Yankees: It’s A Good Thing Spring Training Isn’t At The White House


The Yankees opened their 2017 Spring Training camp in Tampa on Tuesday, where competition for jobs takes place among gentlemen. White House staffers, as well as the President himself, might do well to take a cue from the Baby Bombers.

The Yankees have almost 70 young men assembled in Tampa for the opening of their Spring Training camp. As we know, there only 25 spots on a major league roster. Competition for jobs is severe.

So, as a player looks to his right and sees another player and looks to his left to see a player, he can only surmise that two of the three of them will not be making the plane trip back to Tampa when the season opens against the Rays on April 2.

The Yankees, and baseball generally, has a code of ethics. Regrettably, the same cannot be said for the occupant of the White House

In other circumstances, there might be reasons for bloodshed as the competition heats up. And players would be engaged in an all-out effort to curry favor with manager Joe Girardi, taking an extra lap or two when he’s directing the day’s exercise program. Anything to get noticed.

To be sure, the competition between Chris Carter, Greg Bird, and Tyler Austin will be spirited and intensely waged. What we will not see, though, is any back-stabbing and leaks to reporters downgrading another player. That’s the way the game of baseball is played. Do your job, and the rest will take of itself.

Apparently, they haven’t received this memo in Washington, DC, and there is a different brand of aggressive style at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And unlike what we see in the Yankees camp, it’s more in the vein of Roman gladiators engaging in a game of cut throat to see who wins the Emperor’s favor.

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The Yankees would never tolerate a player who knowingly lies to Brian Cashman about something a competitor has done, to make gains for himself. This appears to be very commonplace in the Trump White House

Consider this. New York Managers Terry Collins and Joe Girardi both endorse Dunkin’ Donuts. What do you think would happen if Clint Frazier, for example, purposes only, went on the Today show and told America that they should stop at DD for their morning coffee every day, with the sole intention of currying favor with Girardi?

Do you think Frazier might be subject to immediate disciplinary action by the Yankees, and possibly even MLB? You bet he would.

And yet, a trusted advisor of Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway goes on the show telling America to go out and buy anything Ivanka Trump is selling, and nothing happens until the media raises an outcry and Congress announces that they will “investigate” the matter. And still, there is no comment from the White House.

The Yankees, and baseball generally, has a code of ethics. Regrettably, the same cannot be said for the occupant of the White House, at least from what we see in his month in office. Donald Trump runs the White House like he was still hiring and firing on his reality TV show, The Apprentice. “Go at ’em, boys and girls. Do what ya gotta do, because only one of you will be hired”.

Imagine A Scenario On The Yankees Like This

If the Yankees were run that way, you might envision a scene in which Rob Refsnyder, who is fighting for a spot on the roster, buddies up with with a pitcher on the staff he is friends with. Then, he casually “suggests” to him about one his competitors, “Hey, what do you say you plant a fastball on his kneecap for me? I sure would appreciate it.”

See, it’s not even within the realm of possibility in baseball. And yet, this is kind of “competition” that Donald Trump apparently encourages, and even rewards. Baseball has often been criticized as being a game for sissies. Put me down in that category; I don’t care.

If Hal Steinbrenner ran the Yankees the way this White House is being run, the Commissioner would be on the phone to him in a New York minute. The point, though, is that Steinbrenner, like baseball itself, has a code of ethics that is rarely violated.

And that code of expected behavior is trickled down to the players, with the understanding that there is a Yankees way to play this game.

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Washington, take note and watch how James Kaprielian and Chance Adams go about their business in trying to unseat one of the Yankees starters this spring. They may, and probably will fail in their efforts. At least for now. But they’ll be back to fight another day, which is more than we can say for the cut-throat artists being assembled in the White House who seemingly only live for today.