Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Top 10 Destinations for George Steinbrenner's Soul

10) Downward reincarnation. After 80 years of winning at any cost on the wheel of samsara, George's soul can only be moving its way down with a quickness. I doubt that he's going all the way to insect, but perhaps a perfectionist's dog, or the over-handled cat of a little girl. And they will hug him and squeeze him and...

9) Cryogenic freeze. For someone with George's control needs and cling for every moment life pattern, you'd have to think the potential for life after death through technology would be a win. The only problem is that Ted Williams kind of ruined the practice for Yankee Kind. Oh, and that it doesn't work.

8) Valhalla. A fine place for Big Stein's warrior spirit, though it's not as if he'd fit in well with the Norse warriors who actually get their hands dirty. But on some level -- that level being the inherent geekiness and unrelenting whiteness of the place -- you'd have to think it would work for him.

7) Hades. As a traditionalist, Big Stein would do well with the Grecian underworld, and should rise quickly in the service of Pluto. We also suspect he'd have the three-headed dog Cererbrus with neat and trim sideburns in a matter of days.

6) (Yankee) Heaven. It's a special place, where there are no Red Sox fans, poor people, anyone who complains about stadium welfare, and you can hear the lamentations of the damned -- i.e., failed free agent signings -- for all eternity. The only problem is that the announcers suck, with the exception of your entrance via Bob Sheppard. There's also the fact that after a while, you really start to wonder if it can be Heaven to spend eternity with Yankee Fans, even if you are one.

5) Jahannam. Islamic Hell is reserved for those who have failed in the test of Life to be kind to others. Let's just say they've been keeping a seat warm for Big Stein for decades. No word on whether he'd have to keep to a fundamentalist diet down there, or if they'll stuff him full of pork as a matter of eh, what the hey, it's not like he's leaving. (Note: If a Muslim is reading this and finds this to be in any way offensive or blasphemous, please understand that I FIND THE WORD OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD TO BE THE ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD, PEACE BE UPON HIM. (Backs away from the keyboard slowly...)

4) Ghost. It'd be just like George to overstay his welcome and haunt the living from beyond the grave, but with old Yankee Stadium coming down and new Yankee Stadium generally missing his presence, it's not like he's got a logical place to haunt. Personally, I'd be hoping for someplace directly between the destinations of the Bronx and Scranton Wilkes-Barre, also known as the Yankee Triple A club for many years, and the place where many a young player haunted as the Boss tried to Win Now. Lots of good highway overpasses to choose from...

3) Limbo. With so many world religions to choose from and the Ironic Punishment division of karmic retribution howling for payback, George could do worse than to float in the void of neutrality for an eon or two. Plus, hey, there's lot of unbaptized babies up there, many of whom he can probably bully into doing his bidding. Considering the alternatives, this is a pretty cushy place for him.

2) Purgatory. In the modern era, with deep-seated theological and moral concerns for many over the existence of Hell given the need for the supreme deity to be all-good, and the eternal prospect of forgiveness and redemption, it just seems like a better place for George to learn his lessons in re being a Watergate felon, firing 22 managers in 35 years, and hiring organized crime family members to find dirt on Dave Winfield. I could, of course, go on. But since the man wasn't entirely without merit -- he did give to charity, had a sense of humor about himself, and did more to force other baseball owners to actually spend money, rather than just hoard it -- it just seems proper. Besides, he was a tough old dude. A few thousand years of torment (say an eon for every Yankee championship) just might cleanse him. With fire.

1) Actual, Full-On, Screaming Terror Hell. Let's see, we've got someone who was always a rich man (strike one against passage upward, assuming he doesn't have camel and needle powers), actively bragged about giving others heart attacks (Ironic Punishment Alert! Ironic Punishment Alert!), and did more to ruin baseball's competitive balance than any other man in the 21st century. Burn, baby, burn. Besides, he'll know a lot of the people there already...

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