Mar
25

The other Steinbrenner son speaks

By

As we well know by now, Hank Steinbrenner has become the new Voice of the Yankees. He’s not shy with his opinions, and he often, according to some fans, may be speaking too much. While Hank may be the outspoken guy who enjoys getting his name in the papers, the truth is far more complex: The two Steinbrenner brothers share duties, and they seem to know what they’re doing.

This weekend, Newsday’s Kat O’Brien, often the Official Beat Writer of Hank Steinbrenner, sat down with the other Steinbrenner son. Hal, not known for sharing much with the press, agreed to an interview, and the resulting piece further illuminates the balance of power within the Yankee organization.

Hal on Hank:

“That’s what Hank’s for. He’s perfect. He’s everything you guys want. How many more papers can you sell?…Nobody’s going to have my cell phone number. Nobody’s going to be calling me at night. That’s just not going to happen.”

It’s a telling quote. Hank is the de facto face of the Yankees, but who’s pulling the strings? Considering the postmortem news we’ve continued to hear about the lack of firm offers for Johan Santana, it’s certainly believable that Hanks’ schtick is just that. It’s an act designed to get teams to question whether or not the Yankees are involved in negotiations. It certainly kept Santana out of Boston.

Hal on George:

“Working for George was not the easiest thing in the world, and one would get the impression that you really weren’t needed sometimes.”

If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about George Steinbrenner‘s current position within the organization, nothing well. For all intents and purposes, George Steinbrenner is not in charge of the Yankees. He may still be the Principal Owner in title, but in practice, it doesn’t sound as though Hal, the team’s General Partner, is working for his dad anymore. We have truly entered the post-George Era, and the transition seems rather seamless.

Meanwhile, fans who like the Steinbrenner’s invest-to-win approach can breathe easy; the family has now reiterated their position to hold on to the their $1-billion asset. They won’t be selling the team anytime soon.

But as far as I’m concerned, the money came in O’Brien’s outtakes. Hal on the new Stadium:

“I think the exciting thing about this stadium is it looks more like the original stadium than the stadium we’re in now, much more like the original stadium than the one we’re in now. So I think when you walk into that stadium, walk into the great hall and walk in gate four … it’s going to be nostalgic even when it’s brand new. It’s going to take you back.”

That is an intriguing take on a stadium chock full of martini bars, premium seating experiences, steakhouses and state-of-the-art museums. But in a way, Hal is tapping into the sentiments of the fans who didn’t try to save Yankee Stadium; the renovations in the 1970s destroyed the heart and soul of the old Yankee Stadium.

Of course, to me, the new Yankee Stadium will always seem like some other ballpark. It will be this new place across the street that the Yankees play in, and the only nostalgia I’ll feel is for the memories I have of the House that Ruth Built.

It’s a new era for the Yankees; it’s the era of the Steinbrenner sons and daughters and a new Stadium. Right now, everyone is saying the right things. How long this peace can last, no one really knows.

Categories : Front Office
  • Pique

    “Right now, everyone is saying the right things. How long this peace can last, no one really knows.”

    Kind of a pessimistic view thinking things will eventually go south, isn’t it Ben?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      No, no. I’m not trying to be pessimistic. In the Newsday article, however, Hal says that the three Steinbrenner children are deciding everything unanimously right now. I just worry that a three-headed beast will not always agree, and when dissent comes, it won’t be pretty.

      • Pique

        I guess that makes sense, although my understanding was that it was just the two brothers that were sharing power, not the sister.

        • J.R.

          One sisters main project is the new stadium. The other Swindal’s ex focuses on the horse racing for the steinbreners.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Tthnx for the pointer Ben, great article.

    BTW on an unrelated topic, JD Drew injured his back RIGHT BEFORE Tito handed the umps the lineup card. Jeez.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Sorry again guys but Dice-K is having a little meltdown here in the 1st inning. After a 1-pitch groundout by Travis Buck, Mark Ellis hammered one to LCF for a HR, followed by a Daric Barton walk and Jack Cust HBP.

  • Pingback: yankeesdaily.com » Blog Archive » Pride of the Yankees 2/25/2008 The Bloggers

  • Count Zero

    Considering the postmortem news we’ve continued to hear about the lack of firm offers for Johan Santana, it’s certainly believable that Hanks’ schtick is just that. It’s an act designed to get teams to question whether or not the Yankees are involved in negotiations.

    I said this all along when people were jumping on Hank for opening his big mouth. Anybody who thinks his comments to the press aren’t well calculated tactics has no idea how big corporations work. The notion that he’s just running off at the mouth without thinking it through is completely ludicrous.

    The sudden stardom of Kat O’Brien was your first obvious clue. Hank is telling the press exactly what the entire organization wants him to tell the press — including that semi-tirade about RSN a while ago.