Peter Sagal, staunch Red Sox fan and host of NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, paid “tribute” to the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner on his July 17 program. Herewith, a transcript of the segment from the “Who’s Carl this time” portion of the program:
Sagal: Your last quote is from a man who was talking about his former boss, a man who passed away this week.
Carl Kasell: The phone would ring in the middle of the night, and you knew it was either him or a death in the family. And after a while, you started to root for a death in the family.
Sagal: Who was that beloved boss who died?
Contestant: George Steinbrenner.
SAGAL: Exactly right. The legendary owner of the Yankees died this week at the age of 80, and I hope you’ll grant me a moment to be serious about this because nobody – but nobody – in my memory did more than Steinbrenner for our beloved national pastime. And by that I mean, hating the New York Yankees.
(patriotic fife music enters)
Why? Without Steinbrenner, Yankee hating would have become empty, pointless, an antique sport like harness racing or lawn tennis. But with Steinbrenner making the Yankees the most obnoxious, tyrannical, bloated, purely evil sports franchise since the disbanding of the Tampa Bay Devil Nazis… Yankee hating was revived, and whole new generations of fans have grown up to scream obscenities at the sight of a pinstripe. He may be gone, but I know I’ll have Steinbrenner to thank when my little daughters look up at me some day and say, Papa, are the Yankees Satan’s baseball team? And I will say, yes, sweetheart. Why yes, they are. Thank you, George.
Moe Rocca: Lovely eulogy.
Sagal: Thank you.
Charlie Pierce: I never argue with a man who brings his own soundtrack.