"By Bob Andelman"
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By Bob Andelman
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(Since Oct. 7, 1999)
Profile By Bob Andelman
(Originally published in the Maddux Report, 1989)
Bob Andelman Articles
For the Bay area media, a day without a story about George Steinbrenner
is like a day without light.
The presence of the New York Yankees owner as a Tampa resident
and businessman looms large over local baseball efforts: Will
he support the Bay area when the expansion committee finally
meets to decide which cities will be awarded new teams? wonder
St. Petersburg officials. (He told Tampa Tribune Sports Writer
Joe Henderson, "I am in a position to have a say in who
gets a franchise, but when that time comes to vote I can say
only that I will do what is best for baseball. If the Tampa Bay
area is determined to be one of the best spots, I will vote accordingly.")
Additional questions of regional interest: Will he move
the Yankees spring training camp to Tampa from Ft. Lauderdale?
Will he support the Sports-Plex proposal for southern Hillsborough
His interests go beyond sports, of course. Steinbrenner is the
principal owner and chief operating officer of Tampa-based American
Ship Building Company. The company has hit on hard times of late;
on the same day sports sections announced his dumping of Yankees
manager Dallas Green this summer, the business section headlines
read "American Ship reports big loss." Steinbrenner
has not been deterred, however, accepting Am Ship stock in lieu
of his $135,000 salary for the second consecutive year and promising
he'd become even more of a hands-on owner than in the past.
Steinbrenner made the business pages in a new way a month earlier
when city officials voted unanimously to give him and Tampa businessman
Ron Moore a chance to develop a $78 million, 600-room hotel adjacent
to the new Tampa Convention Center. Rumors swirled for months
that developer Donald Trump would be an investor in the hotel,
but there has been no evidence to date of his involvement.
Because of his national notoriety, Steinbrenner brings a great
deal of attention to Tampa Bay. When he speaks publicly, a Tampa
dateline frequently flashes across the country.
Sometimes it can backfire, as in January when outgoing President
Ronald Reagan pardoned him for illegal contributions to Richard
Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign. Stories appeared coast-to-coast,
questioning the pardon and rehashing the details of one of Steinbrenner's
darker moments. And an extensive profile in Tampa Bay Life titled
"St. George or The Dragon?" by Robert A. Casterline
questioned whether any number of quietly accomplished ne'er-do-well
acts can balance a career of nastiness in personnel matters.
Steinbrenner's penchant for firing employees he has given pink
slips to 17 baseball managers has made him none too popular in
certain quarters. And because he has sworn the Yankees will never
be sold while he is alive, the television program "Saturday
Night Live" "as a public service" has begun a
George Steinbrenner Health Watch. In a live report from outside
the "Tampa Bay Yacht Club," actor Phil Hartman reviews
Steinbrenner's status. "I understand his eyelids fluttered,"
says Dennis Miller in the SNL news studio. "Any cause for
concern?" "Just a bad dream, Dennis," laments
Hartman. "No cause for optimism."
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