Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner didn’t hide his distaste for their division rival, the Red Sox.
Steinbrenner won’t refer to their ALDS loss to the Sox as anything more than “the first week in October,” and had nothing positive to say about the Boston organization.
“I have no love for the Red Sox on the field or in the division,” Steinbrenner told the New York Post.
Steinbrenner did mention the series in other ways and said it was obvious why the Yankees lost the series, 4-2.
“I am frustrated we did not play up to our ability,” Steinbrenner said. “Except for [Masahiro] Tanaka, the starting pitching was not good and the hitting was inconsistent. We are much better than we played in that series.”
According to Steinbrenner, the Yankees decision to stay below the $197 million luxury tax had nothing to do with how their postseason ended. For reference, the Red Sox went over the tax and had the highest payroll in the league.
He has always been adamant that no team needs to go over $200 million, even though he broke his own rule to sign Tanaka before the 2014 season.
“There are going to be some changes and additions, there always is,” Steinbrenner said. “We need to win the division. I don’t want to go through another wild-card game.”
Of course, this brings up the question about whether the Yankees will chase Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado in free agency. Obviously signing such lucrative names would cost money.
But Steinbrenner admitted the team is concerned about chasing a player who is known to have “makeup issues,” or isn’t known to be a good teammate.
“Hustle and work ethic is a big part of talking about a player, whether it is a $300 million or $30 million player we are talking about. It is not just Hit f/x or Pitch f/x. It is temperament,” Steinbrenner said.
“Every player we talk about, it would be one of my questions. … New York, you will have a tough time if you don’t have the temperament for it or you don’t have the temperament for how [the Yankees] insist it is done. If I thought there was a serious concern when it came to work ethic, it is my family’s and partners’ money that is being invested here. That is why it is part of every conversation. It has to be.”