TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner thinks his team’s celebration of its 2009 World Series championship may have lasted too long.
“I think, maybe, they celebrated too much last year,” Steinbrenner said Monday. “Some of the players, too busy building mansions and doing other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problem saying that.”
When it was pointed out that Yankees captain Derek Jeter was building a large multimillion dollar home in Tampa last year, Steinbrenner said he wasn’t singling out any individual.
“I was just saying, maybe they were riding the wave of ’09 a little too much, and it happens sometimes,” Steinbrenner 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.”
New York lost in the AL championship series last season to Texas after fading in the second half of the season and winding up with the AL wild card.
Steinbrenner also said baseball’s revenue sharing and luxury tax programs need changes, and that Commissioner Bud Selig is open to the idea.
Steinbrenner said he doesn’t know what the final figure is, but expects the Yankees’ 2010 payments for the two to total 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,” Steinbrenner said. “Socialism, communism, whatever you want to call it, is never the answer.”