Being on the brink of the 2012 MLB season, I got to thinking, what do the Giants have that the Yankees are missing?
So, I started writing down the advantages that both New York team’s posses and after mulling through two messy lists, below are the most important points.
- Have all-star roster in place.
- The ‘Yankees’ brand itself.
- Players want to be Yankees because of the illustrious history.
- Yankees haven’t missed the playoffs in 15 seasons, except for 2008.
- Most successful sports franchise ever, with 27 World Championships.
- A generous ownership.
- QB/Captain who is really a team player, a quiet leader off the field, but not on; and just an overall good guy.
- Players who call each other out publicly.
- A Coach who stuck to his plan.
- A stellar GM who makes incredible draft picks.
- A team that talks the talk and walks the walk.
- Team consists of an array of characters, but all have equal voices.
- One of the most respected ownerships in sports today.
- Believe in each other through and through.
These two lists are very broad because football and baseball are very different sports, but being a team is not.
Still, I could not figure out what the Giants had that the Yankees don’t that turns a team with a 9-7 record into World Champions?
Then I read an article on Mike Silva NY Baseball Digest called, “Eli Manning is a Breath of Fresh Air in Jeter’s City” that really made me think, and something all New York fans should check out.
Mike Silva’s article made me realize that maybe the Yankees need to focus on being a team, and not a brand.
And that starts from the top down.
This reminded me of an article by MLB.com beat writer Bryan Hoch I had read in February of 2009 about the team having a pool tournament during Spring Training titled, “Yankees ditch bats for pool cues.”
Some of the quotes about that day made me feel inspired, and something this team needed badly. Here are a few:
“Today is one of those days that, as a ballplayer, you’ll never forget. I don’t think any team has ever really done this. It says a lot about Joe. He knows we’ve been working hard and he rewarded us.”
“It makes you relax and realize that we can have fun off the field,” said Mark Teixeira, who said it was the most fun day of Spring Training in his career. “Once we get on the field, it’s business, but we can build some relationships as well.
Now, I would be crazy to think that the above was the reason behind the 2009 World Series win, but try to see the bigger picture here.
I think little things like a pool tournament or going to the arcade like they did in 2010, is something that the Yankees should try to do a few times a season and that the players also need to take some initiative here.
And like Silva wrote, I think a big problem is that the Yankees don’t have an Eli Manning for a Captain.
Admittedly, like a lot of Yankee fans I have lost a lot of respect for Jeter the last few years. He skipped the All-Star game; he should have been a better friend to A-rod; and other than a signed ball and a picture he did nothing for the kid who caught his 3000th hit ball.
The Yankee Captain portrays himself as this all-around great guy, and he knows when to turn it on but who is he doing this for, the team?
Winning starts with consistency, and Jeter has lacked that personality wise for some time.
I do believe that the Yankees do have a Tom Coughlin in Girardi, but I think they lack the leadership of a Captain that works as hard as his teammates on making the team come together off camera.
No one should be bigger than the team, and Derek Jeter needs to take the bull by the horns like he used too, and other guys like Sabathia and Teixeira should step it up in the clubhouse because they seem like team guys.
The Yankees have the talent but they are lacking the bond as teammates that they had in 2009. It is the same unity that the Giants found again and now look where they are.
Look, I am sure what I wrote here is not perfect, but it is at least a start.
In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that if the Yankees want to win another Championship they need to look at what the Giants did off-the-field to make them unstoppable on it.
- MLB Free Agency: The New York Yankees Should Sign Jorge Soler (bleacherreport.com)
- The Yankees are introducing an official fragrance (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Move Over Yankees, New York Giants Rule This City (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: Jeter Infection Spreads to Super Bowl (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: Stop Blaming, Start Winning And Shut-Up (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: 2012 Resolution That’s Easy (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Truth About Pujols (ladylovespinstripes.com)