The New York Times just confirmed that New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has died. Perhaps now we’ll learn why such a bombastic man was virtually silent during the last years of his life.

Probably no one did more to define the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry from the 1970s on than Steinbrenner. Loudmouthed bully, profligate spender, felonious friend of Richard Nixon — he always gave Red Sox fans someone to root against.

Derek Jeter liked him, so Steinbrenner must have had a good side as well.