Loyal blog readers I apologize in advance for the following, however, I am a life long, passionate yankee fan who is quitely living within red sox nation and this blog provides me with the opportunity to express my thoughts regarding my beloved Yankees.
Dear Mr. Steinbrenner,
Like yourself I again find myself with an enormous empty feeling of disappointment as the playoffs continue without the Yankees.
I have been a life long Yankee fan and for what ever reason that life has covered a little more than 48 years. I attended my first Yankee game, as documented in an earlier blog, in May of 1966. I believe that was seven years before you purchased the Yankees from CBS. In that time I have suffered through periods of laughable performance (1965 – 1976) and then again from 1982 through 1993. Through the bad and the good I have always remained a die hard, supportive Yankee fan. During that time you have taken one of the most storied sports franchises in the world and raised it to unprecedented financial success. The YES Network was trail blazing in the industry and now a new stadium for 2009. Congratulations. My guess is that being a passionate sports guy you’d trade some of that financial success for a few more world championships.
Not that you need more opinions on what the next steps should be, however I thought I would offer the following observations on all things Yankee.
Mr. Torre has been an amazing manager and leader for you. He brings a sense of stability and professionalism to a job that has a history of inconsistency regarding those two characteristics. That said, change is inevitable and also maybe not a bad thing.
The stability and professionalism exhibited by Mr. Torre and the Yankee veterans seems to have manifested into an emotionless, passion lacking, robotic approach to all things baseball. You hear it in their responses to questions and you see it on the field. I understand and appreciate the need to manage the chaos represented by operating in the largest media market in the world, however, at some point someone needs to remember they’re playing a game, it needs to be done with passion and fun. Passion is a funny thing. You can’t turn passion on and off, you either have it or you don’t.
It’s time to reinstate that passion and fun back into Yankee baseball. I am reminded by many of the quotes from players and staff this year that continually reference the energy the younger players have infused in the Yankees. That energy is both passion and fun.
I believe the Yankees are on the doorstep of even greater success. Mr. Cashman has done a nice job in building a foundation of solid, young pitchers who will only get better based on the experience they’ve had this year. As you well know, nothing taps that budget quicker than having to spend $25M – $35M on mediocre number 3 or 4 starters. Having a rotation that could have 3 or 4 pithcers who may be a year or two or three away salary arbitration allows you to reduce payroll and allows you to reinvest those dollars, if desired, on other position players.
Regarding the allocation of $30M on a single player. Baseball is a team sport. As demonstrated, once again, by the playoffs, teams win series, players do not. You have a new stadium opening in 2009 and as a Yankee fan I can tell you, I have never gone to a game to watch a player, I go to watch and support the team, the Yankees.
I’d challenge you to take a walk through Monument Park at the Stadium. Being a cold, dreary day in the Northeast, today may be a good day for that walk. Take a look at every monument out there. While the monuments celebrate the individual, each of those individuals have one thing in common – They were part of CHAMPIONSHIP YANKEE TEAMS.
So in this day and age of too much focus on the individual and less on the team, my recommendation would be to NOT sell the “Yankee Soul” for a player who may break every hitting record that exists yet has yet to experience what it means to be a champion.
While we haven’t always agreed on the steps you’ve taken (not resigning Any Petite) I have always remained a passionate Yankee fan and regardless of the decisions you make in the coming months I am sure that even you at your most “blustery” self cannot extinguish the passion I have for the Yankees.
Best of luck with your coming decisions.