Steinbrenner calls interleague schedule unfair to Yankees

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2003

NEW YORK - Yankees owner George Steinbrenner criticized baseball schedule makers and complained that his team is treated unfairly, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Boss is unhappy about New York's road trip this week, when interleague games begin. His problem: While the Yankees are in Cincinnati and Chicago, the rival Boston Red Sox play Pittsburgh and Milwaukee - two of the three worst teams in the National League.

''I just hope we play well against the National League clubs,'' Steinbrenner told The Times in a telephone interview. ''I don't think the schedule is fair.''

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The Yankees play three games each against the Reds and Cubs, who lead the NL Central. New York doesn't face the Pirates or Brewers this season.

''Katy Feeney makes the schedule, and she has never been a favorite of mine or a favorite of the Yankees,'' Steinbrenner said. ''We play Cincinnati, which is a fine, fine ballclub; they're going to be in the middle of it. Then we play the Cubs.

''Now who is the other guy playing? They're playing against Milwaukee. Now what's right about that? They're playing Pittsburgh and Milwaukee while we're playing Cincinnati and the Cubs. I think they got the best of that deal.

''Bud Selig told me personally that he was overseeing the schedule, and that he'll see to it that it's fine. I used to be for it, but I'm not for it anymore. It's too easy for discrepancies,'' Steinbrenner said.

Feeney, a major league baseball vice president, told The Times it was impossible for every AL East team to play every NL Central team this year. There are five teams in the AL East and six in the NL Central - plus, the Yankees play six games against the crosstown rival Mets.

''I can assure you, I do not, and the other schedule contractors certainly do not, purposefully think, 'How can we make life more difficult for the Yankees?''' Feeney said.

She said the interleague schedules were made 1 1/2 years ago, and the Yankees would play Milwaukee and Pittsburgh in 2005.

Steinbrenner said he would be at Wrigley Field on Saturday, when Roger Clemens is scheduled to make his third bid for his 300th win against Cubs ace Kerry Wood.

The Boss also talked about the state of his team in interviews with the New York Daily News and New York Post.

The Yankees are 15-20 following an 18-3 start and have a 1 1/2-game lead over Boston.

''I'm not satisfied with the team and neither are they,'' Steinbrenner told the Daily News. ''I don't think we're playing as well as we're supposed to, or as well as we're going to be playing.''

The Yankees blew a 7-1 lead against Detroit on Sunday, costing Clemens his 300th victory, before winning 10-9 in 17 innings.

''I didn't like it at all,'' Steinbrenner told the Post. ''But I predicted in spring training that when a team has a player going for any record it can lead to distractions. They are all trying too hard for Roger.''