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Steinbrenner, Jeter in Evil Empire dust-up

If you operate on the theory that anything bad for the Yankees is good for the Orioles, then  Hank Steinbrenner's latest ill-advised remarks were music to your ears.

The Yankees outspoken chairman -- I know that's a shock, a Steinbrenner who's vocal -- told reporters Monday that the Bronx Bombers may have celebrated their 2009 World Series win a little too long -- all the way into the 2010 season, in fact.

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No one blinked an eyeball at that. But then Steinbrenner picked up the metaphorical luger, loaded it, and shot himself in the foot.

"Some of the players were too busy building mansions and doing other things and not concentrating on winning," Steinbrenner continued. "I have no problem saying that."

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Since the only Yankee engaged last year in building a mansion -- actually, it's reportedly more like a 30,000-square-foot, 7-bedroom palace in Tampa -- was Derek Jeter, reporters interpreted this as a direct shot at the Captain.

Steinbrenner said no, he wasn't singling out any one player.

Right.

Now it'll be interesting to see how Jeter responds to this latest salvo from the front office. He's already steaming about how the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman dragged out his contract negotiations last year and allowed them to go public.

Why Steinbrenner would want to further enrage the Yankees captain is a total mystery. But this certainly isn't the first time a Steinbrenner shot off his mouth before thinking -- often to the detriment of his team.

And if this becomes an issue in the Yankees clubhouse, or a distraction of any kind on the field, the rest of the AL East will feel terrible. Absolutely terrible.

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