Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner In Critical Condition UPDATE: Steinbrenner Dead at 80

Multiple reports are indicating that the owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner was in critical condition after suffering a massive heart attack yesterday. It's been a tough couple of days for the Yankee family with the passing of Bob Sheppard over the weekend and now TMZ.com (apparently corroborated by the AP) is reporting that he actually has died last night.
According to multiple reports, Steinbrenner -- who turned 80-years-old on July 4th -- was rushed to St. Joseph's hospital in Tampa where he was later pronounced dead.

Steinbrenner -- a U.S. Navy veteran -- retired from running the Yankees in 2006 ... leaving his sons Hank and Hal to run the team.

Since Steinbrenner took over the team in 1973, the Yankees locked up 11 pennants and 7 World Series titles.
When Steinbrenner bought the team in 1973 from CBS for $10 million, the team was in the doldrums and hadn't had a championship in years (since 1962). Steinbrenner turned things around, bringing in top talent, including Reggie Jackson. The team won championships in 1977 and 1978, but then settled back into a period of mediocrity fed by overpaying for free agents and chewing through managers as though they were chew toys for a rottweiler.

Steinbrenner demanded wins and championships, and when players or managers couldn't deliver, he fired them.

However, in his later years, he mellowed and allowed his front office staff to make key decisions that enabled a core group of players to develop. You might have heard of them - Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, and Jorge Posada. They became the backbone for the team and led the team to championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000 along with the 2009 championship.

Off the field, Steinbrenner had his share of controversy, but few can argue that he didn't want to see his team succeed.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

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