During the talk with Bernie Williams yesterday, one point stood out to me. Bernie talked about the attitude required to succeed on the big stage of New York. You need to be even-keeled, he said. Naturally, I asked him if he played with anyone who had that attitude, but failed as a Yankee. Yes, he said, and it can be doubly troublesome. If you have an even-keeled attitude and aren’t producing, you can be perceived as not caring. Lord, how many times have we heard people say that?
This leads to the Yankees Attitude Matrix. There are essentially four states of a player in New York. Either he has an even-keeled attitude, or he’s fragile. On the other end, he has either good numbers or bad numbers. Here’s what the combinations mean.
Bernie and Derek Jeter obviously fit in the upper left quadrant. A.J Burnett and Robinson Cano circa 2008 fit into the lower left. A-Rod used to be in the upper right, and I don’t think anyone exemplifies the bottom right better than Javy Vazquez. After all, he’s been here twice.*
*This is not to say that I believe that Vazquez is fragile. That’s just the perception.
So the next time you hear the media talk about a player, just understand where they fall on the matrix. It will make life a lot easier.