The Baseball Exchange

Little Piece of Brain Leaves With Sportwriter by red

Possibly one of the most idiotic articles I’ve ever seen in the New York Times, this dandy was written by William Rodhen, called “Little Piece of Yankees leaves with Legends.” You know by the title it’s going to be bad.

This is from the same man who, after pointing out that absolutely no one wants to see the legend that is Joe Torre go, that those who do are, well, idiots, and explained that the proper way to rate a manager was by the number of world series he won flat-out, he suggested the Yankee hire Dusty Basker. DUSTY BAKER. Then promptly insinuated not only that all loyal Yankee fans are white, but insulted everyone who isn’t African-American and a Yankee fan by saying this:

Would loyal Yankees fans accept a manager of color? Loyal Yankees fans want to get back to the World Series, and that is not going to happen with the team as it is currently configured.

Thankfully, he said that they would accept “a manager of color,” but only because there is no other option with the team “as it is configured.” Seriously, why the hell did he even bring this up?

Now, he’s written this unappetizing column all about that “Little Piece” of the entire Yankee soul that has left, leaving the Yankees a disgusting, disrespectful, classless, ugly, godless organization. Yeah, that’s it. Now let’s break it down:

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. – A line began forming outside the Yogi Berra Museum at 11:30 yesterday morning. By noon, despite the rain and chill, the line had expanded to more than 100. By 2:30, nearly 1,000 fans had lined up and passed through the museum to have Don Mattingly sign copies of his new book, “Hitting Is Simple.” There were toddlers in strollers, teenagers, young adults, and men and women who had been Yankee fans for decades. They wanted to say hello and goodbye to a favorite son, the beloved Donnie Baseball.

OK, I can see that. Like everyone else, it’s amazing to meet a legend like Mattingly, looks like he’s got a good book even if the title is an oxymoron, it all sounds like a good time.

The overcast skies and somber receiving line gave the event the feel of a wake,


though in fact it was a celebration of a new life for Mattingly, who will be going to Los Angeles with Joe Torre to be part of a rebuilding process with the Dodgers.

I love this part. He’s talking throughout the article about how awful it is that Mattingly and Torre are leaving the Yankees, yet he says right here, it’s a “celebration” for Mattingly. The guy’s happy. Legends deserve to be happy, right?

In a stunning turn of events, Torre, the Yankee manager since 1996, was named manager of the Dodgers last week. Mattingly, passed over for the job Torre vacated, will be the Dodgers’ bench coach. In honor of Yogi Berra, the Yankees’ legendary catcher, Mattingly will wear No. 8 in Los Angeles.

Stunning. I’ve never seen a manager switch jobs before. Or a bench coach. What’s more stunning is honor – something the Yankees blatantly throw away like candy wrappers. I mean, seriously – who doesn’t love to lick the peanut butter of a Reeses wrapper? The Yankees, obviously. The Yankees have gone out and have publicly showed their distrust in Joe Torre, Joe Girardi, and peanut butter.

“For me, Don Mattingly was the Yankee I looked up to when I was growing up in the ’80s,” Mark Gioia, 32, said as he emerged from the museum. “He came with Torre. They brought in a successful era.

That’s funny. Donnie’s last year was 1995… Joe Torre was hired a year later in 1996… Mattingly became the hitting coach in 2004, three years after the last Yankee championship… Torre never managed Mattingly, and Mattingly never was part of any “successful era…” But let’s not get facts in the way. Whatever floats your mourning boat.

“Now the Yankees are going in a new direction. I don’t know if that means they’re going forward or it’s back to the way it was in the late 1980s.”

They’re going backwards, trust me. Who cares if they’ve got one of the best offenses in baseball, a solid bullpen, an extremely talented rotation full of promise and depth, one of the best new managers in the game, and that they’re going after both of the biggest names on the major league trading block, both on pace to be hall of famers? It’s all about honor. And hatred of peanut butter.

Only time will tell, but my sense is that this organization has lost part of its soul. Something of value has moved.

I think I know what happened. George Steinbrenner woke up one morning and called his son Hank. So George says, he says, “Hank, my boy, who cares about winning? Never liked it anyway. Let’s just destroy this orginization and turn it into a… a whatsit… a disgusting, disrespectful, classless, ugly, godless organization. Yeah, that’s it.”

And Hank says, he says, “Sounds swell pop. Let’s fire Mr. T first. Then hire the worst possible manager out there… Joe Girardi seems sucky. That will influence Donnie to move over to wherever Torre is fired, thus losing a little piece of the Yankees soul and heart when these legends leave.”

And George replies, “Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

Seems simple to me. What does Mr. Rhoden think?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most devastating episodes in New York City sports history: the departures of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers for California. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the Giants to San Francisco for the 1958 season, delivering a blow that many New Yorkers 60 and older will never forget.

No, this is not from a separate article. Rhoden has gone out and written a complete non-sequitur. I mean, from the leaving of Yankee coaches to the leaving of two New York baseball teams? Wait, you surely don’t mean the leaving of some of the greatest franchises in baseball history compares to the leaving of…

Ray and Marcella Doherty were among the fans who stood in line to say hello and goodbye to Mattingly. Ray Doherty was 23 when the Dodgers and the Giants left town. “I felt terrible,” he said. “I thought they gave New York City a bum deal. It was crushing. Crushing.”

For many of these fans, the feelings of betrayal and emptiness have been difficult to convey to their children and grandchildren.

Until now.

Oh, god. Rhoden is comparing the leaving of two entire sports team and stranding millions of loyal fans to two coaches leaving to another team while the team they left is perfectly capable of being a possibly great team.

Fifty years after the Giants and the Dodgers moved West, the Yankees are losing a team as well.

It’s like a chain reaction. The loss of two coaches results in the loss of 25 players. 40 counting the inactive roster.

Aaah, but you might that is innacurate. That’s not Mr. Rhoden’s point at all. This is his point:

Loss of two coaches results in the loss of 25 players’ hearts.

Damn you Joe Girardi. A heartless schmuck is what you are.

While the franchise is not going anywhere, the team of dreams is moving: Roger Clemens is moving back to Houston,

And this is the Yankees fault… how? He’s like 80 years old. He’s retired. He lives in Texas, so it seems like he’d rather be with his family than traveling to New York.

Alex Rodriguez is moving to the highest bidder.

Wait, A-Rod was part of “the team of dreams”? Cool. I guess if never reaching the World Series is part of your dream…

Torre and Mattingly are moving to California to be Dodgers.

Again, how was Mattingly part of this “team of dreams”? He retired in ’95, started coaching in 2004.

Now a younger generation of Yankee fans will get a whiff of what the emotional tumult must have been like a half-century ago.

A shout out to all my fellow youth. Yo. So… have you been experiencing this emotional tumult this dude is talking about? I know I haven’t.

Ray Schulte, Mattingly’s agent and a lifelong Yankee fan, conceded that he was still disoriented. “It’s going to be strange looking at him in that Dodgers uniform for the first time,” Schulte said. “I still have problems imagining Joe and Donnie in uniforms other than the Yankees’.”

I see where you’re going. I could never see Mattingly in another uniform. Never been a part of any other organization other than the Yankees. And Torre? It’s not like he’s ever played and managed for the Braves, Cardinals, or Mets.

Jim Rosenthal, the co-author of “Hitting Is Simple” and another lifelong Yankee fan, called the departures of Torre and Mattingly “an ugly blow to Yankees fans.”

“With Torre and Mattingly in Los Angeles,” Rosenthal said, “I’m going to root for the Dodgers; I’m not going to root for the Yankees — I think there are a lot of people who feel like that.”

This is possibly the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard. Seriously, Torre and Mattingly leave and now you’re not going to root for the Yankees? I’m surprised you could even call yourself a Yankee fan in the first place. What did they do, murder your mother?

Oh, they did? Oh. Sorry about that. Seriously? I’ve never heard of that. Oh, it was in your dreams. A nightmare. Well, that sucks. You dream about the Yankees murdering your mother? That’s weird. Anyway…

Mike Kozma is not one of them. Kozma, another fan, left the museum in a huff, cursing under his breath. The museum had run out of books and I heard Kozma putting a hex on the Dodgers — something about hoping they get buried next season.

Now this is my kind of guy. Knows when to use appropriate magic. A hex is entirely suitable at this point in time. I mean, seriously, when has a hex not worked?

I asked him whether the departures of Mattingly and Torre left him with an empty feeling.

They did not.

“Things change, that’s the way it is in baseball,” he said. “The history goes on.”

Thank you! Times change and you’ve got to learn to live with that. The Yankees made a perfectly acceptable decision in choosing to move on with a new manager. I applaud Mr. Rhoden for being unbiased and showing both sides of the issue.

Doherty wouldn’t go as far as comparing the loss of Torre and Mattingly to the loss of the Dodgers and the Giants. At least the Yankees are in New York.

In other words, the Yanks are still a… a whatsit… a disgusting, disrespectful, classless, ugly, godless organization. Yeah, that’s it. But at least they’re still in New York. Way to stay unbiased.

“We’re only losing one arm,” he said. “We still have two legs and an arm.”

With all due respect, an arm is still an arm and a 12-year postseason run under Torre is over.

With all due respect. Basically a way of saying, “I’m trying not to make you mad, but… you are completely, utterly, totally, and completely wrong.” So…

With all due respect Mr. Rhoden, I think we have more than grown back that arm with a perfectly suitable if not possibly great manager in Joe Girardi. Basically, you are completely, utterly, totally, and completely wrong.

Rhoden, interestingly enough, never mentions Girardi in the article. I wonder if he truly hate Girardi and is trying to be polite by not mentioning how awful a manager is, or perhaps he forgot he existed. Even if you don’t love Girardi, he’s still a capable manager. You’ve got to admit at least half of the arm has grown back, if not all the way or more than all the way.

Generations of young New York baseball fans often wondered what it must have felt like to have a baseball team up and leave with your heart.

I know I did! All the time!

Now they’ll know.

And thus one of the crappiest articles ever to grace the pages of the New York Times concludes. I’ve often wondered how it is to read something, then have your mind dangerously close to explosion.

Now I’ll know.


Note: Seeing as the author was permanently paralyzed after the reading of the article, this entry was written entirely via telepathy. The author is not retired, and does not own a dog. He does love Peanut Butter and Reeses cups, even the their wrappers.


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