I hate to say it, but if the New York Yankees are to suffer injuries to key players and fall five or six games back in the standings, now is the time to do so. As of today, our boys from the Bronx sit five games behind the Tampa Bay Rays with a 14 – 13 record.
There are still 135 games remaining on the Yankees schedule.
Tampa Bay has been the hottest team in baseball and holds the MLB’s best record at 19- 8. They have won six straight and nine of their last ten. In spite of that, the New York Yankees remain within striking distance.
It is the first week of May. We still have the better part of five months of games to get healthy and straighten things out. All is not yet lost.
Key injuries to Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher have left us with a bottom-half of the batting order that would struggle to compete with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The New York Yankees starting rotation hasn’t been anything to brag about either, as their performances from game-to-game have been wildly inconsistent. The bullpen has had its share of woes as well, and I won’t relive the horror we New York Yankees fans experienced in losing our Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera – it just hurts too much. Yet, here we are with a record above .500 and only five games back.
Ultimately, every major league team will go through stretches of the schedule where they must deal with injuries and inconsistencies. That is the point of playing 162 games. The teams that best “weather the storm” will advance to play in October, and the others will be left to lament what could have been.
My point is this: It is too early in the season to lose hope and write 2012 off. There is more than enough time to get our players healthy, arrange our starting rotation effectively, and let David Robertson continue to grow into the closers role. If the New York Yankees accomplish those three things, they can make a run at the division.
It is only the first week of May, and there is plenty of time. We’ve done it before (1978 comes to mind), and the New York Yankees can do it again. So, take a deep breath, sit back, and enjoy the beauty of the 2012 baseball season.