Discussion: Once Boss Is Gone, Will Kids Cash Out?

[image title=”large_GEORGE-STEINBRENNER” size=”full” id=”15258″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
Steve Lombardi, writing over at Was Watching this morning, surmised that the Steinbrenner clan may cash out of the Yankees once the Boss passes on. The suggestion was that most of the Junior Bosses do not really care that much about the team, and are simply running the club to continue their father’s legacy and attempt to impress him before he dies. Once he goes, most of them could simply search for a mega-payout and live off that for the rest of their lives.

I have two questions about this:

1) Do you agree with Steve? Prior to the 2009 season, I likely would have concurred with his evaluation of the season. However, it seemed to me that Hal warmed to the role as the year progressed, and was really gaining a feel for running the club by the time the offseason was reached. The fact that he set assessed the finances, set a budget, and stuck firm to that line despite the clamoring by Yankees fans for the return of Johnny Damon suggested that he is in this for the long haul. Someone with an eye towards cashing out might have been a bit more frivolous in terms of long term deals and big money, but Hal was the picture of restraint and prudence in this offseason. How would you interpret those actions?

2) Will it make a difference? Anyone willing to pay upwards of a billion dollars for the entire Yankees conglomerate is likely to continue pouring money into the club. In fact, my one worry about a new owner is not that he might spend to little. Rather, I am afraid that we might see a return to the bad old days of the George Steinbrenner 1980’s, where a Dan Snyder or Jerry Jones type comes in and begins directing particularly short-sighted personnel decisions. While the Yankees of the last 40 years have been a perfect cautionary tale on this issue, having billions of dollars often leads people to believe that they can do anything, and that rules that apply to others are not an issue for them.

What do you think? Do you fear the day when the Yankees are not owned by Steinbrenners?

0 thoughts on “Discussion: Once Boss Is Gone, Will Kids Cash Out?

  1. YankeeGrunt

    There are no accurate predictions for what the Steinbrenners are making a year on the Yanks. If they’re $100 mil in the black and the team is valued at $1 bn, give or take, 10% isn’t a bad return on an investment in this day and age. But even if they’re closer to break-even, the economy is slumping and they’re not going to get max value for the team. So between return on investment and likely capital appreciation it wouldn’t make much sense to sell. Worst came to worst they could always do something like the Giants did and sell roughly half the team.

  2. I do not want to see the day that the Yankees aren’t in Steinbrenner hands, however, I do think that day will come eventually. It does seem that Hal is committed to this team so I think for know we are safe (and I really like the duo of Cashman and Hal).

  3. […] ceded power. The Yankee U, meanwhile, today pondered whether or not the Steinbrenner family would sell the team after George passes and if it would matter — interesting questions, indeed. Posted on […]

  4. Geek

    Steinbrenner has placed matters in the hands of Cashman who has his own sense of how talent and payroll should be managed. Gone are the days when Boss George would have injected himself. Letting Cash do is job is what we are seeing and not preparation for a sale. Cash is in it to win and the family has a solid business.

  5. Tom Swift

    There will be a large estate tax bill to pay and the heirs will want to diversify their assets. My guess is that the Yanks will be sold.

  6. Jack

    I know this is a morbid thought but the estate becomes 0% in I think 2011 and then reverts to the tax rate that was in effect in the early 2000s. So, if George passes in 2011 there is no estate tax bill.

  7. Greg

    Steve has a history of making incredibly pessimistic predictions about the Yankees, and it often seems like he’s just being provocative. That seems to be the case here. I don’t see any evidence that the Steinbrenners will sell the team, and without evidence, there’s very little to say about the matter. It’s like discussing how bad it would be if the players all had a slump year, or if MLB instituted a salary cap. Yep, it would be bad. Any evidence that’s going to happen?

    In this case, Hal isn’t acting unusual for an owner; to compare his behavior only with his exceptionally involved father won’t really tell you much. It’s a valid question, certainly, but there just isn’t much data.

  8. Going from memory here but, a few years ago I read the Boss was going to turn over the team to his kids but, when he heard they were going to sell the team he pulled back. Now, he has had no choice but, I think the idea of selling has changed very much so. With the emergence of Hal as a very good $$$$ man and willing to work with Cashman I think they have changed. Seeing all that money flow into the coffers will do that to a person.