straw that stirs the drink

straw that stirs the drink

The most valuable or important person or thing in a system. The phrase is usually attributed to baseball player Reggie Jackson. In this law firm, Ed may think that he's the straw that stirs the drink, but there are plenty of other lawyers that we could replace him with. Ever since Jeannie found out she got the lead in the play, she's been acting like the straw that stirs the drink.
See also: drink, stir, straw, that
References in periodicals archive ?
Casting is the straw that stirs the drink, and the casting these last few seasons has been stellar.
And NACDS, as never before, is the straw that stirs the drink.
Randy Johnson changes the Yankees considerably and Alex Rodriguez may be the most talented player in the game, but Jeter is the proverbial straw that stirs the drink when it comes to baseball in New York.
The football program is the straw that stirs the drink.
In an increasingly fragmented media universe, excellent papers are "the straw that stirs the drink.
While "American Idol" is ostensibly geared toward spotlighting the talent onstage, there's little doubt as to who's the straw that stirs the drink.