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George Steinbrenner: from criminal to FBI informant

May 9, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

George Steinbrenner thumbs up

It’s been a great day for George Steinbrenner Freedom of Information Act requests. Earlier today was the release of documents in which The Boss suggested that his lawyers forced him to blatantly campaign finance laws.  Now comes word that, in the runup to getting a pardon from President Reagan, Big Stein assisted the FBI … somehow:

The FBI released documents Monday stating that New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner assisted the agency in two investigations – one of them apparently a terrorism probe – in the years leading up to his pardon by President Ronald Reagan on a campaign-contributions conviction.

Anti-terrorism is a noble thing, but I wonder what the second investigation was. An investigation in which, according to the FBI, Steinbrenner “provided the FBI with valuable assistance.”

That memo came in 1988, so I’m going to assume it was Don Slaught or Mike Pagliarulo-related.  Your guesses in the comments.

  1. Jonny 5 - May 9, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    You Mean George Sr. is a squealer? No! It can’t be. Complacency of MLB on drug use maybe?

    • yankeesfanlen - May 9, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      It was the conspiracy of Donnie Baseball not to have a haircut.

  2. spudchukar - May 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    The dirty rat.

  3. Chris Fiorentino's Rash - May 9, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    I always thought it was “Snitches get stitches” but I guess it was “Snitches get free agent bitches”

  4. drunkenhooliganism - May 9, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    ”provided the FBI with valuable assistance” getting good seats at yankee stadium

  5. The Common Man/ - May 9, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Arranging a pickup with a “good friend” of Steve Howe is my bet.

  6. deathmonkey41 - May 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Maybe he helped explain the motive for the horrendous crime known as the Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps trade.

    • bobwsc - May 10, 2011 at 3:03 PM

      Frank Costanza would agree

  7. cur68 - May 9, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    The Boss a rat for the feds? Could it be? Let us examine 1988; it was a big year here in Beaverland. That was the year Wayne Gretzky left the Oilers to go play in LA, and the Summer Games in Seoul where Ben Johnson was caught with more steroids in his system than BALCO keeps in its drug cupboard. Steinbrennar could have lured the Wyaner or spike Ben’s punch. Either is likely.

    Another Beaver related tragedy was that Celine Dion wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland with the song “Ne partez pas sans moi”. The horror!

    Also The Soviet Union begins perestroika under Gorbachev. Steinbrennar might have sent Gorby the policy outlines on that one as a good will gesture from “the Yanks”.

    The Dow fell 140.58 points in January (maybe The Boss sold short?).

    The Iran-Contra Affair is in the news featuring Fawn Hall, Ollie North and Poindexter. North and Poindexter were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Big Stein could have turned evidence against Poindexter. No one likes a Poindexter.

    But my money is on Steinbrennar being responsible for Dion winning Eurovison. Only he had the clout to get the stick insect a win. Thus Reagan, who had the hots for Celine (who is known to like old guys), pardoned him.

    Or something.

    • yankeesfanlen - May 9, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Now here is good investigative reporting! In ’88 I was in Chicago cadging Cubs tickets from every vendor to Handy Andy who wanted to sell us nails. Being in the minors, Cubs tickets posed no conflict of interest.

      • cur68 - May 9, 2011 at 6:39 PM

        Len: I’m surprised. I thought for sure you’d know the answer to what The Boss was doing for The Man. Admit it; you were Deep Throat on this one weren’t you?

  8. sdelmonte - May 9, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    He saw something. He said something.

  9. natstowngreg - May 9, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Sorry, I’m not buying the idea that George’s lawyers could force him to do anything.

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