Steinbrenner: Results 'not acceptable'
Yankees owner releases statement about team's performance
NEW YORK -- Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner has not been pleased with the team's early start, but he does not appear inclined to order major personnel changes -- for now.
New York lost two of three games over the weekend to the Red Sox and completed April with a 9-14 record, suffering a 7-4 defeat on Sunday to place them 6 1/2 games behind first-place Boston.
Steinbrenner issued a statement through his spokesperson reacting to the Yankees' recent struggles on Monday.
"The season is still very young, but up to now the results are clearly not acceptable to me or to Yankee fans," Steinbrenner said. "However, Brian Cashman, our general manager, Joe Torre, our manager, and our players all believe that they will turn this around quickly. I believe in them."
The Yankees have lost eight of nine games dating back to their weekend series against the Red Sox, fueling speculation that Steinbrenner might consider replacing Torre from the managerial post he has held since 1996.
It is not the first time Torre's position has been challenged in media reports. The 66-year-old Torre spent a good portion of his postgame press conference on Sunday insisting that his only focus is on returning the Yankees to their winning ways.
"We're going to have to come out of it," Torre said. We're a much better club than our record indicates. You play this thing over 162 games."
The first month of the season was not kind to the Yankees, particularly in a medical sense.
Hideki Matsui, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Chien-Ming Wang -- all envisioned to be contributors to the club's success -- were among a cast of players who spent time on the 15-day disabled list with an assortment of injuries.
Matsui and Wang eventually returned, as did injured pitcher Jeff Karstens, but Karstens was struck with a line drive on Saturday and suffered a broken right fibula, sending him back to the disabled list. Pavano and Mussina have yet to return, but Mussina is considered a possibility to pitch this week.
The collective voids left the Yankees' weaknesses exposed, and Torre has admitted he had to lean far harder on his bullpen -- which leads the Major Leagues with a combined 95 appearances -- than expected.
The Yankees used five relievers on Sunday, the 10th consecutive game that five or more hurlers were summoned in relief -- the first time in the last 50 years that has been done, according to research performed by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Several Yankees players jumped to Torre's defense on Sunday, with Derek Jeter saying that speculation is "unfair, and it should stop." Cashman also noted that he takes full responsibility for the Yankees' sluggish start, saying that "this is the team I put together."
Steinbrenner offered his hopes that the Yankees -- who open a three-game road series with the Rangers on Tuesday -- will be able to regain their footing in the American League East.
"I am here to support them in any way to help them accomplish this turnaround," Steinbrenner said. "It is time to put excuses and talk away. It is time to see if people are ready to step up and accept their responsibilities. It is time for all of them to show me and the fans what they are made of."
As always, he also left no question what the team's main objective is.
"Let's get going," Steinbrenner concluded. "Let's go out and win and bring a world championship back to New York. That's what I want."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.