I understand the Yankees are old. I think all Yankee fans have kind of seen the end of the road for the past few years. With Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte all in their late 30’s to early 40’s, we all knew that the time we all enjoyed in the late 90s was ending. However, nobody could have predicted that the wheels would fall of this rapidly in the form of injuries and reoccurring injuries.
Coming into the season, we knew Jeter and Rodriguez would be starting off the year a little gimpy, although there was hope Jeter would be ready for opening day. The assumption was a lineup of Cano, Granderson, Teixeira, Ichiro, Youkilis and Gardner would keep the Yankees afloat and provide enough runs to put them in contention. That hope was short-lived:
Texiera strained his wrist while taking batting practice at the World Baseball Classic. Came back for less than two weeks and reinjured it, out for the year! Granderson broke his finger by getting hit by a pitch, finally comes back, and gets hit by another pitch! Who knows when he’s coming back? Jeter pushed himself hard to get back, fractured his ankle again, pushed hard again to come back, strained his quad, back to the DL! Youkilis is signed to hold the fort down until the injured A-Rod comes back and his back goes out on him in April, done for the year and probably his career. So terrible that all we could do as Yankee fans was laugh it off.
Then the madness that is Alex Rodriguez around started to take over. There were steroid scandals, disputes with the Yankees front office, rumors of a plea bargain and 150 game suspension, and then when the smoke clears it looks like he might be coming back. Now I believe most Yankee fans are done with Rodriguez. He has been a negative influence for the past few years, was benched in the playoffs last season and has overall been more of an embarrassment than an asset since 2009. However, I truly believe that any Yankee fan who has seen the cast of amateurs the Yankees have thrown out at third base this season would have to change their mind to a degree, and even if they don’t like him, they understand there is a need for him.
He finally announced that he would be coming back Monday and I’m not going to lie, I was excited to see it all go down. The Yankees are in Texas tomorrow and to watch him come back against his former team would have been fascinating to see. He would automatically improve the Yankees, even if he were half the player he once was. The Yankees won against Boston last night and had the chance to take the series tonight, possibly building some momentum. However, the inevitable had to happen and A-Rod felt tightness in his thigh and will need to receive an MRI to check out the extent of the injury. The injury occurred on the last day of his rehab stint, one day before he was supposed to rejoin the Yankees.
I’m at the point where I have lost hope on the Yankees getting any of their aging players back. This is the season that Lyle Overbay, Luis Cruz, Eduardo Nunez and Zoilo Almonte get their Bronx experiences and take the team as far as they could, which is honestly not looking like it will be more than 162 games. The Yankees are 7 games above .500 which is somewhat miraculous given the roster they’ve been playing with, but they also find themselves in fourth place of possibly the most even division in baseball. They are 6 games behind the first place Red Sox, but I believe the Orioles and Rays, who are also ahead of the Yankees in the standings are each better than both the Yanks and Sox. To have had most of my hope on the off chance that A-Rod could come back and contribute was dicey enough, and now his set back confirms that the Yankees have hit the worst streak of bad luck I have ever seen in major league sports.
Because they are the Yankees and the greatest team in the history of professional sports, it will be tough to find anybody who will feel sorry for them outside of the Bronx. Even so, it doesn’t make the frustration for the pinstripe faithful any easier to deal with. I am still a die-hard fan and will tune into the games, but I am getting really sick of rooting for Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner.