Boss backs Lucchino on O's bidding Yanks owner says continuity at stake

July 09, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner yesterday said he hopes that Orioles president Larry Lucchino will be a part of one of the five groups bidding for the team in bankruptcy court.

After speaking to a luncheon of horse racing officials at a downtown hotel, Steinbrenner said Lucchino's presence would be good for franchise stability.

"He and I have been on opposite sides of the fence sometimes, but he's a very bright guy and I think it would be nice if he were in the picture because that would give us the continuity," Steinbrenner said of Lucchino. "We need that right now with all the things that are going on."

Steinbrenner, who returned to active duty as Yankees owner this season after a two-year suspension, had words of consolation for Orioles owner Eli S. Jacobs, who is selling the club to help pay creditors.

"I feel sad," Steinbrenner said. "Eli and I weren't particularly close, but I hate to see that happen to anybody and I feel genuinely sorry that he is in the predicament that he's in. I feel for him. I really do."

Steinbrenner said he probably won't be in Baltimore for next week's All-Star Game, but called Oriole Park a "magnificent stadium."

"The Texas stadium [under construction] is a lot like this one. This is really the forerunner and it's a great thing for Baltimore," said Steinbrenner.

Steinbrenner also talked about his ballclub, which is second in the American League East behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

"If we can just come back off the West Coast trip with a few more wins than we've had, I think we're going to make a great run at in the second half of the season," he said. "We haven't had a long run like the other teams have had, and that usually comes sometime in the season."

Steinbrenner hailed the contributions of first baseman Don Mattingly, who has been in and out of the lineup this season with injuries.

"People say, 'Well, he doesn't hit .300.' Listen, he's hitting 1.000 as far as I'm concerned, because when he's in that lineup, it's a different lineup," said Steinbrenner. "When he's in that infield, it's a different defense. He just brings something to the table and he's a great leader."

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