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Bill Lee on Steinbrenner’s death: ‘Good’

07.16.10 at 7:56 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee did not soften his stance on George Steinbrenner following the Yankees owner’s death Tuesday. “As far as Steinbrenner’s passing? Good,” Lee said in an interview with New Hampshire TV station WMUR. Added Lee: “Trust me, if hell freezes over, he’ll be skating.”

Lee, who spent 10 of his 14 major league seasons with the Red Sox and took part in a number of heated battles vs. Steinbrenner’s Yankees in the mid-1970s, claimed that Steinbrenner tried to have him banned from baseball. “He said I was an incompetent and I was bad for the game of baseball,” Lee recalled. “Well, I’m not a convicted felon like George Steinbrenner, and he’ll take that to his grave.”

Lee continued his rant during an appearance on WEEI’s Planet Mikey show Thursday night. “He tried to run me out of the game a long time ago, after the [1976 Red Sox-Yankees] brawl,” Lee said. “He said I was a pariah, I wasn’t good for baseball. … I told him basically to shut up.”

Added Lee: “He may have been good for the Yankees organization, but he was definitely a thorn in my side.”

During the WMUR interview at a golf tournament in Concord, N.H., Lee said of Steinbrenner, “I used to have nightmares of him. I was hallucinating one time and I thought he came into my hotel room window, and I realized I didn’t have any windows. And I was on like the 38th floor. [Play-by-play broadcaster] Dick Stockton was with me. He’ll vouch for it.”

Asked if he had any sadness about Steinbrenner’s death, Lee said: “I have no sadness. I’m Irish, I’m Catholic, and when you’re gone, you’re gone.”

On Planet Mikey, Lee joked his golf game improved dramatically when he learned of Steinbrenner’s death. “When I heard he was dead, I went out and sank seven 30-footers,” Lee said. “I was like on Tequila. I was floating. I took the team ‘€” we were 1-under and we went to 10-under, and the best golfer was me, and I’m a 15-handicap.”

To see the interview at WMUR.com, click here. To listen to Lee’s interview on the Planet Mikey show, click here.

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