Factual Errors

Two mistakes are being made a lot around the New York City sportsworld today.  One is trivial, one is most certainly not.

The trivial one is that Rooney Mara, nominated for an Oscar for her role in “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” is the granddaughter of the Giants founder. It’s an easy mistake to make because everyone thinks Wellington Mara founded the Giants, but he didn’t, his father did.

There are a few nuggets of Giants history that don’t get a lot of press.  It is widely known that Tim Mara, the founder of the Giants, bought the franchise in 1925 for $500.  It is not as well known that he was a bookie.  I should note that bookmaking was legal at the time, but think about that one for a minute.

When Tim died in 1959, he left the team to his two sons, Wellington and Jack, each receiving 50%.  The brothers got along and worked well together, but Jack died in 1965 and left his share of the team to his son, Tim.  Tim and Wellington did not get along at all and the Giants fell into disrepair in the late 60’s and 70’s as the two owners feuded.  Things got so bad at this point that fans hired a plane to fly a banner reading- “Fifteen years of lousy football, we’ve had enough” over Giants Stadium and Pete Rozelle, the NFL Commissioner to put the Giants back on the path to winning.  It’s been a pretty happy time from there and while it may seem to current Giants fans that it all started with Wellington, we have to remember his father was the guy who actually bought the club 87 years ago.

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As for the more serious item, a lot of column inches are being devoted today to the idea that the Yankees treated Jorge Posada badly by not offering him a contract in 2012.  Before I argue that idea, I would like to link to my post on another site praising Jorge yesterday.  Please don’t take the following as a critique of Posada’s career, it is simply acknowledging the reality of where he is now.

Jorge hit .235/.315/.398 last year.  That would be above the league average for catchers in the AL, but Jorge can’t catch anymore. So, you stick him at DH where AL hitters went .266/.341/.430, far better than Jorge’s numbers.  Some will point out that Jorge exceeded those numbers when hitting against righties, and he certainly did (.269/.348/.466) but he is 40, can’t run or really play anywhere other than first and made $13 million last year. I simply can’t knock the Yankees for not wanting to offer him a new deal.

Even if you assume that he would perform at the same level as last year, how much would you offer him for that?  A couple of million at most I would think and what would Jorge think of that?  I think it is far better to do what the Yankees did.  They didn’t string him along, they made a smart business decision.  Jorge should understand that, don’t forget that he got the Yankees to go to four years on his last deal by flirting with the Mets. There’s nothing wrong with that and there’s nothing wrong with what the Yankees did.  They showed the respect they should for Jorge’s career with yesterday’s retirement ceremony and they showed baseball sense by not bringing him back for 2012.

 

 

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