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World Series represents the benefits of good management

November 1, 2009

Football may have supplanted baseball as America’s game, but baseball still represents the economic norms of America better than its more violent cousin. This year’s World Series, more than any other in recent memory, is indicative of that.

Both the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are amongst the game’s more venerable institutions, but both have reversed their trends and made significant changes to their typical way of taking action in order to achieve a new level of success.

The Yankees, run for years on George Steinbrenner’s money are giving their ancient owner, whose health is as much of a secret as Fidel Castro’s, at least one more chance to see the team he has invested so much money in play for the trophy its won more than any other. Players like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera are still performing at high levels for the Bronx Bombers, but newcomers like C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain are just as important to the team’s success.

Until this year, though, the Yankees were associated with a prickly, almost mechanical kind of winning. They may have been good, but the team was completely devoid of personality. By bringing in some more interesting personalities and playing a different type of baseball, one predicated on pitching shutouts when Sabathia or Burnett start and outhitting the team whenever someone else pitches, the Yankees have, as ESPN’s Bill Simmons noted in a recent column, come to represent the thrilling Red Sox teams of a few years ago.

The Phillies, on the other hand, have a lengthy history of losing. Until the Pirates broke their record this past season, the club had endured the longest streak of futility in the history of professional sports. Like the Yankees, the Phillies have a homegrown core – namely Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley – that they added to through trades (ace Cliff Lee) and free agency (sluggers Jayson Werth and Matt Stairs). (It is worth noting that Lee and Sabathia were both in the Indians’ starting rotation two seasons ago and now are pitching against each other for the game’s biggest prize in what has to be a somewhat uncomfortable situation for both of them.)

Both teams have had their bad times (granted, bad times for the Yankees are the equivalent of winning the lottery for most of the teams in the game), but by developing their own cores and then adding to them when necessary and completely changing their mindsets, these two teams have shown themselves capable of reaching the game’s ultimate moment and putting themselves in the position to win a championship.

Originally posted at On Popular Culture

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 2, 2009 7:19 pm

    "Football may have supplanted baseball as America's game, but baseball still represents the economic norms of America better than its more violent cousin."Thank you, sir, for this quote.Damn straight.

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