Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What does Tal Smith remember about George Steinbrenner? Being right.

Of course this is Tal Smith's tribute:

“He could be very kind and very generous in ways that were never brought to the attention of the media or the public. He would pay tuition for people he met to go to college; he paid more hospital bills, funeral bills; he carried more people on the payroll after their useful employment had ended. He was always there for anybody in need. And he did so without seeking any credit or any recognition.”

Then we get this:
“We had a number of very spirited discussions; some might even call them arguments. If you made your point, George would concede and say, “Ok, damn it to hell, you win.” We had a number of those when I was working for him and even when I went back to Houston.”

Smith recalls one particular argument that occurred when Smith was the General Manager of the Astros. Smith had traded Cliff Johnson to the Yankees and there was miscommunication about exactly what the Astros were to receive in return. The disagreement turned into a hearing at the commissioner’s office.

“I can get quite passionate about things and I was making my point. Finally, George slapped the table and said, “OK Tal, you don’t have to yell at me. You win.”