LADY AT THE BAT: No Matter The Outcome, A Memorable 2016 For Yankees

Friday, September 9, 2016

No Matter The Outcome, A Memorable 2016 For Yankees

In the illustrious history of the New York Yankees, there have been 40 World Series appearances, twenty seven of which have resulted in  championships. The Yankees have played in countless other post season games, but they really don't count to us Yankees fans, because it's not the post season unless a World Series is involved, right?

All told, in the 113 year history of the New York Yankees, only 21 times have they finished below .500 and only four times have they fished in last place: 1908, 1912, 1966 and 1990.  When the Yankees were not finishing first, they were finishing second or third much of the time. The Yankees suffered through some losing seasons in the Highlander days, but not again until the Horace Clarke Era of the late 60's and early 70's. Horace Clarke was probably a better player than his moniker implies, but such is life.. The last stretch of Yankees struggles began in the 80's and carried over into the early 90's. The Yankees have not suffered through a losing season since 1992. Over the years, the Yankees have put together some amazing seasons with memorable moments galore.

But there has never been a season like 2016.  

It began as a new Horace Clarke Era, and led to a historic (for the Yankees) fire sale. Immediately following that, there was a massive call up of AAA prospects. Then, lots of stuff you cannot script, even in Hollywood, soon followed. Two Yankees making debuts hit back to back home runs in their initial plate appearances: Tyler Austin went deep in his first plate appearance and Aaron Judge followed with a dinger of his own in his first at bat. Gary Sanchez got hot right out of the box and has looked like an all star behind the plate.

The Yankees went 17-11 in August, much like a contender would play. They began September continuing their mission to capture the final wild card spot. After what was (hopefully) a hiccup in Baltimore they went on to sweep the Blue Jays in three games this week at the Stadium. Thursday night, with the last place Rays in town, the Yankees showed more drama from their young pups. This time it was Tyler Austin going opposite field for a walk off home run, giving them a 5-4 win.

This just can't be happening night after night, but it is. The Yankees are a season high nine games over .500 at 74-65. Tell me you saw this coming back in April, or around August 1st for that matter. I didn't.

Mark it down. the 2016 season will be remembered. Perhaps not for the team's twenty eighth championship, nor for their forty first pennant, maybe not even one of their countless other (I never bothered to ever keep track of them) post season appearances. It will be remembered because management and ownership changed course mid season, courageously moving beyond the old guard and ushering in a new era, with a "let the chips fall where they may" attitude. So far they have fallen quite nicely.
If the new era is anything like Thursday night or the three game sweep of Toronto earlier in the week, we may have a new dynasty in the near future. In the meantime we'll settle for the fun ride that 2016 has become.

No comments: