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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

THE YANKS SHOULD HAVE BROKEN ROUTINE, THEN EXECUTED

My 10 year old: "Why didn't the Yankees even hit?"
Me: "They are going through the motions, they need a break in their routine. They need to practice. There's a ton of problems right now."
My 10 year old: "When can we go to the batting cages?"
Me: "How's Saturday?"
(During Game 3 of the ALCS: October 16th)
Look, the Yankees had more problems then practice this ALCS, but how do you really break it down in a coherent conversation with a 10 year old?  I know this, when I said "practice", his mind started spinning. He hadn't been to the batting cage in a month. He was feeling burn out and I let him chill a bit. After all, he loves the sport and I didn't want him to be pushed too hard and hate it, I mean, he's been playing since March and guess what, he's 10...he's a kid. But he was sitting there in amazement watching alittle of Game 3 with me, watching the Yankees strikeout, then pop out and just plain struggle.  You could tell, his "lay off" got to him.

Last Saturday morning, we went to the cages. He hit for a while. He was locked in and all that talk about the Yankees not hitting must have inspired him. My son once told me he wanted to be a professional baseball player. Will he be? Probably not, but there is also a dedication and hunger in his face that makes me believe that he CAN do it. He's my mini-Posada.
Jorge had the guts and heart and proved the doubters wrong, much like Yogi Berra before him. Then I got to thinking, that's why last season's loss to the Tigers hit me so much harder than this year. It was combination of the Yankees actually competing and of course Jorge Posada. He was one of the few that was successful in that 2011 playoff. Why? Because he had the dedication and will that he could accomplish anything, the same thing I see in my 10 year old. To put it simply, Posada believed he could do it, my son does too.
I wrote a piece a while back called MY SON HAS THAT POSADA FIRE and spoke of the same determination after an out he made. I wrote: "... the passion is becoming ferocious and as he sat there on the bench after a fly out… I saw Jorge Posada on that little league bench. He just sat there, quiet, staring at the field and replaying his last at bat in his head like it was his last one on this earth...Then, in his next at bat, he cranked one up the middle, stormed toward first and as the outfielder threw it in, he dug toward 2nd.  He was on a mission.  Luckily the kid missed it and then he booked toward 3rd.  It was right then that I realized that 3rd base was on his mind all along.  He slid in hard and was safe.  He stood up, smacked his hands together and looked in his dugout.  Then, his game face cracked a smile.  He was back. "

I am seeing the passion and some days, watching him play, he worries me, because at 10, while winning is important, the reality is, he's a kid, he shouldn't be so hard on himself.  It's almost too soon to be so hard on yourself.

So what am I rambling about? The Yankees, and practice and routine and the love of the game.  The Yankees biggest problem this season? The same routine. It consumed them until they were a shell of themselves. The best remedy, break up the routine.  Walk away from a minute, take a breath, don't burn out, step back.  Then, get back in the cage and start all over again.  You do that and anything can be accomplished. Don't believe me? Ask my 10 year old, he's got it all figured out. 

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