Halfway Home In The Bronx

imagesAt the literal half-way mark (81 games) for the Yankees, they have a 42-39 record, which projects to 84 wins for the full season. Not a great showing to date, and the recent trends have been poor. This could be the first sub .500 Yankees team since the early 90s.

2013 has been a tough year for my beloved Yankees. Yankee haters, misguided as they may be, are reveling at the plight of the current Bronx “Bombers” as the current collection of Yankees are the farthest thing from Bombers with a team batting average less than .240. I expect no sympathy for the Yankees and they seek none. 2013 has been a year of aging, injury and disappointment. In fact, the slightly better than .500 record is a surprise for what has been a miserable collection of waiver pick-ups, rushed rookies, and over the hill players.

Injuries have been devastating. Some injuries are age related—Jeter, A-Rod, Youkliss. Others (Cervelli, Granderson, Nunez, Teixiera) were freak accidents. The net result is a line-up with Cano, Ichiro and Gardner and a bunch of other players who would have a hard time making the 25 man roster of other clubs.

On the positive side, their starting pitching has been largely good and their relief pitching outstanding proving once again that Mariano Rivera is on another plane.

Yankees fans, particularly younger ones, have come to expect success. They feel that October baseball is a birthright and occasional Championships as well. The idea that any season that doesn’t end in a Championship is a failure, is overstated. But in fact a non-Championship season falls short of achieving the goal that the Yankees seek annually—World Champions. One of the things I like most is that the Yankees goals are not merely “making the playoffs”. However, the reality in 2013 is that the concept of even making the playoffs seems like a long shot at this point.

Before the season I wrote the Struming, How the Yankees will reign in 2013. I realized even then that 2013 was built on a house of “ifs”. As I look back on a post I wrote just 3 months ago, almost all the “ifs” (except Mo and, to a lesser extent, Brett Gardner) have fallen short.

So as the Yankees start their second half in Minneapolis, even die hards such as myself have a hard time envisioning a 28th Championship this year. Yet, the are still firmly in contention and the possibility of returning players and others allow me to hope, at least for a few more weeks. By mid-August the Yankees 2013 plight will be made clearer.

Here’s hoping for October baseball in the Bronx.

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