ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (AP) - Hank Steinbrenner says he’s not upset that team captain Derek Jeter supported Jorge Posada. The New York Yankees co-chairman isn’t too happy, however, with how the team is playing.
Posada pulled himself out of the lineup over the weekend, saying he needed a day off, and a public spat ensued between the slumping slugger and club management. Jeter later said he saw nothing wrong with what his pal did.
“I don’t have a problem with that,” Steinbrenner told The Associated Press on Monday. “They’ve known each other for a long time.”
“It’s early, but the team needs to get it together,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got too much talent to be swept by anybody at Yankee Stadium, even if we’re playing the ‘27 Yankees. It’s not acceptable. We need to start doing what I know we can do.”
Posada has since apologized to the Yankees. The team held a conference call Monday with Jeter, team president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.
“We’re all on the same page,” Jeter said, without getting into specifics. “Everything is good. It’s a non-issue. That’s all I got.”
Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo, on behalf of the team, said “a great conversion” took place. He added that the team would have no additional comment.
Posada was not in the lineup Monday for the series opener at Tampa Bay. Tough lefty David Price started for the AL East-leading Rays, and the switch-hitting Posada doesn’t have a hit against a left-hander this season.
Alex Rodriguez was the designated hitter, Posada’s spot for most of the season.
Manager Joe Girardi won’t say if Posada will be the DH on Tuesday night when Tampa Bay starts right-hander James Shields.
“We’re worry about tomorrow, tomorrow,” he said.
The Yankees had lost nine of 12 going into the series at Tropicana Field.
“It’s been a struggle,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of character in that room and that character is going to pull us of this and we’ll start playing better.”