Yankees playoffs: Judgment day arrives in the ALCS

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(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

CC Sabathia

There were many days back in 2014 and 2015 when Yankees universe lamented not only CC being on those teams, but that he was signed through 2017. Now that same galactic body hopes he will rise once more in 2018.

He just completed his second consecutive season with a sub-four ERA. That makes him the only Yankees starter to accomplish this feat over the last two years. And his clubhouse presence and coach-like status with the pitching staff make him a valuable veteran.

CC is not a definite to return. But the fact that this postseason has finished turning him from a definite no to a, yes at the right price, speaks to the resilience of the man, and the redemptive nature of the sport. And life.

Todd Frazier

Frazier is a great success story. He grew up seeing his Yankees heroes perform in the postseason, and being inspired by them. Now, he has become that hero.

Children in Jersey and all five boroughs will forever carry treasured memories of Todd Frazier’s uplifting and series turning home run.

But that, and whatever other magic Todd can conjure this postseason, is all the memories they are likely to live off of. Frazier is just not good enough to warrant one of those rare and valuable 2018 New York Yankees roster spots. He is more likely to leave the Yankees and drift towards retirement.

However, it is then that his Yankees legacy will rise from the dead. Frazier was born to coach. And now that he has emerged as Girardi’s biggest supporter when he needed it most, Joe and the Yankees will probably be the first to give Todd a try. Look for him on Joe’s bench the spring after he retires.

Greg Bird

Bird has hatched into a full baby bomber in this postseason, his calm demeanor and penchant for home runs and extra base hits belying this as his first extended playoff experience.

And one thing is now crystal clear: As long as he is healthy, he will be manning the first base bag for the Yankees.

Little needs to be said about Matt Holliday and Chase Headley. Even with his hit last night, Headley has seen how little the Yankees think of him at the most important time of year, and the Yankees have seen how little he has produced.

Holliday will not be back and the only way Headley is back is if the Yankees are forced to keep him.

But it’s Hal Steinbrenner who should be scared of how much Joe Girardi has gained the upper hand during these playoffs for his pending contract talks.