Mar
09

Where Are They Now: Steve Swindal

By

Swindal and Joe Torre in 2007. (Bukaty/AP)

Five years ago, Steve Swindal was the heir apparent to the Yankees. The husband of Jennifer Steinbrenner and a general partner of the team since 1998, Swindal had been appointed George Steinbrenner‘s successor back in 2005. That plan changed in early-2007, when he was arrested for DUI and Jennifer filed for divorce a month later. The team bought out his ownership stake that November, and The Boss instead handed the reigns to his son Hal.

After his time with the Yankees ended, Swindal served as the head of a marine towing company in Florida for a while. He’s now back in baseball though, having launched a youth academy in the Dominican Republic with Abel Guerra (the Yanks’ former VP of International Ops) and Hans Hertell (former U.S. ambassador to the D.R.) in 2009 according CBS New York. They house, feed, train, and educate young prospects in exchange for a portion of their future signing bonuses. More than 40 prospects have gone on to sign with a big league club after a stint at Swindal’s academy. “[It's] the nicest academy of any agent,” said Rafael Perez, MLB’s director of Dominican operations. “And they produce a lot of players.”

Swindal’s son still works for the team in stadium operations (in the Bronx), and his daughter Haley sings the national anthem before games a few times a year. There doesn’t appear to be any animosity on either side, and in fact Swindal was at the club’s Spring Training complex last weekend. “I’m always going be pulling for the Yankees,” he said. “That’s never going to go away.”

As Ben wrote soon after the DUI and divorce, Swindal was seen as the perfect heir to Steinbrenner’s throne back then. “Swindal was everything that George was and more,” he wrote. “He exhibited the same win-at-all-monetary-costs attitude that Yankee fans have come to crave, but he also exhibited a whole lot of Baseball Smarts. He knew the value of constructing a Major League team through sound investment and an organization that could develop a steady stream of home-grown players to complement the free agent signings.”

That all sounds well and good, but we’ll never know how the course of Yankees history would have changed had Swindal taken over the team as planned rather than Hal. Perhaps all this talk of getting under the luxury tax threshold in 2014 would not exist, or perhaps the reduced payroll would have happened years ago. It’s hard to complain about the team right now, but there’s still that what-if element. “It’s a strange turn,” said Swindal to CBSNY. “Life is going to be full of turns and changes. It’s how you deal with it that’s important. I had the best ten years of my life with the Yankees, of my professional life. I don’t regret a minute of it.”

[h/t HBT]

Categories : News

33 Comments»

  1. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Someone blames Jennifer Steinbrenner for the austerity budget AND Pineda’s velocity in 3…2….

  2. Lazy Bones Andruw Jones says:

    I’ve always felt there was a little more to the story than was reported. Yes, DUI is a crime and terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t expect him to loose his job or get divorced over it.

    • steve s says:

      I’m pretty sure Swindal got caught with his hand in the candy jar with some local talent. He’s probably back in the family’s good graces though because he looks like a prince when compared to the disaster that is Felix the landscaper.

    • jsbrendog says:

      id guess it was mroe of his steinbrenner wife divorcing him. can’t then have him run the team. he is no longer family

    • RetroRob says:

      The DUI didn’t end the marriage. The DUI was most likely the result of something else going on, such as he was caught cheating on his wife, he knew his marriage was disolving, he knew he was going to lose his chance to run the Yankees, and as a result he was drinking heavier, resulting in a DUI.

  3. Manny's BanWagon says:

    You’d have thought that Swindal would have been smart enough to keep Jennifer Steinbrenner happy no matter what he had to do at least long enough to become entrenched as the Yankees Boss.

  4. flamingo says:

    I love everything this blog produces, and I do understand that the writers are human.

    That said, reins/reigns is one of my least favorite typos of all time.

  5. RetroRob says:

    Steve Swindal as GMS’s heir apparent does remind me of questions forgotten. Swindal was not blood, so it always struck me as interesting that George would pick him over his two sons. It says to me that either he didn’t think his sons could run the operations, or that they didn’t want to run the operations. Perhaps it was both. He didn’t think Hank was up to the task, and Hal didn’t have an interest. That’s the simplistic analysis but it’s probably much more complext than that.

    Yet that leads to the potentially unsettling question of does Hal really have any real interest in running the Yankees, or is he just the latest example of a son forced to come in and run the family business with the death of the father.

    It is also possible neither son wanted to run the family business because they were trying to get out of the shadow of the father. Maybe they’re past that now.

    I still wonder if they may eventually consider selling the team. The Yankees were values last by Forbes at $1.7 billion, with the entire Yankees operations values at over $5 billion. The pending sale of the Dodgers is going to skyrocket the value of all MLB teams. The Yankees baseball team alone may be worth $2.5-$3.0 billion, depending on what the Dodgers sell for. Is there a price at which the Steinbrenner will decide to sell.

    • Bo Knows says:

      Well Hal didn’t really show much interest in running the team back then and Hank….well Hank’s a moron (in regards to baseball)

      I doubt the team gets sold, Hal may been the reluctant Boss, but Steinbrenner’s grandson (Swindal’s and Jennifer’s son I believe) is said to have a ton of interest in the team and might be next in line to run the team once he’s old enough.

  6. Another Bronx Dynasty says:

    Whether it’s $1.5B or $5B who is going to buy the Yankees at that price?
    The two biggest ego’s in Gotham are either The Donald or Michael Bloomberg. Not sure if Bloomberg is a baseball fan. Trump is a sports fan & he is another George.

    Yankees don’r win the WS and it’s the manager up to the board room…Im sorry Joe….”Your Fired”. If for nothing else it would jack the ratings!

  7. Plank says:

    I’m surprised this thread didn’t turn into moralizing against drunk driving. I am surprised at how many people seem to know the cause of and details of the end of his marriage.

  8. Jasphil says:

    Hal’s Yankees, managed by Cashman, have been spending money in all of the right places. Martin, Granderson, the signing of Kuroda, Pineda, and developing young pitching and position talent that will serve as the basis of the next decade. As a fan, I was tired of the overspending on all of the wrong players. They are more interesting to watch now.

  9. altajoe says:

    Funny thing is that Jennifer is a pretty nice looking woman. Unfortunately she goes to Lady Bird Johnson’s hair stylist. If she had gone with a more progressive cut, Steve wouldn’t have had to go hunting and he’d probably be running the Yanks.

  10. this is all very good to know. i was worried about good ole steve. must be nothin else happening in baseball.

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