You could pinpoint a lot of things that are wrong with the 2021 New York Yankees, but most fans who have watched the large majority of this season would blame the culture for holding this team back.
Manager Aaron Boone is far from a motivator and disciplinarian. The postgame interviews with this collection of players are … really boring. The roster, save for a few players, seems to be devoid of emotion.
Whether there’s something truly wrong here, or the front office simply acquired far too many monotone and reserved personalities, fans have been extremely frustrated that the consistent lackluster and disappointing play hasn’t really lit a fire under the roster to perform better.
But we received some serious encouragement on Wednesday night in a clutch win over the Texas Rangers.
The Yanks were down 3-0 in a series finale they really needed to sweep to take advantage of a Blue Jays’ loss earlier in the day. Then came two runs in the fifth. And another in the sixth.
In the bottom of the eighth, the moment everyone was waiting for finally arrived. The Bombers blew it open with a four-run rally and then shut the door in the top of the ninth. Back in the playoff picture. But the most notable aspect of it all was how pumped everyone was after Gary Sanchez’s clutch two-run insurance homer that made it 7-3.
The Yankees are finally energized and pumped, it seems.
Gallo, jacked up. Wade, losing his mind. Rizzo, elated. Judge … hey dude! LET’S GO! We’ve seen this a few times this year, but it’s never been more important as the team enters its final nine games against division opponents … all of whom are playing for something.
The Red Sox are leading the AL Wild Card race and would like to maintain that advantage to host the one-game playoff. The Blue Jays are now a half-game out and continue to fight for a spot in October after last year’s taste. The Rays need to remain atop the AL to get home-field advantage throughout the postseason with the Astros three games back.
That’s why it’s refreshing to see everyone getting amped and then talking about battles and war in the postgame. Thank you, Gerrit Cole.
The man’s not wrong. The Yankees are 30-37 against their division opponents and have been tested quite often in 2021. The battles have been lost, but the path to winning the war is right in front of them. Going 6-3 over their final slate and (at least) winning the series against the Sox and Jays should get the job done.
They can really make up for all the frustration and anger they’ve caused for the better part of the last six months. Take Thursday to recharge the batteries and then head to Fenway with the same intensity from the late innings on Wednesday night.
Cole will be on the mound, and he knows the stakes. Couldn’t ask for a better scenario.