No, I’m not referring to Republican support for Medicare D. I’m referring to the sense of entitlement and sometimes excessive expectations that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Yankees fans generally have when it comes to postseason success. We all know that the Yankees are the team with the greatest resources and the biggest market, which for some reason makes us think that they will produce the best baseball team. Just as America’s being the wealthiest nation produces the wisest politicians and greatest artists, right?
No doubt, man for man the Yankees have an intimidating line-up, and they came out on top in their division, but were it not for the Tigers’ end-of-season weakening the Yankees would have been playing the team with the best record in the league. By all rights, the Tigers were the better team, and it showed this past week. Given the Tigers’ impressive showing for most of the year, if there was any team that ought to have beaten New York it was Detroit (it isn’t every day you can say that with a straight face).
When you lose a series 3-1, it is almost always because the other side was simply the superior team. Yet, according to Steinbrenner, losing to what is probably the best team in baseball this year is a “sad failure.” I can see why Yankee fans would be disappointed, but is it a “sad failure”? Give it a rest. Contrary to Yankee propaganda, the World Series is not their private exhibition game and the championship is not always theirs to lose. Steinbrenner, in the tradition of megalomaniac owners everywhere, will fire his manager in what is sure to be seen as a mistake. If he hires Piniella, last seen unsuccessfully leading the Devil Rays to their regular sub-par level, he will probably have quite a few more “sad failures” in his future.