Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More on Michael Kay, Derek Jeter, and the Yankee way

Yankee fans are still squawking about Michael Kay. Besides him jinxing A.J. Burnett's potential no-hitter, many take issue with his negative reaction to Nick Swisher actually - shudder - enjoying himself when pitching during Monday's loss.

Baseball Think Factory featured my post yesterday about how Kay said what Swisher did while pitching was "not cool." The Yankee broadcaster/radio host suggested that Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter should have a talk with him about "the Yankee way."

Speaking of Jeter, a reader on Baseball Think Factory found this quote from Jeter after the game:

"You get a chuckle out of it just because it's him, and he's not going to stop talking about it," Jeter said. "I guess that's the only way you can look at it. It doesn't look good and it doesn't feel good when you get beat by that many runs, but if you're going to make light of the situation in any way, who better than Swish?"

Talk about a backhanded compliment. Meow!

I've heard fans suggest that this quote meant Jeter was okay with what Swisher did. Maybe because I lived in the South, where passive-aggressive little digs are common, but I read it differently, and more negatively. And given Jeter's history with little digs - "they're not the same team" is the most famous one - I give him very little benefit of the doubt on this one.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think that the Yankee way is really the Jeter way, where every player is expected to act like he does, and have his personality. Talk about a recipe for failure.

Fans like players with personalities, though. There's a reason so many, including myself, were bummed by the death of Mark Fidrych. Yesterday I watched his 1976 game against on the Yankees on the MLB Network, and it was thrilling to see somebody who enjoyed pitching so much, instead of acting too cool for school.

The Yankee clubhouse dynamics are going to be interesting to watch this year. I can't help but think of the Billy Joel line about how he'd "rather laugh with the sinner than cry with the saints/The sinners are much more fun."

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...

Lisa, "The Yankee Way" died when Torre decided not to have his players bunt against Shilling in Game 6 of the 2004 LCS. Since then the "Yankee Way" and hasn't had much to cheer about. Joe Torre has gone off to La La land; Jeter and Posada need to get over him and move on. "The Yankee Way" is corporate and sterile and boring; baseball is a game played (and won) with blood,sweat, dirt, grit .

I've quickly become a fan of Swisher; Burnett looks like a pitcher whose ready to justify his big payday and Texiera is a keeper. I hope Gardner continues to do well in CF and , and I think if you spot Melky in there for a few couple of games he'll be ok.

There is a lot of new blood in that clubhouse; that's good fans need to see some new faces and new guys to cheer for.
So someone tell "El Capitan" and his compadre that its a new day in the Bronx. They both need to come out from under that "Yankee Way" cloud they've been floating on for the past four years remember that the name of the game is to play hard but have fun.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective, this is much ado about nothing. Maybe I'm dense but I don't get what the dig is suppose to be.

She-Fan said...

I think it's great that we have variety in the clubhouse in terms of personalities - especially since nobody is a Randy Johnson/Gary Sheffield/hostile type. All the newbies seem to be good guys. As for Swisher laughing on the mound the other night? Jeter and Jorge are old school and I'm sure they were humiliated by that loss, having won so many championships. I can see both sides of this one. I just hope they let Swisher be Swisher (God, that sounds like a Manny thing).

Symphony said...

"Maybe because I lived in the South, where passive-aggressive little digs are common,"

Oh Lisa, bless your heart. ;)

Symphony said...

You know, anytime I hear the "Yankee way" I think of the good old days in America. During Jim Crow, Japanese-American internment camps, when women couldn't vote, the Native Americans, slavery...ahhh, the good old days.

The Yankee way must be when owners get banned from baseball, excessive drinking, flipping off fans, teammates truly hating each other in the 70s, and fighting in the dugout.

Time makes the past perfect.

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