NEW YORK (AP) – Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said he was “deeply disappointed” at his team’s elimination in the first round of the AL playoffs, calling it a “sad failure.”

New York was heavily favored in its series against the Detroit Tigers and won Tuesday’s opener 8-4.

The Tigers then won 4-3 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, and swept two games in Detroit, 6-0 Friday and 8-3 Saturday.

“I am deeply disappointed at our being eliminated so early in the playoffs,” Steinbrenner said in a statement issued Sunday by spokesman Howard 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.”

Rubenstein said he spoke with Steinbrenner on Sunday.

“Clearly he was upset,” he said.

Rubenstein said Steinbrenner was not going to comment on a report in the New York Daily News that manager Joe Torre likely will be fired and replaced by Lou Piniella.


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