Report: Steinbrenner 'chairman' of Yankees while sons take control

Updated: October 15, 2007, 2:16 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

George Steinbrenner's sons Hank and Hal have taken over the daily running of the New York Yankees, according to a report.

The New York Post said the details about the control of the franchise will be ironed out at top-level meetings the Yankees are holding this week in Tampa. According to The Associated Press manager Joe Torre's status for next season will be decided during discussions starting on Tuesday morning.

"George has taken on a role like the chairman of a major corporation," team president Randy Levine told the paper. "He's been saying for years he's wanted to get his sons involved in the family business. Both of them have stepped up and are taking on the day-to-day duties of what's required to run the Yankees."

Buster Olney on 'The Boss'
The Steinbrenner family is dealing with the same question that many families face: When is it the right time for a long proud and dominant patriarch who has slowed down to relinquish decisions to his sons and daughters?

George Steinbrenner is now 77 years old and increasingly withdrawn from public life, and with the Steinbrenners in transition, so are the Yankees, and the YES Network.

George Steinbrenner's title will continue to be chairman, but increasingly, family decisions are being made by his sons Hank and Hal. After George Steinbrenner was suddenly quoted in a newspaper last week, there was mounting concern within the organization about whether the father is best suited to answer reporters' questions.

George Steinbrenner is expected to be in the room when the Yankees decide whether to retain or fire Joe Torre, and while his voice may be loudest, this will be a family decision, now more than ever before.

-- ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney

George Steinbrenner said last weekend that he didn't think the Yankees would keep Torre if the team failed to advance from its first-round series with Cleveland. New York was later eliminated in four games by the Indians, the Yankees' third straight opening-round exit, but Steinbrenner has been silent on Torre's fate since.

Hank Steinbrenner said in the interview that he will share final say on team decisions with his brother Hal but Hank will apparently focus more on the baseball side of the business. Hal Steinbrenner will focus more on the construction of the new Yankee Stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

"There's always been a succession -- and that's myself and my brother," Hank Steinbrenner told the paper.

Levine told AP on Sunday night, however, that George Steinbrenner, 77, will still have the final say on Torre.

"He's still the boss," he said.

While Torre's future remains in doubt, it appears young pitcher Joba Chamberlain will be joining the Yankees starting rotation come spring training.

"That's something I'll insist on," said Hank Steinbrenner.

George Steinbrenner has owned the Yankees since 1973, when a group he led bought the franchise from CBS for $8.7 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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