“Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.”
— George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)
First Bob Sheppard, the voice of the Yankees, passed away on Sunday. Now, “The Boss dies this morning. Why is God a Red Sox fan this week?
Seriously, this is a shitty week for Yankees fans.
I know that fans of other baseball teams will complain that Steinbrenner ruined baseball, that he bought championships.
But you know what? Isn’t that what you want your owner(s) to do? Don’t you want your owner to do whatever it takes (within the rules) to make sure that your team is competitive every year? The Yankees didn’t win the World Series every year. When I became a Yankees fan as a kid, they were one of the worst teams in baseball. This was during Steinbrenner’s ban from baseball. When he was reinstated in 1993, he did everything in his power to make sure the Yankees fielded the best team his money could buy. It took a few years but the Yankees finally made it back to the top of the baseball world in 1996 and have been in the playoffs almost every year since then.*
Steinbrenner demanded a winner and that’s why every Yankees fan loves him and is sad today.
You may hate everything he’s done for the Yankees and to Major League Baseball as a result but why should I care? We’ve won 11 pennants and 7 World Series titles. Suck it!
Now I’m even happier the Yankees were able to give George one more World Series ring before he passed.
Cindy asked me a few days ago what I thought of Steinbrenner for a birthday card she was making me (Steinbrenner and I share the same birthday) and I told her, “He’s an asshole but he’s MY asshole!”
In retrospect, I could have phrased that a little better.