The Yankees captain was building a large multimillion dollar home in Tampa last year when New York lost to Texas in the AL championship series after fading in the second half of the season and winding up with the AL wild card. Steinbrenner, the Yankees' co-chairman, made the remark Monday in saying his team lacked hunger last year.
"I understand most of it," Jeter said before Tuesday's spring training workout. "The house, I didn't understand. That's a first. That's funny, I think. I'm not moving, so we won't be talking about this again."
Jeter smiled and laughed during an 11-minute pre-workout session with reporters. He pointed out, with a smile, that Steinbrenner used the plural "mansions" and that his name was not specially mentioned.
The shortstop said no further explanation was needed from the oldest son of George Steinbrenner, the Yankees owner who died last July.
"Hopefully this is the last time we have to discuss last season," Jeter said.
Steinbrenner said later Tuesday his comments were not directed at Jeter.
"It was a generalization, a euphemism. A bad choice of a euphemism," Steinbrenner said. "That's all it was."
Steinbrenner sent a message to Jeter clarifying his remarks.
"Sometimes teams get a little complacent, they celebrate for too long," Steinbrenner said. "It certainly isn't Derek. Derek's got five rings. You don't win five rings by being complacent. So, it was definitely not Derek I was talking about, and it wasn't, obviously, a few other players, either. But in the end we've got to win."
Jeter hit .270 last year, 44 points below his career average. He also went through offseason contract talks that were played out in public and became snippy at times en route to a $51 million, three-year deal.
Jeter disagrees with Steinbrenner, who said the 2010 team may have been "riding the wave" of the World Series title.
"That I didn't see," Jeter said. "I wouldn't say it was a lack of hunger. I just think we didn't play as well, that's why we lost. We got beat by a team that was better than us in that (ALCS) series."
"Owners can say whatever they want," Jeter added. "They're entitled to their opinions. You don't always, necessarily, agree with their opinion. We can have a difference of opinion."