Jeter laughs off Hank Steinbrenner’s comments

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TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Derek Jeter laughed off Hank Steinbrenner’s assertion that some New York Yankees were “too busy building mansions” after winning the 2009 World Series.

The Yankees captain was building a large multimillion dollar home in Tampa last year when New York lost to Texas in the AL championship series after fading in the second half of the season and winding up with the AL wild card.

Steinbrenner, the Yankees co-chairman, made the remark Monday in saying his team lacked hunger last year.

“I understand most of it,” Jeter said before Tuesday’s spring training workout. “The house, I didn’t understand. That’s a first. That’s funny, I think. I’m not moving, so we won’t be talking about this again.”

Jeter often smiled and laughed during an 11-minute session with reporters. He pointed out, with a smile, that Steinbrenner used the plural “mansions” and that his name was not speciallly mentioned.

The shortstop said no further explanation was needed from the oldest son of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner who died last July.

“Hopefully this is the last time we have to discuss last season,” Jeter said.

Steinbrenner said later Tuesday his comments were not directed at Jeter.

“It was a generalization, a euphemism. A bad choice of a euphemism,” Steinbrenner said. “That’s all it was.”

Steinbrenner sent a message to Jeter clarifying his remarks.

“Sometimes teams get a little complacent, they celebrate for too long,” Steinbrenner said. “It certainly isn’t Derek. Derek’s got five rings. You don’t win five rings by being complacent. So, it was definitely not Derek I was talking about, and it wasn’t, obviously, a few other players, either. But in the end we’ve got to win.”

“He knows I wasn’t referring to him,” Steinbrenner added. “It’s not what I meant. That was never my intention.”

After Steinbrenner’s comments Tuesday, Jeter said he never thought the remarks were directed at him.

“I guess I was right,” he said.

Also Tuesday, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and executive vice president Rob Manfred spoke by telephone with Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine telling them team officials should not comment publicly on labor matters. In addition to his comments about Jeter on Monday, Hank Steinbrenner _ Hal’s brother _ was critical of baseball’s revenue sharing rules.

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