Hank Steinbrenner: Yankees 'Just Have to ... Win' in 2011
"We just have to f---ing win," Steinbrenner told the Post in a wide-ranging interview.
Pounding a drum he has many times before, Steinbrenner, the Yankees' senior vice president, lamented the revenue sharing payments his team has to shell out to small-market clubs.
"The AL East can toughen you up. Hopefully it will work to our benefit. We will do what it takes to win," Steinbrenner said. "Look at the money we are paying out in revenue sharing. We are baseball's stimulus package. The fans of other teams have no reason to complain about us or the Red Sox or the teams that support the rest of baseball."
He also defended ownership's decision to sign free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano, a move that went against the wishes of Cashman.
"The fans pay the bills, we owe it to ourselves and to them to put the best product out there," he said. "If we couldn't get Cliff Lee, I'm really happy about getting Soriano. I just wish Lee would have given Brian the chance to meet with him, but (Lee) was on a hunting trip. He's got his own reasons."
Steinbrenner, who appears to have ceded significant control to brother Hal in the day-to-day operations of the club, is nothing if not hopeful.
"I say we have one of the top four teams in baseball, whether we end up being the best or not, we'll see," he said. "It really comes to avoiding injuries. It's like what happened to Boston last year. We had the injuries three years ago and, of course, nobody ever makes excuses for us. If the Red Sox have injuries it's 'Oh, the injuries.' If the Rays have injuries, if the Phillies have injuries, it's 'the injuries.'If the Yankees have injuries, nobody in the media acknowledges that.
"It's going to be typical American League East. The Red Sox are going to be tough. We're going to be tough. I still think the Rays will be tough. The Orioles and Blue Jays have improved."