So the World Series is going on. The Red Sox seem to be well on their way toward their second World Series championship in the last four years, but based on the coverage of the Yankees, you would hardly know it.
The Yankees, you see, have found a way to stay not only relevant but on top of the baseball world after being eliminated from the playoffs. I noted this phenomenon last week when half of the top baseball new stories of the day focused around the Yankees, and it’s still true 10 days later. The team has taken to creating a big deal out of nothing, and it’s worked.
First, the Yankees induced stalking-style reporting during their double-secret probation meeting in Tampa about the future of Joe Torre. For days, nothing happened, and that, folks, was the news. “Nothing happens yet,” the headlines screamed as beat writers texted updates to their loyal readers who were breathlessly awaiting news of Joe Torre’s fates. It seemed like the Yankees brass were hammering out a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and it captivated everyone.
Now, they’re back at it again. The Yankees have turned the hunt for a manager into a media circus. They are interviewing three fairly boring candidates, but each other has been ushered through the same process. Arrive in Florida; interview with everyone; and then get turned loose on the media to see how the candidate in question handles the New York sports writers. Rinse. Repeat.
With the interviews over, the Yankees have once again sequestered themselves away in Tampa, and beat writers are waiting for word of the new Yankee manager. Will the name be released tomorrow during the World Series? Will the Yankees adhere to Bud Selig’s gag request and just leak the name instead?
This evening, though, the reports from Yankee-land have trumped everything we’ve witnessed. Black smoke arose from Tampa, and Howard Rubenstein poked his head out to say: “There has been widespread speculation about who the next manager of The New York Yankees will be. The evaluation process is continuing and there will be no immediate decision or announcement.”
That is, he poked his head out to make news by saying there is no news. And that — not the Red Sox’s 2-1 win — will dominate the New York sports pages.
Welcome to Major League Baseball: It’s the Yankees’ world, and everyone else just plays in it.