Hank Steinbrenner, in another outspoken moment, denounces Red Sox Nation

Hank Steinbrenner has provided his share of Boss-like comments in the offseason, his first as one of the principal leaders running the New York Yankees.

He's made verbal digs at former manager Joe Torre and inserted himself during the contract negotiations with Alex Rodriguez, as well as the race for the services of pitcher Johan Santana.

The latest, no doubt, will send Boston Red Sox fans into a frenzy.

Steinbrenner, apparently trying to emphasize that he has no fear of the Yankees' American League competition, has amped up the rivalry between the two teams, intentionally or not.

"Red Sox Nation?" What a bunch of [expletive] that is," he said in an interview with The New York Times' Play magazine. "That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans.

"Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."

Like father, like son.

Hank Steinbrenner's interview, in the March 2 issue of the magazine, reveals a great deal of his personality and his style. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and he appears to have little sense of regret when he does, saying there was a need for him to take control.

"Everyone was hiding in their rooms. You can't do that and be a leader. You have to step up and take a position," he said.

He's not the only person who feels this way about the Red Sox. Hank's younger sibling, Hal Steinbrenner, who runs the business side of the Yankees, made similar, though not as vicious, comments in an interview with GQ.com on Feb. 19.

"The defending World Series champions have "a lot of talent, and [have] done very well the past few years, but let me put it this way: I don't think [they] wanted to play us in the ALCS," Hal Steinbrenner said. "So I will concede nothing. I think we're better than [them]."

Not even Torre, a favorite of Yankees fans, was immune. In late October, Hank Steinbrenner had sent a verbal missile in Torre's direction. "Where was Joe's career in '95 when my dad hired him?" he said to the New York Post. "My dad was crucified for hiring him ... Let's not forget what my dad did in giving him that opportunity -- and the great team he was handed."

In the March 2 magazine interview, Hank Steinbrenner was asked how he felt about new Yankees manager Joe Girardi. He responded that he was pleased to have a manager "with a little more fire in his belly" than Torre.

"Baseball's not as complicated as football, so I don't know that a manager means as much in baseball as he does in other sports, but Girardi is a great leader," Hank Steinbrenner said in the article.