On Steinbrenner’s 80th Birthday, a Chance to Reflect

On a lazy spring day in Tampa, in the fifth inning of a meaningless exhibition game, Andy Pettitte decided to check in with the Boss, the soon-to-be octogenarian and longtime contrarian.
George Steinbrenner was watching from his suite at the stadium that bears his name when Pettitte sat down and commented that he thought the Yankees, defending World Series champions, were looking quite good.
“We were losing, 1-0 or 2-0, and he said, ‘We need to score some runs,’ ” Pettitte said. “So I said, ‘Well, it’s early, we might score some runs.’ He said, ‘We’d better.’ To me, that summed it up right there. O.K., it’s him.”