The New York Yankees lost yet another post season series last night, getting beat by a very good Cleveland Indians team. Boss from Hell George Steinbrenner was quoted in a New Jersey newspaper to the effect that Joe Torre would be fired as manager if the Yankees didn't win this series. Steinbrenner has a history of making these sorts of threats, not always backing them up. Even without a recent championship, the fans love Torre and want Steinbrenner to reconsider.
Many have noted that the Yankees, who were dominant in the late 1990s and early this decade, have not won a championship since acquiring Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a stand up guy, a wonderful hitter and apparently a good teammate, but his $25 million contract, still the largest in baseball, makes him a lightning rod for controversy and criticism.
It was my friend Amelia Rosner who pointed out to me what she thinks is the root cause of the Yankees recent woes. Don Mattingly played 14 seasons for the Yankees, from 1982 to 1995, in which time the Yanks never won a World Series. Mattingly was a very good hitter, though not as good as Rodriguez is now, and a fan favorite. Still, he holds the dubious distinction of the longest career in Yankee history without a single championship. When the Yanks acquired Rodriguez, they also hired Mattingly back as a coach, thus extending his time in a Yankee uniform with no rings.
Hey, George! I know you're the owner and all, but you might want to consider getting rid of the obvious jinx guy before unloading useful players or a very good manager. Just sayin'.
Now playing: Gene Pitney - Town Without Pity