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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 21, 2010 / 10 Menachem-Av, 5770

Loathing of Steinbrenner softens after his death

By John Kass

John Kass


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The New York media's most reviled baseball tyrant, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, has died, and I expected reporters to announce that a Dr. Van Helsing would deliver the eulogy.

But Steinbrenner, portrayed for decades as the ultimate demonic major league bully, is now remembered as a crusty but benign plaster baseball saint.

Judging by the tone of the post-mortem media coverage, when Steinbrenner wasn't willing his team to World Series rings, he'd feed tiny birds and other forest creatures from the palms of his outstretched hands.

Any day now, I figure we'll learn he secretly visited a children's hospital to promise some little tyke that Derek Jeter would hit three home runs, just for him.

Even a Yankee-hating White Sox fan like me can think fondly of Steinbrenner. Years ago, I wrote a column about Steinbrenner enjoying a chicken dinner in Culver, Ind., when he met 10-year-old Christopher Mitchell. The boy, a big Yankees fan from Chicago, informed Steinbrenner that he was a shortstop.

"Oh, good," Steinbrenner said. "You play shortstop. Jeter is injured, and we need a shortstop."

Then Steinbrenner invited the boy and his grandpa to be his guests at Wrigley Field for a Yankees-Cubs interleague game.

"Would you like to be honorary batboy?" asked the kindly Steinbrenner.

All that was missing was lightning hitting the old oak tree from which the bat Wonderboy was hewn and French horn music and Roy Hobbs telling the apple-cheeked batboy, "Pick me out a winner, Bobby."

I told this heartwarming Steinbrenner story to Wings, the young guy who helps out with the column. Wings said nothing.

What's wrong with you? Don't you care about Steinbrenner's kindness to the little boy and the grandpa and the French horns?

"It's good that he was nice to the boy," Wings said, "but that doesn't change the fact that he was a psychotic (bleeper)."

But the New York papers say he was a gruff old guy who hated to lose.

"He was an egomaniac who ruined the Yankees," Wings said. "He turned them into a laughingstock, and what's more, he ruined my father's love of the Yankees. And that, I cannot forgive."

Wings is from Connecticut and grew up a Yankees fan. He's also a Cubs fan. But that's for another column.

He remembers the so-called awful Yankee period in the 1980s and the early 1990s.

"People don't realize that they stunk, and they didn't win a World Series all throughout my formative years, from 1979 to 1995," he said. "And I blame it on George Steinbrenner."

Wings' favorite player was the Yankee captain, Don Mattingly, called Donny Baseball. I showed Wings a quote from Mattingly after Steinbrenner's death.

"His vision, passion and commitment to winning recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game," Mattingly's statement read, as if dictated by a robot.

Wings raised one eyebrow in disgust.

"It makes me think of Aug. 15, 1991," Wings said. "The day the Yankees hit rock bottom."

That was the day that Steinbrenner's vague policy against long hair on his players led to a most shameful Yankee incident.

"Manager Stump Merrill ordered Mattingly to cut his hair or he was out of the lineup. It wasn't even that long. And Mattingly refused. He kept his honor. And they benched him. It still bothers me. They benched the captain," Wings said, bitterly.

At that time, Steinbrenner had been exiled from Yankee operations by Commissioner Fay Vincent for paying $40,000 to a gambler to dig up dirt on another Yankee great, Dave Winfield.

"I was embarrassed to be a Yankee fan. They were the worst team in the league. The captain was on the bench. And I blamed Steinbrenner for everything," Wings said.

Wings' dad had been a lifelong Yankees fan. Wings called to ask his dad about that last Steinbrennerian straw: the 1985 firing of Yogi Berra as manager.

"That one really sticks in my craw," Wings' dad said Thursday. "Steinbrenner fired Yogi after 16 games, after promising he would be his manager all season. And when he fired him, he wouldn't do it himself. He sent someone else."

Steinbrenner clearly had the reach to humiliate Mattingly. But after Vincent ordered Steinbrenner to step aside for a time as managing partner, the boss couldn't make any more disastrous trades.

The Yankees were forced to develop their minor league talent. And within a few years, they had players like Jeter, reliever Mariano Rivera and the real Mr. October, center fielder Bernie Williams. The World Series rings rolled in.

With the funeral scheduled for the weekend, Wings' dad considered the seven World Series rings and the 11 American League pennants that came under Steinbrenner's rule of just under four decades.

Suddenly, Wings' dad began to sound more like a guy who never stopped loving the Yankees, Steinbrenner or no Steinbrenner.

"But I thought you hated him," Wings said.

Wings could hear the rustle of newspapers on the other end of the phone, every page filled with heartwarming stories about the kindly, but firm, Yankee boss.

And Wings realized he was living another baseball moment: the son still despising the owner, loyal to the memory of his father's pain, even as the father relented.

"I said to your mother, 'Gee, maybe I have to change my opinion,'" said Wings' dad. "After reading all these articles, doesn't he seem like a saint?"

He sure does: St. George of the Bronx.

Rest in peace.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.



Previously:



07/19/10: Summertime, and the race cards are easy
06/28/10: Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no
12/17/09: Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam
09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2008, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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