Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Agree with Hal's Assessment

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Agree with Hal's Assessment

Article excerpt

PHOENIX -- Word of Hal Steinbrenner's cutting, public critique of his last-place Yankees -- in which he leaned specifically on a handful of players -- had traveled to the desert on Wednesday afternoon, where it met a universal response.

"Yeah, I don't blame him," Mark Teixeira said.

"It's his team, he wants to win," Chase Headley said. "[And] we want to win."

"If I was the owner, I'd be frustrated too," said manager Joe Girardi.

Speaking with reporters at the quarterly owners' meetings in New York, Steinbrenner absolved Girardi, his coaching staff and general manager Brian Cashman of blame for the club's 16-22 start.

Instead, the Yankees' managing general partner and youngest son of the bombastic late owner George Steinbrenner called out Teixeira, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino and Headley -- whom he also praised for his recent uptick -- as illustrative of an ugly start.

"Needless to say, the first five weeks were disappointing, frustrating, particularly looking at the offense," Steinbrenner told reporters. "Clearly [they're] not living up to their potential."

Girardi hadn't personally read Steinbrenner's quotes and withheld specific comment, having not spoken directly to Steinbrenner by Wednesday afternoon.

However, "I always take full responsibility for what happens here, good or bad," Girardi said in backing his underachieving roster. "It's my job to get the best out of the players and right now we're not performing to the level I think we're capable of."

But the players in question saw the reality of Steinbrenner's sentiment.

"I've been around long enough to know you're going to get singled out if you're not producing," said Teixeira, batting just .211 with three homers and 11 RBI in his first 36 games. "I've always been someone who's been able to carry teams during tough streaks and we've been in a tough stretch the whole season. …

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