This season continues to be a series of pleasant surprises for the New York Yankees. Well, maybe not for the team, but for fans and the media. The surprises are worth looking at one by one. First, the numbers:
Going into today's action the Yankees are 23-13, in first place in the AL East. That's 10 games over .500. They are in the midst of a five-game winning streak. They are also 7-1 in 1-run games this year. Lastly, they have an 11-6 road record, second only in baseball to the St Louis Cardinals.
Second, Mariano Rivera:
Rivera returned to Kansas City this past weekend, the "scene of the crime" if you will. I laughed when I saw how ESPN New York's Wallace Mathews referred to it: Return To Wounded Knee. He certainly was not wounded over the weekend while he notched his 14th and 15th saves. Fifteen for 15 in save opportunities is more than awesome. It's mo-tastic! (That's okay, I'll show myself out.)
Third, Vernon Wells:
It's time for me to admit I was wrong about Vernon Wells. I thought the guy was finished. However, he has proved that he is definitely NOT finished. As of this morning he was batting .295 with 9 HR and 20 RBI. He even has four stolen bases! I don't know if he can keep it up for an extended period of time--what am I talking about? It has been an extended period of time! He has been great and, as long as he can adjust to being a bench player when the Walking Wounded return, he will continue to be great.
The last surprise is not so pleasant:
Joba Chamberlain told Rivera not to shush him? Everyone knows the story by now so, I won't repeat it. However, I will say that, while I think Joba was dead wrong, I understand why he did what he did, why he was so emotional. What everyone fails to admit/remember is that Joba was so loud because he had spotted his family in the stands and was calling out to them. If you didn't know that Joba Chamberlain is extremely (some might say insanely) close to his family, you've been living under a rock. People who are that close to their families could care less about anyone else when said family is around.
Here's hoping the surprises continue. (The pleasant ones, that is.)