The Yankees talked about their season is all about October. They mentioned they are more suited to play for the postseason than the regular season. They said they worked so hard this offseason to get ready to play in the second season.
Well here it is. It finally starts Wednesday night when they will play the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild-Card game at Yankee Stadium. It’s survive and advance or go home for the season. There won’t be a second chance at all after the team underachieved this season by not winning the AL East.
The Yankees can only make this disappointing regular season right by not only just winning this wild-card game tonight, but by being the last team standing. That means the Yankees need to celebrate as the World Series champions for this season to be a success. They knew this the minute the pitchers and catchers showed up to spring training.
The season starts now. Now, it’s time for the Yankees to put up or shut up. No more talk. No more justifications about a poor season. Nothing anymore.
The Yankees basically approached the regular season as if it was the exhibition season. There was no sense of urgency. This team often shrugged off losses. Sometimes, there were times where the Yankees often played like they didn’t care. This comes from the image of Aaron Boone, who may have been too even-keeled for anyone’s liking.
Don’t mention the Yankees won 100 games this season. Spare me about the Yankees winning 100 games with Aaron Judge missing third of the season, Didi Gregorius missing portion of the season, Jordan Montgomery out for the season, Aroldis Chapman being on the disabled list, and Sonny Gray, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird being awful. It’s easy to win 100 games when the Yankees have depth, not to mention they have a payroll of $166 million.
Don’t also mention the Yankees survived adversity when they never really had one.
It was a given that they would be in the postseason this season. There should be no medals for it, and the Yankees realize that. It’s about winning the World Series. It was why Joe Girardi was fired last season despite taking them to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against eventual World Series champion Houston Astros.
The Yankees talked about seeking the big prize as a way of showing perspective whenever this team was going through a losing streak or a drought.
Now, they have run out of excuses and explanations. There is no rationalizing any more of playoff losses. If they fail to win the World Series, they have no one to blame but themselves.
No one should dare mention injuries. The Yankees have enough depth to overcome injuries. After all, the Red Sox did this season, so the Yankees can do the same.
The Yankees should be good enough to beat the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros or whoever they face in the National League in the World Series. They have three good starters in Luis Severino, J.A. Happ, and Masahiro Tanaka to help them give them five or six good innings, and then the bullpen can do the rest.
We all know the Yankees can hit, and they have enough depth over the bullpen.
This team is so good that Boone doesn’t really have to manage. All he can do is act like a mascot and make sure he doesn’t mess things up. It’s no wonder why Yankees general manager Brian Cashman decided to hire a patsy who will take orders to manage the Yankees than hire a manager that has street credibility and common sense to run a game.
But make no mistake. If the Yankees lose in the AL Wild-Card game or not win the World Series, the blame will go to Boone and Cashman. Boone for not maximizing the most out of his roster and getting championship No. 28, and Cashman for entrusting a roster to a guy who never coached or managed a day in his life.
There’s no room for error anymore. There’s no more second chances. This season ends tonight or it goes as far as it could. No matter what happens, it will be interesting how this goes.
It’s also time for the Baby Bombers to grow up to be stars now. That means it’s time for Gleyber Torres, Sanchez, Bird, Severino and other young stars to start creating their Yankeeography moments in October. Outside of Torres, the young guys have enough experience to get it done.
The Yankees used all of their amnesty. Now, it’s time to deliver the right results.
Last year was a Cinderella season. This year is about delivering.
Anything short of a championship would mean this season is a failure.
There won’t be any justifications or excuses for it.