Eric Mayne's Blog

Now what?


Quick: Who succeeded Babe Ruth as the New York Yankees' right-fielder?

(If you can answer that correctly, you're probably wearing a mustard-stained Jeter jersey right now as you thumb through old baseball cards in a stinky apartment over your parents' garage.)

Why invoke baseball lore here? Because Bob Lutz is to GM what the Bambino was to the Bronx Bombers. And the 78-year-old product guru is bowing out of the business, effective May 1.

GM insiders point to an on-deck circle featuring the scholarly Tom Stephens and high-energy Mark Reuss. But imagine the pressure of following an icon. (Especially one who flies his own fighter jet.)

The situation could be worse. GM is on a roll with a CTS family that has retored Cadillac's swagger. The auto maker can't seem to build enough units of its Chevrolet Equinox CUV (which is powered by one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2010). And fewer Buick buyers remember Lou Gehrig's luckiest-man-alive speech.

So as callous as it sounds, nobody is irreplaceable. After all, the Yankees haven't exactly been behind in the count since the Babe's departure.

Which takes me back to the trivia question above. George Selkirk, an ex-wrestler from Canada nicknamed "Twinkletoes," took Ruth's spot in Yankees' lineup.

And Selkirk did OK. Until he was squeezed out two years later by a guy named Dimaggio.

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