August 17, 2006

Steinbrenner Retreats From the Spotlight:

posted by justgary to baseball at 12:51 PM - 6 comments

I'm kinda sorry George isn't as visible as he once was. At least he always had the ability to poke fun at himself, and wasn't too bothered by other peoples comedic portrayals of him. As for being an "asshole", well, many people as successful as him share the same trait, and no one was ever forced to remain in his employ. (Except, heh heh, the ballplayers under contract, and they were always paid VERY well.)

posted by mjkredliner at 01:53 PM on August 17

its kinda sad -- the Yankees have gone from being a team driven by a brash, colourful, hot-headed personality to just being a bland professionally run corporate entity -- as much as I hated it/him, I miss having that having that whole story-line now -- I guess the big money involved means that bland professional/corporate ownership will more and more become the norm in pro-sports

posted by hb74147 at 03:59 PM on August 17

I too hate to see the Boss retreat. Love him or hate him, his personnel moves brought the Yanks back. And who can ever forget his controversies with the likes of Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson?

posted by jm_mosier at 05:44 AM on August 18

No question Steinbrenner was a first class asshole, but on the plus side, he was loyal to his players, almost to a fault (Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, etc.). On the negative, he treated Billy Martin like a battered spouse, and had an endless well of vindictiveness for anyone that dared cross him. Though he could be forgiving of those he considered traitors (he gave Reggie Jax a job after his playing career was over). His story can be told in three acts. His acquisition of the Yankees, the stunning acquisitions he made that almost instantly restored them to greatness. Part II, the fact that continued reliance on those early techniques that gutted the farm system and nearly destroyed the team (plus his vindictiveness in the Spira/Winfield thing that led to his banshiment) resulting in a 15 year pennant drought. And act three, the reformation of the Yankees into a merciless, bland, corporate machine (arguably what they were back in the old days with DiMag, Mickey, Ford and Gehrig). I don't know that Aeschylus could have written a better story.

posted by psmealey at 06:28 AM on August 18

Steinbrenner Retreats From the Spotlight Spotlight follows anyway, asks if Sheffield is really going to play first base next year. Spotlight describes planned move as "wack".

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:12 AM on August 18

Steinbrenner just can't win in public perception. Either the Yankees are a "Zoo" or they're a "bland, corporate machine." His team generates the most revenue of any sports franchise, which puts him in this conundrum: if he pockets the money, he's a greedy, money grubbing bastard (e.g. Kauffman); if he pours the revenue back onto the field, he's buying championships. The waxing of nostalgia over the Steinbrenner of the '70s and '80s seems just a bit disingenuous to me. Maybe it just felt better to hate him when he was youthful, media hungry and over-involved than it does now, as a retreating septuagenarian. For my part, as a Yankee fan, I can't hate him because his commitment to the team has brought six championships in my lifetime, but I also can't forgive him for the mindless spending and idiotic meddling that kept Don Mattingly from getting even one of them (during, by the way, the longest post-season draught in franchise history -- every year of it under his watch). He's not the savior of the Yankees and he's not a Greek hero with a fatal flaw that has paved his destiny. He's a baseball owner, won some, lost some, did it his way.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:38 AM on August 19

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