George Steinbrenner as Napoleon

I have to say, it was nice to see the very warm tribute to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner at last night’s All-Star Game, and it was even nicer to witness the Anaheim fans observe the moment of silence without any smartalecks shouting out at the wrong time. (True, they did boo every living Yankee player out of the building, but what are you gonna do.) It suggests that each of the ticketbuying All-Star fans have been accosted by the same hobo who told me at age 11 to not speak ill of the dead, “or they’ll RIP YER GUTS OUT!” I value my guts, such as they are, so when tragedy befalls even people of questionable integrity I try not to pile on.

Wikipedia, on the other hand… well, they’re less forgiving, as this section about George Steinbrenner’s ban from baseball suggests:

George Steinbrenner, New York Yankees owner, banned in 1990 for paying a private investigator $40,000 to “dig up dirt” on Yankees player Dave Winfield in order to discredit him. The “dirt” most likely means anything anyone might have known about Winfield.

I love the way that last sentence is constructed – they’re pretty sure “dig up dirt” is referring to the only non-literal thing “digging up dirt” ever means, but there’s an outside chance “digging up dirt” means putting uncooked squash in the Playplace ball tank.

After all, Dave Winfield and Mayor McCheese were always close.