• Yanks Pay Tribute To Lidle

    Posted by on October 17th, 2006 · Comments (13)

    Via ESPN.com

    New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was remembered as “a loving husband and an awesome father” at a Tuesday memorial attended by family, friends and teammates of the avid yet inexperienced pilot who was killed on an aerial tour of New York City.

    Those at the 45-minute outdoor service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Lidle’s hometown included Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and a contingent of Yankees: All-Star Derek Jeter, former high school teammate Jason Giambi, Jaret Wright, manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman. Also there were Oakland pitcher Barry Zito, Philadelphia teammates Pat Burrell and Chase Utley and former Yankees pitcher Aaron Small.

    Small, the former Yankees pitcher, had been friends with Cory and Kevin Lidle since age 9.

    “If there was a baseball game being played, me and Cory and Kevin were in it,” he said, his voice breaking. “Cory was more than a friend. He was like a little brother to me.”

    Considering that most of the Yankees players should have been expecting to be playing in the ALCS right about now, I am surprised not to see more of members from the team, who reside in the U.S., there today. O.K., guys like Andy Phillips don’t make several million a year and cannot afford an unplanned trip to the West Coast like this one. But, for the “American” Yankees who make more than $10 million a year, would it have hurt them to make this trip? Sure, Lidle was only with New York for two months. But, if you worked with someone, for only two months, and they were killed in a crash of some sort, unexpected, at a very young age, and it would cost you little to attend the service, you would probably go there, no?

    What were Posada, Sheffield, A-Rod, Damon, Johnson and Mussina doing today where they could not attend? Don’t say they had business planned for the day or were on a planned vacation – because, again, no one on the Yankees should have planned anything until after the scheduled end of the World Series, right?

    Comments on Yanks Pay Tribute To Lidle

    1. Raf
      October 17th, 2006 | 3:49 pm

      Things change. Schedules change. They have their reasons for not attending, and I think it’s a bit unfair to them to take them to task for that.

      What does $$ have to do with anything? The league minimum is, what, $200K?

    2. MJ
      October 17th, 2006 | 4:05 pm

      Couldn’t agree more with Raf. I’m sure that these guys were on their blackberries making reservations for a cruise or flight to Mexico/islands as soon as they took off from Detroit on Saturday night. And, honestly, I don’t blame them. After 6 months away from your family, after 6 months on the road, when your body aches and you’re tired, sometimes it’s OK to be a bit selfish (if you want to call it that).

    3. baileywalk
      October 17th, 2006 | 4:08 pm

      Anybody not outside the country should have shown up. Jeter, as always, is the classiest guy in the group.

      When you make four hundred thousand dollars a year — like the rookies/league-average guys do — you can afford a plane ticket (and even fly first class).

      If you think of this in real-world terms: if a coworker you knew for a few months died, you’d make (at a minimum) a token appearance at his wake.

      I’m actually against the kneejerk “traditions” when it comes to “respecting” others (weddings, funerals, etc.), but in this case it does seem like the guys should have shown up.

    4. Raf
      October 17th, 2006 | 4:16 pm

      And given the media, could you imagine the circus that would’ve ensued if Rodriguez showed up?

    5. MJ
      October 17th, 2006 | 4:19 pm

      I’m sure this will be used to demonstrate just how cliquish and unharmonious the Yankee clubhouse is.

      Honestly, Lidle’s death is a tragedy and for him and his family. But I don’t think we should even be talking about who showed up, who didn’t, and what we think of X, Y, and Z for being/not being there.

    6. christopher
      October 17th, 2006 | 4:33 pm

      The service wasn’t for the Yankees…it was for Cory Lidle.

      Rick Cerrone announced who would be representing the Yankees a few days ago. With over 2,000 people on hand, I think it was very appropriate and respectful that each team didn’t send 30 people to the memorial service. Close friends (Giambi, Wright) and key reps (Jeter, Torre, Cashman) was the right way to go.

      If you’re going to make a list of should have been there, start with Steinbrenner.

    7. baileywalk
      October 17th, 2006 | 5:01 pm

      I suppose this conversation should end right here — after all, not everything can be turned into a sports debate — but Big Stein is a frail old man, so there’s no reason for him to go.

    8. Garcia
      October 17th, 2006 | 6:00 pm

      I know if I were a Yankee I wouldn’t go either. I can’t stand funeral services. I probably wouldn’t have gone to Munson’s either.

      I said this before, I am not the type of person that thinks we should grieve during death. I think we should celebrate – this is definitely a different view than most. Especially in my own family. I don’t like thinking about death, I’d much rather think of the person’s life and the good times. We are going to die anyway so for me it is moot to try and change or think about something I have no control over. Funeral services are never fun and, I know for some, they’d rather keep it that way. I find funeral services to be a competition among some of the people that hardly knew the person who died, so they want to let everyone know that they too can cry really loudly. Again, who am I to judge whose feelings are truly genuine? It just feels so fake sometimes – not with the people closest to the person who died, but the people that think they need to show up so they can show everyone that they can grieve with the best of them.

      Again, that’s my 2 cents and I’d rather not go and be a hypocrite and that is why I have more respect for the people that decided not to go than the people that went. Seriously, was Jeter “really” that close with Lidle? Or even Wright? I understand Giambi and Small – they were childhood friends with Lidle. I’m sure this will get a rise out of a few here, but I’m just being honest. I’m not trying to be cold or crass, please don’t take it that way either. I just find funeral services to be filled with too many people that want to believe they care; just because it’s the right thing to do and they’ll feel guilty if they don’t go. I hate it when people feel they’ll be succumbed with guilt because that just means what they are feeling is not truly genuine.

      I’ll think differently of Jeter and Wright being there if they decided to go to the funeral services of the pilot as well. That’s even tougher and more noble, at least in my book. Lidle’s life wasn’t more important than the pilot’s, and vice versa.

      I still remember seeing Laura and George Bush walk at the 9/11 ceremonies and I just wanted to throw up. Do those two f’ers really care? I think not. For me that’s classic case of let’s show face so we can play the pretend game. Blah!!!

    9. baileywalk
      October 17th, 2006 | 8:23 pm

      Garcia, it’s considered respectful to attend the funeral service of people you know (or people related to or in acquaintance with your family).

      Wright got to know Lidle while he was with the team. Their kids played together.

      Jeter is doing the respectful thing by showing up. There’s nothing false about it.

      And they didn’t know the pilot, so there’s no reason for them to go to that funeral.

      Criticizing the individual who follows tradition and (in this case) displays grace seems out of line.

    10. Garcia
      October 17th, 2006 | 10:17 pm

      baileywalk, I think I have a good understanding of respect. It is why I choose not to attend because I can never try and fake that I’ll understand the pain the people that are really suffering are going through. I’ll be there for them, but like I said funeral services aren’t where I show my greatest strengths.

      My entire point was simply offering a different view and a counter to Steve’s point as to why other Yankees didn’t make it. Maybe they don’t want to be in that situation. That was my point. You think following tradition displays grace, no matter how disingenuous people’s feelings are. I tend to think that I’d rather not have those people around because they are simply following tradition.

      Tradition doesn’t make the people that don’t follow them any colder, I tend to look at them as the more noble for understanding that this is more of a family matter and goes beyond being teammates for all of 2 months.

    11. baileywalk
      October 17th, 2006 | 10:50 pm

      You don’t have to be madly in love — or in the hell of grief — to attend a funeral. IT’S A SIGN OF RESPECT TO THE PERSON WHO DIED AND THE FAMILY HE OR SHE LEFT BEHIND. That’s it. It’s a way of showing support, of expressing friendship, of offering a hand.

      I’m not going to extend this conversation beyond this. Because I feel almost silly having to define the purpose of a funeral and why people attend.

      You’re entitled to your opinion on the matter, however. So I’ll just leave this alone for now.

    12. October 18th, 2006 | 6:44 pm

      Hey guys. I think the main point here is that what’s a sign of respect to some people is very different for others. The very idea of respect, politeness, and etiquette is nebulous and determined by many factors. Age, religion, culture, and so on.

      It’s not fair to say something is a “sign of respect” in an absolute way. I’ve worked with people who I liked and admired who died. I wasn’t close with them outside of work, and in fact NEVER met them outside of work. I felt it was respectful for me to send my condolences with the 1 or 2 people who knew her well and kept her in my thoughts and prayers while they attended the services.

      The point is, everyone is different, and there is no one way to be respectful or disrespectful. It’s a vague thing that only parties involved in the intimate relationships that exist between people can determine.

    13. Jen
      October 18th, 2006 | 9:45 pm

      Mike hit the nail on the head. We have no idea what the others guy on the team did. Some could’ve sent donations to Stanger’s family. Or they may have sent condolences in some other manner. We don’t know and probably never will, and that’s fine by me. Why jump on them because they didn’t attend the funeral? I would think his widow and family have other things to think about than whether Damon or Posada or anyone else showed up on Tuesday. She made a point to thank the Yankees for helping her, so I’m sure the organization has been a significant enough presence during the past week.

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