It's September 16th, and the Tampa Bay Rays are a game and a half ahead of the Sox in the East. The Yankees are sitting ten and a half back, in fourth place in the division seems unreal.
One team is rich in history, one team has never won more than 70 games in a season, let alone the division. The Yankees haven't missed the playoffs since 1995. But in the wake of Joe Torre's departure and the arrival of the new Joe (Girardi) the Yanks just couldn't pull it together this season.
With the highest pay-role in the game, one would think New York would have a pretty good shot at winning the division or at least earning the wildcard. After losing the division last year to the eventual World Series champ Red Sox, and losing to the Indians in the ALDS, it looked like Alex Rodriguez would be exploring free agency a little bit, but ended up keeping his pinstripes.
The Yankees starting rotation just didn't quite have the spark that a rotation needs, with Mike Mussina being the only guy who could handle his role this year. Andy Pettite and Sidney Ponson were just average. Not to mention, clutch hitting was rare to come by.
A foiled attempt at beefing up at the treading deadline doesn't help the future of the franchise either. The Yankees traded prospect Kyle Farnsworth for Pudge Rodriguez, as well as Xavier Nady for a handful of other young prospects.
As the AL East is shifting, and the Rays aim to clinch the division, the Yankees could start to fade towards the lower half of the East, high pay-role or not. The Blue Jays look to make improvements after a poor year, and Travis Snider who was recently called up has been playing great. The Red Sox aren't going anywhere, with younger guys like Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jacoby Ellsbury. So where does this leave the Yankees?