November 26, 2007

Why New York Teams Don't Win

ShysterBall talks sense in making fun of the sort of column that constantly appears this time of year:

Ian O'Connor of the Bergen Record thinks that the Mets need to make some moves. No, not to specifically address team needs, fill gaps, or add organizational depth in a prudent and well thought-out matter. No, they need to do it to "steal the Yankees thunder."

This notion -- that the New York teams should make moves that land them on the tabloids' back pages instead of at the top of the NL East standings-- is a common one among New York baseball writers. "Please provide us column fodder and circulation increases," guys like O'Connor are demanding, "winning should not be your primary objective..."

This is what people are talking about when they talk about how hard it is to play in New York. The GMs can't simply build solid teams, they must do it with panache. The stars can't simply smack the cover off the ball, they must fill some vaguely defined role as "hero" as well. If the stars manage to do that at some point, they can never be judged on their performance going forward, for to speak ill of the hero is blasphemy. This, in turn, makes it very difficult to be that star's manager or teammate. The whole scene presents an entirely different competing set of demands than that which players and execs are used to having, and the only consistent thing that seems to be driving it is a competitive media market.

I see this sort of stupid attitude in Philly too, from people who think the Phils "aren't committed to winning" because they don't make the same offseason splashes the Mets and Yankees do, as well as everyone who's ever complained about how the Redskins always make big-name free agent signings and the Eagles never do.

Posted by Stephen Silver at November 26, 2007 05:17 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?