Yankees: On Tuesday, the air in the Bronx will feel unusually fresh
The Yankees get a much needed one-day breather today before kicking off a series with the Angels back home in the Bronx where the air is expected to feel unusually fresh. Home, they say, is where the heart is. Welcome back, guys.
So, the Yankees finish the road trip at 1-6. And Ken Davidoff in the New York Post headlines “Is this the regression Yankees fans have feared all season?” And suddenly, the Yankees no longer hold first place, slipping into a tie with the Red Sox, who had the gall to do what the Yankees couldn’t do by taking two of three from the mighty Houston Astros.
And then we find out that Gleyber Torres suffered an injury over the weekend and will be examined by team doctors today to give the team an idea as to how much time he’ll miss. This, while Joe Girardi ponders what to do with Masahiro Tanaka, who continues to look more like a number five than a number one.
Like these aren’t problems the Yankees haven’t dealt with before in 2017?
So, how are you supposed to spell R-E-S-I-L-I-E-N-C-E
It’s funny though because when Ronald Torreyes stepped in without missing a beat to fill the time that was needed for Didi Gregorius, the Yankees were often described as resilient. And when Gary Sanchez went down, and Austin Romine stepped up to hit .300 in Sanchez’s absence, the Yankees were again described as resilient.
The Yankees have demonstrated the ability to bounce back before (the Houston Series), so why shouldn’t we expect they’ll repeat it.
And when Aroldis Chapman went down for more than a month, and Dellin Betances carried the team at the back end of their bullpen, the Yankees were again admired and for their resiliency. And when Jacoby Ellsbury crashed into a wall leaving a hole to fill in the outfield
And when Jacoby Ellsbury crashed into a wall leaving a hole to fill in the outfield, the adjective resilient came up again when Aaron Hicks stepped up without the team missing a beat, with a performance that could land him a spot as a reserve outfielder on the AL All-Star team.
Yup, how easy it is to forget. And that’s especially true in a sport like baseball where it always seems like there’s a tomorrow that makes what you did yesterday of no consequence.
So, now we’re supposed to believe what? That the same team that offered all of that resilience mentioned above lost it forever in seven games? Sorry, if you even think that for a moment, you don’t know baseball. And moreover, you haven’t been following these Yankees since day one, 2017.
Pretenders or contenders?
If you really want to see a team of pretenders who are not contenders, don’t waste your time on the Yankees. Look south to the Baltimore Orioles, who did their little annual tap dance in first place at the beginning of the 2017 season only to sputter back to reality and a 34-34 record today.
Or, how about the St. Louis Cardinals who were supposed to be challenging the Chicago Cubs, who have their ever-growing list of problems, but instead now sit at 31-37 and are already 12 1/2 games back in the Wild Card.
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These are the teams whose fans should be sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for the next ball to drop, the one that spells a lack of resiliency that’s required over the long haul of a baseball season.
No, these Yankees are built to last. Calm down; they’ll figure it out.
See a problem, fix the problem
The secret of guiding a major league team through a season is the ability to make adjustments on the fly, ones that account for injuries, slumps, and mental fatigue. To do that, a ballclub needs depth, and the Yankees, if they have nothing else, have that.
Soon, Girardi in tandem with Brian Cashman will name a replacement for CC Sabathia, who is expected to miss at least a month. Take your pick from Chad Green, Chance Adams, Bryan Mitchell, or perhaps even Justus Sheffield who tossed his first shutout in profession ball the other day with Double-A Trenton. None of these choices will hurt the Yankees, and they could even add some pizzazz to the Baby Bombers talk.
Masahiro Tanaka is in another category that requires a good deal more thinking before a move is made. My feeling is that the Yankees need to take the road less traveled with Tanaka, but Cashman may have a better idea.
Aroldis Chapman is back, and that means sliding Betances back to his regular role as a setup man in the eighth inning. Ditto, Gary Sanchez, who was just finding his stroke when he went down for a few days.
Yankees fans……..the real ones……
Know this, they got this. The team is sleeping in their own beds tonight, and tomorrow afternoon they’ll arrive home at E. 1621st and River Ave. to sunny skies and a temperature of 86 degrees to begin a homestand at Yankees Stadium where they are 20-9 this year.
And you better believe that this team is not panicking, so why should we?
The Red Sox, from the very beginning, were and are the one remaining roadblock to a division title. A nip and tuck battle between the teams was predicted and nip and tuck it will be. So, how about we just fasten our seatbelts and go along for the ride?
Yankees: Just how resilient is this “resilient” band of brothers?
The Yankees have been through this many times before on the West Coast. They stink out there. But the team doesn't belong in the ICU. Hardly.
The Yankees have demonstrated the ability to bounce back before (the Houston Series), so why shouldn’t we expect they’ll repeat it. I bet the house that can – and will.