Sunday, February 19, 2006

George Being George

I have barely talked about the WBC, but with not much else going on, I figured I'd chime in on the situation.

George is ticked off about his players joining the WBC, and I must say I actually agree with him. As Mike Vaccaro points out in his excellent piece in today's Post, the injury factor will loom large over the whole tournament. As a Red Sox fan, if Jason Varitek plays in the tournament and gets injured, I'll be mad as hell. To me, it would be as ridiculous as Aaron Boone's injury in a pickup basketball game: when compared to the 162-game season and October, both the WBC and Boone's pickup game are equally meaningless. And if Selig wants to spread baseball's PR, to that I say: charity begins at home. Get a salary cap, and give the fans in Pittsburgh and KC something to watch.

And George's position here is just Steinbrenner as usual: winning comes first. And last. And when it comes to telling his players not to waste their time in something which doesn't affect the standings, I agree with the guy. When it comes to spending $200 million and killing the small-market teams' chances, I can't stand the guy.

A few months ago, when New York Giants owner Wellington Mara died, the papers were full of praise for how the guy was good for the game, like this statement from USA Today:

But he also was the patriarch of the NFL, a man who was willing for more than 40 years to split the millions in television revenues he could have made in the nation's largest market with the Green Bays and Pittsburghs of the league.

Or as Paul Tagliabue said, "He always ensured that the Giants were one of the premier franchises in sports, but he kept the interests of the league at the forefront."

You sure as hell won't hear anything like that about George.

-- In other news, Pavano and Sturtze are starting off slowly; and if Curt Schilling can put his money where his mouth is, the Red Sox will be in excellent shape.

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