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The Peter Principle is alive and well

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


It has found a home in The Bronx. In the suburbs of the Big Apple. More specifically, at the new home of the Yankees, Yankee Stadium [Two]. It lives in the body of one Joseph Elliot Girardi, Joe Girardi to Yankee fans, manager of the team. For those of you not familiar with The Peter Principle, its literal definition is that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." It was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1968 book - The Peter Principle.

Girardi has taken it to a new level. While Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are, by birth, institutionalized into the SSC ("Successful Sons Club") they are hardly the reflection or embodiment of their more famous dad, George. Were the patriarch well enough to be at the helm, Girardi would have been offered an alternate position with the ground crew.

Why blame Girardi for the lackluster performance of the team?

The Yanks are having a tough time winning consistently under second-year Manager Joe Girardi (R).
Because he is the man who runs the show. He and Brian Cashman, who has conveniently receded into the folds of the stage curtain and become part of the landscape. Girardi does not have a clue. With a team whose payroll could offset the stimulus package that the government has put forth recently and players with bios and press releases that bespeak all-star quality, the "Pinstripers" languish along cashing checks instead of runs.

To offset the outrageous cost of their new digs they have made, as an aside, the cost of being a ticket holder the equivalency of filing for bankruptcy before you head out to the park. The crowds at Dolphin Stadium, PNC Park or Kauffman Stadium to watch the Marlins, Pirates or Royals, respectively, are akin to what is seen in The Bronx these days. It is like prospective fans are being warned that there is a thunderstorm on the way, to be followed by up to two feet of snow just before the tornado hits.

A season ticket means postponing college for one of your kids for a year. Not a good idea.

This is not the year to make the playoffs. That is not the goal. They blew that last season. This is the year they are supposed to be playing for the championship, not of the Little League but of Major League Baseball, the sometimes known event called the World Series.

Do not cover me with the usual "It's still early" rhetoric. This is not the Kentucky Derby and they will not be seen coming up on the inside rail.

When Girardi tries different lineups on a near daily basis, he attributes that to injuries. Puhleeeez! He does that without injuries, such as they may be. The old school adage about righties versus lefties and the results of same has never been proven from a confirming and impressive statistical point of view. The absurdity of 100 pitches being the limit of a man's talent and energy boggles the mind. The person that came up with that can still be heard laughing.

Getting rid of those who cannot perform is what business does. And, as we all know, professional sports is big business. Knowing who will deliver and who will not is the responsibility of the "leader," the manager. Just tossing in one inept pitcher after another is like making Mayan or Inca sacrifices. Pick out a virgin and toss her into the pit. Gimme a break! That does not bring rain or wins. Nor is it assurance that you will best your enemies.

When Mariano Rivera starts to cave in, as he has done recently, you are in deep you know what. He gave up four home runs all of last season and, as of this writing, has already matched that. Time to find out why, evaluate, psychoanalyze, delve into it and reach into the heart and soul of the man to resurrect the pitcher we know and everyone feared, until now. That is what a top flight manager does.

When you spend the national debt to acquire players who then do not deliver you find out why. You study, review, practice more than you ever have, give speeches that are respected and believable, bring your team to new heights of effort and results. Tough to do when you start with little or no respect. That is how it appears to the rest of us.

For Hank and Hal, you do not wait until you determine if the team will make the playoffs. Girardi is in the second year of a three-year, $6 million dollar contract. Bite the bullet, considering all that has been spent elsewhere, including a $1 billion or so on a ballpark, take the loss and replace him. "The Mentalist" getting messages from an old portrait of Casey Stengel would do better.

Right now, as of this moment, 13-15, 5? games out of first and on a five-game losing streak. Is anyone by the name of Steinbrenner looking at the same statistics facing the rest of us? Alex Rodriguez returning, heading to the phone booth to change into his outfit with the cape, will help. It will not solve the ills, the lack of confidence, the incompetency and the failures of every game of late.

The Yankees head to Baltimore tonight with their Fort Knox pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, off to a 1-3 start. As some of you read this, I, of course, am not sure whether they have won, lost or opted not to show. By the time they return from this road trip they could be for sale on 42nd Street in one of those stores that go out of business every year.

Joe Girardi must know that his tenure in a Yankee uniform is hanging by a thread..maybe. Does he care? Do any of the Yankees who are paid as much as Will Smith for one movie concern themselves or do they just go shopping for new sexy autos to ease their disappointments? What about Cashman? Is he looking at properties in retirement communities about now? And Hank and Hal, does dad really know what is going on up in The Bronx or are you showing him film clips of Series wins years ago? He cannot be that sick, can he?

Will anything at all change with Joe Girardi guiding the ship? You gotta be kidding! Look, instead, for an iceberg.