I woke up this morning feeling pretty good about this:
You know the story. For 86 years the Yankees got the girl and the Red Sox watched them dance. After experiencing nearly forty of those futile years as a fan, I still have a nagging sense of fear of the “Evil Empire,” but it’s waning. The Yankees have a $205M payroll and a barren farm. Last night they looked more like Pedro’s “granddaddies” in a loss fueled by ancient Bernie Williams dropping a routine fly ball. I can only hope their big “trump the Red Sox again” acquisition before the 2004 season becomes their “Curse of Arod.” It’s going pretty well so far.
So now I’m going to say it. The Yankees are done. The mental aspect of baseball is huge, and these guys are permanently damaged from their colossal collapse in the 2004 ALCS. They had the Red Sox buried and they let them up off the mat to get their asses kicked. The New York papers called it the BIGGEST COLLAPSE in the HISTORY OF SPORTS. So it lingers. They have doubts. Their fans have doubts. Roles have been reversed. It’s like the “Anti-George” Seinfeld episode… Hmmm… George… “The Boss.” I wonder how he’s feeling this morning?
Baseball, as in all team sports, is based on a theory that the team that wins simply played the best. Just like in life.
History shows that money cannot buy happiness or success; even in sports. The most talented individuals, all dressed in the same colors, is not a team. A team is when individuals come together with a collective spirit to overcome adversity, make good decisions under stressful situations, to reach a common goal. It has to be unwaivering.
Leaders are not made by being the best player on the team; they are made by being able to represent your team with respect and dignity, under all circumstances. Being accountable to an outcome and not blaming the undesired result on someone else is key.
I know this because I am a baseball fan first, and a Yankee fan second. My boys have lost there mojo, and they have to find it. I actually think it is good for them and for baseball to hurt a bit. They have to admit to their own failtures, and not be so silly as to “blame” it on another team’s success.
The reason the Red Sox’s won last year, is because they FINALLY realized that. I find it interesting that their fans still haven’t. The obsession with the Yankees in Boston, is what we call in baseball, ‘taking your eye off the ball’. Not a good thing. I have tried to understand it, but I just can’t seem to. The Red Sox’s have found their recipe for success, but their enabling fan community is ready, just in case, for someone else to blame. Hey, you knew I was going to say this, right?
PS: In the NJ/NY contiguency, we refer to someone else as “The Boss”. Even mean old George knows that.