Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Steinbrenner

By now most of you have heard of the death of Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner. He passed away early Tuesday morning after a massive heart attack at his home in Tampa. The "Boss" had been in poor health lately and his death was not totally unexpected.

Love him or hate him you have to admire what Steinbrenner did for and with the Yankees. He invigorated the slumping franchise when he bought it back in 1973 from CBS. He paid the absurd price of $10 million for one of the grandest franchises in baseball history. At the time the Yankees were a second division team years removed from the glory days of the 50's and 60's.

Steinbrenner turned around the franchise by vowing to get the best players possible no matter what the cost. He did that and eventually his teams won 7 World Series titles. Steinbrenner was a bully and was arrogant but he helped make the Yankees the most recognized franchise in baseball worth easily a billion dollars.

With all the success the team had on the field his greatest legacy might be a decision to create a TV network built around the club. The YES network brings in hundreds of millions of dollars every season to help the team fund its extravagant spending. Many other teams--including the Orioles--have followed in Steinbrenner's footsteps and created regional networks to try and tap into advertising revenue streams.

RIP George.