The New York Yankees are expected to win the World Series every year. Anything short of that is considered failure in New York.
It has been a long three years since they clinched their last World Series title. The Boss is gone, and New Yorkers, along with the Steinbrenner brothers, are hungry for another win.
Joe Girardi has the squad capable of winning it all. Before these last few series, the Yankees were expected to cruise into the playoffs. While they have dwindled their lead in the AL East to 3.5 games, I still expect to see them in the playoffs.
The Yankees will need to rely on a few of their old and new players to get the results they want. They need the whole team to perform this postseason if they want to be crowned the best in baseball.
However, I expect their postseason success will hinge on five key players. New additions like Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez have the potential to step up and play like the All-Stars that they are. A struggling Joba Chamberlain will need to put injuries and distractions behind him.
Over the next few weeks, there will be many takes on players who are needed by teams around the league, but here is my take on who is essential for a deep playoff run in hopes of being named world champions for a 28th time.
Note: All stats come from ESPN and were compiled before the start of games this weekend, unless otherwise noted.