While it was their hated rivals to the north—the Boston Red Sox—who set the standard for late-season collapses by blowing a nine-game lead and missing the playoffs in 2011, the New York Yankees have seen a 10-game lead in mid-July disappear.
They head into Wednesday night’s game with the Red Sox at Fenway Park tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the lead in the American League East for the third time in a week.
The good news is that every time the Orioles have caught the Yankees, the Yankees have bounced right back to reclaim the division lead the following day. The bad news is that after holding a 10-game lead, New York shouldn’t even be in the position of having to fight off the O’s and the Tampa Bay Rays at this point in the season.
So while manager Joe Girardi has been screaming at fans in Chicago and screaming at New York Post columnists after games, there might be some things he can do in the dugout to help maximize the Yankees' chances of holding off the pesky Orioles and Rays and winning the division.
Those suggestions are as follows...