Wednesday, September 3, 2014
I sent a note to one of my writers this morning about writing a piece for me. She wrote me back, “I can do it… I have guts.” It sounds crazy, but I got chills. I love that mentality, and it’s a mentality we have not seen from this Yankee club.
Often people will say, “What would George do?” Referring to Mr. Steinbrenner and the state and struggles of this current club. Yup, if he saw this club play the way they are right now, he’d been kicking and screaming like a maniac. But let’s be honest, George is gone and we can’t think that way any longer.
As I reflect on this terrible season of offensive blunders, I think back to past leaders of our club. Jorge Posada. Andy Pettitte. Mariano Rivera. Bernie Williams. And yes, our Captain, Derek Jeter. It’s a much different time these days, isn’t it? Sure, Derek Jeter leads by example, but Jeter can’t do it alone these days. There is no question that this staff of veteran hitters don’t have much regard for Kevin Long or Joe Girardi, even though they say they do. They don't want to change. They feel as though they can do it "their way." Well... it's not working.
We have problems, and we need leadership desperately. No… not for this season, this season is embarrassing and just about done. We need it for our future.
It’s clear Brian Cashman has been exposed. Now, while I have never been a Cashman hater, something needs to happen. Sure, in the past, he’s brought us some pretty great players. He’s also brought us some major duds. But think about what we have. We had a pretty happy off season and picked up some pretty high profile players. Jacoby Ellsbury. Brian McCann. Masahiro Tanaka.
We even signed Carlos Beltran which, to me personally, looked more like a wink and a nod and a “We’ll sign you because you want to be here, and then you can retire a Yankee” type of signing. Let me state for the record that watching Carlos Beltran play is the true definition of "old." I don’t like him in our outfield and I think he’s overrated. You could disagree and that’s OK, but I don’t need a Beltran home run in 1 – 20 at bats if he does absolutely nothing in between. He’s no longer a good player. Give me Ichiro into his 50's… at least Suzuki looks like he wants to be there!
Now, Masahiro Tanaka got hurt, and that sucks, but we need to deal with that. Ellsbury has been OK for us and I’m not unhappy with him. Brian McCann has been pretty terrible at the plate. You’d think with that short porch he’d be launching them out… but he’s not.
Sure, he’s done great things with the Yankee pitching staff and the turnover and for that, I’m grateful, but he’s not Munson-like. He’s not even Posada-like… he’s more like Wynegar-Like.
I’ve heard every argument. “The Yankees were thrown a curve. Bad injuries.” Really? Every team has injuries… move on, you need to play through it. It builds character!
“We had pitching problems, give them a break.” The pitching isn’t the problem, Sunshine, stop saying that. It's the offense that's the problem.
“Mark Teixeira is battling through his wrist injury.” Not buying it, Counselor. Tex has been on the decline the past few years now. Look at the numbers.
One thing did pop into my mind though. Alex Rodriguez could have helped this club this season. I am of the belief that the ARod suspension screwed the Yankees partially. Yup, many of you hate him, but it’s my belief that if Alex was in the lineup, we’d have offensive pop and alittle more energy. PEDs or no PEDs, he hit the damn ball, and an argument can be made that Bud Selig single-handily sabotaged this Yankee club in 2014. Sure, there's the other argument that ARod did it to himself... and his team and I get that. Yes, what ARod did was wrong, but dozens and dozens have done the same. We see 50 game suspensions handed out all day long. But not for Alex. He gets a 162 game suspension. Why? Because Selig said so. I’ll never understand it, but there is no question that his absence has also contributed to the Yankees offensive chaos.
The media is starting their crusade against Derek Jeter too. I mean, did you read Bob Klapisch? Click HERE. Suggesting Jeter needs to “step it up” to get the Yankees to the post season. Please... are you kidding? 1 dude is supposed to carry the whole team? Of all seasons, this is the one that Jeter SHOULD be batting .265! If he was hitting .300 at age 40, I'd be thrilled, but he's in line with what's expected for his age. What Klapish says is ridiculous. Remember, Klapisch was one of the guys ripping Jeter for batting .270 a few years ago. Then, when Jeet followed with a .297 average in 2011 and a .316 average in 2012, they gushed over him. That’s why the media drives me crazy. They’re not fans, they’re puppets sometimes.
Now, Klpaisch is back with a “Jeter step it up” rant. I mean, have you looked at the averages of these Yankee players? Beltran is batting .241. Headley's hitting .238. Stephen Drew's batting .167. IT'S SEPTEMBER! Jeter’s one of the guys near the top! Tex is batting .222. Give me a break Klapisch… it’s clear you aren’t paying attention.
When Yankee fans get excited about Martin Prado, you know there is trouble in the Bronx. Now, I say that as not a slight, but as a fact. Think back to the off-season and who we picked up. Yet, we’re rooting harder for Prado. Why? I’ll tell you why… it goes back to my first sentence… Guts. Prado has it. Prado wants to be there. Prado is trying to make a difference in the short amount of time he has in New York. That’s why I love the underdog. Passion. Determination. Changing the routine. Guts. Prado’s a believer. Beltran… McCann to some extent… they’re going through the motions.
That’s why I was high on Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte and that’s why I was disappointed when they left. Passion. Averages aside, the passion and guts was there, and the energy was felt among the fans. That’s how I root. I love the believer… it takes me back to the days of the Core Four, to Bernie Williams. Believers. Determination. Guts. It gives me chills.
Some seasons there are teams that gel and build so much confidence, it’s addictive. Players want to play, it’s evident. Not this Yankee club. We’re a disappointment. Losing is addictive too. You know what else is? Lack of Mojo. Stale Routines. Us... right now!
Hope is an interesting thing when it comes to fans and their clubs. I’m losing mine quickly. There’s only 1 thing that can fix the mess we’re in right now, and it’s not going to happen with a closed door meeting with Girardi, Rothschild and Long. The players don’t respect those guys and as veterans, they don’t want to hear it from them. No. Our players, right now, need to dig deep...real deep and they themselves need to dig out of their own hole. After all, they’re the ones who dug themselves this deep.
They need some energy, some passion… some guts.
That’s my take anyway.
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