There has been a Hank sighting. The more pugnacious, but less engaged of the Steinbrothers has emerged from a lengthy period of anonymity to add some zest to the Yankee Universe, which has become a somewhat mundane, albeit very well managed new world order.
Speaking at a youth event held in Yankee Stadium (the inaugural Boss’ Cup, featuring a showdown between Hank’s Yanks and a team sponsored by Mariano Rivera’s charity), the part owner guaranteed that the team would make the playoffs and vowed that the organization would continue to be run in the same win-at-all-costs model established by his father. He also managed a small swipe at his small market colleagues, stating “We don’t make a lot of money because of revenue sharing, and we don’t shy away from paying salaries.”
Although a far cry from the bombast of the Boss, and decidedly tame when compared to his initial demeanor upon first emerging as an active part-owner, Hank Steinbrenner’s comments were a rare candid moment from an increasingly tight-lipped organization, and at the very least, much more interesting than Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon’s Little Orphan Annie-esque declaration that the “sun would come up tomorrow”.
Most Yankees’ fan are probably happy to have not heard from Hank Steinbrenner in while, and with good reason. When he burst on the scene, several of his statements were not only silly, but counterproductive to the Yankees’ aims (see the Johan Santana trade negotiations). Still, with George’s health forcing him to recede to the background, it was kind of nice to have Hank serve as reminder of the Boss (both in terms of his appearance and outspokenness). While no one wants to return to the old days when the Boss was a little too overbearing, having Hank stir things up from time to time might not be such a bad thing, especially if the more even tempered Hal continues to have the final say on all decisions. Although the team has become increasingly corporate, it is still nice to think of it as family-run operation. Hank seems to make the possible. Hopefully, he won’t be such a stranger.