Negron: Batboy Tales Continued

By Ray Negron

Hal’s Pride In Team

I was walking through the hallway of the George M Steinbrenner offices in Tampa.  I ran into John Sabaen, the long time special assistant to the Steinbrenner family. I asked John how Hal Steinbrenner was doing. He told me that he was very proud of the team. At that moment I asked if Hal was in his office. John said he was , so I said that I wanted to say hello.

At that moment John said let’s check the score of the Yankee game first. At that moment I looked john in the eye and started to laugh because this was the kind of conversation I would have with John when the Boss (George Steinbrenner) was alive. At that moment John looked into his cell phone and saw that the Yankees had taken a 1-0 lead over the Astros.

All of a sudden John said now is good. We walked into Hal Steinbrenner’s office and he was very much into the action on the screen. I asked Hal how he was and he said if we can score a couple of more runs than he would be great. At that point he told me how proud he was of this team. He said that he loved how they fought back all week against the World Champion Astros. As he said this he looked me in the eyes and it was the same look that another Steinbrenner use to have when his team was fighting for a Championship. It’s great to see that in the 45 years that I have been around, that Steinbrenner pride is still there.

I guess the old saying is , the apple doesn’t roll far from the tree.
Jose Feliciano can SEE a great team. 
One of my very best friends in the world is the 8 time Grammy award winning singer songwriter and incredible guitarist Jose Feliciano. I actually first met Jose in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium in 1968. He was a blind kid with a transistor radio. Jose was already making a mark in the music world but loved to sit in the bleachers and feel the aura of what baseball was really all about.
Throughout the years when ever I’m doing a charity event, if he is in town Jose is always there for me. If a long time passes and we have not talked , Jose will call and say Hey I haven’t seen you in a long time. This week Jose called to give me his annual scouting report on the Yankees. He told me to make sure to let the powers that be to have patience with Giancarlo Stanton. This was after he had struck out three times on Tuesday. That very next day Stanton hit two Homer’s and drove in all four runs. Jose can see more than we think he can. That being the case Jose can see a very positive forecast for this Yankee season.

Luis Sojo….Nothing like being a Yankee!
As I was leaving Steinbrenner Field I noticed a familiar smile. The hair was grayer but the face was the same. It was Yankee super sub and World Series hero Luis Sojo. Luis was the type of player that was willing to play any position, if it would help the team. Luis was also one of the leaders in the clubhouse.

After his retirement from baseball he has lived in Tampa florida and has managed the Tampa Yankees. Today he is a roving instructor throughout the Yankee organization. When I asked Luis how he was doing he responded by saying ‘I am the most blessed man in the world, I get to do what I do every day for the Yankees’. That’s what I call putting it into perspective!

Is there a Doctor in the house?
Doc Gooden almost went blind and had to have cataract surgery on both eyes. Had he gone blind Jose Feliciano had already volunteered to teach Doc the ropes of not being able to see.

Docs surgery went well and a week later he was making the rounds with all his work with city youth programs that the good Doctor is involved with. This spring Gooden worked with many kids from around the world including Africa and Japan.
Joe Manganiello is aficionado
The best part of 2017 for me was that along with Robert Molloy, the son of Jessica Steinbrenner, I got to be an associate producer of a film called Stano.
Another producer is Bronx boy and pal Robert Bruzio.
One of the best parts of being associated in this film was meeting and working with the terrific young actor Joe Manganiello.  He was a true pleasure to be around. He was very sharing with other young actors on the set and he was also willing to learn things associated with the different subjects pertaining to the film.
While walking through the train station I saw a magazine called Aficionado. Joe Manganiello was on the cover. The Headline read ‘Rising Star’. At that moment I said to myself hey I know that guy!
Joe Manganiello is a terrific actor but more importantly, he is a very nice guy !
Ray Negron is also a contributing writer for Newsmax and NYsportsday.com  Listen to Ray weekends on ESPN 1050 Deportes Impact
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