Steinbrenner Lockdown: Media, MLBers “Trapped”

Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that George Steinbrenner’s health must be seriously failing if the treatment he received at Yankee Stadium for the World Series was any indication.

George Steinbrenner Now Wheelchair Bound

When Steinbrenner exited the stadium after Game 2, elevators were shut down (without warning!), stairwells were locked and …

Mechanized gates dropped suddenly from the ceiling to confine some officials to certain areas of the corridor — including some surprised major league baseball officials who were not told beforehand and were suddenly trapped — and keep them away from the vehicles transporting Steinbrenner. Temporary curtains were quickly set up as well to block views.

Was NY Post ‘interview’ with Steinbrenner a sham?

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Oh, and it gets worse.

Security guards not only shut down the press elevator carrying media members downstairs to the interview areas until after Steinbrenner had departed, they also locked the doors downstairs, trapping several dozen media members in the stairwell. One security guard shooing people out of the area, according to one official who was there at the time, said that they were “cleansing the hallway.”

The Yankees also reportedly ordered Fox-TV not show Steinbrenner during the first two games. He is not expected to return if the Series goes back to the Bronx, leading one to speculate if that might just be his last visit ever to Yankee Stadium.

Now for the interesting part. Hours after Miller’s report, the NEW YORK POST published an interview purported to be with Steinbrenner - by longtime Post writer Steve Serby. But the piece reads more like a press release, with no mention of Steinbrenner’s physical condition.

Predictably, some NYP commenters under the interview weren’t convinced.

mosholu - 10/31/2009 10:09 AM: this is a fake interview… (Yankee PR Howard) rubinstein answered on behalf of steinbrenner

#5mr.coffee - 10/31/2009 10:34 AM: this interview is a sham..steinbrenner couldn’t be that cogent if he had to. probably they just got to him between diaper changes and his nurse answered the questions. more corporate BS.

Nappi - 10/31/2009 11:27 AM: Jeez, that was pretty cheesey. When my mother-in-law suffered from dementia, she didn’t know what day it was. Maybe when George passes, they can build a cryogenic suite at the stadium and mount his head on a tuna can. Then Steve Serby can have interviews with him forever.

It does appear that Steinbrenner’s responses were written out, most likely by an assistant of some sort. Or Serby really cleaned up his comments. If Steinbrenner did indeed respond in written form, that should’ve been noted by the Post.

I think an exchange between Serby and ghost writer for Steinbrenner is the most likely scenario, with Steinbrenner giving input on the answers.

It’s amazing to think of all that Steinbrenner has done for the organization and the city, and he still fails to engender goodwill. Fitting, if you ask me.