Many current and former members of the Yankees’ organization were on hand to witness the storybook ending to Derek Jeter’s career in the Bronx, However, as New York Daily News writer Bill Madden pointed out, there were two key executives who were no-shows; Hal and Hank Steinbrenner.
Hal Steinbrenner is the team’s Managing General Partner and co-chairperson, which essentially means that the Yankees are his team and he is the acting owner. His brother, Hank, is the General Partner and a co-chairperson. Their father, the late George Steinbrenner, was the team’s owner for well over three decades and had earned himself a reputation as a perfectionist. He was very “hands-on” and extremely active in the teams day-to-day activities until he grew too ill to continue working.
The fact that their father was so involved makes the fact that they didn’t show up to send off the teams beloved captain very strange.
One baseball official remarked to Madden “I can’t imagine any other owner in baseball who wouldn’t be on hand for the last home game of his team’s greatest player − even 90-something-year-old (Detroit Tigers owner) Mike Ilitch.”
The team didn’t give a reason for the Steinbrenner’s absence.
Earlier in the week, an article was published by NY Magazine in which Jeter compared George Steinbrenner to his sons. “They’re not around as much as the Boss was,” Jeter said. “The Boss would pop in frequently during the course of the season. Hal and Hank, they don’t really come in too often. They might be at the stadium, but they don’t come through the clubhouse. The Boss, we weren’t playing good, he’d come through the clubhouse, look you up and down, and shake his head.”
This raises questions as to whether or not there is bad blood between the team’s owners and its all-time hits leader. Another question that would have to be raised is whether or not their opinions of each other matters in this case.
Whether Jeter’s comments offended the them or not, there is no excuse for the Steinbrenner’s to disconnect from their team and it’s fans, especially on a day that will be remembered for years to come. The fact that they didn’t show up could lead some to believe that they don’t have a deep passion for the team that they inherited.
Even if they don’t care, they still need to attend the game and cheer for the retiring legend. Even if it’s just to make it seem like they actually do hold the team in high regard.