A decade ago it would seem strange to look at the New York Yankees as anything other than favorites in the American League East. But times change, time above all moves on and great players retire. When those things happen it can take a little white to rebuild a dynasty. And yet as I eulogize the Yankees 2013 season, they remain just a few games back in the AL East, in third place. What is keeping them hanging around?
It beats the heck out of me. I will tell you that my opinion is that a lot of baseball has nothing to do with the name stitched on the back of the road jerseys. I think the man managing and then men in position in the field, as well as how well they play together, go a lot way towards winning games. In the Yankees situation, they aren’t the best team in MLB. They aren’t even the best team in their division and probably aren’t the second best team in the division.
Ah but who cares. The best team is the one that is able to weather the storm of the long season better than anyone else. Right now the Yankees have had quite a lot thrown their way. Six good players are on the disabled list including a fellow named Derek Jeter and the recent addition of Kevin Youkilis. Curtis Granderson is on there as well. Those are three guys that can carry a team for a few days or even longer when they have it going right. They could at least help a team carry itself.
Still, without all of their best players the Yankees are showing something to the rest of baseball. They are showing that they can stand strong in the face of adversity and almost relaxingly remain in contention for the lead in the AL East. Who knows what will happen when those guys return? I sure don’t but I do know this. I never thought a few years ago that I would be impressed by something other than the way the Yankees throw money at great players. This season I am impressed at what they are showing all of baseball they can have: character and toughness.