The New York Yankees and the Alabama Crimson Tide football program are two teams that know a little something about dynasties. The Yankees have won the most World Series titles (27) in MLB history and the Crimson Tide have the most Division I football championships in the modern era (11), including four of the last seven.
Joe Girardi, the manager of the Yankees, has been particularly fond of how Alabama coach Nick Saban runs his program, and complimented him in an interview with Sweeny Murti of WFAN-AM 660 for the New York radio station’s podcast, “30 with Murti.”
“How do they get to be great?” Girardi said. “Nick Saban always talks about the process. He doesn’t talk about the results. It’s the process — winning every play and being better than the guy across from you every play. Baseball, in a sense, is a lot like that. If you’re a pitcher, you have to win each play, and a play as a pitcher is an at-bat. Vice versa if you’re the hitter.”
Saban speaks about the “process” ad-nauseam before and during the season. His business-like approach to preparation has been a cornerstone of his teams at Alabama.
“I love to watch how he goes about his business, his passion for the sport,” Girardi continued. “I’ve been to a couple of games down there; I took my son to see them play LSU. The amount of work he puts in in one day is incredible. He has to deal with recruits and not only the game plan, but the shows he has to do. I was just watching how his time schedule was so organized and how he went about his business.
“And he’s a guy who really cares about his players, and you can tell because of all the players that come back. You think about the national championship game and how many of those players came back. He cares about them as people, and he tries to make them better men. (Former New York Giants) coach (Tom) Coughlin talked about that. We have a responsibility to them as people, too, not just as players, and I take that responsibility very serious.”
Both coaches have visited each other’s team to speak. The Yankees haven’t won a championship since 2009, so maybe the “process” will help them get title No. 28.
Or, if Saban gets bored winning titles he can take a job with the Yankees as bench coach. Probably not.