It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Hank Steinbrenner’s ego. Even if he did vote for it himself, we can’t imagine that he was truly happy when the Yankees officially designated his brother Hal as the team’s controlling partner last month. And we imagine he isn’t too pleased now to find out that, unlike last year, his name doesn’t appear in the Sports Business Journal’s annual list of the 50 most influential people in sports business. Or that his brother Hal does, at No. 28.
And though it’s true that Hal is becoming increasingly visible while Hank has been popping up less often in the tabloids — seriously, we can’t even remember the last time he was on the back page saying something ridiculous — Hank can at least take solace in the SBJ’s methods. According to executive editor Abraham Madkour, the Yankees actually occupy the same spot on the list as last year; they just changed the name to reflect Hal’s rise. Which leads us to believe that, in terms of influence, it doesn’t really matter whose name is on there. It’s the “Yankees brand” that’s truly influential, whatever that means. In fact, Hal will probably drop off the list, too, once work is complete on the SteinBot 6000, which will put an end to family politics and rule the Yankees in perpetuity.