• Spaceman Not Sad For Big Stein

    Posted by on July 16th, 2010 · Comments (11)

    Via Brian Costello

    Bill “The Spaceman” Lee’s hatred of George Steinbrenner did not mellow at all with the Yankee owner’s death Tuesday.

    Lee, who pitched for the Red Sox for 10 seasons, ripped Steinbrenner in a TV interview.

    “Trust me, if hell freezes over, he’ll be skating,” Lee told a reporter for WMUR-9 in Manchester, N.H.

    The TV station talked to Lee on a golf course Tuesday afternoon a few hours after Steinbrenner died from a heart attack at 80 years old.

    Lee began the 58-second interview by saying, “As far as Steinbrenner’s passing? Good.”

    During the 1976 season, Lee famously broke his collarbone during a brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox when Graig Nettles tackled him.

    Lee said Steinbrenner tried to have him kicked out of the game after the fight.

    “Steinbrenner tried to have me banned from baseball,” he said.

    “He said I was an incompetent and I was bad for the game of baseball. Well, I’m not a convicted felon like George Steinbrenner, and he’ll take that to his grave.”

    When the reporter asked Lee if he had any sadness about Steinbrenner dying, Lee said, “I have no sadness. I’m Irish; I’m Catholic, and when you’re gone, you’re gone.”

    I used to think that Bill Lee was an interesting and funny guy…but, that’s stopped after reading this report.

    Now, he’s just a 63-year old cranky pot head…

    Comments on Spaceman Not Sad For Big Stein

    1. MJ Recanati
      July 16th, 2010 | 9:16 am

      Wow, I guess Spaceman Lee liked Steinbrenner even less than I did. Even I felt sorrow for Steinbrenner’s family…

    2. Scout
      July 16th, 2010 | 10:23 am

      Utterly classless, which is typical of Lee.

    3. Raf
      July 16th, 2010 | 12:05 pm

      Someone tries to have me banned from my job, I’d probably have similar sentiments.

    4. MJ Recanati
      July 16th, 2010 | 12:21 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Someone tries to have me banned from my job, I’d probably have similar sentiments.

      At the time, sure, I’d agree (assuming that Lee’s claim that Boss tried to have Lee booted from the game).

      34 years later? Meh…it’s probably time to get over it. At least put the gripe on hold for a few days while people grieve over Steinbrenner’s death. After a few weeks, go back to being angry about the past.

    5. Raf
      July 16th, 2010 | 12:40 pm

      He’s Irish and Catholic, apparently that means he knows how to hold a grudge :D

    6. MJ Recanati
      July 16th, 2010 | 1:06 pm

      @ Raf:
      LOL!!

    7. July 16th, 2010 | 2:18 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: Is there any proof that Steinbrenner tried to have him banned from baseball? Lee also claims he was blacklisted from the game in 1983. Let’s just say I’m skeptical on both claims.

    8. July 16th, 2010 | 2:22 pm

      IIRC, the story with Lee was that he walked out on the Expos because some player (Rodney Scott?) got released and he thought it was BS – so, he walked in protest. And, after that, no one would touch him. Was he blacklisted? Well, blacklisted in the same way that no one will touch a major head case player, yeah, sure… ;-)

    9. July 16th, 2010 | 2:29 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Thanks for that info!

      Do you remember any attempt by Steinbrenner to ban Bill Lee? I thought Lee lost that fight (didn’t Nettles make sure to stomp over his arm with his spikes or something – that’s the legend I heard)?

      I do know Lee has always hated the Yankees, calling them “Nazis” and “Brownshirts” back in the day.

    10. Evan3457
      July 16th, 2010 | 2:37 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      IIRC, the story with Lee was that he walked out on the Expos because some player (Rodney Scott?) got released and he thought it was BS – so, he walked in protest. And, after that, no one would touch him. Was he blacklisted? Well, blacklisted in the same way that no one will touch a major head case player, yeah, sure…

      It also helps if, when you’re trying to make a political stand, and tell your own front office who they should and should not be releasing, you’re not a 35-year old long man out of the pen.

    11. Raf
      July 16th, 2010 | 11:07 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      IIRC, the story with Lee was that he walked out on the Expos because some player (Rodney Scott?) got released and he thought it was BS – so, he walked in protest.

      That was the story. I remember he signed his papers “Earth ’82″ or something like that and walked away. But yeah, he walked out on the club which led to his release.

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