The New York Yankees continue to shock the baseball world with a great start to the 2013 campaign, and in that start, the Bombers are proving to themselves that it doesn't take a team loaded with $100 million players to win.
After another victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night, the Bombers improved their record to 30-18 on the season and remain on top of the American League East division for another day.
And, in what was a microcosm of the Yanks' season thus far, it was Lyle Overbay who came up with the big solo homer to put New York over the top in extra innings to beat its division rival Tampa Bay.
Overbay continues what has been a sensational season for him up to this point, with plenty of clutch hits already. Along with Overbay, other players off the scrap heap like Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner have also answered the call, as the Yanks are without some of their best offensive players for much of the year.
The fact that these three players have had such an incredible impact on the team this season was unfathomable at best when the 2013 season began, but as each day goes by, Overbay, Hafner and Wells continue to make great play the norm rather than a surprising and rare occurrence.
Not to mention the contributions from pitchers like David Phelps and Vidal Nuno, who have both stepped into starting roles nicely and gotten the job done.
The question about the Yanks' payroll plans after this season have been discussed and broken down in every way possible. The original plan of Hal Steinbrenner and the rest of the Bombers' brass was to decrease payroll to $189 million in order to avoid a stiff luxury tax moving forward.
Some Yankees fans have had no issue believing this new corporate structure running the organization will have no problem accomplishing such a goal, while others believe the Bombers will spend beyond their payroll goal if it becomes necessary in order to add the players needed to succeed.
Meanwhile, there have been others who simply can't believe that the Yanks are capable of such a "responsible" means of spending money. I can't say I blame that sect of fans, but as this year's version of the Yankees continues to play well and remains atop the standings, it's becoming far less likely the Bombers abandon their financial plans.
If the "replacements" the Yanks are using this season prove anything, it's that spending a boatload of money on players isn't exactly needed in order to get production. You just have to find the right pieces to put in place in order to make it happen.
This very real and unexpected success New York is having without its best team on the field will only further cement the team's plans to go ahead and achieve the payroll target for 2014.
Clearly, this team doesn't need to spend into the $200 million range and further shoot itself in the foot money-wise to win. All it takes is good team building and, of course, a little bit of luck.
Sure, there is still plenty of time for the season to turn around and go south, but that still hasn't happened yet, and as long as it doesn't, the Yankees brass will have all the ammunition it needs to convince the pinstriped masses that a lower payroll doesn't mean the team will stop winning.
Besides, even at $189 million, the Yanks will have plenty of great players left on the team, and should injuries occur, general manager Brian Cashman has proven time and time again that he can fill the void when needed—and he's done so with amazing success.
So, with that being said, as long as this Yankees team continues to win without its best taking the field on a daily basis, that will only serve to drive the organization to reach its $189 million goal by 2014.
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