Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Who's Running The Show?

I recently read Michael Morrissey's "The Pride and the Pressure," a book about the Yankees' tumultuous 2006 season, and one of the ongoing discussions throughout the book was George's health. Over the past few years, George has had a couple of fainting incidents, has looked frail in public, and has given speeches that were bizarre and incoherent. The book mentioned how, each time George seemed to be losing it, Rubenstein, Swindal, and Co. made statements that the Boss was all there and still in charge.

A lengthy New York Times piece from August 2006 discusses George's gradual retreat from the spotlight. A couple of interesting quotes from that piece:

Pitcher Mike Mussina said he had not seen Steinbrenner since spring training, and Derek Jeter added, “He hasn’t been around for the past few years.”

But Steinbrenner, who once savored and orchestrated his dealings with reporters, often appears to want to give more than terse responses before a son-in-law, Felix Lopez, a Yankees executive, and a security official squire him into a waiting limo.

Late last year, in an interview on the Yankees-controlled YES Network, he had a distant look in his eyes, offered little detail and gave answers that sounded very much like the questions.

At a visit to the owner’s suite when the guest was former President Bill Clinton in June 2005, Steinbrenner demonstrated to Clinton how much he knew of Olbermann’s career. “What I saw was the sharpness, but he couldn’t remember my name,” Olbermann said.

According to a recent piece in the New Yorker quoted by "Gawker," (hat tip: Rob Neyer), George has Alzheimer's. This would explain the Olbermann incident. And in which case, we offer George and his family our prayers and best wishes.

This also explains why Torre and Cashman aren't going anywhere anytime soon. After Swindal's divorce, who's running the show in the Bronx? According to the Post's George King, Hank Steinbrenner is now in charge. And Hank is pro-Torre, even though Rubenstein didn't seem to be too thrilled with the man.

Whatever it is, I can't take Rubenstein/Steinbrenner seriously anymore. All I know is, with the Yankee front office in a state of flux, Snorre and Ca$hman can breathe easier. In years past, they would've been gone long ago.

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