NEW YORK (AP) Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has backed manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff and has blamed players for the team's slow start.

With New York last in the AL East at 16-22, Steinbrenner singled out Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino for criticism.

Speaking Wednesday outside Major League Baseball's offices, Steinbrenner says ''the first five weeks were disappointing, frustrating, particularly looking at the offense. Clearly not living up to their potential. ... When you look at a guy like Mark Teixeira, clearly he's not playing to his potential with the bat.''

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He says Pineda's decline is ''concerning'' and it is up to the pitcher to figure out. Severino, he adds, has ''to learn how to push through that downturn.''