Yankees Fans: Are You Willing To Be Super Patient In 2017?


Yankees fans, including this one, face an intriguing question that begs an answer before the 2017 season begins. You say you are patient, but exactly how patient are you, really? How much does it matter to you whether or not the team emerges in 2017 as a playoff contender? A lot? Or, do you say to yourself, “Gee, that would be nice”?

The Yankees are about to embark on a season that takes the road less traveled. Mysteries about players abound and, in most cases, the territory is unfamiliar to both the organization and its fans.

It would be fair to say that the mindset of most Yankees fans is upbeat at the moment. The torch has been passed to a new generation of players who are young, athletic, and hungry. The Yankees haven’t had this since the Core Four was born and raised in the Bronx. And that was two decades ago.

There was no need to wait back then, was there? So, why should we have to wait now? Because I don’t recall any serious growing pains suffered by the team that ushered in Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera. That team missed by a hair in 1995, won everything in 1996 and went on from there to establish one of the most historic runs baseball has ever seen.

So, why can’t this group of new talent do the same thing? I don’t know, maybe they can. But the odds are that they won’t. Or at least so say the prognosticators in Las Vegas and the preponderance of fantasy league magazines. Some even suggest that the Yankees would be fortunate to finish as a .500 team in 2017.

If the Boss were still alive, he’d be demanding something a whole lot more, and the pressure would be on the Yankees from top to bottom to ensure that it happened, or else!

Are you more like George Steinbrenner or Hal Steinbrenner?

These Yankees may or may not be a better team than they were last year, but they sure are different. George Steinbrenner did not build the current Yankees roster, his son, Hal did together with Brian Cashman. And there’s a distinct difference in its makeup.

The Boss went for the big splash. If it wasn’t Catfish Hunter, then it was Reggie Jackson or Dave Winfield. And then it was Alex Rodriguez, all designed to win now and win big. Because the one quality Hal’s father did not possess was patience.

The Yankees of 2017 require patience and a lot of it. A few days ago, I pointed out that it’s getting a little crowded around here, meaning that it’s going to take some time, and probably this whole season, to sort things out. Deciding which of the young talent stays as opposed to who gets used as trade bait in the offseason, when the Yankees go full steam ahead in the 2018 season.

More from Yanks Go Yard

The team that forms itself this year will be composed of two givens, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez. Probables include Greg Bird, Aaron Judge with a strikeout rate question mark, and Clint Frazier. But after that, it’s a crapshoot as to which position players will emerge from this season as members of the 2018 squad. That group includes, but is not limited to,

But after that, it’s a crapshoot as to which position players will emerge from this season as members of the 2018 squad. That group includes (substitute at will), but is not limited to, Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes, Jorge Mateo, Billy McKinney, and a slew of others in a list that’s (fortunately) too long to name.

Our job as Yankees fans this year is to follow the progress of each of these players as part of a mission to hold Brian Cashman, assuming he gets a contract extension, in check when the offseason begins next October. Not all of the players in that “probable’s” category will report to Spring Training in February next year.

The pitching will take care of itself. Chance Adams, Chad Green, Justus Sheffield, James Kaprielian and the rest will compete this year for spots next season. And beyond that, there’s a list of free agent starting pitchers that will make any Yankees fan drool, headed by 30-year-old Jake Arrieta. And this time (Chris Sale), the Yankees will be the old Steinbrenner Yankees and not be denied, money be damned.

Next: It's Beginning To Look A Little Crowded Around Here

Are Yankees fans willing to be, not just patient, but super patient as the team develops in 2017. Because much like the Chicago Cubs in 2015 when they nipped at the bud and then tore it off in 2016, the Yankees are poised to do the same – if we can wait.