17 games left to play -- plenty of baseball, considering they still have 3 games left with the Blue Jays. But while the Yankees won't admit to chasing the Wild Card, most fans are looking.
That said, I'm still decidedly undecided when it comes to this team and this season. For me, there are two ways of looking at the "glass" that might well be the 2015 Yankees:
Half-full: the Yankees, a team not widely expected to even contend this season, make the post-season as the first Wild Card
Half-empty: the Yankees blow a 7-game lead to the Blue Jays and lose the division
Half-full: the Yankees could beat the Rangers in the Wild Card playoffs
Half-empty: the Yanks could get swept by the Royals in the ALDS
Half-full: the Yankees held onto their elite prospects at the trade deadline and didn't mortgage the future for short-term gains
Half-empty: the Yanks stood idly by at the trade deadline while their rivals improved and the Yanks subsequently fell into free-fall
Half-full: the Yankees have gotten an injection of youth and their future stars -- Bird, Severino, Betances -- have made an impact today
Half-empty: the Yanks were led most of the season by a 37-year old first-baseman and a 40-year old DH, neither of whom can be counted on in 2016
So how do you see the Yankees? I don't think we'll really know until October. And even then, how full will that glass be?
Thursday, September 3, 2015
|"Um, I dunno..."|
But this is a different column. Sort of. I don't have a solid opinion, at least, not yet. So I'll pose these questions:
- If the Yankees lose the AL East -- a likely scenario as of today -- but qualify for the Wild Card, was it a good season?
- If the Yankees stumble and only manage to win the second Wild Card, was it a good season?
- If the Yankees go on the road and lose the Wild Card game and spend one day in the post-season in the last 3 years, does Brian Cashman get credit for getting the Yankees back to October?
- Or did he fail to upgrade a mediocre team at the deadline and watch his team fade down the stretch?
As for that opinion of mine, I'm decidedly torn.
On the one hand, the Yankees, on paper, weren't expected to contend this year. The fact that they have played themselves into contention is remarkable. As a bonus, young players that represent the future of the organization -- Betances, Bird, Severino -- have been able to contribute and excel. Even if the Yanks make a quick exit from the playoffs, they will have laid a solid foundation for 2016.
Or have they? The 2015 Yankees' offense has been led primarily by Alex Rodriguez, a 40-year old DH, and Mark Teixeira, a 35-year old who hasn't played a full season in 5 years. A-Rod is currently in a slump and Teixeira won't be back on the field for another two weeks. It's unlikely that either A-Rod or Teixeira can turn back time on another season. Who, in 2016, is going to provide that power? Will Greg Bird or Aaron Judge? How much does Brian McCann or Carlos Beltran have left?
Only time will tell...