Hank Steinbrenner is going to engage in fisticuffs with Robinson Cano

Father Scott

Hank Steinbrenner-bashing is already fairly common, and it’s going to get to Isiah Thomas levels soon. But he kind of has it coming.

“The bottom line is that the team is not playing the way it is capable of playing,” Steinbrenner, said, according to the New York Post. “These players are being paid a lot of money and they had better decide for themselves to earn that money.”

Because it’s a question of effort, not talent. Johnny Damon is still the 2002 Johnny Damon. Mike Mussina is the 1998 Mike Mussina. Jason Giambi is pre-shrunken balls Jason Giambi.

Steinbrenner, who runs the Yankees with his brother Hal, has faith that the team will improve. But he wants to see greater effort, or else changes are going to be made, according to the report.

“This is going to get turned around,” Steinbrenner said. “If it’s not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have to.”

Glad to hear that he has faith. That’s important in leadership. If you say something will happen, then it will happen. Just like how the Magic beat the Pistons last night. And how Isiah took the Knicks to a championship without making any more roster moves. And how I’m nailing Jessica Alba.

And what kind of force is ol’ Hank talking about? Is he going to go toe-to-toe with Joba Chamberlain. Start whipping Darrell Rasner?

“We have good professional hitters and I have a lot of faith in them,” Steinbrenner said, according to the report.

Professional? Yes. You pay them to “hit” for a living. Good? Um…

“I’m not saying they are not giving the effort, but they need to be playing harder.”

Who doesn’t love blatant contradictions?

The Yankees have been without a pair of injured starters in third baseman Alex Rodriguez and catcher Jorge Posada. But Steinbrenner says that’s no excuse.

“We’ve got to forget about all the injuries and start playing our butts off,” Steinbrenner said, according to the newspaper.

This couldn’t make less sense. It’s not the drop-off in production from A-Rod to Morgan Ensberg and Jorge Posada to Julia Childs, it’s that they’re not playing their butts off. If Morgan and Julia are just as good, why are the Yankees shelling out $45 million a year for these two over the next five years?

And now for a sentence you thought you’d never read, except maybe in the Onion:

But he pointed to the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays, who have taken two straight from the Yankees, as an example of a team playing the game with passion, saying his team has “got to start playing the way the Rays are playing,” according to the Post.

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