Hank Steinbrenner said this afternoon that he was not referring to Derek Jeter when he said some players were “too busy building mansions” to concentrate on winning last season.
“It was a euphemism, that’s all it was,” Steinbrenner said. “It was a generalization, a euphemism. Bad choice of a euphemism, but it was a euphemism. That’s all it was.”
Steinbrenner stood by his notion that the 2010 Yankees lost some of their competitive hunger last season — he compared them to the Steelers in the wake of their Super Bowl win — but he said he was not referring to any of the Core Four, especially not Jeter.
“It certainly isn’t Derek,” Steinbrenner said. “Derek’s got 5 rings. You don’t’ win five rings by being complacent. So it was definitely not Derek I was talking about. It wasn’t obviously a few other players either who had big years, but in the end, we’ve got to win. Everybody’s noticed this team, these players have come in this spring with a completely different attitude than last spring. Kind of like it was in ‘09, in spring training of 09, and that’s what makes me feel pretty good about the situation.”
Here’s Hank speaking to the media — seriously — from the middle of the dining room here at Steinbrenner Field.