Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Hank Steinbrenner - JUST SHUT UP!

ESPN radio hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic used to do a weekly feature on their popular Mike & Mike in the Morning program where they would give out the "Just Shut Up" award. This award was given to a sports personality who either ran their mouth too much, said something stupid, or both. In the spirit of Mike & Mike's award today's entry is directed to Yankees Co-Chairperson Harold "Hank" Steinbrenner. Hey Hank, JUST SHUT UP!

I will preface my comments by letting everyone know that I am a lifelong American League fan and I am not a Yankees hater. I like watching many of the current Yankees play and through the years I have enjoyed many games at Yankee Stadium. But there is no defense for Hank Steinbrenner's latest whining to the press. His comments directed toward the National League were out of line.

Last Sunday Yankees pitching ace Chien-Ming Wang injured his foot running the bases against the Houston Astros. The injury is serious and Wang will not be able to pitch until September. Most general managers and owners would accept what happened and move forward because injuries are a part of baseball that all clubs must deal with. But Hank Steinbrenner didn't accept the injury. Instead he unloaded to reporters. His comments as reported in the USA Today:

My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century.....They need to grow up and join the 21st century. Am I (mad) about it? Yes, I've got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He's going to be out. I don't like that, and it's about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s."

The rule that Steinbrenner is referring too is the one that doesn't allow American League teams to use the designated hitter when an interleague game is played in a National League stadium. When an AL team plays in an NL park their players must play the complete game of baseball. All players in the lineup must play a defensive position on the field and hit and the run the bases when up to bat. Wang was injured playing the game of baseball Hank. The rule might have originated in the 1800s but 16 of 30 MLB teams and millions of fans still believe the DH needs to be removed from the game. Even though the rule has been around since the 19th century, until it is changed it still applies to all AL teams in the 21st century when they visit a NL city. Here is a suggestion for Hank Steinbrenner and the Yankees. Instead of complaining to the press Steinbrenner needs to accept that his pitcher is injured and, along with GM Brian Cashman, needs to find a way for the Yankees to overcome the injury to a key player.

Good luck to the Yankees as they fight to overtake the Red Sox in the AL East. I hope they are able to do it because I don't want another year of Red Sox nation dominating the post season. But regardless of how things turn out Hank Steinbrenner needs to "JUST SHUT UP!"

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