May 16, 2007

NY Yankees: Wildcard Or Bust!

As John Sterling, the venerable Yankees radio broadcaster is fond of saying: "You can't predict baseball." For the Yankees, this season proves that adage very poignantly. Who would have predicted that in the middle of May, the Yankees would be eight games behind the Boston Red Sox, and five games back in the Wildcard standings?

Are the Yankees capable of a comeback? In this writer's opinion, no. At least as far as the division is concerned. The Red Sox would have to go into a prolonged slump for the Yankees to overtake them. Plus, the level of play the Yankees have displayed recently has been flat, uneven, and lacking the typical "punch" from their lineup. Big hitters aren't hitting, and injuries struck early and often from the start of the season, mostly to their starting rotation. Many young arms have been plugged into the number five slot in the rotation in the hopes of finding a diamond in the rough; but, some did well, one got hurt, and another others lacked run support. Kei Igawa, their off-season acquisition from Japan, has been sent to Tampa for an overhaul. Such is not the makings of a comeback. It doesn't matter what Roger Clemens can do for the team, he only throws once every five days. The Yankees have to get fired up, and soon.

The Yankees can shave their heads, “Cowboy up”, act like "idiots" (see: Damon, Johnny), or come up with their own, witty, inside joke to inspire them. Whatever it is they need to get, they’d better catch it right away, and hopefully it’s very contagious. Right now, what’s spreading through Yankees Land is shock. The fans can’t believe how deep the trench their beloved team has dug for themselves is. Many are still in denial, asking other fans if it is indeed possible that the Bombers won’t make it to the post-season. The way things look now, it’s probable. Likely? Maybe not; but, definitely probable.

As for the wildcard? My guess is as good as yours. Being five games back in May isn't the worst position to be in. Yet, as I stated in the opening paragraph "You can't predict baseball." On that note, maybe the Red Sox actually can go on a twenty five game skid?

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