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Perspectives: Collected Thoughts On The Game…

Perspectives: Collected Thoughts On The Game…

by Paul Semendinger

March 26, 2022

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I am thrilled to share that my book on the Yankees, The Least Among Them, is a finalist for a FORWARD Indies Book Award. It’s wonderful when one’s long, detailed, diligent, and hard work is recognized. Like everything I do, this was a labor of love.

I had a great book talk in Ridgewood, New Jersey on March 24. YankeeRudy, one of our loyal readers, was there. It is great to meet him. What a terrific guy!

In baseball, it looks like the ghost runner is back for extra inning games. This is terrible. I cannot believe that Major League Baseball is bringing back a rule that makes it seem less professional and more like backyard Wiffle ball. Amazing. And horrible.

I made this point in a comments thread the other day. The Yankees have improved. I think they’ve improved a great deal. The 2022 team should be better than the 2021 version. The Yankees are better. Much better. But, the empty feeling, the disappointing feeling, is that although they are better, they could have been better than the better they are. The better better would have been better. Even better is always better than just better.

I appreciate that the Yankees are spending big to win. The idea that the Yankees are being cheap is incorrect. They are spending money. The problem is that they are not spending smart. They invested a ton of money in players that they shouldn’t have. Signing D.J. LeMahieu was one such signing. Aroldis Chapman also makes a ton. Luis Severino hasn’t made good on the long-term investment the Yankees made in him. Aaron Hicks either. I’m glad the Yankees are spending, but their plan hasn’t been a great plan for awhile now. They really need to make a push to win it all this year, because the window on this current group is closing fast. It’s basically opening and closing in the same two years.

At the same time, the heralded farm system has produced nary a player. This is getting frustrating.

For decades we have been told that “This current crop of minor league stars are the real deal.” We have heard this time and time and time again. And it hasn’t been true, or at least it hasn’t worked out. Most of the Yankees’ supposed young stars have not panned out. This has been true for so long that it is difficult for me to believe that this time the young stars are all the real deal. I hope I’m wrong about this, but fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… We have heard this for so long, that “fool me thrice” isn’t accurate because it’s more than that. Much more. It’s “Fool me thrice times three, or thrice cubed, times three.”

The point is that the Yankees are banking so much on these young guys that they are willing to sacrifice on being even better this year to protect what they hope are future stars. The pattern, for a long time, has been, “I know that group of young guys didn’t pan out, but this new group, the kids we have now, this group, oh, they’re amazing.” They say that as the kids who could have been traded for pieces that could have helped the team to a World Championship are basically just given away after the shine has dulled to such an extent that the Yankees getting anything for them is often a miracle. If a franchise is going to hold its young stars tight, they need to make sure those prospects pan out. The Yankees seem to have guys they hold onto who don’t perform in the big leagues and also don’t get used to acquire players who can help the big club. In this, the Yankees lose on both fronts.

I am eager for the season to start. I am eager for the games to count and to get invested in the games. I don’t watch many Spring Training games. I wait for the season. Spring Training is just practice. I don’t put a lot (or any) stock in what I see there.

Let’s Go Yankees!!!

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