With the new Manger Joe at the helm I’m feeling pretty OK with this. Probably just the fan in me, but this team needed a kick in the pants, as much as ubercompetitive guys might need one anyway. Shaking up the status quo should be good for the Yanks, then again you could fill the Grand Canyon - and them some - with my incorrect predictions. But this year is feeling like something we haven’t seen in Yankeedom in awhile: Actually taking the regular season seriously instead of just trying to coast into the second season.
Girardi does not strike me as the type who is gonna let the guys give up in the 5th inning and save his guys for tomorrow against the Royals in mid May: like Joe did many times during the last 3 seasons. The Marlins didn’t quit down the stretch in ’06 contrary to popular belief, they just played above their heads for 80% of the season and then regressed to their normal levels come late Aug through Sept. They stumbled along the way a bunch of times but Girardi had them so believing in his system that they would have run through a brick wall for him, which helped them to not give up when they were down early in games.
I like how the pic shows vintage Joey T: Not paying attention to whats going on in front of him. How many times when the Yanks were spiraling out of control last year would the camera pan to Joe and he looks like someone needed to pull an afghan up to his neck, hand him is Bigelow Green Tea, and watch him dose off. He was more than ready to stick to his script when down by 3+ runs in the 5th or later:
JT: “Ok boys, we gave it our best shot. Lets pack it in for today and we’ll get’em tomorrow.”
Donnie Baseball: “Um, skip? There are 4 innings left to play and we’re only down 3 runs. We usually score runs in bunches when we get to the underbelly of the pitching staff. Also, I have some stats here suggesting if we start to swing at the first pitch instead of you giving the take sign constantly on the first pitch we could improve….”
JT: “Don’t give me stats Donald. Stats are nothing but squiggly lines on a piece of paper that some square kids made on those new fangled Commodore 64s. I played in the 60′s dagnabit! And if we were down by 3 runs we knew that the game was over and we had to save ourselves for our night jobs as security gaurds, roofers, gigolos, or whatever else to make ends meet. These guys need to do the same.”
DB: “Yeah, you see the guy who comes in and sweeps up all the seeds and crushed Gatorade cups after the game? Rocco is his name I think. He makes $108k a year. I don’t think these guys have to do anything after the game but get hit on by groupies and get ready to play tomorrow.”
JT: “Yeah well they should be working, those lazy Irishmen. Makes the constitution strong. Enlivens the gall blader. All good things.”
DB:”Somebody wanna get this old coot some green tea, he’s officially lost it.”
I welcome the change, good or bad.
*Picture credentials: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/lee_jenkins/02/20/jenkins.torre/index.html via Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Sport