Derek Jeter slung a towel over his right shoulder and had a good laugh on Tuesday, responding a day after Hank Steinbrenner opined some Yankees were “too busy building mansions” and not concentrating on winning games in 2010.
“I’ve been here a long time. There’s been some interesting stories that have gone on that I’ve had to address. But this is a first,” Jeter said.
“I understand most of it. Contract stuff is going to be news, I understand that. I understand if he’s saying he didn’t feel as though we were hungry, I understand that’s a story. The house, I don’t understand. That’s funny, I think.”
Jeter pointed out that Steinbrenner said “mansions,” a plural, but shrugged off the suggestion that the team wasn’t ready to play. The Yankees won 95 games and the AL Wild Card before their season ended with an ALCS loss to the Rangers.
“It seems like when you don’t win, people always say the team wasn’t hungry,” Jeter said. “We got beat by a team that was better than us in that series. That’s the bottom line. I don’t think there was a lack of hunger, I just think we didn’t play as well. That’s why we lost.”
Jeter said he’s not moving from his $7.7 million home in the Davis Islands area of Tampa, so this shouldn’t be a topic that comes up again. He said that he has no problem with ownership and noted he’s no stranger to things like this, having had his run-ins with George M. Steinbrenner over the years.
“Owners can say what they want to say. They can have their opinion,” Jeter said. “That’s one of the things that you respected about The Boss when he was around. He had his opinion. Everyone didn’t always agree with the opinion, but you respected his opinion because he’s the Boss. The same thing with Hank and Hal. They’re entitled to their opinions, they can say what they want to say, they’re the owners.”