Monday, August 29, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:47 AM
The Yankees have 33 games remaining and just 67 wins. To reach the magical "89" means - hmm, let's see here, carry the naught, three into two, no, that's not right, hmmm - the Yankees must go 22-11. Holy crap! That's two out of three, which we did this weekend. But even then, we gotta hope nobody else gets hot.
The paid talkers keep blathering that we're "in this thing" because we play Boston and Baltimore a shitload in September, but they're missing a key component to any successful month. Tomato Cans. Teams that are out of it. Some might be spiteful, but most have accepted their lowly fate, and they'll try out players you've never heard of and never will hear of again. These are the teams you sweep, negating the losses against real competition, vaulting you right back into the scrum.
So let's take a look at the Tomato Can Watch.
Detroit has 16 games with the Heinz Brigade (Chisox, Twins, Braves). But so does Kansas City (Twins, Chisox, A's) and Seattle (Angels, A's, Twins). That's a huge advantage.
Boston has 12 cans left (A's, Padres, Rays).
The Astros have 10 (Angels, A's.) So do the Orioles (D-Backs, Rays).
The Yankees? We have 7 tomatoes, all against the Rays, an organization comprised of trolls who base their entire existence upon hating us. The Rays go to bed at night scheming to hurt the Yankees, and the first thought they have upon rising is to stare ruefully at the dartboard photo of Derek Jeter and be reminded of how miserable their lives turned out, because Jeet and Hannah live outside town and still don't invite them to parties. You can think of how insignificant your life is as a fan, but it's still a thousand times more meaningful than being Evan Longoria. The guy isn't even the most famous Longoria.
Yesterday, watching us squander chance after chance offered a grim reminder of how hot and cold this 2016 team functions. We beat the snot out of Baltimore for two games, then don our burkinis and head for the beach. A three-game losing streak could kill us - I don't care what the wonks say. We are close to the precipice, and it's a long way to 2017 spring training.
What's weird is how quickly everything can change. Two weeks ago, we could happily commit to playing Aaron Judge every day, because - hey, who gave a shit? Yesterday, I was receiving furious in-game texts from Alphonso, screaming about the guy. I still say let him play. He needs to ride this through. Tyler Austin needs more chances, too.
The turnaround came from an infusion of youth. The chorus keeps saying Tex is finally getting hot. Well, the guy is hitting .204. Until Gary Sanchez dropped from the sky, we didn't have a .300 hitter in the lineup. It's been a month since Carlos Beltran left, yet he still leads the team in home runs and RBIs. The veterans squandered their shot. We need fresh legs, not 30something hips and knees. If Chase Headley doesn't like it, too bad. Frankly, he's a tomato can.