The date is July 18th, 2007. The nightly baseball results are in . The scores read, Yankees 6 Blue Jays 1, Kansas City 6
Boston 5. The standings now show that the Yankees are only 6 games (loss
column) behind the Red Sox for the Eastern Division lead . Yes, the Yankees, who
were 14 games behind Boston in the loss column (May 29th) earlier in the season,
are now within striking distance of making 2007, 1978 all over again. Yes, Red
Sox "Nation", I will say it again, 1978 all over again.
It’s very quiet in New England right now. You see, no one is
giggling at my Yankee comeback talk anymore. The giddiness that blinded Red Sox
"Nation" for all of this season is gone. Writers who deemed the season
"over" in May, are now trying to figure a way to explain what is happening. In
short, panic has gripped Yawkey Way, as a pennant race has suddenly
You all remember my prediction that it would be a very damp
summer this year from the sweat of Red Sox "Nation" when the Yankees make their
charge. Well, right now, the "Nation" is sweating, fretting, and doing some bed
wetting, over the surging Yankees and the shrinking Boston lead. Forget "easy
schedules", forget "homestands", forget who "has to play .700 ball", forget
about "blowing up the team". It all goes out the window now folks, for we now
have a pennant race in mid July.
So now that the "non-believers" are resigned to the fact that
there is actually a race, let’s examine how the Yankees can complete this
Despite the final score of 6-1, tonight’s game once again
exposed the Yankees weakest link, which is their bullpen. Ron Villone,
Scott Proctor, and Brian Bruney can’t come in and start walking hitters in close
games. Luckily for the Yanks, they had Mariano at the ready to record a
five save out. That said, the Yanks won’t be able to go deep in October
with this bullpen.
During the next two weeks, Brian Cashman is going to have to
find two quality arms to fortify the bullpen. As mentioned before, Jeff Karstens
could be one of them. Karstens has been pitching well in his rehab starts and
could join the club late next week. Cashman will then have to pull off a trade
to obtain another much need reliable arm.
The Yankees also have to take a serious look at Johnny Damon.
Once again, Damon had a futile night at the plate, and it’s apparent something
is just not right with him. Having a leadoff hitter hitting under .240 is
not going to help this team make up 6 games in a little more than two months.
Damon has to be honest with the team and tell them if he’s hurt.
Phil Hughes had a very good rehab start this afternoon, and
he may need just one or two more outings before he becomes the final piece of
this now very good starting rotation.
Yes, the Yanks need a bit more to complete this comeback.
That said, it’s July 18th, 2007 and we do have a pennant race. Sorry, Red Sox
The comeback and tradition continues at www.yankeetradition.com