If you needed further proof that all those carefully composed Steinbrenner "statements" PR guy Howard Rubenstein has been releasing all season were complete BS, the old Steinbrenner style will come as a refreshing smack in the face. On Torre:
"His job is on the line," the Yankees' owner said in a phone interview. "I think we're paying him a lot of money. He's the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don't think we'd take him back if we don't win this series."And the umpiring:
"The umpire was full of [expletive]," Steinbrenner said of the retiring Froemming.But, guys, even George is going easy on A-Rod:
"I think we'll re-sign him," Steinbrenner said of Rodriguez. "I think he's going to have a good run the rest of the [postseason]. I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this [postseason] is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he's up to it."So if you've been screaming for Rodriguez to be let go, just keep in mind that this makes you less patient than George Steinbrenner. Deep breaths!
Clemens, like Steinbrenner, became a larger-than-life figure a long time ago, and by now it's hard to separate the person from the hype. A lot of Yankee fans are conflicted about him -- unlike fans of other teams, who almost universally loathe him. But while you can argue endlessly about his personality, the endless retirement melodramas, the huge contracts, or the Mike Piazza Incident, there's no debating the fact that he's been one of the most dominant pitchers of his era, and very possible of all time. Just as Steinbrenner's been, like it or not, one of the most influential owners in sports.
This year, finally, despite flashes of dominance, Clemens hasn't been able to pitch like an ace, and Steinbrenner's no longer the feared, overbearing force he once was -- but apparently The Boss won't be going out quietly; we'll find out whether Clemens will in a few hours.