When the players are on the baseball diamond, all they care about is winning. However, it seems that the Yankees’ inability to win recently is something new. And looking around the New Yankee Stadium with the fresh accoutrements and the perfectly manicured crisp grass with the Yanks logo in centerfield, it seems that the only thing old about the Yankees is what they wear. Yes, the uniform is timeless; many great heroes and legends have worn the garments throughout the past century, tradition, tradition, 27 World Series titles, the whole spiel. However, after Derek Jeter retires and IF Robinson Cano decides to settle into a different venue, New York will have a bunch of average, past-their-prime players (although this tradition will probably continue), and Alex Rodriguez. There could be haunting dreams that the eighties have returned.
When people gander at Monument Park, they think about Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and other great Yankees. Does anybody remember players like Mike Pagliarulo, Fred Talbot, or Atley Donald for their remarkable in-game feats?
With all due respect to these professional athletes, they are not at the pinnacle of players. A team with middling men is simply not in the same echelon as the people mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph. Watching these new prospects play in the uniforms would just be a reminder of who used to be a Yankee, and the inability to emulate the dynasty in the 1920′s to the 1960′s, or the Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada era. It’s like watching Harrison Ford in Ender’s Game while recalling Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
This writer is definitely not saying to ditch the pinstripes. Quite the contrary, actually. It could be the ragged-looking players, or the aftereffects of the A-Rod scandal, or the resurgence of the other American League teams, but the Yankees just seems a little tired. Maybe it’s time to use an alternate jersey, as the Bombers are one of only two teams (Detroit Tigers) to not use a third outfit.
Instead, the team could try to revive a mascot to enhance the experience. In 1980, there was a bird named Dandy, but he failed miserably. Roughly a decade later, Dandy was replaced with food. Food! Food is wonderful, but I prefer to eat my lunch that have it cheer alongside with me. There could be a Babe Ruth look-alike. After all, if Bernie Brewer and Wally the Green Monster have a following, shouldn’t Barry the Bleacher Creature have one too?
But enough clowning around. Winning is more fun than losing. The New York Yankees seem more magical when they win; they become a transcendent ballclub, organization, and international enterprise. That special aura disappears when the loss column starts to increase. Instead of “The Yanks will win today!”, fans say “The Yanks will finally break the losing streak today.” That’s like going out to a restaurant and hoping to not get sick, definitely not the most encouraging or enthusiastic of statements. Fans watch baseball to be excited and entertained. If the gameplay isn’t stellar, then at least the experience should be. So management, please entertain us. We want the Yanks to win. But if we can’t have that, at least provide some zest. Jazz up the uniforms, create a mascot, do something! Just don’t give us staleness and mediocrity.