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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Boss Is Gone But Not Forgotten

Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at 10:30 PM

He was a control freak that butted heads with commissioners and fellow owners, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, was suspended from baseball two times, insulted his players, changed managers 21 times, including Billy Martin on five occasions, and was probably one of the most reviled men on the planet at one time or the other because of the perceived competitive imbalance he created by taking advantage of free agency with pockets deeper than the other owners could compete with, but no one could ever say that New York Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner wasn't a winner.

Love him or hate him--his team won seven World Series Championships, 11 American League pennants and won the AL East 16 times in his tenure as owner.

He spent more than any other owner because he made more than anyone else did. He bought the team in 1973 for 8.7 million dollars. Today, Forbes estimates the franchise is worth 1.6 billion.

Until his dying day, Steinbrenner demanded championships and would accept no less.

He berated Joe Torre, one of the most successful managers in the history of the game during the 2007 AL playoffs, and then let him leave after 12 seasons because they didn't play well in the opening round that year.

Yet it was Torre who may have summed it up best when he was asked about his former boss.

"I will always remember George as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian, and a dear friend," Torre said. "It's only fitting that he went out as a world champ."

The team won what would be his final title in 2009.

Rest in Peace Boss. I have a feeling that heaven just became a much more colorful place.

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