Originally Published: Jul 13, 2010 7:47 PM CDT
I have so many thoughts regarding the passing of George Steinbrenner today. His impact was so far reaching.
His aggressive nature in pursuing free agents has changed the sport of baseball and now spilled over to the Yankees of the NBA...the Miami Heat.
To make for interesting drama and storylines, every league needs a villain and Steinbrenner gladly played that role for nearly 4 decades.
Major League Baseball has a thing called revenue sharing in which teams give a portion of local revenue from television, radio and other advertising contracts to a pool which is divided evenly between the teams. No team makes more revenue than the Yankees, thus no team gives more to bottom feeders like the Pirates, Royals and Marlins. Of course the other side is that the Yankees have far more to spend on player salaries.
In 2002 Steinbrenner started the YES Network for his Yankees. It has been wildly successful and led to the same type of local television networks for all MLB teams.
Former OU and Yankees pitcher George Frazier was by the KOTV studios today. He told several stories about Steinbrenner and you can see the interview with Frazier here on Oklahoma Sports. The one that stuck out to me was that Steinbrenner caught a young man with a can of spraypaint vandalizing a wall outside of Yankees Stadium. Rather than call the cops and have the kid arrested, Steinbrenner told him to go buy some more paint and cover up his artwork and show back up at the stadium the next day. The kid covered the graffiti and showed back up the next day. Steinbrenner gave the kid a job and he still works for the Yankees to this day.
Love him or hate him, you had to respect the boss. I will say this about Steinbrenner. Im a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and I would have loved to have him as the owner of my favorite team. I promise the Cubs wouldnt be 102 years and counting without a World Series title