MLB Playoffs: 5 Reasons Why The Yankees Will Reign
This is one of those “special” off cycle Strumings that non-Yankees fans delete quickly (but Yankees fans love).
Congratulations to the New York Yankees, AL East Champions. Winning the division was a struggle. They saw a big lead evaporate, but never fell out of first.
Despite my passion for the Yankees, I actually understand why it’s easy to dislike them. They are now too successful. Nothing underdog about them. Detractors say that Yankees “buy” their playoff appearances, and the Yankees have had the highest payroll in baseball since the 90s. Obviously money, which helps attract talent, really helps. They have spent money freely, sometimes wisely, sometimes not. But all their talent is not bought, and even Yankee haters have to be amazed at their 17th playoff appearance in 18 years. If dollars alone were sufficient to get a team to the post-season, then the Red Sox, Angels, Phillies & Dodgers would be playing later this week too. They are not. By the way, the Yankees hit 43 homers against the Red Sox this past season, yet it never seems enough.
This has not been an easy year for the Yankees. Nonetheless I believe that the Yankees win the World Series yet again, #28. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Ichiro—He has given the Yankees a dimension they sorely lacked. He is a hit machine, and batted .322 for the Yankees since July.
2. Andy—He has 19 playoff wins. Most in MLB history. Bigger stage won’t rattle him.
3. CC—He’s back, or at least it appears that way
4. Jeter—Oh yeah, he’s appeared in all those playoff appearances nI mentioned. What a coincidence.
5. Cano—He is in a groove right now. Raised his average 20 points in last 9 games of the season! Unreal.
To be fair there are a few reasons why they may fall short:
1. Kuroda & Hughes—Yankees need them to pitch at their best, and they have fallen short on several occasions in September. If they do it again the Yankees could exit early.
2. Tex—Not expecting any real performance from him. He hasn’t had any timely hits since he returned earlier this week, and was already dropped to sixth in the batting order. Then again he has never been Mr. October for Yankees. He’s a great fielder, but hits poorly in October. Anything they get is a plus.
3. They will Miss Mo—Hasn’t Soriano been terrific (yes)? But not having the career playoff save leader with a .76 WHIP in playoffs really hurts now. Soriano has been good, could easily fall short.
4. A Rod—Perhaps if they paid him even more, and extended his contact another 10 years, he would hit better (not). He’s merely a better than average third baseman for now. Nothing more. Not expecting again 2009 heroics this year. In fact I expect very little.
5. Yankees hardly ever “manufacture” runs. Few bunts, no steals, no hit and runs. They leave far too many men on base. This may be their greatest weakness, as runs are harder to come by in October.
So what will happen? One thing I do know is that I will be in the Bronx for home game 2 of ALDS (Oct 11), and hopefully home game 2 of ALCS (Oct 14), and plan on being there for game 5 of the World Series when the Yankees clinch their 28th Championship, I pray. (By the way ever notice that it’s the Bronx, not the Brooklyn, the Queens, the Manhattan or the Staten Island).
World Championship #28. It can happen. It will happen, I keep telling myself. They may fall short, but it’ll be fun to watch. Play ball.
PS OK I was wrong. Bad ending in ALCS. Bats were asleep–see #5 on reasons they will fall short. Very wrong about Cono in playoffs. After raising his BA 20 points in last 2 weeks of season he was awful. Who knew?