Essay: The Lessons of Steinbrennerism

In The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten records a joke about the Lipshitz Curse: a blond at a charity ball is wearing an enormous diamond. She boasts that there are three great diamonds in the world—the Hope, the Kohinoor and her own, the Lipshitz. But, unfortunately, she tells her friends, with the Lipshitz diamond comes the Lipshitz Curse. "The Lipshitz Curse? What is the Lipshitz Curse?" The blond sighs: "Lipshitz."

George Steinbrenner is the Lipshitz of the New York Yankees. He lavishes seven-figure, even eight-figure contracts on his players. But with the money...

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