Friday, July 18, 2014

Top 10 Reasons For Yankee Fans to Be Hopeful In 2nd Half

1. In spite of everything that's gone wrong this season, the Yankees are still only 5 games out of 1st place in the American League Eastern Division, with 10 weeks to go. If the Yankees gain an average of a game every 2 weeks, they win the Division.

Recall that, in 1978, the Yankees were 14 games out at this point, with even worse injury issues as far as the everyday lineup was concerned (though not with the pitching), and won the whole thing. Compared to that, 5 games is no big deal.

2. The 1st place team is the Baltimore Orioles. The O's haven't won the Division in 17 years, have made the Playoffs only once in that time, and in that 1 time, 2012, choked against the Yankees.

3. The Toronto Blue Jays are also ahead of the Yankees, but they haven't made the Playoffs in 21 years.

4. The Yankees could well rally around Captain Derek Jeter and try to give him a proper postseason sendoff.

5. Mark Teixeira has come back from injury. As Arsenal fans would say, "He's like a new signing."

6. While CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova are out for the season, Michael Pineda could return by early August, and Masahiro Tanaka might not need Tommy John surgery, and could return around the same time as Pineda. If Shane Greene and Chase Whitley remain solid starters, and Hiroki Kuroda can crank one more half-season out of his arm, the Yankees might not need to make a deal for a solid starter at the trading deadline of July 31.

7. If the Yankees get to the Playoffs, the other Division leaders are the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics. If the Yankees make the Playoffs, they are likely to face one of those teams in the AL Division Series. The A's haven't won a postseason series in 8 years, and only that 1 in the last 24 years. Billy Beane, a "genius"? My Pinstriped ass.

8. The Tigers? True, they've beaten the Yankees in 3 postseason series in the preceding 8 seasons, including in 2011 and '12. But they also tend to fall short in the postseason.

9. The National League leaders don't look like world-beaters, either. The NL East is led by the Washington Nationals, who've won exactly 1 postseason series in their 47-season history (and that was 33 years ago, as the Montreal Expos), and choked big-time in their one trip to the postseason as the Nats, in 2012. The NL Central is led by the Milwaukee Brewers, who've also been around for 47 seasons and have won exactly 2 postseason series. The NL West is led by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are under The Curse of Donnie Baseball and will not win a Pennant as long as that loser Mattingly is their manager. They haven't won one anyway in 26 years. And one of the NL Wild Card leaders is the Atlanta Braves, another bunch of chokers who haven't won a Pennant in 15 years.

True, the NL Wild Card could be won by the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants, who, between them, have won 5 of the last 10 NL Pennants and 4 of the last 8 World Series, and don't have reputations for choking. Well, we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

10. We are the New York Yankees. No matter what happens, Aura and Mystique are always ready to step in and save us.

If we were that Other Team in New York, we'd be saying, "Ya gotta believe!"

But we are the Yankees. We don't have to believe -- we do believe.

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