The New York Yankees Face The What Have You Done For Me Lately Syndrome


Nothing lasts forever no matter how much we want to to believe that it will. . The New York Yankees will not be playing in the post season for only the second time in nineteen years. Conversely the Pittsburgh Pirates will be playing baseball in October for the first time in twenty one years

With these two respective organizations apparently going in opposite directions some would say the Yankees and their fans were spoiled. They were not, in fact they had one of the longest winning streaks in baseball, and they should be congratulated and amply recognized for that. But not all are on board with this sentiment.

In a nation where what have you done for me lately is our calling card many are asking what happened, as the Yankees are facing perhaps a long rebuilding process and a period of mediocrity not seen in  twenty years.  And as sports fans perhaps they should be as this part of the makeup of being one. But this attitude does not play well in the general population.

I sit and talk with people every day who do not feel appreciated for their accomplishments and are subsequently angry and distraught about it.

Whether it be not being appreciated at work where few feel recognized for their abilities and what they have accomplished, or spouses not being validated for what they do in their relationships the feeling of not being recognized is one that runs deep within our populace.

And this lack of recognition or fleeting recognition leads many too often feel worthless as they become less motivated when asked to do more after they just thrived.

All this runs contrary to both psychological research and common sense which says, that if you validate someone they will most likely continue doing the behavior that you want them to. Armed with a ton of psychological research outcomes regarding worker and marital satisfaction one has to wonder why we do not implement these results in our everyday interactions.

As the Yankees and the Yankee nation experience a swoon of emotions over Mariano Rivera’s retirement there are rumblings about the future of the franchise.

With Rivera gone, A-Rod heading into further purgatory, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano heading toward free agency, and his initial asking price being more than the value of the hope diamond, as well as the unknown status of Derek Jeter (can he even play again) in question— these issues alone would cause anyone who roots for the Yankees to have grave concerns about their team.

But it does not end there. Faced with an aging pitching staff with many wondering if CC Sabathia’s best days are behind him, and Mark Teixeira returning from wrist surgery, and an overall aging roster with few prospects in sight, combined with rumors that are swirling about Joe Giradi’s intentions about where he going to manage next year, the saber swords should soon be drawn, with many asking how did it all come to this?

Perhaps the business world just works in cycles and it is inevitable that empires will rise and fall. But the Yankees prospered in a period during which if you had a lot of money you could buy players at will and the Yankees were very good at this, signing more quality players than less which translated into the success they had.

With ongoing changes in the baseball  industry that have leveled the playing field to where teams with smaller pay rolls can better compete, the advantage of having more money to spend has been diminished.  And more emphasis has to be placed on the development of players and spending what monies you are allocated wisely. The Oakland A’s are one example of a franchise that has most recently thrived in this environment.

In that regard team owner Hal Steinbrenner has advised that he does not want to go over the luxury tax limit charging Brian Cashman with the job to rebuild with a paltry one hundred and eighty nine million.

The Yankee mantra has always been World Series or bust, and it seems like ages since they won it all,  in the crazy world of sports things can and do change in very short periods. So it is not out of the question that the Yankees can quickly rebuild and contend again.

But it would be nice if they received an extended period of good will from their fan base as well as appreciation for what they have accomplished, as that is what we would want for ourselves.