The Yankees aren’t just any franchise, and not even making it to the World Series just isn’t good enough – The Denver Post


The Yankees get a bite of the apple, literally and figuratively, every year. Since the last time they won the World Series they’ve averaged 93 wins a year, and they’ve made the American League Championship Series four times and once, in 2017, they had two chances to win one game and go back to the Series, but did not.

Sometimes they’re a wild card team and sometimes they win the AL East. They are hell on wheels when they make it to the division round against either the Twins or the Guardians, who play in the JV division of the American League. Now they are in the middle of another league championship series against the Astros, whom they couldn’t beat in this round in ‘17 or two years later.

By any industry standard, and that means the industry of professional sports in this country, the Yankees are a success, both on the field and as a television product and financially. But there is one qualifier here, and it happens to be a huge one:

They’re the Yankees.

They’re the New York Damn Yankees and their standards are supposed to be different, even from the Dodgers, who have won all those NL West titles, nine in 10 years and routinely win 100 games or more, but have one World Series to show for their troubles during this period when they have been this much of an industry success, just not so much at the end of October and into November sometimes.

Yankee fans make fun of the Red Sox, who just finished in last place for the fifth time in the last 11 years and have once again set hair on fire in Red Sox nation. But here is the qualifier, and a huge one, with them:

The Red Sox have won four World Series in the last 19 season to the Yankees’ one. The Red Sox get knocked down, and the owner fires managers and general managers, something Hal Steinbrenner only does as a last resort, but somehow they get back up and every four or five or six years and there is another Duck Boat Parade around Boston.

So Yankee fans have to ask themselves a question. Would they rather root for the most famous baseball team in this world, or would they root for the Red Sox, who changed the Yankee-Red Sox narrative in ‘04 like they were altering the space-time continuum in the “Back to the Future” movies?

The Red Sox have won world titles with Theo Epstein as their general manager, and Ben Cherington, and Dave Dombrowski. But since the Red Sox got out of that 0-3 hole in October of ‘04 and won four straight against the Yankees in the most famous ALCS ever played, in the greatest baseball comeback of them all, the Yankees have won one World Series with their one general manager, Brian Cashman.

But Cashman isn’t working for John Henry. He’s working for Hal. And no matter what happens the rest of the way against the Astros, even if the Yankees don’t come back, Cashman isn’t going anywhere and it’s unlikely that Aaron Boone is, either.

So the question, really, is this:

Is this enough for Yankee fans, being in play in some form or fashion every single year?

The fallback position for the bosses of teams that don’t win is that October is a crapshoot. Billy Beane famously said that. But that is too easy. Does the best team always win? It doesn’t. Can a team get hot and lucky at this time of year and run the table? We’ve seen it happen plenty of times. But sometimes the best team does win. The Red Sox of 2018 were the best team in that team’s history. They won 108 during the regular season and then they went 11-3 in the postseason to win it all.

The Yankees haven’t been the best team in baseball entering the postseason one time since 2009. Not once. You know all the reasons. They didn’t get Justin Verlander in ‘17 and the Astros did. They let the Astros get Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. They didn’t wait for Bryce Harper, who would have been made for the Stadium and the city and went for Giancarlo Stanton instead. Cashman clearly told Steinbrenner that when he finally did get Cole, when he got the first true ace the Yankees have had since CC Sabathia in ‘09, that Cole would be the difference maker, then he wasn’t.

They were going to build a future around kids the way we hear they’re going to build one now around Peraza and Cabrera and Volpe. But Clint Frazier wasn’t the future and neither was Miguel Andujar nor Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres still isn’t a baseball star. Now here they are, caught between now and then, trying to beat an Astros team that might turn out to be better than they are again. And if it turns out the Yankees haven’t built a team good enough to finally get past the Astros, well, what’s been stopping them?

Nobody is writing the Yankees off. It’s not as if Houston dominated them in Games 1 and 2. But if it turns out the Yankees don’t get them this time, then when do they?

Is this enough for Yankees fans, as angry as they are about Cashman and Boone on social media? They do get a bite of the apple, every single year, whether they lose the wild card or lose in the division round or keep going. Would Jets fans like to just be in play every January? Of course they would. So would Giants fans. You tell Knicks fans that they are going to make the postseason 11 out of 14 years, as the Yankees have, and won’t have a losing season for nearly 30, Knicks fans would simply ask where they signed.

Yankee fans want there to be a reckoning about Cashman and Boone if the Yankees fall short of the Fall Classic again, you know they do. There probably won’t be one. And if the Yankees don’t make it past the Astros and there isn’t a reckoning, that means that there is a Yankee fan who is content with the way things are, and that fan is Hal Steinbrenner, though sometimes you wonder how much of a baseball fan he really is.

Last year this is what Steinbrenner said after the Yankees lost their wild card game to the Red Sox at Fenway but gave Boone a new contract anyway:

“As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to be better. Period.”

There isn’t a single franchise in town that wouldn’t sign on for all the winning the Yankees have done, even in this century. But the Yankees aren’t any other franchise in town.

They’re the New York Damn Yankees.

Their fans are tired of waiting until next year.

They want next year to be this week.


As good as the Giants and Jets have been so far, and as much of a surprise as they’ve been, they’re not good enough for trap games yet.

Maybe that’s why the Giants are underdogs against the Jaguars on Sunday.

The good news is that Steve Bannon is going to jail, and when that’s the good news, let’s face it, there really is no bad news.

It is such a good thing for the Texas Rangers and for baseball that Bruce Bochy, one of the best managers of his time, is going to be back in the dugout next season.

By the way?

Bochy is only a year older than Buck.

Are any of these kid shortstops we’ve been hearing so much about going to be as good as Carlos Correa?

Or Corey Seager?

It is always good to go back and remind yourself that the first four seasons of “West Wing,” the ones written by the great Aaron Sorkin, were as good as television has ever been.

And if you don’t want to go all the way back to the beginning, go back and start with the first episode of Season 2.

You just have to ask this question once in a while, and so we’re asking it today about Russell Wilson:

Are we absolutely certain that he’s still right-handed?

My friend Stanton said that watching Josh Donaldson try to hit with runners on base in Games 1 and 2 at Minute Maid Park reminded him of what it was like watching Shaq shoot free throws.

Every time Phil Mickelson runs his mouth about the Blood Money Tour, he sounds like somebody cutting a hostage tape.

Let’s just say that so far Lamar Jackson isn’t exactly delivering like Aaron Judge has on that bet he placed on himself.

Want to have some fun?

Watch the Fox baseball pre-game show, and time how long it takes for Alex Rodriguez or David Ortiz or Frank Thomas to crack each other up.

In a quarterback league, Saquon and Breece Hall sure are giving off some sparks.

And it’s pretty clear already that Sauce Gardner is capable of covering a speeding car.

Nothing has changed with the Knicks between last season and this:

They have everything except a star.

And they sure could use the kind of wingman that all the other good teams in the league seem to have.

Has Kyrie weighed in yet on the Prime Minister of Great Britain stepping down?

I mean, come on, he does know everything about everything.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking about Tom Brady wanting to call an audible on his decision to come back for one more year?

We know one thing for sure about the Giants and Jets, whatever happens the rest of the way:

They are the kings of Green Bay, Wisc.

And if you saw that coming before the season, please send up a flare.



Source link