Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yankees Historical Slow Starters

From ESPN's Page 2 writer Bill Byast, comes a historical "study" of the Yankees and their slows starts over the past thirteen seasons. The common theme? Each and every time they've rebounded and joined the postseason tournament.

Byast expects more of the same in 2008:

I’m beginning to wonder something out loud: What the hell is wrong with everybody’s memory around here? Do you forget what happens almost every year at this time? To make it easy for you, I’ll do that period-after-every-word thing people do nowadays to show they’re talking deliberately: Yankees. Start. Slowly. Always.

It’s the pitching. It’s the first-base situation. It’s Derek Jeter. Every year, it’s one thing or another. The press and the fans get all rashy. You know, as if they’ve got bugs crawling under their skin. It’s like a rite of spring, almost. It ain’t nothing, but you wouldn’t know that ‘cause every year it’s like the last night on the Titanic—total panic. (Yeah, I used a 96-year-old reference. Deal with it.)

As for guys not playing up to their potential, know this: Being a Yankee means you hate losing. When you encase your athletic body in those pinstripes, something happens to your mind. You can take losing for so long before you snap out of it and start playing Yankee baseball. How else can you explain the events described above? When you play for another team, you don’t have that extra level to go to the way a Yankee does. Find me another team that has started like New York 10 of the past 13 years and made the playoffs every time. I haven’t even checked because I don’t have to. There ain’t one.

This is what I want you to do, Joe Yankee Fan: I want you to walk like the batter with four balls in that joke about the Irishman at his first baseball game: with pride. Be proud of your team kicking adversity in the groin every year. Look to the recent past for inspiration and leave the worrying for fans of other teams. They’ve got something you don’t: no hope.

Though there may be cause for concern for Yankees fans, Byast has a solid point in that the Bombers continuously start slow and, like the recent Oakland teams, ignite for a second half run.

No comments: