The Hal Steinbrennger GQ interview

Damon almost quit in 2007
It's a celebration!

Hal Steinbrenner recently sat down with GQ reporter Nate Penn for his first interview in over 20 years. What comes out of it is a picture reminiscent, as Penn and later Cliff Corcoran at Bronx Banter noted, of Michael and Sonny Corleone from The Godfather.

The highlights:

  • Hal became more involved when Steve Swindal left the picture. Hank joined him a few months later when it became clear that the younger Steinbrenner could use some help.
  • He doesn’t hate the media: “Am I comfortable dealing with the media? Probably not as comfortable as Hank is. Definitely not as comfortable as my dad was. Have I had disagreements with them in the past, disagreed with things they’ve written and the reasons they wrote them? Yes, of course. But again, I understand what the deal is.”
  • The brothers always assumed that Swindal would lead the team, and Hal wanted to be with his family. He’s happy with the way he’s balancing his duties now.
  • George really did want to get rid of dental benefits in 2003, but Hal talked him out of it.
  • Brian Cashman‘s job is not on the line over the Santana deal.

To me, the most important part of the interview is Hal’s understanding of the Yankees’ situation with regards to their young pitchers. “The Super Bowl this year was unbelievable, and the one thought I took away really has a lot to do with us this year, with these three young pitchers. Eli struggled a bit his first couple years. I think New York fans might realize now that if you give a young kid time, great things can happen,” he said.

There really is no better analogy. Now, I’m not saying that the Yanks’ pitchers are going to struggle, but good things come to those who wait. The Yanks can’t trade years of future success for instant gratification. Hal recognizes what the Yankees have in their young arms, and he won’t quickly surrender that advantage.

Meanwhile, in news that should warm the hearts of Yankee fans, the Steinbrenner sons are just as dedicated to winning as their dad has been, and the two don’t plan on selling the team anytime soon. Sounds good to me.

Damon almost quit in 2007
It's a celebration!
  • huuz

    now if people would only get off of Hank’s back…clearly things are not as bad in Yankeeland as the media would like us to believe…

  • Rich

    I thought this was an important part too because it demonstrates that Hank doesn’t have the power that he sometimes claims to have:

    “What’s been determined is that this is a family business, and if we’re both gonna be involved, it has to be an equal thing, and we both need to be involved with all major decisions, whether it’s the stadium, big expenditures, or [the unconsummated trade for Johan] Santana, for instance. It’s well publicized in New York that we didn’t agree on that deal.”

  • Aroundthemajors

    I like that comparison of Sonny and Michael Corleone, and I’m defintely glad that they have no plans of selling the team which was a concern I had a few years ago.

  • MD

    the same desire to win as the old man, but a bit more patience with the kids, would make a 200mil payroll unbeatable……..

  • Bo

    Who cares what Hank says and does? You ever think hes doing it on purpose to take some attention/pressure away from Girardi and the kids? God forbid a Steinbrenner is smart, right???

    And Hank has never said he has more power than his brother. Hes always said they are equal.

    • Rich

      That’s not true.

      Hank has said the decision on whether or not to trade for Santana was his.

      That was false.

  • Curramba

    Good to hear that Hal is on the same page as Cash.