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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goldman: The Pinstriped Bible Rides Again

Much like a Johnny “The Kingston Strongboy” Ellis belly-flop at home plate…another safe landing for The Pinstripe Bible.

For me, that argument begins in skepticism, in questioning every assumption about player value and strategic decisions, every myth about RBI-men and clutch hitting, and even poking a stick at sacred cows such as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. I seem to have also spent a disproportionate amount of my adult life writing about players such as Tony Womack, Clay Bellinger, Enrique Wilson, Ruben Sierra, and Xavier Nady. I love on-base percentage, damn it, but traditional media types, quite often including team broadcasters, love to heap the mythology on players who don’t reach base (and often don’t do much of anything), building them into unassailable towers of productivity whose normal status as journeymen (usually before and after their stint with the Yankees) thereby is rendered inexplicable.

As I said when I wrote the first YES-hosted installment of the PB, this column, the Pinstriped Bible, is about toying with those myths, holding them up to the light, and, when appropriate, discarding them - especially where they pertain to the New York Yankees. Those myths are obfuscations, designed to obscure the truth. It’s much easier to stick with the myth than to take the time to think about what you’re seeing, to the point that your prejudices make seeing a strain.

In 1953, Stengel (Yankees manager 1949-1960, for those that came in late) told his Yankees, “If we’re going to win the pennant, we’ve got to start thinking we’re not as good as we think we are.” A little doubt is a healthy thing, the Old Man was saying; we can always do better if we let the light of ratiocination shine down on our prejudices. It’s only in questioning our assumptions that we can break through to new solutions, new understandings of life-or how to run a baseball team. And this is true even when the team is winning.

The point here is to do what Casey asked his team to do: doubt a little, figure out what’s working and what’s not, and react honestly, and without homerism. Paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton, saying “My team, right or wrong!” is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober!” You can be honest about the Yankees and still be a Yankees fan in good standing.

Repoz Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: site news, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4168882)
So he's saying Yankee fans should be more like Met fans...?
   2. SG Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4168902)
I take it the Bleacher Report thing didn't work out then?
   3. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4168962)
I thought that was King Kaufman. Was Goldman involved in Bleacher Report as well?
   4. Repoz Posted: June 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4169029)
Was Goldman involved in Bleacher Report as well?

Yeah, Steve was involved...but things quickly fell apart.

I'm not even sure he ever wrote a piece for them.
   5. Bruce Markusen Posted: June 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4169058)
Steve wrote a few articles for Bleacher Report in April, but then they stopped. I never saw an explanation.
   6. Cblau Posted: June 28, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4169107)
New London, not Kingston!!!!
   7. Repoz Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4169122)
New London, not Kingston!!!!

Oh, that Messer!

   8. Sean Forman Posted: June 28, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4169149)
Hope he got some stock in B/R.
   9. JE (Jason) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4169264)
On my left hand is a copy of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, a scattering of CDs, including "The Who Sings My Generation" (their first album), Hüsker Dü's "Zen Arcade," and a collection of classical pieces by Felix Mendelssohn. On my right hand are DVDs of "It Happened One Night," Yankees 1996 World Series highlights, a box set of Randolph Scott westerns, and photographs of Babe Ruth, Hank Greenberg, Casey Stengel, and my family. Welcome to my world.

That's an impressive set of hands.

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