Monday, May 17, 2004  
George Steinbrenner - Love him or Hate him

For as long as I can remember, I have always hated a few sports teams. Those teams are the White Sox, Cardinals, Packers, Mets, and the Evil Empire that is the Yankees. Each are hated for different reasons. The Yankees have always been hated not only because of their propensity for winning, but for their free-spending owner who absolutely refuses to lose gracefully.

Growing up, Steinbrenner's disregard for the cost of payroll and spur of the moment deals always frustrated me, not because it was "bad for baseball" but because our team never made those types of deals. Each year I knew and still know that the Yankees will do whatever it takes to make the team better and get to the post-season. Our organization, up until just recently have always seemed to do the bare minimum that it would take, not to make the playoffs, but to generate enough "excitement" amongst the fans to get them into the park. So really, my hatred toward the organization and Steinbrenner was kind of unfair. Now there are people that will argue that the free spending is not good for baseball. I disagree with that. The Yankees are the most popular and storied franchises in all of sports. I think that if the Yankees are doing crazy spending and making headlines by getting A-Rod, "Great!!!". It markets the sport. It's good baseball. It generated interest in a sport that is still trying to recover from a few work stoppages.

The mastermind behind this team is who a lot of people hate. Recently I read an article in Sports Illustrated about Mr. Evil Empire. This article painted Steinbrenner in a different light. I had never realized how giving and caring he was. He has donated huge sums of money for so many causes that no one ever really hears about. Everything I read about ole Georgie boy is that he is quite the humanitarian. I would be proud to shake his hand and tell him thank you for doing great things for baseball.

All that being said, I STILL HATE THE YANKEES, just not Mr. Steinbrenner.

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