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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

THE 5 STAGES OF YANKEE OFFSEASON GRIEF

It’s been a tough off season. We all hate losing, just like the Boss did. We didn’t make the important plays during the regular season….and now we are not scoring in the off season either. Not only are we not scoring, but we are now being outbid by other teams. It just does not compute! I have had many moments where I have ranted and just had my little freak out moments; ask my loved ones they will confirm this. I am proud to say…I am turning over a new leaf. Pardon the pun, but it’s true.

The best way to describe my mood swings would be to reference the K├╝bler-Ross model commonly known as “the five stages of grief.” It has taken me a few weeks to get through this cycle, but I am learning how to make lemonade with my lemons. It hasn’t been easy though. Here is what I had to overcome.
First came the denial stage. It was a case of the classic this CAN’T be happening.  As soon as the rumors of the Pirates pursuit of Russell Martin turned into an official signing I was pretty bummed. Sure, some people may not be as upset about losing him and I get that. Why would Russell want to leave a franchise that has won so many titles for a team with a 20 consecutive loss seasons? How dare he?!  I was mad at Martin until I learned that the Yankees didn’t even make him an offer HERE. I guess I can’t fault him for that after all, it still stung though. The facts were there and I just refused to accept them or that picture of him in a Pirates uniform!
Second came the anger stage. It was a case of the It’s not fair! or the Who can I blame for this?!” I spent a little too much time on this, but I am sure I am not alone. After news leaked about the hip surgery that Alex Rodriguez needed my “Dr. Jekyll” side quickly turned into the evil “Miss Hyde.”  Once Brian Cashman arrived in Nashville for the Winter Meetings, I expected action. We had a big hole to fill so I was waiting for him to pounce on Eric Chavez again, and when he signed with the Diamondbacks I threw a small temper tantrum. I’m sure toddlers everywhere would have pointed and laughed. Then once Jeff Keppinger signed with the White Sox, I blamed Cashman. I wanted to pick up my sack full of lemons and take out my aggression.
Next came the bargaining phase. I was definitely in the I’ll do anything for a splash signing” state of mind. I wanted that classic Yankee attack where we make the big deal, the deal that everyone else wanted like we used to. I wasn’t ready to admit this at the time, but once most of the replacements to Arod signed with other teams I was crossing my fingers, toes, eyes, legs….you name it just to hear that Kevin Youkilis was going to be a Yankee. After years of making fun of his batting stance here I am making crazy promises to the baseball gods of things I will do if they just let us have this ONE signing. We needed a change of luck and we needed it fast. I hope they didn’t hear the things I promised….I was in a bad state emotionally.

Next came the depression phrase. I spent too long in the I’m so sad, so now what? also known as the “pity party stage. Once upon a time, the Yankees spent money and we lured some of the best players in the game to our team. Money talks, it’s true. Ask the Dodgers because they have plenty of it now thanks to Magic Johnson and his money tree. The Dodgers have made several splashy moves this winter, most recently signing Zack Greinke one of the best free agents this year. Just like my bank account since the recession hit….the Yankee money pot has dried up. It’s a cruel role reversal I tell ya.

Finally, I have come to the acceptance stage. I get it, and now I believe thatIt’s going to be ok.” Sure, the Yankees are not going on a big shopping spree this year. We are the damn Yankees and we will make it work. Brian Cashman is a very sneaky man and he knows what he is doing. I believe he has a plan. To quote Billy Beane’s genius line from the movie "Moneyball"…."Adapt or die.” Sure, the plan is not clear right now but I am drinking that tall glass of lemonade I was talking about earlier.

Right now I am at peace. Dr Jekyll is gone, and I am not trying to beat people with a pillow case filled with lemons. I am found my zen place and I have just enough sugar in the lemonade.

It will be OK Yankee fans, keep the faith! If you want, I will share my lemonade with you.




--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ


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