Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner, RIP

He's been a sort of spectral presence around Yankee Universe the last few years, a stark contrast from earlier years when he provoked his managers and some players into stark raving madness. And it's been notable how little drama has been in evidence around a team once known as the Bronx Zoo.

Coincidentally, I just began reading Steinbrenner -- I hadn't been aware of just how successful he'd been during his formative Cleveland years...nor just how venal and dishonest he could be with the people around him. The more involved he was with building teams, the less successful were those teams (the best teams were built while he was banished from the game, for illegal campaign contributions to CREEP in the early 70s and, in the early 90s, for "consorting with a gambler" in a pathetic effort to get dirt on the Dave Winfield foundation during a contract dispute with his right fielder).

But he knew the value of the brand that he owned, and he was the first owner to really understand the power of free agency -- he knew the latter would enhance baseball rather than destroy it, the position of most of his fellow owners. And he has been proven right. He saw that if you put quality on the field -- if the fans know the organization demands winning -- the fans will come to the Stadium. He wasn't the first to recognize the power of a super-regional TV network, but under his ownership the Yankees took it further, faster than any other organization, turning "super-regional" into "nationwide."

Mostly, though, I will miss "the missives."

UPDATE: More from the Pinstriped Blogger on George and Bob.

UPDATE: Fixed link

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com Site Meter