|Why the Yankees win|
Written by Paul Keen (Contact & Archive) on July 02, 2008
In history, there is only one baseball team that, in my opinion, is like Las Vegas.Â It isnâ€™t the Las Vegas 51s either.Â Itâ€™s the New York Yankees.Â Iâ€™m quite a big fan of bashing the Yankees, and today will be no exception, but before I bash them, I intend to discuss what I like about them.Â Then after I bash them, I intend to explain what I despise about them that works very well in this cutthroat business franchise we call a past time.
The New York Yankees have respect for the gameâ€¦.sort of.Â Yankees fans love baseball, and they have standards of what they expect from a team.Â The first standard they have is winning.Â I recall a conversation with a couple of people from Ithaca, New York, who were terrified because their team went a couple of years without a championship.Â Two years.Â They were upset because winning is what the New York Yankees do.Â The Yankees are second only to the Boston Celtics in championships obtained by a professional sports franchise, and there is a reason.Â They have no mercy.Â This is a despicable amoral quality that survivors have.Â Casey Stengel, a man who built up the Yankees more than Joe Torre and said things that made Yogi Berra seem like a complete genius, was fired from the Yankees in 1960.Â The Yankees had great reasons to fire him (mostly because he had just lost the World Series).Â When asked why they fired him the Yankees said he was too old.Â That is how merciless these people are.
However, no one can deny itâ€™s been effective.Â I remember a friend of mine said he respected George Steinbrenner (we now have to distinguish because the fruit of his loins have taken the reins) because he was buying championships and making no bones about it.Â Thatâ€™s exactly what the Yankees do.Â
They move through, buy up the best, and make no apologies.Â The downside?Â It doesnâ€™t always work.Â The Yankees are currently in third in their division.Â There is a reason for this too.Â Their arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox, started following their lead.Â The Red Sox have occasionally avoided being compared to the Yankees by buying people before they become stars instead of after (the leitmotif of the Yankees).Â The problem is that the Yankees right now arenâ€™t just a little behind, they are ridiculously behind.Â They are 4.5 games from even being in second place.Â Why is it that the Bronx Bombers have slipped?Â Miscalculations.
When the New York Yankees acquired backstabber extraordinaire Johnny Damon, some people were confused.Â Derek Jeter said he didnâ€™t even understand the move.Â After all, hitting was certainly not a weak point for New York.Â The problem is a poor balance.Â The pitching was OK and not a whole lot more than OK.Â The Yankees had phenomenal hitters, and a pitching staff that could hold back a mediocre line-up.Â And life was good in the Bronx.Â However, the hitting has slipped.Â The hitting has slipped a lot.Â Now what has happened is that the Yankees have mediocre everything.Â That might fly with the Kansas City Royals, but in the Big Apple they do things different.
Are the Yankees down and out for the season?Â Give me a break!Â Itâ€™s only June and the Yankees have a way of punishing naysayers when push comes to shove.Â I certainly wonâ€™t rule them out.Â But even if this season does have the Yankees with their pants down and they get their butts paddled hard, we should beware.Â With the last season of the original Yankee Stadium on the line, the All-Star Game at said stadium, and New Yorkâ€™s tendency to sell a lot of tickets anyway, we can expect New York to have a ridiculous amount of money this winter.Â Think they wonâ€™t put it to their usual amoral cutthroat win-at-all-costs purposes?Â If you donâ€™t, then you havenâ€™t been paying attention to baseball since 1919.