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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Process And Not Results

by Paul Semendinger

November 9, 2022

***

I have written, often, that I believe that Brian Cashman has done an overall excellent job as the Yankees General Manager. I have also written that after a lengthy career, and after his five-year plan (which included the hiring of Aaron Boone as the manager) did not result in a World Series appearance, let along a World Series Championship, that it is time for the Yankees to seek a new direction and get some new thinking into the organization.


One World Series victory since 2001 is just not good enough. Not nearly. It's not even close. And as good of a GM as Cashman might be, or might have been, this is his team, and the end results have not been there for the better part now of more than two decades.


Again, we're talking about the New York Yankees. This is franchise that defines itself on World Series appearances and victories and they have not been present for the great majority of seasons under Brian Cashman's tenure.


***


Since 1921, the following, in chronological order are the seasons the Yankees in relation to World Series Appearances. (Longest Streaks in BOLD):


1921-23 - Three Consecutive World Series

1924-25 - Two Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1926-28 - Three Consecutive World Series

1929-31 - Three Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1932 - World Series

1933-35 - Three Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1936-39 - Four Consecutive World Series

1940 - No World Series

1941-43 - Three Consecutive World Series

1944-46 - Three Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1947 - World Series

1948 - No World Series

1949-53 - Five Consecutive World Series

1954 - No World Series

1955-58 -Four Consecutive World Series

1959 - No World Series

1960-64 - Five Consecutive World Series

1965-75 - Eleven Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1976-78 - Three Consecutive World Series

1979-80 - Two Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1981 - World Series

1982-95 - Fourteen Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

1996 - World Series

1997 - No World Series

1998-2001 - Four Consecutive World Series

2002- No World Series

2003 - World Series

2004-08 - Five Consecutive Seasons With No World Series

2009 - World Series

2010-22 - Thirteen Consecutive Seasons With No World Series


Of note, in 18 of the last 19 seasons, the Yankees have not been to the World Series. This cannot be ignored.


Since 1921, this is the worst period, as measured by World Series appearances in the history of the Yankees.


If the Yankees are going to be defined by greatness, that is just not good enough.


If the Yankees are going to be defined by World Series, they are in the worst period of their history since Babe Ruth arrived.


There was only one other time, in the franchise's entire history where they had only one World Series appearance in 19 years, and that was from 1903 (when the franchise was born) until 1921.


The General Manager for this entire period has been Brian Cashman.


***

With this in mind, I was taken back at the press conference the other day when Mr. Cashman said,


"People don't get let go because of results. If they have a good process, and they're doing the job well, that's taken into account."

"It's not about results." That's basically Mr. Cashman's philosophy.


To Mr. Cashman, and the Yankees, since he basically speaks for the franchise, it's not the results that matter, it's the process.


In this, I think the Yankees are completely wrong and misguided. I disagree with their philosophy completely.


I believe that a good process leads to good results, but, in the end, it's the results that matter. Now, on a year-to-year basis, the end results might not be there. No team wins every year. That happens in sports. But, again, when a team with the resources of the New York Yankees only reaches one World Series in 19 years, then there is something is wrong.


Results matter.


A process that does not yield positive results is a flawed process.


***


On Sunday, I ran the New York City Marathon. It was my 9th New York City Marathon and my 23rd marathon overall.


My process was sound, in fact, it was excellent. Among other things, I did the following to prepare for the event:

  • In my 16-week training period, I logged more miles leading up to the marathon than I ever did for any previous marathon I ran

  • I am eating healthier than I ever have

  • I have good equipment (clothes, running shoes)

  • I trained on different surfaces, at different speeds, and ran many hills to replicate the New York City course

  • I go to physical therapy and visit my chiropractor once a month to keep me limber and as a way to hopefully stay ahead of injuries and treat minor pains before they become problematic.

  • I follow a stretching program each time before I run

  • I am getting plenty of rest

  • All of my gear was laid out the night before

  • The morning of the race was stress free

  • I ate my normal pre-race breakfast that I eat before any marathon or long training run

  • The night before, I ate the same meal I often eat the night before a marathon

  • I was at the start area hours before the start of the race so there was no pressure there

  • During the race, I hydrated well

  • I was focused on the task at hand...

In short, as I consider every aspect of my training and preparation up to and including the day of the race, the process was sound.


The process was excellent. Knowing myself and the way I prepared for this marathon, my process couldn't have been better.


The process, in fact, was so sound that I'm writing this, I feel better than I ever had on the day after and the days after a marathon. I'm in my mid-50's and I feel less sore and stiff than ever before after running 26.2 miles.


Again, by all measures, my process was sound. It was great, in fact.


But, on the course, on Sunday, in the high miles, I went through a period where I didn't feel well. At all. I had some great discomfort in my stomach that slowed me down considerably. The temperatures were also much warmer and with higher humidity than in any of my previous NYC Marathons. As I went through some difficult miles, although I would never quit a marathon, I have to admit that the thought crossed my mind.


I eventually finished in a respectable time of 4:38:44. I was in the top 45.6% of all finishers. Again, not bad for a guy my age. I'm glad that the quitting was just a passing thought...


But, I have to wonder, if I had quit, would my name be in the New York Times?


Of course not. The NY Times doesn't publish a list of the runners who had a good process. It cares only about their end results.


The NY Times only prints the names of the finishers - the people who overcame and got the job done. I assume most of them had a good process to get there, but, as always, it is about more than just process.


It is also about results.


In fact, on the NYC Marathon site, they use only one word...


The finishers get listed on a page called RESULTS.


This is the problem with the Yankees' philosophy.


Process matters. Of course it does. Teams need to have a plan. But that plan, that process, has to have a positive end result.


I am a big believer in process.


But I am also a big believer in results.


When it comes to professional athletics, especially for a team like the Yankees, process is only part of the equation. If the process doesn't lead to the ultimate result, the World Series, and if that process hasn't worked for one of the longest periods in the franchise's entire history, the system is flawed. The process, in short, isn't working.


In short, the Yankees' system is flawed. Focusing on just the process is not leading to the positive end results.


We know that because the positive end results have not been there.

25 Comments


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 09, 2022

It is interesting...


As I have read through the comments, I think might have hit upon something that is the crux of the "Great Yankees Debate" of today.


This deserves a more detailed examination, but, for now...


There seems to be two main camps of Yankees fans:


Camp 1 - Pleased with the fact that the Yankees have been competitive and, most often, a playoff team. They haven't tanked. They stay (mostly) competitive. (Not really 2013-16, but the bigger point remains) This has been especially true under Aaron Boone's tenure... 90-100 wins, winning divisions, reaching the playoffs, having a chance...


Camp 2 - Not pleased that the Yankees have not reached a World Series in a long time. The Yankee…


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 09, 2022
Replying to

Indeed!

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cpogo0502
Nov 09, 2022

First, congrats, Paul, on accomplishing something many just dream of. I used to be a runner, mostly 10Ks but I never even considered a marathon. Not enough dedication.


Regarding the Yankees and Cashman, I believe he has become way too comfortable in his position. The GM is the Chief Operating Officer of the ENTIRE organization; Staffing, manager, coaches, scouts, minor league staff, pens and pencils, etc. Cashman lost me completely when he selected Boone to manage and totally lost me when Boone was extended. If he is not able to make a realistic assessment of peoples' performance, not process, he should step down and let someone with the energy and ideas take over the position. I could go on and…

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 09, 2022
Replying to

INDEED!!!

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yankeesblog
Nov 09, 2022

First off, congratulations on your NYC Marathon. I looked up your results and you ran a pace for more than 4.5 hours that I can't even do for half an hour on the treadmill. Well done!


I don't think the Yankees have a good process if winning championships is the goal. They, as you have pointed out, seem to aiming at just being good enough to have a chance at winning but will not go all in to put together a team that has the best chance of winning. So I have a problem with both the process and the results (or lack of same).


This will be an interesting off-season to see if the Yankees are willing to go…

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 09, 2022
Replying to

THANK YOU!!!!

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Nov 09, 2022

With all due respect, your analogy is flawed and, indeed, points to exactly the opposite conclusion. You note that you finished in the top 45 or so percent of all runners. In other words, among the competitors, you won against 55% of them and lost to 45% of them (roughly). Your process yielded a .550 winning percentage over the course of the race. The Aaron Boone Process, over the course of the races in which he has led the Yankees, has yielded a .603 winning percentage.


Now, in terms of "results," you define finishing the race as the desired result, but for a baseball team it's appearing in the World Series. I contend that the proper analogy to finishing …


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 10, 2022
Replying to

Chocolate pudding, please. :)

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fuster
Nov 09, 2022

that you didn't finish first in the marathon is no reason to condemn you

that you didn't finish first does not mean that you should be sidelined next season


that a baseball team didn't finish first might not be due to a flaw inside the team or the team's ownership/management


it might be due to improvement in other team and to improvements in other team's management as well as to changes in league regulations that were specifically designed to favor team that are not traditional powerhouses


it might be due to a lack of scruple in another team's ownership/management that caused other teams to have signing rights to the best players entering the league.


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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Nov 09, 2022
Replying to

Fuster, I think, after all these years and discussions, the crux of where our disagreements on the Yankees and such often come from...


I'll address this in a comment I'll write above...


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