• The New Boss Offers Some Opinion

    Posted by on January 31st, 2007 · Comments (6)

    Steve Swindal speaks, via mlb.com

    With Steinbrenner unavailable, Swindal fielded questions regarding the 2007 Yankees as they approach Spring Training and seemed very enthusiastic about the team’s offseason moves.

    “I think we’ve improved ourselves — the bullpen certainly, the starting pitching, I’m very optimistic that we’re going to be in the thick of things,” Swindal said. “That’s our goal every year, to get to the World Series. We’ve come up short the last couple of years, but it’s not for a lack of trying. I’m feeling very confident that we’ll get there this year.

    “Anything short of getting to the World Series is disappointing.”

    Swindal was also asked about the future of outfielder Bernie Williams, who reportedly has been offered an invite to Spring Training. Considering the possible end of Williams’ 16-year tenure with the Yankees seemed to tug at Swindal just a bit.

    “It’s up to our baseball people to make that decision but I’ll tell you, he has contributed so much to the success of this franchise and the run we had,” Swindal said. “You can’t underestimate how important he has been to us.”

    Anything short of getting to the World Series is disappointing.

    Can we just stop saying that already? It’s starting to get as old as the YMCA dance by the Yankee Stadium grounds-crew.

    Comments on The New Boss Offers Some Opinion

    1. Garcia
      January 31st, 2007 | 5:17 pm

      In order for it to stop being said then Yankee fans have to stop demanding that, too. Yankee fans don’t just want to get to the world series, we want to win the whole damn thing. If you didn’t believe it, then you wouldn’t be running this blog if you rooted for the KC Royals. If you did root for the Royals, then you’d have less than a quarter of the people that currently read your site. Also, if fans didn’t demand that, a championship, then there wouldn’t be so many that would want Torre’s head on a platter despite the GREAT work he’s done.

      Yes, I said he’s done a GREAT job….I think too often times people get caught up in believing that the Yankees MUST win every year. Just like Public Enemy said, “don’t believe the hype”. If people stopped believing that crap then they wouldn’t go so crazy, especially when it comes to Torre and players like Bernie. I am appalled at the treatment some Yankee fans give Torre. As far as I’m concerned, he deserves to be the manager of this team till he can’t breathe any longer. If he so chooses that as his destiny.

      Do I wish Bernie would just retire and make it easier on everyone? Yes!!!! Of course I do. However, it’s not that simple. I respect the Yankees and Torre for not just turning their back on this great Yankee. I hated the way the Knicks and their fan base treated Patrick Ewing, and it’s the same thing here. The Yankees have to treat Bernie with kid gloves because he bled and still bleeds Yankee pinstripes, that’s the type of loyalty I’d want out of a company for giving them every ounce of me and I’m glad Bernie is getting the respect from everyone in the organization – despite the fact that he can’t field, run or hit like he used to.

      So if you have a problem with the Yankees demanding they win championships, then you must first look in the mirror. I’m not criticizing you, Steve. I highly doubt that you are just happy to see the Yankees competing and making it to the playoffs or being competitive in the AL East. Saying the Yankees only goal is to win a championship does work as a double edged sword, but it’s something that Yankee fans have come to believe and accept as fact. So you can’t act like you’re any different in that regard, at least all of a sudden.

      Basically, all the comments about Torre, Bernie, lineups, bullpen usage, et al, gets manifested by the simple belief that the Yankees must win, deserve to win, and it is our birth right to win. If that weren’t the case, then we might as well root for the Mets.

    2. January 31st, 2007 | 5:22 pm

      It’s been said that, when the Yankees win 100 games and the Mets lose 100 games, the Yankees fan wants to know what happened in the 62 losses and the Mets fan wants to throw a party for the 62 wins.

      I guess that’s just the way Yankees fans, most of us, are…no?

    3. Jen
      January 31st, 2007 | 8:46 pm

      //I guess that’s just the way Yankees fans, most of us, are…no?//

      No. Well, I can’t speak for “most” Yankee fans, but I do know I’m not the only one. Yankees win 100 games, that pretty much guarantees that they’re in the playoffs, so I’m not gonna get worked up over the losses.

      That being said, I don’t have a problem Swindal’s quote. He didn’t say that the season is a total failure if they don’t win the series. He’s not demanding anything. He said that not GETTING to the series would be disappointing. Which I can agree with. Once they’re in the playoffs it’s a crap-shoot. And I am disappointed when they don’t go further into the post-season. And I’m sure fans of other teams feel the same way. Being disappointed in lack of post-season success and demanding that success occurs are two different things.

    4. Garcia
      January 31st, 2007 | 9:35 pm

      Jen – Keep in mind that some have become so spoiled that they DO demand that type of success. I can’t sit here and throw rocks, but I used to feel like that. To some extent, the Red Sox winning changed a lot of that. Sometimes you get so used to demanding and expecting that you lose sight of how much fun the entire process is – albeit gut wrenching.

      That’s more what I was referring to, I thought your interpretation was right on but others take this to mean much more. An almost fanatical approach, which I think makes you lose sight of some of the accomplishments. A lot has to go right to win 100 games, I don’t care how bad you think a manager is but for him to have the success of Torre then a lot has to go right. Everyone is starting to believe the playoffs are a crapshoot, so it’s hard to judge someone based off of that small sample when the real hard work was done during the regular season.

      So just cause people get frustrated about the team not winning the championship, there comes a point of reflection where you have to look at the amount of joy and entertainment the Yanks gave you.

      I really enjoyed this last Yankee team, the loss in the 2006 ALDS hurt more than 2004 BUT looking back at it rationally. This Yankee team gave me more to be proud of since the 2001 team.

    5. Jen
      January 31st, 2007 | 10:32 pm

      Oh, no doubt Garcia. I see those spoiled fans all the time at the Stadium. I guess my point was directed more towards Swindal’s quote. Personally, I don’t see it as a reflection of those spoiled fans. I think the way he put it reflects more of how most people on here and places like Bronx Banter feel, which is disappointment rather than a denial of a birthright.

    6. brockdc
      February 1st, 2007 | 5:41 pm

      I think being/not being a “spoiled” Yankee fan and believing that Torre’s not a very good manager are mutually exclusive entities.

      As for me, I’ve loved the Yanks every since my first game at The Stadium as a kid, back in ’81. But I think any fan would feel a bit entitled after the run the Yanks had from 96-00. Hopefully, though , after five consecutive ringless seasons, most Yankee fans can see things a little more clearly and rationally – and realize that what occurred in the 90s was something that was truly exceptional. In fact, I’ve seen the phrase “The playoffs are a crapshoot” uttered more times after this year’s ALDS loss than after any Yankee playoff loss in recent memory. So that shows me a certain degree of acceptance and maturity.

      As for Torre: Yeah, I think he kind of stinks. And, sure, I concede that it is no small feat to deftly manage the egos that he’s confronted with on a yearly basis. But Torre’s on-field strategy has become truly maddening to watch – from the enigmatic defensive alignments (Cairo at first, Womack in centerfield, et. al.), to his insistance on giving away at bats to known commodities (T. Long), to his enigmatic bullpen management and batting orders (Womack leading off, A-rod hitting 8th, Cairo hitting 2nd, et. al).

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