Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Photo: AP

109 wins in a row.  Not your everyday win streak to say the least.  I can't say I have ever seen that in Yankee baseball or any sporting competition.  When you win 109 games in a row, you sort of build a special kind of credibility with your audience, even if you don't like the person who lead the 109-wins.

Source: New York Times

This is the case for Geno Auriemma, head women's basketball coach for the University of Connecticut Huskies.  Coach Auriemma is headed toward his fifth NCAA Division I Women's Basketball title.  But this isn't why he is making headlines over the last couple of days.  He's making headlines over a 2 minute and 38 second soundbite he gave a year ago about millennials, their lack of effort, their ego-centrism and how their body language communicates their level of engagement and desire to be a team player.

According to, "Auriemma's gripe? Players have been bred to care more about how they look and how many points they score than their overall team's success. If a player is upset because they're not scoring enough, or if a player on the bench is not invested in her teammates' performance, she won't ever see the floor themselves, the coach said."

The soundbite resurfaced again on Facebook after it was posted by Coach Matt Lisle and according to was viewed by 24 million people and shared on a half million more Facebook pages.  Lisle, a hitting coach, posted this message followed by a video clip of Auriemma's message:

"Parents: If you have an athlete above the age of 7 in your household, sit them down and make them watch this for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. "

Investing in the success of others or working to be your best for others are two of the most selfless acts a person can contribute to society.  Unfortunately, we don't see either of these very often these days and when we do see it, we celebrate it and celebrate the individual who contributed to his/her team's success not for the individual fame but for the team's.

"We put a huge premium on body language," Auriemma said. "And if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don't care how good you are." And Auriemma has remained consistent with that conceptual framework, even benching All-American Breanna Stewart for acting like a 12-year-old.

Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

As we step into the final weeks of MLB's Spring Training, where young players vie for a spot on the Yankee team, it is important to remember that a player is the whole package- a combination of talent and character.  There is a level of maturity, which is expected.  There is a level of perspective.  There is a level of gratitude that an athlete must have for the people who helped get that athlete where he or she is today and a level of appreciation for hard work, determination and teammates who work together as a body of work leading to success or failure.  These attributes have unfortunately gone silent and instead we see individuals slouching on the bench, throwing temper tantrums when they or their teammates don't perform up to their expectations and displaying attitudes that demonstrate self-centeredness vs. selflessness.

Maybe this soundbite will wipe away even a small percentage of these unsavory actions before first pitch in April.  And with the attitudes in check, there is a lot more outfield for some exciting baseball action to take place in 2017.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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