I never wished him any harm but he was an instrumental owner in the caving after the '94 MLB strike. Small markets got no protection, the Expos had their first of many fire sales, and really was a nail in the coffin for nos amours.
In a way, I hope it will now see a change for the better.
It's not my intent to 'spit on his grave' but I do believe he did an awful lot of harm to the game in the name of fame & his World Series rings.
Yes, it's valid to try to do the best that one can to make a team successful on a continuous basis but Steinbrenner did it in a way that put baseball in a ridiculously unbalanced situation.
He started the heavy run at highly paying free agent players in order to stack his team. This has put a whole new pressure on the other teams to try to keep up with him but they couldn't.
This year, his team's payroll is at over 206 million dollars. The next closest ones are the Red Sox at 163 million dollars & the Cubs at 147 million dollars.
At the other end of the line, we find the Pirates at 35 million dollars, the Padres at 38 million dollars & the Athletics at 52 million dollars.
This disparity can only lead to one thing. The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Cubs & Phillies will more often than not be division winners or wild card teams(best runner up in the two leagues - American and National).
It's like, as soon as the first swing is taken by the first batter in the first game of the season, most of the teams are pretty well eliminated from the playoffs. Yes, that's aggravated by the fact that only four teams out of 14 or 15 teams in each league can make the playoffs, compared to what happens in hockey. Nevertheless, most teams except the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Cubs & the Phillies don't stand a chance to get past September games.
Also, I wonder why so many teams have problems with fan attendance? That's easy... if your team is pretty well fated, year after year, to never make the post-season then a person has to be a near die-hard baseball fan to keep supporting the team, going to games & buying team paraphernalia.
Steinbrenner may have become owner of a multi-billion dollar empire but at the cost of unbalancing the sport.
I hope that baseball will institute, in a phase-in manner, a salary cap/salary floor strategy for the league.
It'll make for more interest due to a more equal chance for all teams to make the post-season.
I don't get why people are calling him the greatest owner. I mean, in a sense I guess you could say that in a grandiose and greedy manner, but there are plenty of owners who didn't just throw exuberant amounts of money at players who anyone knew were the best and hope for success. Sure, he made his franchise extremely prevalent (again, through money) and all, but then there are many others who have done the same as well.
R.I.P Mr. Steinbrenner, your success made millions of jealous fans, and critics, and millions of haters, well, it's because they couldn't be you, you built an empire, and although some may have called it an evil empire, they still all watched the movie to the very end, R.I.P.
-JD, a Red Sox fan.
From a sport perspective, Steinbrenner was a failure. His regime caused the 1980s drought as he tried in vain to buy championships. Only with his temporary ouster and the interim Niederlander regime did the Yankees try restocking their system and this is what caused the great success of the late 1990s. As soon as that core started aging and dissipating Steinbrenner was back to his old tricks with his old failings. After he was phased out, lo and behold, the Yankees won another championship.