It's been awhile since a Yankee lineup boasted such mouth-watering beautistics: .396... .368... .321... Aaron Judge, tied for 3rd in HRs; Aaron Hicks tied for 4th... Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, tied for 2nd and 3rd in SBs. The Indian Point Power Report doesn't even hurt to hear.
Each day, Greg Bird gains more confidence. We're starting to wonder if Chase Headley is not just a desert mirage, but the Comeback Horse of 2017. Or is it Ellsbury? Could Judge be the league's best rookie? Or is it Jordan Montgomery? Is Hicks our version of Jackie Bradely Jr., the slow-starter who pays dividends? Or is it Luis Severino? Is this team real, or is it Memorex? As the Boss once wondered, is a dream alive if it don't come true, or is it something worse?
It's still mid-April, and the cleats of 2017 have yet to drop. Moreover, it's not as if the Yankees have yet played the Globetrotters, posting wins against the Washington Generals and superstar Red Klotz. After losing 2/3 in Baltimore, we chewed up the Tampon Rays (8-8), the shuffled Cards (6-9) and the garage-sale White Sox (7-7). Next up, the stumbling Pirates (6-9), with a Sunday appearance by none other than Ivan "Super" Nova (1-2).
Then the worms turn. We hit Boston for Porcello, Sales and Pomeranz. You could argue that 2017 begins Tuesday at Fenway, when the story lines start to emerge. Babe Benintendi is hitting .322 with a HR, but nothing will matter if he goes 0-16 against the Yanks. Same goes for our newfound studs. If we cannot beat the Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM), we will start chasing the Wild Card, which is sort of like settling for Billy Ripken, instead of Cal.
But don't get me wrong. We've seen enough crapola for the last seven years to be rightfully excited over a 10-5 record. Last April 21, we stood at 5-9, and Headley was already being lashed to a camel and sent into the desert. When Gary Sanchez hurt himself on a practice swing, all looked lost. Now, we can expect him and Didi Gregorius back in May. By then, the march of tomato cans will be over, and we'll know what we've got. But Judge will still have at least 5 HRs - a quarter of what our team leader hit all of last year. Come Tuesday, I'll be watching from my playoffs juju crouch. Be prepared.