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  • Lasorda disagrees with Yanks owner

    Lasorda disagrees with Yanks owner
    03/05/2006 12:37 AM ET
    By Jim Street / MLB.com

    TOKYO -- The Goodwill Ambassador for the inaugural World Baseball Classic said New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is off base in his criticism of the event.
    "I would think George, who was one of the most patriotic people I have ever known, would be the first guy to endorse this and tell his players to play," former Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda said Sunday. "I am really surprised and disappointed that he hasn't done that."

    Steinbrenner's displeasure with the Classic was on display Saturday in Tampa, Fla., where a sign posted near the customer service booth explained to fans attending the Yankees' Grapefruit League game against the Reds that it wasn't the Yankees fault that Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Bernie Williams weren't available.

    Rodriguez, Jeter and Damon are members of Team USA, which is training for the Classic in Phoenix, Ariz., while Williams is with the team representing Puerto Rico.

    The sign read, in part, "We are sorry that certain players will not be present for portions of Spring Training. These players have selected to participate in the World Baseball Classic. The World Baseball Classic is an event sanctioned by the commissioner of Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association. The New York Yankees did not vote to support this event. Any comments you have regarding the World Baseball Classic should be directed to the commissioner of Major League Baseball or the Major League Players Association."

    Lasorda, who has spent the past four days in Tokyo attending the first round of the three-week, 16-team tournament, returns to the United States on Monday and said one of the first things he'll do is meet with Team USA.

    "I want to tell those players how proud I am for doing what they're doing for their country, because I did it," he said. "I didn't take that [managerial] job in the 2000 Olympics for the Dodgers or the Yankees. I took that job because I wanted to do something for my country and help bring the gold medal back to where it belongs, in the United States.

    "That's why I took that job, and we did it. We brought that medal back with us."

    Team USA defeated heavily favored Cuba in the championship game in Sydney, and Lasorda was so thrilled about it that he said winning that medal was more meaningful than winning the World Series.

    "I did it for my country and I am still very proud of that," Lasorda said. "When the Italians asked me to be a coach for them in this Classic, I told them, 'I don't ever manage or coach a team against the United States of America. No way.'"

    Lasorda said if he posted a sign, it would say: "God Bless America and God bless those players who are there.

    "I don't agree with George and don't know what prompted him to do that [post the sign]," Lasorda added. "I love this event and we're seeing history being made. I'm excited, and it's going to be even better three years from now."

    The World Baseball Classic is the first time Major League players are participating in an Olympic-style event. The next Classic is scheduled for 2009 and the plan thereafter is to stage it every four years.

    Steinbrenner's major issue appears to be the chance of one or more of his star players being injured.

    "If a player gets hurt," Steinbrenner recently said, "he's risking a lot."

    But MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said injuries can happen at any time, any place.

    "You mean guys don't get injured in Spring Training?" Selig told The Associated Press. "Guys get hurt walking down the street. All the managers, pitching coaches [are] very sensitive. Look, you can always pick at something, but there's a broader picture, a grander picture."

    Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, who also is attending the first round being played at the Tokyo Dome, suggested that Steinbrenner should reserve judgment.

    "The focus should be on who is here, not who isn't here," O'Malley said. "The focus should be on the players representing their countries. I think a great deal of credit should go to those players."

    O'Malley, who has been involved in international baseball for 50 years, said the World Baseball Classic, "Is going to become a great event, in time."

    This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

  • #2
    The Goodwill Ambassador for the inaugural World Baseball Classic said New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is off base in his criticism of the event.
    "I would think George, who was one of the most patriotic people I have ever known, would be the first guy to endorse this and tell his players to play," former Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda said Sunday. "I am really surprised and disappointed that he hasn't done that."
    I'm not surprised. George cares more about the investment of money in his players and organization than pride of country. I can understand why Steinbrenner believes this, but I still think he's wrong.
    46 wins to match last year's total

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    • #3
      George has been a major supporter of the Olympics in the past, and his patriotic credentials are good. But yes, it sure looks like his investment value trumps national pride.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Andruw
        Lasorda disagrees with Yanks owner
        03/05/2006 12:37 AM ET
        By Jim Street / MLB.com

        TOKYO -- The Goodwill Ambassador for the inaugural World Baseball Classic said New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is off base in his criticism of the event.
        "I would think George, who was one of the most patriotic people I have ever known, would be the first guy to endorse this and tell his players to play," former Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda said Sunday. "I am really surprised and disappointed that he hasn't done that."

        .
        Equating the WBC with patriotism is ludicrous at best and tasteless at worst.

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        • #5
          I am no fan of the WBC and while I think Steinbrenner has been a poison to the game I think he is right on this one.
          Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by VIBaseball
            George has been a major supporter of the Olympics in the past, and his patriotic credentials are good. But yes, it sure looks like his investment value trumps national pride.
            He's the kind of guy that likes danger, but not enough to get any on himself.
            "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
            Carl Yastrzemski

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            • #7
              If Lasorda were still an active manager would he still be so gungho on the WBC? If he wants to see patriotism, let him & the WBCers visit VA Hospitals & maybe Iraq in the off-season. Brownie31

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Brownie31
                If Lasorda were still an active manager would he still be so gungho on the WBC? If he wants to see patriotism, let him & the WBCers visit VA Hospitals & maybe Iraq in the off-season. Brownie31
                What..and miss thier tee-off times?
                "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                Carl Yastrzemski

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lasorda disagrees with Yanks owner

                  Originally posted by Brownie31
                  If Lasorda were still an active manager would he still be so gungho on the WBC? If he wants to see patriotism, let him & the WBCers visit VA Hospitals & maybe Iraq in the off-season. Brownie31
                  Right on Brownie 31, this WBC is the most ridiculous thing major league baseball has done, they could do better things with there time then playing in this WBC.
                  Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame, a true Hall of Famer.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VIBaseball
                    George has been a major supporter of the Olympics in the past, and his patriotic credentials are good. But yes, it sure looks like his investment value trumps national pride.
                    Short-term investment value. If the WBC is a success, it will benefit MLB teams in the long run.
                    BOSTON RED SOX WORLD CHAMPIONS 19031912191519161918 20042007

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kramer_47
                      Right on Brownie 31, this WBC is the most ridiculous thing major league baseball has done, they could do better things with there time then playing in this WBC.
                      Yeah, like getting a couple of at-bats in exhibitions and workouts in and playing golf, just like they usually do.
                      46 wins to match last year's total

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SamtheBravesFan
                        I'm not surprised. George cares more about the investment of money in his players and organization than pride of country. I can understand why Steinbrenner believes this, but I still think he's wrong.
                        You can bet Steinbrenner won't be turning down any additional merchandise/apparel revenue derived from overseas markets as a result of the WBC. The hypocrite!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brownie31
                          If Lasorda were still an active manager would he still be so gungho on the WBC? If he wants to see patriotism, let him & the WBCers visit VA Hospitals & maybe Iraq in the off-season. Brownie31
                          I just saw a WBC commercial that pissed me off. Roger Clemens said "I'll be there for my country, will you be there for yours?"

                          Yeah Roger I was, from 1983 until 1987. Unlike the WBC, it wasn't a game. I think wrapping a money making scheme in the flag is just wrong.

                          I'd like to see all the people spouting patriotic rhetoric about the WBC, take said rhetoric and shove it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wamby,

                            You clearly have some sort of chip on your shoulder about all of this.

                            Do you object categorically to any sports played on behalf of nations, or just on behalf of the US? Do you also object to American flags on uniforms? The playing of the national anthem before games? Can any American support American teams, or can only people like you who have apparently served in the military?

                            It seems to me that either you are in a tiny minority of people who are opposed to the international competition in any form, whether it be the WBC, Olympics, World Cup, Ryder Cup, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Tennis World Team Cup, America's Cup, Basketball World Championship, Hockey World Chamionships, Hockey World Cup (Canada Cup), Copa America, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup, The Rugby League World Cup, The Ashes (Rugby), The Tri Nations, The Pacific Cup, The Pacific Rim Championship, Mediterranean Cup, The European Nations Cup, The Ashes (Cricket), The Cricket World Cup, or Cricket Test Matches, or you are simply opposed to Americans routing for the US. The former makes you an out-of-touch member of the flat-earth society. The latter means that you have some deeper problem that should best be remedied elsewhere.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bonus
                              Wamby,

                              You clearly have some sort of chip on your shoulder about all of this.

                              Do you object categorically to any sports played on behalf of nations, or just on behalf of the US? Do you also object to American flags on uniforms? The playing of the national anthem before games? Can any American support American teams, or can only people like you who have apparently served in the military?

                              It seems to me that either you are in a tiny minority of people who are opposed to the international competition in any form, whether it be the WBC, Olympics, World Cup, Ryder Cup, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Tennis World Team Cup, America's Cup, Basketball World Championship, Hockey World Chamionships, Hockey World Cup (Canada Cup), Copa America, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup, The Rugby League World Cup, The Ashes (Rugby), The Tri Nations, The Pacific Cup, The Pacific Rim Championship, Mediterranean Cup, The European Nations Cup, The Ashes (Cricket), The Cricket World Cup, or Cricket Test Matches, or you are simply opposed to Americans routing for the US. The former makes you an out-of-touch member of the flat-earth society. The latter means that you have some deeper problem that should best be remedied elsewhere.
                              Let me answer your questions in order:

                              1) I don't really care about sports played on behalf of a country. What I do care bout is wrapping a money making scheme with a flag. I think wrapping yourself in the flag for any purpose is distasteful. I think real patriotism is shown by some measure of sacrifice. I think the type of patriotism esposed by LaSorda and others is just empty rhetoric. It's similar to when athletes are called warriors. Athletes on the field may be a lot of things but one thing they are not is warriors.

                              2) I do not like seeing flags on uniforms.

                              3) I wouldn't be sad if playing the national anthem before a sporting event was eliminated.

                              4) I don't think playing for an American team should be equated with patriotism. I don't really care if people support Team USA. I just won't be one that does.

                              5) I don't follow or care about any of the international events you mentioned. The only sprt I do follow or care anything about is baseball and I don't care about any baseball but Major League Baseball.

                              I guess my deep problem is that I don't like enough sports and don't care about sports in other parts of the world.

                              On the world stage I am more interested in politics then in sports. There isn't a single sporting event, outside of snippets of the WBC, that you couldn't me to watch. From what little I've seen of the WBC it is not holding my interest.

                              When I hear ballplayers say things like 'I now have a way to do something for my country.' I have to laugh. There are other things they could be doing.
                              Last edited by wamby; 03-07-2006, 03:43 PM.

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