Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tom Ver-douche-i

SI's Tom Verducci has written an absolutely pointless piece criticizing the Yankees' organization for wanting to win the World Series every year. According to Verducci, the desire to win every year is "outdated," and the Yankees should simply accept that they are unlikely to win a championship in any given year. What the fucking fuck?

Verducci makes a whole bunch of arguments about why it's harder to win a title than it used to be, some of which make a little sense, but most of which are inane:

  • The postseason is based largely on luck. (True. Always been true. The vagaries of fortune and game theory haven't changed in the last decade.)
  • The team with the best regular season record usually doesn't win it all. (Again, true. But not because there is some voodoo hex on them. It's because there are eight teams in the postseason, and anything can happen in a short series.)
  • There is more parity in baseball today. (There is no evidence to support this at all, despite Verducci's claim that "in the late '90s there were maybe four or five teams that could possibly have won the World Series," compared with 15 or more today. Interesting, considering that there were still eight playoff teams in the late '90s.)
  • Quick franchise turnarounds are common. (Always have been. Remember the '91 Twins and Braves, Tommy?)
  • Experience is overrated. (Championships are now won by teams with "young legs." That's just fucking asinine. As opposed to the ancient, crippled legs of the '96 Yankees led by Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera? If you want to argue that the Yankees' current regulars are declining and injury-prone, that's fine, but to claim that you can't win a World Series without "young legs" is ridiculous.)
So, I was wrong earlier...none of these arguments make any sense. But even if every single one of them was spot on, the entire premise of the article is flawed. How is expecting to win a championship outdated? Of course the Yankees are unlikely to win the World Series each year. That has always been the case, which makes the Yankees' prolonged runs of success even more remarkable.

Tom Verducci needs to write a follow-up article in which he outlines what the new organizational philosophy should be. Happy-go-lucky and carefree? Depressed and resigned to Division Series flameouts? Raging at the gods for daring to make it difficult to win a World Series?