Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York
Spaceman Doesn’t Miss Steinbrenner
16-July-2010Posted by on
Up until now, we’ve been purposely quiet on the passing of New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner’s passing earlier this week. As a Boston Red Sox fan, I always had a love-hate relationship with the Steinbrenners. I thought they were rich, snobbish pricks who only had one thing in mind – winning. And I both hated and adored them for it. George was great for the game and great for the Red Sox – yup, you read that part right. By being such a competitor who built such great teams, he made it a requirement for the Red Sox to have a good team. Either they build a quality team or they get out of the way. You could almost say he’s partially responsible for the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies that reside in Boston. When I heard that George passed, I had mixed reactions – I’ll be honest, that Yankee-hating part of me glimpsed a slight bit of glee (I’m not proud of it), but overall I was saddened to hear about it. Love him or hate him – and Bill “Spaceman” Lee sure does hate him – he was a great addition to the rivalry.
Despite my glimpsing moment of glee, I don’t think you can get much more classless than this…
Bill “The Spaceman” Lee’s hatred of George Steinbrenner did not mellow at all with the Yankee owner’s death Tuesday.
Lee, who pitched for the Red Sox for 10 seasons, ripped Steinbrenner in a TV interview.
“Trust me, if hell freezes over, he’ll be skating,” Lee told a reporter for WMUR-9 in Manchester, N.H.
The TV station talked to Lee on a golf course Tuesday afternoon a few hours after Steinbrenner died from a heart attack at 80 years old.
Lee began the 58-second interview by saying, “As far as Steinbrenner’s passing? Good.”
During the 1976 season, Lee famously broke his collarbone during a brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox when Graig Nettles tackled him.
Lee said Steinbrenner tried to have him kicked out of the game after the fight.
“Steinbrenner tried to have me banned from baseball,” he said.
“He said I was an incompetent and I was bad for the game of baseball. Well, I’m not a convicted felon like George Steinbrenner, and he’ll take that to his grave.”
When the reporter asked Lee if he had any sadness about Steinbrenner dying, Lee said, “I have no sadness. I’m Irish; I’m Catholic, and when you’re gone, you’re gone.”
The left-hander was known for his quirky ways and counterculture views. He played 14 years in the majors from 1969-82, the last four with the Expos.