Since I’m not a Yankee fan, I don’t find anything particularly distasteful (as opposed to, incongruous) about Fenway Park being the site of a George Steinbrenner tribute prior to The Nu Stadium. And since I’m a conscious human being with a working brain, I think I need pain medication and perhaps a sick bag to get thru the entirety of the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman quizzing WCBS’ Suzyn Waldman about the late Yankee owner.
“I like my women to spend my money and look real pretty,” Steinbrenner bellowed during their first face-to-face meeting in 1988. “I don’t like them to be pilots, policemen or sports reporters.”
“I just looked him in the eye and said, ‘I can look pretty and I can spend anybody’s money,‘” said Waldman. “‘But you’re missing a lot of great women if you don’t like women to do those kind of things.”
When she was being pressured during a messy divorce Waldman had nowhere to turn. She reached out to Steinbrenner. A half-hour later she had a high-powered attorney of her own. When Waldman battled breast cancer in 1996, it was Steinbrenner who reached out.
In her hotel rooms the Yankees provided a refrigerator to store the medicine she needed to inject herself. On planes there were other necessities in case she got sick. By no means were these the only times The Boss looked out for Waldman.
In 1989, Waldman was the recipient of death threats from one, or more, of the lunatic fringe. Some threats came in letters addressed to the Yankees. Steinbrenner hired off-duty NYC cops, dressed as fans, to provide security.
“I was never alone the whole season,” she said, “but I never knew who they (the security guys) were.”