George Steinbrenner's final move as owner was a damn good one.
Last year, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner were named co-chairmen of the Yankees, but Hank stepped into the limelight as much as possible, trying to make as big an ass of himself as he could. He wasn't the owner—that title still belonged to King George—but he (and his brother) were now in control of the team, and he was ready to make his voice heard.
Hal, on the other hand, spent his time at the stadium, watching the team and learning the inside-outs of running it. And so, when George passed on the torch today, it was to Hal, not Hank.
Hank will continue to oversee baseball operations, while Hal will manage the team financially, and I'm not exactly thrilled about that: Hank has established himself more as a talker than a thinker. But Hal is the man in charge, the one with the final decisions, which is a somewhat comforting thought. Hopefully, he'll be able to talk some sense into his older brother and somehow convince him to shut up.
But the big news here isn't about Hal or Hank. They ran the team last year, and we knew it was coming to this. Hal himself said his role isn't going to be changing much, as he's been running the team on a daily basis already.
The big news is the official turnover of the team, which has been approved by Major League Baseball. King George's reign is now officially over, and while it was quite predictable, it is now complete. Hal Steinbrenner owns the Yankees, not George. A 35-year era has ended.
As an aside, I'm rather peeved that this is not the main story on ESPN. The headline on the homepage is an interview with Matt Ryan, with the Steinbrenner story pushed behind the latest Ocho Cinco gossip and Chase Utley's hip surgery.
On the MLB page, Utley's surgery is ahead of Steinbrenner, and the headline features "coverage" of the hot stove, today pointing out that there are many closers available. Talk about obvious.
You're telling me that transfer of ownership of one of the most prolific teams in sports is not headline news? That the legendary George Steinbrenner officially giving up control of his team is less important than reminding us that K-Rod can be signed by anyone? Seriously, ESPN? Yes, we knew it was coming, but it's still huge news. Good riddance.