Just like an incredible movie, the story of the Yankees is a classic. If the film was The Godfather, then naturally George Steinbrenner would be Don Vito Corelone, who was played by Marlon Brando – probably the greatest actor of all time. And naturally, Tom Hagen, the consigliere – played by Robert Duvall – would be Yankees president Randy Levine.
I’ve known Randy for a very long time and can honestly say when it comes to his work in protecting the Yankee brand, he is powerful and energetic. Like the character in The Godfather, Randy is loyal to a fault, has a big heart and is someone who has always been there for the less privileged, as his work in hospitals around the country has proven. I understand why The Boss handpicked this man to help lead the Yankee empire and I always find it exciting whenever I can help him in different team projects.
This weekend, I sat down with Randy to talk about his feelings regarding The Baby Bombers, the 2017 Yankees
Ray Negron: How are the Yankees doing this? I just came back from a little league event and the parents are all excited. They are excited about what happened in the game. This team is exciting. Is it real?
Randy Levine: So far it’s real. We have a lot of confidence in our organization. Cash (Brian Cashman) and the baseball operations people have done a very good job in turning it over here. Our fans love these young players. It’s still early, but you see the excitement and the promise and we can have a really very exciting summer.
RN: What keeps the brand so high, Randy? What is the story behind that.
RL: Well the Yankees are about tradition and winning. We wear the same uniform. We have forever. We maintain the same quality. We only do business in a way that enhances the brand and makes it consistent with our history and precedent, the way “The Boss” would have wanted.
Unlike a lot of other teams, which is so-far heartening to me, we don’t have time to rebuild here in New York with the Yankees. We are able to do this while being competitive. Although we missed the playoffs the last couple of years, we are always competitive. We have winning seasons and so far, it looks like we could be into something special for many years to come.
RN: After the passing of the great George Steinbrenner, it seems that you always keep his name alive. He seems that he is always with us and like he’s right here in the room with you. What’s the deal with that Randy?
RL: Because he is. He left his legacy. He left his blueprint. His family, Hal Steinbrenner, his son, is the managing general partner. He created the blueprint and the formula for how the Yankee organization should win and how the Yankee organization should put its face forward. He didn’t invent it. This goes back to the founders of the Yankees and all the great owners before The Boss. He took it to a different level. In everything I do and everything his family and Hal does is that we always try to do what the Boss would have done.
RN: Why are the Yankees so important to you personally, Randy?
RL: Well, I have been a Yankee fan my whole life. I live in New York City. I’m a life-long New Yorker. I see what the Yankees mean to people. I know what they represent. I know a lot of people have good days or bad days based on how the Yankees do. That’s the great thing about baseball. There’s no clock. It goes for six months. It’s something people can watch and accompany them all the way from the spring and into the fall. The Yankees do so many meaningful things off the field. We help people. We give them opportunities. We help people in need. We help young people. To be involved in an organization that has such a powerful role in shaping people’s lives and helping people is very gratifying.
RN: You have shown your love for this organization for a very long time. Would you ever leave?
RL: I am healthy. Feel good. So, I have no plans to leave. Some people may be booing that right now, but that’s the way it goes. I plan on being here for a long time. God willing.
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