“In recent years, as George Steinbrenner has faded from view as the principal owner,” writes the New York Times‘ Richard Sandomir in Saturday’s paper, “(team president Randy) Levine has emerged as the strongest voice of the Yankees…no other Yankees executive ” not Steinbrenner™s sons, Hal and Hank; Brian Cashman, the general manager; or Lonn Trost, the chief operating officer ” is as willfully aggressive.”  Not even Tony Pena asking for a date comes on as strong!

œPart of Randy likes to fight, said Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner. œHe has a history of not backing down. He likes to be the bad cop. I™m the good cop.The family has never asked Levine to restrain his style. Hal Steinbrenner said he has œabsolutely applauded Levine™s castigations of Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a persistent critic of the stadium™s financing. Levine has angrily accused Brodsky, a Westchester County Democrat, of attacking the Yankees name for political ends.

Levine™s occasionally choleric behavior is not an act, he said, but evidence that he can change speeds on his rhetorical pitches.

œI get angry, he said, œbut I try not to let anger color my job.

The brusque Brodsky sees Levine as œsomeone who thinks the world responds to bullying and verbal violence. After a public hearing at which Levine, 54, turned red while yelling at him, Brodsky said: œHe couldn™t have been acting. His face was too purple.

At a hearing about stadium financing this month, Levine accused Brodsky of being on a œwitch hunt and of using œSoviet-style tactics in subpoenaing him, and told him that he is œnot the dictator of the state who can overrule everybody else.

Brodsky countered, œI will remind you, Mr. Levine, that the Giuliani years are over.

Levine turned from the witness table with a smile, his morning™s joust over.

œEntertaining, wasn™t it? he said as he left the Manhattan hearing room.