Inarguably, George Steinbrenner was one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past four decades.
Inarguably, he was a cancer on baseball as a game for kids and as a sport. He took a perfectly good game and turned it into a multibillion dollar business and in due course, ruined the game.
Since 1990, according to ESPN, he spent $2 billion dollars on free agents, just since 1990. That's money taken from people like you and me: working class, middle class folks, people dumb enough to buy into the "winner takes all" mentality that he exploited to outspend nearly all other major league baseball teams combined.
Think about what that $2 billion would have meant to the ticket buyers. Yes, it gave them a few hours of joy over the years, but take that money and put it to good use and maybe we're not in the economic pickle we're in. After all, money that doesn't go into Steinbrenner's (and the other owners) pockets is money we're spending on ourselves or better, saving. If he spent $2 billion on free agents, how much did he himself personally pocket? I'd bet it's safe to say a far larger sum.
He's being mourned today by "New Yorkers", but Noo Yawkahs know better. I hope he burns in hell.