WE GOTTA KEEP OUR COMPOSURE!
You know what makes me happy? Watching sports fans sqirm at the first sign of turmoil for their team. It's probably why I enjoy Mets fans so much as they are the masters of the sqirm. However, I think Yankee fans are better at it than Mets fans could ever be. It's just that Yankee fans don't do it as often.
Because of my upbringing, I got into baseball early. Thus, I remember the days of Hensley Muelens, Kevin Maas, Matt Nokes, and a time Yankee mediocrity. Actually, mediocrity would be generous because they flat out stunk. As a kid, I wondered if I'd ever see a championship in my lifetime. By age 12, my prayers were answered.
Since 1996 though, the Yankees have won 5 World Series title, have been to 7 World Series', and have missed the playoffs only once in that time. Success is no longer appreciated, it's expected. Thus, the fanbase that exploded in jubilation when Charlie Hayes snapped his mitt shut on Mark Lemke's pop up is now jaded with unrealistic expectations.
For most fanbases, being 19 games over .500 and 6 games ahead of the next closest competitor in the wild card standings would be considered a fantastic season. For Yankee fans, seeing that team to the north on I95 is unacceptable and cause for concern. Worse still is sitting in that position without one of their plethora of star players for about a month and GASP the hitting is inconsistent without him. Time to panic, right?
When you've been around the block with this team as many times as I have, you know that the only drama in regards to the Yankees is that which fans themselves are creating. The organization knows that they are safely in the playoffs at the moment and that they have enough young talent to make a trade if they find one that suits them. If anything, this team is in better position than most of the Yankee teams over the past decade.
Still, Yankee fans accept nothing less than 162-0 and every one of them believes that they can manage and general manage the team better than Joe Giaradi and Brian Cashman, respectively. It is almost comical, but I expect nothing less out of the New York faithful.
Amongst the silly topics addressed recently are lineup changes and crazy trade suggestions. While the latter is something that is too tough to predict, what really amuses me is the former. It is certainly a big blow to lose Alex Rodriguez from the Yankee lineup, but contrary to the "doom and gloom" crowd, it's not a lethal one. Since the injury, the Yankees have played a little over .500 ball, a number that won't make everyone happy, but one that will certainly keep the Yankees where they want to be.
Still, some want to "shake things up" and move guys around in the lineup, a temporary soution to a problem that doesn't really exist. Even with A-Rod, any team will have games where they simply don't score runs. Teams will also have games where they score a ton of runs. One man does not change this undeniable fact.
Something I learned from my grandfather, who taught me this valuable lesson on his deathbed, wass to not sweat the small stuff (or the big stuff for that matter). In this case, not sweating the small stuff certainly correlates to not panicking after a couple of losses. As a result, I never once floundered or suggested crazy, short term fixes for the Yankees.
Sadly, it's not always the fans that panic. Sometimes the team itself panics and does stupid things like bring back Roger Clemens midseason, an average move made to sound epic by the hyperbolic WFAN original and current Yankee announcer Susan Waldman. Luckily, the less prone to the dramatic Brian Cashman is running things now, so panic moves seem to be a thing of the past.
The baseball season is 162 games. Losing a star player for 30 is tough, but it doesn't have to change your entire plan for the season. In order to get where you want to go, you must "hold serve" while waiting on the team to become whole again. Ultimately, any team's plan is to go into the postseason healthy and the Yankees are on par to do that. I recommend to all the fans that have been suggesting lineup changes and drastic moves not to panic. Expect Cashman to bring in necessary pieces to compete within the next week, but for the biggest acquisition of all to come in 2-3 weeks when A-Rod returns. At that point, you will see a team poised for the posteason.
Team like that, they don't panic. Neither should their fanbase.