Having been a Yankee fan going back to the CBS days, this book was definately a trip down memory lane. Maddon was lucky to get copies of Gabe Paul's taped memoirs post-mortem to document a lot of the back scenes details of Steinbrenner's years from trying to purchase the Indians through the turbulant 70's as Yankee owner. Maddon, only started covering the Yankees himself during the late 70's.
As a Yankee fan it is great to have been insulated from the man who treated all his employees like doormats and then would act like nothing had happened. He would go on tirades and see how he was perceived by the press and if something came out bad he would make one of his staff take the blame.
Steinbrenner could have been the best thing that every happened to selling more Tylonal and Rolaids as most of his employees were taking them regularly and many developed stomach and nerve issues. Through it all, the Yankees were successful when Steinbrenner was "hand-off." His two year suspension during the early 90's was what helped the Yankees start to build the dynasty that ruled later that decade. Surely had he not, Jeter, Williams, Pettitte and Rivera would have been trade bait for another over the hill veteren player.
Steinbrenner seemed to have an affinity for those who had fallen to drugs and alcohol (Art Howe, Billy Martin, Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry). He would fire people than feel bad and call them up and try to unfire them. He did many underhanded and under the table types of deals, possibly bribing politician and feeding them undisclosed contributions to obtain favors for his shipbuilding company and some of his Yankee deals.
With the MSG TV deal and later the launching of the YES Network, Steinbrenner helped make the Yankees the first Billion dollar baseball team. He is one of the few owners who didn't mind sharing revenue with other teams as long as he could help his own team get something favorable.
After reading this book, I have my doubts as to whether he should be in the Hall of Fame but he is too unique and influential to not be remembered as possibly the most well-known sports owner in history.
This book was difficult to put down and some of the things that are described may make your head spin.
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