I love the New York Yankees, but the last few weeks during the post season, it has been both hard to root and hard to listen to all the criticism. New York fans, sportswriters, talking heads are absolutely unforgiving. No empathy. No understanding whatsoever.
This New York Yankees season has been peppered with injuries that would have taken a lesser team out early in the regular season. When Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in MLB, had a season ending injury, many of us thought that was it right then. But the Yankees fought back, scratched and clawed to stay in it. A great man told me once that it's all about pitching, well, the Yankees struggle with their bullpen. Never thought they'd stay in the mix, much less make it to the post-season, but they did. When the heart and soul of the team, Derek Jeter broke his ankle last weekend, that was it. How much more could a team take? Do I feel sorry for the Yankees, no, but they are so often abused by the media.
Today's "New York Post" front page says: Dear Yankees, We don't date losers, signed New Yorkers. Really? Isn't that incredibly harsh? I know, I know, with the extraordinary payroll the Yankee organization forks over, fans expect a championship every year. Not possible and unrealistic. This year seemed particularly brutal. Alex Rodriguez has been the whipping boy of this season, far more than any other Yankee. Is it deserved? Well, I don't think so. He is a controversial player and may ask for some of it, but he wasn't the only disappointing "bat" this season. He couldn't hit all year. Once a power hitter, now nothing. He stood and took the heat from all sides. He was benched in the post-season by manager, Joe Girardi. Embarrassing? Humiliating? Yes, but understandable. If you can't do the job, get out of the way and let someone else do it. The problem? No one did. Raul Ibanez got the Yankees to the American League Championship series with Detroit and then everyone laid down.
Is A-Rod to blame? No, but he is the easiest target. He is paid a ridiculously overpriced salary for far too many years. Is that his fault? Why aren't the papers jumping all over Brian Cashman, the G.M., and the Steinbrenner brothers? They didn't have to offer to such a ludicrous contract? Should Alex Rodriguez have turned down the offer? No way. The people willing to pay the over the top contracts are the ones that should be hung out to dry and beaten up. That's not how it works. Somehow, it's always on the person that signs on the dotted line. It's that way in movies, theatre, television, business, etc. You get an incredible offer for a job. Are you supposed to say no and turn it down? Hell no. Take the money and run. If the employer is dumb enough to throw money at you, yes is the only answer.
So, people when you spew all your frustration and venom at A-Rod, remember he didn't make the deal. He took the deal.
Sidebars: The Al Smith dinner last night at the Waldorf Astoria brought Mitt Romney and President Obama. It caused severe gridlock in midtown Manhattan. It also proved that some people can tell a joke and others can't. Hands down President Obama won the joke telling. Mitt Romney is just so stiff and lacks delivery. He's no George W. The San Francisco Giants are down 3-1. Come on Giants!!!!! The thought of a Detroit-Cardinals World Series puts me to sleep, even though they are two of the oldest franchises in MLB. It's Friday. That means it's Shark Tank tonight, 8pm on ABC. Bill Maher has Matt Taibbi on tonight at 10pm EDT on HBO. Enjoy your weekends, everyone, everywhere!
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