Robertson back in Bronx for 1st time as visitor
Closer discusses media intensity surrounding Yanks, who serve as model for dynasty-minded White Sox
NEW YORK -- For the first time in his eight-year career, David Robertson stood as a visitor at Yankee Stadium.
Robertson returns this weekend as the White Sox closer, and he brought with him an interesting perspective on the difference in playing for the Bronx Bombers and on the South Side of Chicago.
"You're kind of under a microscope a little more playing here in New York. The media is a little different." Robertson said. "You're expected to win every day.
"It's not that we don't try to win here. It's just a different feeling. It's hard to express that feeling or sense that there is when you're in the New York clubhouse, but that's the biggest difference for me. It's an intense atmosphere here."
The Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, in comparison to the White Sox, who have played in five and won three. Then again, the Yankees have 16 more championships than any other franchise.
They also have some of the best players in the history of the game counted among their legends, as White Sox manager Robin Ventura pointed out when asked about the franchise differences in his Thursday pregame media session. Ventura not only was one of the more accomplished players in White Sox history but also played parts of two seasons for the Yankees.
"Everybody knows the names that have played here," Ventura said. "They have a rich history, and you start listing the names of the people that have played here, the list goes back so long, so many Hall of Famers. You go out and look at that Monument Park, and some of the greatest names in baseball played here.
"That part and the championships, there's something to that. You were talking earlier about a guy like Yogi [Berra] walking around inside the clubhouse. You came back here on Old Timers' Day, it's pretty close to going to a Hall of Fame induction. I think that part there was an element to that, that there are championship expectations when you put it on."
Those championship expectations have not been met for the White Sox, aside from the historic 2005 campaign, but executive vice president and one-time general manager Ken Williams and current GM Rick Hahn certainly have made it their priority under the ownership of White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Williams talked about winning multiple titles when he first took over, and Hahn spoke of being in contention for more than just one championship when this current reshaping began in '13.
As Ventura mentioned, it helps when some of the game's greats are suiting up for you every day. Take Robertson, as an example, who learned about closing from Mariano Rivera, arguably the best at that job in the game's history.
"He was consistent, not even on the field, off the field, too," said Robertson of Rivera. "I can remember when he was doing really good, and I can remember when he blew three in a row, and it was no big deal to him. It happened. The game got him, and he understood that, and when he showed up at the field the next day, it was as if nothing happened. He was ready for the next game. That was how I kind of tried to be."