Story of the day: Complacency


Following up on Mike’s last post, I’ve noticed a particular focus on Point No. 3: Complacency. Apparently there’s a concern that the Yankees will be happy having won the World Series last year, and will start the season on cruise control rather than with full effort. Maybe those aren’t the specific accusations, but it’s certainly implied. I’ve never been one to judge a ballplayer’s effort, so maybe I’m just laying down my personal biases here. But I see no reason to think the team will not care as much about winning in 2010 because they hoisted the trophy in 2009.

Even if there is a hangover effect on World Series winning teams, why would a player ever admit to it if questioned? When asked, players will almost certainly respond the way Phil Hughes did a couple of days ago. “Last year was nice, but we have to do it again this year. At the end of 2010, I don’t think anyone will be talking about who won in ’09.” It’s right out of the Crash Davis handbook for dealing with the media. I don’t expect any different from anyone, even if — especially if — there is some mythical hangover effect.

This actually gives me more respect for the beat reporters. While I don’t think the current storyline is relevant, it certainly highlights the daily pains they go through to find one. It ain’t easy chasing down a story in Tampa, especially when all’s quiet on the Yankee front.

Categories : Spring Training


  1. I hear business owners all the time say, “Yeah, we did really well last year. Our products were well-received and destroyed our competition, we made record profits, and morale is at an all-time high. So we’re really gonna mail it in next year. I mean, really, who gives a shit? We were the balls last year. We’re just gonna drink some mojitos and shoot the shit. Next question.”

  2. Rose says:

    Apparently there’s a concern that the Yankees will be happy having won the World Series last year, and will start the season on cruise control rather than with full effort.

    Then what else are they playing for?

    The money? HA HA HA HA HA.

    [In a Cousin Balky kinda-voice]

    “Don’t be ridiculous…”

  3. A.D. says:

    Complacency is more likely to be a problem with an organization, “we don’t need to improve since we won last year”, than with individual players. The organization already proved this offseason they aren’t going to be complacent (not that I think anyone was legitimately worried), with continuing to make moves to get better. Otherwise I don’t see why anyone would think an individual player would (especially since no one signed big FA contracts) let alone a group of players of a variety of ages & contract lengths.

    But alas, writers must fill the page.

  4. Steve H says:

    I think for the most part complacency is overrated when it comes to pro sports. When players talk about it, they always talk about how now that they know what it’s like to win one, they want to keep going. The Core Four™, for example, know what it’s like to win, and know what it’s like to go through a drought; I can guarantee those guys aren’t complacent. The Yankees also have several new guys who haven’t won it all. I think, for the most part, complacency rarely affects the truly great players, and the Yankees are full of them. It’s the same reason we’ve seen guys coasting into the Hall start using steroids; they’re always looking for more.

    All of that being said, I can certainly see Cano/A-Rod/Posada and Felix Hernandez getting complacent…..

  5. Jeremy says:

    Riveting, hard-hitting sports journalism as usual. Because we all know that the Yankees’ ownership is perfectly content with complacent, underachieving teams.

  6. LosingOurHeads says:

    The same thing happened to all the other Yankee championship teams. No one ever repeated. Shame, actually. Complacent bastards!

  7. yankeegirl49 says:

    If the complacency theory were real, no team would ever repeat.
    I hope that’s the biggest concern we have all season.

  8. dkidd says:

    alex will jog complacently around the bases 57 times this year

  9. steve s says:

    It feels a bit eerie that the Yanks are completely without any real controversy. A little Bronx Zoo needs to be mixed in every now and then to pay the proper homage to the Yanks glorious and inglorious past and keep everyone focused.

  10. [...] stupid internet story of the week was about the Yankees possibly being complacent after last [...]

  11. [...] already dealt with the MSM manufactured storyline of complacency, though there are sure to be attempts to drum up something else to fill the column inches. The Phil [...]

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