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Ueberroth Left 'Tough Stuff" --Steinbrenner

June 28, 1989|From Associated Press

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner says Peter Ueberroth left as baseball commissioner prematurely to avoid dealing with a number of sensitive, pending issues.

"He rode off into the sunset and left the tough stuff," Steinbrenner is quoted as saying in today's Newsday.

"He had six or seven months left on his contract, but his P.R. (public relations) people advised him to get out because the things he had left to face were no-win situations."

Ueberroth was to have served through the end of the year, but A. Bartlett Giamatti replaced him April 1.

"Bart's a good man, and he's inherited a lot of trouble," Steinbrenner said. "He'll handle it. But he needs our (the owners') support.

"He is a man of substance and integrity, far more than Ueberroth. Ueberroth has substance, too, but he's more show than substance. He's a master opportunist."

Ueberroth, contacted at his office in El Toro, said it has been his policy not to discuss baseball matters publicly since leaving office.

"I won't take punches at anyone in baseball, not even George Steinbrenner," the former commissioner told Newsday.

The newspaper said people familiar with Ueberroth's final months as commissioner say he offered to handle the Pete Rose matter and had some misgivings about leaving Giamatti to deal with the fallout.

Steinbrenner maintained, though, "Peter wants to be a hero to the population. He knew he couldn't come down on Pete Rose."

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