The Ultimate Capitalist

george_steinbrenner.jpgI 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.

-A

6 Comments

Alan,
The episode in question, where he is Elaine’s date for George’s wedding is a Television classic moment. Not only did it capture the fun character of “The Boss”, but it showed his enthusiasm to always getting the last wrod…with a vengeance.
But for all the antagonists of the man who was truly “King of NYC”, he was also a great force in recognizing the needs and wellbeings of other in his two cumminities of New York City and Tampa, Florida.
When two recent Tampa police officers paid the ultimate price, it was Steinbrenner who was upfront and depositing funds to help their children in their future needs.
In closing, he was the only Yankee I truly rooted for, and respected since he took over the team in the late 1970’s.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Well he sure was an interesting character… I mean I’m not going to say any ill words but he will be forever known for making such a huge impact on the game. He strived for success and loved to win and the Yankees produced. Very rarely does that happen. He built an empire and I’m sure people have lots of opinions about him but you can’t deny his impact nor his accomplishments. May he rest in peace.

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Have to say I didn’t know him, it’s a sad time for those close to anyone who dies, until they realise how much money they have, then it seems to make things okay for them.

-peter
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

I agree with everything you said and just the way you said it. I however struggled with that approach in my efforts and wound up taking a much different route. The Baseball aspect of George is something I couldn’t neatly summarize like you eloquently did. I tried and kept deleting and deleting. How the mighty Capitalist affected Baseball has to wait for another day after some separation. But as a NY’r I have a lot of respect for the guy.
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

The newspapers have been saying he was a saint? Haven’t read those papers, I guess. I think the coverage has been pretty even handed.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

In thinking about Steinbrenner – he wasn’t as evil as, say, Pinochet. Nor did he have anyone killed in the name of the enterprise (er, state), as Stalin. He lived a a balanced life – entrepreneurial, but he did some good along the way.

Probably best in thinking that way when the negative stuff is written about him.

http://heirloom.mlblogs.com

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