"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Luke O’Brien with more on Boss George and Fay Vincent over at Deadspin.


1 William Juliano   ~  Feb 28, 2012 6:07 pm

Was George's behavior regarding Winfield and Spira wrong? Of course (even though some of his suspicions proved to be well founded). However, that doesn't excuse the heavy handed investigatory tactics used and condoned by Fay Vincent. Vincent's abuse of power was systematic to his administration, so in the grand scheme, it seems to me as if justice was done. Steinbrenner got a two-year ban, and Vincent was freed up to pursue a new line of business. Deadspin's attempt to make Vincent look like a victim is naive at best.

2 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 28, 2012 9:12 pm

[1] Perhaps..but you're way too light on the Boss. He tried to dig up dirt on his OWN PLAYER. By hiring a two-bit, gambler gangster wannabe..I mean, what kind of person does this?

I can't stand Big George, he was a mean tyrant who only is remembered fondly now cause he's dead. Guy had no class at all. Yanks much better off now with his sons in charge, they seem to get it.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 28, 2012 11:04 pm

[2] Uh, Jazz, George turned the Yankees into winners. That's why he's fondly remembered. Not because he's dead. You may not have been around for the CBS days, but they were bleaker than the 80s. Absolutely embarrassing.

4 joejoejoe   ~  Feb 28, 2012 11:29 pm

I think Faye Vincent tried to uphold what he thought to be the ideals of Bart Giamatti after Giamatti died suddenly. I don't think he was on any kind of a power trip. But Commissioner of Baseball is a political job and without Giamatti's warm public persona as some kind of baseball man of letters, Vincent had nothing to fight the perception that he was an autocratic lawyer.

5 Greg G   ~  Feb 29, 2012 10:41 am

(2) George was a bully and he would take his players to task in the media and it was very ugly and unfair at times. I think a lot of fans enjoyed it too, because he vocalized what a lot of them felt.

He was also very charitable. He would bring in former Yankees to spring training and give them jobs and essentially pay them just for being there.

He also gave money to people in trouble, and was not doing it for publicity. He would see stories on the news and just send money to them. After he died, more of these stories came to light.

George was a hardass and the team might have won more without his meddling, but he desperately wanted to win, and backed it up with his money. If he was more hands off and just wrote checks, his "baseball people" might have made less rash decisions than George did.

It is no accident that during his suspension the team was able to nurture the younger players and build the nucleus of the Yankees Dynasty of the mid to late nineties. But you also have to give George credit for bankrolling all the moves that were made beyond the homegrown players. And he did bring in Torre too.

You get a sense that winning was more important to George than making money or breathing. As a fan, an owner like that is wonderful. If you look at other owners in the league who have more money, they aren't putting it all into their teams from year to year.

The Yanks are in the biggest media market in the league and are making tremendous profits, but it is because they invest in the team, and have made more smart decisions than foolish ones. I am now looking at you Mets.

I have traveled around the country quite a bit, and there is very little to do in towns like Cleveland and Kansas City. If they field even a team that is slightly competitive they will draw in fans, but many don't get it. They look at their profits and put a team on the field that "fits in their budget."

When George was alive there was no budget. In many ways that is what is wrong with baseball, but I admired his will to win.

6 rbj   ~  Feb 29, 2012 11:37 am

[5] What you said. I remember watching the game where fans started cheering out of nowhere, because they heard that he'd been suspended. He had a competitive fire, which is good, but at times it crossed the line.

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