Thursday, June 30, 2016
Posted by el duque at 6:50 AM
Last night reminded us what the Yankees once were - a team of fantastical comebacks in a place known for those two strippers, Mystique and Aura... a team unlike any other in professional sports. Dammit, the Yankees are not supposed to be perennial contenders for an expanded wild card berth. Let the Brewers and the Padres enliven their fans by chasing wild cards. For Yankee fans, to be sniping at the last shard of respectability - a .500 record - only reminds us how far we have fallen.
Last night brought a joyous celebration, the comeback of the year. But here's the sad truth: I wasn't there. Nope, I jumped ship in the sixth, after Gardner chased the homer into the wall. In another season, for quitting on our heroes, I would coat myself in tar and roll in the kitty litter. But last night, it was the only sensible course of action. And here's another dirty little secret: If the Yankees fall behind by five today, I will again cut bait. It's a part of survival. You simply cannot expect this team to launch comebacks. To do so is nothing less than suicidal.
Last night was probably the apex moment of the 2016 Yankee season. But today brings the reality check. We are at the crossroads: We can split a series with the AL's best team, and once again sniff .500... or we can go 1-3 at home, fall 10 behind Baltimore and, as usual, follow up every glimmer of hope with a clunker, filled with runners left on base and bad bullpen decisions.
Last night, we were the Yankees of 20 years ago, saved by a young shortstop that nobody imagined could become a star. In fact, we still have a great young shortstop. Trouble is, the rest of the team was around 20 years ago, and we're not chasing a pennant. We're chasing .500... five fucking hundred. We're aiming at a bar lowered to levels that should never apply to the Yankees. If we make the Wild Card, our owner will view it as vindication. The rest of us will view it as consumer fraud.
Last night gave us a reason to believe. Today, we either move on it... or we're back to 2016 - rooting against the Redsocks and Mets, waiting for the injuries to happen, and wondering who we might get in trades come the end of July.