Regular Articles

Based on the team’s payroll and spending habits, the New York Yankees are perennial World Series contenders.

The Bronx Bombers are so used to winning that the regular season often serves as a formality for the team’s run in the playoffs. Since 1995, the Yankees have missed the postseason just once (2008).

This year, though, the Yanks have had to deal with an unprecedented rash of injuries. But even so, the team is right in the thick of the playoff race with about two weeks to go.

Yankees' Manager Joe Girardi
Photo by Keith Allision, used under creative commons license.
Manager Joe Girardi has somehow gotten the most out of any lineup he’s penciled in. If the Yankees can stay strong and make a playoff push, Girardi is easily the favorite to land the AL Manager of the Year award.

Barring a major collapse, the Boston Red Sox will soon be crowned the AL East champions. The Texas Rangers lead the wild card race, but the fight for the second spot is in full swing, with the Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals all still in the mix.

Imagine what the Yankees could have done if the team were fully healthy. Derek Jeter is now out indefinitely after two very brief returns from the disabled list. Alex Rodriguez missed half the season. Mark Teixeira has missed most of the season. Curtis Granderson missed significant time. And even Kevin Youkilis, who was brought in as a replacement to A-Rod anyway, has also been out for a while. Francisco Cervelli was suspended based on his association with the Biogenesis clinic.

It’s amazing this team has been able to stay afloat for as long as it has. C.C. Sabathia has been far from ace-worthy this season, and it’s been a constant shuffling of personnel.

But a few late-season acquisitions have the Bronx Bombers “bombing” once again. Alfonso Soriano looks like he did in his first stint with the Yankees. His acquisition coincided with the return of A-Rod, so the team filled two huge offensive holes simultaneously.

Recently, the Yanks brought in Mark Reynolds, and in just 20 games, he already has 14 RBI, playing a variety of positions. He’s an ideal bat to have, especially in the postseason. He’s all or nothing based on his proficiency for striking out, but he can also crush a baseball.

Rounding out the roster, the Yankees signed defensive wizard Brendan Ryan to replace Jeter. Ryan will not hit like Jeter, but his defense will be critical in saving runs.

Hats off to the role players who really stepped up this season in keeping the Yankees relevant. Lyle Overbay, Brett Gardner and Vernon Wells have all played just well enough to make the team’s postseason hopes a reality.

It’s been a long grind for the Bronx Bombers -- who aren’t exactly a young team -- but it will take a fight to the finish to reach the postseason. Girardi should be commended for the job he’s already done, but I’m sure he’s not settling for anything worse than a postseason berth.