The Yankees Are Back! How Far Can They Go?
There are a few certainties in life: Death, Taxes and the endurance of The Evil Empire (the New York Yankees). Sure, the first half of the season was marked by terrible performance and culminated by being over 10 games behind their major rival, the Boston Red Sox in the standings at the beginning of July. However, in less than two months, the Yankees have surpassed the Red Sox in the standings, a turnaround of the magnitude that the Yankees have not accomplished as a team since the 70s.
While we can point to the amazing work done by GM Brian Cashman at the trade deadline, by acquiring Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, the turnaround by the pitching staff can’t be ignored. Nestor Cortes Jr. has been a revelation, Wandy Peralta, who arrived with quite a bit of animosity from fans, has helped shore up the bullpen, and Luis Gil has started off his career with a bang by becoming the first Yankees starter ever to allow zero earned runs in each of his first two career starts. However, the best story might be Andrew Velazquez, a Bronx native who dreamed of playing for the Yankees and is now playing his heart out for the team, combining terrific defensive work with outstanding offensive output to quickly becoming an indispensable player.
The Yankees’ return to success is all well and good, but how far can they go? Can they really make it to the World Series? To be completely honest, I’m torn by this question. On the one hand, I’ve been a Yankee fan all my life and Yankee fans expect the team to go to the World Series every year. In our minds, anything less is an abject failure. On the other hand, I’m a professional sports journalist who has to evaluate these situations with a level head. With that in mind, I still have to say that the Yankees look like the team to beat in the American League and are the favorites to go to the World Series.
Think about it: they’re peaking at the right time, holding the best record in the Majors since the beginning of July. They look unstoppable offensively and really sturdy on the defensive front. Additionally, they have the necessary pressure to take the team back to the World Series after so many years of not participating (not entirely their fault, since the Astros cheated).
So, will the Yankees be in the World Series? Bank on it. Will they win the title? That, my friends, is a question for another day.