As fantastic as the news was, it also let New York fans relax because the Yankees are expected to be playing in October and at the start of this season things were not as secure as usual.
Contending for the World Series is no easy task, but considering the Yankees were not playoff heavy favorites, safeguarding a spot with seven regular season games left is dumbfounded. There are many responsible for the team’s success from GM Brian Cashman to skipper Joe Girardi, to obviously the heart and determination of the players themselves.
Still, there are concerns but I am not referring to who the starting rotation will be for the cutthroat five-game ALDS series; or whether catcher Russell Martin will start all postseason games. What worries me is the timing.
Looking back at last season, the Yankees secured the Wild Card on September 27th, with five games left to play; and it took all of those games to decide the AL East division winner.
In the end the Tampa Bay Rays finished a game up on the Yankees. The fight for the AL East went to the last out of the regular season, which didn’t allow either team time to breathe before being thrown into the playoffs on October 6th.
The Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS without even a hitch and the idea of repeating as champs, or at least another meeting with the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series started to seem inevitable.
The ALDS wrapped up on October 9th with a sweep of the Minnesota Twins and the Yankees were rolling right along. That perfect momentum that any athlete will tell you plays a huge reason was brought to a screeching halt.
The Yankees would have to wait to start playing the ALCS, and not just a day or two but for an entire week. This also became the reality for the Phillies, and so the two best teams in baseball had to sit around for the longest length of time since the earlier off-season.
Even as beat up and old as the Yankees and Phillies were the extra healing time proved to be exactly what both teams didn’t need. Both teams played dreadful baseball; and in the end both teams lost the ALCS and NLCS.
I am not trying to take away anything from the accomplishments of the 2010 San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers but reality is the Yankees and Phillies were the superior teams.
Having so much time on their hands when games did not matter or there were no games to play interrupts momentum. These players have played pretty much daily for nine months and that consistency plays a huge role.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle
- New York Yankees Win 2011 AL East Title with Doubleheader Sweep of Rays (bleacherreport.com)
- New York Yankees: Spoke Too Soon (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Bronx Bombers Not Scared Of Anyone Especially Not Rangers (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Were Not Supposed To Win (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: 2011 ALDS Schedule Possibilites (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Who Could Face The New York Yankees In October (ladylovespinstripes.com)