I know that it’s considered poor form to speak ill of the dead. But is it my fault that when I think of George Steinbrenner, all that comes to mind is Seinfeld? Sure, he may have been the misguided genius behind the spendthrift MLB we’re now dealing with but he’s also the faceless voice demanding a calzone from sad little George Costanza.
To be honest, I don’t know the first thing about Steinbrenner. I’m sure he wasn’t the saint that all the sports channels and newspapers are making him out to be. He probably also isn’t the devil that I’ve always believed him to be. The truth, like usual, lies somewhere in between.
So how do I feel now that he’s dead? I don’t hate the man. I don’t love him. Actually, I don’t really feel anything. He took advantage of an inefficiency in the system, baseball’s inability to institute a salary cap, to bring all the best talent to his Yankees. He used his YES Network to monopolize revenue from all that the Yankees did. If anything, he was the ultimate capitalist. That may be the one aspect I respect the most.
But he is dead and it’s the end of an era in New York. Like baseball royalty, though, the Yankees have nothing to fear. The king is dead, long live the king.