Steinbrenners in talks to sell Yanks to Dolans


James Dolan may be the next Yankee owner. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, file)

When Hank and Hal Steinbrenner took over control of the Yanks from their ailing father George, many fans feared the the family would try to cash in on their billion-dollar asset. Although Yankee fans knew the destructive tendencies wrought by King George during his team, they also came to love George’s singular focus on winning and knew that any other potential ownership group brought with it fears of a heavy hand and bad baseball minds.

Today, multiple New York media outlets confirm what we were dreading: The Steinbrenners are in talks with the Dolan family concerning the Yanks. Although neither side would confirm the talks, a source close to the Yanks said that a deal could be reached before the All Star Break. At that point, the other owners would have to vote to approve the deal.

“Ever since Hal and Hank were appointed co-chairs of the team,” the source said, “the family has been pressuring them to sale. With the Knicks and Rangers in their pockets, the Dolans seemed to be a logical choice, and James has been chomping at the bit to run a baseball team.”

Early reports indicate that the Dolans will pay upwards of $1 billion for a controlling share of the team and the final price could top $1.2 billion. Yankee Global Enterprises, the holding company controlled by the Steinbrenners that owns both the Yankees and YES Network, will hold onto the TV station for now. Considering that George paid $10 million to buy the Yankees in 1973, the family is certainly turning a pretty penny from their 36 years of ownership.

This isn’t the first time that the Dolans, owners of the lucrative Cablevision empire, have expressed interest in buying the Yankees. In late 1998, Steinbrenner and the Dolans were rumored to be close to a sale of the team. George would have gotten $600 million while retaining control over the Yankees, but the deal fell through in March of 1999 over George’s continued involvement with the Yanks. Ownership, it seems, won by winning since that sale didn’t happen.

As the Steinbrenners get rich, though, the franchise and its fans are in for a bumpy ride full of uncertainty. James Dolan, the chair of both Cablevision and Madison Square Garden, has developed a reputation as a hands-on owner who isn’t very good at installing top player managers. On his watch, the Rangers missed the playoffs every year from 1998-2005 despite leading the NHL in payroll. They still aren’t a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.

The Knicks, meanwhile, have been a walking disaster since the early 2000s. They haven’t finished a season above .500 in nearly a decade and haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990s. On Dolan’s watch, they suffered through the Isiah Thomas Era and spent millions on just one season of Larry Brown. The team has overpaid for overrated and old players, and Dolan was rated one of the worst owners in the league by Sports Illustrated.

Maybe this will work out for the best. Maybe the Yankees have too many good baseball minds in charge for the Dolans to ruin things. Maybe Cablevision will take a hands-off approach for its $1 billion investment. I can’t help but think though that we’ll miss the Steinbrenners more than we realize.

Sorry I mistook your announcement of a ghastly personal tragedy for an April Fool's joke

Update 12:05 p.m.: Please be aware that this is our annual April Fool’s joke. We started this tradition in 2007 when we predicted Roger Clemens’ return to the Yanks, took heat in 2008 when we swapped Kei Igawa into the rotation for Andy Pettitte and stopped hearts last year when we reported on a suspension for A-Rod.

That said, April Fool’s jokes are not always clear to all. An original version of this story cited Sports Business Journal and their staff writer Eric Fisher as the source of this supposed rumor, and to that end, we inconvenienced the sports trade publication and dragged them into our parody. We have since removed their names from this story and offer up our apologies for any inconvenience and confusion this may have generated. This report is nothing more than an April Fool’s joke.

Categories : Front Office, News, Whimsy


  1. Andrew Fletcher says:

    Oh dear God.

  2. I really, really fucking needed this laugh.

    Thanks guys.

  3. Beamish says:


  4. Sam says:

    Everyone take a deep breath and check your calendar. Good work this year, Ben

  5. BigBlueAL says:

    Speaking as a big a die-hard Knicks fan as I am a Yankee fan, I hope this is true!!!!

  6. ultimate913 says:

    *looks at date*

    You had me going there, Ben.

  7. Ben when this comes true I am going to hunt you down and make you watch Isiah Thomas era Knicks games until your eyes bleed. :P

  8. Chris03 says:


  9. Stryker says:

    was seriously considering jumping off the ledge, then looked at the date and time and slowly but surely backed away. well done, RAB.

  10. aLex says:

    Well played ben well played…

  11. Howie says:

    I don’t care what day it is… YOU SHOULD NEVER SCARE ME LIKE THAT!!!!!!!

  12. PC says:

    Kabak, you owe me a pair of new boxers and 5 years of my life back.

  13. mryankee is gonna be FURIOUS when he hears about this.

  14. Jonathan says:

    OMG…please..PLEASE! think of your readers in Kansas where it’s still March 31st..i got ill to my stomach..literally.

  15. pat says:

    Dude, you can’t even joke about something like that.

  16. Mike HC says:

    The date and April fools did not even cross my mind before I read the title of this article. Right when I read the title, the idea of Dolan getting his hands on anything else was so ridiculous, I knew it had to be April fools.

    Still an entertaining, if not scary, article.

  17. chriskeo says:

    Oh my God Ben, if this wasn’t a family site, there are a lot of things I would say right now.

  18. Greg G. says:

    This is a great read. Well done, Ben.

  19. bexarama says:

    Fell for it for like two seconds. Remembered people had been talking about April Fools jokes a little while earlier. Looked at the date/time. Stopped falling for it. Whew.

    Well done, guys. Pretty hilarious.

  20. Spaceman.Spiff says:

    I just woke up from a nap (that started March 31) and I groggily clicked my RAB bookmark and as I saw the headline, my heart momentarily stopped. Even though I got that it was April Fool’s Day almost immediately after, the stun effect from the headline did it’s job.

    Well done indeed.

  21. Yeah, my mouth was half-way open to scream or something when I remembered.

    I was expecting the joke post tomorrow AM, though, in my defense.

  22. Dolan’s first act of business when the takeover is complete:

    Fire Cashman, replace him with hotshot young GM in the making Nomar Garciaparra

  23. Meat Loaf says:

    You assholes got me with A-Rod last year, and this year it’s this. Truely masterful.

    Also, I just had a stroke. You’re paying my medical bills.

  24. BronxBomber44 says:

    Well done. You got me, and owe me new underwear.

  25. Link says:

    Wow…it wasnt until I read the comments that I realized this was a joke…I was absolutely horrifed.

  26. Yankeemeg says:

    I’m glad I was drunk when I read this, Ben. I won’t remember it in the morning.

  27. Alex S says:

    i knew it was coming but i didn’t expect it until sometime in the afternoon. the midnight post caught me off guard. well played

  28. A.D. says:

    Haha…not even sure the Dolan’s have 1B that they could use to actually buy the Yankees if they wanted to.

  29. Kyle says:

    April Fools!

  30. RCK says:

    Okay. I seriously said to my boyfriend just yesterday, “RAB always does an April fools post that I never fall for because I know what day it is.” And then I totally just fell for that!

    Thank you for the heart attack.

  31. Brian says:

    if this weren’t April Fools…

  32. Rogue Trader says:

    I read the whole thing with a broken heart. HAHA And i even told myself “dang why couldn’t they have waited 3 more years maybe i could of bought a share”. You got me man, very nice post.

  33. Kevin G. says:

    Ugh, got me again. I even remember thinking last year when you did the A-Rod joke that you would never get me again. I guess not.

  34. mustang says:

    Second year in a row I’m such a dumb ass.

    Very well done.

  35. Ellf87 says:

    Thank G-d you guys caught onto the joke, b/c this article scared the shit out of me.

  36. PaulF says:

    Here in Chicago it is not yet april fools day, so I don’t appreciate being brutally fooled.

  37. Ojas says:

    WOW… i completely fell for it

    However, as I was reading I was wondering, wouldn’t it be stupid for the Steinbrenners to invest so much in YS3 and then sell the team a mere year after the ballpark’s first season?

    No excuses though, I was had. Well done.

  38. I especially enjoyed the e-card ad just below the faux-article!

  39. Will (the other one) says:

    On the plus side, Dolan looks like an even bigger douche than usual in the picture…

  40. Kiersten says:

    totally got me. ::embarassed::

  41. Oti says:

    Completely fell for it until I clicked on the comments. Well done!

  42. Salty Buggah says:

    Oh damn! This totally got me! I forgot that it’s April 1st tomorrow. I’ve been so consumed in college stuff that I’ve been forgetting dates lately.

    But this was a good one. Completely fooled me!

  43. Captain Bawls says:

    You know, I live in Colorado and did not appreciate this.

  44. Praveen says:

    My heart stopped beating for a second but then i realized what day it is

  45. AJ says:

    I panicked and called everyone I knew. Now I look like a jackass. Well done.

  46. RobertGKramer says:

    Does Jimmy’s uncle still own the Indians?

  47. Angelo says:

    That was scary….glad thats over.

  48. SullyLV says:

    While i was reading this story i could feel myself starting to get sick.Wasn’t even thinking about the time and date.YOU get me not funny,but very clever.

  49. Joey says:

    FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I knew it was coming but actually believed this shit. FUCK YOU

    I hate the Dolans is the main reason I almost crapped myself.

    Ok, I really still love ya guys, but come on

    • Joey says:

      And BTW, given your track record of April fools jokes coming true (IIRC) you better pray to God this one never does, for the sake of me and every other Yankees fan

  50. Rey22 says:

    Oh my god. You guys gave me a HEART ATTACK and I’ve actually been on top of your jokes the past 2 years.

  51. SF Yanks says:

    I seriously considered not being a baseball fan any longer. No joke. That’s how bad you had me. Well done.

  52. claybeez says:

    Got me. Damn. Well played.

  53. Salty Buggah says:

    The real joke here? Now that he’s tricked everyone into thinking this is an April Fool’s Day joke, it’s…ALL TRUE!!!

    Seriously, that would be awesome (as a joke, not as reality)

  54. BigBlueAL says:

    This just makes me more depressed as a Knicks fan the more that I think about it.

  55. Frigidevil says:

    I literally went to check my blog list for any April fools jokes, and STILL was temporarily distressed. I still needed to scroll down juuuust to make sure it was really a joke. Well played.

  56. Big Juan says:

    (golf clap)

  57. ecksodia says:

    Didn’t get me, but that’s because I was expecting something from every site, just to be sure.

    But still, I loved the effort. The italicized Sports Business Journal up there is a nice touch, imo – if you weren’t fooled, you know it’s a nod to you, and if you were, well… That hooks you into it pretty much.

  58. Tom says:

    Well played, my good fellow

  59. I’m not Steven Hawking or anything (spare the part about being paralyzed and still getting top-notch quantum trim) but that many of you were duped

    1) knowing it was April 1st or, at the very least, seeing the date on the top right saying “APR 1″ pretty prominently
    2) there being a big picture on the bottom with the words “April Fool’s”
    3) having the link of the source hit a paywall


    Don’t get me wrong, solid job by Ben. But you guys need to read the directions before taking the test!


    That law school stuff will come in handy when you get letters in the mail from Sports Business Journal.

    • Parody. We’re all good.

    • Joey says:

      1) I’ve been crazy with school lately, thus the reason I’m checking RAB at 1 am, so the date kind of slipped my mind. That and rational thought completely escaped me when I read the name “Dolan” in the title and became very angry
      2) The big picture at the bottom saying “April Fool’s” was what gave it away at the end, if you’d prefer, Ben got me until that point…
      3) I read the post before I checked any links, and they link to pay sites all the time (ESPN’s Insider)

    • Salty Buggah says:

      1. It was 10 here in Colorado and I ignored the date (Also, for the past week, I’ve been thinking April 1st was Friday for some reason)
      2. You can’t see the pic from the homepage, which is how I read the post.
      3. Meh, rarely click on links anyway.

  60. Brian says:

    Wow, good job but seriously don’t do this to me again lol…my heart went racing, I wanted to cry, I felt like puking, and jumped out of bed in my boxers and started running around the house yelling trying to find my brother to share the horrible news.

  61. Justin says:

    Haha wow… my hard actually stopped for a fraction of a second before realizing this was a joke. Nice job!

  62. adeelmd says:

    While reading the article i couldn’t help but think “so that’s who wants Joba in the pen”…. oh well.

  63. jim p says:

    As I lie here on the floor gasping for air, waiting for the ambulance, I will laugh.

  64. The Doctor says:

    With the near heart attack that joke caused, it kind of puts the whole Joba thing in perspective. Sure, it sucks they’re screwing him up, assuming the worst, but hey, at least that’s the exception, not the rule, and you can’t say that about a lot of teams.

  65. Jairus says:

    Woah.. Good thing I read the comments of readers here, you got me there Ben.

  66. dkidd says:

    i actually got nauseous. best 4/1 post ever

  67. BigBlueAL says:

    I just noticed a mistake in the post, the Knicks havent won a playoff game since 2000 not the 1990′s!!!! They made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000 damnit!!!! My last year filled with good memories as a Knicks fan.

  68. SteveD Fla says:

    SHIT !!!!!!!! Got me. That would be such a disaster.

  69. Bryan says:

    FML lol. Nailed me before the comments section. Great job guys

  70. In Girardi We Trust says:

    Messed. Up.

  71. pollo says:

    i’d start rooting for the red sox. and im not even joking.

  72. Tampa Yankee says:

    I fell for it hook, line and sinker! Well played gentlemen, well played!
    http://i5.photobucket.com/albu.....esClap.gif (safe)

  73. Jammy Jammers says:


  74. EJ Fagan says:

    You had me for awhile

  75. JobaWockeeZ says:

    They got me TWICE now. Last year with A-Rod being suspended and this. Sigh.

  76. theyankeewarrior says:

    100% fooled. Totally forgot this was April 1. And I just bought a car, so I’m in lala land after my first morning commute to work. That was awesome. Thanks.

  77. Russell210 says:

    You got me this year Kabak! 2nd year in a row from River Ave.

  78. Hawkins44 says:

    when you said “Dolan’s” I know….

  79. Wow. I had a mini panic attack there. Didn’t even think about April Fools until I saw the comments.

  80. KayGee says:

    Hopefully they sell to Dolan by mid-season. We all know he would never have let Damon go. He’ll get Damon back.


  81. paul says:

    well played…muhahahahah

  82. T-Dubs says:

    You motherfuckers.

  83. Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

    i havent read any of this post or thread. april fools. nice try.

  84. Bo says:

    Nothing more played out than blogs doing AF posts.

    But anyway would this really be a bad thing? Dolan has shown that hes willing to spend whatever it takes to win ala George and he has shown extreme loyalty to the people in charge n lets them do their job. He doesnt meddle ala Jeff Wilpon and if he hires the right people it wouldnt be a bad thing. It would certainly beat some faceless corporation that only cares about the bottom line.

  85. Christos says:

    YOU ARE AN ASs! (Didn’t break caps lock rule)

  86. YankCrank says:

    You totally got me, and I was in the process of shitting my paints and tweeting the article as bad Yankee news.

    Well done sir.

  87. Cecala says:

    Damn, this guy is a genius at signing players. He had Wade Redden sign a 7 year contract! That really helped out the Rangers…

  88. Chris says:

    I heard they already announced their first trade: Jesus Montero for Ken Phelps.

    • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

      I heard they already announced their first trade: Jesus Montero for Ken Phelps. Stephon Marbury

  89. Klemy says:

    I’m afraid I’ve become too skeptical on April 1st at this point in my life. I don’t believe anything I read until the next day at this point and it saps me of being any fun until the next day. :(

  90. Ian R. Levitt says:

    Now that my heart attack is over, HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY

  91. Ivan R says:

    Evil. Straight up EVIL.

  92. AJ says:

    So Tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Large Sample Size, we still on for the Nick Johnson/ Johnny Damon gentleman’s bet? I still say Damon misses less time than Johnson this year.

  93. GGTM says:

    I agree Ivan … Evil is the right word!

    Thanks a lot guys … you just shaved a few years off my life!

  94. VO says:

    You guys got me again, well played Ben, well played. I knew it was coming but the way it was written with the links and such you really drew me in.

  95. blisster says:

    i cried in my coffee, hook line sinker.

  96. Sully says:

    That was good, almost too good; well done guys.

  97. James says:

    So, this was an April Fool’s joke? I sure hope so.

  98. Bman says:

    I was tricked, and sad. I had co-workers reading it with me, as I called them over thinking I was reading some bad news.

  99. bonestock94 says:

    I totally fell for it, holy crap.

  100. Egghead71 says:

    I fell for it bigtime, couldn’t believe no other news outlet had this.

  101. Frank says:

    Holy crap, my heart has yet to begun beating again.

  102. Tony in Albany says:

    oh god phewwwww wow you really had me there for a second, despite how outrageous and unfounded that seemed, I was sitting in my chair saying oh god, oh god noooo please no, until I read down. Well done fellas.

  103. JFH says:

    lol! i was totally duped. i do not know how i fell for this. very funny.

  104. KY Jeff says:

    got me! my hands are still shakeing

  105. I HATE APRIL FOOLS says:

    I Hate this blasted date! I fall for your posts every year! And I this yr I didnt get around to the end and started to tell people. I hate you and I dont forgive you

  106. Brian says:

    God damn it. I posted the article to my facebook page and sent it in numerous emails before readig the whole story. Well played, guys.

  107. Dave says:

    This is great, I still have my friends going..wish I would have thought this up. Great Joke guys

  108. bob says:

    some things aren’t funny ! it’s upsetting even knowing it’s not true….

  109. Pete C. says:

    Yeah for a second, all I could think about was the shit I was gonna hear Monday morning, from all the boston fans I work with.
    Gotta say this is right up there with Plimptons S.I. spoof.

  110. 5th Starter says:

    Literally eleven hours later I just got it. I truly thought this real and I even called my dad in NY to tell him about it. But then I looked for it in other places on the net and was surprised that ESPN hadn’t mentioned it.

    You bastards got me so good. Nice work.

  111. Joe L. says:


  112. Joe R says:

    OMG! NOOOOOOOO! The Dolans will do to the Yankees what they did to the Knicks and the Rangers…….Laughing stocks! In High School in the early 70′s, I was a big Knicks fan, but besides a failed attempt at the title in the early 90′s…where have the Knicks been? How can a team be so bad for so long? Please don’t do that to my Yankees!!!!

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