New York Yankees: Differences Between the George, Hal Steinbrenner Eras
The day George Steinbrenner died, it was the end of an era for the New York Yankees.
While his son Hal has taken over the reins for The Boss, things will never be the same again for the future of the Bronx Bombers.
George had a way of doing things that were not only special in their own right in Yankee history, but in the history of the sport as well.
Here are the differences between a George Steinbrenner-run team and just about everyone else's team, Hal's included.
Corporate vs. Personable
Despite being incredibly wealthy, the way George ran the team made you feel like it was actually a fan running the team and not a bunch of suits.
The Boss' passion for the game made you confident that year in and year out, winning was always paramount above anything else.
Now, instead of George making the moves, the Yankee brass down in Florida are making group decisions about this team with a few over-rulings here and there.
No matter how you break down current ownership's way of doing things, it is far less personable than what we used to get out of The Boss.
Instead of a face at the head of the franchise, it feels more like an expensive Armani suit.
Professionalism vs. Accountability
Nobody used to be as outspoken about the failures of their players than The Boss himself.
If there was an overpaid, underachieving Yankee not getting it done on the field, George wasn't afraid to let him know about it. Heck, he had the right to considering he was signing the checks to pay his players.
The Boss' comments about the late Yankee pitcher Hideki Irabu is the instance that immediately comes to mind in recent memory.
I don't think Hal and the current Yankee ownership would make such statements for fear of driving away potential free agents and making themselves look bad or unprofessional.
George never cared that much about what people thought enough to worry about such perceptions. You can definitely say he flew by the seat of his pants in that respect.
What It Costs to Save vs. Winning at All Costs
When George ran the Yanks, there was no such thing as cutting payroll.
The Boss spent whatever it took to put the best available players on the field to bring another World Series back to the Bronx. Even if that meant paying a luxury tax or downright overpaying for a guy who didn't deserve it.
While the new Yankee ownership have made some bad decisions, their recent attempts to cut payroll appears to be the beginning of fiscal responsibility in New York.
I can't say I disagree with this one, however.
No point in putting extra money in the pockets of other MLB owners as a result of over spending on ridiculous contracts. You can more than adequately fill out a championship roster with $189 million.
Selling vs. Winning
As I mentioned before, The Boss never cared much about public perception or spending insane amounts of money. He loved his team with a certain passion that normal owners could never understand.
George would never consider selling his team unless he absolutely had to.
You have to wonder if such a special approach to owning a team can carry over to George's children.
Is Hal in this for the love of the game like his father?
Or is this a business that, ultimately, Hal expects to sell and make an incredible profit from?
Estimates have the Yanks valued at around $3.3 billion. That's an incredibly enticing amount of money for a human being.
The day the fan aspect of the owner was taken out of the equation, a sale of the team became more realistic. It's doubtful it'll happen, but that doesn't take away the possibility as one could with George at the helm.
Granted The Boss had over 30 more years of running the Yankees than Hal has, it's unfair to say that Hal hasn't been as successful as his father.
There's one thing that can't be debated: George Steinbrenner was a winner and brought that mentality to this franchise everyday he ran the team.
It remains to be seen if Hal has the same desire to win or if this is just a money-making opportunity for him. So far, he's said all the right things since he's taken over.
As the owner of an MLB team, your legacy is defined by the amount of World Series your team wins, and Hal can only hope to be respected the way George was in regards to the winning culture he built in the Bronx.
For Yankee fans, we can only hope that Hal is even half the owner that George was.