As a fan of the New York Yankees, it should be easy to get pumped about the fact that the team is one victory away from taking a highly-competitive series from the AL Central, first place Detroit Tigers. If the Bombers can indeed handle Rick Porcello today during the series finale in the Boogie Down, they will have defeated two of the past three Cy Young Award winners, and a current 13-game winner. Shouldn’t that be enough for fans to say “They’re Back!!!”? Not so fast. Don’t get too excited if the Yankees do indeed win this series. Don’t get excited if the Yankees split this series. We’ve seen this movie before.
Even though the Yankees have competed admirably with one of the elite teams in the American League, and were an extra-inning loss away from staring a sweep square in the face Thursday afternoon, the Yankees haven’t proven to anyone that they are the real deal. This is the same team that lost the opener to the Boston Red Sox last Friday. This is the same team that went down to Arlington and got their collective butts handed to them by the last place Texas Rangers (Brett Gardner aside).
The Rangers series was completed prior to the non-waiver trading deadline, and during Friday’s game, newly-acquired right fielder/utility man Martin Prado arrived to Fenway Park after the game started. The Yankees still have the same issues they had prior to acquiring Prado, Stephen Drew, and Chase Headley. Sure, the infield defense has improved since the deals were made. Yes, Headley has had a few big moments already. The Yankees still do not have an impact bat to take them to the next level. Who is the “Uh oh” guy in the Yankees’ lineup that opposing managers fear with the game on the line? Exactly. They don’t.
How long can Chris Capuano and Shane Greene and whomever else gets a chance to start a game for the Yankees last? Hiroki Kuroda has been everything and then some in his age-40 season. Brandon McCarthy has risen from the dead, and pitches like one of the best arms in all of baseball. Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman can continue to make this team better through waiver wire trades or acquisitions. He has a fire-balling lefty in Jacob Lindgren waiting at Double-A. More established names like Cole Hamels, Matt Kemp, and Marlon Byrd have all been placed on waivers, and both Hamels and Byrd have been claimed. By who? We will find out later this afternoon.
Regardless, unless an impact bat and arm arrive in the Bronx by the end of August, this Yankees’ team will most likely continue to win a few, and lost a few, hanging around just long enough to make Yankees’ fans believe that in Derek Jeter‘s last run, there is some Bronx magic on this roster. Unfortunately, it could be too little, too late. We have three weeks to find out. For if September 1st comes, and no additional roster moves of any consequence have been made, prepare yourself for another October without baseball in New York City.