When you play for the New York Yankees you better have a thick skin to go along with a ton of talent.
Despite last night's 11-2 rout of the Blue Jays, it has been a rough couple of weeks for the Bronx Bombers. Thanks to a sluggish start to their season, they've been ripped by their boss and booed off their home turf.
The New Yorkers usually come strutting into town but yesterday they arrived tied for last place in the American League East with the abysmal Tampa Devil Rays.
It's not the way they want it, but reliever Paul Quantrill figures the criticism and the expectations come with the territory.
"It's part of the package and he (George Steinbrenner) is the boss, he can say what he wants to say," Quantrill said last night. "He has a club he has paid a lot of money for ($205 million US in payroll) and expects a lot out of, and we're not providing that. It's just part of the whole circus-thing here. But he's just pointing out the truth.
"This start, it's horse---- and we know that. Having the fans, the media and the big boss being unhappy with us, that's the way it should be. When you have fans like we do in New York, they have the right to (get on us) when we're not getting it done."
So what's wrong?
"We're just not clicking yet," Quantrill, now in his second season with the Yankees, said. "You can't put your finger on any one thing. Our pitching has been below average, not up to par; our hitting, on paper it's a scary lineup, but they just haven't been hitting on all cylinders, either.
"We're having good games here and there as individuals but as a group we haven't clicked. It's like everyone is just a little bit off."
Quantrill said that although there's a sense of urgency to play better, the Yankees are calm.
"Everyone in here is a veteran and everyone has been through a little bit of everything so I don't think that even with our woes and flat our poor play, there's no one in here who is panicking," he said. "That wouldn't help the situation."