Sunday, October 21, 2012


 I find myself saying this a lot, and particularly as a response to the dozens of sympathy texts, passerby comments, and Facebook posts regarding the New York Yankee season- “What can I tell ya—it is what it is and there is nothing we can do about it.  True- like in the Bronx Tale when Sonny tells C that Mickey Mantle is NOT crying for him, that he has to move on, and not take the game so seriously. 

I say the same thing- move on because there is no taking back the 2012 season for the Yankees or any other team for that matter. 

As BYB’s posts have stated this week, we had a tough time this year.   “All year long we were backed up to the wall, and all year long we kept pushing ourselves off of it.”  And perhaps these tough times are what will make us stronger and help us reorganize- what doesn’t kill ya makes you stronger sort of mentality.  I think there is a lot of truth to this.  I also think that there is no blaming one single person, as a team, we win and as a team we also lose and when we lose we need to do so gracefully.
Seriously, all of this talk about Nick Swisher, who went from one of the top free agent prospects to the bottom in a matter of eight weeks, is a very telling story.  Did he get too cocky?  Did his head swell under his helmet a bit too much?  Yes, actually I think it did but he didn’t cause Derek Jeter’s ankle injury nor did he cause the team’s collapse, but he contributed to it- just like a teammate does.  In the October 14th edition of the Daily News (HERE) Swisher was quoted saying, “ A lot of people saying a lot of things that I’ve never heard before,” Swisher said. “Prime example - I missed that ball in the lights and the next thing you know, I’m the reason that (Derek) Jeter got hurt. It’s kind of frustrating. They were saying it was my fault.”  Guess what, Nick, it is not your fault, it just happened.  Just like Michael Pineda, and Mariano Rivera, and Brett Gardner, and yes, Derek Jeter.  But what’s interesting about this is that Nick, so down on himself and guilty for not playing his best, played the sensitivity card and called us, the fans, bullies.  Really, Nick, get over it- it is what it is and there is always next year when you wear a different uniform in another city.
Author and coach Denis Waitley once said (HERE), “A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make."  So, Nick and his entire team for that matter need to grow up a bit and realize that actions have consequences, like it or not.

Not taking responsibility and moving on can have negative effects on a team and its forward making progress.  In the New York Post following the loss to Detroit, Hal Steinbrenner did not blame anyone or make an excuse for not making it to the World Series instead he discussed developing a plan of action,  “We may have fallen short [Thursday] but we never feel sorry for ourselves and never make excuses. We already are beginning the process to find a way to win our 28th World Championship.”  He may be referring to cutting the fat off the meat and honing in on new strategies to generate hits and runs, but he is definitely not crying over spilt milk or blaming ARod or Swisher or Grandy or Jeter’s hurt ankle or Mariano’s blown ACL- he and his team need to formulate a plan.  As the Post reporter, George King III (HERE) so potently says at the end of the article, “Before the Yankees can chirp about getting to the 2013 World Series they need to address those problems that put egg on their faces in 2012.”  And they need to do so as a team, not point their fingers at individuals, but rather make smart decisions for the team this off-season.

So, let this be a teachable moment, Yankees.  Get over yourselves- it doesn’t matter how much you make, or what kind of car you drive, what matters is your value-added to your team.  If you are not contributing to the team, you will not win and if  one or two of you are contributing, it just won’t be enough and somebody is going to get hurt.  Whole teams win series, and championships and when bad things happen to good players, the team has to regroup and refocus and go out there and win.  It is what it is, Yankees, there’s no turning back only moving forward to 2013 with this experience as evidence that something has to change in order to achieve 28 next fall.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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