Yankees: Ah, This Is Getting A Little Ridiculous, Or Maybe Not

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees are doing what no team is supposed to be able to do, even as hot as they’ve been this early in the season. Teams before them have been on a roll like this before, but in my 50 years of following the team, I’ve never seen anything like this.

In 1998, the Yankees finished with a franchise record regular-season record of 114–48, 22 games ahead of the second-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East. No doubt that was mighty impressive. But it was also almost two decades ago.

In the month of April, they went 17-6 and never looked back at the pack. Still, as good as that team was with the likes of Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, and the whole gang of ’em, I don’t recall that team being the surprise that the 2017 team has been. Those Yankees were expected to win – or else!

They won’t equal the 114 victories of the 1998 team, but they will equal the endearment of the fans who are following them this season.

This Team Is Special, Even In Defeat

The Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in a game that was supposed to be over by dinnertime. Except that they found their way to tie the game by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a base hit from a recent addition to their lineup, Didi Gregorius.

In Fantasy Land, the Yankees would have staged another comeback win to parallel the one they achieved Friday night, but it was not to be as Brian Mitchell got hammered in the top of the eleventh, surrendering three runs all on his own.

The loss puts the Yankees in a dead heat with the Orioles in a tie for first place in the AL East with identical records of 15-8. Both teams qualify to take a bow in front of their audience for a job well done in the first month of the season.

It’s Okay To Project Out Now

More from Yanks Go Yard

It’s a season that was supposed to be dominated by the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays. And to put the season in perspective up to this point, the Blue Jays, if they pulled off a ten-game winning streak that would include taking three from the Yankees in a series that begins tomorrow night, would end up with a record of 18-17.

While the Yankees, if they only play .500 ball and go 5-5 in their next ten would be 20-13. You don’t win anything in April, but you sure can lose everything in April. And the Blue Jays are done.

The Red Sox are another matter. At 12-11, they’re nowhere near where they are supposed to be, and they’re probably not where they want to be, but they are more than in it. David Price is David Price, and you cannot discount the effect of his loss on the team.

David Ortiz, however, is another matter, and if the Red Sox can’t man up and absorb his loss, they have no business playing baseball in this league.

The Yankees lost Derek Jeter, and nobody in the dugout cried. We did, oh yes we did. But professional ballclubs are supposed to pick up the slack, even if that slack means two hundred runs regarding the production that Ortiz gave the Sox last year.

The Red Sox could have entered the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, and for that matter, they could have signed the lone winter free agent holdout, Jose Bautista to bolster their lineup. They chose not to – behold! The chickens come home to roost.

Even with that said, the Red Sox will be in this thing, but will not go far away from either the Orioles, who are also for real or the Yankees.

The Excitement Is Here To Stay

Bottom line, the Yankees took the series from the Orioles this weekend, and they came within a hair of sweeping the series. They come from behind, they break out ahead, play small ball, and power ball, they do it all. Oh, and I almost forgot, they pitch pretty well too.

And God doesn’t want to tell the rest of the league that Gary Sanchez will be entering the everyday lineup again within ten days or so.

As I said in the beginning, no Yankees team, in the fifty years I’ve been following them, has excited me as much as this one. They won’t equal the 114 victories of the 1998 team, but they will equal the endearment of the fans who are following them this season.