Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Source: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images North America

I was listening to the Yankee game on the radio as I traveled back from the shore earlier this week and I was intrigued by this comment made by Yankee announcer John Sterling with regards to the "slow" start by Oriole star third baseman Manny Machado.  "If Steinbrenner was alive he'd say, slow start my..."  He used the word "foot" as a replacement for "ass."  And at this juncture, we are two months into the season, so to Sterling's point, "we are well passed a slow start."  Machado is batting a dismal .216 compared to his career average of .280.  He did nothing against the Yankees in Monday's Memorial Day classic.  So what's my point?  My point is I concur Mr. Steinbrenner's insight.  You get paid to play and at this level, play well.  You have to produce or get out.  In the real world, you might get a citation or warning for poor performance.  It might affect your salary but in the game of baseball, you get fans booing, critics poo pooing and a maybe some additional batting practice.

Source: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images North America

To add a little fuel to the slow start fire, Andrew Marchand contributed to ESPN's article "Will Manny Machado be a Yankee in 2019?" on Monday, which may get you thinking a little harder about why slow is a no go.  "Machado makes a lot of sense for the Yankees, because he seems like A-Rod with less drama and just as much of a rivalry with the Red Sox. Plus, if you look at the Yankees' system, they don't necessarily have an out-of-this-world prospect at third. Well, they might have one: They could move Gleyber Torres there, as he's playing the position some at Triple-A, and Miguel Andujar, though he's no sure thing, is a pretty talented 22-year-old at Double-A. Still, Machado could be the Yankees' play over Bryce Harper after the 2018 season."

Source: Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America

Even though an MLB player only officially plays from April-early October and if he is lucky perhaps into early November, he truthfully plays 12-months a year.  The other months are equally important with slow starts not in the equation.  There are slumps here and there but two-months of slumping just is not acceptable for any player.  Get on the training plan and stay on it.  No excuses.  And by the way, Machado is 24-years-old.

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

We saw some early-on slow starts on our team for sure. But guys like Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury have performed and sped up pretty quickly.   Gardner is batting .273 and could even be in contention for a section named after him at the Stadium entitled 'Gardy Goes Yardy' as depicted in an ESPN article last week.  "Gardner played Game No. 1,106 of his career on Monday (May 23). Gardner is nearly 34 compared to (Aaron)Judge’s 25. At 5-foot-9, 195 pounds, Gardner stands nearly a foot shorter than Judge and 100 pounds lighter. He is not the talk of baseball."  But he certainly is putting up the numbers, perhaps All Star Numbers...despite his "slow" start.

So slow starts are just not acceptable and once again the wise words of George Steinbrenner are relevant in today's game.  Always push yourself to be that much stronger tomorrow.  Don't make excuses for your slumps, do something about it.  My final point here lies in a quote I read over the weekend, "Life's real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up." As we head into June later this week, let's not make excuses, let's make progress.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof


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