• Yanks Respond To Critics Of Massive Big Stein Monument

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2010 · Comments (27)

    Via the Daily News

    Not even the Yankees can deny the monument unveiled in honor of late owner George Steinbrenner on Monday dwarfs legends such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle in Monument Park.

    However, they aren’t about to apologize for it, either.

    “We think the monument is a tribute to the man The Boss was, larger than life. His spirit is encompassed by that monument, and there was no intention to make it bigger than the others just for the sake of doing it,” team president Randy Levine told the Daily News before Tuesday night’s game against the Rays. “We just felt that it was The Boss, the greatest owner in sports. He built (the new) Yankee Stadium. He did so much for so many people. And he made the Yankee brand a worldwide one and took it to heights that never have been reached.

    “It was not made bigger in an attempt to have it be larger than the others. We just wanted to represent the spirit of George Steinbrenner.”

    Steinbrenner’s bust measures seven feet wide by five feet high – not including the base – and weighs 760 pounds.

    Chief operating officer Lonn Trost said he and Senior VP of marketing Debbie Tymon worked with U.S. Bronze to commission the piece and that everything about the monument ultimately was approved by the Steinbrenner family.

    “Mr. Steinbrenner always was so proud of Monument Park and now it’s as if he’s overseeing the other monuments and plaques and the tradition that reside there,” Tymon said.

    I’m all for “The Boss” having a monument – he deserves it. If he’s not the greatest owner in sports history, he’s in the team picture – for sure. And, the Yankees are what they are, today, and what they have been for the last 38 years because of George Steinbrenner. But, I do think the organization made a mistake with the size of this monument. No monument in “Monument Cave,” er, I mean “Park,” should be bigger or higher than any other one out there. And, if you have to go bigger or higher, then it should only be slightly more – and not like this “Death Star” of a monument that they have out there for Big Stein now.

    Leave it to Levine, Trost & Company to turn what should be a tribute into an embarrassment.

    Comments on Yanks Respond To Critics Of Massive Big Stein Monument

    1. Corey Italiano
      September 22nd, 2010 | 12:25 pm

      I’ll file this under, I don’t give a crap.

      The game is played on the field and not in monument park, so who cares? The rest is just for show.

    2. YankCrank
      September 22nd, 2010 | 12:37 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I’ll file this under, I don’t give a crap.
      The game is played on the field and not in monument park, so who cares? The rest is just for show.

      I also could care less. This won’t be story anymore in a few days anyway.

    3. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 12:38 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      I’ll file this under, I don’t give a crap.

      I agree completely.

      Furthermore, I don’t believe there’s a standard guideline for monument size, location, placement, etc. If art critics and/or fans of the other monuments are offended by the size, scope, placement, etc. of Steinbrenner’s monument, they’ll just have to get over it. It’s a family’s tribute to the patriarch of the company he left behind. In 50 years when the monument is sufficiently eroded and everyone visiting Monument Park only has hazy memories of the dedication on 9/20/10, everyone will praise the grandeur of that piece of art.

      For anyone to get sanctimonious about this is absurd. It’s a friggin’ monument and I don’t hear Col. Ruppert’s or Mickey Mantle’s descendants getting all pissy about it.

    4. September 22nd, 2010 | 12:46 pm

      FWIW, via the Times:

      “On Mickey Mantle Day in 1969, DiMaggio presented Mantle’s plaque and Mantle presented DiMaggio with one,” said Marty Appel, the Yankees’ former publicity director who is writing a history of the team. “And Mickey said, ‘If I’m going to have a plaque on the outfield wall, then Joe’s got to have one hanging a little higher than mine.’ And I made sure DiMaggio’s was an inch higher.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/sports/baseball/22monument.html

      So, there has been some focus in the past on where plaques sit. Maybe that’s what I was thinking about with the monuments.

      That said, read the Times link – many are upset with this massive monument.

    5. Corey Italiano
      September 22nd, 2010 | 12:53 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      People get upset over the dumbest things. I’ve had people get upset at me for honking at them after I’ve gotten cut off. What really matters is what’s on the field.

      Bottom line, I don’t watch 162 games a year to see the monuments.

    6. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 12:58 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I read that NYT story this morning. That was Mickey’s preference and there’s nothing wrong with that. It also wouldn’t have mattered at all if Mantle’s plaque hung one inch or even one foot higher than DiMaggio’s. Mantle expressed his wishes and the Yankees obliged. The NYT story states near the end that “there were no conversations with Steinbrenner about the memorial” so for those levying the claim that this plaque is a reminder of Boss’s ego, that’s not accurate.

      Further, I don’t care if one million people are upset with the monument, that neither makes their gripes legitimate or justified, nor does it even matter in the grand scheme of things. There is no right or wrong answer here. Not everyone’s taste has to be considered. The Yankee family — and the Steinbrenner family — wanted to pay respect to Boss in this way. It was their right to do so and I have no problem with it.

    7. September 22nd, 2010 | 1:07 pm

      Rob Neyer’s closing line on this nails it, IMHO:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/5434/the-problem-with-steinbrenners-plaque

      Instead of honoring their father, [the Yankees] have left his image open to justifiable ridicule.

    8. Raf
      September 22nd, 2010 | 1:24 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Instead of honoring their father, [the Yankees] have left his image open to justifiable ridicule.

      Only because it’s George Steinbrenner.

    9. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 1:57 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Instead of honoring their father, [the Yankees] have left his image open to justifiable ridicule.

      That’s Neyer’s subjective opinion and by no means fact.

      As much as Neyer tends to be reasonable, again, I reiterate that just because a piece of art offends the tastes of some (or all), doesn’t mean those critics have a justifiable or legitimate gripe.

      If one wished to ridicule Steinbrenner, there were plenty of reasons to do so. He was crass, rude, arrogant, insolent, disrespectful, discourteous, despotic, egotistical…and so on and so forth. But since the plaque has nothing to do with him anyway, those who ridicule Steinbrenner by attacking the plaque are simply missing the point. Neyer is smart enough to realize this but chooses not to. That says more to me than anything else.

      Frankly, I’m amazed that this thread needed this many comments. As Corey said at the top: who gives a $%it?

    10. Evan3457
      September 22nd, 2010 | 1:59 pm

      I’ll say here what I’ve said elsewhere.

      Considering the ego of the man, considering his family still owns everything, considering it’s the stadium he built, considering his children appear to hold him in awe, we’re lucky they didn’t decide to make his momument out of one whole wall of the Stadium, Dr. Evil Volcano Hideout style.

    11. September 22nd, 2010 | 2:04 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      As Corey said at the top: who gives a $%it?

      Based on the articles I’ve read, I would say that some Yankees fans care about it.

    12. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 2:18 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Based on the articles I’ve read, I would say that some Yankees fans care about it.

      Because the average person is too stupid to be able to determine what matters and what doesn’t.

      That’s a horribly arrogant statement on my part but I stand by it. I just can’t figure out why this issue is important to anyone at all.

    13. September 22nd, 2010 | 3:08 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That’s a horribly arrogant statement on my part

      Ya, think? ;-)

    14. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 3:34 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Ya, think?

      I do. And yet I stand by it. The sports pages of the NY Post/Daily News cater to this very kind of person. The person that cares too much about trivial things and has his or her opinions dictated by media and “trending topics.”

    15. Garcia
      September 22nd, 2010 | 3:54 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Steve Lombardi wrote:
      Ya, think?
      I do. And yet I stand by it. The sports pages of the NY Post/Daily News cater to this very kind of person. The person that cares too much about trivial things and has his or her opinions dictated by media and “trending topics.”

      So you are so much better than those people because …. ?

      What periodicals do you read that put you on this soapbox? It’s news, whether you like it or not. You can dismiss it and not pay attention to it, but you decided to keep commenting on it so you kind of immersed yourself in it and now you are pointing out how stupid everyone is for even reading about it or caring. That’s seriously arrogant, IMHO.

      I don’t give a shit about it, I think it’s hilarious that Big Stein is really portrayed as BIG STEIN. I can see why people might take issue with it. You seem to think that people are dumb for not thinking like you, you certainly have an inflated opinion of yourself – that mirror of yours must be quite nice. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is all knowing? YOU, MJ, YOU!

    16. September 22nd, 2010 | 4:25 pm

      A Yankees fan living in an ivory tower? Garcia, say it ain’t so!

      (MJ – not saying you’re one. Just saying that some Yankees fans do live in them, esp when it comes to their team and opinions on it)

    17. jay
      September 22nd, 2010 | 4:30 pm

      The issue here, for me, is that the size of the monument takes it away from being classy and closer to being tacky. I don’t view the Yankees as tacky, so this doesn’t quite fit.

      He looks like King Kong frozen in carbonite.

    18. September 22nd, 2010 | 4:53 pm

      jay wrote:

      The issue here, for me, is that the size of the monument takes it away from being classy and closer to being tacky. I don’t view the Yankees as tacky, so this doesn’t quite fit.
      He looks like King Kong frozen in carbonite.

      Dead, solid, perfect.

    19. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 5:05 pm

      @ Garcia:
      You’re absolutely right. The fact that I’ve spent this long bantering with Steve about this issue seems pretty silly considering I think the entire faux-controversy about the size of the plaque in Monument Park is silly. In real life, in a face-to-face conversation, the course of this conversation would’ve taken a few minutes and would’ve ended. Over the internet, however, these types of conversations tend to take hours since one party makes a statement and then has to wait for a response before the conversation can continue.

      It was most certainly silly to have spent even the five minutes talking about this since the topic is so preposterous and the outrage even more preposterous. So, yep, I agree with you there.

      Something being “news” certainly makes it a fair topic of conversation. What I’m responding in amazement is how (or why) people care about the size of a bronze plaque in the museum portion of a baseball stadium and then extrapolating what the size of that plaque means in the larger context of who Steinbrenner was as a person or who the Yankees are as an organization. I don’t see how (or why) any of this matters to people as much as it seems to or how (or why) even intelligent baseball writers such as Rob Neyer can think that there is “justifiable ridicule” in all of this.

      Beyond each person’s justifiable right to an opinion, I hardly see how we can have a universally-accepted standard of justifiable ridicule. Apart from the clearly non-universal rules on personal taste, there’s nothing else going on here speaks negatively of the Yankees or the Steinbrenner family. Yet, somehow, here we are, reading criticism of the franchise for what amounts to their own decision on how to best honor someone in bronze. Hank, Hal and the two Steinbrenner daughters wanted to honor their father with a plaque. They need not consult Mickey Mantle’s family (as an example) on how best to do so, for risk of offending any other Monument Park honorees.

      As to the personal attack you levied on me once again, that’s fine. You just happen to fall into my larger opinion of the average person. I don’t hold your stupidity against you.

    20. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 5:05 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      (MJ – not saying you’re one. Just saying that some Yankees fans do live in them, esp when it comes to their team and opinions on it)

      Everyone lives in their own ivory tower, Steve. Not just me and not just Yankee fans, either.

    21. MJ Recanati
      September 22nd, 2010 | 5:14 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      As to the personal attack you levied on me once again, that’s fine. You just happen to fall into my larger opinion of the average person. I don’t hold your stupidity against you.

      @ Garcia:
      I hit “reply” too soon. What I meant to say was:

      As to the personal attack you levied on me once again, that’s fine. You just happen to fall into my larger opinion of the average person. I don’t hold your stupidity against you, just as you shouldn’t hold my stupidity against me.

      Anyway, I’ll let you have the last word if you want it because, as you correctly pointed out, it’s positively idiotic that I should be responding in a topic thread when the topic itself is so mind-bogglingly absurd.

      Pleasant evening to you.

    22. redbug
      September 22nd, 2010 | 5:43 pm

      I think it’s a shame that the thing is so large. I use to think it was a big deal to be honored at Yankee Stadium. I did since I was a kid. Tis thing makes it a farce.

    23. YankCrank
      September 22nd, 2010 | 5:46 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is all knowing? YOU, MJ, YOU!

      Wow, really?

    24. Raf
      September 22nd, 2010 | 9:38 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      So you are so much better than those people because …. ?

      Because I see through the pap that so many lap up like manna? Let’s be real here, the NY Post, Daily News, the Boston Globe, WFAN, etc, etc, etc, don’t really exist to foster intelligent discussion.

    25. Raf
      September 22nd, 2010 | 9:39 pm

      jay wrote:

      He looks like King Kong frozen in carbonite.

      :D

    26. September 22nd, 2010 | 10:38 pm

      Garcia, MJ – group hug, OK?
      See what this evil monument is doing to us all! :=)

    27. lordbyron
      September 23rd, 2010 | 8:57 am

      Well said – as usual, Levine and Trost just don’t get it!

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.