Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Win Today

A day off has turned New York into a city of mathematicians and scientists. I was cornered this morning by some guy in a suit that burst onto the 2 train at 34th Street and started assailing me with winning percentages and batting slumps.

“Keeping Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano in the lineup is troubling,” he said.

“No,” I countered. “It would be troubling if you and I were in the lineup. You've gotta be getting off at Wall Street.”

Everyone has a theory and a formula. And everything is in play: Roster moves, batting order, pitch selection, bullpen use, travel schedules and pre-game meals. A 24-hour-a-day, 9 inning baseball reality show.

But baseball reality seldom enters the equation.

You’ve got to dig around in a pile of old quotes to find the words of noted baseball realist Mariano Duncan, “We play today, we win today. That’s it.”

That is it.


Z said...

Except that, as I recall, when Duncan said that great phrase, the Yankees were on the way to winning 114 games. So Duncan's comment was a statement of fact, not a wish.

Todd Drew said...

The 1996 team won 92 games. This team is better.

Ben said...

The players are better. It's too early to judge whether the team is better.

Z said...

I thought Duncan was on the 1998 team... my bad.

I don't think this team is better than any of those championship teams. For one thing, Paul O'Neill isn't on this team, and he's exactly the player they miss: the hard-nosed, on-base guy who hits in the clutch. The pitching is weaker too; the bullpen is certainly worse than either the Nelson/Rivera/Wetteland (1996) or the Nelson/Stanton/Rivera (1998) heydeys.

For another thing, this team can't seem to win any games. Something is seriously wrong with this team; it's hard to pinpoint because the roster is so good. But at a certain point in the season, when you're below .500, you're no longer a great team that's playing badly; you're just a bad team. The facts of the W-L record ultimately have to trump the ideology of how they seem on paper. We're not there yet, but we're getting close.

P.S. Wasn't it Duncan, too, who initiated the "Make 'em feel ya" shirts? If so, he's responsible for 2 of the greatest 1990s Yankees things.

Jessica Lee said...

Todd,I am with you.I believe this team is better.In my opinion,Yankees just need to win some games in a row.At the same time,Red Sox lose some games in a row.Get some moment going and Catch some break.If Yankees can get that,yankees will be able to turn this around and keep rolling.

Todd Drew said...

I understand your points. I feel Posada is now the emotional leader that O’Neill was. I honestly think this team has plenty of fire and passion. I also think this bullpen has the ability to be as good as any, but they haven’t shown it yet. Ben is correct in saying that it is too early to make any final judgments.