• Stories On Big Stein This Spring

    Posted by on February 23rd, 2007 · Comments (3)

    From Michael Geffner -

    Before I ever arrived here, I heard the scuttlebutt that the Boss wouldn’t be around much in camp, that his gradual but inexorable disappearance from the Yankee scene would go another level deeper, fade more into the black of that final good night.

    And so far, in the first 10 days of spring training, this has been entirely true, as George Steinbrenner has surfaced a just twice, looking shockingly pale and frail, walking with an unsteady, if not limping gait, and at least that first time, on opening day, he slurred the few words he was able to utter.

    Mind you, it must be said that we in the media have never been offered an official announcement about what exactly is wrong with the man, of how bad it his health is, whether he has Alzheimer’s or dementia or simply is deteriorating from the process of age, from existing on this planet for 76 years.

    All we’ve ever gotten are rumors, including some pretty wild ones and sad ones, like the Boss coming face to face with Reggie Jackson and not recognizing the guy, or remembering Alex Rodriguez’s name.

    I can tell you this with absolute certainty: The Steinbrenner we’ve known these last 30 years, the one we’ve hated and loved and admired and criticized, is long gone.

    The thought of Big Stein playing the role of Aunt Clara to Cashman’s Samantha Stevens just breaks my heart. It truly is an end of an era.

    Comments on Stories On Big Stein This Spring

    1. MJ
      February 23rd, 2007 | 4:11 pm

      I know that I’m in the minority on this one but I find it very hard to find any compassion for Steinbrenner. While his love of the Yankees has never been in doubt, while he’s certainly one of the very few owners in pro sports who values winning as much as he values making a buck, I just find it very hard to like a guy who behaves the way he did for all those years. I think winning World Series rings has created a cadre of apologists for a guy who treated his employees like disposable trash, berating and insulting and demeaning anyone and everyone. He was a tyrant and an ogre and, for all the charity he did on the side, he still hurt a lot of people who worked very hard for him.

      It’s hard to fully respect a man who can’t show even the most basic level of respect for his own employees. While I’ve certainly enjoyed the fruits of Steinbrenner’s passion for winning, I have not enjoyed how he behaved and I will only mark his passing for the historical marker it will represent in baseball history. As a man, he disgusted me at just about every turn.

      Note that I wish him no ill and that I will grieve for his family, lest someone misconstrue my post for hate-mail.

    2. singledd
      February 23rd, 2007 | 6:14 pm

      I’ve been an ardent Yankee fan for 42 years now. For me, the greatest day in Yankee history had been the day George was banned from participating in management. I was high for weeks, knowing that this supreme asshole, who was ruining the greatest team in the world, was gone.

      That was many years ago, and the man we have seen in the last decade has mellowed a lot. While always ‘the Boss’, his passion to win and invest back in his team, has set an example for the entire sport.

      I have grown to respect then man, and his passing… whether physical or mental, will be a loss to the sport, and the end of an era.

      I think he is quite sick. Aging definitely hurts the body, but not necessarily the mind. We all know 70, 80 and maybe 90 year old folk who are still pretty sharp. When you lead an active mental and intellectual life as George has, a diminished mental capacity is a sign of damage… whether it’s Alzheimer’s, dementia or conditions we haven’t diagnosed yet. The fact that he no longer talks to the public is a very bad sign.

      I will guess he is losing his mind. Very sad for anyone, but especially sad for ‘The Boss’.

      I will miss him.

    3. jonm
      February 23rd, 2007 | 6:52 pm

      ~~Aging definitely hurts the body, but not necessarily the mind.~~

      This is an excellent point, singledd. It annoys me that reporters are saying that Steinbrenner’s decline may be merely age-related. It’s as if these reporters never observed the aging of their parents. A normal 76-year old man with the kind of access to health care that Steinbrenner surely has does not decline in the way that he has. A normal 76 year old may need a hip replacement, but he doesn’t slur his words or become incoherent.

      `

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