What went wrong for Yankees in playoffs


In a wide-ranging 40-minute interview, Hal Steinbrenner said he expects Gary Sanchez to rebound from his poor 2018 and that 100 regular-season wins were more reflective of Aaron Boone’s rookie season as manager than a Division Series loss:

— On Sanchez: “Gary was injured one-third of the season. I asked our analytics guys, and the numbers from Hit F/x and things like that, the batting average was worse than how he really performed. He is going to be fine. When he is right, he is one of our best hitters, maybe our best hitter.

— On Greg Bird’s down year: “Greg just needs to find his stride. There are ups and downs in the game.”

— Do Sanchez, Bird, Miguel Andujar at third and Gleyber Torres at second have secure spots in 2019?: “That’s more [Brian] Cashman’s decision than mine. I am not going to get too deeply into that. We will see how those guys look in spring. I think Andujar can play third or first. Gleyber can play more than one position. We will see where we are sitting on April 1, who had a good spring and who didn’t.”

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— On Aaron Boone’s first season: “I thought he was as advertised. We won 100 games for the first time in a decade. The first week in October was a disappointment. But we had bad starting pitching and inconsistent hitting, and that is hard to put on [Boone]. Overall, he has been great with players, great in the clubhouse and had many more good decisions than bad. He is very intelligent, a student of the game. Rookie manager or not, he has a wealth of baseball experience. He seems like a guy willing to learn. When he makes mistakes, he admits it and learns from it. That is the stuff that came out and that is good stuff.”

— On urgency to win a championship: “You have to look at the player development system. We have a number of good years coming. I don’t feel unbelievably pressured that this is our one year and we are done.”

— On 2018 overall: “We had good chemistry on the team. We know we let the fans down and I feel very bad about that. We have to sift through what happened in that series [against Boston]and also sift through why the team kept losing to teams we shouldn’t have during the season, especially in our division. We have a lot of thinking to do and we have begun that process.”