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Hank Steinbrenner, co-owner of the New York Yankees, has died at age 63. The Yankees released a statement on his death on Tuesday, revealing that he died of a “longstanding health issue.” According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, that health issue was not related to COVID-19.
The New York Yankees mourn the passing of General Partner and Co-Chairperson Henry G. “Hank” Steinbrenner. pic.twitter.com/rL07EUHirS
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 14, 2020
Steinbrenner is the eldest son of famous Yankees owner and chairman George Steinbrenner, who died in 2010, and brother to Yankees principal owner and managing partner Hal Steinbrenner.
Steinbrenner was known to be outspoken and colorful character when he was involved with the team. Back in 2008 he called Red Sox Nation “a bunch of bull----.”
"That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans,” he told the New York Times’ Play magazine, via ESPN. "Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."
He also wrote a blazing criticism of MLB’s divisional system which appeared in the Sporting News in September 2008, shortly after the Yankees had been eliminated from the playoffs.
"The biggest problem is the divisional setup in major league baseball. I didn't like it in the 1970s, and I hate it now," Steinbrenner wrote, via the New York Daily News. "Baseball went to a multidivision setup to create more races, rivalries and excitement. But it isn't fair. You see it this season, with plenty of people in the media pointing out that Joe Torre and the Dodgers are going to the playoffs while we're not.
"This is by no means a knock on Torre - let me make that clear-but look at the division they're in. If L.A. were in the AL East, it wouldn't be in the playoff discussion. The AL East is never weak."
Hank and Hal both inherited the team when their father died in 2010, but Hank had previously started to step back from any role he had with the team due to health problems. Hal took over the day-to-day operations of running the team and became the public face of the franchise.
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