Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Yankees – Overpaid or Just Selfish?

You name it they’ve got it. Cy young awards, golden gloves, money and good looks. Of course I’m talking about the New York Yankees. They are either the team you love of the team you love to hate. They pride themselves in looking good both on and off the field. They will proudly boast their 27 World Series Championships and they make no apologies about pursuing number 28. George Steinbrenner will gladly pay a luxury tax along with outrageous salaries in order to get the men he feels will give him the edge over the rest of the MLB world. These men in turn are expected to be clean shaven and have neatly cropped hair. Oh yeah, and go out and dominate on the baseball diamond.
However, something seems to be missing from the 2005 version of the Bronx Bombers. Something that money can’t buy something that the “Boss” can’t force them to have. That something is team chemistry. Is it possible with all the big names and big salaries there are also too many big egos? Sure they want to win, but why. There is a huge difference between wanting to win for your-self and wanting to win for the team. The danger with paying those big time salaries is that the players feel like they have to prove their worth. How do they do that? By winning of course, but these Yankees are trying to win for the wrong reasons. It’s not for the city of New York or for Yankee pride they are trying to win for the name on the back of their jersey instead of the name on the front. That eliminates team chemistry!
It’s for this reason that the Yankees find themselves currently in fourth place in the AL East and just one game ahead of the lowly Devil Rays and Royals for the worst record in the American League. Can they right the ship? Absolutely! Will they? Who knows, it’s going to take more than Mr. Steinbrenner expressing his disappointment in them, after all they live in New York, I’m sure they have taken worse verbal abuse from the fans than what the Boss is dishing out. It will also take more than a great manager whom they have in Joe Torre. I do believe he is one of the classiest guys in all of Major League Baseball. So, what will it take to turn these Yankees into World Series champs? A concept they may have not realized since the last city they were All-Stars for. Teamwork!