Friday, June 27, 2014


My friend and I were talking about what it means to be a good reader. While sometimes we may breeze through some articles, books and passages with such ease, other times we labor through texts as if they were wads of gum tugging onto our favorite shoes. I then said that sometimes Shakespeare was both to me- sometimes clear and practical and other times laborious and lackluster. Then I thought about the Yankees and decided that they were more like Shakespeare than ever. Humor me for a moment; think about this quote from the Shakespeare classic play Much Ado About Nothing,

“For it falls out
That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
Why, then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
While it was ours.”

What does this mean? It means that something that we valued once as a prized possession, we now take for granted. And when it’s not there anymore, we long to have it back- we miss it and we didn’t even know its worth when it was with us everyday, until it was gone. Some could say the same about the Yankees and winning. Frankly, I would be one of those people. I miss winning. I miss winning consistently. I miss having confidence that we will score runs; that we can come back into a game. I long to have the powerful offense on the field doing its job and the defense that I know we are capable of having based on the statistics and history of the guys we have assembled to win. I miss winning. So, what can we do? Well, there are two specific strategies we can employ to get back what we lost. We can go out shopping and we can shuffle our players currently in the system, both here in the majors and down in the farm and we can take a closer look at our team mindset.

First, let’s go shopping. Who should we pick up? I have said it more than once but it is worth stating again: WE NEED TO PICK UP JEFF SAMARDZIJA NOW. He is young, he has a good ERA, he is injury-free and has a fresh arm, he is used to playing for a major market team, the spotlight doesn’t bother him, he wants to pitch with Mashahiro Tanaka, he is a competitor, he is confident and he wants to win. In an interview with ESPN’s Dan Patrick at the beginning of the season, Samardzija made his intentions very clear. “I want to win. I know how old I am. I know my when my prime years are. I don’t enjoy rebuilding. When you play at the highest level, you should be devoted to winning every year. I want to win. That is my No. 1 goal when I go on the mound.”

As Post-Tribune reporter Mike Hutton reports this week, “If he (Samardzija) leaves, it’ll be for a contender, and he can get back to doing what he did at Valparaiso High School when he led the team to a state runner-up finish in football and for Notre Dame, when he helped them get to two BCS bowl games. Winning.” I have made my point.

But let’s shuffle.  Alfonso Soriano needs to go to Triple-A or be released.  Love him, but it is time to go. Now, I am not going to long for him to come back like the Shakespearian quote above eludes, instead I think he is taking up valuable space on our team. We need a bigger bat.

I say, let's bring up Pete O'Brien from the minors and try him out.  "O'Brien, 23, has hit a whopping 25 homers and 55 RBIs between Class-A and Double-A. He's also posted a .266 batting average while shuffling between catcher, first base and DH," according to an article in  He is also playing in this year's Futures Game on July 13th at Target Field, kicking off All Star Weekend.  He and his teammate, pitcher Luis Severino are our two hottest prospects playing in this year's Futures Game and we need to make room for them in the Bronx. Severino is only 20, so he may have a couple of years, but why not bring up O'Brien now?

Lastly, let's talk mindset.  An assistant superintendent of a school district said to me recently that she wished she could take all of her budgeted professional development money and buy positive mindset for her entire teaching staff.  Brilliant idea, if she could.  Having a growth mindset is the first step to actualizing one's goals and the Yankees don't have it.  And we need it to win.  Perhaps some of the changes we make, using my suggestions of picking up Samardzija and shuffling our minor and major league players will help shift our mindset, but maybe, just maybe, we need some empowering presence in our dugout.  Presence in the likes of Mariano Rivera hanging around the team, quotes around the dugout that remind our players where they come from, opportunities for guys to spend time reflecting on their performance and remaining open to new strategies in hitting, pitching and fielding.  We never stop learning and we should never be so set in our ways that we refuse to be open to something new. This kind of fixed mindset keeps people from realizing their goals.  This kind of fixed mindset keeps teams from winning.

So, am I a good reader? Sometimes.  Can it be complicated to read sometimes? Yes.  Are the Yankees so complicated that they make me crazy? Yes.  Are they lackluster some days and engaging other days? Absolutely.  Much like Shakespeare, the Yankees are what they are- classic but sometimes just a bit overwhelming. But let's not fret over what we have lost.  Instead, let's go out there and get it.  Let's win.  Don't sit idle, Brian Cashman.  Now is our time to make a move toward our future.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @suzieprof


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