A new article on Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner – the mythical “Boss” who has lorded over the team for 34 years – offers a sad snapshot into the aging man’s life.
ive minutes later, a solitary figure emerges out of the shadows, limping toward us. It’s 2 in the afternoon, and George Steinbrenner is wearing slippers, silk pajamas, and a terry-cloth robe—all Yankee blue. A diamond-encrusted World Series ring nearly as big as a Ritz cracker obscures his wedding ring…. He doesn’t look all right. In fact, he looks dreadful. His body is bloated; his jawline has slackened into a triple chin; his skin looks as if a dry-cleaner bag has been stretched over it. Steinbrenner’s face, pale and swollen, has a curiously undefined look. His features seem frozen in a permanent rictus of careworn disbelief.
I am one who has grown up despising the Yankees principally because of Steinbrenner. Part of the hatred is easily explained – I am a Mets fan. The Yankees were the veritable prince. The Mets the pauper. And that was that in my childhood. But the other part of my loathing was more noble. I hated the Steinbrenner calculus that with enough money anything – even World Series rings – could be purchased.
But now the “great man” is old and his world is crumbling. His team is in disarray. His family situation is arguably worse. The end is coming for George Steinbrenner and I feel such pity for him. Perhaps he is not as alone as the article makes it sound. Perhaps his health is better. I hope he finds joy. I hope he finds the one who invented joy.