Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Money Changes Everything, But Only If You're a Yankee

Last night I was conversing with Eric (who isn't exactly enamored with the Bronx Bombers) about the whole Yankee slump thing. He played baseball up through college, and when I said Joe should just go on a rampage and show everyone he's pissed, Eric just shook his head and said stuff like that won't work on a Jeter or a Posada. He says they're freaking out right now mentally because they've never been in a losing way before, and they don't know any better. He asked me why I think the whole team is slumping in general and I said it's probably because you've got guys who are just mired in badness right now (Matsui) alternating with guys who are trying to press like crazy to make up for it (Jeter and Jorge, swinging at anything that moves, especially the first pitch). In fact, the only guy I see as being free as a bird and looking at ease out there right now is Cano, and I think it's because he knows he's a kid and can make some mistakes. It must be a freeing feeling. So if there were really a chill pill available on the market, I'd send the Yankees a case with a note that says "Lighten up and just play." Unfortunately, George Steinbrenner is signing their paychecks, so I'm not sure anyone will ever tell them this.

But what I find most interesting is that as a whole, fans seem to think the money thing is what's making the worst part about the losing. "Ahhhh, those millionaires just don't care." I love this. Because when I see the look of frustration on the faces of A-Rod, Jeter, Bernie, Matsui, et. al, I see guys who DO in fact care, but for whatever reason, they cannot figure themselves out. I don't know where a high salary ever suddenly enabled someone with the ability to be their own personal shrink, but apparently fans think this should be the case. I honest to god think that these guys are so damn good, that when they're bad they malfunction and just exaccerbate the problems even more. That's a problem with a lot of overachievers in any arena of life, though. Maybe they should be able to work it out better than the rest of us since they are getting paid more, but I just don't see how this is humanly possible.

Oh, yeah, plus it's not their fault someone is willing to pay them all that money. But tell that to Vinnie at the local bar who clings to the good old days of Brosius and Paulie and the "good guys" (who apparently played for food and shelter, nothing more), who got their rings because they had "heart" and "wanted it more." Gag me. And this is coming from someone who counts Oct. 26, 1996 as probably the best day of her life.

Let me put it this way -- the Yanks of the early 90s...we just basically say they sucked. We don't accuse them of having No Heart or Being Millionaires Who Are Losing on Purpose Just to Piss Us Off (believe me, this is what I'm certain some people are getting at in their rants.) No, "they sucked" is usually enough, despite the fact that they were getting paid pretty well. But you put big-headline trades and dollar signs in front of the players names, and mix in fans who jumped on the bandwagon after 1996 and don't know losing, and you go from Randy Johnson Sucks to $Randy Johnson Is Making Millions of Dollars and He Can't Win For Us Because He's Old and George Steinbrenner is an Asshole for Getting rid of His Younger Players and Millionaires Who Lose Have No Heart$ You see where I'm going here. Anyway, I just don't get why we need a qualifier to say they're stinking up the joint. Yeah, they're being paid to win...but isn't every Major League Baseball player? The League average, fuck, the League minimum is more than any of us will probably ever make, but we harbor no ill will toward the guy making 350,000 who's sucking big balls on the Tigers simply because he's not making in the millions?

Oh, right. Stuff like this can only be said by people bitter with the Yankees just because that's how we've been conditioned. Silly me.


June said...

agree with everything you said. but as you said earlier... it has the happy effect of weeding out all the fake fans, among whom I count more than a few of my online yankee fan friends.

Karen said...

True that. If there's a silver lining in any of this, it's watching all the brand-spanking new Mets hats popping up around town. Take 'em Met fans! We don't want (or need) the front-running jackasses anyway.

The Last Blogger said...

Being a Sox fan, and the Sox arent really doing great now themselves, I figured its not just the money. Being a Yank or a Sox player, too many things are taken for granted. And once there is someone who questions what you think is your birthright for supremacy (Bluejays and Orioles, not to mention WhiteSox and Twins), you really dont know how to handle it.

Karen said...

I think it's even simpler than that, Lost Blogger -- The O's, Twins, White Sox, Jays, etc. are all playing solid baseball right now. The Yanks and Red Sox have both experienced the winning when everything is clicking on all cylinders, but it's not for them right now. It is for the other clubs, and they're taking advantage of it.

But I also think the fact that none of the above teams, with the exception of the Twins, has had any experience in the post season (or even getting there) recently is going to come back and bite a few of them in the ass. That is where the Been There, Done Thatness that the Yanks and Sox have will come in handy. I don't see them as necessarily having a birthright for supremacy as much as I do see them as maybe not worrying so much right now because they know this is a marathon and there's still 4 months of regular season left. The Yanks are pressing, but probably mroe because of George and wrath of the media, not because they're far back in the race.

But it would certainly help if they started picking up the pace just a bit!

Yankeebob said...

I can't help but believe that the experience and the basic great talent will win out. The Yankees will be in it in October. There is just too much stressing out right now. Soon, it'll pass.

That's just me, keeping the faith. "No retreat baby, no surrender."

You have such a talent for expressing these things Cap'n. You really should have the Yankee Writer job. (I can't remember how to spell the "L" word you use. Duh!)

Karen said...

LOL to the Bruce reference, YB! So very fitting at this point.

And if the Yankee Poet Laureate position opens up and I get it, I'll make sure the Yankee Crew is somehow enabled with tickets to every game!