On Monday, the former Cub catcher Joe Girardi endured an entire day of interviews as he pursued the job in which Lou Piniella has absolutely, positively, unequivocally, no interest whatsoever.

Following the Girardi interviews, Hank Steinbrenner, one of the two Steinbrenner sons newly empowered by father George, stepped before the microphones and in a guttural, inarticulate sort of way heard on ESPN radio Tuesday, pronounced Girardi to be a worthy candidate to become the next Yankees manager. (The consensus favorite for the position still seems to be Don Mattingly, however.)

This article in the Times explains the roles assumed within the Yankee hierarchy by Hank and his younger brother, Hal. If you ask me, it's not a pretty picture.

Closer to home, another father-son succession process has unfolded. The Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, who died of cancer about four weeks ago, has been succeeded as the team's chairman by his 55-year-old son, Rocky.

In a little over three weeks on the job, Rocky has "reassigned" the former Hawks coach and longtime team executive Bob Pulford to a position from which he can no longer damage the hockey club and started making plans to telecast Blackhawks home games, a move his late father deemed unthinkable. Most remarkable of all, nine games into the season, the Blackhawks have won more games than they've lost.

It seems like Rocky Wirtz is committed to breathing some life into the franchise whose demise his father oversaw. Even Coach Denis Savard, a longtime Bill Wirtz favorite, would appear to be in a produce-or-get-fired position.

I wonder if Joe Girardi knows anything about hockey.


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