The Yankees' bid for a four-peat came up agonizingly short in a seven-game loss to the D'backs. "It was a tough loss, one of the toughest," Steinbrenner said. "But we will be back. Mark that down. We will be back. Who says this thing is over?"
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The Boss waxed poetic after a sudden first-round loss to the eventual World Series champion Angels in four games: "There is an old Scottish proverb that says, 'I am wounded, but I am not slain. I shall lay me down and bleed a while, then I shall rise and fight again.' That should be the feeling of all of the Yankees today. As for me, my chin is not on my chest. And I don't want anyone on my team to have his chin on his chest, either. Particularly since Sept. 11, the Yankees have come to symbolize the spirit, strength and resilience of New York, and I am very proud of all we accomplished this year. We won 103 games during the regular season, and even I know that you're just not going to win it all every year. But our fans should be confident that we are already at work on improving our team for 2003. Will there be changes? Of course. But will these changes be made arbitrarily or unilaterally by me? Absolutely not."
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The low-payroll, upstart Marlins shocked the Yankees in six games in the World Series. "Of course, I was disappointed, but we will be meeting soon to make whatever changes are needed to bring back a stronger, better team for New York and our fans," The Boss said. "You can count on it."
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Steinbrenner showed remarkable restraint after the historic collapse against the Red Sox in the ALCS. "I congratulate the Boston Red Sox on their great victory," Steinbrenner said. "I want to thank our loyal fans for their enormous support. Of course, I am disappointed because I wanted a championship for them and for our city. You can be assured, we will get to work and produce a great team next year."
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The Boss made a subtle jab at his manager, Joe Torre, by praising Angels skipper Mike Scioscia after Anaheim's first-round playoff victory in five games. "I congratulate the Angels and their manager on the great job they've done," Steinbrenner said through his spokesman, Howard Rubenstein. "Our team played hard, but we let our fans down. Our fans are the greatest in the world and I want to thank them for their amazing support throughout the season. We will do better."
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Has the Boss finally reached his boiling point? Here is what he had to say after the Yankees' listless first-round defeat to Detroit in four games: "I am deeply disappointed at our being eliminated so early in the playoffs," Steinbrenner said in a statement issued by Rubenstein. "This result is absolutely not acceptable to me nor to our great and loyal Yankee fans. I want to congratulate the Detroit Tigers organization and wish them well. Rest assured, we will go back to work immediately and try to right this sad failure and provide a championship for the Yankees, as is our goal every year."
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"Every World Series victory is special, but this one is especially sweet coming in the first year in our new home," owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. "This group will become legendary similar to the 26 world championship teams that preceded them."
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