Although George Steinbrenner is said to be "very much against" it, a suit against Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent and chief investigator John Dowd was filed yesterday by two minority owners of the New York Yankees seeking to keep Steinbrenner in control of the team.

Limited partners Daniel McCarthy and Harold Bowman filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Cleveland to restore their right of having Steinbrenner serve as the franchise's managing general partner, said their Cleveland-based lawyer Mark Cohn.

A hearing on the suit is scheduled for today.

McCarthy and Bowman "are entitled to have George Steinbrenner as their general partner," Cohn said yesterday. "There's an agreement where they are promised {Steinbrenner} will do it. That's the right of theirs that we're seeking. . . . We're very upset with the way Mr. Steinbrenner has been treated.

" . . . I understand that {Steinbrenner} is very much against what we're doing."

The suit was filed one day after Steinbrenner's nominee as successor, limited partner and theater producer Robert Nederlander, was approved by New York's other 17 limited partners to replace Steinbrenner as general partner -- pending the requisite endorsement from owners of the other major league teams. As of Monday, Steinbrenner must resign his position under his July 30 agreement with Vincent.

After reaching an accord with Vincent, Steinbrenner said he would not challenge the penalty in court. Cohn said the suit was filed strictly on the part of McCarthy, Steinbrenner's Cleveland-based tax and business attorney, and Bowman, a retired real estate developer from Florida.

"George has nothing to do with this," Steinbrenner spokesman Joe Carella told the Associated Press.

The suit -- in which McCarthy and Bowman allege that before and during Vincent's investigation the commissioner said Steinbrenner was a "blight on baseball" and that "he does not belong in baseball" -- called the investigation conducted by Washington lawyer John Dowd an "inquisition."

Vincent, responding to the suit in a statement, said the suit "represents an attempt to prevent Mr. Steinbrenner from having to honor his agreement reached with me . . . Baseball deserves and demands that its affairs conform scrupulously to the highest standards of honor, principle and integrity.

"This agreement was the result of a serious, impartial and thorough investigation. It was entered into in good faith without stated equivocation or reservation. It deserves to be honored. We will honor it."