“Success is determined by those whom prove the impossible, possible.” – James W. Pence
The Bronx Bombers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and boost a 10-7 record in what is still considered very premature in the regular season.
With only 17-19 of the 162 regular season games complete, affirming any MLB team to be much of anything yet is just a fast track to disappointment.
Which explains my hesitation in declaring this makeshift Yankees team to be defying the odds just yet.
Still these castaways and fill-ins have been nothing short of a pleasant surprised, and it has left me with all sorts of emotions.
So if you ever wanted to get in the head of a Yankees fan, here is your chance….
Admittedly, I was one of those fans riding in the Yankees are in big trouble bandwagon at the start of the season.
Opening Day in the Bronx didn’t help, as it was depressing, I mean the Captain didn’t even show up in support.
That followed by a week of watching a Yankees team who not only looked too old, but also very overmatched.
After going 1-4 in the first five games, I began referring to this group as the Yankees B-team.
Literally, I told a friend of mine, who happens to a die-hard Orioles fan, that this was just “the Yankees B-team and all will be back to normal shortly.”
And in true New York fan fashion, I started to wonder if I was going to be able to stomach this team for an entire season.
That is because adjustment periods do not exist in Yankee Universe, as it is all about “what can you do for me today,” and “win now” attitude.
For better or for worse, it is what it is, as the Yankees have made New Yorkers accustomed to being in the postseason every season for almost two decades, minus 2008.
So what you might judge as arrogant and spoiled is really inadequately articulated pride that stems from being scared to death of not being a contending team.
Looking back at what theoretically was just two weeks ago on the calendar, feels like an eternity to me.
Currently my brain is fighting my heart not to believe in this team because of the risk that comes from depending on castaway veterans too much.
Will these established veteran players be able to grind out wins all season long?
Can they prove to be more than just temporary big names here for the interim?
In all truth, I see no reason not too as this 2013 Yankees team has chemistry.
I haven’t seen a group like this one in the Bronx since the late nineties. The days when every player came not only to play, but also to win at all costs.
Here is what has recently blown my mind:
- Watching Travis Hafner steal a base, and then attempt a bunt in the same game yesterday in an effort to win was great. It was the 10th stolen base of his career.
- Vernon Wells had six multi-hit games already this season. And if you didn’t witness the catch he made in Toronto on Sunday, just watch ESPN’s Sports Center Top 10 Plays of the week because it would be a travesty if it weren’t one.
- Yankees have 27 homers this season, most in the American League.
- Robinson Cano has reached base in 15 of the first 17 games this season. Cano does not just look like a future MVP anymore he is one.
- The back-up catchers, Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli as a platoon are certainly doing their parts both defensively and with their bats to make fans not mourn over Russell the Muscle.
- Kevin Youkilis has made it very hard not to fall in love with him. As he is relentless at the plate, making pitchers work with every at-bat. Cheering for YOUK has been almost too normal.
- And the starting pitching, at least one through three has been as solid as any staff in the Bigs. A special nod goes to Kuroda, who dazzled throwing a complete game, shutout last Sunday night vs. the Orioles.
The bottom-line is a lot has gone very right and that needs to continue, but not only from a players standpoint.
Skipper Joe Girardi and his staff need to manage almost flawlessly, which includes a lot of daunting decisions that will be tough for the Skipper to resist. But that debate is for another article all together, so stay tuned.