It’s still possible

Back in April, I wrote two words to describe the Yankees’ 2015 season: it’s possible. It’s possible they stay healthy. It’s possible they play well. It’s possible they win the division. It’s possible. It’s not a bad thing to have optimism as a default setting.

This was right when when articles like this were floating around the Internet. And this. And this. It was just a massive display of groupthink between Yankee lovers and Yankee haters alike. They are going to be bad this season, and there’s nothing you can do but prepare for it. And all the while I’m thinking: hey, wait a minute, let’s not all jump on the train to Stinktown just yet. This team can be good. Let’s at least keep our minds open.

And now here we are in late July, and the Yankees are in first place and have a 5 and a half game lead in the AL East. They are a good team! And, no, I’m not writing this post to say I told you so, even though … well … I told you so. No, I’m writing this post because we need to remember that conformity in a group without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints can often result in an irrational and dysfunctional thought process.

Lest we forget the two cardinal rules of baseball:

1) Nothing makes sense

and

2) Anything can happen

Why are the Twins contending? Why are the Red Sox not hitting? What’s going on with the Astros? Why is Albert Pujols leading the league in home runs? Why is Alex Rodriguez good again? Why? Why? Why?

Because it’s baseball, that’s why!

Back in my high school debate years, the nerds I debated would try to end arguments by saying end of story.

Restrictions on the rights of non-citizens are consistent with democratic ideals. End of story.

Judicial activism is necessary to protect the rights of American citizens. End of story.

The use of the state’s power of eminent domain to promote private enterprise is unjust. End of story.

And whenever someone said end of story, I immediately had two thoughts:

Wow, you’re a real jerk.

and

The story is never over.

I notice the same thing now when people debate sports. The Yankees will be bad, end of story. MJ is the best ever, end of story. That was a terrible draft pick, end of story. And it’s not that I necessarily disagree with them, but we need to remember that in sport (and in life) there is no end of story until the games are played and the lights are shut and we all go home. What is it that Yogi Berra said?

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