I’ve said my piece on Steinbrenner, but I’m sure he’d think he could say it better himself.
All of these things were actually said by George Steinbrenner at one point or another. Some of these words constitute genuine wisdom. Some of them constitute craziness. Some of them are flat out lies. One of them is a little eerie and sad after today’s events. All of them, however, go a long way towards explaining what George Steinbrenner was all about, for better and for worse:
- “We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned. We’re not going to pretend we’re something we aren’t. I’ll stick to building ships.”
- “I am dead set against free agency. It can ruin baseball.”
- “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.”
- “I will never have a heart attack. I give them.”
- “Don’t talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what’s good right now. And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance.”
- “I am tough. Sometimes I’m unreasonable. I have to catch myself every once in a while.”
- “I don’t want to be in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think owners should be.”
- “I haven’t always made the right decisions.”
- “I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful – but I know that I have tried.”
- “In the end, I’ll put my good acts up against those of anybody in this country. Anybody.”
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.