Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Now they just give it up."

These are not your father's New York Yankees baseball team.  

~ Especially if you and your dad's last name

It is a strange experience to watch the mighty New York Yankees essentially give up on their season, their chase of more, storied history this year.  I've never witnessed it before, and while never a Yankee's fan, I have studied their past successes.   

& I'm bewildered by the 'white flag' waving-surrender this season.

Manager Joe Girardi oughtta be paying homage to the late Billy Martin and Bob Lemon, and to Joe Torre and sweet Lou Pinella for paving the way, setting the guidestones for managerial firings:  Billy Martin was fired and hired 4 times.  Bob Lemon fired and hired 3 times.  Both had better team win records than Joe Girardi....  

Somewhere in heaven, George Steinbrenner is itching to repeat again, to shout~! in fact, a phrase, which has been appropriated by another New Yorker in the news lately

Lovingly lifted from Sports on Earth.com, this: 

There were still so many times, even after the last Yankee dynasty ended in 2001 -- Game 7 against the Diamondbacks, bottom of the 9th, Luis Gonzalez dunking one over Derek Jeter's head -- when the Yankees would automatically be declared the champions of the offseason every time they signed another free agent or spent more money. They were the Yankees and there was this idea that they were smarter than everybody else because they had more money. And because, well, they were the Yankees.

The funny thing is, it was losing that World Series to the D-backs -- and nearly winning it despite scoring just 14 runs -- that really made them start spending like sheikhs. Bidding against themselves that offseason, they spent nearly $120 million to go get Jason Giambi. But Giambi didn't put them back on top, so they didn't blink in early 2004 when they absorbed Alex Rodriguez's contract via a trade from the Texas Rangers. Now the left side of the infield alone, Jeter and Rodriguez, had contracts whose total value was nearly $450 million, though the Rangers were willing to pay $112 million to get out from under the rest of A-Rod's contract.

It would be five years before the Yankees won a World Series with A-Rod playing baseball for them, the only one they have won since 2000. And all they had to do that year was spend another $450 million or so on CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett.

They haven't been back to the Series since. They have made it to two American League Championship Series, losing one to the Rangers, getting swept by the Tigers in another. They lost a first-round series to the Tigers even playing Game 5 at home. Last year, they lost the AL Wild Card game at home to the Houston Astros. Jacoby Ellsbury, on whom Brian Cashman lavished a seven-year, $153 million deal to leave the Red Sox, was benched for that game by his manager, Joe Girardi. Dallas Keuchel beat another $150-million guy, Masahiro Tanaka, in that game.

So even though the Yankees were still selling a World-Series-or-bust model to their fans every single year, and even though they never had a losing season, they were now far more likely to miss the playoffs entirely with another $200-million-plus payroll, or not make it past the first round, as they were to get near the last week of October   

Now they give it up.

No comments: