The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Thursday, September 7, 2017 Gene ‘Stick’ Michael dies at age 79

Gene Michael, the former Major League player, manager and executive best known as the architect of the Yankees’ 1990s dynasty, died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 79.

Michael had already spent two decades in baseball when he was named general manager of the Yankees in 1990, the start of a five-year tenure that would define his career. From 1990-95, Michael built the farm system that would help yield four World Series championships in the five years to close out the decade.

Under Michael’s watch, the Yankees acquired players such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Paul O’Neill, either via signings, the Draft or trade.

“Stick was a great man with enormous heart and integrity,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “One of the greatest baseball executives of our time. He was central to the success of the Yankees.”

One of the great pieces of luck in Yankee history is that George Steinbrenner was suspended at just the right time to let Stick Michael do what he wanted to do and build up a Yankee team that became a dynasty.

Rest in peace, Stick. Our condolences to his friends and family.

--Posted at 10:00 am by Brian Cronin / 15 Comments | - (0)


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That’s a shame he seemed like a real class act and he made those Yankee teams. I bet Yankee haters never expected George’s suspension would be the best thing to happen to the team.

Sounds like Binder is leaning towards giving Chapman back the closer role.

I remember when Michael traded Roberto Kelly for Paul O’Neill and thinking “What the Hell is he doing?”

Turned out he knew exactly what he was doing.

RIP Stick, and thanks for 1995-2001.

Sounds like Binder is leaning towards giving Chapman back the closer role.

It makes sense. Chapman apparently just needed to get his head out of his ass.

Turned out he knew exactly what he was doing.

I remember begrudgingly being sold on it as a “needed a lefty bat” situation, but then O’Neill just turned his entire career around and won the freakin’ batting title!!

Trying to remember who Stick was responsible for keeping or acquiring for those dynasty teams. Didn’t realize all of the core four were drafted and developed under his stewardship. O’Neill, Cone and a personal-favorite signing of Jimmy Key, that’s a pretty good run of personnel decisions.

Pretty sure Steinbrenner wanted Bernie gone and Stick made it seem like no one wanted him.  He was also one of Rivera’s big boosters when they wanted to trade him for Felix Fermin I think.

Bob Watson and Brian Cashman got a lot of credit for the Yankees’ dynasty, but those were Stick Michael’s teams.

He gets extra credit for not trading minor league middle reliever Mariano Rivera for proven veteran Felix Fermin.

That was a double whammy, since in turning down that deal, he was also committing to playing rookie Derek Jeter every day at short.

I was also skeptical about the O’neill trade and we know about Mo but what other mistakes might George have made left to his own resources?

Sign more overpriced past-their-prime free agents. More jay buhner for ken phelps trades.

Who was responsible for Drabek/Rhoden?

Was George behind the Willie McGee and Fred McGriff trades though less well known than the Jay Buhner deal were actually worse trades.

[12] Probably George, but the GM at the time was Clyde King.

Yes. Trading a guy who would go on to hit 493 HRs for a middle inning relief pitcher…brilliant stuff. It was a terrible time to be a yankee fan. Sort of like how met fans feel every day.

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