Thursday, October 09, 2008
Not Like anybody cares about the Yankees right now, but whatever I have a point to make.
The Yankees do not have a single player in their starting lineup that overachieves. They do not have a single person on their roster that's success is based significantly more on effort than on talent. If you look at the playoff teams now you will see several of these players. Guys that fight to be good to be great.
If you're a Red Sox hating Yankee fan then you need to look no further than your arch-enemy to find examples of people playing over their heads. Dustin Pedroia is arguably going to take home the 2008 MVP award. Dustin Pedroia is listed at 5 foot 9 180 which means lop off two inches and some pounds and the man is probably 5 foot 7 a 165. You know who is probably bigger and might be in better shape than Dustin Pedroia, me. I'm 5'8 165 and I'm playing in a softball leagues. Pedroia obviously has a boat load more talent than the average human being but at his stature he needs to fight for everything he gets. He doesn't show up at the field like Cano with gifted athleticism and size. No he rakes on 115% effort. If you want another Red Sox example you don't have to look further on the diamond. Kevin Youkilis was an absolute beast as well this season. Youkilis has the athleticism and speed of a tortoise and yet he comes up massively clutch all the time and plays over his head all the time.
How about them fightin Phillies, they have some overachievers as well. Neither Shane Victorino nor Jimmy Rollins are listed above 5 foot 9 or above 180. Both are again my size but both play the game with full effort all the time. Victorino's entire game is centered around hustle and speed but he also manages to throw some power in their occasionally. Rollins is the MVP of the league because he comes up huge in big spots, manages to motivate his team with his confidence and mouth and always backs it up on the field.
Meanwhile in the Bronx the Yankees have all prototype baseball players. The Yankees are littered with 6 foot plus 200+ built for baseball bodies. They are littered with players like Abreu, Cano and Arod who have more talent then just about anybody on the planet. Each of whom their entire lives have always just been better than everybody, they never had to work to be great they were just god gifted.
So why do the Yankees need one of these guys? It's a mindset. It's something that infiltrates the clubhouse. If you see somehow like Pedroia or Victorino all out hustling all the time, playing well above what they should than it rubs off. It gets the uber talented to play harder. It gets the Cano's and Abreu's of the world to stop acting like asshats. This offseason the Yankees need to find that player. Someone who's a solid player but through non-stop effort because a stud. They need to change the atmosphere and this would be a step in the right direction.
*Note: I am a massive Victorino fan and wish that there was anyway the Yanks could pry him away from the Phillies to play centerfield for the next 5 seasons at the new stadium.