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Monday, October 22, 2012

Shocker: Mike Lupica makes more sense on the Yankees than the Steinbrenner sons do

Sports columnist Mike Lupica may be the newspaper equivalent of a slugger whose best days were in the 1970s, but every once in a while, he can still hit a mistake pitch out of the ballpark. The New York Daily News writer had a great column this Sunday about what I've been saying and thinking recently about the Yankees front office -- that the Yankees' rhetoric about how the season is a failure without a World Series title no longer matches reality.

Lupica writes:
Yankee fans really need to take a deep breath here, be a little more realistic about who their team is, has been for a long time. We hear constantly about the Yankee “brand.” Well, here is what the Yankee brand has become: Winning a lot of regular games, drawing a lot of people, making a lot of money. They are big winners, unprecedented winners, April through September. Just rarely in October. October was the old brand.

And they’re still working off an old script at the new Yankee Stadium. The comments from members of the Yankees’ high command after the team doesn’t make it to the World Series have become as predictable as their baseball team not making it to the World Series.
Lupica is right to point out that the Steinbrenners are now more concerned about "profit and loss" than playoff losses. Quite frankly, fans are more upset over the ALCS than Hal Steinbrenner or Brian Cashman is. While Hal acknowledged in a statement that the Yanks "fell short of our singular and constant goal, which is a World Series Championship," and called it a "bitter end" and a "disappointment," nobody is going to lose their jobs over this. George Steinbrenner may have gone too far when it came to firing people, but the Steinbrenner kids are way too passive on the opposite end of the spectrum, guaranteeing Cashman and Joe Girardi's jobs after the postseason even began. 
By the way, a "disappointment" is when Starbucks ran of Pumpkin Spice Latte mix. The Yankees are a disaster. They didn't play hard and just come up short in the ALCS -- they were annihilated, embarrassed, and humiliated.  But Hal doesn't seem really upset over it. If he were upset, he would get rid of at least one of the architects of this disaster.

Anyhow, Lupica didn't stop there. The columnist calls the Yankees the "New York Braves" (ouch!) but notes that the Braves got further into the postseason than the current Yankees did when Atlanta was dominant (ouch again!) Lupica also notes that the Yankees "consistently fall short of what they say their mission statement is, but nothing really changes in the organization." Yep. So we will have another year of Joe Girardi panicking, and Brian Cashman getting ripped off in trades, and Kevin Long no longer being up to the job. Oh, joy.

As Lupica says:
They consistently fall short of what they say their mission statement is, but nothing really changes in the organization. You know the only person who effectively got fired from the World-Series-or-bust Yankees lately? A.J. Burnett. They paid the Pirates to take Burnett off their hands. They might pay somebody else to take A.E. Rodriguez off their hands. That is the modern Yankee idea of holding somebody accountable.
By the way, I loved Hank's complaining to the Associated Press about too much blame being put on A-Rod, saying that it wasn't fair "to accuse him of everything but the Kennedy assassination." Um, Hank, your crew did that all by themselves! Hank also had this to say about his feelings about the ALCS debacle: 
"It was something to not be very pleased about," Steinbrenner said. "Everybody is kind of a bewildered and a little angry, too. But that's natural."
Even hothead Hank is way too passive in his comments.

How weird are things in Yankeeland these days? Even Lupica, who has been a longtime A-Rod hater since he was on the Mariners, thinks that Alex should have played in the postseason. He has this to say about Hal's comments:

But whatever Steinbrenner the Younger does say, you have to say he seems pretty happy with the way his team is being run, and managed. For now he doesn’t say a word about his manager benching A-Rod in favor of a guy, Eric Chavez, who couldn’t hit or field by the end. Doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that after a decade of record spending, the Yankees have won one World Series to show for all that spending.
Lupica ends his piece by noting that while "the people in charge say what they think George M. Steinbrenner would have wanted them to say," but with "the old man, it was more than just talk." Ain't that the truth!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

It could be worse. They could be the New York A's. George Steinbrenner wouldn't just have fired Brian Cashman by now - for being more committed to saving money than to winning titles, he would have fired Billy Beane after 2006.