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George’s successor

I’m relieved, yet a little bit disappointed, to hear that George Steinbrenner has named his successor.

With his 75th birthday approaching next week, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner made it official Tuesday: Son-in-law Steve Swindal will follow him as head of baseball’s most storied team.

Steinbrenner did not say when Swindal would take over. At a news conference on June 15, Steinbrenner mentioned in passing that Swindal was “going to carry on.”

“Yes, Steve will be my successor,” Steinbrenner said through spokesman Howard Rubenstein in an e-mail response to questions from The Associated Press. “I also have other sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law coming along and they will remain involved. As I have said many times, ‘You must let the young elephants into the tent.”‘

Swindal, 50, is married to Steinbrenner’s daughter, Jennifer. He said there was no way he would be as hands-on as his father-in-law.

“I think that’s impossible. My inherent style is more delegation,” Swindal said Tuesday during a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla. “I don’t think there could ever be another George Steinbrenner. He is Mr. Yankee and has represented them for 32 years. I could only could only hope to surround myself with the best, brightest baseball minds and do a lot of listening.”

Swindal said Steinbrenner had told him he would be the successor.

“We’ve discussed that all the kids would be involved at some point in running the team and everybody would contribute,” Swindal said. “It just happens at this point in time my kids are further along, and I can spend more time in New York. The other boys have younger children, and they have to stay closer to home.”

On the one hand, as a lifelong Yankees fan, I’m glad to see that there’s an orderly plan for succession when George is no longer around. There’s more than enough chaos surrounding my favorite team – we really didn’t need an ownership fight on top of it all, whenever that might have happened.

On the other hand, I must admit, this could have been the mother of all reality TV shows. “Who Wants To Be A Megalomaniac?”, “George’s Apprentice” (that Trump guy has nothin’ on King George when it comes to firing people), “Survivor: The Bronx” – the possibilities are endless. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

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  1. William Hughes says:

    I’m a little surprised that George’s son Hank was not name as the successor, especially since he has worked closely with him for years.

    Speaking of Yankee reality shows, how about “Yankee Idol” and “So You Think You Can Own the Yankees”? 🙂

  2. julia says:

    and perhaps Our Fearless Leader will give him an undated pardon to celebrate. Never know when a presidential pardon will come in handy.

  3. blurker gone bad says:

    “Who Wants To Be A Megalomaniac?”


    Somehow, I can’t imagine Swindal staying as hands-off as he indicates. There’s too much inertia inherent in this position. My guess is he’ll listen for a couple of seasons and then jump in or hand off to someone else in the family who will.