We’re not looking for a new Boss. We like the current one just fine, but since others are speculating on who will follow George Steinbrenner we thought we’d offer our $1.25, which will buy you coffee and a newspaper in the Bronx.
It was almost three years ago that Steinbrenner, speaking with a New York Times reporter, made this statement: “I admit it. I’ve always been a chauvinist.”
Far be it for us to disagree with The Boss, but we beg to differ.
Steinbrenner has always been an innovator and a groundbreaker. He single-handedly changed the salary structure in baseball, improved the economic outlook for every team, and generally upgraded the sport to what it is today.
Here are a few other things he’s done:
- As owner of the Cleveland Pipers he hired the first black professional basketball coach John McLendon;
- he hired Bob Watson, who became the first black General Manager in Major League Baseball to win a World Series;
- he hired the first female Assistant General Manager Kim Ng;
- he also hired the second, current Yankees’ Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman;
- he hired the first (and still only) female Major League Baseball broadcaster Suzyn Waldman.
We bring this up because succession talk is all the rage in the Bronx. Steinbrenner’s daughter Jenny is divorcing Steve Swindal whom The Boss anointed his heir apparent to take over the team after he’s gone. In today’s sports world, a woman running a team is no longer news. In our larger society, women continue to break barriers and this nation may very well elect a female president next year.
That old Times story said “the outgoing Jenny Swindal, a business major in college, might be the best candidate in the family” to take over running the team.
Jenny, like her father, is community minded and serves on boards in Florida and at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. More than that, she is the one whose inner fire and desire to win match her father’s and the one who’s most knowledgeable about the game. She even worked briefly in public relations for the Yankees after college.
“Even if I wanted to move up in the organization, I would’ve never been allowed,” Jenny said in that Times story. “Not in this family.”
But we believe The Boss was essentially anointing his daughter to run the team by picking her husband.
Now we want The Boss to see a simple truth: Jenny is his rightful heir, the person who should run this team after him.
She is the right owner for her father’s team and the best owner the fans could hope for.