How Paul O'Neil is still getting paid by Seinfeld

These Friday articles are always fun!


You are probably going to think I’m FOS or more FOS than you might already think I am, but when I was a kid, I used to play tennis with him in the off season. He was a fantastic player. Lefty, 6’5” so huge serve. Great volleys. And big forehand.


Harpers Point?

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He’s a good basketball player too.

I’d say 6’4”, based on 6’3” me standing next to him in line for the bathroom at Taft Theater.

If I remember correctly he had many full ride offers for basketball and baseball at the D1 level.

Seinfeld or O’Neil?


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Ah, yes. For some reason an arch enemy of Lou Pinella - a feud that continued past Lou’s playing days with O’Neill with the Yankees and continued into when Sweet Lou was our skipper in Seattle. It became very apparent to those of us in the clubhouse during the ‘95 playoff series when the Mariners came from two games down to win it on Edgar’s double. None seemed to know the reason for the hatred but it was palpable.

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Lou never played with Paul. He was the coach since he had about 30 years on him. I have no idea what their friendship was like however I do recall Paul and his brother Robert as being nice people. Everyone loved Paul. That was a special time in Cincinnati. Also Lou was a great manager in Cincy. And he would get very angry and throw bases. I miss that.

Edit: I’m at dinner but I will share a funny story about Paul that still makes me laugh all these years later.


The Piniella / O’Neill feud really took hold the 3 years Lou managed the Reds. He thought O’Neill should’ve been a power hitter, but Paul sprayed line drives everywhere. Turned out Lou was wrong.


Ok, I’m back from dinner and here’s my story so you won’t think I’m FOS. My brother, sister and I used to play doubles with Paul. Sometimes, we’d play singles with Paul or sometimes some combo of us against Paul and his brother Robert in doubles. Or Paul with some other good player. He was a tremendous athlete and quickly became one of the better players at the club. Anyhow, Paul would bring other Reds by. I recall seeing Billy Hatcher, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, Rob Dibble (who one of my sisters babysat for) and probably some I’m forgetting. One day, Chris Sabo comes by and is looking for a match but can’t find one. My sister who is about 13 at the time says “I’ll play with you.” Sabo (who I should mention has a colossally great arm but is not a good player at this point in time immediately turns his nose up. My sister is an up-and-coming nationally ranked player and a few years later, ends up playing big time college tennis. He doesn’t know any of her ability though and promptly says “I ain’t playing with some girl…” Paul overhears him and says “Spuds, I’ll bet you a grand that little red headed girl will kick your ass.” I think Sabo maybe said something like “I’ll double you”, but it’s been a while so I can’t verify. Anyhow, before they get on the court, Paul tells my sister: “Do me a favor and kick his ass.” She smiles and about 45 minutes later, they’re off the court and she has beaten him like 6-1, 6-1. and I recall Paul saying “wow, that was faster than pizza delivery.” Anyhow, after that, he got our family awesome tickets right on the third base line about 3 rows back. And when we went to the game, he was taunting Chris from the outfield. He yelled “Hey Spuds, there’s that little red headed girl who kicked your ass!” Sabo tried to play her again but she always said “nah. not worth my time.” I don’t know that big time sports will ever be that personal again. Jokes aside, all those guys were very kind. Marge did a lot of things wrong, but she somehow found good people to play for her and win for her. Hard to fathom. Sorry to write so much, memory lane lacks an editing shoppe.