Yankees Editorial: Is Too Many, Too Much?


Recently, Barry Petchesky of Deadspin wrote a piece discussing how the New York Yankees have basically whored themselves out, by celebrating those players from greatness gone by, but who aren’t truly great Yankees. And by whoring themselves out, he means giving a plaque to seemingly every member of every World Series championship team that ever played in the Bronx.

Personally, I think Petchesky might be going a little overboard on the issue. I wrote a piece earlier in the week, that argued that Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill and Jorge Posada should have their numbers retired before Andy Pettitte. Later that same day, the Yankees announced that both Williams and Posada, would have their numbers retired, and that long time second baseman Willie Randolph, would be receiving a plaque in Monument Park. 

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I still believe that the three aforementioned players deserve their numbers to be retired before Pettitte. I will agree that doing three players from the same era in the same season is going a little overboard. I understand that the Yankees are the most successful, most celebrated franchise in the history of baseball. I get that. Here’s my thing. The Yankees have all the time in the world, to spread out the celebration, and pick their spots as to whose going to be celebrated this season, the next, and so on. They don’t have to do it all at once. There is plenty of Core Four love to go around.

I don’t quite understand the plaque thing in New York now. To me, if you’re good enough to have your number retired (and yes, I believe Willie Randolph’s number 30 should be retired), then celebrate that. As much as I loved Tino Martinez, and Goose Gossage, and others in the long, historical lineage of Yankees’ baseball, aren’t the World Series rings and Old Timers Day enough celebration? You don’t need to wallpaper Monument Park with guys who spent just a portion of their careers wearing pinstripes.

I’m also not agreeing with the argument that Petchesky is making that the Yankees are doing all of this because he thinks attendance will be in the toilet this year. The Yankees make plenty of cash whether 3 million people come to the yard or not. Need an example? More Yankees’ caps are sold worldwide, than jerseys and caps of the other 29 teams combined each year. Enough about the crying over money. It’s just not the case.

Are the Yankees trying to capitalize on the popularity of their most recent dynasty? You’re damn right they are. There wasn’t a whole lot to celebrate from the 1980’s era of Yankees baseball other than Don Mattingly. I know, I remember it like it was yesterday. Randolph and Gossage were carryovers from the Bronx Zoo era. Gossage left voluntarily for San Diego in 1984, and Randolph played until he couldn’t play anymore, and finally wasn’t re-signed. In his place, longtime Dodgers second baseman, Steve Sax. But that’s for another day.

As Yankee fans, it shouldn’t matter if the current roster and team is headed for another Octoberless season. If the team wants to celebrate their heroes of yesteryear, the ones who performed under the intense media scrutiny of the Big Apple, then so be it. Five World Series titles since 1996 isn’t anything to sneeze at, even if you’re just the New York Yankees.

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