Yankees Universe is densely populated with fanatics that always perceive the glass as completely full, even though it isn’t.
As much as I envy this kind of absolute optimism, the delusional element has turned me into a pessimist, almost to a fault, when it comes to the New York Yankees.
Do I not want to see the Yankees win #28?
Not a chance, as I want the Yankees to win the World Series as much as any other fanatic but I am just more realistic about it. As too many Yankees fans are living in cloud and it is time they get with the program.
Especially after last season’s baseball-less October, the pessimist in my head is screaming at me to make sure I am better prepared if this happens again.
No doubt the 2014 Yankees look a heck of a lot better in comparison, but in essence it is the same formula except with more options; and what looks to be an upgraded starting rotation.
But what about the major concerns that theoretically could incapacitate the Yankees from even contending for a postseason berth?
Here are three potential problems that fanatics, haters and worriers, like myself, should be watching when the 2014 season starts in Houston next Tuesday.
The AL East is loaded, which leaves barely any wiggle room to slump if a team wants to stay relevant with the division. The Yankees have retained a ton of veterans to bring the franchise back to playoff glory once again. No doubt these guys are certifiable stars who love to win, but can their bodies physically keep up? Last year, the Yankees came in hot, looked primed to compete only for reality to bite come June. Injuries and age with no Plan B will only survive so long, as once the Yankees nostalgia wore off the problems started to mount. Bottom line there is no division that can expose weaknesses like the AL East can.
The Yankees are not only asking Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira to stay on the field, but also to make Glory Days their permanent batting walk-up song. So long are the good old days of having Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez. Even A-Rod will be sorely missed once everyone realizes that Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson are really not the back-ups. Heading into a season with such high risk – high reward infield means any of the 162 games could be the one that takes the Yankees right out of contention. After blowing payroll over the $189 million luxury cap, why not go sign Steve Drew today for added insurance? Look I realize that Drew is a Scott Boras client, and the Yankees have been the agent’s personal cash cow for years. But if winning a World Series is really the goal, and your infield is being called by scouts, “…. The worst in baseball,” signing Drew should have already happened. This would be considered a no-brainier, right?
David Robertson is stepping into Mariano Rivera’s shoes, and the pressure to perform is almost insurmountable. The last thing D-Rob wants to do is remind Yankees fans how good they used to have it in the ninth inning. The term grace period doesn’t exist in New York City, no matter how many who, what, when or why legit reasons there might be. You are either getting it done or not, and reasoning is just an excuse to be mediocre. It is D-Rob or bust in the Bronx.
As a Yankees fan, watching the latest injury news scroll across the ticker on the MLB Network daily has been a torrid reminder of what can happen, and what did.
I can relate to how fans of the more nicked-up teams this Spring Training feel, as it is a total bummer to endure any problems before Opening Day. I don’t want to jinx anything so that is all I have to say about that.
But for now, please just keep your eyes open, and don’t live in a cloud because you are setting yourself up for a HUGE letdown when you could be pleasantly surprised instead.