Friday, July 10, 2015

1 comments Filip Bondy Longs for the Days When The Drama Around the Yankees Was More Important Than What Was Happening on The Field

I'm not posting as much lately, as you have noticed. How much I post in a week depends on two things. (1) The amount of time I have and (2) the number of articles I can find to write about. I've not being able to find much of either lately, so I've not posted as much. I'll try to do better in the coming weeks. I was going to take the entire month of July off from posting anything, but decided against that. So on to Filip Bondy longing for the days of the Steinbrenners.

New York sportswriters are famous for a few things. Among them is overreacting to anything that may have immediately happened, mistaking a New York-based team making roster moves for this movement actually being improvement, and lionizing George Steinbrenner. They didn't lionize him as much while he was alive of course, but once he died, Steinbrenner then became the savior of all saviors for the Yankees organization. "How much better would this all be if George was alive?" is brought up several dozen times per year in columns. Filip Bondy is bored with the Yankees, because winning games or not having a circus surrounding the team is too boring for him. See, sportswriters like Bondy prefer drama because it makes it easier for them to do their job. That's why most Yankees sportswriters were salivating at the idea of Alex Rodriguez returning to the team this year. Surely, he would be good for some controversial copy that would sell papers and get pageviews. Well, it hasn't exactly turned out that way. So Filip is sad that the Yankees are boring to him. A logical person might understand that being boring isn't a bad thing and craving the excitement of controversy isn't how a sportswriter should live out his/her existence. But as I said, it's more important to these writers for the Yankees to be exciting. That's how they judge the team and they seem to believe the purpose of the Yankees organization is to give them good stories to write about in a daily column.

So Filip misses George Steinbrenner and wishes Hank would take over the team so he will have more interesting topics to write about. It's so pathetic how sportswriters like Filip cover a professional sports organization and crave drama like they are watching a soap opera. This is the type of article that is written when an uninspired and uncreative sportswriter doesn't have anything else to write about.

The sound you just heard was another baseball crashing into the second deck after a brief, towering orbit — right alongside the Yankees’ narrative arc.

Oh no! The narrative arc for the Yankees' season has crashed. How ever will columns be written and hot takes disseminated? When will the Yankees do something noteworthy to interrupt this boring season of having to cover baseball? Filip Bondy certainly didn't get into covering sports for a living so that he would end up having to cover sporting events. 

Sunday afternoon in the park was not so much a picnic in the Bronx, as it was a cold, wakeup shower following a dreamy nap.

Poetic. This sentence was not so much a delicious meal of narrative enjoyment, as it was a shit sandwich following a bath in raw sewage. 

Before they were creamed by Detroit, 12-4, the Yanks had gone 11-1 at home while outscoring opponents, 87-31.

The Yankees were dominating opponents. BORING! No one cares about how well the Yankees are playing at home. Get some drama to stop Filip from being bored while watching all these baseball games.

“We’re built for this ballpark,” Joe Girardi declared, before the game. But then Masahiro Tanaka’s splitters roamed way too high and the Tigers — also built for this bandbox — hammered five homers off three pitchers to provide a more realistic vision of the home team.

A more realistic vision of the home team which proved Girardi wrong by moving the Yankees to having a 11-2 record at home while outscoring opponents 91-43. Obviously the other 12 games were a fluke. For sure. 

The dirty little secret about this edition of the Yankees is that they’re not a very good club, destined to streak back and forth like this and to finish anywhere from second to fourth place in the AL East.

I don't think it is a secret that the Yankees aren't especially good this season. They are a decent team who could get hot and slide into a Wild Card spot or fall back and just be a pretty good team. Of course, this does not please Filip Bondy because it's too boring. Simply covering the Yankees isn't enough for him. Someone drum up some controversy!

As I said earlier, the New York media was counting on Alex Rodriguez creating controversy and the media was salivating over this prospect. A-Rod has hit the ball well and been on his best behavior, much to their total dismay. I'm surprised Mike Lupica hasn't planted steroids in A-Rod's locker yet, just for the sake of writing a story about it.

Tanaka is too fragile in body; Michael Pineda too brittle of mind. Mark down the Bombers for 81 to 87 victories, once again on the cusp of the wild-card race.

Oh no, the Yankees may only be on the fringe of the playoffs. Wake Filip up when September ends so he will know if the Yankees made the playoffs or not. No wait, check that, wake him up if there is anything interesting to write about the Yankees after September. This whole "covering sports without controversy" just isn't working for him.

Let’s instead address the more pressing problem, which is: How do the Yankees become less boring?

I've watched more Yankees games this year than I have in a while, so I don't know how to answer that question. What I do know is the Yankees becoming boring isn't really a bad thing for anyone but sportswriters who cover the Yankees. So they will continue to beat the drum for the idea the Yankees are boring until their readers reluctantly agree. 

The once-compelling Yanks have only three marquee position players worth watching. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira hit home runs. Brett Gardner is a home-grown hustler. The bullpen, when healthy, is deep. That’s about it. There aren’t nearly enough up-siders.

Yes, the Yankees need to go sign more free agents and generate some excitement. That'll work. Overspend on a few players and give the media something to talk about.

What's funny is Filip is about to complain the Yankees don't have enough homegrown players, but there is no way in hell sportswriters like Filip Bondy would have the patience to watch these homegrown players turn into MLB regulars. In fact, much of what the Yankees seem to be trying to do is be smart with their acquisitions and give some players in their system time to develop. What's the result? Filip Bondy calls them "boring."

The bottom of the lineup is a bottomless pit.

The lineup isn't loaded with stars. Oh how ever has such a fate befallen the Yankees? If there aren't All-Stars at every lineup spot then Filip Bondy has no need to watch any Yankee games. 

Something new and exciting is required to perk up the place, write some new headlines now that A-Rod has reached his milestones. There is one quick fix available, if only the Steinbrenner family would cooperate.

Hal should stand aside once more for his brother, Hank.


I hope this is tongue-in-cheek, because it's ridiculous. As if Hank Steinbrenner creating controversy and saying stupid shit will fix the Yankees problem of being boring. It would just distract from the product on the field that Bondy seems to hate so much. If Filip Bondy hates the product on the field so much then he is in the wrong profession.

We have nothing against Hal, who is a very nice, unassuming owner, a fine man. He does not think he is God’s answer to personnel decisions. But he is not a natural pot stirrer, like his dad.

No one cares if you have good stories to write. Your job matters much less to everyone else than it does to you. I know it hurts knowing this, but it is true. 

His words and actions are measured. When the team struggles, no ultimatums are issued.

See? The New York media mistakes ultimatums and reactionary decisions for good decision-making. Because see, when ultimatums are issued and bad decisions are made, the New York media can bash the Yankees. That's all they want to do. Give them a story to write about or they will create one themselves. 

“Brian, I believe is a good one,” Hal said last year, when he decided to re-sign Cashman. “Every general manager has signings. Some work out better than others.”

In the fantasy world where Hank Steinbrenner has more control and a bigger voice, the New York media will then bash the Yankees for their failings when firing everyone and issuing ultimatums didn't work out. 

Steinbrenner also said something else during that interview on the Michael Kay show.

“I would hold me responsible before anybody else,” he said.

The horror at the realization a Steinbrenner won't randomly fire and hire the same person over and over while expecting different results every time! What kind of rational behavior is that from a male Steinbrenner? It's sad to me how much Filip Bondy and his fellow hacks in the media favor drama over actual sporting events. It doesn't surprise me of course.

This is the Bronx, not Queens. There are no tomorrows, or day-after-tomorrows. There is only today. The visage of The Boss glares down disapprovingly from a mural behind the right-field bleachers, at what transpires below.

There are lot of things that The Boss (why capitalized?) disapproved of. Like not trading Mariano Rivera early in his career and generally having any sort of patience without making a knee-jerk move he may later regret. Now George Steinbrenner is considered a saint for some reason. 

We have fond memories of Hank in his brief role as chief spokesman of the Yankees, after his father ceded control. But then soon enough the quieter Hal was elected Chairman of the Board in September 2007. A muzzle quieted the biggest mouth in ownership.

And this meant that Filip Bondy had to write about...baseball. I mean, baseball, why would Filip Bondy want to write about that boring-ass sport? 

This is a significant waste of noise. We remember very well the fuss he made during the transition-of-power years, when Hank dissed the Red Sox in the New York Times magazine.

“Go anywhere in America and you won’t see Red Sox hats and jackets, you’ll see Yankee hats and jackets,” he said. “This is a Yankee country. We’re going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.”

And then the Yankees didn't do that. Normally, there would be criticism by Bondy directed at Hank Steinbrenner for promising something that didn't come true, but covering the Yankees isn't about the accuracy of statements that are or are not said. Covering the Yankees is about taking the noise surrounding the team and pumping out narratives and reactionary columns that makes what happens on the field as ancillary to the noise around the team as possible. Since the act of dissing the Red Sox was more important than the accuracy of his statement, Hank Steinbrenner's comment will only receive a mild rebuke for it's inaccuracy. 

Well, here we are, many seasons later, and there is no restoration of the universe, only AL East chaos.

And it's boring chaos, which makes it all that much worse. 

Cashman’s acquisitions have largely faltered and there are no new homegrown position stars.

"There are no homegrown stars on this team! Draft these players and then give them time to develop!"

"Why are the Yankees so boring and lack All-Stars at every spot in the starting lineup and rotation?"

Nobody is going to win a pennant with a generic lineup that begins with Didi Gregorius in the two slot and concludes with Garrett Jones, Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan.

No, but huge contracts given to underachieving players also aren't going to happen when this "generic" lineup is run out everyday. Homegrown position stars don't just happen overnight. Sometimes there is a waiting period where short-term fixes have to be put in place until the time when these homegrown stars are ready to be stars. Take a look at who played second base for the Yankees until Robinson Cano made his debut in 2005. Filip probably doesn't remember this, but it was Miguel Cairo. Who played in the outfield before the hustling Brett Gardner magically appeared? It was Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon, which limited Gardner's at-bats initially. 

Someone, somewhere, needs to scream about all this.

No, they don't. Someone, somewhere needs to write a good column about the New York Yankees without lazily calling them boring because there isn't enough drama surrounding the team. 

We miss George terribly. Hank is the next best thing. Get off the golf course.

Yes, George Steinbrenner would have fixed everything by firing Brian Cashman, then re-hiring him, then firing him again, to where the end result was that the Yankees won about 81-87 games in a season and didn't really end up going anywhere. Sort of like where the Yankees are today. That's exactly what should Hank Steinbrenner should do. Create drama so Filip Bondy has something to write about, that's all the Yankees should do.

A-Rod has been a severe disappointment in this aspect. I keep waiting for a New York sportswriter to write a column that essentially bashes A-Rod for not causing controversy this year.

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