I speak only for myself and not for all of those committed to both loving the Mets and hating the Yankees, when I say, George Steinbrenner was the best enemy any baseball fan could have. His contributions to the sport were monumental and for the best. He raised the standards of economic and athletic competition in the game and forced many teams to spend more shrewdly and play more determinedly. His devotion to the game and to the fans is unrivaled in any front office in any city. He built an astounding legacy of excellence which has given so many people around the country and around the world, but, especially in my city and in my beloved Bronx home of the last ten years such incredible joy, pride, excitement, and consolation in life.
Even as a Yankee hater I take extraordinary pleasure in the many defeats and set backs the Yankees have suffered, the many thrilling underdog success stories made possible only through their opposition, and the many legendary teams which were built out of sheer determination to beat the Yankees. The contribution of such an incredibly determined competitor as George Steinbrenner to even his rivals’ lives should serve as a testimony and inspiration to the competitive heart in all of us.
It’s good to fight for our side, it’s good to force our enemies to become greater, and it is a sweeter victory when we have more bitter rivals.
And there is no victory, but only sadness and all too human defeat, in losing such a great rival as George Steinbrenner.
You will be deeply missed. Hating the Yankees will never be quite the same without you.