The New York Yankees season went to Boston where it took a good old fashioned whooping. Starting today, all of the baseball cliches will be rolled out, thrown against the wall, and maybe a couple of them will stick. The fact is though there are still games on the schedule that have yet to be played.
You can’t rationalize what happened to the New York Yankees up in Boston over the weekend. You can’t spin it, explain it, or understand it either, although Joe Girardi tries because he’s called upon to do that.
But all we know for sure is that websites like Baseball Reference have added four more box scores to their exhaustive catalog and that the standings have been drastically altered in what seems now like a matter of only minutes.
That’s what happens when you play in head-to-head competition in baseball. Like the Yankees, the San Francisco Giants have been undergoing a season threatening heart transplant in the National League. They’ve dropped to the second Wild Card while playing the Cardinals and now they get to begin another series against the division leading Dodgers. This, while the New York Mets swept three from the lowly Minnesota Twins and now get to play another series against the even worse Atlanta Braves.
Pick your poison. The Yankees had, and still have, everything laid out in front of them. They’re in the middle of a 11-game road trip that takes them to Tampa Bay after a off day on Monday for three games, followed by four in Toronto. Obviously, they’re all games with the word “critical” attached as an adjective.
And then, they get a rematch with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium followed by Baltimore to close out the regular season. Meanwhile, teams like the Tigers, Seattle, Houston, and yes even the Royals will be joining the Yankees in fighting for their lives as well in the race to play that 163rd game in their season.
It’s exactly what the suits at MLB wanted when they dreamed up this latest wild card scenario. And this year, they have it in spades.
The bottom line in baseball is that there’s always tomorrow and regardless of the fiasco that occurred over the weekend up at Fenway, the Yankees still have an opportunity to turn the page and play another baseball game.
Are they down? Probably. But the real question is are they down and out? The answer to that one will ultimately define the 2016 season of the New York Yankees.
The players are the only ones who know the answers (yes, it’s in the plural) to that question. They are the ones who take the field fighting off 97-mph fastballs and they’re also the ones who will be attempting to paint the inside corner of the plate to a dangerous hitter for the next couple of weeks. It’s baseball, and it’s not a easy game to play.
It’s unlikely that this team will end the season in a free fall dive. They’re too good for that. But at the same time, are they good enough to match the competition they are facing, both directly beginning on Tuesday, and indirectly from the other teams vying for the same spot?
For the next couple of weeks, can we put all those epitaphs that writers and commentators can’t seem to wait to write and just enjoy what is about to unfold? Because unless I missed something, the Yankees have some baseball games left to play and that’s all that really matters.