Well, we’ve played a month of baseball and, I must say, I’m pleasantly surprised. If you look at the AL East standings, it’s completely flipped. Toronto was supposed to be in first, not last, place. And the Red Sox were expected to be in the basement. As a matter of fact, it looks like we’ve gone back in time to the early 2000s. Red Sox and Yankees at the top of the division; ah, seems like old times.
Except that this is quite a different Yankee team. A-Rod, Jeter, Granderson, and Teixeira are all still injured, but the Yankees have plugged the holes in the boat with capable players—a bottom of the bin roster that has a whole lotta heart. And I think we all know who deserves a lot of the credit–Brian Cashman, the wheelin’ and dealin’ Yankee GM. He’s glued together a group of players who have been able to competently compete, winning 16 out of 26 games in April. (Granted, half the time I can’t figure out who’s batting next, but that’s Girardi’s job anyway). Cashman got us capable players, some at the eleventh hour, and they’ve managed to adopt that “never give up” attitude. Reporter Mark Feinsand during the offseason tweeted “Cashman said NYY could look at a pool of 1B or 3B thanks to Youkilis’ versatility: ‘It’s kind of like a baby pool. A lot of kids pee in it.’” Well, Cashman got what we needed before the pool closed. When you think of the NY Yankees, the first names that come to mind are not Hafner, Overbay, Wells, and Youkilis. But they are taking their pinstripes seriously and the results show it.
These guys have done more than just keep the boat afloat until the regulars come back. They’ve found ways to win and they’ve also backed up our good-but could-be-better rotation. In the pitching realm, we’ve had some excellent outings, some gutty performances, and some really-just-plain-awful innings. Yet our offense has found a way to battle back, even if we’re down by three runs after the second inning. Yeah, I know, it’s still early, but this bunch of guys has given us hope. Yankee fans can breathe a little easier as we await the return of the injured. We don’t know how long it’s going to take for this team to look like they’re supposed to, but in the meantime one tradition is staying alive: the pride of the pinstripes.
It gets late early out there.