Friday, August 17, 2018

The Fine Line Between Passion And Ignorance

I don't know if any of you saw it, as it was closing in on midnight, but I went on a bit of rant on Twitter last night.

My first tweet on the subject was meant to stand on its own...
But not long after that, I had to get it all out...
It's hard to express yourself 100% correctly on Twitter, so I wanted to write something here to make sure.

Every year it's the same thing. When the Yankees play well all you'll hear is praise for Brian Cashman. Fans will talk about his great trade for Didi Gregorius (especially during Didi's incredible start to the season), or the trade that brought Gleyber Torres to the organization. But when things aren't going so well those same fans will cry about him trading for J.A. Happ instead of a bonafide ace at the trade deadline. Although that Happ thing is working out pretty well, huh?

To be fair, the hate thrown at Aaron Boone has been around for most of the season. Even when the Yankees were winning 70% of their games the manager's moves were questioned. However, some of those that merely questioned Boone earlier this season are now calling for his head on a pike. Amazingly, I've heard numerous people wish Joe Girardi was never let go.

So many fans hated Joe Girardi! But some people have this amazing ability to remember the past differently.

Does a manager have any influence on the outcome of a game? Of course. But is it nearly as high as some people tend to think? No.

A number of people have written about lineup construction and came to the same conclusion... it really doesn't matter a whole hell of a lot. Going by the results, even the best lineup would only result in a handful of extra runs throughout the season. And that comes from things like Gary Sanchez being much worse than any of us imagined, or Miguel Andujar having a rookie of the year season that very few thought would happen.

And don't get me started on the bullpen decisions. Sure, it can be frustrating to see Boone bring in certain pitchers in certain situations, but at the end of the day, we're talking about what should be the best bullpen in baseball. So many of the failings we've seen from the bullpen should not have happened. David Robertson nor Chad Green are the same guys that were destroying the competition last season. And Zach Britton has been nothing like the guy we imagined he'd be when the Yankees acquired him a few weeks back.

Aaron Boone should be able to bring any of the three aforementioned guys into a game with little to no worry, but that hasn't been the case. And that's not Aaron's fault. The players failed Aaron... not the other way around.

Now for the biggest fallacy you'll read on Twitter or anywhere else...

"Hal Steinbrenner doesn't care about winning. All he cares about is making money. If he really wanted to win then he wouldn't care about going over the Luxury Tax threshold, especially since the team makes over a half billion dollars a year anyway."

This is actually very simple. Sure, it may not be true everywhere, but in New York (at least in the Bronx) fans demand a winner. Otherwise they don't show up.

In 2009, when the Yankees won the World Series, the average attendance at Yankee Stadium was 45,918. That was also the first year of the new Yankee Stadium, so I'm sure that helped ticket sales too. In 2010, when the Yankees made it to the league championship series, average attendance was 46,491. Attendance remained over 45,000 a game through 2011 when the Yankees won the division, and attendance was still very good in 2012 when they won the division again. But the following season, when the Yankees finished 12 games behind in the AL East, attendance plummeted by over 3,000 a game. Even in 2014, which was Derek Jeter's final season, attendance only went up a bit, which is likely due to another 3rd place division finish (12 games back).

And attendance has yet to bounce back to anywhere near the level they saw when they first moved into Yankee Stadium III.

Side note: It still amazes me that attendance wasn't as high as ever in 2014, the last chance to watch Derek Jeter in Yankee Stadium. Wow.

So stop saying Hal doesn't care about winning. Winning = money. So whether Hal cares more about winning or money, it doesn't matter.

Like I said on Twitter towards the end of the rant... it's perfectly okay to be pissed. Hell, if you truly care about something you should be mad when it goes wrong. Demand more effort from a player when everything he does or says screams "lackadaisical". Discuss an error by a player, or a bad move by Aaron Boone. But for the love of God stop acting like you know better.

The truth of the matter is none of us know what's best for the Yankees. If we did then we wouldn't be talking about it on a blog or on Twitter. Hell, we wouldn't be writing for ESPN or the New York Daily News, either. We'd be standing next to Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, and Aaron Boone. Or we'd at least be in similar positions for another professional baseball organization.

We're fans. To take that further, we're some of the most passionate fans you'll see in all of sports. We want perfection, even if we know we won't get it. And there's not a damn thing wrong with that. But everyone should know their limits.


  1. I love the post, but I have to disagree. It is very clear that Cashman reads my material, so if anyone is to blame here it is me. Sorry guys, I let down the Yankees Universe, and I will try to do better... but not because some dude named Van Dusen told me to ;)

  2. Very nice Van Dusen! I agree with the words. I get a little harsh at times on some of the players, manager and front office, but agree, that if someone could do it better, they'd be there. It's certainly not those of us ranting and raving about how we'd do it. I haven't figured out what makes me madder about this season...the Red Sox refusal to lose or the pathetic RSN.

    1. We all go too far in the heat of the moment. At least sometimes we do.

      It's annoying that the Yankees will win over a hundred games and lose the division by like ten games, but I've come to accept it. Especially since I believe this team can beat anybody. Hell, they seem to do better against tougher competition anyway.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)