The LuLac Edition #187, March, 29, 2007
YANKEE LAND DRAMA
George Steinbrenner's daughter is divorcing her husband, Steve Swindal - likely leaving the Yankees without an heir apparent for the Boss.
Swindal's future with the Yankees was tossed into uncertainty yesterday after his wife, Jennifer, filed divorce papers in a Florida court.
She is seeking to end their 23-year marriage just weeks after her husband was arrested for allegedly driving while drunk in a seedy part of St. Petersburg.
But the marriage had apparently grown troubled before Swindal's Feb. 15 arrest.
Two sources close to the team said Swindal moved out of the couple's tony Tampa home this year.
The couple also had gotten into vicious arguments, according to a source who witnessed one of the altercations. Yesterday, an off-duty Tampa police officer was stationed in front of the couple's gated estate.
Steinbrenner, 77, refused to comment about the divorce or answer questions about who would succeed him atop the Yankees hierarchy, as he and three bodyguards stormed by reporters outside Legends Field in Tampa last night.
His spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said the divorce papers cited "irreconcilable differences."
Swindal, 52, is listed as general partner of the Yankees and chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises. He was publicly anointed as Steinbrenner's successor in June 2005 after plans for the new Yankee Stadium were unveiled.
Locally, Swindal came to the area to check out the Lackawanna County Stadium and was reported to be impressed with the Glen Maura development. He supposedly told people that "I could move here."
On the Yankee front, it is not known how Swindal’s departure will affect the development of the parent team. Swindel was known as the “buffer” between the volatile Steinbrenner and Yank GM Brian Cashman. The Yankees currently have three major prospects playing in Moosic this year. Swindal was known to preach patience and have the farm system restored even if it meant missing the playoffs for one year. However, Steinbrenner has always had the “win now” mentality that both Swindal and Cashman seem to have tempered.
Swindal has been the only family member of his generation to take an active role in the running of the famed baseball operation.
Steinbrenner's sons, Hank and Harold, and his daughter Jessica have concentrated on other aspects of the family business, including its hotels and horse stables.
ANOTHER BASEBALL NOTE
So Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta is on PCN taking calls about illegal immigration. Switching the Channel, I tune to Hazleton's WLYN TV (my favorite local station) and they have on a baseball game featuring Mexico (complete with Corona ads on the uniform backs) vs. the Dominican Republic.
JESSE BACKS OBAMA
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Thursday he's backing Democrat Barack Obama in his presidential bid, giving his support to a new generation of black politicians. "He has my vote," the Rev. Jackson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Jackson sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, winning 13 primaries and caucuses in 1988. His son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, has already endorsed Obama.
Jackson represents a different era of black politician, battle-tested by the civil rights struggles of the 1960s with Martin Luther King.
ROMNEY NAMES NAMES
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Thursday dropped some names of potential running mates in the 2008 race, but added such speculation is a bit premature. Among those Romney mentioned for the second slot on the Republican ticket were three Southerners: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.Jr.
JUDY AND RUDY
Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani says if elected, he'd be open to his wife attending Cabinet meetings on issues in which she's interested.
In an interview with Barbara Walters to air Friday on ABC News' "20/20," the former New York city mayor and his wife, Judith Nathan Giuliani, answered questions about the six marriages between them and whether she was the "other woman" who caused the breakup of his second marriage to TV personality Donna Hanover.
Rudy Giuliani, the current front-runner in the 2008 GOP race, discussed what role his wife would play if he wins the White House. In 1990s, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton played a prominent role in her husband's administration, including a failed effort on health care reform. Her policy efforts created some problems for the couple.
Asked whether his wife would sit in on Cabinet meetings, Giuliani said, "If she wanted to. If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I'd be very, very comfortable with."
Giuliani described his wife as a close adviser who has as much involvement in his campaign as she wants.
Asked if she would sit in on policy meetings, Mrs. Giuliani, who was a nurse, said: "If he asks me to, yes. And certainly in the areas of health care."
He disputed suggestions that she was responsible for the messy and very public breakup of his marriage to Hanover, with whom he had two children, Andrew and Caroline. Giuliani's relationship with his children has been strained.