Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You've got to win, man. You've got to win.

The Yankees and the Yankees fans, they get it. I'm no expert on Yankee culture, but let's assume Jeff Passan is correct here:

To be accepted by New York's vox populi as a Yankee – a real Yankee – you need to win a World Series. And considering only four players on the current roster have rings with the Yankees – Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada – that leaves a healthy hankering for the days of Scott Brosius, Paul O'Neill and Jeff Nelson.

By that definition – however dubious it may be – Jason Giambi still isn't a Yankee, nor are Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Johnny Damon, Gary Sheffield and, least of all, Alex Rodriguez. While Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang seem to get free passes because they've spent their entire careers with the Yankees, imports are held to different standards.

"I have to win, and Bobby has to win, and Alex has to win, and I still think Jason has to win," Damon said. "That's the driving force in what we do."

Jason Bay is not a Pirate, Jack Wilson is not a Pirate, Dave Littlefield is not a Pirate, the Nuttings are not Pirates, and Jim Tracy is definitely not a Pirate.

That's more or less how I feel about it. Who are these clowns and imposters and incompetents wearing the uniform?

We're holding out for nothing more than a .500 season. And when that comes, it's going to be hollow and unsatisfying. Because it's not that hard to win half your games. Look at the Reds, the Padres, the D'Backs. They are not great teams.

Why can't the Pirates win? That has to be the standard. We've lowered our expectations far too much, and still these people struggle to meet them.

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