It’s official: Baby Hank takes over Yankees

Hal Steinbrenner has officially taken control of one of the most loved and hated franchises in all of sports: The New York Yankees. Hal will replace his papa bear, George Steinbrenner.

Whether you liked George or you hated him, The New York Post notes that he was one of a kind:

George SteinbrennerAnd was a hell of a thing to be George Steinbrenner, too. There were times he was a model of how not to run a sports franchise (or a 7-Eleven franchise, for that matter), and there is an army of ex-employees who’ll tell you he was a model of how not to be a boss, too. And yet, players who spent years raging at him would invariably be welcomed back as coaches and instructors after their playing days were over. There are a thousand tales of quiet kindnesses Steinbrenner administered through the years.

And perhaps the most staggering thing of all is to know that in the short course of his stewardship, public opinion about him managed to do the impossible: it did a complete 180. This was a man whose banishment from baseball in July 1990 was greeted with a standing ovation and a vulgar chant at Yankee Stadium. And yet less than a decade later, those same fans would serenade him with a chant of “Thank you, George!”

New York has long been the place where men come to find their destinies, and Steinbrenner found his here. It has long been a city that welcomes men to re-invent themselves, and Steinbrenner did that, too. We will never see another like him, and who ever would have thought, back in the day, that this would be a sad thing?

So the name of the boss, lower case, changes. Even as everyone knows that the Boss, upper case, will be forever.

Chances are if you live outside of the Bronx, you probably hate George Steinbrenner and his freewheeling approach. But you have to give the guy one thing – he went after it every year. He wanted to win and it didn’t matter how much money it took to do it. He never broke any rules (MLB should have always had a cap if they wanted to regulate the Yankees’ spending) and he always put the money he earned back into the organization. Not every owner in baseball can say that.

So again, love him or hate him – “Big Stein” is a legend.

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