The Boss at a loss
By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2

For George Steinbrenner, too much is never enough. And no matter how good things are, they can always be better.

How else to explain the New York Yankees owner's recent bellyaching about Derek Jeter? Despite Jeter's typically first-rate performance last season -- batting .297 with 18 homers and 75 RBI -- the Boss took his All-Star shortstop to the media woodshed, questioning his outside interests.

George Steinbrenner
"I'm tellin' you, 26 championships? You know how many times we lost?"
"How much better would he be if he didn't have all his other activities?" Steinbrenner told the New York Daily News in December. "I tell him this all the time. I say, 'Jetes, you can't be everything to everybody. You've got to focus on what's important.'

"When I read in the paper that he's out until 3 a.m. in New York City going to a birthday party, I won't lie. That doesn't sit well with me ... I just want him to come up to that level that he can be."

Here at Page 2, we couldn't agree more. We applaud Steinbrenner's uncompromising attitude. In fact, we'd like to see the Boss' logic applied across the board:

Don Larsen's perfect game
Conventional wisdom: Using just 97 pitches, the Yankee hurler tossed a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. Wrote legendary sports scribe Shirley Povich: "A month of Sundays hit the calendar."

Steinbrenner theory: Larsen could have hurt his back when he caught a jubilant Yogi Berra in his arms following the final out. Talk about selfish.

"Fo'-fo'-fo'"
Conventional wisdom: On the eve of the 1982-83 NBA playoffs, Philly center Moses Malone predicted that his club would sweep through the postseason in undefeated fashion, winning three series "fo'-fo'-fo.'" The Sixers won 12 of 13 games.

Steinbrenner theory: Didn't win 'em all? Better luck next year.

Maradona's "Hand of God" goal
Conventional wisdom: In a 1986 World Cup quarterfinal between archrivals Argentina and England, Argentina's Diego Maradona scored one of the most famous goals in soccer history by striking the ball with the back of his left hand.

Steinbrenner theory: Shoulda used both hands. If you're going to cheat, give maximum effort!

Doug Flutie's Hail Mary
Conventional wisdom: On the final play of the 1984 Orange Bowl, the Boston College quarterback connected on an improbable 48-yard touchdown heave, giving the Eagles a 47-45 victory over Miami.

Steinbrenner theory: The ball fluttered. Is it so hard to throw a nice, tight spiral?

Jordana Brewster
Jeter's girlfriend, Jordana Brewster, would distract anyone.
Michael Jordan's Final Shot (with Chicago)
Conventional wisdom: Jordan captures his sixth NBA title with the Bulls by nailing a sweeping, last-second jump shot over Utah's Bryon Russell.

Steinbrenner theory: A dunk would have been preferable. Jumpers are low-percentage.

"Bull Durham"
Conventional wisdom: Chosen by Page 2 as the top sports movie of all time. Funny, sexy and remarkably grown-up for a sports flick.

Steinbrenner theory: Bolstered the careers of Robert Wuhl and Kevin Costner; as such, indirectly responsible for both "Arli$$" and "The Postman."

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video
Conventional wisdom: Jacko's dancing zombie opus considered the best-ever music video. Also, the words "I'm not like other guys" couldn't have been more prophetic.

Steinbrenner theory: What's the deal with Jackson's nose? It clearly needs some surgical work.

Halle Berry
Conventional wisdom: Beauty and talent. Who else can win an Oscar, then steal the show as a Bond babe? Plus, she looks good with short hair, which is really tough to pull off.

Steinbrenner theory: Starred in "The Flinstones" and "B.A.P.S." D'oh!

Krispy Kreme Donuts
Conventional wisdom: Drool-worthy Southern sugar bombs leave other donuts in their rich, creamy wake.

Steinbrenner theory: Couldn't they be dunked in butterscotch syrup? Now that's some sweet eating.

Ferrari Enzo
Conventional wisdom: Inspired by the latest in Formula One racing design, the Enzo goes from 0-62 mph in 3.65 seconds and can reach a theoretical maximum speed of 217.5 mph.

Steinbrenner theory: Does it talk? Can it fly? Can it be folded into a briefcase? No? Then technology has a way to go.

George Steinbrenner
"I don't know, Joe. Soriano never got that 40th homer. I say release him."
Michelangelo's "David"
Conventional wisdom: The world's most famous statue; the classical expression of the ideal male form.

Steinbrenner theory: Needs to pack on about 10-20 pounds of muscle if he plans to go yard with any regularity.

E=MC2
Conventional wisdom: Albert Einstein's brilliant equation explains the relationship of energy to mass. Helped pave the way for the atom bomb, cosmic theory and -- most importantly -- the television set.

Steinbrenner theory: It doesn't take an Einstein to realize that the equation won't help you balance your checkbook. Or deal with the luxury tax, for that matter.

Page 2
Conventional wisdom: Home to sports writing titans like the Sports Guy, the Tuesday Morning Quarterback Guy, the Daily Quickie Guy, the Water Cooler Guy and the Ralph Wiley Guy. Where America comes to read, laugh ... and think.

Steinbrenner theory: Every piece is: a) a top-10 list; b) a list-like series of gags; c) a column in the form of a list. Can't they hire a writer whose command of the language goes beyond outlines? And don't get us started on Wiley's improvisational word jazz. Who the heck is Road Dog, anyway?

The Creation
Conventional wisdom: God spent six days creating the world, saw that his work was good, and so He rested on the seventh day.

Steinbrenner theory: He takes weekends off? What a wuss! He'll never work for me.

Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at phrub@yahoo.com.




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