BRONX, NY – The New York Yankees franchise has always prided itself on its rich tradition. From the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig era to the Joe DiMaggio and Bill Dickey years, the team constantly produced Hall of Famers – along with World Championships. Their yearly Old-Timers Day was equivalent to a holiday up in the Bronx. Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford are just a few of the icons that donned pinstripes.
As the greats have passed on to Baseball Heaven, there have been numerous others that have been paraded before us fans, which would lead to grandfathers and fathers passing the torch on to their young ones. Not every player is a Hall of Famer, but throughout the years the Yanks have had plenty of fan favorites. Good players like Mickey Rivers, Chris Chambliss, Bucky Dent, and Ron Blomberg are just a few of many.
During Spring Training, the ex-players would be invited down to Florida and spread their knowledge to the current Yankees. They would be titled “Spring Training Instructors.” Retired players like Reggie Jackson, Roy White, David Wells, and Goose Gossage have all had the title of Spring Training Instructors.
It’s part of the Spring Training experience, and a fan’s delight. Along with spreading their knowledge, they also mingled with the fan base and sign autographs. The 2022 Yankees Spring Training has taken a different turn. It’s adopted attitude of the nation, #CancelCulture.
Aside from no longer being on free TV – they won’t be on WPIX or WOR this year – they have turned their backs on their history. Other than CC Sabathia, who was here for a week, the only ex-Yankee to don pinstripes was Willie Randolph. The ex-captain and steady second baseman is manning the ship among all the coaches the Yankees have hired, who by the way have minimal to zero pro experience.
It’s a sad thing to look around the field and see no tradition. Do we blame ANALytics for this, or just the morons that run the operations department. They’ll hide behind the excuse of the uncertainty of Spring Training due to the players’ strike. I say “bullsh*t” to that. They are plenty of retired Yankees that live in Florida that can come to Tampa on an hour’s notice.
The Yankees have followed the steps of the United States and bocame a disappointing, knee-jerk entity when it comes to handling its tradition. There was a classic line in the Chazz Palminteri movie, A Bronx Tale. The line was uttered by Chazz’s character Sonny to Calogero… “Nobody cares.”