It's fitting that I started <a href="http://www.amazothis weekend- there's a whole chapter in the beginning on one of the most fascinating characters every to wear a Yankee uniform - and tomorrow is his birthday.
Happy birthday, Billy Martin.
Whether you loved him or hated him, there's no denying he certainly made things interesting. He was a complex guy that few people understood, or even attempted to understand. But he was, for the most part, one hell of a manager. He was a guy who lived for baseball, almost to the exclusion of everything else.
Earl Weaver on Martin: Billy understands baseball, he just doesn't understand life.
"Some people have a chip on their shoulder. Billy has a whole lumberyard."
"We used to tease each other about whose liver was going to go first. I never thought it would end for him this way."
--Mickey Mantle on the death of Martin, quoted in USA Today, December 29, 1989
I'll raise a glass of Scotch to him, anyhow. I know a lot of people hated him, but you gotta love the way he loved the game.