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Warning: Old men talking about how it was back in their day

Mar 1, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT

New York Yankee Andy Pettitte Announces Retirement Getty Images

Tino Marintez is five and a half years older than me.  Andy Pettitte is only one year older than me. And after reading their “back in my day” rebop from yesterday, I feel like we’re all 80 years-old.

It came in Bob Klapisch’s column in which those two, along with David Wells, talked about how the Yankees of today couldn’t have handled playing under George Steinbrenner back in the day:

To a man, the old breed doubts the new guys could’ve survived under Steinbrenner. The real Boss, that is, pre-2003.

“They wouldn’t know what to do. They’d be freaking out,” David Wells said.

“There wasn’t a lot of ‘make sure we protect this guy’ or ‘don’t hurt his feelings,’’’ Andy Pettitte said. “It was, ‘Go figure it out yourself.’ There was no nurturing or babying.”

“These guys have no idea what it was like in the 90s, just like I didn’t know what it was like in the 70s,” Tino Martinez said. “I enjoyed the circumstances — it made us better as a team; we didn’t worry about our statistics — but they’ve got it easier today.”

Oy vey.  There’s always a core of truth to “you have it easier today than I did” comments. But really, these guys are talking about, like, 1996.  I mean, I know it was rough then — if you could even afford a mobile phone it was analog — but it’s not like it was a different planet. The 1996 George Steinbrenner was practically neutered compared to the 1970s and 80s version.  Goose Gossage is quoted later to remind us of that.

Anyway, I hope that when these “old timers” were talking about all of this, Jeter and Rivera were over on the other side of the room rolling their eyes.

  1. badmamainphilliesjamas - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Older than I, Craig.

    /older-than-Jamie-Moyer grammar nerd shuffles back to her rocking chair

    • spindervish - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      I believe both are considered acceptable. Depends if you view “than” as a conjunction or a preposition in that sentence. Personally I lean toward preposition here.

      If you want to pick nits, Craig routinely makes actual grammatical errors that are far more egregious than this.

  2. randygnyc - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Gee, they didn’t have personal assistants, chauffeured cars, mansions and multi, multi million dollar contracts way back in the early 2000’s? Didn’t know that…… Rough.

  3. proudlycanadian - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Age is relative Craig. Davey Jones was 2 days younger than me and died very young. It was just yesterday that the Maple Leafs last won the Stanley Cup. A guy who was a year behind me in high school was on that team.
    I also remember the 1961 All Star Game when Stu Miller was blown off the mound in a game and was charged with a balk. Kennedy! Trudeau! Beatles! Clay/Ali! The 1960’s were definitely the good old days.

  4. Detroit Michael - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Actually, the Tino Martinez quotes shows a lot of perspective, in my opinion.

  5. sportsdrenched.com - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I always take the “Back in my day” crowd with a grain of salt. Humans react to the situation they’re in, not some hypothetical situation they could have been in had they been born at a different time.

    With that said time waits for no man, not even for former Yankees. When I’m an old man and I start spouting off about having to watch standard def TV, and having cell phones that just made phone calls I want someone to remind of this.

    • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Excellent points.

  6. yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Where have you gone, Honus Wagner?

  7. cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Back in the day Big George would have proceeded to eat Valentine’s lunch for him, on live TV. No way in hell Georgy laughs off BV’s comments like ARod & Jeets did.

  8. aceshigh11 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Back in MY day, we only had Nintendo 64s and crude CGI effects like those seen in talkies like Independence Day and Men In Black!

    These whippersnappers have no idea how rough we had it back in the mid-to-late ’90s!

  9. natstowngreg - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    So Craig, you haven’t had that terrible realization, that you’re now older than every MLB player. And you say to yourself, “dang, I’m old.” Trust me, it’s not fun.

  10. stex52 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    There is only one hope. My wife is a nurse for older patients. Eventually you start getting proud of the fact you made it that far and everyone else is dead. That’s a long way down the road quite yet.

  11. sportsdrenched.com - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    I haven’t been on Twitter, has OldHossRadbourn chimed in on this?

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