file.jpg
  • SSTN Admin

The Off-Season: By George, He Really Said That

The Off-Season: By George, He Really Said That

By Tim Kabel

December 11, 2021

***

As a writer, I never know when or where inspiration will strike me. I once saw an ad on Facebook for a cat that was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I spent a great deal of time pondering that one, trying to imagine what type of person would adopt a cat that was essentially dying. All that pondering led me to write my upcoming novel about a man who does that very thing. The Sea Change of Dr. Abernathy.

At this time of year, it’s very common to hear Yankee fans reminisce about George Steinbrenner and speculate about how he would run the team today, if he were still alive. I once heard a story that after the Yankees acquired Ozzie Canseco, brother of Jose Canseco. George Steinbrenner was discussing it with his brain trust. Apparently, he reminisced about the time the Yankees acquired Kenny Brett, brother of George Brett. Reportedly, Mr. Steinbrenner asked, “Why do we keep getting the wrong brother?” I have thought about that story many times over the years. It has now inspired me to start writing a short story entitled The Wrong Brothers. It is about a fictional Major League Baseball team that has several of well, the wrong brothers on its roster. It should be noted that there have been over 400 sets of brothers who played Major League Baseball over the years.

This article will not be about brothers who played baseball but, it will instead be a compilation of George Steinbrenner quotes. As a fiction writer, I know characters. and that man was truly a character.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite George Steinbrenner quotes:

***

I am tough. Sometimes I’m unreasonable. I have to catch myself every once in a while.

***

Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.

***

“I wouldn’t sell the Yankees for anything. Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa. You don’t sell it.”

***

I am dead set against free agency. It can ruin baseball.

***

Don’t talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what’s good right now. And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance.

***

I was often misquoted. I was supportive of my managers, even though they all may not think so.

***

As a fan, I have a right to question [the manager’s] strategy.

***

Billy Martin will manage the entire season.” (June 26, 1978; Martin was fired July 24, the first of five times by Steinbrenner.)

*** Gene Michael will be here when they re-do Yankee Stadium.” — Upon hiring Michael as manager. (Nov. 1980; Michael was fired in Sept. 1981)

***

Bob Lemon will manage the entire season, win or lose. (April 1982; Lemon lasted 14 games)

***

Yogi Berra will be the manager for the entire year, win or lose, bad start or no bad start, no matter what.” (Feb. 1985; Berra lasted 16 games)

***

His job is on the line. I think we’re paying him a lot of money. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series.” — on Joe Torre during the AL Division Series vs. Cleveland (Oct. 2007)

***

If you don’t have a hernia yet then you’re not pulling your own weight!

***

I won’t be active in the day-to-day operations of the ball club at all.

***

David Cone is in a class by himself with three or four other players.

***

When you’re entrusted with a tradition, you’ve got to protect it.

***

Winning means everything…You show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

***

I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful – but I know that I have tried.

***

Second place is really the first loser.

***

I will never have a heart attack. I give them.

***

I used to be very hands-on, but lately I’ve been more hands-off and I plan to become more hands-on and less hands-off and hope that hands-on will become better than hands-off, the way hands-on used to be.

***

From 1973 to 1982 I ate the exact same lunch everyday . Turkey chili in a bowl made out of bread . Bread bowl George. First you eat the chili then you eat the bowl . There’s nothing more satisfying than looking down after lunch and seeing nothing but a table.

***

Maybe the silk stocking guys don’t like the way I run this ball club, but the little guy — the bartender, the guy pushing a cart, the cab drivers — they’re the ones who need the Yankees. My involvement is not sipping cocktails in all the fashionable places. My involvement is in the roots of the city.”

***

I have nothing against long hair, but wearing a Yankee uniform represents tradition. I think a Yankee should look well-groomed. After all, I’m paying the bills and issuing the paychecks around here and I feel a certain way about the Yankee tradition.

***

My employees know I’m tough on them, and I am. I demand more of them than they think they’re capable of. I don’t know of any other way to lead. I’m not here to run a country club.

***

Go back to Day One in history. Look at your great generals. The ones who really got the stuff done were the ones the troops bitched about. It’s the same in sports.

***

I’ll be an S.O.B. if I’m going to sit here and sign these paychecks and watch us get our ass kicked by a bunch of rummies. –To his team after a 9-1 loss to Boston

***

The screws are coming down tomorrow.– After an exhibition loss to the crosstown rival Mets

***

It’s okay for me to criticize my players because I sign the paychecks.

***

I’m afraid some of my players will get hurt playing behind him. — On struggling pitcher Doyle Alexander

***

Anybody seen Reggie Jackson? I need a Mr. October, and all I’ve got is a Mr. May — Dave Winfield.

***

[Hideki Irabu] is a fat, pus-y toad.– After the pitcher failed to cover first base during an exhibition game.

***

I like my racehorses better because they can’t talk to sportswriters.

***

Well, people have heard that Rickey [Henderson] didn’t get back for the two games tonight because he didn’t know the strike was over. Well, I tell ya gang, you know, they’re not all mental giants.

***

We seen enough of Tucker Ashford. –Ashford, a third baseman, appeared in three games for the Yankees without an at-bat.

***

Ken Clay spit the bit. He’s a morning glory. — after the young pitcher blew a lead against the Royals

*** I don’t mean to hang it on [shortstop Roy] Smalley. He tries, but it’s just not good enough.

***

I’m fed up with his attitude. [Don Mattingly] ought to realize his lack of hitting lately has killed us.– After Mattingly skipped an optional team workout

***

I’m like a fan. I live with the Yankees, and I die with the Yankees.

#GeorgeSteinbrenner

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

587611.jpg