Yankees 'too busy building mansions'?

Updated: February 22, 2011, 10:52 AM ET
ESPNNewYork.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner thinks his team's celebration of its 2009 World Series championship may have lasted too long.

"I think, maybe, they celebrated too much last year," Steinbrenner said Monday. "Some of the players, too busy building mansions and doing other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problem saying that."

When it was pointed out that Yankees captain Derek Jeter was building a large multimillion-dollar home in Tampa last year, Steinbrenner said he wasn't singling out any individual.

"I was just saying, maybe they were riding the wave of '09 a little too much, and it happens sometimes," Steinbrenner said. "This year in spring so far, from what I've seen and what I've been told, they've come in with a real, new drive and determination -- the kind they had in '09."

New York lost in the American League Championship Series last season to Texas after fading in the second half of the season and winding up with the AL wild card.

Jeter batted .334 with 18 homers and 66 RBIs for the Yankees in 2009. He slipped to a career-low .270 with 10 homers but did have 67 RBIs last season. The 36-year-old batted .231 in the ALCS.

After sometimes contentious negotiations -- in which general manager Brian Cashman told him to shop for better offers -- Jeter agreed to a three-year, $51 million contract in the offseason.

On Sunday, during his news conference, Jeter said he wanted to shift the focus forward. On Monday, Jeter continued working on his stride-less swing, which has been designed to allow him to drive the ball better than he did in 2010.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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