Damn Good Yankee

For the next month the sports media will be especially attuned to the soap opera that is George Steinbrenner’s New York Yankees. That’s a given. They are what they are – all high-profiled, highly-scrutinized $200 million dollars worth.

But what also is a given to anyone around here is something that has nothing to do with pennant races and Steinbrenner’s managerial second-guessing. It’s about doing something for the real home team: this area.

When vandals recently destroyed musical instruments at Hillsborough High School, it was Steinbrenner who stepped in with a $10,000 check for replacements. When Tampa Catholic announced a fund-raising campaign for a new football stadium, Steinbrenner kick-started things with a $250,000 contribution. And these are just the most recent examples of Steinbrenner going to bat for Bay Area causes, big and small, in a public way and behind the scenes.

On so many levels, Tampa Bay is beholden to Steinbrenner. The gratitude, however, ends between the lines. Especially this season. If the Yankees miss the post-season, a major factor will be their inability to handle the Devil Rays. Too bad.

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