Friday, February 13, 2009


I am reading "The Yankee Years" by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci. Torre speaks of being struck by a comment by David Cone about the team's "desperation to win". It immediately resonated with me as to its contrast with what is happening in our world today. For us, it is the desperation not to lose that is our psychological tsunami.

When I put down the book and opened the NY Times this morning, I read of Senator Judd Gregg's decision to withdraw as nominee for commerce secretary. The article quoted President Obama as stating that the "American people were "desperate" for Democrats and Republicans to work together". It was much more than coincidence that this term was utilized.

David Brooks today writes of an imagined scenario of future failure of our economy. In this not such a make believe world, Brooks portrays a psychologically battered America that had 'migrated from one society to another- from a society of high trust to a society of low trust, from a society of optimism to a society of foreboding".

In this new world order, we have everything to fear, as fear itself engulfs us. It is this sense of desperation that cannot be allowed to take hold. As much as we point the finger of blame at those who have led us to the brink, it will be our own insecurities that drive us over the edge. The one overriding task of this administration is to get us all on the couch and change our collective psyche.

Through the years of the Yankee dynasty, most other clubs were beaten before they stepped on the field. The Yankees knew that they would eventually prevail. They were not working from a core of weakness, but one of strength and domination. There was a will and a drive to succeed. Right now we are like the old Kansas City Royals who came to town with no reasonable prospect of victory. Defeat was the norm, and the only hope was not to be humiliated in the process.

Until we become more like the Yankees of old, and discard our sense of being the Kansas City Royals, we are in deep trouble.


Anonymous said...

The Yankees of old fostered a strong sense of accountability. Players and team owners of old seemed to take a much more collective responsibility for every player's transgressions on and off the field. This ethos was all-important; it was how they defined themselves. Bad behavior brought severe consequences. A stolen mitt, (never mind the more serious issue of steroids) meant banishment. It was all important that the team stay focused on winning, and not be distracted by anything else. I have not had a chance to read the book yet. Although I am not privy to what the players say to each other inside the clubhouse, the absence of indignation or corrective action outside the clubhouse is eroding the trust of the fans and probably creating a desperate atmosphere.

The American people (aka: the fans) hunger for accountability and competence within each of our government agencies. The previous administration has been like the distracted team, showing their unwillingness and inability to make the players take responsibility. If a player (such as Judd Gregg) isn't good for the team, don't play him. Competence and accountability in our government will get us off the couch. We've come far. We're learning. I don't want to minimize the heartache these financial losses have caused many of us. As bad as the losses have been for us, we can't let the previous administration's failures define the future. We can't tolerate distractions for the work at hand. New players are on the field. It's a new season. You just gotta believe.

Robert said...

Wow! I think the comment is longer and better written than my original.

Thanks for the effort.