Loss tough to bear for Steinbrenner

New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- More; subdued than seething, more reasoned than ranting, George Steinbrenner swallowed what must have felt like a softball on Sunday, bit his tongue and worked diligently to sound like a gracious loser.

"We'll be back,"Steinbrenner said. "I'm telling you. We'll be back. We'll make all the decisions we have to make to get us back.

"I can't answer what went wrong," Steinbrenner said in a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla. "That's got to be answered by Brian Cashman and Joe Torre. Cash kept assuring me we were the best team. He told me we'd win."

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