U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
SBD/Issue 49/FranchisesPrint All
Hal Steinbrenner Will Lead
Day-To-Day Yankees Operations
HAL OF FAME: In N.Y., Jack Curry notes while Hank has been "much more talkative about the Yankees in his frequent interviews," Hal has been "more involved in the daily operations of the team." It is Hal, not Hank, who "deals with team executives and spends considerable time in the Yankees' offices" in N.Y. (N.Y. TIMES, 11/21). On Long Island, Ken Davidoff notes Hal is "far more involved" than Hank, and the move "should solidify that reality and blunt the impact of Hank Steinbrenner's routinely outrageous statements." One Yankees official said of Hal, "He wants to do things in a more normal way" (NEWSDAY, 11/21). Also on Long Island, Johnette Howard writes Hank shows the "same explosive potential" as George, which "probably helps explain why Hal ended up in control instead." Hal is the "more temperate of George's boys and, truth be told, more responsible" (NEWSDAY, 11/21). N.Y. Daily News columnist Bill Madden said of Hal, "He has been the face of ownership. All this is doing is basically confirming this. Now there’s no doubt about it. Hank might be quoted somewhere saying, ‘I’m the leader here.’ He’s not the leader. Hal is the leader” ("Daily News Live," SportsNet N.Y., 11/20). ESPN's Tim Kurkjian: "Hal is just not quite as bombastic as Hank is and I think he’s just a little bit more measured in some of the things he says and does." But he added, "Both boys are going to be in charge of this team and I don’t think we can look too much into who’s in charge and who’s second in charge” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 11/20). The EXAMINER's Paula Duffy wrote Hal is an "interesting choice since fans and media don't know him as well" as Hank (EXAMINER.com, 11/20).
HANK SUPPORTIVE OF MOVE: One Yankees source, when asked if the shift "meant Hank was being brushed aside or requested a lesser role," said, "Hank supported this move because Hal works with the finances. He is fine with it" (N.Y. POST, 11/21). Another Yankees source said that there was a "vote within the Steinbrenner family and even Hank voted for Hal." In N.Y., Anthony McCarron writes it will be "interesting to see how the dynamic plays out between the two brothers," as they are "separated by a difference in age and temperament" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/21). WMAQ-NBC's Josh Alper wrote Hank, "verbose as he is, doesn't seem to actually like baseball," while Hal is "regularly at games and regularly speaking" with Yankees GM Brian Cashman (NBCCHICAGO.com, 11/20). NEW YORK magazine's Chris Smith wrote Hank is "still very much a force, if an erratic one, in decisions" about pursuing free agents "because of his personality and his standing as first-born son" (NYMAG.com, 11/20).
Columnists Ponder Steinbrenner's Legacy
After Running Team For 36 Years
Dan, Art Rooney II Could Partner With Up To
15 Investors, Currently Being Vetted By NFL
Donovan To Play For Bayern
Munich During MLS Offseason
POSTSEASON RENTAL: The MLS Fire Thursday announced MF Cuauhtemoc Blanco will be loaned to Mexican Primera Division club Santos Laguna for the postseason, which begins this weekend, but Blanco "is expected to return to Chicago for the 2009 MLS regular season." Santos Laguna President Alejandro Irarragorri said that Blanco will "return to Chicago after the league's apertura season playoffs conclude, which could be as late as January, if Santos Laguna reaches the final." Financial details of the loan were not disclosed (SOUTHTOWN STAR, 11/21).
GALACTIC ERROR: In L.A., Steve Dilbeck writes the Galaxy's partnership with Beckham has been a "failure." Dilbeck: "If certainly not complete disappointment, I still mark down AEG's bold experiment for three reasons." The Galaxy have "failed to make the playoffs during both of Beckham's seasons with the team," no "truly significant international player has taken his lead and followed him to the MLS" and Beckham and the Galaxy "have faded to back pages of sports sections and become almost invisible to the electronic media" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/21).
T'Wolves Have Only Won Two Playoff Series,
Both With Kevin Garnett, In 20-Year History
Jordan (l) Not Expected Back
In Charlotte Before December
Watch The Clip
MAKING A MOCKERY OF THE SYSTEM? In New Orleans, David Gladow writes due to the "formula the NFL currently uses, some of the players' leads will be nearly insurmountable for other players to overcome, whether the coaches or players vote for those players or not." The situation is "ridiculous, and it calls to attention the problem inherent in letting the fans decide who actually gets to go" to the Pro Bowl (NOLA.com, 10/20). ESPN’s Mark Schlereth said the Redskins’ campaign is "why fans should not be allowed to vote for the Pro Bowl.” Schlereth: “I wouldn’t even let players vote. I would keep it at (GMs) and coaches” (“NFL Live,” ESPN, 11/20). ESPN’s Kevin Blackistone: “Fans are turning it into a mockery of voting here. ... Let’s not turn it into a joke like this. Guys actually make extra money off of going to the Pro Bowl and that makes a big difference.” Former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti said, “If I could just be assured it was people who knew what they were doing and not (Redskins Owner) Dan Snyder and his people back there stuffing ballot boxes, like the old Cincinnati Reds back in the old days, I’d have no problem with it. But it’s fun and I think in the end, the actual, realistic players are going to make (the Pro Bowl).” Denver Post columnist Woody Paige: “If the Washington Redskins are smart enough to figure out how to manipulate the system, I’m all for them. Who’s voting in Houston or Tampa Bay?” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 11/20). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser: “If it's just coaches (voting), they're prejudiced. If it's just players, they're prejudiced. If it's just fans, they're prejudiced. Get rid of the Pro Bowl. ... It’s a junky game” (“PTI,” ESPN, 11/20).
Thunder Coming Up Short
Of Sell-Outs At Ford Center
SILENT WARRIOR: In Oakland, Monte Poole noted the Warriors have "spent the past couple of months going about their business" as if Warriors Exec VP/Basketball Operations Chris Mullin, who is in the final year of his contract, is "off in the distance, isolated, clinging to an impressive title but stripped of real power." Mullin is "seen but not heard," which is "odd for a lot of reasons." Since Warriors President Robert Rowell suspended G Monta Ellis for 30 games, it has been "all [Rowell], all the time," even when it involves a matter "directly related to basketball -- which theoretically falls under Mullin's authority." The relationship between the two "begs for clarity to ease minds and to end the choosing of sides among fans and observers" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 11/20).
CASH-STRAPPED: In Atlanta, Kristi Swartz reports NBA President of League & Basketball Operations Joel Litvin Thursday testified that whether Texas business exec David McDavid "had enough cash on hand to support the money-losing Hawks would have been a concern for the NBA had the league received his application to buy the team." Court documents indicated that McDavid, who attempted to buy the Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena's operating rights from Turner Broadcasting in '03, had a net worth of $181M. The documents also showed that "about $80[M] of that was in cash -- $60[M] of which McDavid said he would pay up front to buy the teams." McDavid filed a $450M breach-of-content lawsuit against Turner for selling to the Atlanta Spirit, but Turner execs have testified that the Spirit was "a better deal for the media company, partly because the investors had the cash to do the deal" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/21).
Savage Apologizes To Fan
Over E-Mail With Expletive
MOVING ON UP: While the Hurricanes "don't release season-ticket figures," the team said that it has "surpassed last year's total" this season. Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford said that 10 of the RBC Center's 66 suites are "not leased for this season, although single-game suite rentals can offset that loss of revenue." Rutherford added that 22 suites were "up for renewal this year but that the net loss was four suites." Rutherford: "All in all, that's pretty good considering some companies merged or do not have the same (financial) circumstances." Hurricanes Dir of Corporate Sales Mike Hurley said the team is a "little ahead of where we were last year." Hurley added that "convincing corporate leaders to spend has become more difficult" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/21).
CHICAGO HOPE: Blackhawks President John McDonough appeared on “Chicago Tribune Live” Thursday and discussed trying to turn the franchise around. McDonough: “Our fan base was indifferent, which is really worse than furious or angry. So we’ve gotten them to the point now where they’re curious and interested. They’re in the ‘show me’ phase, but what we have found out is that this hockey community is much, much greater than we had ever envisioned.” WSCR AM 670’s George Ofman: “I’m not that surprised that they’re selling out all the games." Fans were "waiting for some reason to come back. ... They were so alienated by the previous administration from Bill Wirtz to Bob Pulford and the product on the ice. All of these (changes) happened in the span of a few months” (CSN, 11/20).
TURKEY TROT: In Detroit, Steve Schrader notes there is a threat that the Thanksgiving Day Titans-Lions game on CBS "will be blacked out" in Detroit, which would be "simply unacceptable." It "surely won't happen, though the game isn't a sellout yet," but even the "thought of that tradition being threatened -- a tradition other teams have coveted while the Lions and the NFL have protected it -- show just how bad things have gotten" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/21).