April 13, 2008

Bronx's Big Dig: After 5 Hours, Sox Shirt Found

New York Post:
After reading about the traitorous act in The Post, the two workers approached a construction manager and said they remembered [Gino] Castignoli, who only worked at the Stadium one day, and thought they knew where he must have placed the shirt. ...

After the hardhats pointed to the spot, workers brought out jackhammers and dug furiously for five hours, creating a 2-foot- by-3-foot, gravel-filled pit in their search for the tainted threads.

They spotted the jersey at 3:25 p.m. and called Yankee brass. The cursed shirt was about two feet deep in cement. ...

"I hope his coworkers kick the s--- out of him," said George's boy [Hank], who now runs the team with his brother Hal.
Mr. Hankee assured worried Yankee fans that the buried jersey would not have cursed the franchise, calling it a "bunch of bullshit". Castignoli countered:
So, then, why is he making such a big stink about it? If it's no big deal, why not let it lay? Apparently, it's bothering him. Tell Hank he can come meet me if he wants to try -- and tell him to bring Posada, because he's the one Yankee I can't stand.


Jason Adams said...

Wow, too funny. The best part though is it took 4 reporters to write the story.

NYC is so full of itself. And Hank is such a tool.

allan said...

NYC is so full of itself.

Being the greatest city in the world will cause that sometimes. Don't be ragging on NYC.

Jack Marshall said...

Class act, that Hank...advocating assault and battery (for an admittedly stupid prank and, I'd say,an unethical thing to do to one's employer, silly or not).

But does anyone doubt that the Sox would dig up a Yankee jersey under similar circumstances? Be respectful to NYC---after all, it's going to have to live with missing the play-offs this season.....

Jere said...

Good call to invite Posada along. I stood on line next to him at a ColdStone once--I could've taken that shrimp.

"NYC is so full of itself."

Really doesn't even make sense to this story even if you are an NYC-hater. And also, do people realize that any time something pro-Yankee happens, that all the Mets fans (well, most) are just as pissed about it as we Sox fans are? And they're New Yorkers.

If you're gonna compare "Yankee attitude" with "New York attitude," where does that leave the half of New Yorkers who HATE the Yankees?

Jack Marshall said...

Forgive me for going off topic, but today's Washington Post showed exactly how the incompetence of baseball reporting mirrors exactly the unreliability of journalism generally.
First there's the account of yesterday's game, in which the Post says Josh Beckett bounced back from his "bad season debut." The idiot just read the box score; as we know, Beckett pitched beautifully in his season debut, but a fat pitch thrown by Manny Delcarmen wrecked his stats. Then in "Book World," the Post reviewer begins a review of a new book about journeyman players by explaining (presumably to dim baseball fans) that such players are the ones "at the opposite pole" from the stars...and his example is Kenny Lofton!.. because of that TV commercial showing him being shipped from city to city. But Kenny Lofton was no "journeyman," any more than Rickey Henderson, Phil Niekro or any other great player who can suppress his ego enough to play at a reduced but still useful level after greatness recedes from the assault of years.

You wonder how the Buckner story got distorted...this is how. Lazy research, read by casual fans who assume people paid to write about something actually take pride in their jobs.

laura k said...

"NYC is so full of itself."

Allan and Jere, thanks for getting to that before I did.

What they said.

allan said...

where does that leave the half of New Yorkers who HATE the Yankees?

Way more than half of New Yorkers don't give two shits about the Yankees.

Benjamin said...

NYC != MFYs.
NYC != Hank.

allan said...

Looking at his stats and travels, Lofton is a pretty good example of a journeyman.

From 2001-2007, he went from Cleveland to the White Sox to the Giants to the Pirates to the Cubs to the Yankees to the Phillies to the Dodgers to the Rangers and back to Cleveland. (Niekro did not get around nearly that much.)

Lofton's career OPS+ is 107; by comparison, Drew's OPS+ last year was 105. Lofton's last season with an OPS+ over 110 was 1999.

allan said...

NYC != MFYs.
NYC != Hank.

Just figured out that != means this:

The Omnipotent Q said...

My father, a NYC-born Mets fan, puts it best for all New Yorkers who dislike the Yankees:

"Anything that goes wrong for the Yankees makes me happy."

I think most Red Sox fans nod in agreement.

Jere said...

"Way more than half of New Yorkers don't give two shits about the Yankees."

I know. I figure if I'd said the true amount, considering all the people who just aren't baseball fans, the incredibly high percentage might confuse people into thinking I meant just baseball fans. And someone would say, Wait, you think 80 percent like the Mets and only 20 the Yankees? And I didn't wanna get into a whole big thing about it. I just said half to cover it either way--and that still gives the impression of a very large number, which is what I was going for...

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: I think that's an unfair measure of Lofton, who has undoubtedly undermined his own stats by hanging on so long.

He was an impact player with the Indians, and from 92-99, was a.300 hitter with a good OBA and lots of stolen bases. "Journeyman" doesn't mean, you know,(and I know you know) that the player travels a lot---it refers to the old European designation of a run-of-the-mill worker, competent, but nothing more. Lofton played in 6 All-Star gamesin those 8 years.

He's a journeyman now,sure, but was a bona fide star for 8 years---that's more good years than Nomar has had, for example. Will anyone call Nomar a "journeyman" after he retires?

You can make the argument, but I think Lofton cannot fairly be put in that category over the course of his career.

allan said...

His career is top heavy, which I meant to mention, but I guess I cut it. Those 8 years were strong, but he played 17 years. He was a "journeyman" for more time than he was a "all-star".

Lofton is certainly not who I would think of when I think of the term. Mike Morgan is more like it.

I had a huge fascination with Morgan as a kid. He debuted for the A's at age 18 right out of high scool in June 1978; he was only four years older than me.

allan said...

Will anyone call Nomar a "journeyman" after he retires?

If he plays for another 10 teams after the Dodgers, maybe they will.

Jack Marshall said...

Mike Morgan is a great example of a journeyman. Current Sox who fit that definition for sure: Timlin, Taveras, Cora, Lugo. Probably Casey. Eventually Crisp. Would you call Wakefield a journeyman? I guess you'd have to...

andy said...

Boggs, Clemens, Damon all journeymen.

allan said...

How about this?

Journeyman: generally an average player who has played for a number of teams that is at least half of his seasons in the bigs (5+ teams in 10 years)

-- and at least 10 years in MLB?
-- can play multiple positions if not a pitcher?

Jack Marshall said...

Neither Boggs, nor Clemens, nor Damon are journeymen. It has nothing to do with travel. Journeyman means an "average major-leaguer"---respectable, competent, nothing special. A Hall-of-Famer cannot be a "journeyman." Redsock's definition is pretty useful.I might quibbl that 10 years is a long time for a true journeyman...you will recall that Bill James has shown that longevity is one of the most accurate markers of quality.

Although, as I think about it, isn't Morgan better than "average"? What percentage of pitchers win 140 games?

James sometimes used a 1-5 rating system for career value. 5 was an All-Time Great: Williams, Yaz. 4 was major star: Evans, Lynn. 3 was a minor star: Stanley, Varitek. 2 was an average major-leaguer: Remy, Millar. 1 was a borderline player: Mirabelli; Kyle Snyder.

I think many people (including the author of the book that I referred to) think of journeymen as Category 1, but the word's meaning clearly indicates 2. Wakefield is a 3; I'd call Damon a 4. and Clemens and Boggs are absloutely 5s.

Lofton? I'd call him a 4.

allan said...

It has nothing to do with travel. Journeyman means an "average major-leaguer"---respectable, competent, nothing special.

Agree with the second sentence, but travel is an essential part. It's the "journey", man!

Mike Morgan's career ERA: 4.23
Leagues ERA during career: 4.12
ERA+: 97

He is the very definition of average. Forgetting how weak using W-L is, he was good enough to stick around (13 teams in 22 years) long enough to win 141 games, but bad enough to lose 186 games.

Average record per 162 games: 9-12

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock, Re: Morgan. I'm convinced.

On the "journey" part of "journeyman," however: the "journey" is just an indicator of the level of talent and skill,and not a qualification, as I read the various definitions of "journeyman blacksmith," plumber, electriciam, painter, etc. Good enough to be hired regularly, but usuaully not good enough to be regarded as a fixture. In other words, the average talents of a journeyman naturally lead to journeys, but a journeyman in one place for a long time (Ike Delock pitched for the Sox for a decade, and he was less than average)still is one, and a great player who moves around (Rogers Hornsby) doesn't become a journeyman.

Jake of All Trades said...

Back to the digging up the shirt topic:

I know most of us here understand that "curses" are bunk, but who wants to bet that some reporter will write a story claiming that digging up the jersey was the turning point for Ortiz to break out of his slump when he cranks it up starting tomorrow? It was his shirt that was buried after all...

TGTfan said...

a-ha! The reverse-curse, and Hank has unknowingly lifted the jinx on the opposing team's feared slugger! What delicious irony!

(not superstitious, but hoping it's true)