It’s been a peculiar season for the New York Yankees. Flirting with the .500 mark with the All-Star Break on the horizon may be considered a positive for many teams, but for the Bombers, who last finished with a losing record in 1992, it has made fans inch closer to the panic button with each head-scratching loss.
Riddled with injuries and hobbled by age, the Yankees have limped through the first half with growing concerns as to who will step up to carry the team through the summer months. Alex Rodriguez has struggled in his limited role as DH while Mark Teixeira recently labored through another DL stint with knee discomfort. Carlos Beltran, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, the three Yankee representatives at the All-Star Game in San Diego next week, have been the few bright spots on an otherwise mediocre club. Additional support – both offensively and in the starting rotation - has been few and far between.
Still, despite the Yankees’ first-half woes, there is reason to keep the faith for a potential postseason berth in the Bronx. The Yankees sit just four games out of the second A.L. Wild Card slot prior to Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. Five teams place in front of the Yankees, though three are in the midst of losing streaks as the All-Star Break approaches. With the chance to gain ground as the playoff picture continues to form, now is the time for the Yankees to establish the identity they’ve searched for all season long.
They’ll have plenty of opportunity to do so against some of the best teams in baseball this month. Following the break the Yankees set to welcome the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants to the Stadium. Yankees tickets are expected to be in high demand for each series, though many deals exist throughout the homestand. The team will be giving away a slew of promotional items, ranging from three separate cap giveaways to a MasterCard Half-Price Game. Fans won’t have to break the bank just to get in, either - tickets start from just $9 at select games.
A statement will be made if the Yankees can chip away at their A.L. East counterparts at home later this month. Currently seven games behind the first-place Orioles, there leaves little margin for error over the next three months. A massive turnaround would be needed to claim the division, which is flooded with top-flight teams, but a trip to the Wild Card Game is still within reach.
Will they continue to pretend as the Midsummer Classic falls into the rearview? The next three weeks will be a pivotal indicator in the team’s quest for its elusive 28th title.