Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Pairing newbies with a group of veterans makes a lot of sense when you look at the way age and just plain old cultural shifts intersect in business and in sports.  The other evening the top team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors completely dropped what seemed to be an easy win to one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers.  I am not a big NBA fan, but it frankly doesn't matter.  The root cause of the loss, however, piqued my interest.

"The Golden State Warriors' 112-95 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday was so unbelievable that head coach Steve Kerr could only come up with one explanation: It was a generational loss," posted Fox Sports yesterday.  All of the Golden State Warriors qualify as Millenials, meaning they were born between 1980-2000.  In fact according to the report, nine of the 15 players are 28-years-old or younger.  So besides being young, fit and athletic, they are also, distractible.  This feature is just what let the game get out of hand.

Why should we care?  Well as new players enter the ranks of old this spring, we need to know how distractible these guys can get.  For instance, the average age of the 16 non-roster invitees to the Yankee Spring Training team is 25.6, with only three players in their early thirties and three at the age of 20-21. The susceptibility of these guys falling prey to "zero-attention span" or "zoning out" is very high, given the track record of Millenials.  I should know, I spend my days on a university campus surrounded by this population.

Now there is a lot of great aspects of youth on your team.  Other than peak performance, agility, strength and potential to get better, young people are generally fun to be around.  But they are definitely distractible, which can also be a liability.

We need guys to focus on the game and be resilient despite the depth of the game and runs scored against us.  That's where the veterans can help.  We have talked about the mentoring ability of guys like Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran.  But the others need to step up too.  Guys like Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner need to pitch in and keep the newbies on point.

It is exciting time to be a Yankee fan with so much talent in the wings.  We just needed to stay focused on winning and playing the game gritty, much like the Kansas City Royals, who have definitely played the youth card quite well.  Lots of possibilities with those damn Millenials!

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

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