Author Topic: Interesting article by Mike Guzofsky comparing The Yankees and Israel.  (Read 1757 times)

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Jews could learn a lot from the downfall of the Yankees this season

I know some might laugh at the parallel I will draw here between the demise of the Yankees who were ousted by the Detroit Tigers, FOUR GAMES INTO THE SERIES and the Israelis who the world perceives to have been ousted from Lebanon on the this Fortieth Year from the time of Israel's last decisive victory, known as the Six Day War of 1967.

What is the connection between the New York Yankees, baseball, Israel and the Hizbullah, you ask? Our Rabbis teach us that the world was created for the sake of the chosen nation and the chosen land of Israel. There are lessons that we, as Jews can draw from events that happen around the world. Especially, major upsets like the defeat of the Yankees in "Jew town", "Hymie town" New York. Who pays attention and cares about the Yankees? As tragic as it may seem, your average New York Jew played much closer, minute by minute attention to those four games than to the wars of Israel over the past forty years. That makes the Yankee experience a perfect example for Jews. I could hardly think of another place to show the Jews a lesson to take home.

It is incredible to review the media reports after the Yankee defeat and to compare the statements made by the losing team and their coaches to the statements made by Israel after their perceived defeat in Lebanon.

The flight from Detroit was a quiet and subdued one for the Yankees as they took their last trip as a team this season. All most could do in the short time was wonder how -- despite the best record in the American League -- the Bronx Bombers could find themselves on the short end of a short Divisional Series with the Wild Card Detroit Tigers. Sound familiar? How many articles in Israel and around the world asked the same question about the unbeatable Israeli army? How many Arab cartoonists have been having a field day showing the now vulnerable Israeli who was perceived as invincible such a short time ago.

"I think we got taken by surprise, got matched up with a team that was a little more ready to play than we were," said right-hander Corey Lidle, who struggled in his effort to relieve Jaret Wright in Saturday's Game 4, allowing three runs and four hits in just 1 1/3 innings of work. "We were all pretty surprised how not ready we were for that series. I don't think we took the Tigers for granted. I just think they were up for it more than we were." Most predicted the Yankees would be the better team, considering New York clinched the division with 10 days to go while the Tigers closed out their regular season losing three straight at home to Kansas City and fell into the Wild Card spot.

Yet it was that scenario, Lidle believes, that had Detroit playing with more attention and energy. "They were fighting tooth and nail to the last game of the season, and we clinched pretty early," said Lidle, acquired from Philadelphia on July 30 along with outfielder Bobby Abreu. "Maybe we were just in cruise control a little too much."

Lidle was one of several players and coaches returning to Yankee Stadium on Sunday for the final time in 2006 to clear out their belongings as they prepare for another offseason -- a winter loaded with questions and changes. "Guys were certainly frustrated and disappointed at the outcome of the last three games," Andy Phillips said. "Guys are certainly disappointed they didn't give a better showing and we didn't accomplish what we set out to accomplish."

Speak to any soldier or Israeli on the streets and he will tell you how we did not accomplish the release of the hostages and are other objectives.

Said Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in a statement: "I am deeply disappointed at our being eliminated so early in the playoffs. This result is absolutely not acceptable to me nor to our great and loyal Yankee fans. I want to congratulate the Detroit Tigers organization and wish them well. Rest assured, we will go back to work immediately and try to right this sad failure and provide a championship for the Yankees, as is our goal every year."

Steinbrenner sounds like Olmert explaining how his commission will fix everything and how we will emerge stronger and more ready than ever soon. At least Steinbrenner admits failure.

"We just didn't show the team that we really had," the first-year coach said of the 2006 Yankees in the postseason. "And from what we went through all year -- really battling throughout the year with young kids, patching up the pitching staff -- to win whatever we won, it was a great job on what the team did. It's just unfortunate we didn't get to proceed and meet our goals. Sounds familiar?

Our young soldiers were never in combat before. Our reservists did not have enough practice before the war? We were not given a chance to do that which we could have done, due to the hesitancy of the decision makers…

"I'd like another chance to [coach]. There are some things we need to concentrate on to make it a better club. I hope I'm given a chance to say a few things about [that]." This sounds like Chief of Staff Halutz, who still wants to coach.

One way or another the Yanks left wondering what went wrong. The offense, as offensively quiet as it was for the Yankees, was just too easy a scapegoat. There were so many contributing factors to the demise of the Yankees, who were ousted by the Tigers in four games in this Division Series.

"It wasn't just the offense," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. "It all happened so fast. I don't know what happened. It wasn't pretty. They played great baseball and we didn't. They earned it and we certainly deserved what we got by the way we played, too. You've got to play your best baseball in October. You cannot make any mistakes and expect to go forward."

The beginning of the end had to be the late innings of Game 2. It can't be forgotten that the Bronx Bombers charged out to a 3-1 lead after four innings of that game. They had the dependable Mike Mussina on the mound. And the Tigers were in a serious slump, having lost their last five games in the regular season, not to mention the opener of the postseason.

Mussina and his teammates let their guard down and the Yankees never recovered. Then the entire series was turned upside down. The last two losses were somewhat of a blur for the Yankees, as Kenny Rogers fired a gem in Game 3 and Jeremy Bonderman did the same in the clincher.

The Tigers did all those little things that it takes to win in October. They moved runners, they pitched, they played terrific defense. The Yankees didn't do any of those things. And their hitting, dubbed by Tigers manager Jim Leyland just a few days ago as "Murderer's Row and Robinson Cano", did next to nothing.

Dear friends, let us learn some valuable lessons from the New York Yankees. There are millions of Jews sitting in the Greater New York vicinity who truly believe that they will live in comfort in the Exile for eternity. They truly believe that they control their own fate and that their current success in business will last forever. The Jewish Yankees are so sure that they are eternal winners. They have replaced Jerusalem with Borough Park and Teaneck and they lack the vision to save themselves before the storm.

As for the Jews in Israel, the situation is no different. For the past FORTY YEARS Israelis convinced themselves that they were invincible. "Kochee VeOtzem Yadee – The strength of our own arms", brought us the great victories, permeated Israeli thinking and society. God? Miracles? Surely you jest, said the new tough Israeli Jew. "If only the IDF was there, during the Holocaust, babbled the resident Israeli Chief of Staff," every year, on the Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Forty Years later, Israel is in a shambles. No commission of inquiry will solve this one. Half of the Knesset is under investigation. Israelis have no clue what went wrong or how to resolve the Iranian threat. The Syrians and the Iranians are openly plotting Israel's destruction by force, while the "moderate" Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians supported by London and Washington have the Roadmap to Auschwitz to offer the confused Jew in Jerusalem.

The brilliant Jewish sports analysts need to sit down and learn from the demise of the Yankees. The time has come to stop placing our faith in our own strength and to stop taking things for granted. There is a God and he has given us the formula to win the series and the final game is here for us to play. Victory is in the hands of God and he has given us the blueprint to defeat our enemies and to usher in the redemption today. Jewish power alone will not cut it. We must combine Jewish power with unlimited faith in God. We must place our faith in the God of Israel.

We must truly believe that the God of Israel is even stronger than George Bush and the United Nations. We must be prepared to defy world opinion and to do that which God has commanded us to do. Israel is the God given Jewish inheritance. We must claim the land and expel our enemies. The time has come to try a policy based on faith in God!

One would think that Forty Years of defeats and surrender would be enough to wake the sleeping Jew up. One would think that the recent Lebanon debacle would be enough. Who knows, more Jews might be moved by the demise of the New York Yankees? Whatever works to wake the Jew up and bring him home to join his people in the final game…

The Jew unlike the Yankees is guaranteed victory if only he "Returns unto Me and I will return unto you (Malachi, 3) There is no other way. "If only you had hearkened to my commandments – then had thy peace been as a river…" (Isaiah 48:18)

"O that my people would hearken unto me and Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their adversaries." (Psalms 81: 14-15)