A crazier Bronx Zoo


Today’s Yankee fans love to bemoan the presence of Alex Rodriguez. He’s a distraction, they say. He causes more problems than he’s worth. Rick Cerone, former Yankee catcher, simply laughs at that notion. Cerone, speaking at the induction ceremonies for the New Jersey Hall of Fame, said that the Yankee clubhouse during his years with the team and for the few seasons prior to that was a study in dysfunction. Reggie Jackson and his teammates would physically fight each other, and despite these Bronx Zoo distractions, the team still managed to win two World Series and play in a third. This A-Rod, he ain’t no thing.

Categories : Asides
  • GG

    I wasnt alive when the Yankees won those two rings in the late 70’s, but the feeling I get, is that the team was a zoo because it was a rowdy and emotional bunch of guys….The current Yankees to me, seem like a bunch of guys who are under the microscope, and want to go about their business, except A-rod, who wants to always be in the spotlight, which I doubt helps the other guys in anyway, and maybe even angers some of them….I like Alex a lot, and hope this team is good enough regardless of how they are playing now, but I think that Bronx Zoo, and this one are very different species.

    • Bronx Baseball Daily

      It’s not nearly as different as you think. Reggie Jackson did nothing more than piss off his teammates and craved the spotlight as much or more than Arod.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Reggie Jackson and his teammates would physically fight each other…

        Is ARod getting into fistfights with his teammates? I’d say it is as different as GG thinks.

  • Pasqua

    Never thought I’d look to Rick Cerrone as a voice of reason, but he is in this case. Even as a diehard Yankee fan, I have never understood people’s fascination with the need for “chemistry,” or their ridiculous love of “intangibles.” These are meaningless phrases and not a measurable component of winning. Talent and luck wins games. When the talent is sub-par and the luck runs dry, bad things happen. For some reason, that’s not enough for people. They need to lay blame on the manager for not “sparking” the team, or the egomaniac for “disrupting” the clubhouse. Yet, once things start rolling (i.e., the egomaniac is hitting homeruns, and that bloop down the line falls in to score two), it’s amazing how the chemistry is always great, isn’t it?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      “I have never understood people’s fascination with the need for ‘chemistry,’ or their ridiculous love of ‘intangibles.’ These are meaningless phrases and not a measurable component of winning. Talent and luck wins games.”

      I have nothing to add, I just wanted to repeat that so that everyone heard it again.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Though in most part I agree, but there is something to be said for confidence. I might want to include that under intangibles or it could be its own subsection. Confidence doesn’t do shit if you don’t have talent. But if you have talent and low confidence, there is a good chance your production will not be as high as a similarly talented person who is confident. Baseball is a game of failure. Those who persevere to make it to the majors obviously need to have more confidence than an ordinary person.

        There is no proof for any of this outside of annecdotal evidence. But there is lots of research in the field of how confidence effects people’s abilities. I would expect it to apply just as well to baseball players as it does to doctors, lawyers, and business people.

        But amen on chemistry meaning shit!

  • OmgZombies

    Pete Abraham spoke on this

    Winning= Good Chemistry
    Losing =Bad Chemistry

    • Matt H

      I can not agree more, it’s one of the biggest ‘bs’ ideas in sports.

      Rarely do you hear of a team with ‘bad chemistry’ being champs, and vise-versa…

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Funny you should say that in this thread. I think the Bronx Zoo Yankees would beg to differ with that philosophy.

      • Whitey14

        As well as the Swinging A’s of the early 70’s, not nicknamed that solely because of their bats….

        Early 70’s A’s/Late 70’s Yankees…

        Common denominator = Reggie Jackson

        It is absolutely possible to win titles with arrogant, self absorbed, spotlight seeking superstars on your club. I would surmise that more championship teams have won with one than have won without one over the past 40 or so years.

  • Derby

    This team is lacking chemistry. I remember watching the teams of the 90s and there was just this certain presence about them. There was a great mix of young players and veteran presence. Now we have TOO much veteran presence and too many egos. I’m surprised everyone’s head can fit through the door. Give me Scott Brosius and Paul O’Neill anyday.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      If you believe that Scott Brosius is better for the team than A-Rod, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you also. This love affair with Scott Brosius cost the Yanks Mike Lowell’s good, solid, long career and is actually the direct reason why they have A-Rod. Chew on that one.

      • Derby

        I’m not saying I’d rather have Brosius over A-Rod at 3rd. That would be just plain dumb of me. I was talking about the TYPE of player he was. I know he’ll never have the same numbers as A-Rod, but the man was a hell of a ball player for us.I miss the attitude and grit he brought onto the field everyday.

        • Pasqua

          But what would a Scott Brosius “type” add? How would it improve the Yankees chances of winning? If you admit that A-Rod is simply better than Brosius, case closed. There is no “but.” You love Brosius (as do we all) because he happened to be a nice guy who had his ultimate best years as a Yankee during the dynasty. His production on the field helped the team to win, not his “style” of play. If he had hit .205, as he did the year before he arrived, I doubt you would remember his style as fondly. I don’t mean to attack your opinion (I do respect it) but your point is the type of thing I was referring to above.

          • Benjamin Kabak

            Agreed. Furthermore, “attitude and grit” do not win games. As much as we like to think that showing hustle gives teams an advantage, it doesn’t if the ability and skill aren’t there.

            • Derby

              Ok, these yankees are full of ability and skill, yet they continue to disappoint right now. Obviously something is missing;

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      It wasn’t chemistry. It was talent. C, SS, and CF the Yankees received well above average production. They received better than average production out of RF and 1b. Their pitching staff was full of #2/3 starters, most of the time not having even a legit #5. They may have lacked elite superstars, but the talent was spread around so well that they were the best team out there.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Their pitching staff was full of #2/3 starters, most of the time not having even a legit #5.

        Cone, Wells, Clemens, Pettitte… those guys aren’t #2/#3 starters. They’re #1/#2 starters.

  • Lanny

    Talent trumps chemistry anyday.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Chemistry + Scrappiness + Guile + Facial Hair + Pine tar stained helmets + Sweat stained caps + Whiteness +stadium sellouts + premature balding + red bull = Winners.

    It’s really just simple math.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You left out steroids.

      • Whitey14

        Brett Gardner does not take steroids!