If life were like the Yankees, you'd wake up every morning knowing you were expected to do great things, but those expectations wouldn't crush you. You'd take them as a challenge.

If life were like the Yankees, you'd go to work in an office overflowing with ghosts and with history. You'd use the ghosts for inspiration, and the history to keep you on course when times got tough.

If life were like the Yankees, you'd work for a boss who treated you with respect, who didn't try to deceive you or embarrass you or steal your thunder.

You'd have money to burn, if life were like the Yankees, but you wouldn't just burn it. You'd be smart about your spending, while others frittered away their millions on foolishness and frills.

If life were like the Yankees, you'd care about your personal accomplishments, but not as much as you'd care about the greater good. If the VP for marketing got to go to the conference instead of the VP for sales, the VP for sales would wish him luck--and mean it.

Sacrificing yourself for the team is always easier when you're winning; if life were like the Yankees, you'd always be winning.

If life were like the Yankees, you'd make the new guy feel at home. The whiz kid from accounting would treat the trainee like a colleague. You'd remember that you can't finish a puzzle without the small pieces.

If life were like the Yankees, you'd make all the plays. You'd never beat yourself.

You wouldn't panic, if life were like the Yankees. If you ever found yourself in a tight spot, you'd look for opportunities to get back into the game, and you'd pounce on them. You'd be patient, but you'd be ready to strike at a moment's notice.

You wouldn't grow complacent either, if life were like the Yankees. Even if things were going well, you'd keep pushing; you'd feel you owed it to someone. You'd feel you owed it to yourself.

If life were like the Yankees, you'd treat your opponents with respect, even as you bent them to your will. They'd respect you, too, and offer praises to your talent and your absolute professionalism.

If life were like the Yankees and sorrows came (as sorrows must), you'd pull even closer together and take comfort from one another. And you'd still get the job done.

If life were like the Yankees and you were really in a fix, you could signal to your bullpen to make everything okay.

And if life were like the Yankees, you'd have Frank Sinatra singing you home every night. He'd be recorded, but he'd still be Frank Sinatra. Not a bad life.

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist.

(c) 1999, Rick Horowitz