Thursday, February 21, 2013
One of the strangest and most annoying cliches to have worked its way into the baseball vernacular is the one that is a variation on the idea that the Yankees have to win the World Series every year or the season is a failure. This phrase seems to worm its way into almost every article on the Yankees. This otherwise standard pre-season article on Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano in the New York Times this week where writer Scott Cacciola describes the Yankees as being a team “for whom anything less than a World Series trophy is a symbol of failure,” is a recent example of this.
This cliche is not only meaningless, but it becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy which hurts the Yankees more than it helps them. The Yankees have backed themselves into a position where they can never go into a trading deadline as a seller, never walk away from a winter without a free agent signing and rarely go with a high upside young player to fill a hole. The result, as it has been for 11 of the last 12 years, is not meeting their goals and having a payroll that is bloated with old and declining players. The Yankees are learning the hard way that trying to win every year can mean not winning in any years.
I agree with the premise of this article. Of course, you need the high upside young players if you’re ever going to rebuild. As of right now, there are none that appear ready to play a significant role this year, but we may see some making their case by the end of the season.
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