(from time to time, noted Bronx baseball executive Randy L’s musings on matters sporting and otherwise appear here at CSTB. Upon learning the Milwaukee Brewers plan to retire the uniform no. 1 in honor of former owner / retiring MLB commissioner Bud Selig, Randy offered, no, he demanded to have his say – GC)
So, did you all enjoy the dramatic events at the baseball temple known as Yankee Stadium last night? Unless you’re a sad, jealous crank like this blog’s editor (or perhaps a guy who changes sports media jobs more often than normal people change light bulbs) I’m assuming every last one of you. But I don’t suppose you had any idea that our oversexed General Manager had been petitioning the league office since early that morning to have the game called (something about finding “a dead ringer for Patricia Heaton” on this website) and it took my intervention to get the contest in, thus preserving yet another historic moment for our beloved Captain and the entire Yankee Universe.
But that’s the sort of thing I manage to pull off routinely. Who secured Metallica for Mariano Rivera’s big send off? That’s right, Randy L. Who maneuvered — at great personal risk & expense — to finally rid our clubhouse of a preening, primping presence, a crummy teammate whose lack of ethics were only matched by his disinterest in women who can’t bench press more than 400 lbs? Right again, genius! Randy L! Ever wonder who is personally responsible for the disappearance of that annoying “Freddie Sez” character?
I rarely take credit for these achievements because as the late George Steinbrenner once told me, “it’s not the name on the back of the uniform, it’s the name on the front.” “But Mr. Steinbrenner, we don’t put the players’ names on the back of their jerseys,” I told him. “Really? GREAT WORK, Levine.”
(then he mumbled something about leaving the franchise to me in his will, but I’ve been told several times this would go nowhere in a court of law.)
So go ahead, retire a number for Bud Selig. It’s not as though the Brewers don’t have plenty of numbers already available for that kind of thing. Here in the Bronx, however, we’re retired many numbers, 16 to be exact. True, I’ve never taken the field in pinstripes, but neither did Jackie Robinson, and his #42 is already on the do-not-use-list. I’m not suggesting for a moment this wonderful Civil Rights pioneer isn’t deserving of the honor, but since he isn’t alive to argue against my being honored in similar fashion, who are you to put words in his mouth?
I’m pretty happy with number 2. And because I’m as magnanimous as I’m handsome, I’m totally OK sharing it with Derek Jeter. Seeing as he’s the most unselfish Yankee, nay, human being of all time, I refuse to entertain the possibility he’s got a problem with the idea. That’s the difference between you and me (well, that and the size of our IQ’s and bank accounts) — I simply believe in Derek Jeter more than you do.
See you in Monument Park