Steinbrenner: It's up to players to lift Yankees

May 19th, 2016
"Needless to say, the first five weeks were disappointing," Hal Steinbrenner said on Wednesday. (AP)

NEW YORK -- The Yankees didn't expect to be in last place at this point in the season. They certainly don't like it, even though it's still very early in the season.

But don't look for any fireworks from managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, none of the change-for-change-sake that was so much a part of the franchise's culture under his late father, George.

Nobody is on the hot seat, the son stressed Wednesday during the first day of the quarterly Owners Meetings held at Major League Baseball's Park Avenue headquarters. Not general manager Brian Cashman. Not manager Joe Girardi. Not any members of the coaching staff.

"Needless to say, the first five weeks were disappointing," Steinbrenner said. "Frustrating, particularly looking at the offense. We've got to start firing on all cylinders. That's the only way we're going to get out of this hole. Because we're in a hole right now."

It will be up to the players, he said. Steinbrenner mentioned Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino among the players most responsible for the Yankees' 16-22 start.

"Certainly not living up to their potential. It's up to them," he said. "Sooner or later, it comes down to the guys. Again, these are professional athletes. They're the best baseball players in the world. Sooner or later it comes down to them."

Yanks not surprised by Steinbrenner's remarks

Steinbrenner was encouraged by his team's most recent homestand, when the Yankees went 7-3 against the Red Sox, Royals and White Sox and said he wasn't even thinking about the possibility of selling off assets at the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"Any possibility that comes along we're going to look at," he said. "But it's mid-May. We can talk again in July but, right now, that's the least of my concerns. Nobody has given up. That clubhouse has not given up, I can tell you that."

Steinbrennner said that he believes the additions of Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro have made the Yankees an even better offensive team than the 2015 club that finished second in runs scored.and that the organization continues to improve overall.

"I'm excited. I think our fans are excited. But the excitement wanes if the production isn't there. So we'll see," he said.

Steinbrenner also addressed issues such as revenue sharing and instant replay. The former is particularly timely because baseball is in the process of negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

"Clearly, that's going to be one of the biggest topics, so we'll see where we end up with that," he said. "But everybody is discussing things in a really rational manner, which is how it should be done."

And he gave a thumbs up to replay.

"I like it," he said. "Obviously, it can go too far. But, within reason, it's a good thing. I've been pleased with the process, how it worked. As long as we don't have three-and-a-half, four-hour games, it's a healthy thing."