When news of George Steinbrenner’s death broke, I wanted to jump on the story like a media whore outside a red carpet event. I thought about it for awhile, became fairly indignant in my thought, then moved on to sadness, confusion and ultimately this funky feeling of joy mixed with sorrow.

I love baseball. I never much cared for George Steinbrenner. I don’t think he cared one iota about baseball. I think he cared about business. No, I didn’t know the man, I knew his reputation, as did so many others. Had I ever met him, I’m sure I would have adored him. I’m weird like that.

With his passing at the age of 80 due to complications from a heart attack as well as other ailing bodily functions, I could only feel sad for his family, for the fine athletes who played for him, for the managers who fought with and still somehow loved him and the Yankees fan base who saw a “win at all costs” empire constructed under his tenure.

For the rest of the baseball world, there’s a part of me that thinks, “It’s probably best that he went before the cap came–that would have really killed the guy.” And make no mistake Yankee fans. It’s a’comin’. If the next commish doesn’t push for it off the bat, I’ll lead the charge for his removal.

Sadly, all I can think of when I think of The Boss: A monopolizer who didn’t really look beyond his own interests to consider what would be best for the game of baseball. We all know people like that in “our own lives,” and we don’t like them. Then they die, and we feel bad for not liking them. It begs the question: What is the most lasting memory of George Steinbrenner’s legacy?

I’m sure Steinbrenner will eventually be remembered as the legendary Yankees owner who took the franchise from worst to first, but you just have to think that within that conversation, there will always be at least one voice which will sound off with a completely opposing opinion.

His legacy is bittersweet–and there’s no need to sugarcoat it.

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