Winning World Series Is Only Measure Of Success
For Boston and New York, success isn’t measured by making the playoffs. Nor is it measured by winning the vaunted American League East. If success isn’t measured by either making the postseason or the AL East title, it’s certainly is not going to be considered successful by winning 100 games.
For the Yankees and Red Sox success is measured by a World Series victory and nothing else.
Last season the Houston Astros won the AL Pennant and then the World Series title. Their road to the crown was paved by beating the New York Yankees (Wild Card winner, 91 wins) and the Boston Red Sox (AL East winner, 93 wins).
Boston And New York Make Changes:
In five seasons at the helm of the Red Sox Farrell had a .533 win percentage (432-378) winning a World Series title in 2013 and had three 90-win seasons (2013, 2016, 2017). It wasn’t enough for the Red Sox management or the fanbase who expect excellence reflected in titles. Surprisingly, Red Sox Dave Dombrowski provided cover for the decision suggesting that Farrell was fired for other issues that even winning wouldn’t have prevented.
Dombrowski said Farrell was fired for reasons he won't disclose and that no level of team success would have prevented that.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) October 11, 2017
The Yankees fired Joe Girardi after 10 years and a .562 win percentage (910-710). He won a World Series in 2009 He never had a losing season and won 90 or more games five times. General Manager Brian Cashman pointed to Girardi’s issues with communication and connectivity with his players as the reason for his dismissal. Similar to the Boston situation, Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner said that Girardi too would have been fired “even if he had won the World Series.”
Cover For Next Manager:
Both Dombrowski and Steinbrenner suggest that the firings of Farrell and Girardi would have happened even with winning a World Series is one way to provide cover for the next manager the franchises hire if they don’t win right away.
The two men hired to replace Farrell and Girardi were Alex Cora and Aaron Boone respectively. The two guided the franchises to improvements in the W-L column from 2017. Boston improved from 93 wins to 108 and New York increased from 91 wins to 100.
Now that the Yankees have defeated the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card game they will take on the Red Sox in American League Division Series beginning Friday night at Fenway Park.
There is no obvious answer as to which team is going to advance to meet the winner of the Cleveland Indians versus the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. The only certainty as it relates to the outcome of the series between the two juggernauts is that the loser will have to consider the 2018 season a lost season.
There is no backtracking from this. There is no boasting “we won 100 games” or pointing and saying “where was your team?”
Despite previous comments from Dombrowski and Steinbrenner concerning the dismissal of their managers even if they had won or for reasons not related to winning. The fact of the matter is, you are expected to win titles not be footnotes to postseason scripts.
The time is now to push on and move down the path to a World Series title. Anything less is a let down and can only be viewed as a lost season. Being eliminated by your rival only makes the spotlight even larger and the pain that much more poignant.