Commentary

A love-hate relationship with The Boss

You might think it was fun to be around Steinbrenner -- and some of the time, it was

Updated: July 13, 2010, 2:26 PM ET
By Steve Wulf | ESPN Books

Steve Wulf, editor-in-chief of ESPN Books, covered baseball for Sports Illustrated from 1980-93.

I hated the way he treated employees, but I loved that he sat in front with his driver.

I hated that he bought titles for the Yankees, but I loved that he put money into less glamorous pursuits like track and field.

I hated that he thought he knew everything, but I loved that he knew chicken breeding, ship building, Broadway musicals and the novels of Thomas Hardy.

I hated the Scrooge in him, but loved the Fezziwig.

Back in the early '90s, I was in Tampa, riding with him in his car and we were talking about why he loved living there. "I'm going to show you one of the reasons," he said. He told his driver to make a little detour, and the next thing I knew, we were pulling into a donut shop on West Kennedy Boulevard. He turned around, smiled and said, "You're about to have your first Krispy Kreme."

I hated the grand gestures. I loved the little ones.

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Steve Wulf

ESPN The Magazine senior writer

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