Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Source: Sporting News

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to listen to a veteran college basketball coach and wise leader share out his mission and vision for teaching players to be good people both on and off the court during a podcast entitled Educational Leadership and Beyond.

John Thompson has been the head coach at North Carolina Wesleyan College for the last 24 years.  He recruits players for his team based on multiple measures which not only include talent but how well they treat their teammates after losses, if they say please and thank you when they visit the concession stand and how they speak to their parents whether they win a game or lose a game.  He's looking for the whole package and he calls this package Our Kind of Guys (OKGs).  You see Our Kind of Guys are the ones we want around the clubhouse, around our fans and around our players.  They are the good guys who glow for their talent second and graciousness first.  What do OKGs mean for the Yankees?  Let me tell you...


Earlier this week, the Yankees designated Ronald Torreyes for assignment.  Besides being a fan favorite, he is OKG.  "Torreyes, 26, was a popular and productive utility infielder during his three seasons with the Yankees. His fielding at shortstop, third base and second base was solid. The 5-foot-8 Venezuelan also proved that he can hit big-league pitching, as he's a career .281 hitter. He was beloved by his teammates and a fan favorite too," according to  The Yankees picked up a right handed pitcher and dropped Torreyes, just like that.  I have no idea if Parker Bridwell, who the Yankees claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels when they DFGed Torreyes, is OKG, but that's not the point.  OKGs are irreplaceable.  That's why losing Torreyes is such a jolt to the system.

Source: NY Post

Brian Cashman mentioned in a number of quotes that he vets players to ensure they are Our Kind of Guys.  "Every year you’re charged with determining with the available markets who would be a good fit for your club and who you want to move forward with and who you don’t," Cashman said. "We’ll make or have made those determinations, and act accordingly,"reported

Source: Sports Illustrated

Then there are guys like Manny Machado and Robinson Cano who are the polar opposite of OKG.  They play with arrogance versus humility, unlike OKGs Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner and Luke Voit.  Yea, the Yankees aren't sold on Voit but he is OKG.  He brings an ambitious heart and an uncanny spirit which lifts the Yankees a lot further than Machado or Cano could ever.

Losing Torreyes is like losing your best friend, it's painful because he is Our Kind of Guy.  Thompson called OKGs those guys who come back after they graduate and give back to the team that helped mold them, relating to the players despite the difference in age or background.  This week we lost on of those guys.  And hopefully, Cashman and crew are serious about only bringing on players who are OKGs.  The Yankees need them to thrive because they are the lifeblood of a team.  Thompson said it right, Our Kind of Guys are one of a kind.  Never underestimate their worth or you will lose more games than you will win.

-Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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