Yankees: Okay, someone else is definitely noticing – Bombers rise to #2

Aaron Hickes score winning run. Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Hickes score winning run. Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

So far, the Yankees season reminds of the days when I played Little League ball, and my parents couldn’t make it to the game. And no matter how well I played, it wasn’t quite the same as if they weren’t there to notice. Finally, the Yankees are being noticed.

The Yankees are finally receiving the attention that is due them, rising to #2 in the Week 5 ESPN Team Rankings, trailing only the Washington Nationals. The new ranking represents a two-place jump from the previous week by moving ahead of the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.

And while the Yankees have received a good deal of indirect attention with the national media colliding into each other trying to get a new angle on Aaron Judge, the team as a whole has largely been ignored.

Or, maybe it’s simply been that they have been waiting for the bubble to burst while the planets realign themselves to a sense of normalcy and the Boston Red Sox are in first place where, of course, those “in the know” know they belong.

None of this has been an accident

Yankees fans, however, had seen developments in this team since the second week of Spring Training when 67 players descended on Tampa to take place in a spirited battle to be one of 25 survivors.

Yankees fans also witnessed the team as they whipped through the pre-season as though they were the Beatles going through the motions of rehearsing for a concert.

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And when the Yankees took our breath away with that 1-4 start to the season, with both Gary Sanchez and prized rookie, James Kaprielian going down with injuries, come on, admit it. You were worried, weren’t you?

But from that point on, the roster became a team of twenty-five players who took the field every night not hoping to win but expecting to win. Where it all came from is anyone’s best guess at this point, but a good deal of the spirit that surrounds this Yankees team now has to be credited to the veterans.

Yes, those same veterans that we wrote and talked about over the winter when we couldn’t trade or give them away fast enough. Jacoby Ellsbury took the brunt of most of that, but he was not alone as Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, and CC Sabathia were all taking up too roster space on a team that was waterlogged with young prospects.

Brian Cashman stood firm and did not give in to the pressure, for instance, of adding Gleyber Torres, who tore up everything during the Spring, to the team to replace the injured Didi Gregorius.

Then, Joe Girardi took it a step further with a conversation that might have gone something like this: “Chase, you’re my third baseman, Jacoby, go out there and play like you can because you’re my center fielder. Brett, you’re my left fielder, and CC, you’re starting behind Tanaka until I tell you differently. And Ronald, come over here for a second because you’re my shortstop.”

Regrettably, the national press has no feel for any of that. And they quite quickly forget, or don’t remember that Chase Headley was hitting well over .400 a couple of weeks ago when the team needed him. Or, that CC Sabathia ground through his first few starts when the Yankees needed him, as Masahiro Tanaka faltered in his first couple of starts.

Or, that Ronald Torreyes more than kept the spot warm at shortstop until Gregorius was ready to return. Or, that Girardi hand-picked his fifth starter Jordan Montgomery out of a choice of many, and once again he was dead-on in his baseball acumen.

In short, this has not been an accident.

It’s only the beginning; we get that, but……..

Five weeks dost a season not make. We get that. Yankees fans know their team, though, because they’ve been following them. This is not a miracle in the making. Instead, it’s a very good ballclub.

And if the rest of the baseball nation needs to grudgingly become aware that the Yankees are “here” and not going away, then, I guess we’ll just have to go merrily on our way, sneaking up on every team we play, just like we did with the Cubs this weekend.

Arrogance is not necessary. 20-9 says it all. And as Stephen Colbert might say, “Wake up Nation.”