George Steinbrenner, the emperor of the Evil Empire, died yesterday, and even the fiercest patriots of
In an age of anodyne press releases, Steinbrenner strutted across the Big Apple stage like a cartoon character impervious to embarrassment. Until his health faltered the last few years, he was a big part of the show at the ballyard in the Bronx. If he ranted and raved on the back page of the New York Post during a losing streak, so what? Yankee fans were never deprived of excitement. Either Steinbrenner’s mercenaries were winning on the diamond, or he was threatening to clear out the clubhouse.
Steinbrenner deserves credit for his seven championships. And his excesses enhanced the pleasure of the championships the Red Sox finally won in 2004 and 2007. He made beating the Yankees into a triumph of New England restraint over New York bravado.