Before the World Series started, I put my word on the line (and the blog) with a friendly wager with Jon Hyman, a rabid Phillies fan and the author of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog.  Whoever lost would have to write about the winning team and tie it into some themes about employment law.

Well, the Yankees won against a very good Phillies team and Jon’s post about the Yankees is now up.  He is (mostly) gracious in defeat and points out that just because a team has more resources, it doesn’t necessarily translate to a victory.

[T]heir superiority of resources is only part of their ability of success. After all, they’ve outspent everyone for as long as I can remember, and yet this is only their first title in the past 10 years. And so, while they always have the best chance to succeed (and always assume that they will), it doesn’t always work out that way for them. This year, for example, they appeared to come together as a team, and not just play as an amalgam of superstars, which perhaps accounts for why they succeeded this year and failed in the decade prior.

For employers, the lesson is this – in many cases, you will assume that you should win. You may have better facts, better law, more money and resources, the better lawyer, and you may even have had past successes and a good rapport with the same judge. And yet, with all of these supposed advantages on your side, you could still find yourself on the losing end of big verdict. Advantages are just that, but they do not bring home the win. Hard work, teamwork, and even a little bit of luck are all needed to take advantage of your advantages.

I certainly would echo Jon’s view.   Working together is an overused cliche in today’s corporate world, but the results provide support for it time and again. 

But one other thing about this year’s team stands out in my mind as well — the number of veterans on the team.   The Yankees have been fortunate to keep around players like Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada with experience and good judgment.  As companies continue to restructure and try to save costs, there may be a move to keep cheaper talent.  But as the Yankees proved this year, sometimes keeping the experienced team members around is a recipe for success too. 

And for all the Sox fans in Connecticut who have had to endure a long postseason, just remember: Only 90 days or so until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Hope always springs eternal.