Despite Differences, Bud Selig and George Steinbrenner Hit it Off
Baseball's commissioner fondly recalled one morning that he had been on the phone with Steinbrenner. Selig's wife had just been reminding him to take out the garbage, and Selig admitted to Steinbrenner he was a little miffed.
"So after that, every Tuesday for at least three months, he called me on Tuesday morning to make sure I had taken the garbage out," Selig said.
Speaking before the annual All-Star Game meeting of the Baseball Writers Association of America -- on a Tuesday, coincidentally -- Selig reflected fondly on his relationship with the former owner of the Yankees.
"No two people who had as differing agendas as we had should ever have gotten along," Selig said. "If we go back on every issue -- commissioners, revenue, everything -- George and I always had seemed on opposite sides of the fence, but we struck up a friendship early on."
Selig and Steinbrenner spent nearly 40 years working together in baseball management. Selig said he had infrequent conversations with Steinbrenner over the past few years, as his health was failing and as Steinbrenner ceded day-to-day control of the Yankees.
Selig said he and Steinbrenner made annual wagers on their beloved football teams, which competed each year. Selig took Wisconsin and Steinbrenner took Ohio State. Selig took the Packers and Steinbrenner took the Buccaneers.
"I did pretty well in those," Selig joked.
Looking at Steinbrenner's overall legacy, Selig saw more good than bad.
"I know he was controversial," Selig said. "I know all the arguments. He was clearly a giant in the sport. When he took over the Yankees, the Yankees were struggling for the first time. What he did was absolutely remarkable. Nobody loved his team more than he did."