Yankees: Writing the 2018 season one day at a time

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 2: The Opening Week logo adorns the field prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees on April 2, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 2: The Opening Week logo adorns the field prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees on April 2, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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What are you looking forward to the most about the new baseball season? If you’re a fan of the Yankees, the anticipation level for the 2018 season is the highest its been in years, and why shouldn’t it be?

So which part of Yankees baseball has got you at the edge of your seat? Is it the crack of the bat? The sound of leather catching fly balls? Pitchers throwing heat? The roar of the crowd? The smell of popcorn popping and hot dogs roasting? The anticipation of the lineup being posted or the outcome of every game?

All of these things are synonymous with reasons as to why we love the game. Just knowing that baseball is officially back is exciting in itself.

The “rebuilding year” of 2017 brought fans the likes of AL Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge, who just so happened to hit 52 home runs for a new all-time rookie record. The improbable outcome of the team reaching Game 7 of the ALCS was the icing on the cake.

Whether it was Gary Sanchez breaking the Yankees’ catcher record with 33 home runs; Didi Gregorius doing the same for shortstops with 25; or fans watching many balls fly out of The Stadium located on 1 East 161st Street in the Bronx.

The Yankees bounced back from an abysmal late July and most of August to overachieve in grand fashion. That’s one thing about baseball. Anything is possible on any given day.

Now the Bombers have added reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, whose coming off a Ruthian 59 home run campaign. Combining with the rest of the club, many baseballs are in grave peril of traveling very far from their launching point.

Throw in a pitching staff that ranked fifth in MLB with an ERA of 3.72 and a bullpen that is one of the best in the league — and, well, games could be very short for opposing hitters.

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Surely, there are questions on this team.

How will Masahiro Tanaka fare? Will the home run again be his nemesis? Will the aging CC Sabathia’s knees hold up? Will Dellin Betances regain his All-Star status?

Will Tyler Austin and recent pickup Brandon Drury be able to produce solid defense and timely hitting in the absence of Greg Bird? When Bird does return, how will he play?

It sounds like the opening of an old soap opera.

But that’s another thing that’s so great about baseball. Another story each new day. Another outcome. Another chance to make good on what a player or the team as a whole, might not have done so well yesterday or the day before. To me, that doesn’t sound like a fictional soap opera. It’s real life.

On Thursday, life as a baseball fan begins anew. A full season with this Yankees’ team. The usual sights, sounds and smells of our national pastime. But the 2018 Yanks have an original script to write.

Will it be an epic novel? One that will go down in record books? Will the Yankees achieve all of the goals that they have set for themselves including a trip through the Canyon of Heroes?

Next: Neil Walker gets the nod on opening day

The quest begins now. The game we love is returning with all of the players and supporting elements in place. Questions will be answered, as the results will be determined one game at a time — one hundred and sixty-two separate chapters and beyond in a detailed novel.

The Yankees will determine if it’s indeed a bestseller.