As you all must know by now, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner fainted and collapsed at a memorial service for the football legend Otto Graham this past Saturday. It was a scary moment, but Steinbrenner was OK. Actually, he was more embarassed than anything. After a night of observation, Steinbrenner was released from a hospital in Sarasota Florida on Sunday. The news made the front page of both the Daily News and The Post on Sunday and served as a reminder of not only how fragile life is, but how big an impact Steinbrenner’s eventual passing will have on the baseball world. Granted, this is all over a fainting spell; imagine the reaction if it was something grave. But let’s face it, Steinbrenner is 73 years old, so questions about his physical health are going to hover over him for the rest of his days.
I don’t mean to be morbid, but the biggest question the Yankees will face in the near future isn’t how will they deal with life after Joe Torre but how they will deal with life after George. Because love him or hate him, as Selena Roberts opines today in The Times, The Boss is the straw that stirs the drink in the baseball world.
I’ve been wondering about Life After George for a good part of the 2003 season. I’m surprised that I haven’t read more about it in the mainstream media. But if Steinbrenner’s health starts to decline, I’m sure we won’t hear the end of it. Meanwhile, George will likely be his old blustery self before long. With legal troubles at hand, he’ll need all the energy he can muster.