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The Big Stein

Getty Images / New York Daily News Archive

Who said it: Yankees owner George Steinbrenner or Seinfeld's the Big Stein?

For a certain generation, or perhaps just for those who prefer sitcoms to baseball, what we know of George Steinbrenner comes largely from "Seinfeld."

Steinbrenner became a fixture on the show beginning in season five, when hapless George Costanza found himself working for the venerable Yankee organization. Segments featuring “Big Stein” typically began when Constanza was summoned to his plush office and ended with Costanza backing out the door, leaving Steinbrenner ranting about whatever random tangential thoughts pre-occupied him — fancy mustard, calzones, Cuban cigars and hot tubs, to name a few. The character, played by Lee Bear and voiced by Larry David, was only ever seen from behind.

Below are some quotes from the real Steinbrenner and some from Seinfeld's “Big Stein.” See if you can tell them apart.

1. “I don’t think that anybody should be suspended for life for anything, other than murder.”

2. “I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful — but I know that I have tried.”

3. “I can tell you this — chaos does not work for the New York Yankees. Not as long as I’m running the show.”

4. “In the end, I’ll put my good acts up against those of anybody in this country. Anybody.”

5. “I will never have a heart attack. I give them.”

6. “As painful as it’s been, I’ve had to let a few people go over the years. Yogi Berra. Lou Piniella. Bucky Dent. Billy Martin. Dallas Green. Dick Howser. Bill Virdon. Billy Martin. Stump Merrill. Billy Martin. Bobby Lemon. Billy Martin. Gene Michaels. Buck Showalter…”

7. “If we want to look to the future, we’ve got to tear down the past. Babe Ruth was nothing more than a fat old man with little girl legs.”

8. “I’m really 95 percent Mister Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch.”

9. “This organization’s not going to turn back. We’re going to find a way. I’d like my next head coach to be winning-oriented. I want the right guy.”

Answers appear below the video.

Here’s footage of the real George Steinbrenner in a cameo appearance on Seinfeld that wound up on the cutting room floor.

ANSWERS

1) Steinbrenner: “I don’t think that anybody should be suspended for life for anything, other than murder.”

2) Steinbrenner: “I haven’t always done a good job, and I haven’t always been successful — but I know that I have tried.”

3) Big Stein: “I can tell you this — chaos does not work for the New York Yankees. Not as long as I’m running the show.”

4) Steinbrenner: “In the end, I’ll put my good acts up against those of anybody in this country. Anybody.”

5) Steinbrenner: “I will never have a heart attack. I give them.”

6) Big Stein: “As painful as it’s been, I’ve had to let a few people go over the years. Yogi Berra. Lou Piniella. Bucky Dent. Billy Martin. Dallas Green. Dick Howser. Bill Virdon. Billy Martin. Stump Merrill. Billy Martin. Bobby Lemon. Billy Martin. Gene Michaels. Buck Showalter…”

7) Big Stein: “If we want to look to the future, we’ve got to tear down the past. Babe Ruth was nothing more than a fat old man with little girl legs.”

8) Steinbrenner: “I’m really 95 percent Mister Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch.”

9) Raiders’ owner Al Davis (trick question!): “This organization’s not going to turn back. We’re going to find a way. I’d like my next head coach to be winning-oriented. I want the right guy.”