He is, after all, the man who has spent the better half of the last 6 months trying to convince Americans that only he knew that something like 9/11 was bound to happen.
He is literally running on a platform where he is attempting to paint himself (contrary to what his own 9/11 commission testimony tends to indicate) as some sort of modern day prophet.
And he didn’t see THIS one coming?
A day after former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said he plans to root for the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, two of the city’s tabloid’s offered their response.
“TRAITOR!” decried the Daily News. “C’mon Rudy, How Could You Root For the Red Sox in Series?”
“REDCOAT” screamed the New York Post. ”Yank Fan Rudy Pulls for Bosox”
Perhaps it won’t matter. After all, it’s not like he’s rooting AGAINST my beloved Yankees, who once again failed to make it to the series. But the baseball faux pas is a jab in the eye to all those die-hard Yankee fans who have always thought they had Rudy in their corner. After all, this is the man who has been accused of having spent more time at Yankee Stadium than at Ground Zero in this post-9/11 world.
Do a quick google search (image tab mind you) under “Giuliani” and see how many hits it comes back with. You will be amazed at how many of them involve the man either wearing some sort of Yankee attire or sitting at Yankee stadium. Of course that will be after you get over the shock of how many different examples of Rudy Giuliani in drag are in the mix.
Hizzoner has always been such a fan. He even got into a bit of hot water earlier this year over questions about the four World Series rings that he owns — just like the players and coaches — courtesy of the franchise in response to his lifelong devotion to the ballclub. Giuliani’s sudden change of heart about the nation’s pasttime has opened him up to charges of flip flopping and pandering.
Could it be that he is supporting the Red Sox because the team is so popular in neighboring New Hampshire, where, by the way, the nation’s first primary will be held sometime in January (or maybe even December)?
If you listen to the man that wants your vote the answer is “No”.
“I’m an American League fan, and I go with the American League team – maybe with exception of the Mets,” he said. “Maybe that would be the one time I wouldn’t, because I’m loyal to New York.”
But that answer may not satisfy everyone.
Kevin Madden, the spokesman for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney despite being a long-time Yankee fan, offered this observation in his morning email to reporters Wednesday:
“For me,” Madden said, “baseball season ends when the Yankees play their last game. I don’t even root for the AL in the All-Star game!”
Giuliani’s willingness to root for the Sox appears to be a recent phenomenon.
In June, he was asked the following by a political columnist for the Providence Journal-Bulletin:
“If the devil said you can be president if you become a Sox fan, would you do it?,” asked M. Charles Bakst.
The answer was typical Giuliani, which means, blunt.
“I’m a Yankee fan. My father made me a Yankee fan probably before I was born. I always believe it’s a sign of my being straight with people, about not wanting to fool them, that I was one of the first mayors to be willing to say I was a Yankee fan. Most mayors pretended they rooted for both sides. I have great respect for Mets fans, Red Sox fans. I have great respect for people who really are fans of the team they say they are fans of. But probably that’s a deal I could not make.”
Rudy Giuliani has made more than a few errors in his political career. This is, after all, the man who dumped his second wife on television.
But his latest questionable decision hits Americans where it really, really hurts: their sporting allegiances.
This week, he attempted to explain why he’ll be rooting for the Boston team in the impending World Series finals. But his spin-job seems to be falling on deaf ears in New England.
The Boston Globe points out:
Recent history shows Massachusetts voters would sooner adopt Manhattan clam chowder as the state’s official food than vote Republican in 2008.
Ben Affleck, a rabid Red Sox fan, is a man that has made a career out of making bad decisions (J Lo or Gigli ring a bell?). His reaction to Rudy’s sudden change of allegiance went something like “If I was a politician I’d sooner admit to Satan worship than claim to be rooting for the Yankees”.
And that sentiment is pretty much par for the course when taken in the context of this rivalry. This is the Sox and the Yankees! Not Ohio State vs. Michigan. Not Duke vs. North Carolina. Not any one of many other epic sports rivalries. This is the standard against which all other such sports conflicts are measured.
It’s bad enough that we live in the Sportscenter/Performance Enhancing Drug era, but now we have to have these two-bit politicians sullying our sports landscape?
We live in an era where too many athletes favor style over substance while looking for a spot in a highlight reel, even if it costs their team a win. Our most sacred of baseball records are being assaulted by pharmaceutic-ally enhanced phenoms on a daily basis. Olympic heroes are being revealed to be nothing more than frauds. And now this.
“…there is no joy in Gotham—mighty Rudy has copped out.”
A little bit of a shocker out of Gotham today. After weeks of speculation the New York Yankees offered an incentive based contract to their beleaguered manager Joe Torre. And somewhat surprisingly, he turned them down.
This was the first action on Torre’s future since Yankee owner George Steinbrenner told The Record of Hackensack, N.J., on Oct. 6 that he didn’t think he’d bring back Torre if the Yankees failed to advance to the AL Championship Series. Cleveland then eliminated New York in four games, the Yankees’ third straight first-round exit.
Now I am not altogether amazed that they offered him a new deal. But it is somewhat of a shocker that Torre turned them down. Yes, “The Boss” is notoriously difficult to get along with. But Yankee stalwarts like Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, both of whom enter free agency at season’s end, openly campaigned for his return, even intimating that they may not return to wear the pinstripes if Torre was canned.
And the outpouring from fans has been even more impressive. Online petitions sprung up over night, callers bombarded New York sports talk shows pleading for the Yankees to bring the man back and a rally supporting him was held in time square.
So it appears that enough was enough for the 67 year old veteran manager. Whether he was insulted by the “play for pay” aspect of the contract or he had just had enough of Steinbrenner we may never know. What we do know is that we are now at the end of an era.
But I’m not sad. Simply put, Joe Torre was somewhat overrated as a manager. He was without a doubt the best I ever saw at dealing with the pressure cooker that is Zoo York. He seemed to have an uncanny ability to handle an incredible menagerie of personalities. But he didn’t do all that good a job of managing within the game itself. That’s not to say that he didn’t know what he was doing, he just came up a little bit short.
To this guy, who is A. a diehard Yankee fan (I still have vivid memories of crying my 9 year old eyes out as I watched Willie Randolph take a called strike three at the knees from the Royals Dan Quisenberry to end the ALCS in 1980) and B. a baseball junkie (it is not a game…it’s my religion mind you), the Yankee era took a turn for the worse when Don Zimmer left the franchise a few years back.
With both Torre and Zimmer (who then served as Torre’s bench coach/consigliere), the Yankees had the perfect marriage of both personnel management and baseball acumen. Torre served as the affable paternal figure of the team, keeping a steady hand on the rudder while Zim was Torre’s baseball encyclopedia come game time. Combined with the most storied franchise in sports, loaded with young talent and based in the nation’s largest market, their presence created a “perfect storm” of sorts. A storm that produced 5 world series appearances between 1996 and 2001, yielding 4 wins in the process.
But after watching Torre be outmanaged, and make no mistake the man made an inumerable amount questionable calls the last few years, by the likes of Terry Francona, Mike Sciosia, Jim Leyland and Eric Wedge the last four seasons it doesn’t sadden me to see the man go.
The entire modus operandi of the organization at this point is to get young and prepare for the future. Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy are just a few of the rising superstars the Yankees field. And with Humberto Sanchez, Eric Duncan, Jose Tabata (who has been described as a “Manny-esque” hitter by ESPN’s Peter Gammons) ready for the call-up when the Bombers open up their new stadium in 2009, it is only going to get better for the team.
Now is the right time to find a manager who is more of technician of sorts, to share their “baseball IQ” the youngsters. Whether the team chooses to go with someone like Tony LaRussa, a veritable Bobby Fischer in the dugout, as a bridge to fan favorite/Yankee legend Don Mattingly or goes with reigning National League Manager of the Year Joe Girardi, who played on those Yankee dynasty teams of the late 90′s (and squeezed 78 wins out of the 2006 Florida Marlins, in spite of a total payroll that was less than $15 million), remains to be seen.
All I know is it is going to be one hell of a winter in the Big Apple.
Is it just me or did I just witness a little slap action in a Red Sox game?
And nah, I’m not watching the incident with Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of the glove of Bronson Arroyo in 2004 on ESPN Classic. It’s the slapping attempt that no one is talking about. Not one soul on ESPN is talking about it, surprise surprise. Even when the incident happened, FOX didn’t even acknowledge it. Granted that’s because Tim McCarver can’t see past his bottle of Johnny Walker this time of year,but it doesn’t excuse the ommission. They all veered away from that one like we all do that “crazy uncle” at our family reunion.
I’m talking about the slapping attempt one Dustin Pedroia took at Victor Martinez in the top of the first inning of Game 4 of this years ALCS. And before any of you Massholes (that is a complex term describing diehard Red Sox fans in the greater Boston area fyi) try to claim he was just sliding into first to avoid the tag just look at his hands and then sing that song. Only Cecil Fielder and Greg Luzinski took the “belly flop” approach on a head first slide in recent years.
Pedroia is constantly being described by many to be a “scrappy player”, even earning the nickname “Scrappy Doo“, while A-Rod is vilified as a “choker” and “Mr. April”. I’m with you on all of that. However, none of that changes the obvious. Most sane people would call bullshit on a “media double-standard”.
When the A-Rod slap incident happened, the Yankee fan in me hoped against hope that the umpires got the original call “right” and A-Rod was safe at first. I shook off the slap attempt after the legal call was made and I didn’t think about it… that is, until FOX talked about it a bit after it happened. Then, the media picked up the story and ran with it. The incident still follows him, earning him the nickname “Slappy” from the Boston Dirt Dogs blog, and adding to the animosity he has received in the past few years.
In fact, if you quickly do a Google search on “Alex Rodriguez slap”, you will find numerous articles written by supposed professionals that were more than willing to pile on the corpse that was both A-Rod and the 2004 Yankees.
I watched the highlights of Game 4 of this year’s ALCS on ESPN a couple of times. There was no mention of Pedroia’s slap attempt. I was surprised then and am still surprised now on why this incident hasn’t gotten at least some coverage. There is no mention of it in the ESPN recap of the game and there was no mention on how Pedroia’s play was bush-league in any way. Yankee fans haven’t made a nickname for Pedroia yet (though “Slappy Doo” seems rather fitting), and unless the media chooses to run with the story, Pedroia’s A-Rod-like slap attempt will probably fade into the distance.
I understand that Pedroia isn’t exactly a lightning rod for animosity that Alex Rodriguez is. Pedroia is a rookie and some people may give him some slack for that. Not me. I refuse to give him any slack for that for two main reasons:
1. Anyone who has followed baseball, especially the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, can tell you about the A-Rod slap and the biggest post-season choke in baseball history. In fact, I am sure that Pedroia was one of the millions who watched Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. If you know something was illegal and you know that people all over the country (and world) are watching the game you’re playing in, why try and perform that action? I thought Dustin Pedroia would know better, but I guess not.
2. After sliding into second base, Alex Rodriguez allegedly took out the slap happy wee man at second base on May 21st that Pedroia characterized as “cheap.” Pedroia was quoted as saying this (from The Providence Journal):
“It was kind of late,” said Pedroia after the Sox’ 7-3 win. “He kind of threw an elbow. It was kind of cheap, but it was no big deal. I play second base and we play the Yankees 19 times. So I know now when he comes in to get my arm slot to drop to the floor.”
If Pedroia thought that slide was cheap, I wonder: what is his opinion on his own slapping attempt?
The fact of the matter is that the slapping attempt will most likely not get any more media coverage, aside from a few blogs here or there. It was the first batter of the game, and he was out at first base anyway. The attempt didn’t even make contact with Martinez’s glove. The Red Sox ended up losing 7-3 and, like the Yankees after the game with A-Rod’s slap attempt, the Red Sox are one game away from having a disappointing end to their season.
However, questions still arise from this: Why hasn’t the media cried foul against Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox for “cheating”? Could it be that ESPN, Fox and others have yet to get over their disdain for the Yankees? It doesn’t quite seem that way from where I sit.
Pedroia took a page out of A-Rod’s past history and made it his present. Dustin Pedroia’s play was indeed the definition of a “cheap play”, though I could guarantee that no one in Red Sox Nation (including ESPN’s headquarters that lie in the heart of said commonwealth) will acknowledge it as such. Double standard? Most likely. Bush-league? Without a doubt.