Warm weather brings people out of their homes and out to the ballparks, roads and their own back yards. This weekend was a sign that finally, winter is over and spring or rather summer is here. My neighbor Tony is a Yankee fan and has been for his entire life. He is not unlike many of us who have been diehard Yankee fans since as far back as we can remember or our baby pictures show us. What he said to me today as I barbecued chicken is probably what we have asked ourselves perhaps aloud while watching some of the early spring games or among our friends and family. He said, "All I want is something to believe in when it comes to the Yankees. I want to know that there is something ahead of us and that there is a plan to win." I agreed and I think you all do too.
The problem is that we have been good for so many years and now we have to rebuild to be good again. It's like the Yankees of the 1980s, they had some moments but in truth, they needed to wait for a new formula, a new chemistry of guys to come about. And the waiting turned into the 1990s and the door opened to Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, the Core Four.
Intelligent baseball fans know this. We know this, but it doesn't make it easier. According to CBS New York this Friday, before the Bombers swept the Rays on the road in Tampa, "Yankees manager Joe Girardi says his team is suffering from “a little bit of everything”: defensive lapses, base-running blunders, one bullpen blip and a lack of consistent hitting." That about sums it up. And in our right mind and in our tradition of 27 World Series wins, we don't have patience for mediocrity. At least I know I don't.
So, we have to wait it out and be hopeful that things will turn around sooner rather than later. But there is another issue that needs to be addressed before we let this rest. In the quest for All I Want Is Something To Believe In, there needs to be a level of belief in the players by the administration and this belief needs to be consistent, not just at the signing day. Has the administration really supported Brett Gardner's progress as a Yankee or his possibly as trade bait? Has the front office really supported Chase Headley and his progress as an everyday third baseman or enabled him to sit in the shadow of Alex Rodriguez? Has the staff truly supported Masahiro Tanaka and urged him to get surgery so he could be at his best for both himself and the team or enabled him to get out there and pitch now? I worry that with the George Steinbrenner-era of leadership gone and the competitive nature of Major League Baseball at a level that is beyond just winning but winning by overpaying significantly for players who are mediocre, that we have somehow lost the luster of what truly matters in the great American sport of baseball. All I want is something to believe in too and right now, it seems like we may be waiting for the answer to that plea.
-Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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