"Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa."
July 13, 2010 6:47 AM   Subscribe

New York's ABC affiliate reports that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has suffered a massive heart attack at his home in Tampa, Florida. Legendary New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has suffered a heart attack and according to multiple reports, is in "extremely serious condition." He was rushed to St. Joseph's hospital in Tampa, Fla. Steinbrenner, who turned 80 on July 4, bought the Yankees in 1973 and has won an MLB-best 11 pennants and seven World Series championships during his tenure. Because of his failing health, he turned over the day-to-day operations of the organization to his two sons in November 2008.
posted by Fizz (69 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
ESPN is reporting that he has died.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:52 AM on July 13, 2010


This is sad, and what is sadder is that the first thing I thought of was how this would play out on Seinfeld.
posted by Beardman at 6:53 AM on July 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


I am guessing we will have to wait for official reports and sources that can be confirmed.
posted by Fizz at 6:53 AM on July 13, 2010


.
posted by Beardman at 6:53 AM on July 13, 2010


WNYC Radio is also reporting that he has died.
posted by Jahaza at 6:53 AM on July 13, 2010


I don't know if a moderator wants to go back into my link and correct it with an updated source or not. I am reading some places that report that he is in "critical condition" and others that state he has died.
posted by Fizz at 6:54 AM on July 13, 2010


I heard on a Yankee blog that Steinbrenner's PR man said they'd have a statement shortly when asked how he was doing, that probably means that he died.
posted by any major dude at 6:58 AM on July 13, 2010


From the NY Times:

Filed at 9:50 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- A person close to George Steinbrenner tells The Associated Press that the New York Yankees' owner died Tuesday morning.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet made the announcement.

posted by marsha56 at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2010


While I can understand the desire to be first with a post about this since it's such big news, I'm kind of hoping a Yankees fan can put together a post that's a more comprehensive overview of his career in baseball and the controversies surrounding him than a couple of thin news links and a Wikipedia entry. And I also hope they include a YouTube clip of Larry David's goofy Steinbrenner impression from Seinfeld.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


The "convicted" part of Martin's comment referred to Steinbrenner's connection to U.S. President Richard Nixon: he was indicted on 14 criminal counts on April 5, 1974, then pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to Nixon's re-election campaign and a felony charge of obstruction of justice on August 23. Steinbrenner was personally fined $15,000, while his firm was assessed $20,000 for the offense. On November 27, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended him for two years, but later reduced that amount to fifteen months, with Steinbrenner returning to the Yankees in 1976. U.S. President Ronald Reagan pardoned Steinbrenner on January 19, 1989, in one of the final acts of his presidency. - Wikipedia

Maybe in Heaven, he'll get to fire Billy Martin for all eternity.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


MegoSteve's ESPN link quotes the family's statement.
posted by Beardman at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2010


The family confirms it, according to an update on ESPN.com. I have some strong hate for the Yankees but the man leaves behind an amazing legacy. He and Bob Sheppard have some amazing seats for tonight's All Star Game.

It reminds me of when Harry Kalas died last year - quick reports putting him in critical condition, then dead. And, like Harry, he was blessed to go out with a championship.
posted by moviehawk at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2010


While I can understand the desire to be first with a post about this since it's such big news, I'm kind of hoping a Yankees fan can put together a post that's a more comprehensive overview of his career in baseball and the controversies surrounding him than a couple of thin news links and a Wikipedia entry. And I also hope they include a YouTube clip of Larry David's goofy Steinbrenner impression from Seinfeld.

I just wanted to get the information out there. If someone else wants to post more information surrounding his career and involvement with The New York Yankees, I would gladly welcome such a post.

I considered linking to a video of George Steinbrenner as portrayed on Seinfeld but I did not think it was appropriate.

Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 7:01 AM on July 13, 2010


I think the post's completely valid. Important guy, important development, "thin news links" or not. A comprehensive post of everything Steinbrenner would be great too.
posted by blucevalo at 7:12 AM on July 13, 2010


I'm kind of hoping a Yankees fan can put together a post...

I'm kind of hoping a Red Sox fan will do it.
posted by grounded at 7:12 AM on July 13, 2010 [22 favorites]


I don't know if a moderator wants to go back into my link and correct it with an updated source or not. I am reading some places that report that he is in "critical condition" and others that state he has died.

We don't really do those sorts of things. It's usually better if you wait to see what the outcome of the massive health event is before posting and if it turns out you're writing an obit, you can take the time to include more links and relevant information. There is really not any need to 'get the information out there" in some sort of speedy fashion.
posted by jessamyn at 7:13 AM on July 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sad week for the Yankee's organization.
posted by bjork24 at 7:15 AM on July 13, 2010


We don't really do those sorts of things. It's usually better if you wait to see what the outcome of the massive health event is before posting and if it turns out you're writing an obit, you can take the time to include more links and relevant information. There is really not any need to 'get the information out there" in some sort of speedy fashion.

I hate to get sidetracked but I find it interesting that there will always be two sides when it comes to this issue of how one should post on this site. Link heavy or light? Get the info out there quickly so discussion can occur, or wait and find as many links as possible and provide more for the posting.

Ah well, it's already out there and at the time it was news and I thought that some people would like to know. Many check this site before they check their news affiliates.
posted by Fizz at 7:17 AM on July 13, 2010


.

He waited until Bob Sheppard could announce his arrival.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:18 AM on July 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


If he's not out, he's at least sliding into home.
posted by ColdChef at 7:18 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow. Just two days after Bob Sheppard passed, too. This is truly the end of an era.

Steinbrenner was a polarizing figure, perhaps equally beloved and hated by Yankee fans and probably universally hated by fans of other teams. The man literally changed the nature of baseball with his checkbook, but I'm sorry to say I don't think it was for the better.

.
posted by zarq at 7:19 AM on July 13, 2010


In the city the man was a legend.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:19 AM on July 13, 2010


Maybe in Heaven, he'll get to fire Billy Martin for all eternity.

As if I needed any more proof of the absence of a just and loving god.
posted by total warfare frown at 7:21 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is really not any need to 'get the information out there" in some sort of speedy fashion.

Well, no need in a meta sense, but site-specifically, it is typical that the first post of a breaking news event stands, so it actually does matter how speedily one gets the information out there.

But in the greater scheme of things, yes, you're right that it doesn't all that much matter.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:23 AM on July 13, 2010


Get the info out there quickly so discussion can occur

Without derailing [and people can go to MetaTalk if they want to] this approach is really not one that we advocate. A better post is always better than a timely post unless there's a world-scale disaster happening.
posted by jessamyn at 7:23 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Always a big supporter of the Jimmy Fund. Even as a Bostonian, I've respected his commitment to his team.

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posted by .kobayashi. at 7:27 AM on July 13, 2010


.

Not punctuation, but rather, a really tiny baseball.
posted by schmod at 7:31 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck sakes, now MeFi is doing breaking sports news?

Heh.
posted by zarq at 7:35 AM on July 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK, that wasn't exactly breaking, but still, it struck me as ironic.
posted by zarq at 7:36 AM on July 13, 2010


I love hoisted petards.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:39 AM on July 13, 2010


.
posted by lullaby at 7:40 AM on July 13, 2010


Baseball is officially dead.
.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:40 AM on July 13, 2010


People who don't like sports know who George Steinbrenner is.

I can attest to the fact that this is not universally the case.
posted by wreckingball at 7:45 AM on July 13, 2010


Love him or hate him, the man was 100 feet tall. The stuff of legend, for sure.

.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2010


I live in the Tampa area. The Boss's impact in this area is amazing.

The Children's Trauma Ward at St Joseph's Hospital is all him.
His donations to education in the area led to the creation of George Steinbrenner HS.

His generous contributions to some many things is more than can be listed.
And he did all of this not seeking any publicity for his philanthropy.
He was a man who did not care what others thought of him,
he donated millions because that was just the kind of man he was.

Rest in Peace, George -
never mind the Yankee fans, the people of Tampa Bay will miss you !!
posted by Flood at 7:54 AM on July 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


People who don't like sports know who George Steinbrenner is.

Well, maybe some New Yorkers who don't follow sports know who he is. Beyond that I wouldn't be so sure.

That said, here's hoping he didn't suffer badly, and sympathy for his loved ones.
posted by aught at 7:54 AM on July 13, 2010


MeTa for the posting policy party.

. for the Steinbrenner.
posted by cavalier at 7:56 AM on July 13, 2010


From my perspective as a casual and not particularly learnéd yankees fan, it seems that George's biggest contribution was the recognition and aggressive playing of the meta-game of baseball; the work involved in scouting, trading, and investing in the best quality baseball team he could put together. While he spent more money than anyone else, he did so because a) it wasn't against the league rules, and b) he was able to leverage his position as a dominant market to make it economically sustainable.

You may not like this, but it's the rules of the league, and he was (absent the occasional tampering charge) playing by them.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:57 AM on July 13, 2010


As a baseball fan, I can't begin to count how much Steinbrenner did for baseball in New York. If not for him and his leadership, then a lot of the baseball moments from the 1970's to the present would never have happened.

Hal, his son, is shaping up to be a little like his pops, but there will never be another owner as iconic as Steinbrenner.
posted by reenum at 8:01 AM on July 13, 2010


jenkinsEar: "From my perspective as a casual and not particularly learnéd yankees fan, it seems that George's biggest contribution was the recognition and aggressive playing of the meta-game of baseball; the work involved in scouting, trading, and investing in the best quality baseball team he could put together. While he spent more money than anyone else, he did so because a) it wasn't against the league rules, and b) he was able to leverage his position as a dominant market to make it economically sustainable.

You may not like this, but it's the rules of the league, and he was (absent the occasional tampering charge) playing by them.
"

George was actually initially opposed to free agency, but said that if there was going to be free agency he would play by the rules.

One of his biggest contributions to the business of sports is his development of the YES network. It is one of his biggest assets now. Most large market teams have followed suit.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:02 AM on July 13, 2010


A better post is always better than a timely post unless there's a world-scale disaster happening.

ASTEROID HEADED FOR EA ... [no more inside]
posted by joe lisboa at 8:08 AM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


He was rude, arrogant, petulant, cruel, and sometimes quite insane* - And yet the history of the franchise since 1973 is peppered with anecdotes of his kindness, good deeds, and yes, even classiness** - Love him or hate him, they pretty much threw away the mold after Mr. Steinbrenner. RIP George, the world is a little less entertaining this morning.

*He demanded that GM Gabe Paul trade the struggling Mickey Rivers…. In between games 2 and 3 of the 1976 World Series.

** When Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2006, his father shared some of the experiences with the Boston Globe, and noted that of all the MLB teams other than the Red Sox, only the Yankees sent get well wishes, apparently attached to a flower arrangement that was so large it barely fit into Jon's hospital room.
posted by jalexei at 8:13 AM on July 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Much respect for Mr. Steinbrenner from this Red Sox fan.

.
posted by D_I at 8:24 AM on July 13, 2010


I'll refrain from saying any horrible things in this forum about Mr Steinbrenner, no matter how I may feel.

So I'll just go now.
posted by grubi at 8:43 AM on July 13, 2010


My father, a Yankee fan since his birth in 1942, shared his hatred of George Steinbrenner with me often when I was a kid. My dad grew up with Mantle, Ford and Berra, and Steinbrenner had tarnished that legacy by ushering in a completely different aura and way of doing business.*

And worst of all, the Yankees didn't win. Yes, they won the World Series a couple of times in the 70's, but when I was growing up in the early 90's they were putrid. Andy Hawkins threw a no-hitter and lost the game. They briefly had a manager named "Stump." It was an embarrassing time to be a Yankee fan.

As the obituaries note, it wasn't until Steinbrenner's second suspension from baseball that the team that came to dominate the late 90's was built -- and that's the team I grew up with.

So I was close to tears when I heard the news. In his later years, Steinbrenner had the intelligence to step back a bit and let Brian Cashman run the team. Meanwhile, New Yankee Stadium and the Yes Network ensure that the Yankees will continue to be the richest team in American sports for years to come.

Steinbrenner's group bought the team for $8.7 million, and it's now worth $1.6 billion. That, ultimately, is the Steinbrenner legacy.

As a fan, I know my team will try to win the championship every year, and that it'll have the resources to give it a real shot. You couldn't ask for anything more.

R.I.P. George, and long live the Steinbrenners as owners of the Yankees.

*My dad also hated Nixon, and the fact that Steinbrenner had contributed to CREEP drove him nuts.
posted by thebergfather at 8:46 AM on July 13, 2010


Oops, meant to include a link to CREEP.

And as requested, here's Larry David as George on Seinfeld.
posted by thebergfather at 8:50 AM on July 13, 2010


In his later years, Steinbrenner had the intelligence to step back a bit and let Brian Cashman run the team.

Steinbrenner's meddling bought the Yankees two contentious titles over the course of two decades. Steinbrenner *not* meddling got 'em FIVE, four in a five year span.
posted by grubi at 8:59 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


.

2 days, 2 from Cleveland.

On Friday, I went out to dinner with my grandpa. He told me of a story (from my guess, it was probably the 1950's or 60's] that one of his buddies from the PLAV worked for Steinbrenner's company at the shipping yards. This guy needed to get surgery done at the Cleveland Clinic, and the Clinic was refusing to do some of the medical work because there was some hang-up over who to pay between the insurance and the hospital. His supervisor called up the Clinic CEO or whoever was the head at the time and demanded that he get the surgery done, and he did. My grandpa continued that the supervisor, George Steinbrenner, treated the employees well.

I don't respect the man for what he did in the baseball world but he treated his workers well at the docks, so my grandpa said.
posted by fizzix at 9:02 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll bet Jesus has been ordered to get a haircut and lose the beard.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:04 AM on July 13, 2010 [11 favorites]


.
posted by nj_subgenius at 9:19 AM on July 13, 2010


I'll bet Jesus has been ordered to get a haircut and lose the beard.

Ha! And is wearing an undershirt with one longer sleeve to cover the tattoo...
posted by jalexei at 9:24 AM on July 13, 2010


Well, maybe some New Yorkers who don't follow sports know who he is. Beyond that I wouldn't be so sure.

I'm from Toronto, have never watched a baseball game in my life, and I know who he is. I don't see how you can be an average consumer of news and not eventually know who the prominent figures are in any field. Plus, yada yada yada, Seinfeld.
posted by zarah at 9:38 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


And somewhere in heaven, Phil Hartmann finally has an update on George Steinbrenner's health. (anyone remember that?)
posted by condour75 at 10:04 AM on July 13, 2010


I was at Legends Field in Tampa a couple of years ago for a spring training game. One of the things with ST is if you get to the park early, and go down and stand by the wall near home plate, you can often chat with a player and get an autograph. Hell, you can often do this in major league parks.

Not at Legends Field. One of the octogenarians they use as ushers there was horrified that I was trying this, even though it was 2.5 hours until game time. He pointed up to the skyboxes and said the Boss was watching, and that not too long ago Steinbrenner had fired an usher when a fan was seen strolling through his section without being challenged.

"The Boss is watching." This was well into the period where Steinbrenner was incapacitated and mostly homebound. That's managing through fear.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:17 AM on July 13, 2010


Say what you will about him, you can't deny his impact. He took over a major power in a rough spot and made it even more powerful. RIP Joseph Stalin.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:28 AM on July 13, 2010


I remember going to a spring training game (Yankees/Cardinals in Jupiter, FL) where someone caught a foul ball and gave it to the kid sitting in front of me. Steinbrenner was sitting in the same section, so between innings the kid and her father went to get the ball signed. He was more than happy to sign the ball and talked to them during the next inning.

Made me, a lifelong Red Sox fan, see that "the Boss" could be a really nice guy. And probably made a kid a huge Yankees fan…
posted by bCat at 10:46 AM on July 13, 2010


Another Red Sox fan here. I was raised to love to hate him. (But somehow am not surprised to learn in this thread of all his charitable work.) Now I'm shocked to realize I'll miss you greatly, oh Master of the Evil Empire.

.
posted by bearwife at 10:59 AM on July 13, 2010


I'll bet Jesus has been ordered to get a haircut and lose the beard.

Yet another reason The Yankees are the Tiffany of US professional sports teams.
posted by L'OM at 11:26 AM on July 13, 2010


Love him, hate him, or love to hate him, Steinbrenner took a pretty crappy Yankees team in the 70's and eventually turned the franchise into the world's most successful, in terms of championships won. Whether that was accomplished through fear, money, the farm system, or through the collaboration with other people, it's a pretty amazing turnaround.

Speaking as a majorly dedicated Yankees fan, I can't say that Steinbrenner's approach was my favorite, but his aim was to win. He accomplished more than a lot of people thought he could, and the image of the Yankees franchise is absolutely huge.

A lot of us assumed he was on his way out- fewer public appearances, more fragile emotions on display, more power transferred to his sons- so this doesn't come as a surprise.

But for me, the impact is no less. I don't know what the team will be like without him and his presence.

.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:37 AM on July 13, 2010


Would the Mets have a few titles if Steinbrenner was running them?
posted by smackfu at 1:16 PM on July 13, 2010


You mean Steinbrenner wasn't running the Mets in 1986?
posted by grounded at 1:37 PM on July 13, 2010


An old sportswriter pal in Ohio added this about Steinbrenner:

George Steinbrenner paid for several of the speakers at the early Lorain Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. He paid for Jesse Owens, John Wooden and others. One year the speaker backed out at the last minute, and Steinbrenner flew about four or five members of the Yankees organizaton -- I think it was Whitey Ford, Phil Rizzuto, Billy Martin and others -- on the Yankees personal jet to Lorain.

AND

Steinbrenner also funded either the Junior Olympics or Special Olympics -- I don't remember which -- in Lorain for a couple years. He sat in the stands at George Daniel Stadium and watched the action for an hour or so. He also talked to me, a lowly sports reporter for The Lorain Journal, for about 15 minutes while we sat in the stands and watched the runners. He may have been an ass to work for, but he was OK to me.

Somewhat related Steinbrenner links:
In 1971, four workers at Steinbrenner's American ShipBuilding Co. yard in Lorain, Ohio, died when the Roger Blough caught fire. Others were injured or became ill. Blough himself was a newsy guy. A few years later, AmShip closed the local yard and consolidated everything in Florida, a serious blow to the blue-collar community, but just one of many in that decade. And not too long after that, Steinbrenner got into trouble over his CREEP donations but he survived that, too. (It's pretty obvious The Smoking Gun folks are not Yankee fans.)
posted by etaoin at 2:18 PM on July 13, 2010


As an Oriole fan I weep at the Steinbrenner's death. And after his death. And before it too. Really just a lot of weeping going on re: baseball.
posted by codacorolla at 3:05 PM on July 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Would the Mets have a few titles if Steinbrenner was running them?

They have a few without him.

(and as much of a prick as Steinbrenner could be (and he could be a colossal prick) he was part of the baseball landscape and he had a presence that was undeniable. He'll be missed.)
posted by jonmc at 5:40 PM on July 13, 2010


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posted by germdisco at 11:24 PM on July 13, 2010


I say good riddance to bad rubbish. Steinbrenner made his fortune by ripping off taxpayers for decades between his bogus shipbuilding and his having the public pay for sports stadiums. The paltry amount of his public donations are nothing compared to his HUMONGOUS theft. Rot in hell, George.
posted by gnosys at 11:32 PM on July 13, 2010


"bogus shipbuilding" ? Please explain.
posted by etaoin at 4:12 AM on July 14, 2010


Fantastic HuffPo piece today by Red Sox fan Paul Orzulak on what Steinbrenner meant to the Yankees.
posted by bearwife at 11:29 AM on July 14, 2010


George Steinbrenner: the biggest loser in baseball:
George Steinbrenner was a loser. While insisting that nothing less than wining was acceptable, Steinbrenner owned the New York Yankees during the team's longest World Series drought since its first appearance in 1921, a dry spell directly attributable to Steinbrenner's insistent mismanagement.

Steinbrenner, who died on Tuesday at age 80, was a bully and a brat, devoid of humility, class, and civility, born on third base, deluded that he'd hit a triple, and convinced he had to tell the whole world how he'd done it. Famed for his bombast and for making himself bigger than his players and team, tolerated only because he had money and power
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 2:37 PM on July 17, 2010


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