The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Huffington Post: Baseball’s Dumbest Cliche

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.

--Posted at 8:40 am by SG / 5 Comments | - (0)


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Maybe I’m projecting, but I don’t think they are acting like winning the World Series is their primary goal, even though they are happy to go along with the idea. I think getting to the playoffs every year is the goal, and the big reaction after failing to reach it in 2008 was a sign of that.

If that’s a sustainable goal at $189 and what they will do if they fail to reach now is an open question, and maybe the answer to that will kill the idea that the only goal is to win the World Series.

The recent Wallace Matthews piece suggesting that Hal may be abandoning the quest for the $189m holy grail is almost entirely speculation, but I really want it to be true.

[1] The line between makinng the playoffs and winning the WS is so fine, if it indeed exists at all and isn’t just a figurative crap shoot, that one could argue they are one and the same. If one was in an argumentative mood.

[2] Me too. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be anyone on whom to shower our ill gotten gains where it would do any good, unless you count throwing money and prospects in a trade package to go after Martin again.

[3] Sure, but the typical implication in the articles about the Yankees striving for the World Series is that for other teams making the playoffs is good enough.

Oh, no doubt. And I think there may be a difference between almost sureity of the division/playoffs, versus having an outside shot.

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