Sunday, February 4, 2018


Friday evening I had dinner with friends at the Cheesecake Factory; nothing celebratory, just dinner. Seated next to us was a family of four whose one or two year old daughter was celebrating her birthday.  The waitstaff crew that evening did their routine happy birthday song and presented the young lady with her ice cream sundae with a candle on top.  Feeling completely overwhelmed, she began to cry and her dad had to take her out of her high chair to console her.  I reflected on the experience overnight and thought to myself, "How are the Yankees feeling these short nine or so days away from spring training?  Are they feeling overwhelmed because everyone is predicting them to win the World Series in 2018?"  

Source: SB Nation

Following the Giancarlo Stanton trade to the Yankees, CBS Sports reported a rise in the Yankees odds of winning the 2018 Fall Classic.  "Per Westgate, the Yankees went from 8/1 to win the World Series to 6/1. They still aren't the favorite, though. That title belongs to the defending NL champion Dodgers."  Okay so not everyone is predicting the Yankees to win the World Series but it's pretty close.  Recall that the Dodgers were picked last year as well and they got there, but could not close the deal.  And that's what I am getting at, are the Yankees overwhelmed with the fact that they not only have to get to the World Series, they actually have to close the deal?


ESPN posted a reflection piece about Brian Cashman's 20 years as a leader within the Yankee organization late last week.  The piece mentions how the media and baseball clubs have come to respect what Cashman has done during his tenure as Yankee GM.

Source: NY Daily News

"Respect as one of the great GMs in the game, and one, along with Theo Epstein and Billy Beane, who might have a pathway to Cooperstown. If Cashman, 50, can build a new dynasty, it's hard to imagine he won’t end up there one day. By quickly rebuilding with a farm system featuring Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, among others, and now reloading (Giancarlo Stanton), he has turned the Yankees around quicker than a driver can cut you off on the Major Deegan."

Source: NY Daily News

So could the overwhelming feeling be coming from the top down?  Is there added pressure given the big Stanton trade and the need for him to perform as a Yankee, providing that missing link necessary for reaching the goal?  Perhaps.  Effective leaders model the performance and action they want from their employees.  If Cashman demonstrates confidence and calmness in his actions with the team, then the adage goes, the team will do the same.  But if the opposite happens, pressure, anxiety, stress, could that hurt the environment and culture that new Yankee manager, Aaron Boone, is trying to build?  

Source: Newsday

According to The Guardian, "Owner Hal Steinbrenner said last month a lack of managing and coaching experience was a concern but not an insurmountable hurdle."  But the elephant in the room is there.  Boone has never managed or even coached a major league team.  His experience is that he grew up on the field with his dad as a player and later a leader with the Washington Nationals (where he is currently an assistant GM) and his work as an ESPN analyst.  "I would say in a way I’ve been preparing for this job for the last 44 years,” Boone remarked.

Source: NY Times

Could spring training be a little overwhelming for the Yankees? I would say so.  From the front office to the dugout to the field, the Yankees have a lot of battles and adjusting ahead of them.  I believe they are ready for the challenge as long as they don't let the pressure get to them.  Otherwise I guess Hal Steinbrenner will have to reach down and give the team a big 'ol hug.  Nahhhhh....

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @SuzieProf

Be Read. Get Known.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on Bleeding Yankee Blue.