Look at this collection of logos. You do not need more information. You do not need more context. More context would only muddy the waters unnecessarily.
All you need to know is this list of six teams, which includes the New York Yankees. They are MLB's last place teams. The list includes five teams widely projected to be dreck. At least four of those five are doing their hardest not to try (excepting the scrappy Pirates). They entered the season intending to fail, and they have failed.
The sixth team is the New York Yankees, who are above the final luxury tax threshold by $1.1 million.
Save the shock that a last place team could be above .500. Save the pearl-clutching about how the last place team in the East could be winning the AL Central, if given the chance. Stop the qualifiers about how this is the toughest division in baseball. The Yankees pay to win the toughest division in baseball, not to flounder at the bottom of it, narrowly above the .500 dividing line that separates competence from disaster.
Three games over .500 is not an accomplishment. Three games over .500 is last place.
Yankees stuck in last place in AL East: MLB Standings
If the Yankees were in the Central, they'd be tied for first place. If the Yankees were in the NBA, they'd have played 15 more games than the length of a full season. What the heck?!
Excepting the literal MLB standings -- where, again, the Yankees are in last -- run differential is often the most accurate measure of a team's true worth. Are they scraping by teams on occasion, creating a winning record while never dominating? Are they pummeling bad teams, beating good ones, and running away from .500 like Esteury Ruiz? Or are they fradulent?
2023 Yankees Playoff Odds
The Yankees' run differential is +8, indicating they have the talent of a slightly-above-.500 team. Accurate. But in six games against the Oakland A's, a 27-win juggernaut, they are +34 runs. That means the Yanks are officially -26 against the rest of baseball. That is firmly a last-place team.
Stop the rationalizing. Stop the mental gymnastics meant to indicate the Yankees are in last place, sure, but they're not the Pirates, Nationals, Rockies, Royals, or A's!
No. They are. They're the ice cold team the Pirates, Nationals, Rockies, Royals and A's see on the schedule and think, "Ok. We can compete here." They're a last-place team. They can't shift regions or leagues. All they can control is their effort level in the valiant fight against piling up losses. They're losing. They're a last-place team.