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A Lesson for Donald Trump from the Bronx Zoo
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Continuing with the Steinbrenner-Trump parallels, a reader points to this recent Sports Illustrated story about what happened to Steinbrenner’s feuding, tabloid-addicted New York Yankees on August 9, 1978, when the Yankees trailed the Boston Red Sox by 8.5 games. Steinbrenner was just about to fire a bunch of front office George Costanza-like employees over what Billy Martin had just said about Reggie Jackson, but then he decided to delay pulling the trigger to see how the headlines in the papers would play it.

But there were no headlines because the New York Daily News, Post, and Times all went on strike that night and stayed on strike through the rest of the regular season. With no newspaper headlines to play up their internal disagreements, the team came together, went 37-14 the rest of the way, beat the Red Sox in a famous 1 game playoff (the Bucky Dent homer), and beat the L.A. Dodgers to win their second straight world championship.

The Untold Story of the Yankees’ Stunning Rally in ’78

The story you know: 40 years ago, the Yankees rallied from 14 games back to overtake the Red Sox. The one you don’t: key to their revival was a New York newspaper strike that calmed the Bronx Zoo, brought the team’s focus back to baseball—and heralded a change in American life.
By Tom Verducci
September 19, 2018

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  1. istevefan says:

    For those interested, here is the Keith Jackson call on ABC for the Bucky Dent HR

  2. asdf says:

    What’s Trump’s takeaway here? Don’t fire anyone? Act like the media is on strike?

  3. J.Ross says: • Website

    So stopping the presses at the New York Times saved jobs and gave us multiple baseball awards and the NYRB? What would a power outage at the Bezos Blog give us?

  4. Fans now look back very fondly at Steinbrenner, but I seem to remember a majority of Yankees fans hated him during the 70s and 80s. My impression is that they coalesced around him after his suspension in the early 90s. Then, as he got older and sicker, fans really began to love him.

    His son and successor seems to have Asperger’s. He decided to knock down Yankee stadium and really had no clue as to why some longtime fans might have an emotional attachment to the old stadium. Steinbrenner’s daughter is the charmer.

    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    , @Dtbb
    , @dvorak
  5. @william munny

    The old stadium was the House that Ruth Built.

    The new stadium is the House that Greed Built.

    The biggest difference is the much larger number of high-price luxury boxes.

    This is why the ONLY sports team I support is the Green Bay Packers. EVERY other sports team wants more luxury boxes, so they saddle the taxpayers with the cost of a new stadium. For example, one of the many reasons why I will vote against Scott Walker is he took $250 million away from the University of Wisconsin and gave it to the Milwaukee Bucks. Socialize the costs, privatize the profits.

  6. Back in the late 80s I had a Japanese friend who was a big Yankees fan. He said the Yankees, Steinbrenner, and the Yankees fans reminded him of his beloved Hiroshima team. The Hiroshima fans, it seems, don’t go for the typical Japanese politeness.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  7. It was interesting to see what Reggie Jackson had to say about Steinbrenner after Jackson retired.

    Jackson later said he regretted his feud with Steinbrenner, since they both finally realized that they were both passionate about winning.

  8. Dtbb says:
    @william munny

    Didn’t the Yankees play a couple of years in Shea while Yankee Stadium was totally gutted into something it wasn’t anyway?

  9. @Paleo Liberal

    The Hiroshima fans, it seems, don’t go for the typical Japanese politeness

    I can imagine the Nagasaki fans wouldn’t, either.

    Supposedly the Hanshin Tigers have the most traditional fan base in Japan. They have the third oldest ballpark in the majors, too:

    But yes, a Hiroshima fan would be attracted to the Yankees, as they had plenty to Carp about.

    • LOL: Paleo Liberal
  10. @Paleo Liberal

    …gave it to the Milwaukee Bucks.

    In northwest Wisconsin, along the Minnesota border, Packer gear is everywhere. Brewer kit is more sporadic, and competes with the Twins’. The Bucks are completely absent. Basketball is something you watch the local white kids do in the high-school gym. (Bucks are prey!)

    These folks are typical of Walker’s base. Ironically, the Bucks would be supported mostly by Democrats.

    The Packers, by the way, played almost half of about sixty seasons of home games in Milwaukee, most of those in County Stadium, which was the 1950s version of the process you describe. It was meant to draw the Browns back from St Louis. (Their first season, 1901, was in Milwaukee.) Instead, they got the Braves from Boston. Today, more of the Boston ballpark survives than the Milwaukee one.

    Actually, Lambeau is younger than County– the NFL forced Green Bay to build a new one to stay in the league.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  11. The difference between Steinbrenner and Trump is that Steinbrenner wasn’t a real New Yorker. Trump is. Steinbrenner tried to act the part, but the accent was all wrong and he just sounded like a hyper, loudmouthed Clevelander. Of course, Trump’s effortless alpha cool makes him beloved in Cleveland and the rest of the Midwest.

  12. @Paleo Liberal

    The new stadium is better than the old one. Better food, better sight lines, more attractive overall. The tunnels of the old stadium smelled like piss. Of course, there are lots of people who like the smell of piss. They’re the same people who preferred the Lower East Side when it was filled with heroin addicts and Times Square when it was all peep shows and Ratso Rizzo.

    Also, about greed: people complain that the Yanks got tax breaks in building the new stadium. So does every other team. So does the child abusing Catholic Church and every synagogue that recommends that the U.S. spend billions supporting a violent ethnostate. So, basically, spare me.

  13. @Reg Cæsar

    The way Walker got the taxpayer gift to the Brewers through the state legislature was interesting.

    Originally it was going to be part of the general tax and spending bill. The trouble is, no Democrats would vote for the tax and spending bill, and several Republicans in the rural part of the state (esp. near the NW part of the state) refused to vote for the bill unless the funding for the Bucks was removed.

    So the funding for the Bucks was removed from the tax and spending bill. It passed on a party-line vote.

    Then there was a SECOND bill to find the Bucks. Democrats from the Milwaukee area voted aye, while the aforementioned rural Republicans voted nay, and the Bucks bill passed.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  14. … their second straight world championship.

    Either baseball abroad is close to parity to the majors, or it is not. Either way, it is tacky to refer to the World Series winner as “world champion”.

    MLB, for all its faults, doesn’t do this anymore. I’ve been told that the post-season games are called “league championship series” for legal reasons. They are not, by definition, playoffs, and it would be inviting a lawsuit or FTC action to refer to them as such.

  15. @Paleo Liberal

    Walker is shrewd, I’ll say that. Does the capitol building spin on its axis? The layout would suggest that. Though I do like the way it points right to the pasty shop at one corner.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  16. @Reg Cæsar

    That pasty shop, Teddywedgers, is a great Madison institution. They popularized the Cornish Pasty, from Mineral Point. I’ve been there many times.

    As the article says, Teddywedgers comes from one of the names the Cornish miners had for themselves. Most famously, the miners used to carve caves homes out of rocks, calling themselves badgers. This is how Wisconsin became known as the Badger State.

    To this day, there are still Cornish flags flown in Mineral Point. The most famous company in SW Wisconsin, Lands End, was named after a place in Cornwall.

  17. Regarding the 1970s Yankees, I have it on good authority that some people didn’t think it done been like it was, but it done.

  18. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    The crazy communist university of Wisconsin should be shut down and every commie employee should be sent to the gulag.

  19. dvorak says:
    @william munny

    His son and successor seems to have Asperger’s.

    Add him to the list of simply-awful-heirs in pro sports:
    Joe Buck
    Jim Buss
    Jeanie Buss
    Brian France
    Jed York
    Mark Davis

    Just execrable goddamn f*ckups.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  20. @dvorak

    Add him to the list of simply-awful-heirs in pro sports:
    Jeanie Buss

    The May 1995 issue of Playboy begs to differ. She was 33.

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