Say what you want, but George played by the same rules available to several teams with more money to spend than he did at the time he first purchased the Yankees. When he and his co-owners bought the team in 1973 for $8.7 million, they were a .500 team that finished 17 games out of first and barely drew a million fans. And they drew less than a million in 1972, the last year of CBS ownership.
Keeping it simple...George clearly championed (pun intended) the concept of buying a championship in a world without salary cap limits.
There's not exactly any form of "brilliance" in assembling your roster by opening up your checkbook. This also breeds inflation (overpayment) in salaries, which was accelerated by that methodology. It also fueled an astronomical rush to higher salaries. Few had more to do in that trend that good old George, and likely led to the kind of resentment other teams have had towards his philosophy - especialy those many others who had smaller checkbooks.
He certainly didn't come into baseball with a silver spoon or unlimited resources, but somehow managed to build a $9 million franchise into one worth an estimated $1 billion today. If that's not "brilliant", than I don't know what is.
Edited by Steve, 13 July 2010 - 01:33 PM.