Monday, June 8, 2015
Posted by el duque at 6:18 AM
It is nearly Juneteenth, and we are about to learn if the 2015 Yankees - of the new, user-friendly A-Rod Version 5.0 - are a legitimate AL division power, or a wobbling suspension bridge that is about to fall into the Hudson. This is when at least one AL East team will sharpen its act for the second-half, and one will likely bid us farewell. All you need is a schedule.
This month, the Yankees only play three games against AL East teams (the O's, late this week.) They do the Nats, Marlins, Tigers, Astros and poor, sad Philly. It's a mixed bag, but if we've learned anything thus far, it's that the Ruthian Rollercoasters are capable of beating - or losing to - anybody, including the nuns of St. Mary's. But while the Yankees take on the NL East, the Redsocks play 13 of 20 games within the division. The O's play 12, and Toronto plays 11. (The Rays only play six.) What does all this mean? The honest answer is, damned if I know... but there is something in play here.
Either Boston, Baltimore or Toronto is going to emerge soon as the Yankees prime competition. If we keep winning, or straighten out, we can probably cross one of those teams off the list. But if we follow this recent hot stretch with a pile of losses - negating the gains of last week - Judgement Day could come with the solstice.
Either way, I'd still rather be us than Boston, which faces a clear and looming crossroads. If the Redsocks get hot, they will vault back into the race - (they were never out of it) - and put Baltimore or Toronto into a sleeper hold. But if they play cold, Papi Hour could come early. They could be selling at the All-Star break, like last year, and I wouldn't want to be listening to talk radio in Boston, if that comes to pass.
So what is it, Yankees? All season, I've refused to get my hopes up - thinking injuries and age will soon topple the dominoes. Even in first place, the Yankees looked like merely the best cupcake in a bad batch. Do we dare start thinking this team can win?