'The Boss' Is Dead: Rest in Peace, George Steinbrenner

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'The Boss' Is Dead: Rest in Peace, George Steinbrenner
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

George Steinbrenner was stubborn and tempestuous, an emotional powder keg who often went kaboom without warning. That kind of emotion defined the Steinbrenner's persona. He was fast to act and react because he cared. He cared like few other owners have in the history of American team sports. 

His passion helped the New York Yankees become the most valuable franchise in sports. His passion fueled seasons after seasons of success. He was candid about what he demanded from his ballplayers, for his fans and from himself. 

Above all else, George Steinbrenner  -- "The Boss," as foes and friends alike called him -- wanted to win. Is that such a horrid legacy for a man like him to have etched on his tombstone?

What words will make it on that tombstone is not my place to guess. I never met Steinbrenner, which was my loss. But I do know that sports, the team he built in his image and its fans will never forget him or what he stood for. Steinbrenner, a real-life Yankee Doodle Dandy who was born on the Fourth of July, died this morning after a heart attack. He was 80.

His 80 years were a whirlwind, packed with more emotional highs than lows. Now, Steinbrenner  did have his share of the latter, including with the baseball team he often lorded over like Attila the Hun. He showed no patience for mediocrity or for managers and GMs who produced it. They would fall in and out of favor with Steinbrenner on his whim. Listening to them, you might think that Steinbrenner preferred to manage the Yankees himself rather than leave the team in somebody else's hands.

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