TAMPA -- George Steinbrenner is gone, but his legacy is alive and well at the ballpark that bears his name.
Owner Hank Stenbrenner, talking about how focused the Yankees have been compared to last year, when they were defending World Series champions, fractured the tranquility around George M. Steinbrenner Field.
"Sometimes you celebrate too much, players concentrating on building mansions and not concentrating on winning," Steinbrenner said in a hallway following yesterday's workout.
Steinbrenner said he wasn't fingering Derek Jeter as the reason the Yankees didn't reach last year's World Series, but it was clear he didn't have Ramiro Pena in mind.
Because Jeter recently finished building a colossal house in the Tampa neighborhood of Davis Islands, Steinbrenner was asked if any other player was doing the same.
"I am not singling anybody out, but maybe riding the wave of '09 was too much," Steinbrenner said of the aftermath of the Yankees winning their 27th World Series title by beating the Phillies.
What moved Steinbrenner to allude to Jeter?
A lack of concentration has never been a fault of Jeter, who had the worst season of his career last year when he batted .270. And it's not like Jeter started building the house the day after the Canyon of Heroes parade in November 2009. In the spring of 2009, construction was well under way.
Tampa Bay Online reported the city of Tampa issued a certificate of occupancy on Jan. 19 for the 30,875-square foot home. The mansion, dubbed St. Jetersburg by locals, dwarfs the surrounding homes with its seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms and a reported construction cost of $1.75 million.
Reportedly the largest house in Hillsborough County, the waterfront mansion sits on what previously were three lots, totaling 1.6 acres, which Jeter purchased for $7.7 million. It features two three-car garages, an entertainment room, a billiard room, and a memorabilia room.