The rant is back! This time, Clu weighs in on the unexpected success for the New York Yankees.
I have something to say about the NY Yankees team that we see playing before us in the Bronx. Don’t worry. This is a good rant. In case you have not been paying attention to baseball yet, this rag-tag bunch of backups, wash-ups, and AAA starters have stepped in to fill the void left by the injured superstars that we, the spoiled Yankees fans, have gotten so accustomed to seeing day in and day out. In fact, they have played well enough to keep the bombers relevant throughout the first month and a half of this season. What are some of the keys to the Yankees’ early success in the 2013 season?
The biggest surprises in my opinion have been Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay. Wells, who was basically an outcast in LA, was deemed washed up and thought to be the beneficiary of one of the worst contracts in baseball (I even featured it in a post earlier this year). Wells was traded to New York for some bums. All he has done so far is redeemed himself for his terrible play over the past few seasons. He has all but matched his HR total of 2012 and has been hitting .300 while filling in for Curtis Granderson in LF. Granderson, by the way, is the first Yankee star to return from injury!
Next is Lyle Overbay, the Bay was picked up off waivers from the Red Sox near the very end of spring training. He was brought in as primarily a defensive 1st baseman to fill the void left by Mark Teixeira and his torn tendon sheath. Overbay was given a “3-day trial” at 1st, where he instantly ousted Juan Rivera for the job. Could you imagine if we had stuck it out with Rivera at 1st? **Shudders** Overbay has been a pleasant surprise. He’s a tall dude, which makes for a decent target to throw at, plays solid defense and, not to mention, he has been coming up with a ton of clutch hits and has remembered how to mash some taters into right field.
The rotation has really been stellar, except for Nova, and Hughes. Even David Phelps has come in and pitched exceptionally well. I think he has earned a spot in the rotation for good. Let’s not forget that the Yankees will keep getting better once they get Michael Pineda back (probably by the summertime)… and possibly Chien-Min Wang? The former Yankee had a renaissance in the 2013 WBC, which earned him a minor league deal and a trip to Scranton.
The Yankees’ bullpen has been outstanding too. Adam Warren has come in and given them some solid innings when needed. David Robertson has shown why he seems to be the apparent heir to Mariano Rivera, and even Mo has had one of the most storied comebacks of all time. After losing nearly a full year with a torn ACL, he has come in and locked down the 9th inning like old times saving 16 games in 16 opportunities.
The Coaching Staff
Jobu and I discussed earlier in the week. I cannot say enough about Yankees Skipper Joe Girardi‘s ability to manufacture a competitive lineup day in and day out like he has done. I have to give him all the credit in the world. We both agreed that he is not the best manager in the world (in fact, I feel he relies too much on that mystery binder of his), but let’s put that aside for a minute. If the Yankees even make it to the post season (let’s not even mention winning the world series), he is an instant candidate for AL Manager of the year, hands down. Six of his nine starting players from 2012 either started on the DL or signed with other teams. Girardi was handed a blank lineup sheet with only Gardner, Ichiro and Canó penciled in, and he’s had to fill in the rest pretty much on the fly.
It is still a long season, but as it stands right now, the Yankees sit atop the AL East and, as my friends and I have been saying so far, we’re “Ridin’ the wave.” Let’s hope that they can keep this up long enough for their superstars to get healthy. If they do, it will only make the Yankees that much more dangerous when it comes time for serious September (and hopefully October) baseball.
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