The 2009 Yankees are on pace to win over a hundred games, and take the division by a substantial lead. This of course is a complete turn around from the disaster that was the 2008 Yankees, a team plagued by injuries, and an inability to win. Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman worked tirelessly over the off season to build a better team, and did so by adding two quality pitchers, and a slugging first baseman among other pieces. But was this what turned the 2008 losers into 2009 winners? Not exactly. From interviews with different players and coaching staff, RJG has found that everyone was unanimous in their belief that a few simple slogan changes was all they needed.
"I remember last year, when the season started, Joe (Girardi) wanted to come up with some motto's or slogans we could use to pump ourselves up before a game." Recalled Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon. "But for some reason, our team agreed to some pretty crappy motto's."
"I think the three motto's we used the most last season were: 'We'll get them tomorrow.', 'Can't win them all.', and 'Better luck next year.'" Explained Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. "I'm not really sure why we agreed to those motto's, but we took a vote at the beginning of the season, and that's what took."
"Yeah, I remember I voted for 'Let's get them today.' as our team slogan, but everyone turned it down. They said it didn't sound right." Stated Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. "I argued that 'We'll get them tomorrow' sounded like we were giving up on the game today, but people kept saying 'you can't win them all'. I said 'Maybe not, but we should try to win every game', and they were like 'well, better luck next year.' It was so frustrating."
After the season ended with the Yankees missing the playoffs, Yankee manager Joe Girardi made the executive decision to change the motto's.
"I mean, I know we voted on these, but I had to make an executive decision here. Last year I wanted our team slogan to be 'Remember the Alamo', because of its place in American history, but no one voted for that. In fact, 'Let's not be swept in Kansas' got more votes than that one. This season I changed our team slogan to, 'Derek Jeter', and its made all the difference. We stand around before the game chanting 'Der-ek Je-ter', and that gets us super pumped up. We all start wanting to play like him."
Just a simple slogan change has brought the New York Yankees back from despair, and into the bright shinning lights of victory.