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Kraft: Steinbrenner ‘moved the needle’

07.14.10 at 1:01 am ET

George Steinbrenner sent a note to Patriots' owner Robert Kraft when New England won its first Super Bowl back in 2002. (AP)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said that George Steinbrenner “moved the needle” when it came to getting creative in attempts to elevate the Yankees whenever possible, but acknowledged that Steinbrenner, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 80, may have overdone it at times.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kraft and a handful of other professional owners recalled Steinbrenner as a trailblazer who created a terrific business model with the Yankees, and advanced his teams’ brand in ways other franchises only dream about.

“In some ways, George Steinbrenner moved the needle,” Kraft said of Steinbrenner, a former college football coach. “But he also crossed the border at times. There’s a fine line there.”

Kraft spoke about a note he received from Steinbrenner back in 2002 when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl.

“It was the nicest letter, praising us for the turnaround and making the right personnel decisions, even when they weren’t the most popular decisions at the time,” Kraft said. “We both want to win. We do things different, stylistically, but the bottom line is we want winners running the show.”

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