While speaking with the media in Tampa on Monday, Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner referred to the 2010 Yankees — the team that won 95 games and the ALDS — as unfocused, and said the entire team lacked hunger, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports.
Unsurprisingly, Steinbrenner didn’t stop there. He went on to describe why he believed the team was unfocused, saying they were too busy celebrating the 2009 title and “building mansions.”
The fact that Yankees captain Derek Jeter spent 2010 building a multimillion-dollar mansion in Tampa did not go unnoticed by members of the media, but Steinbrenner quickly clarified his statement.
“I’m not singling anybody out,” Steinbrenner said. “I was just saying, maybe they were riding the wave of ’09 a little too much, and it happens sometimes,” Steinbrenner said. “This year in spring so far, from what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told, they’ve come in with a real, new drive and determination — the kind they had in ’09.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Steinbrenner was, in fact, making an example of Jeter, especially since the captain posted career-low numbers with a .270 average with 10 home runs in 2010.
Once Steinbrenner was done blasting his own team, he moved on to discuss his issues with Major League Baseball. Divulging his distaste with revenue sharing and the luxury tax, Steinbrenner said the league needs to make some changes, while comparing the current system to “socialism.”
“At some point, if you don’t want to worry about teams in minor markets, don’t put teams in minor markets, or don’t leave teams in minor markets if they’re truly minor,” Steinbrenner said. “Socialism, communism, whatever you want to call it, is never the answer.”