October 31, 2014

Tommy Lasorda Recovering After Bacterial Infection

Apparently, Tommy Lasorda just spent four days in the hospital for a bacterial infection. The Special Advisor to McCourt is expected to make a full recovery but spent four days at USC Medical Center and is now on bedrest at his home.

Get better soon, Tommy!

Torre, Mattingly Share Thoughts on the Passing of George Steinbrenner

The death of George Steinbrenner (1930-2010) this morning at the age of 80 made me reflect on how great an owner he was for the New York Yankees.  Yes, he was controversal in more ways than one, but he delivered results, restored glory to the Yankee organization and changed the way baseball was run with the introduction of revenue sharing.

As the McCourt divorce continues to slowly (and excrutiatingly) plays out, I’m reminded of how great ownership can truly shape the direction of a franchise.

Following are quotes from those within the Dodgers organization that knew George Steinbrenner best (quotes courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers PR staff):

“George was a friend who I admired very much.  He was a giant in our game and he built an empire.  All he was was a winner.  He wanted to give the fans a winner, and that’s exactly what he did.” 

– Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda

“I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian and a dear friend.  I will be forever grateful that he trusted me with his Yankees for 12 years. My heart goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed in New York, Tampa and throughout the world of baseball. It’s only fitting that he went out as a world champ.”

– Dodger Manager Joe Torre

“I am deeply saddened to hear the news of George Steinbrenner’s passing.  His vision, passion and commitment to winning, recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game.

I remember a man driven to succeed.   He was the owner, “The Boss” and number one fan of the Yankees.  Our relationship was built on mutual respect.  I will never forget and always be grateful for how he treated me and my family both during my playing days and after I retired.

I will miss him very much and extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and all the members of the Steinbrenner family.”           

– Dodger Hitting Coach Don Mattingly

“George Steinbrenner was the first owner to contact me to congratulate me when I purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers.  From that day forward we built a strong and meaningful friendship.  He was a larger than life owner who cared deeply about winning.  George helped shape the game of baseball during his incredible stewardship of the Yankees.  My deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Joan and his four children, Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica and the entire Steinbrenner family.”

– Dodger Owner Frank McCourt

Rest in Peace, George Steinbrenner!

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

One Year Later, Kerwin Danley’s Head is Ringing Again

The dodgerfan faithful will remember an article published a little over a year ago citing the Kerwin Danley incident and the power of the World Umpires Association.

Danley was the unfortunate soul who was beaned by an errant pitch and briefly hospitalized as a result of his injuries. Almost one year later, Danley was again the unfortunate recipient of a high speed projectile…this time in the form of a shattered bat to the head on April 21st.

Danley certainly seems to be having his share of bad luck these days. Interestingly enough, the World Umpires Association seems to be quiet this time on the topic of umpire injuries (whereas they seemed downright litigious only a year ago). MLB officials are vigorously tracking the incidents of broken bats and note that they are down from approximately 1 broken bat per game to only 0.8 bats per game.

Some sports are actually seeing more injuries as competition increases. Just this week, cricket umpires in India have indicated that umpires may need to move to wearing baseball helmets to protect themselves.

Even former Dodger manager and current advisor Tommy Lasorda has been stung by a broken bat – remember the 2001 All-Star game?

My question is – have any steps been taken to improve the protection from bats and wild pitches for umpires and other “at risk” employees of MLB? A year ago, the focus was all on restitution. No one was speaking seriously about revamping protection for umpires and others to ensure a greater level of safety when bats and balls go wild. A year later, it seems as if it is still considered an acceptable loss if the occasional player or on- field personnel…unless your name happens to be Mr. or Mrs. Kerwin Danley.

Lasorda Takes The Bus To Spring Training in Arizona

dodger_trolleyTommy Lasorda has decided to take the old-school route to spring training, hopping a tour bus from Dodger Stadium to the Dodgers’ new Spring Training home, Camelback Ranch – Glendale.

There are just two stops on the itinerary – a 76 station for gas and a Carl’s Jr. for lunch. Product placement and sponsors are cheering the event (obviously).

What is unknown is how the Dodgers front office will keep Lasorda away from such cardiac nightmares as the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger that reside on the Carls Jr. menu. Also unknown is whether Mrs. Lasorda has been invited with promises of a “steak dinner” (hope Tommy has seen how that story turns out in the recent ads).

Tommy “Sings”

 

Here’s the link to Tommy’s rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” from Wrigley (the photo is from a different event).  Enjoy!