The New York Yankees are currently on a downward spiral that can easily be reverted by a little motivation from their general manager, Brian Cashman.
Although they are nowhere close to being as dreadful as the 2016 Yankees are right now, they were five games out of the American League East and lost five of six games leading into play on June 24th.
They were also only one game improved from the 2008 team that had missed the postseason for the first time since 1993.
On that day, prior to an interleague match-up against the Atlanta Braves, general manager Brian Cashman met the team at Turner Field and gave the team an unexpected pep talk.
For those of you who don’t know Cashman, he rarely travels with the team and even though his voyage wasn’t specifically made to give the team a jolt, it had that an undeniable effect.
According to reports, the Yankees’ GM attended the hitters’ meeting and spoke to them briefly about their struggles which certainly put the squad under the impression that they were all on the hot seat.
“I’m not going to believe we got turned around because I went there. I was doing my job,” Cashman told the Daily News. “The players we have are great at what they do. They got it going and it was bound to happen.”
Following the pep talk New York’s GM gave to his team, the Yankees beat the Braves in a comeback fashion while seeing their manager get ejected and tremendous passion following Francisco Cervelli’s first career home run.
Following the energetic win from the walking corpse that was the New York Yankees, the team went 65-27 including playoff games and also clinched their 27th World Series Title.
During that rough stretch in June, Cashman raved that the team had the talent to win without making major moves, a statement he has come out and repeated here in 2016.
Speaking of here in 2016, the Yankees look even worse than they did on that day in 2009.
Entering Wednesday night’s ballgame, the team was tied for dead last in the league in runs scored (82), 23rd in batting average (.234), were dead last in average with runners in scoring position (.201), and had the worst starting pitcher’s ERA in the AL (5.13).
This is why New York is currently in the cellar of the AL East and on pace for around 106 losses (they haven’t lost 100 games since 1912). Of course, it’s only May and there are plenty of ways the Yankees can turn it around but this team can very well finish in last place for the first time since 1990.
This dreary stretch the Bronx “Bummers” are experiencing has caused Cashman to sing the same tune he sung seven years ago.
“We need it to stop,” Cashman told Anthony McCarron of the Daily News. “And we need to start playing baseball the way we’re capable of and an impact on that win column.”
What Cashman did in 2009 was motivate his team. Ah, motivation… the often overlooked aspect of the game despite being the grounds of all athletic effort and accomplishment.
Only when athletes work the hardest, don’t give in when times are tough, and perform their best when it counts will a team turn into something special.
Basically, the team with the most motivated individuals will experience a surplus of success.
To achieve the most in anything you do, especially in sports, it is your obligation to sustain your application continuously until you have reached your aim or your goals. Motivation is almost uncommonly vital because it simply enhances your desire to achieve during the time of fatigue or dullness.
Ask any athlete, during puzzling times, like the 2016 Yankees are experiencing at this very moment, physical conditioning/training, mental focus, and even diet may be affected. How can you tell the team is being affected? Just turn on the YES Network every night and watch how badly they’re pressing.
By no means am I saying the effort, or lack thereof, is the reason behind the Yankees’ 2-6 record on this road trip and dismal start, but it wasn’t necessarily the cause of the 2009 Yankees’ struggles either.
Perhaps an additional vocalization by Cashman in an unexpected trip to Baltimore can help ignite New York to new heights. Heights that are expected to be reached.