Monday, April 21, 2008

Fredo Steinbrenner

THE GODFATHER, the the Mario Puzo classic novel and the Francis Ford Coppola epic films, chronicle the life and times of an American Crime Boss, Don Vito Corleone, and this three sons, Sonny, Fredo, and Michael.

Sonny was heir to the Corleone family, but was killed by a rival family. This left a void at the top of the family. It should have gone to Fredo, but he was considered to be weak as well as not so bright, so the family went to Michael.

It was never the intention of Don Vito for Michael to run the family, nor did Michael want a part of the family business, but it was how it was. When the great Don died, Michael became the new Godfather.

Fredo was not to pleased about it, and even helped another rival family as they put out a hit on Michael. Michael figured it out. "I knew it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You Broke my Heart!" Fredo was appoligetic and sad, and Michael let him back in the family (sort-of).

In a very poinent scene, Fredo expresses all of his frustrations that has lead him throughout his adult life. "I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over! It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!"

Eventually Michael had Fredo killed for going against the family.

So what does this have to do with sports. Well, one of the great sports crime families ever didn't have a Michael or even a Sonny and their family went to Fredo, the stupid son of the Great Don. I am talking about Hank Steinbrenner.

Now, I have never been a fan of Old Man Steinbrenner. He was abrasive, and too involved, and demanding, but unlike most owners, he put every dime he had into making the Yukees and better team. When it came time for him to retire this off season, he turned the keys over to his idiot son who clearly didn't learn anything from his father's early mistakes and just keeps yapping off to the New York media.

Most recently Fredo made comments about the pitching staff and what he thinks new manager Joe Girardi should be doing about Jaba Chamberlain. He said, "I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now. There is no question about it, you don't have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don't do that. You have to be an idiot to do that."

This guy can't even get through the first month of the season before he is questioning how everything is done. This is his first year with the club, and he is putting all of his baseball people on notice.

But wait, he didn't stop there. He went on to name how he would line up their starting rotation. "I think once Hughes and Kennedy get plenty of starts and get Joba back, and with Wang and Pettitte, we will be fine." Isn't it interesting that Moose isn't on this list, but Fredo did have a suggestion for him, "[Mussina] just needs to learn how to pitch like [45-year-old Phillies pitcher] Jamie Moyer." Moyer is known as a crafty pitcher who doesn't have an overpowering fastball. Moose has 250 wins, Moyer has 230.

How would you like to be Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, or especially Mike Mussina when you woke up this morning.

Here's the thing, I hate the Yankees, I love watching them be destroyed from the inside. It makes me wonder what would have happened to the Corleone family had Fredo not been passed over.

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