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Steinbrenner proud of Yanks despite ALCS loss

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner delivered his postmortem on Friday, making clear that ownership doesn't treat the close of the 2012 season callously.

"We fell short of our singular and constant goal, which is a World Series championship," Steinbrenner said in a statement, one day after the Tigers swept the Yanks out of the American League Championship Series. "However, I am proud of the accomplishments of this year's team. We earned the best record in the American League and were one of the four teams to advance to the League Championship Series, despite having to overcome and fight through a series of long-term injuries to a number of our key players."

The sentiment might be different if the Yankees had lost to Detroit in say, seven games, in a tightly contested series. But the Bombers were nothing like the Bombers.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Yankees co-chairperson Hank Steinbrenner said it was unfair to blame Alex Rodriguez for the Yankees' hitting woes.

"He was just one of quite a few that just had a bad time at the plate," Hank Steinbrenner told the AP. "So is it fair to accuse him of everything but the Kennedy assassination? No, it's not fair, but we'll see what happens from this point on."

The offense disappeared, and A-Rod, one of the best ever, made his way to the bench. Very quickly, one of baseball's best teams in the regular season seemed to fall apart.

"Make no mistake, this was a bitter end to our year, and we fully intend to examine our season in its totality, assess all of our strengths and weaknesses and take the necessary steps needed to maintain our sole focus of winning the World Series in 2013," Hal Steinbrenner said. "Great teams -- and organizations -- use disappointment as a motivation for future improvements and success. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we plan to do what's necessary to return this franchise to the World Series."

Perhaps Steinbrenner wasn't as scathing as his late father, George, would've been, but there were certainly undertones of George. Hal alluded to his family, and how much winning has always meant to the Yankees.

"Nothing has changed. Nothing will change," Hal Steinbrenner said. "My family -- and our organization -- has a long-standing commitment to provide all of our fans a championship-caliber team year after year.

"We may have fallen short yesterday but we never feel sorry for ourselves and never make excuses. We already are beginning the process to find a way to win our 28th World Championship."

Hal Steinbrenner also thanked fans for their support, and offered congratulations to the Tigers.

"I want to congratulate Mike Ilitch, Dave Dombrowski, Jim Leyland, and the Detroit Tigers," Steinbrenner said. "They certainly proved worthy of representing the American League in the World Series and are well deserving of this honor."