Thursday, March 29, 2007

There Goes the Future...

I saw this one first at Pete Abraham's LoHud Blog, which is my first priority to add to this site's links the next time I decide to wade into this site's HTML:

Steinbrenner’s son-in-law and designated successor, Steve Swindal, has been sued for divorce. Jennifer Steinbrenner filed papers in the Hillsborough County Circuit Court’s family law department on Tuesday. She cited “irreconcilable differences.”

The divorce proceedings came 40 days after Swindal was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding in an unsavory section of St. Petersburg. Swindal is expected to lose his position as general partner.

In some ways, we've been expecting this since Swindal was busted for DUI earlier in Spring Training, but it's still a shocking fall from grace. Swindal's divorce effectively leaves the Yankees organization decapitated. George Steinbrenner's been in seclusion, and despite his claims to the contrary, it's widely-reported that he's in bad health and not really up to the day-to-day job of running the ballclub, anymore. The jockeying to fill this vacuum could be a King Lear-type melodrama--or not, if, as some believe, none of Steinbrenner's children has much interest in being a baseball team owner. With Swindal, we had someone who was fairly a lock to be interested in running the club in the future; now, when the Boss is no longer with us, it's no longer unthinkable that the Steinbrenner family will want to unload the franchise. And as we know from past experience, that means that our beloved baseball franchise could soon be in the hands of mental incompetents and/or cronies of Bud Selig's (and there's a lot of overlap in these groups).

As someone who was until recently in the marital strife industry, I'm sensitive toward what Steve Swindal and Jennifer Steinbrenner must be going through. The end of a marriage is a real human tragedy, also something truly private and really not the business of anyone outside of the couple and perhaps their immediate family, friends, and business partners.

But as a Yankee fan, I just gotta look at Swindal and say "You jerk! We were counting on you! You had it all in the palm of your hand and you blew it, just completely and totally blew it!"


In other ways you can destroy your future, you could simply emulate Ugueth U. Urbina, and get sentenced to 14 years in a Venezuelan prison for attempted murder. The other day, hanging out with the Prospectus gang at the Yogi, we were talking about relief pitching and I wondered aloud whatever happened to Uggie's criminal case, thinking that perhaps he'd be like a number of beisbolistas who've skated on charges ranging from rape, to drug dealing (who can forget the Pedro Guerrerro "I'm too stupid to be a drug dealer" defense?) and murder/manslaughter. Well, now we have an answer. Nothing can quite kill a career like being in lock-up from your age 33 to 47 seasons. Vaya con dios, Triple-U.

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