got to walk away and come back and try again, but you know I've tried. And every time I try, he'll do something that pushes me away."

-- Derek Jeter on '06 rift with A-Rod

The book, "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter," details a Nov. 30 sit-down in which Jeter, his agent Casey Close and Creative Artists Agency attorney Terry Prince met with Cashman, team president Randy Levine and co-owner Hal Steinbrenner to iron out their differences. The Tampa summit lasted four hours, but Jeter stayed for only the first 45 minutes, telling his employers -- especially Cashman -- how angry he was that they had made details of the negotiations public.

When Jeter got up to leave the room, Cashman asked the shortstop to sit back down and hear him out. "You said all you wanted was what was fair," the GM told the shortstop. "How much higher do we have to be than the highest offer for it to be fair?"

Jeter, who had no other offers in his first pass at free agency, ultimately signed a three-year, $51 million guaranteed deal plus an option year and incentive bonuses. But the negotiations were often difficult. When Close told Daily News columnist Mike Lupica that the Yankees' negotiating stance was "baffling," Hal Steinbrenner gave Cashman the green light to take the fight to Jeter and Close in the media. The quote that would anger Jeter the most was the one Cashman gave to's Wallace Matthews, who quoted the GM saying that Jeter should test the market to "see if there's something he would prefer other than this."

Levine met with Jeter in the shortstop's Trump World Tower home the day before the contract would be finalized. According to the book, Jeter told Levine he needed more money added to the proposed performance bonuses in the Yankees' offer, bonuses tied to awards such as league MVP, World Series or League Championship Series MVP, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove. Jeter spent a couple of hours making an impassioned plea to Levine, who was playing the good cop to Cashman's bad cop. Levine was so taken by Jeter's arguments that one official estimated the shortstop earned an extra $4-5 million in that meeting before signing the following afternoon in a suite at the Regency.

O'Connor's book demonstrates other awkward Jeter-Cashman moments. When the relationship between Jeter and Alex Rodriguez was at its coldest in 2006, the two came together for a dropped pop-up in a blowout loss to the Orioles. After the ball fell harmlessly to the dirt, Jeter gave A-Rod a death stare in full view of everyone in the ballpark.

Then-manager Joe Torre would scold the third baseman and shortstop for the drop, but Cashman asked his manager to do more. The GM asked Torre to talk to Jeter about improving his relationship with A-Rod. When Torre declined, Cashman confronted Jeter himself.

"Listen, this has to stop," the GM told the captain. "Everybody in the press box, every team official, everyone watching, they saw you look at the ball on the ground and look at him with disgust like you were saying, 'That's your mess, you clean it up.'"
"Show me the video," Jeter told Cashman in disbelief. "Show me the video."

The GM didn't bother, but advised Jeter to do a better job of embracing Rodriguez, if only for the sake of perception. One friend of Jeter's agreed with Cashman and told the shortstop to try to make A-Rod feel more welcome in the clubhouse.

"Now you're sounding like everyone else," Jeter told the friend, according to the book. "Don't you think I've tried? I try, and sometimes I've just got to walk away and come back and try again, but you know I've tried. And every time I try, he'll do something that pushes me away."

In 2007, Cashman decided he needed to address his shortstop's declining defense, and he didn't ask the newly-hired Joe Girardi to run this meeting for fear it might destroy the manager-captain relationship before it had a chance.

So Cashman met with Jeter at an Upper East Side restaurant, and the GM maintains he wasn't eager to blitz a beloved icon. "If you had a daughter," Cashman says in the book, "you'd want her to marry Derek Jeter. He's a great person."

But the GM did the job he was paid to do, telling Jeter the team needed him to improve his fielding in the offseason. According to the book, Cashman was under the impression that Torre had already approached the shortstop about the need to improve his range and, ultimately, about a possible move to center field.

Jeter shocked Cashman by telling him Torre had mentioned no such thing. The GM assured Jeter that the team had issues with his declining range. "You mean to tell me we were trying to win a championship every year," the shortstop told Cashman, "and there was a way for me to get better to help us do that, and nobody told me? ... I want to do everything I can to get better."

"I don't think you should have a problem with trying to get better," Jeter would tell O'Connor of the meeting with Cashman. Asked if he was on board with Cashman's suggestion that he needed to improve defensively, Jeter said, "Why wouldn't I be? It's important to get better and to be willing to listen."

This article can be found at:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maris' feat is more impressive with time- by: Mark Hermann - Newsday

Maris' feat is more impressive with time

April 23, 2011 by MARK HERRMANN /
Roger Maris holds up a jersey commemorating his
As sports controversies go, the brouhaha over Roger Maris' 61 home runs in 1961 deserves an asterisk. That is, the controversy seemed like a big deal, but it really doesn't count. So slap on an asterisk, which has been the quick and easy way to discredit something for 50 years.
It goes back to the days when influential people thought Maris' record was flimsy enough to deserve an asterisk. He was criticized and vilified as he outraced Yankees teammate Mickey Mantle to surpass what then was the most celebrated standard in sports: Babe Ruth's 60 home runs in a season.
Hall of Famers said Maris wasn't worthy. Yankees fans held it against him that he wasn't Mantle. Purists, including baseball commissioner Ford Frick, said Maris technically didn't break Ruth's record because the schedule had expanded from 154 games to 162 in 1961 and Maris didn't hit his 61st within the first 154. Hey, get your red-hot asterisk here!
Fact is, there never was an asterisk. The threat of it was just part of tainting with a broad brush, along with detractors' arguments that Maris was batting against diluted expansion-year pitching, playing in bandbox ballparks and hitting supposedly juiced balls.
What no one ever did insist, though, was that Maris himself was juiced. Not even the harshest nit-pickers ever accused him of cheating.
That brings us to today, with the controversy having come full circle. Today, purists are on Maris' side.
Today, what with all kinds of testimony of steroid use involving Mark McGwire (who broke Maris' record by hitting 70 homers in 1998 and later admitted using substances that now are banned) and Barry Bonds (who broke McGwire's record by hitting 73 in 2001 and who was convicted of obstructing justice in his steroids-related trial), Maris is the one without the controversy, or the asterisk.
"I still consider him the one who has the record," said Bobby Richardson, Maris' teammate and friend.
Today, there is new regard for the man who was, Maris' son Richard has said, fueled only by caffeine and Camel cigarettes.
As for whether Maris remains the rightful single-season home run king, Tony Kubek, who batted directly in front of him for most of 1961, said: "That's something I could not care less about. All I know is that Roger was a great ballplayer."
But Jim Coates, who had one of his best pitching seasons in 1961 and has written a book titled "Always a Yankee," was more direct about McGwire, Bonds, Sammy Sosa and others: "Here's my opinion on that. I think they should have every one of their records stripped. Guys like Roger and Mickey, they did it on their own."
A detailed new book, "1961*" by Phil Pepe -- a rookie Yankees beat reporter in 1961 -- devotes an epilogue to putting Maris in context of the performance-enhancing drugs era. "He's the last guy who was a true, clean home run champion," he said in an interview. "It hasn't all been proven, but it seems he is the last guy who did it without artificial aid.
"The steroid problem," Pepe said, "has made Maris bigger than he had been."
Maris certainly was a big name 50 years ago. He was on his way to a second consecutive American League Most Valuable Player award. He (and Mantle) appeared in two movies, "That Touch of Mink" and "Safe at Home." Still, his profile fell way short of Babe Ruth's.
By 1961, Ruth had been gone long enough to seem mythical. On the other hand, 1961 still was close enough in the sweep of history to have Ruth's contemporaries still around, throwing cold water on Maris' chase.
Kubek said a barb from Rogers Hornsby and the backlash from Maris' response rankled the Yankees' rightfielder and affected his strained relationship with the media. "Roger was a quiet North Dakota guy. He wasn't from the big city, with big quotes," Kubek said. "But he was the most accessible guy, maybe ever, in the first part of the 1961 season."
Said Richardson, "It was hard because nothing was coordinated, PR-wise, and Roger was asked the same questions over and over."
Pepe, who covered the 1961 Yankees for the New York World-Telegram and Sun and later became a columnist for the Daily News and then a radio commentator, said some reporters were "exasperated" by Maris' handling of unfolding history. "He didn't get it, he didn't understand," the writer said.
But Pepe added that there was no bias against Maris in the press box -- despite how reporters came across in "61*," a movie produced by Billy Crystal. "Why would you root against him? Why wouldn't you want to be part of that? I never heard anybody say, 'I hope he strikes out,' " Pepe said. "I liked the movie, but Hollywood has to have a villain."
Judging from the booing at Yankee Stadium, Maris was the villain as he went up against two Yankees icons, Ruth and Mantle (who hit 54 in '61). Teammates say it never drove a wedge between Mantle and Maris, who shared an apartment in Queens with fellow outfielder Bob Cerv. What the whole experience did do was separate Maris from patches of his hair, which wound up down the drain because of stress.
Harmon Killebrew, an Idaho native who hit 46 homers for the Twins in 1961, rooted for the North Dakota family man down the stretch. "Roger was a really likable person," Killebrew said recently. "But I don't know that a lot of people in New York were rooting for him. I think they wanted Mickey."
"Honestly, everybody on the team was pulling for Mickey because he had come up in the system. But when Mickey was hurt and couldn't play anymore, our allegiance switched to Roger," said Richardson, who became close with Maris and delivered the eulogy at his funeral in 1985 (saying Maris is "in God's Hall of Fame").
The baseball establishment seemed to have its own favorite in the race: a burly rightfielder who had put home runs on the map. Frick had been a ghostwriter for Ruth and was seen by some as a loyalist. For the record, the commissioner said at the time that he thought a 162-game season was only a temporary expansion-year experiment (it lasts to this day).
Pepe reports that Frick held a meeting that summer with veteran baseball writers to say there would be a special designation if anyone topped Ruth's record after the 154th game. "Like an asterisk?" columnist Dick Young reportedly asked, and Frick did not disagree.
As Pepe points out at the start of Chapter 10: "There was no asterisk. Not then. Not now. Not ever." (The asterisk in the title is deliberately ironic, the author said, because "that's what people remember.") Instead, Frick approved a separate listing for Maris as record-holder in a 162-game season. Ruth was allowed to keep his 154-game mark. That was changed in 1991 and Maris posthumously was awarded the record outright.
"With Roger, that record was the best thing and worst thing that ever happened," Kubek said. "The bad part was that people thought it was the only thing he could do."
Teammates saw him as a complete talent and competitor, a good outfielder with an outstanding arm. "He was the toughest player in all of baseball for breaking up the double play," Richardson said of Maris, a standout high school halfback. "He'd slide and knock you into leftfield."
Maris also helped make the 1961 Yankees one of the best teams in history. "The greatest one, as far as I'm concerned," Coates said. Former Yankees credit first-year manager Ralph Houk for using Whitey Ford on three days of rest instead of his customary four, producing a 25-4 Cy Young season. They still compliment Houk for shuffling the lineup to bat Maris third, ahead of Mantle, setting the table for history.
History is growing increasingly kind to the man who had only 23,154 witnesses for his 61st homer Oct. 1, 1961 (including 19-year-old truck driver Sal Durante, who caught it in the rightfield seats). Maris now comes off as the clean one, the fellow who didn't buckle under the specter of an asterisk.
During the height of the controversy, Maris told reporters, "A season is a season."
All things considered, no one else really has had one like it.

Get Some GREAT FREE Baseball Tips on Hitting and Pitching from Larry Cicchiello

Hello Baseball Fans,

Check out the following links and get some great advice from Larry Cicchiello regarding hitting and pitching tips.  Then be sure to check out Larry's website at:

Enjoy these great tips today!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Local Negro Leaguer, Stanley ‘Doc’ Glenn, dies

Stanley Glenn
Stanley Glenn
Philadelphia has lost a baseball legend. Stanley Glenn, who played for the Philadelphia Stars of the Negro League, passed away on Saturday, April 16. Ironically, Glenn died one day after Major League Baseball recently celebrated “Jackie Robinson Day.” Robinson broke the color line in baseball on April 15, 1947. He played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League before signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Glenn, a Yeadon resident, played against Jackie Robinson during his baseball career. He played for the Stars from 1944-1950. The man they call “Doc” was a terrific catcher. Prior to his passing, there were four surviving members of the Stars. Now, they’re only three: Mahlon Duckett, Bill Cash and Harold Gould.
Services for Glenn will be held on Monday, April 25 at Camphor United Methodist Church, 5620 Wyalusing Avenue. The viewing will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The funeral service will immediately follow the viewing.
Glenn was a tremendous high school ballplayer who could hit, throw the ball and call a good game behind the plate. He played baseball at Bartram High School in the Public League during the 1940s.
Carson “Cal” Puriefoy, Glenn’s nephew, followed his baseball career since he was a youngster. Puriefoy, director of public relations for the Philadelphia Stars, also worked closely with the Negro League Baseball Players Association. He will certainly miss Glenn’s warm personality and being around him for so many years.
“My uncle and grandfather (Charles Glenn) used to take me up to Elmwood (Avenue in Southwest Philly) to watch him play during the summer,” Puriefoy said. “I would spend my days watching Uncle Stanley play baseball. Patti LaBelle (R&B singer) didn’t live far from Elmwood.
“They called him “Doc,” but Uncle Stanley had another nickname. They called him “Slamming Stanley.” He was a great hitter at Bartram. He could hit the ball out to Elmwood Avenue. They won two city championships at Bartram. He played with Chip Wilkes who was a great player.
“He graduated from high school when he was 16 years old. Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston signed him when he joined the Stars. They played at 44th and Parkside (Avenue). But I watched Uncle Stanley play in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Newark, (N.J.) and New York.
“I saw him play against Larry Doby when he played for the Newark Eagles before he went up to the Cleveland Indians. He played against Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson. I remember watching him play at Shibe Park. Negro League teams could play in major league ballparks on Mondays. That was one day when they didn’t play their games.
“Uncle Stanley was a great speaker. I worked with him on getting him speaking engagements. He spoke at Northeastern University in Boston and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. He was my hero. He was a great man. I’m really going to miss him.”
Puriefoy worked tirelessly to support Glenn’s efforts. He did an outstanding job of promoting his book titled “Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Joy Away.” He wrote the book in 2006. He was 80 years old at the time.
“Negro League baseball is history, and a part of American history,” Puriefoy said. “He used to talk about that.”
Glenn was absolutely right. It’s also a sad part of history. Glenn was talented enough to play in the majors. The New York Yankees scouted him during his scholastic days. It’s just that baseball wasn’t taking Black players during those days.
Negro League players suffered a terrible injustice during those years. If you ever get a chance to interview or talk to any of players, there’s not a trace of bitterness in their voice even though they had every right to be bitter and upset being denied the opportunity to play in the big leagues.
Glenn never exhibited any harsh feelings towards major league baseball. He worked extremely hard to make life better for his peers. He was the president of the Negro League Baseball Players Association. In 2007, the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association recognized Glenn, Duckett, Cash and Gould at its sports banquet. In 2003, the Stars were honored with a Negro Leagues Memorial Statue. Glenn was around for all those great moments.
“He really appreciated all those things,” Puriefoy said.

Contact Tribune staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Funny Sports Quotes!

Sports Quotes - This was sent to me via email.  Thought I would share with my readers....Some pretty good ones.

Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model: "I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me. "

New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season: "I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

And, upon hearing Joe Jacoby of the 'Skins say "I'de run over my own Mother to win the Super Bowl, "Matt Millen of the Raiders said, "To win, I'd run over Joe's mom too."

Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann 1996: "Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

Oiler coach Bum Phillips: When asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded, "Because she is too damn ugly to kiss good-bye."

Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: "I'm going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes."

Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: "You guys line up, alphabetically by height." And "You guys pair up in groups of three, and then line up in a circle."

Clemson recruit Ray Forsythe, who was ineligible as a freshman because of academic requirements: "I play football. I'm not trying to be a professor. The tests don't seem to make sense to me, measuring your brain on stuff I haven't been through in school."

Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King: "Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton."

Stu Grimson, Chicago Blackhawks left wing, explaining why he keeps a Color photo of himself above his locker: "That's so when I forget how to spell my name, I can still find my clothes."

Shaquille O'Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."

Shaquille O'Neal, on his lack of championships: "I've won at every level, except college and pro."

Lou Duva, veteran boxing trainer, on the Spartan training regime of heavyweight Andrew Golota: "He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."

Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team's 7-27 record: "We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play." (1992)

Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt." (1982)

Tommy Lasorda, Dodger manager, when asked what terms Mexican-born Pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela might settle for in his upcoming contract negotiations: "He wants Texas back." (1981)

Darrell Royal, Texas football coach, asked if the abnormal number of Longhorn injuries that season resulted from poor physical conditioning: "One player was lost because he broke his nose. How do you go about getting a nose in condition for football?" (1966)

Mike McCormack, coach of the hapless Baltimore Colts after the team's co-captain, offensive guard Robert Pratt, pulled a hamstring running onto the field for the coin toss against St. Louis: "I'm going to send the injured reserve players out for the toss next time." (1981)

Steve Spurrier, Florida football coach, telling Gator fans that a fire At Auburn's football dorm had destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored yet." (1991)

Jim Finks, New Orleans Saints G.M., when asked after a loss what he thought of the refs: "I'm not allowed to comment on lousy officiating." (1986)

Alan Kulwicki, stock car racer, on racing Saturday nights as opposed to Sunday afternoons: "It's basically the same, just darker." (1991)

Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, 'Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'" (1991)

Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."(1991)

Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four F's and one D: "Son, looks to me like you're spending too much time on one subject." (1987)

National Geographic Channel to Air Demolition of Old Yankee Stadium in Late April

The Demolition of Old Yankee Stadium will air on April 28 on the National Geographic Channel at 10:00 PM EST and 7:00 and 10:00 PM PST.

Be sure to check out this historical piece.