What'll End First? Drought or Life?


Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/baseball-new-york-sun-kiss-yankees-2333353/

I'm not considered old, but I am getting to a point in life during which I'm wondering if the New York Yankees will win another World Series before my time is up. Hopefully, there'll be another chance to experience a fan's elation when your team wins it all before this latest Bronx drought becomes multiple decades old.

Born in 1965, I guess you could say I've lived through two-and-half titleless stretches. I was only aware of the lack of championships that started in 1962 about half my life by the time the Yankees broke 16-year championship drought in 1977 by beating the L.A. Dodgers in six games, 4-2.

Although I had a woolen pinstriped uniform and a Yankees cap that rarely left my head in the early part of the 70s, that drought seemed quite distant. I rooted for the Oakland A's then, just for a short while, as they won their championships in 1972, 73, and 74.

I was keenly aware of the 18-year span in the 1980s and 90s, though. During that one, I had graduated high school and college, embarked on a sports writing career, shifted into public relations, and gotten married. My wife, an Andy Pettitte fan, and I watched together in 1996 as New York defeated the Atlanta Braves, winning four straight games after dropping the first two at home.

Now, having raised a daughter with my wife, entered into a career with a technology company, seen a slew of family and friends pass away, and watched our daughter grow into an incredible musician pursuing her master's degree, I find myself in the position that I mentioned at the beginning of this piece.

The Yankees last won a title in 2009, and it seems to me that 2022 is going to be unlucky year 13. The scary thing is that this drought can easily become the longest in team history. This team that, since 1923, has won 19 American League East titles, 40 American League championships, and 27 World Series, simply is not the place every free agent wants to play anymore.

Those of us who are amateur general managers and fantasy team owners know how to fix things, from the changes that need to be made with the on-field personnel and the front-office staff, to the changes that need to be made in the culture. Yet, no one is asking us, so I won't go into all my ideas here. Pontificating on how to make the Yankees better and serious World Series contender again is content for another column. And maybe that's not as urgent as I think.

After all, as Jake Mintz, an MLB writer for Fox Sports wrote in February, "The Yankees are not in any way, shape, or form a "bad team." In fact, they’re probably one of the five best-positioned franchises in the league...with five straight postseason appearances, a stacked lineup full of star power...one of the top farm systems in the game, and a player development apparatus that churns out top prospects."

Yet something is obviously missing, and has been for years. Until someone who can do something about it figures out what that is, the playoff appearance streak will end, and the title drought will linger and grow.

And if it lingers and grows too much longer, well, sad for me to say, but, my life may not outlast it.



Ed Dzitko

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. (John Wesley)

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