New York Yankees: Hank Steinbrenner Takes on Derek Jeter

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2011

Hank Steinbrenner decided it was time to stir the pot in Yankee Universe once more. But does anybody really care?
Hank Steinbrenner decided it was time to stir the pot in Yankee Universe once more. But does anybody really care?

At this point in the game, we've learned three irrefutable truths about Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner.

1) His stance on recreational nicotine use stands in sharp contrast to the Surgeon General's.
2) No one takes him even remotely seriously.
3) He cannot be shut up.

Steinbrenner added to his greatest hits collection on Monday when he shared his thoughts on a number of issues that came off, in print at least, as the rantings of a Daniel Plainview-level madman.

His money quote was an obvious shot at shortstop Derek Jeter: "I think, maybe, they celebrated too much last year. Some of the players, too busy building mansions and doing other things, not concentrating on winning. I have no problem saying that."

Perhaps realizing the incendiary nature of his remarks, Steinbrenner backed off, insisting he wasn't singling anyone out. Call me crazy, but I doubt he was referring to the lakeside manor Ramiro Pena has sitting in escrow.

Normally when a high-level member of management puts his biggest star on blast for no apparent reason, it's a huge story. But in the case of Steinbrenner, it will serve primarily as blog and Twitter fodder for a day or so before disappearing into the ether.

Hank is kind of like the Asian dude who took over for Steve Perry in Journey in that respect: He may sound eerily similar to the famous man he replaced, but ultimately it's just irrelevant nonsense. Don't stop believin'? We never started.

I suppose I'm vaguely interested to see how Jeter will respond to the dig, but knowing the captain, the insult was too obtuse to warrant a serious response. Saying his sub-standard 2010 was tied to the construction of St. Jetersburg is like saying the people of Egypt revolted against their government because the pyramids are old. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. It's not like he was flying down to Tampa on off days to build the sucker himself.

You want to talk distractions? How about the period from 1996 to 2007 when Jeter nailed 87 percent of the hot chick population in Manhattan? Can you even imagine all the time he had to put into figuring out ways to get these women out of his bed in the morning? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

El Capitan: All right—(struggling to remember girl's name)—sweetheart, I have to get to the Stadium for BP.
Hot chick: But it's December...
El Capitan: Um, yeah, well they moved spring training up this year.
Hot chick: Isn't spring training in Florida?
El Capitan: (Frazzled, searching for comeback) You're the one in Florida! (bolts out front door).

Steinbrenner did manage a few fleeting moments of clarity during his interview. He's unhappy with baseball's revenue sharing, luxury tax systems and he thinks it's time Bud Selig did something about it. The Yankees were hit with an approximate $130 million tab in 2010 alone.

"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."

Can't really argue with him there. Teams like the Pirates, Padres and Royals have reaped the financial benefits of baseball's ruling class for nearly a decade now, but their payrolls remain near the bottom of the league. Something doesn't smell right.

Wait a minute. What am I doing agreeing with Hank Steinbrenner? Brainwashing, Stockholm Syndrome, whatever you want to call it, is never the answer.

Dan Hanzus writes three columns a week on his New York Yankees site, River & Sunset. He can be reached at Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus.