The boos rained hot and heavy on Sunday afternoon as the Yankees fell, yet again, back to .500 on the season, to a disheartening 37-37 record. Just 7 games away from the 81 game mark (halfway through the season) and the Yankees are continuing to do what they’ve done since the start: run in place.
Having never been one for booing at a sports event. I prefer cold indifference demonstrated by determined silence and a disappointed head shake. That may be no better than booing and, let’s be honest, athletes don’t care one way or the other. Surely they hear them but they don’t care. Hearing a stadium shake with boos directed at the home team, however, just doesn’t feel right.
Which is not to say I don’t understand the sentiment. Watching a team like the Minnesota Twins, who have the worst pitching staff in the American League (the 2nd worst in MLB), come in and shut out the Yankees for 5.2 IP and ultimately give up just 2 hits all game, is a painful thing.
The Yankees had a prime opportunity in the middle of June to get fat on weaker teams. To say they squandered it would be a gross understatement. In the 14 games since they swept the Angels, the point in time when everything seemed glorious with the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees went 7-7. They could not have been more average if they tried, and it took them winning 3 of the last 4 to get there.
Now, with the Texas Rangers in town for a four game set to close out the month, things are going to get a lot harder. Yes, the Rangers have suffered injuries but their offense has stayed hot in June. They have the third most hits and are tied for the 3rd most HRs this month, have gone 18-6 and hold a commanding 10.0 game lead in the A.L. West.
These are the types of opponents the Yankees should have been resting up for, should have been getting healthy for, and figuring out the best rotation and lineup for as they tried to build themselves up over .500. Now they stand a real chance of digging themselves into yet another hole. This time there will be no theoretical soft landing spot available for them. Yes, they play the Padres before the All-Star Break, but they also play the class of the A.L. Central.
So, yes, there’s quite a bit of frustration beyond the boos of Yankees fans. The players will say they feel the same way but it’s not the same for a fan. A fan's pain is particular. And, Yankees fans, it might just get more acute before the month is over.