Departing from the realm of politics and moving to the world of baseball…
This evening on my Google Reader, I came across a Times article titled, “In Getting Stars to Backpedal, Yankees Make a Point.” My curiosity piqued, I clicked on it. And then I laughed.
We have to start by explaining that Jorge Posada, after being placed in the ninth spot of the lineup on Saturday against the Red Sox, refused to play. Following this refusal, the Yankees made no attempt to cover up what happened and rightly revealed Posada’s tantrum. The problem with this story is that the reporter, who based on the writing of this article, must be a life-long Yankees fan, does not go far enough in evaluating the Yankees’ treatment of the situation. He argues that the Yankees are all about team-first baseball, and their actions in this particular situation — including also admonishing Posada’s best friend, shortstop Derek Jeter, for intimating he supported Posada — prove that they model “hard work and hustle.”
It was all to prove a point: that a player cannot quit on his team and expect the team to pretend everything is fine. It was a teaching moment for everybody, from aspiring young players to veterans like Posada and Jeter. Someone, it turns out, actually reads those hokey signs in spring training.
I call bullshit. If this whole team is really fueled by hard work and hustle, why does New York buy their team instead of developing it within their farm system? In tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, at least seven out of the nine hitters in the Yankees’ starting lineup were free agents that signed with the Yankees. The pitching staff may be a bit more home-grown, but for this reporter to make this claim based on this particular situation is just laughable.
Not only that, but the first sentence of the quote above actually hints at what the Yankees’ problem might be. If they do actively resist “quitting” as the reporter suggests above, perhaps they are just not good at recognizing when to quit on their players. CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada — they’re all getting old. But they’re still getting filthy rich, because the Yankees have a hard time saying goodbye.
It all connects. They don’t need to say goodbye because they know they will just buy someone else to replace them when they self-destruct on a grand scale.
I’m anything but a Yankees fan, and so part of me kind of wishes they would just follow this blueprint so we can experience the playoffs without them. But when smacked in the face with a story that belongs in The Onion more than it does the New York Times, I have to call bullshit and point out the irony.