Sunday, July 01, 2007

Where have you gone ..(fill in name here)...?

While my desire and passion for this team to win has never been stronger (probably due to the fact, that, we are not winning this year, and have not been used to that since 1992), I realized, that after re-reading a book by Buster Olney (The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty), that something was missing:

I do not have a favorite player anymore.

I'm talking about everyday players - pitchers don't count.

Starting out, I had the crafty Greg Nettles to cheer for. When he shipped out to the Padres, that very next season is when Don Mattingly started his run of greatness and I soon followed his every move. As it became clear that Donnie B's back was preventing him from being who we became accustomed him to being is precisely when the Stick acquired Paul O'Neil. And for the next couple of seasons was in heaven having two players that I could not do without. O'Neil was always my player even before he was introduced at the stadium (I was the Reds during my family feud league of Nintendo MLB). So even when Baseball called it quits, I still had O'Neil - I still had that favorite to root for on an uninterrupted basis. As we know, O'Neil's last game was, Game 7, November 2001. Since then, there has been an on again, off again vacancy for that favorite player status.

I thought that Giambi was going to be my new guy - I wanted him to be - but, you see, when you have steroids, no defensive ability, and long, long stints on the DL, support and devotion can only go so far. So, I gave him a shot, and it just didn't work out. Further, I think the obvious choice for most- the Captain, just doesn't work for me. While I admire Jeter's consistent play and appreciate it more and more as time goes on, the image first, and just do the job type approach simply doesn't speak to me - I need to see the passion on the sleeve - and that is a quality that I think Jeter sometimes lacks.

I think A-Rod could be that guy. Could - being the key word. Willing to change positions to have the opportunity to play for a winner, solid enough defensively while mixing in the occasional great play, unparalleled offensive ability, and he's starting to come out of his polished shell more and more - - it is easy to root for this guy. Which is why I say he could be my guy, my new favorite player. However, I have this growing feeling that he's opting out at the end of this season and if it can be imagined, heading to even greener pastures - I think his numbers back up the jack he's being paid more than anyone in my view. So, with all that said, I'm trying not to get too attached to this guy until I know he's staying for a while in the Bronx.. don't want to be left at the alter so to speak..... Ok, so, this is starting to sound a little gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) so this is where I'm ending it:

Who's left? Where have you gone my favorite player??


The Scooter said...

Great post, Mid. You should submit that to the op-ed in the NY Post...really.

I'm with you. The thing is that in today's world of free agency, you are not about to find that player anymore. I think Jeter is a s close as you are going to get. I too would like to see more fire and vocalization of his leadership skills, but I think by now it's safe to say that aint gonna happen.

I can't make A-Rod that guy yet, not knowing if he will be a Yankee next year. I thought it might be Damon, and when healthy he has potential, but the guy is breaking down all over the place.

Perhaps we will have that in Phil Hughes. Granted he will only play one out of every five days....but we need to take what what we can get.

The toughest part is that it looks like the Mets have that player in Wright and Reyes.

Here's a name for you: Aaron Rowand. Would anybody be shocked to see him in center field next year for the Yankees?

Mid Relief said...

I love the idea of Rowand - is he a free agent at the end of this season?

If it comes to a trade - Damon plus prospect pitcher.

I think the Phillies owe us one for Abreu.

The Scooter said...

Yes, Rowand's contract is up after this year. Would they move him at the deadline? Not for Damon...but maybe for Melky, a young pitcher and Proctor?

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with sports? The Hockey Free Agency signings have been INCREDIBLE??? The amount that some of these players are getting is unreal...

Loyalty in sports is over... when loyalty is over, then where does teammwork begin? When is it not about the contract?

Is the meaning of team sports that we were raised upon OVER!!??

Anonymous said...

Another series complete, and another series lost this weekend... like Chinese Water Torture...

.. and, not sure I give two craps about the signings in the NHL.


old professor said...


For once this millenium I guess I agree with you. Players are changing uniforms so quickly that I is hard to find a favorite player anymore. Players are not being given long-term contracts beyond three or four years (A-Rod, Jeter and Giambi are the exception to the rule and Giambi's contract may be the reason most GMs don't want to go long-term anymore).

Free agency doesn't guarantee championships anymore. Detroit didn't build a team of free agent mercenaries to win the American League last year. They signed two big free agents - I-Rod and Rogers.

The Yankees have been big spenders every year and it has not helped. Their successful years were built around their own system (Rivera, Williams, Jeter, Posada,) and a key trades (O'Neill, Brosius, Tino).

This year's team is no better than .500 and has not had the consistency it needs to compete. Even Posada mentioned it now appears some people are phoning in the day.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or has Mt. Steiney been unusually quiet???

My over active imagination has me thinking there's some behind the scenes happenings and that when the All-Star break happens - furniture is being moved - players, but mostly mgmt.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

well, i did do an update last night... not sure why its not showing this morning - technical difficulties - sorry.

old professor said...

Mr. Steinbrenner has been feeling the effects of his age and has not been in good health. At this point, while a change in the leadership appears needed, I don't believe there will be a change. But who knows George has been known to be impulsive.

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