Patience could bring results for Yankees

Gwynn discusses the pressures the Yankees' hitters face and what they should do to get over them.

Originally Published: April 28, 2004
By Tony Gwynn | Special to ESPN Insider
Every player in the major leagues expects pressure. Either it's pressure to keep your job or to get someone's job. But there's a lot more pressure when a player is part of a team that is expected to play extremely well. A great example: the New York Yankees batters. They are already in the center of the world's media capital, but on top of that, they are one of the best collections of talent in the league. This team is stacked with talent from the No.1 to No. 9 hitter and has an amazing eight players who've been named to at least one All-Star team.

Before the season started, speculation centered on this lineup scoring at least 1,000 runs -- something just seven teams have done since 1900. Now that the season is 20 games old and the Yankees have been outscored 98-87, people are jumping off the bandwagon and players are hearing the "Bronx cheer."

Alex Rodriguez
Once A-Rod started showing plate patience, he started hitting.
I've been a part of a team that was expected to do well simply because of the bats in the lineup -- and there is definitely more pressure. For the 1992 and '93 seasons, I was paired with Fred McGriff and Gary Sheffield while I was with the San Diego Padres. With the way those two guys hit the ball in '92 (McGriff .286, 35, 104 and Sheffield .330, 33, 100), we were expected to win a ton of ball games in 1993.