The Yankee Mentality

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When I wrote my prior posting about CC Sabathia’s pulled groin I said that Yankees’ fans were loading up the phone banks to Mike Francesa’s show to call for the team to trade for a big name starter like Zack Greinke, Matt Garza, Cliff Lee or anyone who’s an All-Star caliber starter to replace their All-Star caliber starter.

It was ironic humor because as much as we don’t want it to be true; don’t want to believe that there’s that level of entitlement anywhere in the world, it came true.

It wasn’t Sabathia’s injury that created the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction moment, but Andy Pettitte’s fractured ankle sustained in this afternoon’s game that was the catalyst for Francesa to begin speculating on which All-Star pitcher they were getting.

“Are da Yankeez gonna getta pitchuh? Will dey getta Gahrza? Will dey getta Lee?”

I’m paraphrasing, but it’s pretty much dead on.

Who came up with this game of telephone that Lee is even available?

The Phillies are getting Chase Utley back tonight; they’ve played badly but they’re still in contention in the Wild Card and are a hot streak from being right back near the top of the NL East. The Phillies are unlikely to be sellers, but if they are it’s Cole Hamels (Francesa mentioned him as well) who’s going and not Lee. Lee has a no-trade clause to 10 teams and you can bet the house that the Yankees are on it.

He didn’t want to pitch for the Yankees when he was a free agent after the 2010 season and after the stuff that was said about him following his spurning the Yankees’ advances and when he revealed that the Yankees were his third choice after the Phillies and Rangers (the last choice since they were his only serious suitors), what don’t you get? He’s not interested.

Ruben Amaro Jr, the Phillies’ GM, admitted the mistake in trading Lee by acquiring Roy Oswalt during the 2010 season and then by re-signing Lee after 2010. Do you really believe he’s going to ruin his reputation among the players and toss in the towel on the Phillies’ season by trading Lee to the Yankees for prospects? And what prospects are the Yankees giving him?

It’s just crafted nonsense that’s not going to happen even if the Phillies come apart.

This mentality lends itself to the greed that takes a 97-65 season and ALCS loss and dubs it a failure. It engenders the hatred other fans and teams have for the Yankees and their fans because no one wants to hear this garbage that they can’t possibly function without an All-Star or post-season hero pitching for them every night.

What world is this?

It’s not good enough to have a terrific bullpen and a lineup that’s leading the Major Leagues in home runs with superstars at 5 of the 8 starting positions and a very good background cast?

It’s this thought process that labeled an athlete like Mariano Rivera—who got hurt doing athletic things—something more than what he is: a baseball player. That’s how an injury to a human being who plays a sport for a living was called a “tragedy”.

It’s not a tragedy and the Yankees aren’t “supposed” to have a potential Hall of Famer, Cy Young Award winner, MVP or legend playing every single position every night.

They wonder why they’re hated and it’s a joyful event when they lose and they have to do a postmortem on the season that wasn’t; a failed plotline that didn’t result in a World Series win (as has happened every year but one for this whole century). This is why.

It’s called reality.


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