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?
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.
The Yanks are having a tough time winning consistently under second-year Manager Joe Girardi (R).
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
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
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.