Thursday, September 11, 2008
Steinbrenner says Yanks will 'fix what we have to fix' for next year
TAMPA, Fla. -- Hank Steinbrenner is disappointed the New York Yankees could be eliminated from postseason play during Yankee Stadium's final homestand.
"We're going to have to look at what has been done wrong over the last five years, which I've had one year to try and figure out," he said Thursday at the Yankees' spring training complex. "Clearly, a lot of mistakes were made."
Hank and his brother Hal took over most of the Yankees' day-to-day operation last fall. Their father, George Steinbrenner, bought the Yankees in 1973.
"I'm going to be reviewing the entire organization," said Hank Steinbrenner, a team co-chairman along with his brother Hal.
New York opens a 10-game homestand Friday night against Tampa Bay. The Yankees, fourth in the AL East, are 8½ games behind AL wild-card leader Boston with 16 games left.
"We're going to do everything we can to win next year. We're not going to wait," Steinbrenner said. "Do everything we can that makes sense. We're going to fix what we have to fix."
New York is expected to be active in free agency. Pitchers CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets and A.J. Burnett, and first baseman Mark Teixeira are among the players whom the Yankees might be interested in signing.
Steinbrenner has already said that manager Joe Girardi will return next season, but the contract of general manager Brian Cashman ends this year and extension talks won't take place until after the season.
In addition to the GM spot, Steinbrenner is looking at setting up an advisory group, such as the one his father established before the Yankees' run of four World Series titles from 1996-2000.
"If Brian stays on as GM, that doesn't mean he won't be the No. 1 guy," Steinbrenner said. "But the fact is, the more opinions the better. I think that's probably the best way. It worked in the 90's, and it can work again."
Injuries and offensive struggles have been key factors this season, which will likely end with New York missing the playoffs for the first since 1993.
"Our offense was a major disappointment," Steinbrenner said.
The Yankees lost more than 30 combined starts due to injuries to Chien-Ming Wang (foot) and Joba Chamberlain (shoulder).
"Where would we be if we weren't down two-thirds of our top three starting pitchers?" Steinbrenner said.