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Remember the Boss as the Big Spender

The Boss is dead, and by Boss, I don't mean Bruce Springsteen.

Many people are lavishing praises of George Steinbrenner after his death Tuesday. The ones that aren't are holding him up as Exhibit A of what's wrong with baseball.

Jay Mariotti over at FanHouse calls the Boss the "best of owners." Over at the New York Post, a column there isn't very friendly.

I disliked what Steinbrenner did to baseball. He bought the best players at the highest prices. If it was a failed free-agent acquisition, well, there was enough Yankee money to go around to cover the mistake. Just replace the underachieving player with another -- either by another free-agent move or a trade with a bottom-feeder like the Pirates.

He took advantage of the system. It doesn't take a smart person to buy the best players. It takes deep pockets.

For that, Steinbrenner should be lauded, not his greatness as an owner. He wasn't great in the sense that he knew about baseball or made smart baseball decisions. He spent. And spent. And spent.

And many times, he didn't spend wisely.

As the tributes come pouring in, remember that Steinbrenner wouldn't have had such an impact in Pittsburgh or any other small market.

He was no superstar owner. He was just a super spender.


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