LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Hoping For Special Moment During Rivalry Week

Friday, August 11, 2017

Yankees Hoping For Special Moment During Rivalry Week

In many seasons past, when  the Yankees won championships, there always seemed to be that defining moment when it became evident  the Yankees were a special team and clearly the favorite to win it all. That moment usually occurred during a stretch run, but not always. In the great 1998 season, the special moment probably came early, during a nine game winning streak in June right around the time El Duque made his debut in the Bronx. In 1978, when all seemed impossible as the Yankees trailed the Red Sox by 14 games in July, that moment arrived in September, the weekend of the famous Boston Massacre, when the Yankees not only swept the BoSox in Fenway, they annihilated the Sox and finally erased all of that deficit. In the Yankees last championship in 2009, the moment was probably another sweep of the Red Sox in early August.

It is safe to say the Yankees have not yet experienced that special moment in 2017.

And it would appear that moment is not likely to occur this season. Now that's not to say the Yankees are dead in the water. They are still within striking distance of the Red Sox in the AL East with ten of the next 23 games and seven of those games at home against the very same Red Sox. The Yankees also lead in the wild card race.

But the Yankees give no indication there is a special moment on the immediate horizon. We all should realize the Yankees are probably not be the elite team of this season, which might well be a colossal  understatement. Thursday's 4-0 loss at Toronto is just another reminder the 2017 Yankees are not all that special and appear to have too many deficiencies. There are plenty of examples.  Yes we could start naming individual players. Let's leave it at the player's collective performances are not quite where they need to be. But it is reasonable to expect improvement from many of these players who will be a part of the next championship. I hold the belief the Yankees will be better in the near future, but probably not this year. And many of the same players on today's roster will be a part of the next defining moment.
      
A Filled Calendar, But What To Wear?
The Yankees trail their next opponent,  the Red Sox, by 4 1/2 games in the AL East going into the upcoming weekend series at Yankee Stadium beginning tonight. They do play each other ten times in the next 23 games, so these next 23 games could go a long way to settling the AL East for the Yankees, maybe even the Wild Card. When the two teams meet for the September 3rd Sunday night game, it will be the final time they will meet in the regular season.

The Yankees will play the other division rivals, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Toronto each for a series at home and a series on  the road in September. The Mets series of four games between the two parks is next week (dubbed Rivalry Week, since the series falls between the two Red Sox series). Other non division opponents down the stretch include road series at Detroit and Texas and home with Cleveland, Minnesota and a single makeup game with Kansas City.

So have you seen the jerseys the Yankees will be wearing the weekend of Aug 25-27 against Seattle? Names on the back of each uniform in the form of nicknames and no pinstripes for a home series? What is this world coming to? I personally would prefer the pinstripes to the point it would be better if this all would occur while the Yankees are on the road. But it is only for a weekend. There is no permanent change. If given the choice, I would take the Yankees winning all three games with Seattle, regardless of what they are wearing. I'll take a "wardrobe malfunction" over a performance malfunction any day. 

But the performance part has been rather dismal lately. 

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