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Hank: Yanks need to be more like Rays

Seeing the Rays with the best record in the American League and in first place in the AL East is one sign of their progress.

And Wednesday's back-page story in the New York Post is certainly another - with Hank Steinbrenner saying his struggling Yankees have "got to start playing the way the Rays are playing'' and that he wishes the Rays weren't in the Yankees' division.

"I'm happy for them, but I wish they were in the National League,'' he said.

Essentially, Steinbrenner - sounding more like his father at each turn - accused his high-priced players with not playing hard, and threatened severe changes if they don't.

"(The Yankees) need to start treating it like when they were younger players and going after that big contract, like they're in (Triple-A) and trying to make the majors'' Steinbrenner said. "That's the kind of attitude and fire the players have to have."

Certainly seeing his $209-million team 4 1/2 games behind the Rays, and their $43.8-million payroll, agitated the situation.

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

And if not? "There's no question we need to turn it around and we have the talent to turn it around. We've got the team in place, and now they just have to go out and do it,'' Steinbrenner said.

"This is going to get turned around. If it's not turned around this year, then it will be turned around next year, by force if we have too."

Steinbrenner also had some questions about the attendance at Tropicana Field.
"They only had 13,000 there (Monday) night. That place should be packed,' he said. "They're an exciting young team."

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:35am]


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