The injury depleted New York Yankees have virtually no chances at keeping pace with the rest of the AL East. Just don’t tell that to veteran pick-ups Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis as all three have contributed in this weekend’s series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
There is a certain amount of pride and expectation that goes with donning the pinstripes, that’s why so many greats in the past have gone to finish their careers in the Bronx, even when it borders on insubordination.
This season, much like last when Raul Ibanez basically resurrected his career and carried the Yankees through the early rounds of the post season, the bats of Wells, Hafner and Youkilis have picked up the slack for the missing Yankee stars.
Hafner and Wells have both hit 5 home runs this season while batting .349 and .310 respectively. Youkilis, once a Yankee killer during his years with the Boston Red Sox, is hitting .295 and has 2 homers.
These numbers are not necessarily earth shattering, but they are more than good enough to keep the bombers above .500 and in the race in the AL East. The Blue Jays, who many suggested were ready to compete for the AL East crown have battled the Yankees this weekend, but have come up short in the first two games.
With the returns of first baseman Mark Texiera and outfielder Curtis Granderson sill several weeks away, not to mention the bad news the Yankees got on the return of captain Derek Jeter, the sense of panic that may have surrounded the Yankees early on is no where to be felt.
Credit GM/Senior VP Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi for knowing exactly which buttons to push when the washed-up Yankees need to keep order restored in their division. But don’t overlook the pride that has veterans Wells, Hafner and Youkilis performing above and beyond.