Keith Olbermann Mourns George Steinbrenner

By Alex Weprin 

On his MLBlog, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann weighs in on one of today’s big news stories: the passing of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

I mean this with no disrespect and with no touch of humor: Only George Steinbrenner could pass away on the morning of – and thus overshadow – baseball’s All-Star Game.

Olbermann is a veteran of ESPN and Fox Sports, where he covered playoff baseball extensively. He says has known Steinbrenner since was 14, and first interviewed “The Boss” as far back as 1980. Olbermann’s mother also became a part of baseball lore in 2000, when she was struck in the head by an errant throw from Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch:

My favorite moment with George was also the saddest. By happenstance I was in the press box on the day in 2005 when President Clinton came to the Stadium to accept a check from Steinbrenner for the money the Yankees raised (there’s the charitable instinct again) for tsunami relief. The two of them sent Yankees’ president Randy Levine out to get me, and I was startled to spend two innings with them, saying almost nothing as George rolled out every single encounter we had had over the years (“I’ve known this young man since he was – how old were you? Thirteen? Fourteen? And he did the funniest piece on me firing managers for The Times and he was there when I broke down when we won at Shea five years ago, and this young man’s mother was the one – How is your mother?”)

As Olbermann noted, Steinbrenner’s death has in some regards overshadowed tonight’s MLB All Star Game in Anaheim. All three cable news channels have covered Steinbrenner’s passing throughout the day, talking to former players and baseball historians.

Fox News has also been getting regular reports from correspondent Adam Housley in Anaheim. Housley is a former minor-leaguer in the Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers farm systems. He is in Anaheim because Fox Sports will be televising the All Star Game this evening.

Corporate synergy at work!