Biases are an interesting thing. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your education of a subject, biases can be instilled within your entire understanding of the subject. Additionally, these leanings can, and will, drive how you pursue that subject from that point forward.
I am a Yankees fan. Most of the analysis and subjects I choose will somehow be driven by my love of Yankees baseball. All of my focus with baseball can be seen through Yankees pinstripe colored lenses (which would be the transposed pattern of shutter shades).
Born in the 80’s, I learned about baseball while watching the Don Mattingly driven Yankees. Even before it became vogue, I saw how much a solid defensive player changes the appearance of a team.
Furthermore, while idolizing Mattingly, I picked up a concept that first basemen should be the hallmark of an offense, a viewpoint that can be argued vehemently by anybody who believes that teams should be built up the middle first. My favorite Yankees teams in each and every season since have all included a stud first basemen, including the current Teixeira era happening at this time.
Starting in the late 80’s I started into the common teenage angst and mutinous nature. After several years of rebelling from my father’s love of baseball, I started watching the Yankees again in ’94. The Yankees of ’94 were a different breed. A strong pitching staff with Jimmy Key and midseason acquisition David Cone would cement a new set of hurler based biases.
Anyone who has every watched or talked about baseball with me can tell you, I wholeheartedly believe that it’s pitching rich teams that will always have the advantage. Watching the Yankees through the early aughts further strengthened my belief of a pitching first society, until that dream was tainted by 2004 version of my beloved team.
The ‘04 Yankees, in their attempt to gather pitching to avenge the 2003 World Series loss to the Marlins, helped teach me the final lesson which will follow me through the rest of my years: growing pitching from within is the key to a solid staff. The Yankees staff in 2004 was all mercenary, and very terrible (at least in the opinion of this writer).
After the debacle that was the 2004 staff, the 2005 Yankees started seeing some light (which is still not much even in 2011). That light came in tde form of Chien-Ming Wang.
Wang proved to the Yankees that contributions from within can lead to successful ball clubs. Since then there have been attempts at bringing farm prospects into the AL East pennant race. Thus far we’ve seen Tyler Clippard, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova.
Unfortunately, aside from Hughes 18 wins (buoyed by some funky peripherals) in 2010, the lesson of growth from the farm has not fully engulfed my Bronx Bombers. The lesson seems to have sunk it but the results are not there. Lucky for me, the new version of the Killer B’s (Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman) is around the corner. I hope beyond hope, they are all as good as advertised.