Nov
24

An ode to the Boss from LA

By

When Hal Steinbrenner officially assumed control of the Yankees last week, an era of baseball history came to close. For 30 years, George, spending billions of dollars, has gone from a wild and crazy guy devoted to winning to a somewhat tempered owner still obsessively devoted to winning. Along the way, he’s made countless enemies, broken numerous baseball rules and forever altered the economic face of the game.

Earlier this year, I looked at the Boss’ Bronx legacy, and then Reggie called for George to land in the Hall. Over the next few years, we’ll hear a lot of those arguments — impact vs. personality — rehashed, but for now, writers are struggling with his quiet departure.

In a piece from the West Coast, Steve Dilbeck pens a Dodgers-centric paean to King George. A lot of us are too young to remember it, but the Dodgers and Yankees were primary interleague rivals during Steinbrenner’s early years as manager. While that rivalry has faded, the Boss’ best hyperbole came out when the Yanks and Dodgers squared off in the playoffs. Dilbeck looks back, almost fondly, on that era and wonders how the Boss managed to fade away so quietly. It truly is the end of an era of baseball history.

Categories : Front Office

21 Comments»

  1. Matt says:

    George Steinbrenner is a HOFer, discuss….

      • Reason #628,741 that most baseball writers are insufferable dumbasses:

        “This guy’s one of the best ever, but he’s not one of the best ever of the best ever, so I’m going to vote for him for the Hall of Fame next year and not this year, because clearly it would be an insult to the great ____________ if he was a first ballot Hall-of-Famer as well.”

        Feel free to fill in the blank with any old-timey great you choose. I suggest either Grover Cleveland Alexander or Tris Speaker. (Note: the old-timey great doesn’t even have to be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer himself, just some guy who played before the 1950′s whose name you can think of who was really good.

        The whole “first ballot” thing is utter nonsensical crap. Like I need to know how many times it took them to get in to the Hall to figure out that Catfish Hunter wasn’t quite as good as Bob Gibson.

    • radnom says:

      Yes.

      Next discussion…..

  2. A.D. says:

    George has had more impact on the game than any current owner = HOF

    • Chris C. says:

      “George has had more impact on the game than any current owner = HOF”

      I don’t understand this. You mean impact on salary structures, right? Because I’m not sure how any owner can have an impact on the game of baseball itself.
      If anything, higher salaries led to greed, which led to steroid use, which led to tons of homers. I don’t think that’s the kind of impact you’re talking about, is it?

      • If anything, higher salaries led to greed, which led to steroid use, which led to tons of homers.

        There are so many titanic and dubious assumptions in there, it’s scary.

        • Chris C. says:

          I’m not blaming Steinbrenner for steroid use……..there’s no way he could have foreseen that. But this is the progression which led players to start taking them. I hardly think it’s a dubious assumption.

          Higher salaries didn’t do anything to benefit the game itself, and it certainly doesn’t benefit the fan’s ability to take his family to watch it. It just benefits the people playing it.

  3. Matt says:

    The best thing about George, besides his mock turtlenecks, is the fact that he’s basically the only owner in sports that puts pretty much 100% of his money back into the team.

    How many other owners are pocketing some of the profits? Which their is nothing wrong with, but Yankee fans should be grateful for his generosity.

    • Would Big George be the only member of the Hall to have received an official Presidential Pardon (Reagan, ’89)?

      He’s got to be, no?

    • Chris C. says:

      “The best thing about George, besides his mock turtlenecks, is the fact that he’s basically the only owner in sports that puts pretty much 100% of his money back into the team.”

      100%, eh? Was he living in Penn Station, and eating macaroni and cheese every night for dinner? Let’s not go crazy. This is the most storied franchise in the world, in the biggest media market in the world. And aside from the previous 10 years before he bought the team, the Yankees had always outspent the rest of the league.

      Let’s just say that Steinbrenner was a terrific businessman (at times a bit crooked, but very bright and aggressive) who made alot from the Yankees and spent alot on the Yankees. And if only he kept his nose out of the baseball decisions, like he was forced to do when he was twice suspended, then he may have parlayed all that loot into even more championships.
      I mean, James Dolan spends more than anyone else too……think maybe the market contributes to that a bit, or is he Santa Claus?

      But the man had a great run. Blown into mythical proportions, but a great run just the same.

  4. Chris C. says:

    “How many other owners are pocketing some of the profits?”

    Yeah, Steinbrenner doesn’t pocket any profits. He lives in a house made of straw.

    “Which their is nothing wrong with, but Yankee fans should be grateful for his generosity.”

    During the times when the money didn’t get in the way of making smart decisions (see Michael, Gene), I was very grateful.

    • Rick in Boston says:

      Do you have anything positive to ever say about anything? Except for the fact that the 1996-2001 Yankees were the grittiest guys ever?

      • Chris C. says:

        Did I not give Steinbrenner credit for being a brilliant businessman?
        What, there are no knocks on the guy? I give him his props…..he was a great owner. And he maximized any and every possble financial pipeline that New York and the Yankees ould possible dive into.

        But the taxpayers picked up the tab for his Yankee stadium taxes since 1982, the the entire new stadium is build mostly with taxpayer money and junk bonds. No wonder he has so much to dole out on payroll.

        Meanwhile, the owner of the Giants built his entire new stadium with his own money, and he’s in SAN FRANCISCO!

        To me, there is something wrong with Steinbrenner being thought of as tremendously generous, and Peter McGowan being viewed as some kind of cheapskate who pockets all the profits.

        • Ben K. says:

          Peter McGowan is struggling financially to meet the payments on that stadium. That’s not a very good example.

          • Rick in Boston says:

            And don’t the Yankees help foot the bill for his stadium due to revenue sharing? Baseball survived and flourished post-strike financially in large part to Steinbrenner. His ability to pay his players more meant that he put more money into revenue sharing and luxury taxes than any other single owner (if not eclipsing all others). The success Tampa has had? The new stadium Minnesota is getting? Paid all in part by the Steinbrenners.

            • Chris C. says:

              “And don’t the Yankees help foot the bill for his stadium due to revenue sharing?”

              Which Steinbrenner doesn’t believe in doing. Nor does he agree with a cap. So he just wants the sport to be as unbalanced as possible.
              You want a real owner who truly cares about the sport? Try the late great Wellington Mara.
              Now THAT’s a guy who’s done a ton of possitives for his league! And he never got half the hype as Steinbrenner.

              “Baseball survived and flourished post-strike financially in large part to Steinbrenner.”

              Bullcrap. Baseball was never in the financial trouble you think it was. That was a fight between millionaires and billionaires.

              “His ability to pay his players more meant that he put more money into revenue sharing and luxury taxes than any other single owner (if not eclipsing all others).”

              Again, he’s in the NY market, with the most recognizable sports logo in the world. And he’s a great businessman.
              But the man does not want a salary cap (fine) AND does not want revenue sharing.
              You cannot be against both, then believe you have the best interests of the game at heart.

              “The success Tampa has had? The new stadium Minnesota is getting? Paid all in part by the Steinbrenners.”

              And who started the ridiculous contracts that caused alot of these teams to need revenue sharing?
              MLB wasn’t doing well before Steinbrenner came along? Get real!

          • Chris C. says:

            That’s not the point. The point is, he did the right thing. He runs a business, reaps the profits, and paid for his own overhead. If he’s having any problems, it’s because he operates in San Francisco.

            If he did the same thing in NY, he’d have no problems with the payments, and he’d be hailed a hero.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.