"[It] certainly pisses me off," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "I never want a division rival to outdo us."
He was also blunt in his assessment of the performance during the 3-1 series defeat.
"I am frustrated we did not play up to our ability," Steinbrenner added. "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."
He also indicated that he wouldn't hold back on adding a high-priced free agent, like Manny Machado, to potentially keep up with the Red Sox.
While Steinbrenner wouldn't directly discuss any free agent, including Machado or Bryce Harper, he noted a 10-year deal hasn't "scared us in the past and won't in the future."
This could give the Yankees a major leg-up compared to teams that would be afraid of that type of long-term commitment.
Giancarlo Stanton already has at least nine more years under contract, although he came over in a trade with the Miami Marlins. The other side of the coin is Jacoby Ellsbury, who still has two more years on his deal but didn't play at all in 2018.
"That kind of stuff [lack of hustle/dirty play], irregardless of who the player is, in any trade or free-agent acquisition, these are the questions we are asking. The analytics, the pro scouting are always talking temperament, personality, motivation, how good a teammate someone is, do they understand what is expected of them by the New York Yankees and by the fans of New York City. It does matter, and it will be no different this year."
The Yankees roster as currently assembled was good enough to win 100 games, but the Red Sox were simply better and they brought home a World Series title. The owner wants to improve in the offseason so they can win the division and potentially go deeper in the playoffs.
Players like Machado will help, but the staff will have to decide whether he is worth the cost.