Staying Up.


by Brandon Steiner October 11, 2012 0 Comments

“You’re going to be asked a lot of questions if it doesn’t work,” Girardi said.

The slumping Rodriguez, among the greatest power hitters in history, offered no complaint, telling Girardi: “Joe, you gotta do exactly what you gotta do.”

“Maybe 10 years ago, I would have reacted in a much different way,” A-Rod said.

-from ESPN.com’s recap of last night’s amazing Yankees game
When life gets rough for us, getting down and giving up doesn’t usually help the situation. But we constantly do it. Why?

Last night, the Yankees epic comeback win over the Orioles provided a good example of our natural inclination to do the unproductive thing when the chips are down.

The fans at Yankee Stadium booed A-Rod after every failed at bat. There was a tremendous amount of uneasiness each time he came up, and each time he went back to the dugout.

I understand the frustration people feel with the size of his contract, and his recentrly lackluster production. But booing A-Rod during an important game isn’t going to improve the Yankees chances of winning! And isn’t that the ultimate goal for us Yankee fans?

Booing A-Rod when we still needed him is like cutting your nose to spite your face. Maybe it feels good to scratch that itch in the moment, but in the long run, it’s not gonna seem that useful.

As crazy as this is gonna sound to a lot of Yankees fans, the best thing we all could have done would have been to encourage A-Rod.

“Don’t give up! You’ll get ‘em next time!” That sort of thing.

We needed him to go into his next at bats with confidence, not with unease.

In your life, when you’re up against it, do you boo, or do you put on a brave face, put one foot in front of the other, and do what you can to help the situation?

It’s amazing how many people give up. But so many don’t.

Last night, when Joe Girardi told him he was going to be pinch-hit for by Raul Ibanez, A-Rod was one of the ones who didn’t take a sour attitude, who didn’t give up.

Imagine how tough that must have been. You’re a superstar, this is supposed to be your moment, and now you’re in the dugout, with the cameras all over you. What do you do? What do you say? You’re a competitive person, and you feel you can help the team. Imagine the conflict in his head.

But A-Rod kept himself extremely optimistic, encouraging Girardi, and, as you can see in the pic above, making sure he was the first person to congratulate Ibanez after his first, game-tying home run.

No doubt A-Rod’s positive reaction to being replaced by Ibanez and to the homer put Ibanez more at ease the next time he came to the plate, when he won the game on another homer in the 12th.

That’s the type of thing championships are made of. Guys sacrificing their own attitude for the right approach, the one that helps the team.

Are you working today to help your family, your team?

Or are you worried about what’s in it for you?

Sometimes you have to smile when you’re not happy. He hasn’t always done that, but last night A-Rod put on a happy face and was a consummate teammate. Good for him.

And - needless to say - good for Joe Girardi, who showed some giant balls!




Brandon Steiner
Brandon Steiner

Author

Brandon Steiner is the founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia, the largest company of its kind in America. Considered a sports marketing guru, Brandon is a permanent fixture in the media as a regular on ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM and as host of "The Hook-Up with Brandon Steiner" on YES Network. He has appeared frequently on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, and in newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports and You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire, Brandon lives in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, Mara and children Crosby and Nicole.




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