I MUST SAY, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I FIND IT VERY HARD TO SEE THE LOGIC BEHIND SOME OF THE MOVES YOU HAVE MADE WITH THIS FINE ORGANIZATION. IN THE PAST TWENTY YEARS, YOU HAVE CAUSED MYSELF, AND THE CITY OF NEW YORK, A GOOD DEAL OF DISTRESS AS WE HAVE WATCHED YOU TAKE OUR BELOVED YANKEES AND REDUCED THEM TO A LAUGHING STOCK, ALL FOR THE GLORIFICATION OF YOUR MASSIVE EGO: Of course, the Seinfeld episode in which George Costanza confronted George Steinbrenner aired in May 1994, two years before Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and Jeffrey Maier led the Yankees to their first of five championships in a fourteen-season span.
I cannot write honestly about the passing of George Steinbrenner today and claim to have admired or respected the man. Yes, ownership entitles one to do with one's property more or less as one pleases, and it was not Steinbrenner who alone controlled what revenue sharing and other parity-enhancing tools Major League Baseball would employ. But cultural institutions like the New York Yankees are public trusts, and his meddlesomeness -- the five firings of Billy Martin, the Dave Winfield-Howie Spira skullduggery, the facial hair thing and the like -- degraded what should have remained baseball's crown jewel. Steinbrenner's Yankees were at his best after he put Joe Torre and Brian Cashman in place and stayed out of their way.
This has been a sad week for Yankees fans, between the passing of Bob Sheppard this weekend and now Steinbrenner's today. Out of respect, I'll say no more right now.