BOSTON (AP) New York manager Joe Girardi held a team meeting before the Yankees' final home game this season, telling his players, ''You need to be better'' in 2015.
A day after the Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention, Girardi called a team meeting on Thursday night to express his disappointment that the team had missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. According to ESPN.com, which first reported details of the meeting, Girardi made the players wait before presenting Derek Jeter with retirement gifts before his last game in pinstripes.
Although the website reported Girardi was angry, the manager said he was merely being direct. He also said he wasn't unhappy with the team's conditioning.
''I told them what I expect for next year,'' he told reporters on Saturday after the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 in Jeter's second-to-last major-league game. ''We're all disappointed we didn't make the playoffs.''
New York (83-78) missed consecutive postseasons for the first time since 1992 and '93 and will finish with declining wins totals in three straight years for the first time since 1986-90. The Yankees last won the World Series in 2009.
Girardi said he waited until after the team was eliminated from postseason contention to have the meeting, and instead of doing it on Wednesday night he did it before the following game. But that soured the festive mood for Jeter's celebration.
''I just felt the timing was right to do it,'' Girardi said.
Girardi said he told the team: ''You need to be better. You need to execute better next year. That's what baseball comes down to, execution.''
''I just let them know what we expect for next year,'' Girardi said. ''None of us is happy we're not playing next week.''