Hey, did you happen to catch the game last night? Yeah, the one where the Yankees took an early lead in Baltimore, and it appeared they were going to make a dent in the Orioles’ AL East lead? You know, this was supposed to be the series that the Yankees shook off their weekend hangover against an Indians’ team in which they lost 2 of 3, when they should’ve not only reversed that record, but perhaps swept the Tribe? Oh, you turned the game off after things went sideways. Don’t worry, I did too.
It’s becoming a repetitive theme, this 2014 season. When the Yankees’ pitching staff is handling business, you are at the edge of your seat, hoping and praying in some circumstances, that the lineup will do just enough to squeeze out another valuable win. When that happens five or six times in just over a week, you start to look at the standings again, as if they matter. Oh, look, the Yanks are back within a 1/2 game of the second wild card, and they’re gaining ground on the Orioles. The team could make their move now. Just stop right there. Don’t torture yourself any longer. Welcome to my world. The world where the Yankees NEVER made it to the postseason until I was a young adult. The world where one team captain’s career was completely wasted because an organization couldn’t figure things out.
Okay, we won’t go that overboard. I was referring to my childhood of the 1980s and early 90s. Hopefully, Yankees’ fans never have to live through something like that again. Although it made the dynasty years that much more rewarding, after over a decade of futility. October meant something again in the Bronx. Now, this organization, because of failed ownership, because of failed leadership, and a failure to understand that just because you work under the interlocking “NY” logo, doesn’t guarantee anything. As an organization, you have to put in the work. I predicted this current Yankees’ team was no better than a third place team, finishing on the outside looking in at postseason baseball.
I know, I know. Everyone wanted a fairy tale ending for the Captain. I hope with 44 games remaining in Derek Jeter‘s career, each of you are starting to realize, the Yankees are going to miss the playoffs. Maybe it’s time to start focusing on Jeter as the one focal point over these next 7 weeks, more so than media, opposing teams, and other fans have already done. Don’t even look at the scoreboard. Sit back, relax (I know, hard to do), and enjoy the final dance of one of the greatest ballplayers of all-time. Statistically speaking, Jeter could be considered these greatest shortstop of all-time, but we’ll leave that for another day and another discussion.
Maybe it’s time to admit that the Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann signings were a mistake. Perhaps giving Robinson Cano that 10-year deal would’ve been the difference. Maybe it’s time to save enough is enough with General Manager Brian Cashman, and his 3/4 attempt at putting a winner on the field. He missed a few opportunities this past winter to help the Yankees avoid the situation they are in, and he did nothing. He hoped that a mix of inexperience, veteran leadership, and guts would keep this team together. It has not.
Maybe it’s time, to finally admit that 2014 is a lost season, for the second year in a row. There will be no playoff baseball in the Bronx. Maybe it’s time to focus on what the Yankees can do this coming winter to ensure that the Yankees don’t miss the playoffs for a third straight season in 2015. Beltran and McCann will be back. They’ll be fine. I’m not so sure about C.C. Sabathia. I’d almost pay him to go away. Hiroki Kuroda will most likely call it a career. Oh yeah, and Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension will be lifted, what fun! Free agency won’t offer much in terms of hitters, but the Yankees have handful of minor leaguers who should get long looks next spring, along with an ace in the making with Luis Severino. Pitching is where this Yankees’ team is going to go from pretty good to elite if they want to compete again.
While I can appreciate the efforts of Shane Greene, Chris Capuano, and Brandon McCarthy, reinforcements have to be brought in. The Yankees have their choice of three: Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and James Shields. If I’m writing the checks, Scherzer and Lester are naming their price. Mix them in with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and Shane Greene until Ivan Nova gets back, because you can never have enough starting pitching right? Maybe it’s time to forget about 2014, and look to the future, because all this Yankees’ team can do is break our hearts.