On Feb. 24, NEWSDAY’s Neil Best asked Yankees COO Lonn Trost, “Is there any chance you will drop prices on your most expensive seats?”
(Does Hal Now Have Yanks’ Hank-led goon squad in the backseat?)
Trost: “No, our prices are our prices.”
Whoops! From this afternoon’s NYP:
The Yankees today announced they are lowering ticket prices for seats located in the Legends Suite and a few other of their more expensive locations.
So who was behind the change? Not Trost. Or fat-faced pitbull Randy Levine. Ditto Hank Steinbrenner.
Try the only Yankee guy who never shows up in PAGE SIX for stiffing a random waiter in the meatpacking district: Hal Steinbrenner.
This development was huge for the Yankees, but not in the way you think. Yeah, lowering ticket prices is a good thing, but the move signals something much more important.
Hal Steinbrenner may apparently finally be taking charge of the organization.
I worked in the Yankee organization for 4+ years in the late ’90s as a broadcaster with the club’s AAA team. During that time, George Steinbrenner was still in firm control of the franchise, but right about that time I started to get the sense that Hal could soon enter the front office picture.
When I first started with the team, Hal was nowhere to be found, but by the end of my tenure, he was often seen participating in Yankee p.r. functions, some of which I participated in with him.
That seemed to telegraph that someday Hal would take the reins, but until today, it obviously hadn’t happened.
Fast forward now to Hal’s brother Hank’s debacle as club spokesman last year, the subsequent confrontational style of Levine and misguided biz intransigence of Trost, and it appears that finally Hal could be poised to ascend as the face of the franchise.
Then we get today’s announcement, fronted by you-know-who.
Hal is the guy to calm the chaotic operation that the Yankees have become since The Boss departed the day-to-day. He reminds me of John Henry, team Owner of the Red Sox, who has guided that franchise with a quietly effective confidence. And like Henry’s bad cop in Larry Lucchino, and Hal has Levine to crack heads behind the scenes.
From the ballpark ticket structure, to the widely-panned design of the new ballpark, to the underwhelming performance of the team on the field, the Yankees are a franchise in distress.
So is Hal is the man to finally patch the dam and steer the Yankees back on the right path? As a lifelong Royals fan, I regret to report that he is.