In 2009, the New York Yankees treated each game with the same sense of urgency.
Winning wasn't just the team’s job, it was what each player wanted and there were no excuses. The pattern was if one Yankee player’ slumped, another teammate or multiple would pick up the slack.
It was no BS baseball, but that intensity is not lost even after four losses in a row.
I witnessed the reigning champs at Yankees Stadium last Monday and Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. The team was fierce beating a bewildered Tampa both nights without leaving room to lose.
Fast forward four days later and it made me wonder if these could possibly be the same Yankees. Now, the Bombers have lost four in a row, are no longer in first place in the AL East and can’t seem to put clinch the Wild Card spot for the postseason.
The Red Sox are going for a sweep in New York on Sunday night, and if achieved this could be trouble for the Yankees.
This was the Yankees Al East division to lose. Now considering the Ray’s easy schedule, the Yankees taking the Wild Card seems more realistic.
It is not any one specific issue; it is an all around problem. The pitchers can’t seem to locate the plate, while the Yankee batters continually hang runners out to dry.
Yes, hitting those eight home runs over their last two games lead fans to believe the Yankees were back to being a hot-hitting team. Psyche, the Yankees lost both games to a Red Sox sans the big bats of Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.
Fact is, success in getting to October and beyond means doing a little of everything, with no room for errors.
Sunday night’s game is a must win for both the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Yankees can cut their magic number form three to one, while the Red Sox keep the door from slamming 2010 in there faces just yet.
Resolving to win cannot come in the eighth inning if the Yankees plan to get back to the World Series again.
Wait—almost forgot that making the playoffs has to come first.
HERE IS MY MESSAGE TO THE NEW YORK YANKEES:
You were the best team in baseball for the majority of 2010 for a reason, and it’s about time to remind you of this fact.
Win not because it's your job but because you love the game of baseball and anything less would be unacceptable.