New York Yankees fans, increasingly immune to the barks of George Steinbrenner during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, did not flinch when son Hank Steinbrenner seemed intent on fulfilling the role of bully in his early stages of ownership. During 2007, the first year that he and his brother took over day-to-day operations of the organization, Hank was in the news every other day with some sort of loud, attention seeking statement, but fans shrugged him off and even laughed. “Look at this clown trying to fill the shoes of his father” was the attitude many people had and rightfully so. You also had the Alex Rodriguez contract negotiation/nonsense unfolding in the same offseason which only fueled the media fire and encouraged the older brother to make more noise. To make a long story short, Hank eventually fell into the background and the New York Yankees went back to playing baseball and contending for/winning World Series titles.
Our new favorite Steinbrenner is back though. This time he calls out Derek Jeter suggesting that he was “too busy building a mansion” to put all of his focus into winning in 2010. He mentions that the team as a whole spent too much time celebrating their 2009 World Series title and that hangover kept them from winning it again this past season (he also touches on revenue sharing, A.J. Burnett and Rafael Soriano). Personally, I don’t put much stock into his statements. I’m not sure the players do either. If I was Derek Jeter, I might be a little ticked off, but at the same time its not even like this is The Boss making the remarks. When you play for the Yankees you know there is going to be media scrutiny to just about everything from a Spring Training 0-2 performance to what type of toothbrush you opt for. It’s par for the course and you take the bad with the fame, nine figure contract and October baseball
When I hear Hank Steinbrenner making comments like this I just shake my head and wish he would keep his mouth shut. At the same time, I am extremely thankful that he is the worst that I have to worry about. At least the Yankees aren’t being run by James Dolan.