Via Barry Bloom -
MLB.com: Where are you guys on the Tanaka negotiations right now?
Steinbrenner: We all know what the deadline is Jan. 24 so something is going to happen with someone by then. He’s certainly one of the pitchers [we're interested in]. Pitching, starting pitching, is an area I believe we still need some help. We’re looking at a number of possibilities and we’re talking to a number of people.
MLB.com: So, you have a month to go to Spring Training. Where do you feel the Yankees are at this point?
Steinbrenner: I think our offense is significantly improved from last year even before all the injuries. We’re bringing some exciting guys to the club, the guys we signed. I think the fans are excited. I still think pitching is a concern. But we’re going to keep plugging away here.
MLB.com: How about second base and third base as you’re making transitions away from Robinson Cano and A-Rod?
Steinbrenner: Obviously, we have Brian Roberts. Let’s see if he can stay healthy. He can be very impactful. We picked up Dean Anna from San Diego, a young guy. We have Kelly Johnson. We’ve got Eduardo Nunez. Joe [manager Joe Girardi] is going to have to figure a few things out. We can’t go out and get a big-time free agent at every position.
MLB.com: Last year was tough for the Yankees in the standings, attendance, TV ratings. What’s your sense of it now?
Steinbrenner: Everything right now looks pretty good. Last year, I don’t know how many times we used the disabled list, [numerous] times. We had a team in late April that wasn’t the team we had on March 1. It was just unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it. That was all bound to happen. New York is a star town. The fans want to come out to see Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. That’s what they’ve grown to love and that’s what they want to see. That was tough, but hopefully that’s behind us and we’ll have a more normal year when it comes to injuries and the team we hope and the fans expect to see is on the field.
MLB.com: You’re coming out of an era now when you had your core guys to surround with other good players: Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada. Even with Jeter coming back, that’s basically over. How do you feel about that?
Steinbrenner: That’s a very special four guys. It’s tough. I wish our Minor Leagues were a little bit better than they are. I wish that some of the prospects we were so excited about had panned out the way we thought and hoped they would. But it is what it is. We’re going to have to find some answers from within. We’re pretty aggressive in the free-agent market. You can tell that. We did what we needed to do to field this team to be a championship-caliber team.
…Pitching, starting pitching, is an area I believe we still need some help…
…I still think pitching is a concern…
…I wish our Minor Leagues were a little bit better than they are. I wish that some of the prospects we were so excited about had panned out the way we thought and hoped they would…
When I hear the owner of the team say these things, I want to scream!
No, not because they are not true – as he’s dead right with all these comments. More so, I want to scream – and puke! – because no one is ever held accountable for bringing cause to these issues and states. There is no accountability on the Yankees any more. RIP Big Stein.