Sunday, June 12, 2005

Stress

Sorry for the hiatus in posting...it seems that every time I try to post something, the internet signs off when I send it. And I am way too lazy to do it again.
Well work is about over for this part of the summer, as I will soon be heading off to Davidson for camp. It should be an awesome time.
It has been so interesting riding around in the van the past couple of days as I have really gotten to hear some good chunks of ESPN radio. Radio talk shows are certainly meant to create engagement with sports even it is at the cost of our sanity, but I was particularly intrigued by a comparison between the NY Yankees and Atlanta Braves. A comparison/contrast of the two franchises presents an ambiguous understanding of the nature of baseball and its fans. Both teams have been extremely successful over the last decade, with the Braves winning 13 straight division titles, several pennants and a WS. The Yanks have won 4 WS since 1996 and several pennants as well. NY plays in an extremely big market while Atlanta has TBS and a lack of regional competitors to spread its influence all over the southeast. At this point, the comparisons begin to contrast. The Yankees have an extremely high level of expectation from their fans while the Braves are accustomed to mid-season slumps and playoff disasters. The Yankees have literally bought their success while the Braves have bred it through a strong farm system and superior coaching. Both teams came into this year with high hopes as the Yankees had acquired Randy Johnson and the Braves Tim Hudson. Both teams had powerful hitting returning to a good fielding lineup. But when the Braves started cold and then fell into an injury calamity, there was nothing more than an asterisk. One way or another, we knew to look for them again in September, like always. But, back in April, when the Yankees lost a few games, the entire world was turned upside down in a search for answers. They kept on playing and went on to win 18 out of 20. Now they are slumping again, and Torre, Steinbrenner and the Bronx are freaking out. Perhaps it is the management. Perhaps it is the fan demographic. Perhaps it is the character of the players. But for some reason, this successful franchise does not know how to play from the bottom. They don't know how to come back to win, they just whine. The Braves, on the other hand, can get slammed with a semi-truck and Bobby calmly calls on his young players to come through. And if they don't, he doesn't act like the world is coming to an end. He knows that he is a good coach in a good city. His job is not in jeopardy from the management, fans, or radio analysts. Joe Torre and the Yankees need to be reminded of that.

1 comment:

e said...

Hey Will, still no additional post? Are you already back at Davidson?