Here is the real news of the day. In a unanimous vote, MLB owners today approved Hal Steinbrenner to assume control of the Yankees at the request of his father.
“I realize it’s a great responsibility,” said Hal Steinbrenner, who turns 40 on Dec. 3. “My dad is, needless to say, a tough act to follow.”
Hal and Hank Steinbrenner have been listed as co-chairpersons. But it has been obvious for months that it is the younger brother who runs the club. Hal Steinbrenner has been in New York dozens of times to meet with Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, Randy Levine and Lonn Trost. He also has ably represented the team at assorted events and made the majority of the decisions according to team officials.
It is uncertain whether there was any sort of power play between the brothers for this position. But within the team offices in Tampa and the Bronx, this will be welcome news.
UPDATE, 1:53 p.m.: This statement from family spokesman Howard Rubenstein:
“At the MLB meetings today, the clubs approved Hal Steinbrenner as the control person for the New York Yankees. This is consistent with George Steinbrenner’s desire and commitment to have his sons assume the day to day responsibility of operating the club. George Steinbrenner will remain as Chairman of the New York Yankees, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner will continue as Co-Chairmen.
“Hal was designated as the control person because he is responsible for the overall business and financial operations of the Yankees. Hank will continue to oversee the club’s Baseball Operations.”
Titles aside, it has been Hal Steinbrenner who comes to the Bronx and meets regularly with Cashman and Girardi and just last week said how he planned to start building relationships with agents. At the end of the day, one person has to be in charge and it’s him.
Mike Mussina will conduct a conference call at 4 p.m. Check back later for a report and hopefully the audio.