Hank Steinbrenner questioned just how hungry the Yankees were to repeat last year and in doing so seemed to throw the Captain under the bus.
"I think, maybe, they celebrated too much last year," Steinbrenner said Monday after A-Rod held his first press conference of the spring. "Some of the players, too busy building mansions and doing other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problem saying that."
Derek Jeter, of course, built a rather large home in Tampa last year, though Steinbrenner he said his comment wasn't meant for anyone in particular.
"I was just saying, maybe they were riding the wave of '09 a little too much, and it happens sometimes," he 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."
The Yankees did win 95 games and come within two victories of going back to the World Series last year so lack of hunger is probably a stretch. Is a stretch, actually. "Lack of hunger" is just one of those all-encompassing cliches that gets spouted all the time but really means nothing and almost never has anything to do with a team winning or losing.
Steinbrenner had more to say, targeting baseball's revenue sharing and luxury tax programs, which he said will cost the Yankees about $130 million.
"We've got to do a little something about that, and I know Bud wants to correct it in some way," Steinbrenner said. "Obviously, we're very much allies with the Red Sox and the Mets, the Dodgers, the Cubs, whoever in that area.
"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. Socialism, communism, whatever you want to call it, is never the answer."