Baseball wagering news of Steinbrenner’s death last week marked the end of an era in which the Yankees became the most desired team on the board with the baseball odds.
The gambling public always knew that Steinbrenner would do everything possible to field the best team and would settle for nothing less than the very best. As “The Boss” said, his top two priorities were breathing and winning.
The Yankees remained in first place in the American League East Division 2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Bronx Bombers dropped 3 out of their first 5 games that followed the passing of The Boss, which occurred during the All Star break.
Steinbrenner’s sons Hank and Hal will run the team, as they have for the past 3 years while The Boss went into seclusion with failing health. The duo is expected to maintain the high standards of excellence that their father established right from the start when he took over the franchise in 1973.
The Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball, have their own television network (YES), and have the biggest and most passionate fan base in the world. You can go anywhere on the globe and see the famed NY cap on somebody’s head.
Hank Steinbrenner initially took over the reins but was overwhelmed by the time consuming job of running the team. He did remind fans of his father, however, with his bombastic personality.
Hal is a much more quiet presence and stays in the background, allowing the front office to do their job. He has proved that the Yankees can maintain MLB gambling success without being an overbearing presence.
“I think their family loves this,” said Yankee general manager Brian Cashman. “They are all involved. They like it. This is their life. It is part of them. Their name is branded on the team.”
President Randy Levine added, “They have no plans to sell. There are no succession issues.”
One point of concern has been the recent slump of team captain Derek Jeter. The 36-year old veteran is facing his contract year and is hitting just .268 with 14 home runs and 78 runs batted in. Jeter is the key to the Yankees baseball wagering prospects in the post season.
Jeter was hitting just .186 in July after hitting a less than stellar .243 in June. On a team in which the pitching staff is carrying too much of the load those numbers from number 2 must improve for a World Series repeat.