When I heard on Tuesday that long-time New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner had died, I have to admit my first reaction was - just like "the Boss" to die the morning of the Major League All-Star game. What timing. His bigger than life story would dominate the mid-summer classic and overshadow a rare National League win. It could have been the storyline of a Seinfeld episode.
I come genetically by my dislike for the Bronx Bombers. My Dad taught me a good deal of what I know about the great game and his genes held the DNA of a Yankee hater. It would only follow that I'd never have much use for George and his antics.
I remember quizzing Dad about some of the all-time greats of the game. I asked about DiMaggio who, Dad admitted, was a "great player, but also a #@&* Yankee." Enough said.
Still, as George departs for whatever rewards await a Major League baseball team owner, we need to give the ol' boy his due. Steinbrenner burnished one of the greatest "brands" in sports, maybe in business - period. He insisted in perfection. OK, perhaps boorishly at times, but he hated not to win and found anything but winning unacceptable.
Perhaps he can't take the World Series victories with him, but Steinbrenner - I hope - enjoyed them while he could. We will not, I suspect, see another like him. God rest his soul and go Red Sox.