George Steinbrenner's poor health isn't new news, but a September Conde Nast Portfolio article paints a picture as to how The Boss is really doing. Franz Lidz and former Tampa Tribune sports editor Tom McEwen, an old friend of Steinbrenner's, paid a visit to the Yankees principal owner at his home in Tampa. Once at the Steinbrenner residence, the two have what seems to be a rather quick conversation with Steinbrenner at the door.
Lidz's description of the 77 year-old, once public, Steinbrenner doesn't do much to dismiss rumors of either a stroke or Alzheimer’s.
A solitary figure emerges out of the shadows, limping toward us. It’s 2 in the afternoon, and George Steinbrenner is wearing slippers, silk pajamas, and a terry-cloth robe—all Yankee blue. A diamond-encrusted World Series ring nearly as big as a Ritz cracker obscures his wedding ring.
He doesn’t look all right. In fact, he looks dreadful. His body is bloated; his jawline has slackened into a triple chin; his skin looks as if a dry-cleaner bag has been stretched over it. Steinbrenner’s face, pale and swollen, has a curiously undefined look. His features seem frozen in a permanent rictus of careworn disbelief.
The reported conversation between Steinbrenner, Lidz and McEwen doesn't help either. Steinbrenner repeatedly answers McEwen's questions with, "Great to see ya, Tommy." The old Steinbrenner only comes out when Lidz asks about the Yankees when he says, "They’ll come around."
Steinbrenner spokesman Howard Rubenstein was none too happy with Lidz and McEwen, saying the two "came in under false pretenses" and that when he talks to The Boss, "He's OK and he's still an active participant in every decision."
Just yesterday, there was a report that YES and eventually the Yankees would be up for sale.
Photo of George Steinbrenner in May by AP/Chris O'Meara